Review this checklist before you hit the road Memorial Day weekend

 

An estimated 2.8 million Texans are expected to be on the roads this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Texas. The group anticipates that more than 330,000 drivers will require a roadside rescue – at least 21,500 in Texas alone – AAA Texas spokeswoman Anne O’Ryan said.

So here are some safety steps that O’Ryan says motorists should take if they’re getting on the road this weekend:

  • Have your car battery tested.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Get plenty of sleep — at least seven hours — so you can stay alert. Drowsy driving accounts for about 20 percent of all crashes, O’Ryan said.
  • “Pack your patience,” O’Ryan said, and drive defensively.
  • Build in extra time for travel.
  • The best times to travel will be early morning, as other times will be more crowded.
  • Take breaks every two hours or every 100 miles.
  • Keep your eyes open for other drivers making sudden lane changes because a lot of out-of-towners and tentative drivers will be on the road.
  • Watch out for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
  • Don’t text and drive or hold your cell phone.
  • Put your pets on a leash or a cage, and not in the front seat.
  • Wear your seat belt
  • Never drive impaired.

Austin police said officers will be targeting impaired and distracted drivers during the holiday weekend. Under its no-refusal initiative, Austin police will make it harder for a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated to refuse providing a breath or blood sample. If the officer has evidence of impairment, police said, the officer can get a judge’s approval for a search warrant to obtain a blood sample.

The no-refusal effort will be in effect from Friday through June 12 – to include the Republic of Texas motorcycle rally – between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Police said 107 people were arrested last year during the no-refusal period for Memorial Day and ROT Rally.

Interim Austin police Chief Brian Manley recommends that if you do plan to drink, you should have a plan for a ride home. He said the Austin Transportation Department has provided a website, austintexas.gov/gethomesafe, with resources to help you get home safe, including links to Capital Metro services and designated driving programs.

The Williamson County sheriff’s office will be undertaking its own no-refusal initiative, starting Friday and ending Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. each night.

In Hays County, San Marcos police will run its no-refusal program from Friday through Sunday.

 

Scientists shocked, intrigued by this San Marcos deer chewing on human bones

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A deer chews on a human rib bone in San Marcos. Photo courtesy of the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State

Warning: This post includes photos of a human skeleton that may be disturbing to some readers.

The land that Texas State University uses to observe how human bodies decompose has led to a recent discovery. But this particular discovery doesn’t have anything to do with humans.

As Texas State scientists observed one deer (or possibly two different ones) pick up a human rib bone with its mouth and casually gnaw on it, “extending from the side of the mouth like a cigar,” they realized they were looking at something unusual, they wrote in a recently published paper. In fact, it was “the first known evidence of a white-tailed deer scavenging human bones,” three Texas State scientists wrote in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

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A deer chews on a human rib bone in San Marcos. Photo courtesy of the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State

The focus at the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State is usually on the human bodies themselves, but the center decided this observation was too intriguing not to share.

“While most forensic anthropologist and taphonomists are aware that carnivorous non-human animals chew on and consume human bones, the fact that ungulate (a.k.a. hooved) species also gnaw on human bone is not as widely recognized,” they wrote.

By the time this deer got to the body – which had been donated for science – it was essentially a skeleton. Many wild animals (but not deer) are known to scavenge human remains on the 26 acres of land that the Forensic Anthropology Center uses to study human decomposition in nature. These scientists use observations such as these to help people like medical examiners who are working to determine, for example, if trauma to a body was caused by a weapon or a raccoon.

“Researchers have observed deer scavenging non-human bone many times in the past, but this is the first time we have observed it with human bones thanks to the unique research happening at the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility at Texas State University,” said one of the scientists, Lauren Meckel. “We were surprised only because we see the deer so often in the photos from our motion-sensored cameras. Usually they walk around the skeleton and sniff it a few times, but never had we seen the deer actually pick up one of the bones.”

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A deer chews on a human rib bone in San Marcos. Photo courtesy of the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State

Texas State’s latest viral hit is a scantily-clad ‘Donald Tramp’

Donald Trump easily won the South Carolina GOP primary Saturday, beating U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida by more than 10 percent.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (2nd L) gives a thumbs up to photographers during a rally against the Iran nuclear deal on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people gathered for the rally, organized by the Tea Party Patriots, which featured conservative pundits and politicians. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (2nd L) gives a thumbs up to photographers during a rally against the Iran nuclear deal on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people gathered for the rally, organized by the Tea Party Patriots, which featured conservative pundits and politicians. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Perhaps more interesting than his primary win, however, is how The Donald’s personality is being received at Texas State University in San Marcos, according to The San Antonio Express-News.

Video recently surfaced of a Texas State student dressed in short shorts, a blazer and a toupee. He calls himself “Donald Tramp” and his dream is to “Make Short Shorts Great Again.”

In the Feb. 10 video shared by Facebook user BOY CHAD, student Kristoffer Ian Celera can be seen dancing seductively and yelling “Vote for me, Donald Tramp!” before standing up and starting a striptease.

According to Celera’s Facebook profile, he is studying computer science at Texas State and “likes” several political organizations on the site, like “Students For Rand” and “Young Americans For Liberty.”

“A photo of Celera in the Trump costume he wears in the video can be seen on his profile, originally posted on Oct. 29.

Comments on the original photo include “I love you Kris. That is an AMAZING costume!” and  “that jacket is BARELY long enough o__o.”

Twitter users’ comments were mostly positive.

https://twitter.com/kbrooketsu/status/697546427572944896

If you’ve been keeping up with Texas State in the last few weeks, you’ll know this isn’t the first time its students have made national headlines. The day before Celera’s Tramp Dance, a female student laid on a table in her underwear covered in nothing but Chick-fil-A foods. She previously sat topless on the library steps about a year ago. And there’s also the student who decided to use a Barbie Jeep to drive around campus after her license was suspended following a DWI.

What a time to be alive. Maybe Trump can get Celera to help him out on the campaign trail.