News Roundup: Austin, Houston And San Antonio Are On Wallethub’s List Of Top 25 Foodie Cities

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelOctober 10, 2018 1:12 pm

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

Many have argued on social media about which Texas city is home to, say, the best barbecue or breakfast tacos. Wallethub made its own attempt at such a ranking with its list of best overall foodie cities in the United States – a bunch of cities from the Lone Star State made the cut.

Jill Gonzalez is with the personal finance site, and says it considered more than just food quality in the rankings.

“So, we looked at not only good foodie cities but cheaper foodie scenes overall. So, we looked at a variety of things including affordability, and then diversity, accessibly and quality of food,” Gonzalez says.

Okay, so brace yourself: based on its criteria, three Texas cities made the top 25. Austin ranked the highest among Texas cities at 10th place, followed by Houston at 18th place, and San Antonio is 21st. Gonzalez points out that it’s especially affordable to be a foodie in the Alamo City.

“The average restaurant meal cost – this is just for one – a three-course meal, is around $35. That was the third-cheapest in the country. Houston is up at $54. Austin, more like $60. So, obviously a huge swing just within the state,” Gonzalez says.

 Gonzales adds that 2015 marked the first time Americans spent more money on eating out than on groceries.

The federal government has awarded two $1million grants to the Texas Education Agency to support school safety initiatives. One will fund a Statewide School Violence and Mental Health Training Program. It’s a program in which school districts will apply for grants to cover the cost of mental health training for staff and administrators.

TEA spokeswoman Lauren Callahan says three districts that have dealt with school shootings in recent years will receive the initial grants: Alpine Independent School District, Italy ISD and Santa Fe ISD. But that’s just the start of what the program will offer overall.

“There will be additional competitive grants that will be made available through that grant program over the next couple of years,” Callahan says.

The second initiative is to develop and operate a training program for School Threat Assessment Teams.

“The training program is a collaborative effort between the agency, the Texas School Safety Center and SIGMA Threat Management, and it would help districts equip their school personnel with skills needed to recognize, respond quickly to and prevent acts of violence in our schools across Texas,” Callahan says.

The TEA is also asking the state legislature for more than $50 million to improve school safety, primarily through increased access to trauma-informed counseling.

A San Antonio congressman who sits on the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees says a fellow Texan should replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro said during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN Tuesday that President Trump should pick a seasoned diplomat.

“Somebody perhaps like Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is a former Senator from Texas for quite a while, and now serves as ambassador to NATO for the President. If I was in the president’s shoes, that’s someone I would seriously consider,” Castro said.

Haley, who used to be the governor of South Carolina, announced Tuesday she would resign at the end of the year.