Texas Lawmakers Study Food Shortages Across State
Texas lawmakers are investigating the causes of food shortages across the state and how to solve them.
The House Human Services and Public Health Committees have asked experts to explain why so many families don't have enough food and why some communities don't have grocery stores. Lawmakers on Tuesday will also look into what state government can do to address the problems.
Texas has the second highest rate in the country of people who have trouble getting enough food to eat. In 2010 that was more than 4 million Texans.
Among the solutions the committee will consider are farmer's markets and community gardens. Lawmakers are also considering applying nutritional standards to state food aid programs.
The committee's findings will determine what bills lawmakers introduce next year.
Population boom at Fort Worth animal shelter
The Fort Worth animal shelter is so crowded officials say they may have to euthanize healthy adoptable animals for the first time in more than two years if people don't adopt some of them.
Shelter officials tell the Fort Worth Star-Telegram 560 animals have been brought to the shelter over the past week. The normal maximum population is 400.
Unhealthy or dangerous animals that aren't placed with rescue groups still are put down but officials so far had managed to spare healthy animals.
Typically in late spring and early summer the shelter sees a population increase because of new litters of puppies and kittens. But officials also say more residents appear to be abandoning animals when they move.
Texas Fair fare: Deep-fried Girl Scout cookie
As if the Girl Scouts' Samoa cookie isn't sinful enough, a longtime State Fair of Texas treat provider is perfecting a way to improve the chocolate-coconut-caramel cookie for fair goers.
Christi Erpillo's family has served deep-fried items at the Dallas fair for 40 years. She says the Samoa is her all-time favorite cookie and she's found a way to drop the classic into a deep fryer without getting it soggy and without losing its taste.
She tells The Dallas Morning News the Samoa embellishment is intended to help the Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary.
Erpillo's mother introduced funnel cake to the fair in the 1980s. In 2009, Erpillo made a splash with deep-fried peaches and cream.
The three-week State Fair of Texas opens Sept. 28.
Report questions transfers to top Texas team
Dallas public school officials are looking into whether a star player on a two-time Texas basketball championship team may have transferred improperly to the school so he could play ball.
Dallas TV station WFAA initially questioned how Keith Frazier moved from suburban Irving to enroll at Dallas Kimball just before the start of the season last year. The station reported Monday that besides Frazier, at least eight other players on the 4A title team are transfers into the district. The station says two players were transfers the previous year when Kimball won the state championship.
A district committee from the University Interscholastic League approved the transfers and Frazier's mother has denied anything improper. The team's coach, Royce Johnson, says he does not violate UIL rules by recruiting players.
Federal court tosses Texas Open Beaches Act
A federal appeals court, ruling in the case of a Galveston waterfront property owner, says the Texas Open Beaches Act that keeps the state's beaches public is unconstitutional.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling echoes a Texas Supreme Court ruling last month that found problems with the law as it applies to west Galveston Island beaches rapidly eroded by storms.
A San Diego attorney sued after she was ordered to move her home because storm erosion put it on the public beach.
In a 2-1 ruling Monday, the 5th Circuit said enforcement of the law was unreasonable seizure of property. A lower federal court had dismissed her suit.
The Texas General Land Office told the Houston Chronicle it hadn't seen the ruling and had no reaction.