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Austin is hitting the small screen for a new Fox Entertainment comedy series based on the popular Texas Monthly column, "The Texanist," starring big-name actor Thomas Haden Church.
A column with the answers to any and all questions about Texas, "The Texanist" has been written by Dave Courtney since 2007. Texas Monthly called the series a "fairly-faithful adaptation" of the column with one change: Haden will play a radio show host.
The Texanist himself confirmed the news on his Twitter.
The day is off to a great start. https://t.co/Hj79TmmWH7— The Texanist (@The Texanist)1603809106.0
Haden, who starred in the popular TV series "Wings," will play Dave, an opinionated Texan grappling with the ever-changing Austin landscape, giving out advice where he can.
Though he was born in California, Church is a Texas man. Church, who will produce the show in addition to playing the lead, has lived all over Texas—Laredo, El Paso, Dallas, Fort Worth and he even owns a ranch outside of Kerrville—and graduated from the University of North Texas.
Texas Monthly will have some say in the show—Courtney will play a producing role on the show, alongside fellow Texas Monthly Executive Editor Megan Creydt and Texas Monthly President Scott Brown.
The show is in the early stages of development and has not revealed a release date.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
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