Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Crazy Kool-Aid Drinkers on the Prairie Play “Sort the Children”

June 3, 2008

From NPR Judge: Return Children to Polygamist Parents by Wade Goodwyn Listen Now [2 min 58 sec] add to playlist      All Things Considered, June 2, 2008 · A West Texas judge has ordered all of the children seized by the state from a polygamist group to be returned to their parents. But the order doesn’t end the standoff between Texas child welfare officials and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. >>read moreSee related post.
33 AM on 30th May 2008

SAN ANGELO, Texas (CNN) -- The state of Texas should not have removed children from a polygamist sect's ranch because it didn't prove that they were in "imminent danger," an appeals court ruled Thursday.  Photos from a Web site launched by the sect show scenes during and after the raid of their ranch.

‘Frog-amander’ Fossil Fills Evolutionary Gap

May 21, 2008

Michael Skrepnick.From LiveScience By Jeanna Bryner, Senior Writer posted: 21 May 2008 01:00 pm ET>>read more.     In its Early Permian habitat in Texas, Gerobatrachus hottoni would have lived on land and water where it could lunge after insects like this mayfly Protoreisma. Credit: Michael Skrepnick.     A frog-like creature with a stubby tail once paddled through a quiet pond in what is now Texas, snapping up mayflies while keeping an ear out for bellowing mates, new fossil evidence suggests.     That was about 290 million years ago.     In 1995, the amphibian specimen was discovered in fish quarry sediments in Baylor County, Texas, though it wasn’t until recently that paleontologists inspected and described the new species. Called Gerobatrachus hottoni after its discoverer Nicholas Hotton, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Institution, the creature represents a transitional amphibian, sporting features of both frogs and salamanders.      “This amphibian is from near to the point where frogs and salamanders first split,” said lead researcher Jason Anderson, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Calgary in Canada. “This is kind of an early frog-amander.”      The finding, detailed in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, supports the idea that frogs and salamanders evolved from one ancient amphibian group called temnospondyls.       Like modern salamanders, the fossil of Gerobatrachus has two fused bones in its ankle. And like modern frogs, the frog-amander sports a large ear drum, or tympanic ear, which Anderson said the ancient amphibian likely used for hearing calls from mates.     “I suspect that many of the temnospondyls have a similar sort of [tympanic ear] system,” Anderson told LiveScience. “But of course unless we were able to build a time machine and go back and listen to these guys call, we won’t know for sure.”      Rather than hopping, this amphibian likely walked on land and swam in water, with the ability to lunge after prey, Anderson said. In fact, along the evolutionary history of amphibians, frogs didn’t begin hopping until the Jurassic or Triassic period. (The most definitive hopping frog fossil is dated to the Triassic, which spans from 248 million to 206 million years ago.)      “It was found in sediments from a quiet pond with a lot of fish fossils, but I suspect it was equally comfortable on land or in water,” Anderson said.

Good Intentions + Politics = ?

April 26, 2008

From Austin Chronicle BY KATHERINE GREGOR April 25, 2008
Eastside Development: A community dialogue     On Saturday, April 26, Central East Austin neighborhood residents, East End property owners, and all interested citizens are invited to a second consensus-building meeting concerning proposed developments in the East End. The meeting – organized by the Austin Revitalization Authority, in partnership with the city of Austin – will address changes to the East 11th and 12th streets Urban Renew­al Plan. The ARA has taken a good deal of heat in the community for its weak execution of the plan to date, as well as for other problems – thus the need for dialogue.     The purpose of the Urban Renewal Plan is to encourage positive new development that has “a thriving mix of uses.” As a guide to development on East 11th and 12th, it describes, block by block, the details of desired height, density, and parking. The April 26 session will be the second in a series of three; the final session will be on Saturday, May 17. The outcome is expected to change the city’s Neigh­borhood Conservation Combining District, which provides incentives for development. –What’s happening in Austin is also happening in New York State (and probably elsewhere in the US): Not enough communication between the people driving economic development efforts and the people being affected by these efforts; Robert Moses is alive and well.

Stepford Wives

April 19, 2008

Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, front, walk out of the Tom Green County Courthouse as Sheriffs deputies, rear, look on during the first day of child custody hearings in San Angelo, Texas, Thursday, April 17, 2008. (Tony Gutierrez / AP)From the Times Union by By Michelle Roberts, Associated Press 7:03 a.m., Saturday, April 19, 2008 photo by Tony Gutierrez / AP click to read more.
Polygamous-sect children ordered to stay in Texas custody   Children from polygamous sect ordered to stay in Texas custody, undergo genetic testing     SAN ANGELO, Texas — A chaotic two-day hearing ended with dropped heads and silence when a judge ordered that the 416 children taken from a ranch run by a polygamous sect will stay in state custody for the time being.     State District Judge Barbara Walther heard 21 hours of testimony over two days before ruling Friday that the children would be kept in custody while the state continues to investigate allegations of abuse stemming from the teachings of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.     “This is but the beginning,” Walther said.