Trey Shaar | KERA News

Trey Shaar

Austin resident, on and off, mostly on, since 1986. Covering news of Central Texas and beyond since 1994. Father since 2010. Maker of sounds, informational and otherwise, since longer ago than any of the above.

A 23-year-old man arrested last week in Pease Park with several weapons, including an AR-15-type rifle, should not have been allowed to buy the weapon, according to the gun store owner.  

A number of the targets of Friday's ransomware attacks are back to normal operations, the Texas Department of Information Resources said.

The department said more than a quarter of the targets have "transitioned to remediation and recovery." It also said the number of local government entities affected is down from 23 to 22.

Update: The number of local government entities in Texas affected by a ransomware attack is now up to 23. In a release Saturday afternoon, the Texas Department of Information Resources said the local governments reported the attacks Friday morning. The majority of them are smaller local governments.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Texas law that requires people contracting with the state to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel. 

Residents of Texas and Puerto Rico are still recovering from the last hurricane season, as the next season is set to start. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration predicts 2018 is going to be an active one.

Texas phased out the use of solitary confinement as punishment for prisoners this month, but it still plans to keep thousands alone in cells.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson Jason Clark said the department has been moving in this direction for some time.

George P. Bush has more than $2.8 million to spend on his campaign for Texas Land Commissioner. His two main challengers, a Republican and a Democrat, have a combined total of around $20,000. 

Democrat John Cook, former Mayor of El Paso, reports raising about $13,000 since June. Republican David Watts's campaign finance filing this week indicates fundraising in the second half of 2013 of about $7,000. 

Dr. Brian Smith is a professor of political science at St. Edward’s University in Austin. He says what the Bush campaign is doing is a tried and true intimidation tactic.

“He’s over-raising money to scare off any potential Republican challenger,” Smith says. “If I’m a Democrat I would be, like, wow, I have to raise $3.3 million just to match him. That’s going to scare me away. If I’m a Republican, I’m going to be like, gosh, he’s got a lot of money. Let him have it.”