The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Some lucky Texans are about to go on spring break. If you’re planning on spending some of that time outdoors, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has pointers for spring breakers at state parks.
Agency spokesperson Stephanie Garcia broke down all five of their tips.
- Check availability online, says Garcia. “On our parks website we have a list of scheduled closures and even links to parks’ social media accounts to let people know some of the current updates for some of our park closures.”
- The second tip is to visit a new park, especially those that get less traffic than others. “We have 95 state parks all around Texas. Each of them are so unique and have something new to discover,” says Garcia.
- Tip number three? Take part in a park program or activity. Garcia explains that a lot of parks have special programs planned for spring break including, “bird walks, kayak tours – some have archery 101 classes, we have some arts and crafts, yoga in the park and that’s just to name a few.”
- The fourth tip is for those of us who don’t have a whole week off – plan an afternoon adventure. “Some of the examples that we have are Longhorn Cavern State Park near Burnet,” says Garcia. “This cave is about a mile and a half roundtrip and it has some really unique views such as a room called crystal city which is a room filled with crystals.”
- And last but not least, “Our fifth tip is that if you are planning to do overnight trips, reserve your trips in advance,” adds Garcia. That can be done by visiting the TPWD online reservation page or by phone at: 512-389-8900.
Nearly 50 college presidents are fighting a new controversial tax on certain private university endowments, calling it “unprecedented and damaging.”
Three of those leaders are from Texas – the heads of Rice University, and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and Trinity University in San Antonio.
The university presidents are urging Congress to revisit the 1.4 percent tax on income from large endowments signed into law as part of the tax overhaul bill.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Democrats and Republicans, they say the tax will hurt their efforts to help students and improve education. Eugene Steuerle is a fellow with the Urban Institute and co-founder of the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. He explains this endowment tax is modeled after a similar levy on the endowments of private foundations.
“It’s, in my view, sort of a stupid tax. It was a stupid tax on foundations and it’s a stupid tax on colleges and universities,” says Steuerle. “It’s not really targeted to anything other than reducing the money these colleges and universities have to help their students or to even help poor students.”
It remains to be seen if lawmakers reconsider this new tax. Steuerle points out that foundations have been fighting their own endowment tax since it was first imposed in 1969.
47-year-old Pedro Silva Segura pled guilty on Thursday for his role in the death of 10 immigrants hidden in a trailer in a San Antonio last year. They were found in a sweltering tractor-trailer in a Walmart parking lot. Segura now faces life in prison for conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death.
“He operated a stash house in Laredo for migrants who had just entered the country,” says Palacio. “At least five migrants from his house were in the trailer.”
The driver of the trailer, 61-year-old James Matthew Bradley Jr., pled guilty last year and is expected to be sentenced this month.