News Roundup: Proposed Border Wall Still A Potential Threat To National Butterfly Center, Despite Protections From Congress

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartFebruary 19, 2019 12:50 pm

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

The leader of the National Butterfly Center says she’s worried President Trump’s national emergency may override protections passed by Congress last week for natural and historic areas in the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas Public Radio’s Reynaldo Leaños Jr. says local leaders are concerned a wall will still be built through five of those areas, including the National Butterfly Center, the historic La Lomita Chapel and the Santa Anna Wildlife refuge.

This could also impact the site of the SpaceX commercial spaceport and the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, in addition to private property.

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, or SBC, is calling for major reforms in the midst of the denomination’s own #MeToo moment.

A Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News investigation found widespread sexual abuse – and subsequent coverups – among Southern Baptist churches.

Addressing other SBC leaders Monday evening in Nashville, convention President J.D. Greear said that “every option is on the table” to address abuse within the church, including a registry of convicted or accused church leaders.

He’s also calling for background checks on those in leadership roles and a change in convention rules that would allow for the removal of churches that ignore abuse within their congregations.

In an interview Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” Greear said Southern Baptist churches are considered self-governing and autonomous.

“But that cannot be used as a cover for a lack of accountability. Churces that show a wanton disregard … they have no place in our convention. So we definitely have an opinion on this,” Greear said.

The newspapers’ investigation found more than 700 victims of alleged abuse by church leaders and volunteers, including pastors, Sunday school teachers and youth-group leaders.

Texas-based Southwest Airlines is under federal scrutiny over how it calculates the weight of checked baggage.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation in February of last year. According to the investigation, as many as a third of Southwest’s 4,000 daily flights may have had incorrect weight data. That may stem from Southwest’s practice of having ground crews count bags, rather than using computerized scanners like most other airlines.

The FAA found that some flights had loads more than a 1,000 pounds in excess of the reported weight, which could affect how pilots respond in the event of an engine emergency during takeoff.

The FAA hasn’t yet decided whether to fine Southwest. It says the probe will continue until it’s satisfied with Southwest’s corrective actions.