Petitioners Ask Galveston Building Owners To Douse Lights During Bird Migrations

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 6, 2017 1:06 pm

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

An Afghan woman and her two young sons who had been held in a South Texas immigrant family detention center for six months have been granted asylum and released.

Most families are held for no more than 20 days, the maximum amount of time federal law allows minors to be held in detention.

Samira Hakimi, 35, made headlines when she attempted to commit suicide in May before she was released from the Karnes City facility.

Hakimi’s sister-in-law and child are still being held in the Karnes County Residential Center.

Last month, employees at the American National Insurance Company in Galveston found a pretty gruesome scene outside of their building.

“Some employees came to work on the morning of May 4 and found hundreds of dead migratory birds,” says Samantha Ketterer, a reporter with the Galveston County Daily News.

Almost 400 migratory songbirds crashed into the building’s windows during a storm.

City officials think the birds were confused by lights in the building and flew toward it in search of shelter.

This incident prompted Andrew Milton, 37, an American living abroad, to start a petition, which he posted it on the website Care2.

“It’s a petition website – really anyone can go on there and create these things – and it’s been circulated really widely and has been received positively,” Ketterer says.

The online petition has almost reached its goal of 30,000 signatures and it asks the Galveston Mayor to pass an ordinance that would require buildings to turn off their lights at night throughout the migratory bird season.

“Mayor Jim Yarbrough has said that he’s going to look at the issue but he doesn’t really think that any other building in Galveston would be affected by an ordinance mandating turning off your lights at night, just because One Moody Plaza where American National Insurance works – that’s the tallest building in Galveston at 23 stories,” Ketterer says.

American National Insurance has already agreed to turn off its lights at night.

Ketterer says that while the city council is looking at a possible ordinance, they’ll likely start with an educational program to avoid incidents like this.

The city of Sherman is soon to be home to a massive data center complex that could bring 350 jobs to Grayson County, reports KETR’S Scott Morgan.

The Herald-Democrat reported that the 1 million-plus square-foot Cassini Gateway campus has been approved after a year of negotiations. The deal to bring the data center to Sherman represents as much as a $1.2 billion investment into the city. The project is expected to create 150 permanent tech jobs among the 350 jobs expected to roll out over the next five years.