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Missing Baytown Officer Found Dead Near His Home, Abbott Proposes Bail Reform after Death of DPS Trooper, And More

What we’re following today at Houston Public Media

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Top afternoon stories:

Missing Baytown officer found dead near his home

A Baytown Police Officer who disappeared last week was found dead from an apparent suicide on Tuesday in Cove, the Houston Chronicle reported.

John Stewart Beasley, who had worked as a police officer 23 years, went missing on Thursday afternoon.

Searchers in a helicopter spotted a body along FM 565, less than a mile from Beasley's home. According to investigators, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
Gov. Greg Abbott. joined by DPS Director Steve McCraw (seated, left) and Kasey Allen, widow of Damon Allen, speaks at a press conference in Waco on August 7, 2018.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott proposes bail reform after the death of DPS trooper

Gov. Greg Abbott wants the Texas Legislature to pass a bail reform law next year.

On Tuesday, the Republican governor announced his proposed Damon Allen Act, named in honor of a 41-year-old highway patrol trooper who was gunned down last Thanksgiving during a traffic stop near Fairfield, about 60 miles east of Waco. The suspect, 33-year-old Dabrett Black, was out of jail on a $15,500 bond at the time after allegedly assaulting a Smith County deputy.

After his murder, Allen's widow, Kasey, approached Abbott about the issue. Abbott said it was because of her that he is supporting bail reforms in the next session, which begins in January.

"Because of a flawed system, Kasey was robbed of a husband; her children were robbed of a father," Abbott said at a Department of Public Safety office in Waco. "Texas must ensure that something like this never happens again."

After tweeting — then deleting — fake Churchill quote, Abbott rails against antifa

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday tweeted — and then deleted — a fake quote from Winston Churchill about fascists and then used the episode to rail against anti-fascist activists known as antifa.

The Republican governor’s tweet, which came in the early morning hours, featured a graphic reading: “Churchill on the Leftwing: ‘The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.'” Abbott added a few words of commentary atop the image: “Some insights are timeless.”

As reports spread later Tuesday morning that Churchill, a former British prime minister, had never said the quote, the tweet disappeared from Abbott’s Twitter page. Then, as the governor was preparing to leave an unrelated news conference late Tuesday morning in Waco, he paused to answer a question about the tweet.

"Listen, what I tweeted was a sentiment that I have, and that is antifa is dangerous to society and antifa is the antithesis of safety and security, and they are antagonists to law enforcement as well as to other people,” Abbott said, surrounded by law enforcement officers for an announcement about bail system reforms.


Top morning stories:

Three free meals a day for HISD students

All students enrolled in Houston ISD schools can eat up to three free meals a day during the 2018-2019 school year, the school district announced on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding its program which provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all schools in HISD. As a part of the program, parents will no longer need to complete a free and reduced-price meal application, district officials said.


Details on flood bond projects released

AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File
FILE- In this Aug. 29, 2017, file photo, highways around downtown Houston are empty as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from the bayous around the city in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The Harris County Flood Control district has announced 237 projects it could fund with the county’s proposed $2.5 billion flood bond package.

Early voting on the bonds begins Wednesday. A majority of Harris County voters say they support the measure.
Assisted living facilities fall short in emergency preparedness
Residents of Houston-area assisted living facilities faced harm, neglect and abandonment during Harvey, according to documents obtained by the AARP.
Writer Michael Arceneaux On Growing Up Black, Gay, And Catholic In Houston
Michael Arceneaux


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