News Roundup: Private Group Constructs Half-Mile Of Border Fencing In El Paso

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMay 28, 2019 12:45 pm

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

A private group backed by some of President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters says it has constructed a short portion of border fence on private land in El Paso. The organization is called: We Build the Wall.

The former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is involved with the group. He discussed the construction of the half-mile barrier during an interview with Fox News Channel Monday.

“It’s not just any wall too, the typical fencing you see on the southern border…is garden variety steel that lasts only 25 years – this is all weathering steel that lasts 75 years,” Kobach said.

Kobach added that now that the first project is complete, they’re preparing for the next one.

“We’ll keep on building as long as people keep chipping in, and by the way, the average contribution has only been $67, but so many people have chipped in we’ve got this project – this is the first one, and we’re already getting ready to start the second one,” Kobach said.

We Build the Wall has raised over $22 million on the platform, GoFundMe. Their stated fundraising goal is $1 billion.

Several days ago, a federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration from transferring funds from military accounts to begin building additional border fencing.

Landowners from the Hill Country in Central Texas are in court Tuesday to try and stop a natural gas pipeline from being built on their property.

Nadia Hamdan with KUT News reports.

Attorneys for the Hill Country landowners, the City of Kyle and Hays County are suing the pipeline company Kinder Morgan and the Texas Railroad Commission. They argue the Railroad Commission did not live up to its constitutional responsibility in overseeing Kinder Morgan’s use of eminent domain. Tuesday’s court hearing comes after months of community concerns over the 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline that’s meant to stretch from the Permian basin to the Texas Gulf Coast. The route would cut through private property and could have environmental effects. The lawsuit argues that because the railroad commission did not properly regulate Kinder Morgan, the company was able to forcibly take property without any guiding standards. But the railroad commission’s website specifies that there is no requirement that a pipeline operator seek prior approval from the commission before beginning construction. Kinder Morgan plans to start building the pipeline this fall.

Houston officials – past and present – say Gov. Greg Abbott should not sign a bill that passed the Texas Legislature.

House Bill 1177 would allow Texans to carry their guns for up to a week after a state or natural disaster is declared.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said on Twitter this bill was not needed during Hurricane Harvey and it is not needed now.

Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker also weighed in on Twitter calling the legislation a solution in search of a problem.

Abbott has until June 16 to sign or veto the bill, or he can choose not to sign it and it will still become law.