Congressmen livestream 'bipartisan road trip' to D.C. amid snow, flight cancellations

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 4:39 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 4:39 AM

Unable to get a flight back to snowed-in Washington, D.C., Texas Congressmen Will Hurd, a Republican from Helotes, and Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, who did a veterans’ event together in San Antonio on Monday, decided to drive together to D.C. – a trip about 1,500 miles and 24 hours long.



BIPARTISAN ROAD TRIP: Because of the winter storm U.S. Representative Will Hurd and I are renting a car this morning and...

Posted by Congressman Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hurd said it was O’Rourke’s idea.

They picked up a Dollar rental Chevy Impala in San Antonio predawn Tuesday.

They went for taquitos at Mi Tierra, where they also bought a piñata mascot — which they have named WillieBeto — to place on the dashboard, though it slipped off.


They then stopped at Tantra Coffeehouse in San Marcos, and then headed for Austin, where they pulled over by the University of Texas to do a live spot on MSNBC, where they were asked what would be the ideal pairing for a Texas-to-D.C. road trip like the one they were on.

They passed on the suggestion that came through on O’Rourke’s Facebook livestream — Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Houston.

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From there, they busted in on Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith and "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd just ahead of Smith’s interview of Todd for his KLRU show, "Overheard." 

Hurd was asked to offer an example of an issue on which he and O’Rourke agree.

“We both agree a border wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” Hurd said.



Cross country town hall

Posted by Congressman Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From Austin, the road trip headed toward Waco on the way to Texarkana and the Arkansas line.

They said they would be guided by "the people" in their choice of route, but O’Rourke said he’d like to go through Memphis – which they eventually did. 

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, old enough to be their father, phoned in to make sure there was no distracted driving going on.

Hurd assured him O’Rourke had a firm hand on the wheel.

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But Cornyn’s connection wasn’t so good.

O’Rourke: “We lost Sen. Cornyn.”

They briefly stopped talking policy to listen to a little music.

First, Khalid from El Paso, and then, of course, Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again."

And then, off with the music for a phone interview with Bill Lambrecht of the San Antonio Express-News.

Lambrecht: “So whose wacky idea was this?”

And, “If you go to Memphis you might want to think about stopping by Graceland.” (They did, but it was closed.)

O’Rourke said that for both of them, “our party leadership is probably not really excited about us doing this” because they would each be seen as helping a member of the opposite party.

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“Screw that line of thinking,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke preferred to drive straight through to their destination. Hurd preferred to “stop and smell the roses.”

And use the facilities.

“Will has a small bladder,” O’Rourke said. “And we’ve been drinking a ton of coffee.”

At Hurd’s pace, O’Rourke said, “We’ll get to Washington by mid-summer.”

According to The Associated Press, they arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday "with minutes to spare before a 6:30 p.m. House vote."



Posted by U.S. Representative Will Hurd on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Major League Baseball umpire stops woman from jumping over bridge before Pirate's game

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 11:48 PM

(WPXI.com)

A Major League Baseball umpire, Jon Tumpane, stopped a woman from jumping off the Roberto Clemente Bridge before Wednesday night's Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

"Just hanging on to her and at times when she wanted to go the other way, I was like, 'not on my watch,'" Tumpane said in a press conference Wednesday night. 

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"I was able to mouth to one of the gentlemen in back, and said, 'Call 911, call 911,' and they did," he said.

Tumpane was walking across the bridge on the way from his hotel to the park, where he was scheduled to work behind the plate. 

He came across a woman in distress, apparently preparing to jump off the bridge.

He said he locked his arms in hers and offered to buy her lunch, desperately trying to coax her back to safety. 

"At that point she said, 'Just let me go, it'll be better off that way.' And I said, 'No, let me buy you lunch, we'll talk this over, it'll all work out,'" Tumpane said.

During the press conference, he said between innings he would look at the Roberto Clemente Bridge over the center field wall.

"This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say that she can have another day with us," Tumpane said. "This isn't about me. I appreciate the opportunity but honestly, this is for her and people that care about her. I'm just glad it's a positive story and not a sad story."

Developer to resume Topgolf planning despite findings of slave cemetery

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 11:07 PM

(WSOCTV.com)

When developer Matthew Browder bought a large piece of land five years ago, he had no idea what laid beneath.

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He showed WSOC-TV where radar detected a slave cemetery. 

A newly released report proved there are slave graves on a University City property where developers are trying to build a brand new Topgolf venue. The developers hired a local historian to research the site after neighbors raised concerns over the possibility there was a slave cemetery in the area. 

>> RELATED: New Topgolf could border slave cemetery in University City

White flags mark the 19 bodies buried in shallow graves.

Despite the incredible historical significance, Browder said it will not deter plans to build nearly 400 apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail space and a Topgolf. 

“We are going to make sure this is not disturbed and protected regardless,” Browder said.

"(They) plan on moving forward, which is still shocking," said Darrin Rankin, who opposes the development.

A ground penetration crew, using radar equipment, counted 19 bodies buried right outside the cemetery next to Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church.

WSOC-TV reported earlier this month that neighbors claimed there was a slave cemetery on the grounds, and now a historian's 28-page report confirms it.

Charter Properties and Browder Development Group are asking the city to rezone the property.

Developers said that they've spent roughly $20,000 on the cemetery, working with a consultant. They are promising not to disturb the graves and said they plan to work with the church to preserve them.

“There is a right thing to do here, and that's what we're going to do, regardless of what happens,” said Browder. “So whether we get our zoning or don't get our zoning, whether something is approved or not approved, this area is not going to get disturbed, period.”

Neighbors who've been fighting the proposal said they're not satisfied with the report.

“How big is this slave cemetery? How deep into the woods does it go?” Rankin asked.

The historian who reviewed the property said he is confident they have found the boundaries of the slave cemetery.

Browder said the slaves are buried on less than a tenth of an acre, and he plans on leaving them there.

“It’s important to the history of the area, and it’s important that these people be recognized and respected,” Browder said.

Pregnant woman bitten by brown recluse spider while sleeping

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 11:01 PM

A pregnant woman named Kendall Butler (pictured) has a large area of dead skin from a brown recluse spider bite.

A pregnant woman is still recovering from a brown recluse spider bite that happened while she was sleeping happened about a month ago.

Kendall Butler said she woke up, killed the spider and took it to the hospital with her immediately.

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Doctors were able to stop the infection and keep her unborn child safe by using antibiotics. However, she does have a large area of skin on her stomach that died because of the spider’s venom.

Doctors said they don’t want to fully treat the wound yet because of the baby. Originally, the plan was to evacuate the wound and then look into skin grafts once the child is born.

Now, Butler’s doctors say the wound needs to be evacuated sooner. They will wait until July 10 when the baby is seven weeks from the due date. Experts believe she’ll be strong enough by then to be born early, just in case anything happens during the procedure.

A Green Country entomologist said that Oklahoma’s mild winter caused more dangerous insects to come out early.

Experts say people should take precautions against insects while outside, but that there isn’t much to be done indoors but have homes sprayed.

The Centers for Disease Control says that even though people fear bug spray with DEET is bad for pregnant women, it’s actually recommended with the same precautions as those who are not pregnant or lactating.

Uber now allows users to request a ride for someone else

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 10:37 PM

Need to help your friend or family member catch a ride? Uber can help you out, because you can now use the service to request a car for someone else. 

The company announced the news this week, revealing you can book a trip for anyone in your contact list, even if they don’t have the app. 

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“We’re committed to providing safe, reliable transportation options for everyone in the family – including seniors,” Uber said in a post on its newsroom site. “So no matter where your loved ones need to be – and where you are located – a safe, reliable ride is just a few taps away.”

Related: Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick resigns as CEO, report says

When you’re ready for an Uber, you will have the option to select yourself or another person as a passenger. Once the request has been processed, the rider will receive a text message with all the details of the trip, a link to track it and the direct contact information for the driver.

RELATED: Is Uber safe? People questioning after reports of recent assaults 

You will also be able to follow along and pay for the trip with the card stored in the app. For areas that accept cash, the passenger can pay for the ride at the end of the trip.

The feature, which is currently available in the U.S. and 30 other countries, became available on Tuesday.