'In God We Trust' in Texas schools, deadly Dallas flooding: 5 Things podcast – USA TODAY

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Russia blames Ukrainian woman for car bomb that killed Putin ally
Hear the latest from a tense Ukraine. Plus, the Austin American-Statesman’s Niki Griswold explains how Texas is requiring schools to display ‘In God We Trust’ posters, investigations are underway into Arkansas police officers beating a man on video, money reporter Bailey Schulz looks at the rising cost of tailgating and disaster is declared in Dallas amid severe flooding.
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Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.
Taylor Wilson:
Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Tuesday, the 23rd of August, 2022. Today, the latest from Ukraine as the conflict approaches six months, plus how Texas is requiring schools to display “In God We Trust” signs and more.
Here are some of the top headlines:

The Russian Security Service said yesterday the car bomb that killed Russian TV commentator Darya Dugina near Moscow was the work of a Ukrainian woman who then fled for Estonia. In a statement, Russia said the incident was prepared and committed by the Ukrainian Special Services, but a Ukrainian presidential advisor dismissed the claim, tweeting that Russian propaganda lives in a fictional world. Still, we know that Dugina is dead after the explosion on Sunday. She was the daughter of prominent ultranationalist Aleksandr Dugin. He’s been a strong supporter of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and may have been the bomb’s intended target. The bomb may have spurred Russian threats on Ukrainian government buildings, and many government employees are working from home this week as a precaution. Mass events are also banned in the capital of Kyiv this week.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Premier League though will resume today. The soccer league was scheduled to return on February 25th, but Russia invaded Ukraine a day earlier forcing games to be canceled. Today, Metalist State Club from Kharkiv and Shakhtar Donetsk will play each other, both from cities at times at the heart of the conflict. They’ll meet far from home though in Kyiv and without any fans in attendance, Shakhtar has already been playing away from home since 2014 due to armed conflict in the Donbas Region.

As children in Texas return for the start of the school year, many might be noticing new signs in their hallways. That’s thanks to a state law last year that requires public schools to display “In God We Trust” posters if they’re donated to the school or bought with private donations. Reporter Niki Griswold from the Austin American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY Network has more with producer PJ Elliot.
Niki Griswold:
This actually comes from a bill that was passed during the most recent Texas legislative session, regular session last year filed by a lawmaker who wanted to require schools to display donated signs that have the national motto “In God We Trust” if they are provided a donation of such a poster or if private donations were used to purchase such a poster. So that same lawmaker who filed this bill actually filed a bill, I believe in 2003 or sometime in the early 2000s, to even allow school districts to display posters with the national motto, and he went a step further this past legislative session to make it a requirement for schools to do so if they do receive a donation. And so beginning, I think, in the fall of last year, and then early this year in January, moving into the spring semester, public school districts around the state started getting donations of posters with “In God We Trust”. So there might be students returning to their campuses, this coming fall and noticing these posters in their school hallways now that this law is in effect.
PJ Elliott:
So Niki, does that mean that if anyone, whether they live in the school district or even Texas for that matter, can donate the posters and these schools are required to display them?
Niki Griswold:
Yup, there are… As far as I know, and I read the entire bill, there is no restriction on who can donate those posters. It doesn’t have to be someone who lives within the district. There really are no restrictions on who can donate these posters or even how many or anything like that.
PJ Elliott:
Has there been any sort of pushback from teachers or parents about these posters?
Niki Griswold:
There’s definitely been pushback from parents, especially in more urban areas. The parents that I spoke to here, where I am in Austin, many of them were pretty upset about this new law and thought it was an inappropriate injection of religion in public schools when there is really ultimately supposed to be a separation of church and state based on the constitution. These parents really saw school districts being forced to put these posters up as an implicit endorsement of Christianity when there might be students in public schools who are of different faiths or who are not religious at all, and they saw it as potentially oppressive to those students.
Taylor Wilson:
You can find Niki’s full story with a link in today’s episode description.

Arkansas State Police and federal officials are launching an investigation after video captured three local police officers in Mulberry, Arkansas beating a man during an arrest on Sunday. In the video, officers can be seen punching a man in the head and kneeing him several times as they pinned him down on the ground. His attorney, Carrie Jernigan, thinks the person who filmed the incident may have saved his life.
Carrie Jernigan:
I think it’s safe to say that he is just thankful. We do not know what would happen if that person would not have been videoing. The fight was escalating with those officers, and you hear that woman on that video yelling and whoever that is, I think she could have saved his life.
Taylor Wilson:
Two deputies and an officer have been suspended with pay. They are Zach King, Levi White, and Thell Riddle. Crawford County Sheriff Jimmy Damante denounced the violence.
Jimmy Damante:
The conduct that appears on the video that is circulating is not indicative of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.
Taylor Wilson:
Authorities said officers were responding to reports of a man making threats. The suspect later identified as Randal Worcester was taken to the hospital, arrested on several charges and later released on bail.

The college football season gets going this week with the NFL one right behind it next month. That means parking lots around the country will soon be full of tailgaters again. But as money reporter Bailey Schulz tells PJ Elliott tailgating costs are up substantially as travel and food costs get slammed by inflation.
Bailey Schulz:
Yeah, so everything else, prices are going up this year with tailgating it seems. Wells Fargo just came out with a report kind of examining how inflation is affecting a lot of the common things people buy when they’re out tailgating, whether that’s the food that they’re grilling at the game or the cost it takes to actually get there. And a lot of these kind of factors that let you tailgate are just going up with inflation. So some examples are, of course, gas prices. It’s going to cost you a lot more to actually get to the game because of that. If you’re flying back to your alma mater, it’s going to cost you more as well because flight tickets are up. And then once you’re actually there, and if you’re grilling at a tailgate, it’s going to cost you a bit more where chicken, ground beef for example are up 17.6% and 9.7% respectively in July compared to a year before. But no matter what you pick, it’s going to cost more to grill because propane and firewood is up about 22%. So a lot of different factors that kind of make up the tailgating experience are just more expensive this year.
PJ Elliott:
So it’s not really great news for football fans as the NFL season gets ready to kick off. Bailey, is there any way that these tailgaters are able to save some money? Do you have any tips for them?
Bailey Schulz:
Yeah, definitely, where, for example, you can be sort of mindful on what you’re choosing to serve at the tailgate. So maybe you pick hot dogs, which are up only 5.3% instead of that chicken or ground beef I mentioned earlier. Or say, you want a tailgate, but instead of paying all that money to actually get into the game, you can watch the game at a nice new TV at your home because TV prices are actually down a little bit this year. So yeah, a lot of different things you can do to kind of mitigate costs. Another one that I was told by one of the authors of this report was that she suggested doing a public transportation to the game since that will really helped cut down fuel prices, so it’s kind of thinking through all those different steps in the tailgate and seeing what areas can be cut.
PJ Elliott:
What about the ticket prices themselves? Does the report say anything about whether those prices are up or down?
Bailey Schulz:
So yeah, according to the CPI report, tickets for live sports have actually fallen over the past year, but the researcher I spoke to, the comms I spoke to did not have much hope for being able to save a lot of money with that just because of mission costs have rebounded sharply lately, and so they’re expecting prices there to kind of sort inching back up. So yeah, like I said earlier, one way you can save money if you’re not wanting to spend my end tickets for the actual game could be just going to the bar, watching it on TV somewhere.

Taylor Wilson:
Disaster has been declared in Dallas County, Texas. That’s after heavy rains led to flooding this week. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared a disaster and requested federal and state aid. A 60-year-old woman was killed in the Dallas Suburb of Mesquite when flood water swept her vehicle away on a highway. Meanwhile, there are flash floods expected up and down the Eastern Seaboard today. And out west, in Utah’s Zion National Park, rescuers keep searching for Jetal Agnihotri who went missing during flash floods on Friday.
Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us seven mornings a week on whatever your favorite podcast app is. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the show, and I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.

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