AUSTIN — A Nov. 5 mass shooting at Fort Hood, about 60 miles north of the capital city, resulted in the deaths of one civilian, 12 soldiers and the wounding of 30 others.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, was identified as the shooter. Civilian police officers Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd returned fire, stopping Hasan. Hasan received first aid on the spot and was transported to a hospital for treatment. Hasan was on the staff of Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. He was preparing for deployment to Afghanistan.
Gov. Rick Perry issued this statement on Nov. 5: “The Texas family suffered a significant loss today with the tragedy at Fort Hood. Along with all Texans, Anita and I are keeping those affected by today’s incidents in our thoughts and prayers. ...
“To honor those who lost their lives today, I have ordered that all Texas flags be lowered to half-staff until Sunday, and ask all Texans to pray for the victims, their families and the extended Fort Hood community.”
Perry directed the deployment of a variety of state resources to Fort Hood, including Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Texas Rangers and helicopters, to assist.
The governor’s flag order applied to all United States and Texas flags under the control of the state. Flags were ordered to be lowered to half-staff on the Capitol building, flag displays in the Capitol Complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds and facilities beginning immediately until sunset on Sunday, Nov. 8.
Individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties and other political subdivisions were encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
Voters approve all amendments
All 11 proposed amendments to the state constitution passed in the Nov. 3 statewide election.
About 8 percent of Texas’ 14 million registered voters voted, reflecting a low level of general interest.
In contrast, nearly 60 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the general election a year ago. However, over the past two decades, an 8 to 12 percent voter turnout is not unusual for a constitutional amendment election.
Here is a short version of what each of the 11 amendments does:
Prop. 1: Authorizes municipalities and counties to levy taxes to acquire “buffer zone” land around military installations to build roadways, utilities, or other infrastructure to protect or promote the mission of the military installation.
Prop. 2: Authorizes the Legislature to amend tax law so a residence homestead is taxed solely on the basis of the property’s value as a residence homestead.
Prop. 3: Provides for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes.
Prop. 4: Establishes the national research university fund to enable emerging research universities in Texas to achieve national prominence as major research universities and transferring the balance of the higher education fund to the national research university fund.
Prop. 5: Gives the Legislature power to authorize a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal districts that elect to provide for consolidated equalizations.
Prop. 6: Authorizes the Veterans Land Board to issue general obligation bonds in amounts equal to or less than amounts previously authorized.
Prop. 7: Allows an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard or other state militia or military force to hold other civil offices.
Prop. 8: Requires the Texas Veterans Commission and the Department of State Health Services to work with the Veterans Administration toward building a full service VA hospital in the Rio Grande Valley.
Prop. 9: Grants the public unrestricted access to state-owned beaches.
Prop. 10: Limits terms of elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts not to exceed four years.
Prop. 11: Limits the public taking of private property.
Jury convicts YFZ ranch member
A Schleicher County jury on Nov. 5 convicted Raymond M. Jessop of the Yearning For Zion ranch near Eldorado on charges of sexual assault of a child. He faces a 20-year prison sentence.
A state and federal raid on the ranch last spring resulted in the removal and temporary protective placement of more than 400 women and children who resided there.
The ranch is owned by a religious sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which broke away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints beginning in the 1890s.