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'Furries panic': GOP candidate's claims of schools lowering cafeteria tables for 'furries' is false, Round Rock ISD says

A Texas House GOP candidate claimed that Round Rock ISD schools were lowering cafeteria tables for students who identify as "furries." (Shutterstock)

Round Rock ISD schools are not lowering cafeteria tables for students who identify as "furries," contrary to a viral Twitter claim by Texas House District 136 candidate Michelle Evans.

Evans, a GOP primary candidate for the district that spans across North Austin through Leander, said in a tweet that tables were being lowered at some middle and high schools "to allow 'furries' to more easily eat without utensils or their hands (ie, like a dog eats from a bowl."

"Furries," which fall under a wide-ranging and mysterious subculture of people who are interested in or identify as anthropomorphic animals, appear to have been brought up in talks about public schools ever since a Kentucky grandmother said her children were being bullied by people with cat ears and tails who "would hiss at you, scratch at you if you do something they don't like."

Round Rock ISD has since debunked the claim. In fact, RRISD chief of public affairs Jenny LaCoste-Caputo has told multiple news outlets that tables "don't even have the option of lowering" after answering what she called "the strangest media question of the year."

While it may seem a strange standalone claim to make, Evans seems to be reflecting a "furries panic" that has gripped certain right-wing talking spheres since at least August.

Claims have since become more sensationalized: an Idaho talk radio station claimed that nearby school districts were exempting students who identify as animals from doing homework because of their "claws and hooves," while a Michigan school was ridiculed after some claimed that litter boxes would be introduced for students who identify as furries.

All school districts have denied these claims. Evans has since said she has no comment on the tweet, which she said came from a report from an unnamed parent.


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.