News Roundup: The 73-Year-Old Mayor Of Livingston Gets Revenge On A Horse-Eating Gator

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 19, 2018 2:11 pm

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

“Don’t mess with Nana.” That’s the message the mayor of a small Texas town is sending after taking revenge on an alligator.

Seventy-three-year-old grandmother Judy B. Cochran was elected mayor of Livingston in southeast Texas earlier this year. On Sunday, she shot a nearly 600-pound gator that she believes ate one of her miniature horses, three years ago.

In a video posted on Facebook, Cochran got encouragement from her son-in-law, Scott Hughes, moments before she pulled the trigger.

“Yeah, that’s a big-‘un … that’s a monster … Nana you better hit him good, cause that’s a horse eater … okay get him right behind the brain.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that as an elected official, Cochran wanted to assure the public the hunt was safe and ethical.

Cochran lives in Polk County, where alligator hunting season runs from Sept. 10-30. It’s one of 12 Texas counties that allow that type of hunting.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas says he and fellow members of the Senate Judiciary Committee want to investigate an allegation of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But he says they can’t do that without testimony from his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, said on Tuesday that Ford can determine how she’d like to testify.

“If she’d prefer to do this in a closed setting that’s her choice, but we’ve offered her basically an open or closed setting,” Cornyn said.

Ford, a professor in California, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were in high school in the 1980s.

So far, she has not accepted the invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Instead, her attorneys say the first step that needs to be taken before a hearing is an FBI investigation, which Democrats are also calling for. Her lawyers also raised concerns about the hearing’s impact on Ford, writing in a letter that it “would include interrogation by senators who appear to have ‘made up their minds’ that she is ‘mistaken’ and ‘mixed up.’”

Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied the allegations.

Texas natural gas is now on China’s list of American goods facing a 10 percent retaliatory tariff. As Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik reports, that’s just the kind of thing the energy industry worried that growing trade tensions would lead to.

China’s the third-largest importer of U.S. liquefied natural gas. Most of it’s exported from a facility on the Texas-Louisiana border, and similar terminals are in the works up and down the Texas coast. And as the trade war’s escalated, the industry and Houston business leaders have warned it could jeopardize LNG deals and the future of those multi-billion-dollar facilities.

University of Houston economist Ed Hirs: “If this keeps expanding, and there continues to be a tit-for-tat retaliation, this will cause diminished economic activity for everyone involved.”

Still, some are staying optimistic. Last month, the head of Cheniere Energy, the nation’s largest LNG exporter, noted his business is a quote “very long-term one,” and that it’s continuing to “solidify” relationships in China.