The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Texas officials have opened an investigation into the death of a child who died after leaving a south Texas immigration detention facility. Reports of the death surfaced on social media last week, but details were sparse.
Hank Whitman is the head of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Testifying before state lawmakers during a Thursday hearing, he asked for the family’s lawyers to work with them.
“Please give us the name of the child, we have no way of knowing otherwise, we don’t if the child died the day after, we don’t know.” he said.
The Dallas Morning News first reported that attorneys for the family have now shared the identity of the child with state officials, who will investigate whether abuse or neglect was involved in the child’s death.
The Texas agriculture commissioner is temporarily reversing his decision to shut down a method for protecting cattle from fever ticks.
Sid Miller’s ban on spray boxes – which let ranchers quickly douse cows with tick-killing chemicals – put him at odds with the state’s cattle industry and the Texas Animal Health Commission.
The Texas Standard’s Michael Marks has been following this story, and he explains where things stand.
“So about a week and half ago, Commissioner Miller went down to south Texas and closed down these spray boxes because he believed they didn’t have proper ventilation and that some of the cows were becoming sick or even dying as a consequence of that,” Marks says. “What this new compromise, that was reached yesterday afternoon will do, is allow those spray boxes to be open for 45 days. And during that time ranchers will be able to spray their cattle, which is important because if you live in what’s called the ‘fever tick quarantine zone,’ you have to treat your cattle for ticks, in order to move them out. So they’ll be able to use the spray boxes for that over a 45-day period unless their cow are old or sick, or are calves, something that might be more vulnerable than a normal cow. So over that 45-day period, Miller and some of these other cattle associations, animal health associations, are going to work on a more permanent solution.”
Twenty-three French bulldog puppies rescued in Texas are now recovering in Chicago. Authorities in Texarkana found the dogs crammed inside of a hot van last month.
Mary Schefke is the founder of Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, which is managing the care and eventually the adoption of the dogs. She explains that the animals are originally from Ukraine. They were flown to Chicago and then driven to Texas.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing in the US more and more dogs being imported from foreign countries because they can buy them cheaper.,” Schefke says.
Shefke says her group has been overwhelmed by inquiries about adoption, but right now they’re focused on getting the puppies healthy, and they need donations to that.
All are in isolation at veterinary facilities for monitoring and treatment, since four of the puppies died while still in Texarkana despite vet care.
“If anybody knows a dog, they know keeping one dog in isolation for one night is expensive, multiply that by 23 dogs, not knowing how long they’re going to be in isolation, plus all their vetting that’s going to be required as we start to get them healthier, so donations are what we really need right now,” Schefke says.
The puppies eventually will be up for adoption after intensive rehabilitation.