News Roundup: The Newest Team Member At Borger’s 911 Center Is A Little Guy Named Squelch

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 26, 2018 5:18 pm

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

Employees at a 911 dispatch center about 50 miles north of Amarillo have a new coworker. And he goes by the name of Sergeant Squelch.

Squelch is an adorable, three-month-old puppy that city of Borger employees adopted from a local animal shelter. Nicole Riggle is an associate municipal court judge for Borger and first spotted Squelch on Facebook. Riggle says a couple of weeks ago she asked a shelter employee to bring him by the city offices for a visit.

“We walked him to the judge’s office and ya know I was just kidding whenever I first said it, and I said look at dispatches new mascot…and um, after a few minutes he was like ya know that’s a really great idea, he’s so laid back and I think it would actually be great if the city manager approves,” Riggle says.

The city manager not only approved, but gave Squelch his name.

Riggle says Squelch will be in the dispatch center 24/7, adding “there’s always two people on a shift, sometimes three, so he’s going to have attention and care, 24/7.”

Squelch is now newest member of the Borger Regional Communications Center team, where he’ll help with stress management and public outreach.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has alerted 36 counties that they may be violating the Voting Rights Act. The ACLU says the counties appear to be failing to offer the same voting and election information in English and Spanish.  

Counties are required to provide materials in both languages when a significant number of voting-age citizens are Spanish-speakers.

Matthew McCarthy is with the ACLU of Texas. He describes a few of the violations they found when reviewing the websites of these counties. For example, in some instances there was no information available in Spanish.  

“And then there were also some counties that used Google Translate or other machine-based translation services that provided a very literal translation of the words that were being translated, such that they weren’t very meaningful to the reader,” McCarthy says.

McCarthy says, so far, one-third of the counties they contacted have responded positively to the letters and plan to update their websites.  

Cody Wilson made headlines across the country as the founder of a company that distributes plans for 3D-printed guns. Now Wilson is out as leader of the design firm after he was arrested on charges of having sex with a minor. KUT’s DaLyah Jones reports.

Defense Distributed cofounder Cody Wilson resigned from the company on Friday evening. Wilson was arrested in Tawain last week and returned to Texas. He is accused of paying a 16-year-old in Austin for sex. Paloma Heindorff has been named the firm’s new director. She says Defense Distributed will continue selling blueprints for untraceable guns despite the allegations surrounding Wilson.

“I think it’s obvious to everyone here that he has been an incredibly powerful figurehead, but I think what’s important to concentrate on here is that this is about an idea,” Heindorff says.

Heindorff says the company has received about 3,000 orders for blueprints and has shipped about 1,500 so far. While the company won an initial legal fight to allow distribution of the plans, the company continues to battle appeals to that decision.