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The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Teams from Texas A&M University returned home this week after a nearly month-long deployment to California to aid recovery efforts after the Camp Fire. That wildfire was the deadliest and most destructive in California history. Seven AgriLife Extension agents and twelve members of the Veterinary Emergency Team lent a helping hand at an animal shelter in Butte County.
Dr. Wesley Bissett is director of the Texas A&M VET team:
“With the Camp wildfire, like with every disaster, animals are involved,” Bissett says.
The emergency animal shelter had been open about 40 days when they arrived.
“When we got there it was still many, many animals. We were still up around four to five hundred animals. Mainly cats, but some dogs as well, a few exotics that was in this facility and it had actually filled up the facility and there were also tents that were set up to house animals as well,” Bissett says.
Bissett says one of the most rewarding aspects of the work is witnessing the reunions between pets and their families.
“The reality is we’re in the business of hope because when we play a role in reuniting a person and an animal in the post-disaster setting, that’s one step, one message that it’s going to be okay, there’s going to be a better day tomorrow,” he says.
The trip was the first time these two A&M teams deployed outside of Texas. Bissett says it was so successful, he expects them to do more out-of-state work in the future.
Separating children from their families is cruel, inhumane, and runs counter to our nation’s values. I’m outraged—as all Americans should be—about this new report that reveals that thousands more children were separated from their families. Statement here: https://t.co/8WoAkVK8UC pic.twitter.com/UFQ64ox9eN
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 17, 2019
The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services finds that beginning in the summer of 2017, an unknown number of children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. These separations, which the report says could number in the thousands, happened before the Trump Administration formally announced the policy in the spring of 2018. Here’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
“I have put in place a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry on our southwest border. If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” Sessions said then.
Democratic Congressman Castro says Trump administration officials who concealed information about these separations need to appear before Congress. He also says they should lose their jobs.
Austin is in violation of a state law that requires licensed handgun holders be allowed in city, county and state buildings with some exceptions, a judge ruled Thursday. The suit was filed by the Texas Attorney General’s office after a complaint from activist and gun store owner Michael Cargill. He tells KUT News the decision has implications for the whole state.
“Every single city and municipality needs to take a look at their policy and come online because we’re now going to file complaints,” Cargill said.
Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the ruling.