MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Rest in Peace

Former Texas governor Mark White died on Saturday at the age of 77, according to the Austin American-Statesman. White was one of the last Democratic governors in Texas, serving a single term from 1983 until 1987, during which he notably oversaw major reforms in education, including implementing pay raises and competency tests for teachers, limiting class size for elementary schools, creating the state’s basic skills graduation test for high school, and pushing through a $4 billion tax increase to help pay for schools and highways. As Texas Monthly‘s R.G Ratcliffe notes, White’s “no-pass, no-play” rule for student-athletes was perhaps the most controversial policy of his tenure, given its devastating impact on Friday night football early on. Despite upsetting incumbent Republican Bill Clements in the 1982 election, White lost a rematch in 1986, ending his time as governor. “He cared about Texas deeply,” his son Andrew said, according to the Statesman. “He realized that this wasn’t about getting re-elected. This wasn’t about being popular. This was about making Texas a better place.”

Scout Tragedy

Two teenage Boy Scouts died in a boating accident on Lake O’ the Pines in Hallsville on Saturday, according to the Longview News-Journal. Will Brannon, 17, and Heath Faucheux, 16, were at a troop campout at a private residence near Alley Creek on the lake’s north shore, when, shortly before two p.m. Saturday, they took out a catamaran on the water and their mast hit a power line. Brannon and Faucheux were electrocuted, according to Daniel Anderson, chief operating officer for the East Texas Boy Scouts of America. Another scout, eleven-year-old Thomas Larry, was injured and taken to a hospital, where as of Sunday he remained in critical condition. A crowd of about 300 people gathered in Hallsville Sunday night for a candlelit vigil in memoriam of the two teens. “You’re talking about great young men, men of integrity,” Hallsville Band Director Sherri Morgan told the crowd, according to the News-Journal. “We’re heart-broken, we’re devastated… All is not lost, they leave a legacy. So, they are going to live on forever.”

Legends of the Fall

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Texas-native running back LaDainian Tomlinson were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Jones gave a speech at the induction ceremony for about 40 minutes, thanking all the folks who helped the longtime owner win three Super Bowls on his way to the Hall. On Jones’s thank-you list were former coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Tony Romo, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Larry Allen, Deion Sanders, and Jason Witten, according to the Dallas Morning News. Then, in typical Jerry Jones fashion, the Cowboys owner threw a Texas-sized partyfor himself, a $10 million bash with 1,000 guests at the Glenmoor Country Club, where Justin Timberlake performed in front of a who’s who crowd of Warren Buffett, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Romo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Tomlinson’s induction was a bit less flashy, though perhaps more memorable. The Rosebud, Texas native and TCU alum gave a powerful speech, which is worth your time to watch.