AM Update
8:32 am
Thu March 29, 2012

AM Update: 'Texan' Apologizes For Trayvon Martin Cartoon, See Michael Morton, Artz Rib House Closes

Texan Issues Formal Apology for Trayvon Martin Cartoon

The editors from The Daily Texan issued an apology regarding the controversial Trayvon Martin cartoon the paper published on Tuesday.

The cartoonist, Stephanie Eisner, no longer works for the paper.

In their apology, the student editors admit to showing “a failure in judgment.” Yesterday the editors of the Texan met with angry students and protestors to discuss the paper’s decision to publish the cartoon and the editorial team’s oversight in recognizing the sensitive nature of the cartoon.

The editors continue that a “larger problem persists at The Daily Texan and on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.” The Texan has pledged to hold an open forum to raise “consciousness of race and diversity both at the Texan and on campus.”

A conversation on race and diversity at UT is continuing. While unrelated directly to the Texan controversy, the university has formed a new committee to address bias incidents which may affect the tone on campus. The Campus Climate Response Team is looking to educate the UT community on these issues and help determine responses to such issues as they arise, according to a statement.

Michael Morton Speaks Today

Michael Morton will speak at a panel at the University Of Texas School Of Law today.

The panel, “Prosecutorial Oversight: A National Dialogue in the Wake of Connick  v. Thompson,” will be held at Townes Hall, Francis Auditorium, 2.114 today from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

The panel will bring many notable figures in law and two people who were freed from long prison sentences due to prosecutorial oversight. Michael Morton who was freed from prison after serving 25 years due to DNA evidence which proved his innocence. John Thompson served 18 years in a Louisiana prison, 14 of them on death row.

The panel will discuss “existing oversight mechanisms in Texas, assess their adequacy, and explore possible avenues of professional and legislative reform,” according to a statement. 

Today’s panel will be the second stop of a national tour to discuss issues of prosecutorial oversight. The tour comes after the Supreme Court’s decision in Connick v. Thompson. The decision limited civil liability claims against prosecutors and their personnel in instances where relevant evidence is withheld, resulting in wrongful convictions.  

The panel is free and open to the public.

Artz Rib House Shuts Down

A South Austin eatery and music venue has closed its doors for good.

Artz Rib House, at 2330 South Lamar, has ended its two decade-plus run. The restaurant closed beginning last week, according to Austin American-Statesman food writer Addie Broyles, but fans hoped the closure was only temporary, as the restaurant had once closed in 2009. In 2010, the Rib House filed for bankruptcy

Still, hope persisted the eatery might reopen. Broyles wrote late last week Artz owner Art Blondin was attempting to “work something out.” But now those hopes appear to be dashed.

The Austin Business Journal highlights findings from Artz’ Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing:

The restaurant, which also does business as Artz Inc., listed assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities between $100,000 and $500,000, according to the bankruptcy filing.

Artz owed about $290,000 in taxes and $139,000 in business debts, court documents show.

Opening back when South Lamar was more of a nondescript thoroughfare than the “SoLa” of today, fans argue Artz’ closure is indicative of a changing Austin.

KVUE quotes one fan describing Artz as “from a different era of Austin … I hope we can retain some of that history.