News Roundup: Nearly 40 ‘March For Our Lives’ Protests Against Gun Violence Are Planned In Texas

Listen to our roundup of headlines from across Texas.

By Alexandra HartMarch 23, 2018 12:27 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Tomorrow, students, teachers, and allies who support stricter gun control measures will protest in cities across the nation.

More than 500,000 people are expected to attend the March For Our Lives rally in Washington D.C.

And more than 800 local marches are planned worldwide, including close to 40 here in the Lone Star State.

Sophia Condie is a junior at Centennial High School in Frisco, and is one of the organizers of the March For Our Lives demonstration in downtown Dallas.

She told KERA News that soon after the shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, she and her classmates experienced a gun scare at their own high school. That prompted her to take action.

“In my school, in the week after the Parkland shooting, we actually experienced a school shooting threat and I got to witness what it does – just the threat of it – in a school setting,” Condie says. “It was terrifying.”

Condie adds that recent events have changed how safe she feels on campus.

“Parkland was voted one of the safest schools or neighborhoods – and if they’re not even safe, then who’s to say we’re safe,” she says.

National event organizers are asking people to sign a petition calling on lawmakers to make three changes to gun laws.

They’re demanding a ban on assault-style weapons like the AR-15, which was used in the Parkland shooting.

The petition also calls for the prohibition of high-capacity magazines, and closing background check loopholes.

Condie says that the work will continue after Saturday’s marches.

“Heading into May 5th, when then NRA convention is in Dallas, we’re going draw the line in the sand – and we’re going to know which political officials stand with the students, and which stand with the NRA,” she says.

A handful of counter-protests by anti-gun control advocates are also scheduled in some cities on Saturday.

An environmental advocacy group says they have video footage of a facility in far west Texas releasing methane and other pollutants into the air.

But officials with the facility deny any wrongdoing, saying they’re in compliance with state regulations.

Marfa Public Radio’s Carlos Morales reports environmental group Earthworks says Houston-based Apache Corporation is releasing “intense” amounts of pollution at a processing facility outside Balmorhea.

The group says the pollution was released from tanks at the Cheyenne Central Processing Facility March 9-11.

“All of that air pollution then is impacting the people in Balmorhea … the McDonald Observatory and the whole region,” says Earthworks’ Sharon Wilson, who recorded the video.

But officials with Apache say the type of infrared camera used doesn’t determine exactly what’s being emitted, or the volume or rate. In a statement, the company says they’ve checked their west Texas facility and they are in compliance with the state’s emissions standards.

Earthworks has filed a regulatory complaint with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality which is currently being reviewed.

A northeast Texas man pleaded guilty this week to unlawful possession of the highly-poisonous chemical Ricin.

Federal agents discovered the toxin in the home of Abel Keith Fulton in 2016, after his parents alerted authorities that Fulton was attempting to make a hazardous chemical.

Fulton faces up to 10 years in prison.