MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – David Brown, Jr. reached a plea agreement with the state for the murder of 2015 murder of Marc Pourner, who was known to the Wiccan community as Axel. Pourner, who was 28 at the time of his death, had disappeared for several days, after which authorities found his body and his burned truck in a field alongside a road. 24 hours later, Brown was arrested. According to local reports, “In an agreement to a lesser charge of first-degree felony murder from the original indictment of capital murder in February 2016, Brown pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Brown will be eligible for parole in 30 years.”
ONTARIO — The Great Pagan Roast Series was once again celebrated at this year’s HearthFire Festival Aug. 17–20. The 2017 honouree was Brian Walsh, a storyteller, teacher, Pagan chaplain for the University of Toronto and member of Céilí Sídhe. Walsh has worked as a hospital spiritual care provider for 11 years and counting. He is mainly known for his impressive list of accomplishments and contributions to the Pagan community, and is also loved for his winning smile and rather large collection of vests. The Great Pagan Roast Series is hosted each year by Crystal Allard and Khaman Mythwood.
HOUSTON — “Texas has never seen an event like Harvey,” says FEMA Administrator Brock Long. The category 4 hurricane made landfall Friday 10 p.m., bringing sustained winds of 130 mph. It has since been downgraded to tropical storm, but that does not eliminate the dangers and threats to the region. “The storm is forecast to head southeast toward the Matagorda Bay and Gulf of Mexico where it will pick up additional moisture before sliding back over Galveston and Houston, cities it’s already hammered,” as reported by CNN. Due to the storm, Houston Pagan Pride Day (HPPD) was cancelled.
SANTA CRUZ, Calif — In a recent announcement, Oberon Zell has made the claim that the producers of the Hulu show Handmaid’s Tale (2017- ) stole his Star Goddess design to be used as “the symbol of the oppressive patriarchal theocracy.” In a recent Facebook post, Zell said:
“You can imagine my shock and outrage when I discovered that my iconic design of ‘Astra, the Star Goddess,’ which I created in 1987 as a quintessential symbol of women’s divinity and empowerment […] appears prominently and ubiquitously throughout the series as the symbol of the brutal oppression and subjugation of women in a totalitarian patriarchal theocratic regime.” Zell has since said that he is building his case and has engaged a copyright attorney. He invites anyone who has been using his image to share their story with him. TWH reached out to the producers of the show but have received no response date. We will update this story as it develops.
CANNONBALL, N.D. – It was announced Sunday that the Army Corps of Engineers have denied the easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The corps will be researching an alternative route. In response to the welcomed news, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said, “We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.” Chairman Archambault also thanked “everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause” from the youth who initiated the movement, to volunteers who visited the camps, other tribes, and supporters around the globe. With the help of Pagan activist Casey McCarthy, who has been back and forth to Standing Rock over the past few months, we gathered several reactions to the news.