Omicron Roundup. So many teachers in school districts across the state are in quarantine that superintendents are making the call to cancel classes. In Tarrant County, that includes Mansfield and Northwest. The latter tells the Dallas Morning News that COVID cases have jumped 878 percent since Christmas—the district has about 27,000 students. Outside of schools, the Texas Medical Association is pleading with the public to follow mitigation protocols as projections expect more than 10,000 new cases in Dallas County alone each day. Omicron is apparently less severe, but as our Will Maddox noted yesterday, the more cases, the increased likelihood of severity. Right now, 25 percent of all hospitalized patients have COVID-19.
Texas AG Violated Open Records Law, DA Says. The state’s largest newspapers—the News, the Austin-American Statesman, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express News, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram—all sued Ken Paxton after he refused to turn over correspondence from his time in D.C. on January 6. The newspapers can either file with the Travis County district attorney or the AG’s office; they chose the former. And the DA ruled that Paxton has to release those texts and emails or face a lawsuit. Paxton’s office gets to decide what must be released under the state’s open records law when local agencies appeal, which makes this ruling all the more satisfying.
Granbury Oath Keepers Leader Charged For Jan. 6. Elmer Stewart Rhodes III was arrested in Little Elm and charged with seditious conspiracy. The indictment says Rhodes and his far-right militia group were “prepared and willing to use force” and texted his cronies that “we aren’t getting through this without a Civil War.” He’s the highest ranking member of an extremist group to be charged for his role in the Capitol riot.
Cold Front Coming. Winter is back this weekend, with temperatures on Saturday dipping into the low 30s with winds of up to 50 mph. Sunday will be in the 40s and 50s, perfect grilling weather pre-Cowboys.