texas

In the May 3 "Draw Muhammad" attack in Garland, Texas, there were some loose ends that got cleared up Monday by local police chief Mitch Bates. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi from Phoenix were killed by Garland police officers after the two men drove from Arizona and opened fire at the event featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Dan Patrick via YouTube

AUSTIN — Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has never been shy about buttonholing elected officials, but it’s seldom been easier since Texas’ new lieutenant governor set up regular conference calls for select business leaders and donors to advise him on issues before the Legislature.

In Texas, where the wall between big money and government is like the low cattle fencing that pens the state’s ranchland, new Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s new invitation-only calls have provided an especially direct connection between the state’s business elite and the Legislature’s agenda.

“Why wouldn’t I want to learn from and communicate with the job creators? Why would we want to pass legislation that might impact our economy in a negative way?” said Patrick, who schedules bills for action, explaining the calls.

NEW ORLEANS — Federal prosecutors say a Texas shrimping company has pleaded guilty to relabeling 35,000 pounds of hard-to-sell Mexican shrimp as wild-caught American crustaceans.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite’s office said in a news release that Garcia Shrimp Co., of Brownsville, Texas, admitted Thursday to a violation of the century-old federal Lacey Act.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

WASHINGTON — Federal investigators learned several hours before a provocative cartoon contest in Texas that a man under investigation for extremist activities might show up and alerted local authorities there, but had no indication that he planned to attack the event, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday.

The information about Elton Simpson was developed about three hours before the contest, which the FBI had already identified as a potential target for violence because it involved cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Simpson and his roommate were shot dead before they were able to kill anyone.

Simpson, previously convicted as part of a terrorism-related investigation, had come under new federal scrutiny in recent months related to alarming online statements about the Islamic State. When the FBI learned that he could be heading toward the event, the agency sent an intelligence bulletin to police in Garland, including a picture and other information, “even though we didn't have reason to believe that he was going to attack the event. In fact, we didn’t have reason to believe that he had left Phoenix,” Comey said.

Whole Foods, the upscale grocery store chain famous for its bright displays of produce and emphasis on organic foods, plans to launch a new chain of lower-priced stores aimed at millennial shoppers.

The yet-to-be-named stores will "feature a modern streamlined design, innovative technology and a curated selection," the company says in a statement.

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