Report: Austin’s ‘Hi, How Are You’ mural vandalized

… again?

A beloved  Austin landmark has fallen victim to vandals, as KXAN reports that the “Hi, How Are You” mural at 21st and Guadalupe streets has been defaced with a red, spray-painted cross. According to the TV station, police don’t yet have any leads.

(Rodolfo Gonzalez/2010 American-Statesman file photo)
(Rodolfo Gonzalez/2010 American-Statesman file photo)

The alien frog mural, also known as “Jeremiah the Innocent,” was painted by singer songwriter Daniel Johnston in 1993. It’s a popular photo opportunity, and Jeremiah even appeared on a T-shirt that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain once wore. On Christmas Eve 2013, a woman spray-painted the mural with five F-words.

Follow live: What will become of Texas’ STAAR?

Attention STAAR watchers: The Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability will likely recommend to Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday that the state scrap the unpopular standardized test. The commission will likely make edits to its preliminary recommendations during a meeting Wednesday, and it might approve final recommendations. Follow live as the American-Statesman’s Julie Chang covers today’s meeting.

Craigslist call for mullets doing its part to ‘keep Austin weird’

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Screen shot via Craigslist

Someone out there is scouring Austin for the perfect combination of business and party.

A recent Austin Craigslist posting is doing its part in “keeping Austin weird” by requesting men and women rocking the forever-unfortunate, 1980s mullet hairstyle to come forward and participate in a Japanese reality TV show being filmed in the city.

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READ: Bizarre futuristic hair trend sweeping the Internet can’t be real

According to the listing it is an absolute “MUST” that participants both have a mullet and provide a current photo of said mullet before participating in the show.

Those whose mullets prove worthy will be compensated $150 for two hours of work, the Houston Chronicle reports.

It’s not worth it, guys.

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What did archaeologists digging around the Alamo find?

Hand out photo of the Alamo. -- The Alamo seems spooky enough, but its curator and historian neither acknowledges nor denies ghosts. CREDIT: Richard Nowitz courtesy San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. Received 07/14/11
Hand out photo of the Alamo. — The Alamo seems spooky enough, but its curator and historian neither acknowledges nor denies ghosts. CREDIT: Richard Nowitz courtesy San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. Received 07/14/11

Earlier this month, a team of expert archaeologists set their sites on the Alamo and got to digging. Tearing up sidewalks and closing down surrounding streets in the process, the “systematic archaeological study” was searching for one thing: the historic Texas monument’s original walls.

Well, as the San Antonio Express News reports, although it might not look like much, the team did manage to find part of an adobe wall that would have surrounded the original structure. Or so they’re hoping.

There’s a chance the wall, found about 2 feet beneath the surface, could be a part of another structure from the 1700s that was no longer standing during the 1836 Battle of the Alamo.

There’s still a chance for further discovery. The team plans to dig up to 4 feet deep during the excavation, which is a part of a plan to “reimagine the Alamo” and make it that much easier to remember.

READ: Ozzy Osbourne stops at Texas Capitol on way to make Alamo apology

Is this snake-fighting woman the toughest homeowner in Texas?

Mike Leggett/American-Statesman This small water moccasin was one of three that showed themselves on a San Marcos River float. The snakes hide in dark, wet places along the river, but seldom bother people.
Mike Leggett/American-Statesman This is a FILE PHOTO of a small water moccasin — one of three that showed themselves on a San Marcos River float. The snakes hide in dark, wet places along the river, but seldom bother people.

A resident of North Texas town Vernon did not invite the snake that joined her for breakfast in her kitchen early Monday morning. So she kindly saw him out.

As the Wichita Falls Times-Record-News reports, Deborah Burdette woke up to a large snake on her kitchen counter. When she returned with her phone to take a picture she found the reptile slithering its way into her dishwasher. Not wanting to lose track of the creature, she grabbed hold of it.

READ: 180 things we love about Texas

After realizing “it was very hard to hold onto,” as she told Times-Record-News, Burdette grabbed a nearby knife and tried to kill the animal. When that didn’t work, she grabbed a still-packaged meat cleaver, tore it open with her teeth and hit the snake on the head “immobilizing it.”

While her conquest earned a picture of what turned out to be a 6-foot-long poisonous water moccasin, Burdette’s adventure wasn’t over yet.

Returning to the kitchen later that night Burdette encountered yet another snake (later identified as a bull snake) on her kitchen counter, but didn’t see the creature before it bit her on the hand.

Burdette has since been treated for her bite and sealed the hole that she believes the snakes were coming through by stuffing it with Brillo pads.

READ: Don’t mess with Texans: 10 Lone Star whompings

Is Austin educated? New study says yes, ranks city in top ten in the nation

As the sun rises on the city of Austin, people run and cycle along the boardwalk over Lady Bird Lake while others fish nearby. With sunny skies, temperatures are expected to reach a high of 92 Monday, March 14, 2016. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
As the sun rises on the city of Austin, people run and cycle along the boardwalk over Lady Bird Lake while others fish nearby. With sunny skies, temperatures are expected to reach a high of 92 Monday, March 14, 2016. LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin’s smart, y’all.

According to a new study by WalletHub, Austin ranks as the ninth most educated city out of the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.

Read: No chill? Austin actually has lots of it, according to new study

To determine this, WalletHub examined the areas across nine key metrics, ranging from the percentage of adults aged 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree to the education attainment gap between men and women.

Read: How does Austin rank in a new “best large cities to live in” list? Pretty well

Read: How does Austin stack up in this ‘Best Texas Cities for Families’ poll? Not so hot

Austin wasn’t the only Texas city that made the list but they all place below the No. 70 rank: Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (No. 71), Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land (No. 76), San Antonio-New Braunfels (No. 110), Killeen-Temple (No. 112), Corpus Christi (No. 135), El Paso (No. 139), Beaumont-Port Arthur (No. 142), Brownsville-Harlingen (No. 149), McAllen-Edinburg-Mission (No. 150).

Read: This list says Texas isn’t great for road trips — here’s why we disagree

‘Pokemon Go’ players can now ride a bus around Austin to catch ’em all

Sarah Boutwell captures the Pokemon character Pikachu while playing augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go at the Capitol Monday July 11, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Sarah Boutwell captures the Pokemon character Pikachu while playing augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go at the Capitol Monday July 11, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

If you thought for even a moment that the ‘Pokemon Go’ craze was starting to fizzle out, this might prove otherwise — there’s now a bus that takes players on a tour around Austin in order to catch ’em all.

Read: ‘Pokemon Go’ craze spawns day care and chauffeur services in Austin

Pokemon Go City Tours, which launched this weekend, was created by Austinite Phillip Loyd. According to KVUE, he guides passengers by live tracking Pokemon on the site PokeVision and alerting passengers on what they’re about to catch, when and how long they have.

Read: Here’s where you probably shouldn’t play ‘Pokemon Go’ in Austin

A tour ticket costs $15 to $25 and tours can last up to three hours. With Loyd giving historical background along the way, passengers may end up in hot spots like the Texas State Capitol, Auditorium Shores and Burnet Road.

Read: How and why did ‘Pokemon Go’ happen

“We’re planning something much bigger than just Austin,” Loyd said in an interview with The American Genius. “The goal is to set up shop in every major US city in the next month featuring everything from bus tours to hot air balloon rides, all with a Pokemon spin on it.”

What Texas Republicans and Democrats ‘like’ might depend on party lines

FILE - In this April 6, 2014 file photo, George Strait accepts the award for entertainer of the year at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Strait, along with Amanda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn will receive a special honor at the Academy of Country Music's 50th awards show on April 19. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
In this April 6, 2014 file photo, George Strait accepts the award for entertainer of the year at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

If you’re a Democrat in Texas, then you probably like Beyonce and if you’re a Republican then you’ve probably got a thing for George Strait — though no one’s saying you can’t like both.

But according to a study by the Wall Street Journal, the two artists were the choices who received the most “likes” on Facebook among Texans in each political party. Turns out, people’s party divisions tend to carry over into more than just political ideologies — our tastes in music, television, books, and movies are also at odds.

Read: Study: Texans can’t seem to find the internet

Republican nominee Donald Trump has 9.1 million “likes” on Facebook and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has 4.3 million. To determine American’s top interests, people who had liked both pages were removed from the data set then items active users had “liked” were examined.

Read: Guess what word Texans can’t spell

Here were the findings:

Musician/Band: So for Texas’ top choices in musicians and bands, Beyonce won the Democratic party’s love and George Strait won Republicans. Nationally, Adele was No. 1 among Democrats and Ted Nugent was No. 1 among Republicans.

Actors/Directors: George Takei was the top choice among Texas Democrats and John Wayne was the most liked among Republicans. Takei and Wayne were also the winners nationally.

Movies: “Harry Potter” was the most liked movie among Democrats both in Texas and nationally. The top choice among Republicans in Texas and nationally was “God’s Not Dead.”

Read: Texas’ favorite reality show isn’t surprising

Television shows: Democrats in Texas and nationally who like Clinton chose “The Rachel Maddow Show” as their top choice on television. Trump-likers top choice nationally and Texas was “Duck Dynasty.”

Books: Nationally and in Texas, Democrats’ top book was “The Great Gatsby.” Texas Republican’s top choice was “Texas Got it Right” though nationally, Republican’s liked “The Old Farmers Almanac.”

Athletes: What athletes people liked showed the most diverse results out of all the categories. In Texas, Democrat’s most-liked athlete was Cristiano Ronaldo but nationally, Democrats favored Serena Williams. Texas Republicans’ most-liked athlete was J.J. Watt, but nationally Republicans like Ronda Rousey.

To read the full lists and extended information on the party choices, click here. 

 

 

Austin Chick-fil-A supervisor arrested for stealing more than $100,000 from restaurant

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A shift supervisor from an Austin Chick-fil-A was arrested Thursday and has been charged with theft for stealing nearly $120,000 from the restaurant, according to an arrest warrant.

Watch: Chick-fil-A worker jumps through window to chase car as cow dances

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Photo via Williamson County Jail

Houston Chronicle reports 27-year-old Justin Felder is accused of making 246 refunds to his personal bank account from Oct. 13, 2011 to June 26, 2016. According to the affadavit, Felder is charged with exceeding $100,000, a second-degree felony.

Texas man loses 140 pounds, credits it to eating Chick-fil-A

Felder has been taken to Williamson County jail and it is unknown what his bond is currently set at. The Chick-fil-A where Felder was employed is located at 13201 Ranch Road 620 in North Austin. 

Read the full story here. 

Dashcam video of Breaion King’s arrest: What people are saying

On Thursday, the American-Statesman and KVUE published dashcam video of 26-year-old Austin teacher Breaion King being thrown to the ground during a traffic stop by an officer last year, as well as footage of a second officer telling her that police are sometimes wary of African-Americans because of their “violent tendencies.”

Officials are investigating both the actions during the arrest of officer Bryan Richter and the comments made to King by officer Patrick Spradlin. Both officers are white, and King is black.  The video surfaced as part of new investigations by the Austin Police Department and the Travis County District Attorney’s office. Austin police Chief Art Acevedo publicly apologized to King during a Thursday afternoon news conference, an apology which King responded to Friday.

READ: Police union is critical of officer conduct in King arrest

The story went viral immediately and has since been picked up by national news outlets. On social media, the response has been divided. Here is a sample of the comments left by readers on the American-Statesman’s Facebook and on Twitter.

Joe Silano: “When will the cops be held accountable for their actions toward people of the African American community. An unarmed black physcologist doing his job shot yesterday while laying on his back with his hands raised and now this”

Breaion King is transported by Austin police officer Patrick Spradlin on June 15, 2015, following her arrest by Austin police officer Bryan Richter. SCREEN CAPTURE FROM APD VIDEO
Breaion King is transported by Austin police officer Patrick Spradlin on June 15, 2015, following her arrest by Austin police officer Bryan Richter. SCREEN CAPTURE FROM APD VIDEO

Jim Foster: “Another example of what happens when you don’t follow an officers directions and resist. If she had followed directions it would never have gotten to that. She says ‘people are responsible for their own actions’. Well she experienced the results of those ‘action’.”

Harry Nagel: “This cop is nothing less than a thug. Why does it seem that so many thugs are drawn to law enforcement? Is there no screening to keep these bully boys out of the business of protecting and serving? Are there no voices within the police community to say ‘this is not who we are?’ If think most cops hang their heads in shame when they see stuff like this but their silence makes them complicit. Being a cop has got to be one of the toughest jobs there is. And continued behavior like this is not going to make it any easier.”

COMMENTARY: Bias, misconduct by a few officers weakens city’s safety

Andrea Lynne Hildebrandt: “Interesting how they don’t highlight the fact that she brought this on herself by not listening to the officer in the first place… watch the original tape.
Black, white, red, yellow… if you don’t do what you’re told, there will be repocussions. PERIOD!”

Evelyn Aponte: “All I see is police brutality here. Police should do jail time for assaulting an innocent woman.”

Bryan Horten: “Very disappointed in the Statesman for race baiting.. Never get out of the car during a traffic stop and then resist.. It’s doesn’t Matter what race you are they will treat you hostile..”

RELATED: Activists discussed violent arrest with Acevedo, want more than talk

Gracelyn Cooper Dilley: “I’m sorry that you experienced such an awful attack and hope that you know not all police officers behave this way, on behalf of our entire community I sincerely apologize.”

Kim Hornsby Beathard: “she was CLEARLY resisting. STOP posting these videos stirring up stuff to cause FURTHER division between police and black people. If this was a white woman, it wouldn’t have made it to Facebook. Stop. Just stop.”

https://twitter.com/CordieMendoza/status/756463542698643456

https://twitter.com/y_v10carrillo/status/756261524163874816

Ciao Bella: “2015? Why is the apology just being issued… Because the tape came out?”

READ: Police union is critical of officer conduct in King arrest