The United States Army has chosen Austin as the site for its new weapons development center. The Army’s so-called Futures Command will focus on modernizing the service by developing new weapons and technologies.
“Establishing an army headquarters outside a post, with a diverse mission, to interface with industry and academia is a radical cultural change for us,” Army Undersecretary Ryan D. McCarthy said, formally announcing the decision this morning. “Establishing this headquarters in the city of Austin, Texas will force the Army to lean an American ingenuity and business entrepreneurs to help us through rapid innovation, to challenge our status quo, and to inculcate in ourselves in a collaborative community of people that live to solve complex problems.”
McCarthy added that the state of Texas did offer the Army incentives and that those details would be available soon.
The new site is expected to employ about 500 military and civilian personnel. Defense contractors are likely to open offices nearby.
Austin was among five finalist cities: Raleigh, Boston, Minneapolis and Philadelphia were the others. Its will be the first time since the 1970s that the Army has added a headquarters like this.
A man who was wrongly named as a suspect in the 2016 fatal shooting of five officers in downtown Dallas has sued the city and police department.
KERA News reports that the federal lawsuit alleges Dallas police detained Mark Hughes and his brother, Cory, without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The suit also alleges the brothers were interrogated without proper Miranda warnings.
Dallas police posted a photo on social media showing Mark Hughes holding a rifle and saying he was a suspect; he surrendered to officers. The lawsuit states that Cory Hughes was detained after hearing about his brother’s arrest and going to police headquarters.
A Dallas police spokesman told the Associated Press that the city and the department do not comment on pending litigation. The actual suspect, army veteran Micah Johnson, was killed when authorities used a robot-delivered bomb.
Recent rains in Texas have made a dent in dry conditions throughout the state. New figures from the U.S. Drought Monitor show about 49 percent of Texas is experiencing some level of drought, compared to 55 percent just a week ago.
Brian Fuchs is a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center. He says, unfortunately, the precipitation wasn’t evenly distributed.
“A lot of that was confined to a lot of the Gulf Coast region, as well as the area along the Rio Grande, and also up in the Panhandle,” he notes.
Fuchs says that, in contrast, dry conditions are getting worse in North Central and Far West Texas.