Axios San Antonio

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👏 Hello, let's welcome Thursday to the stage!

🌧 Today's weather: Clouds and a chance of storms. High near 89.

🪩 Sounds like: "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" by Selena

🏛️ Situational awareness: Following a closed-session meeting that lasted more than two hours, city manager Erik Walsh said he will talk with city attorney Andy Segovia to address the concerns five council members raised last week.

Today's newsletter is 930 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: San Antonio has a lot of road rage

Line chart showing the rate of road rage shooting incidents in Texas and the U.S. from 2013 to 2023. Nationally, road rage shootings have increased from 0.3 to 1.4 incidents per million people. In Texas, that number has increased from 0.6 to 2.6 per million people.
Data: The Trace via Gun Violence Archive. Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

San Antonio was a top city for road rage shootings and incidents over the last decade, according to an analysis of Gun Violence Archive (GVA) data by gun violence newsroom The Trace.

Why it matters: In Texas, 72% of road rage incidents with a gun led to an injury or death.

The big picture: Nationally, road rage shooting incidents skyrocketed over the past decade, increasing from 83 in 2014 to 456 in 2023 — a nearly 450% jump.

By the numbers: San Antonio tied with Memphis for the second-highest number of road rage incidents, with 107 each from 2014 to 2023.

  • Houston led the nation, with 215 recorded road rage incidents in that time period.
  • San Antonio ranked No. 3 for road rage shootings and number of victims shot, with 83 shootings and 94 victims.

Caveat: The GVA is a private nonprofit that produces a range of gun violence estimates based on police reports, government data, news stories and more.

  • Some incidents go unreported, so the data is likely an undercount.

Zoom in: A road rage incident last month led to a crash with a Pre-K 4 SA school bus. A man died, and there were no students onboard, MySA reported.

  • Another road rage shooting left a 10-year-old boy injured last month, News 4 reported.

What they're saying: Road rage can reflect broader social unrest, Dean DeSoto, executive director of the San Antonio-based Community Alliance for Traffic Safety, told The Trace.

  • "Whatever goes on in your communities is demonstrated on your roadways," DeSoto said. "Roadways are showcases."
  • He added that the increase in road rage incidents involving handguns came after the pandemic led to a rise in gun purchases.

Laws in Texas

2. 📚 Texas Great Read set in the Hill Country

Author Elizabeth Crook. Photo: Courtesy of Texas Center for the Book

A novel by Texas writer Elizabeth Crook has been selected as the National Book Festival's 2024 Texas Great Read for adults.

Zoom in: "The Which Way Tree," a 2018 novel set in the 1860s Hill Country, follows the resolve of a young girl determined to hunt down a panther that mauled her and killed her mother.

What they're saying: "We liked how it was set here and had an iconic feel to it," Michele Chan Santos, coordinator of the Texas Center for the Book, tells Axios.

Between the lines: The novel is inspired by what Crook in 2018 told the Austin American-Statesman was "the most traumatic night of my life."

  • Her family was in the Hill Country, near Bandera, celebrating her daughter's birthday. Her then-14-year-old son and a friend decided to go camping at a nearby cabin, but they never turned up.
  • The birthday party devolved into parents driving up and down rural roads for nine hours — and a sheriff's deputy spotted a mountain lion in the area, per the Statesman.
  • Eventually, the kids were found in fine shape when a helicopter spotted their campfire.

After everyone was reunited, a deputy told Crook, "I don't mean to scare you, ma'am, but when I got there that cat had its eyes on your boys."

What's next: This summer, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission will host a video interview with Crook, with the opportunity for readers to ask questions.

Pick for kids

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

✈️ Congress approved a bill that will allow more flights to Reagan National Airport near D.C., boosting San Antonio's hopes of gaining a nonstop flight to the Capitol. (SA Business Journal 🔒)

  • Airport officials said yesterday they are partnering with American Airlines to apply for a spot.

🤔 The planned presidential debate at Texas State University in San Marcos is up in the air after the campaigns of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump changed their schedule yesterday. (Texas Tribune)

👟 Victor Wembanyama's Nike shoe sold out within minutes of going on sale yesterday. (SA Current)

ğŸ¦ž A Red Lobster on the South Side is closed as the company downsizes across the country. (KSAT)

4. 🛒 An expensive trip to Gucci B

Central Market is the foodie grocery store. Photo: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Our Axios Texas social host Greg Castillo took a trip to Central Market (otherwise known as Gucci B) in search of the store's most expensive item.

Here's what he found:

  • A $16 mango that was air-freighted in from Vietnam
  • An $1,850 bottle of wine
  • An $81.99 jar of honey with truffle
  • Tea for $336.99 per pound, made with blue butterfly pea flowers from Southeast Asia

Watch on Instagram here to see the bright periwinkle color of that tea — you won't want to miss it.

📧 Tell us: What's your favorite item at Central Market, and is it bougie enough to be one of the most expensive?

  • Hit reply to help Greg on his quest (or to help him find a can't-miss deal at Gucci B).

5. Weekender guide: Vintage crawl, Selena tribute

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🐝 Learn about native plants at the Briscoe Western Art Museum downtown, 5:30-8pm tomorrow.

ğŸŽ¶ Dance the night away with Bidi Bidi Banda, a Selena tribute band, at Frost Plaza, 8pm tomorrow.

🪴 Take your greenery to a plant swap at Tandem coffee shop on the South Side, beginning 10am Saturday.

ğŸŽ¨ Head out to a free community block party with music, food and art at SAY Sí on the West Side, beginning 11am Saturday.

🛍️ Grab your bags for the SATX Vintage Crawl and browse numerous local shops in one place at Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, 12-5pm Saturday.

🩷 Enjoy the free screening of "Barbie" at Mission Marquee Plaza on the South Side, starting at 7pm Saturday.

More events

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Caitlin Wolper and Anjelica Tan.

👩🏻‍💻 Madalyn is reading this captivating story about a shootout that occurred on the Texas-Mexico border a century ago, and the subsequent struggle to uncover the truth about what really happened.

🫠 Megan is dreading four years of construction-related traffic on I-35.