The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
South Texans are preparing for “carmageddon” this weekend, as part of I-35 will be completely closed in San Antonio. From 9:00 pm Friday through 5:00 am Monday, a stretch of I-35 will be completely shut down in the Alamo City.
The closure is so that the Texas Department of Transportation can demolish an old bridge that runs over the highway. But for South Texans, the project could spell major weekend traffic problems. Hugh Tong and Josh Donat of TxDOT drove through the area to give folks a better idea of what to expect.
There is one exception to the closure though – the highway will open back up from 6:00 to 11:00 pm on Saturday for the San Antonio Spurs’ home game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The next hearing on Texas’ congressional district maps will be on April 27 in San Antonio. The maps were drawn by Republicans in the state legislature in 2011. Last month, a federal panel found that the maps for three Congressional districts intentionally discriminated against Black and Latino voters.
The three-judge panel overseeing the case wants an update on whether the legislature plans to address the maps before adjourning. The judges will also consider a request to prohibit the state from using the maps in the 2018 statewide elections. State Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Democrat from Dallas, is one of the plaintiffs in the case:
“Whether they adopted in some areas of the state a ‘packing’ technique, that packed minorities into districts to dilute their voting strength…or they cracked them in a way you would like a wagon wheel, where you take a concentrated community and you break it up in multiple districts,” he said.
The judges will also take a look at the Texas’ 150 state House of Representatives districts. A grand jury in Tarrant County is also looking at whether anyone involved in the incident should face charges.
Amarillo’s 911 system was clogged for about half an hour on Thursday because a local business’ phones malfunctioned and repeatedly called the emergency system.
Dispatchers received almost 500 calls in less than 90 minutes. System administrators said it doesn’t appear that any emergencies went unattended because of the malfunction, but they aren’t sure what caused it, either.