MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Holly Jolly Trial

After playing a game of Judge Shuffle, Attorney General Ken Paxton finally has his trial date set. Paxton is scheduled for a holiday-time trial, with jury selection starting December 1 and testimony beginning on December 11 for his securities fraud case, according to the Houston Chronicle. District Judge Robert Johnson, a fresh face in the 177th Criminal Court, made the decision in a hearing on Thursday, the second hearing Johnson has presided over since he was assigned the case after it was moved from Paxton’s home of Collin County to Harris County. Paxton’s trial had originally been scheduled for May, and it was moved to September before it was again pushed back as Paxton’s attorneys sparred with prosecutors over where the case would be heard and by whom. If it seems as though Paxton’s case has been dragging on forever, it’s because it has. He was originally indicted in July 2015.

Fall From Grace

Austin frequently tops a lot of “best of” lists, and since 2015 it’s held down the number-one spot in WalletHub’s “Best Big Cities to Live In” survey. But no more. WalletHub’s latest study saw Austin drop precipitously from number one all the way down to lowly number six, beat out by Virginia Beach, Seattle, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Colorado Springs, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Of course, there’s nothing to be ashamed of as the sixth-best city in the country, but Austin seems to have been sunk by its low affordability rating (32 out of 62 cities ranked), a number that doesn’t seem like it will get any better in the near future. Texas was well-represented on the list, with eight cities in all. Austin was joined by El Paso (ranked 25), Arlington (30), Forth Worth (33), San Antonio (35), Dallas (43), Corpus Christi (47), and Houston (48). The only state to land more cities on the list was California.

Risky Business

Following the deaths of ten people who were found trapped in the trailer of one of Pyle Transportation’s trucks, the company is now under fire for its troubling history of shady business practices, according to the Associated Press. Dozens of immigrants were found trapped in a sweltering truck in a San Antonio Walmart parking lot last weekend, and the driver, James Bradley Jr., was charged on Monday for the deaths. Pyle said that it didn’t know anything about what federal authorities have called a sophisticated smuggling operation that’s been linked to a Mexican cartel, but federal regulators have launched an investigation into the company’s safety record, which isn’t great. The Iowa-based company’s owners have previously found themselves in trouble with regulators for falsifying records, refusing to pay taxes, and falling out of safety compliance. The company has also been sued for failing to pay drivers, and some former drivers told the AP that Pyle “routinely pushed them to violate federal safety rules.” As one ex-driver told the AP, Pyle is a good place to work only “if you don’t like rules.”