KERA

Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Rangers baseball organization on Monday declining the invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the their home opening game Monday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Field. The game is the first U.S. sporting event to allow a full-capacity crowd since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Senate Republicans on Thursday cleared the way for new, sweeping restrictions to voting in Texas that take particular aim at forbidding local efforts meant to widen access.

The Texas Senate on Monday unanimously approved a sweeping bill that would overhaul the state’s electricity industry and infrastructure, including mandating that power plants prepare for extreme weather and outlawing

The League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to allow the Texas Rangers to apply for a special visa on behalf of unaccompanied children coming to the U.S.

Fernando Dubove, a Dallas immigration attorney, says the Texas Rangers could apply for what is known as an S visa. This is a special type of visa that could be granted to an unauthorized immigrant who cooperates with law enforcement in a criminal investigation.

In the first press conference of his presidency on Thursday, President Joe Biden announced plans to fast-track the processing of migrant children out of federal shelters and blamed the influx of migrants arriving at the border on seasonal increases, not “because I’m a nice guy."

Biden said he would redirect U.S. Department of Health and Human Services staff to help children more quickly connect with family in the U.S.so they can be transferred out of overcrowded facilities.

The civil rights lawyer told KERA Friday that the death of Marvin Scott III in the Collin County jail made it clear he needed to take a different approach to protect the civil rights of vulnerable Texans.

“I’ve decided that, this case being the line, that I’m running against Ken Paxton for attorney general in 2022,” Merritt said Friday morning.

Paxton, who lives in the Collin County city of McKinney, was first elected attorney general in 2014.

Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank, says the food-insecure families she serves ballooned by 25% in the past year.

"We’ve provided access to about 120 million meals and our goal for 2025 was 92 million," Cunningham said.

Children may become an important factor in helping Texas and the U.S. reach COVID-19 herd immunity, according to preliminary results of an ongoing statewide study.

The research looks at the presence of antibodies for COVID-19 in people across Texas. Preliminary results from thousands of blood samples and patient surveys say between 14 and 24% of Texans have COVID antibodies due to past infection.

Twitter filed a lawsuit against Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a California federal court Monday and asked a judge to halt the state’s top lawyer from investigating the company.

The social media giant’s court filings include a request for a temporary restraining order that would keep Paxton and his office from enforcing a demand that seeks documents revealing the company’s internal decision making processes for banning users, among other things.

Officials with the Plano school district and Plano police department are investigating allegations that classmates abused and bullied a Black middle school student.

Summer Smith said her eighth grader, a student at Haggard Middle School, was at a sleepover party when he was forced to drink a cup of urine. A video of the alleged abuse is circulating on social media.

Gov. Greg Abbott Taps New Head Of Texas Utility Regulator In Wake Of Power Outages

Mar 4, 2021

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday promoted Arthur D’Andrea to chair the state’s utility regulator, replacing the Public Utility Commission leader who resigned earlier this week following widespread power outages in February.

Texans React To Gov. Abbott's Lifting Of COVID-19 Restrictions

Mar 3, 2021

Reactions to Gov. Abbott's lifting of COVID-19 restrictions have been mixed. Some Texans are calling it a mistake, while others are saying it's a positive step forward.

The change will go into effect next week on Wednesday, March 10. Abbott said he's hopeful vaccine distribution will accelerate. So far, The Texas Tribune reports less than 7% of Texans have been fully vaccinated.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles sparked some frustration among lawmakers Tuesday when speaking about constituent data at the Senate Finance Committee.

In testifying, Whitney Brewster, director of the state DMV, received questions from lawmakers about a security breach with Vertafore last November that led to a change in practices at the agency.

According to a new report from Save the Children looking at data from the last four months of 2020, only two states – Mississippi and Louisiana – scored worse than Texas for ensuring children are adequately fed, equipped with the tools to learn remotely, and growing up in a financially stable home.

Texas Schools Still Tallying Storm Costs, And Some Won't Reopen Soon

Mar 1, 2021

When the winter storm hit Texas last week, the overhead sprinklers across the hall from Valerie Malone’s first-grade classroom broke and flooded rooms on both sides.

Malone’s elementary school is one of seven in the Arlington Independent School District that couldn’t open for in-person learning this week, joining dozens across the state. The fast-plummeting frigid temperatures and power outages froze sprinkler systems, destroyed flooring and disrupted crucial services to school buildings, temporarily preventing some from providing students with food and shelter.

State lawmakers are demanding answers about the power outages that left millions of Texans in the dark and cold during last week's winter storm.

The first hearings into what went wrong took place Thursday.

The head of the state's power grid operator on Thursday defended the group’s decision to order widespread blackouts during last week's winter storm, telling state lawmakers that doing so helped prevent a larger disaster.

Gov. Greg Abbott, speaking Wednesday evening in a rare statewide televised address, sought to reassure Texans that the state was moving aggressively to get to the bottom of the power grid failure that left millions of them in the cold and dark last week.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is apologizing for turning away two people eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday because they could not prove they live in the United States.

On Feb. 21, it posted a statement on Twitter. UT Health Rio Valley, the clinical practice of the university, stated it "apologizes to those patients who were affected" and "did not follow the most current State of Texas guidelines."

Heather and John Paul Dineen said they did everything they could to prepare their farm for the winter storm and extreme cold temperatures that have wreaked havoc on Texas this week.

The Waxahachie couple — fulltime farmers — stocked up on food, water and extra hay for their cattle. They made sure their equipment was in working condition and they winterized their property, draining water from outside hoses and covering exposed faucets and pipes.

But even that wasn’t quite enough.

ERCOT To End Emergency Conditions, Oncor Works To Restore Power

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said it expects to come out of emergency conditions later this morning.

“There is enough generation on the electric system to allow us to begin to return to more normal operating conditions,” said Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin in a statement.

No additional outages were needed overnight to keep power supply and electric demand in balance.

Why Does Texas Have Its Own Power Grid?

Feb 16, 2021

Why does Texas have its own electric grid?

Texas' secessionist inclinations have at least one modern outlet: the electric grid. There are three grids in the Lower 48 states: the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection — and Texas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is headed to Texas, and they’re bringing loads of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

North Texas is experiencing what will almost certainly be the coldest cold snap so far this century, with lows in the single digits and wind chills well below zero. Temperatures haven't dropped below 10 degrees in Dallas since 1990, and haven't gone below zero since 1930.

Rotating Power Outages Issued

The Texas council that manages the majority of the state's electricity initiated rotating power outages Monday morning as a winter storm dropped snow and ice and temperatures remained below freezing. But some customers were without power for several hours.

Governor Abbott designated civil liabilities protections as one of five emergency items for lawmakers to prioritize within the first 60 days of the new Legislative Session.

These protections would prevent businesses from being sued in COVID-19-related lawsuits. According to a lawsuit tracker by Hunton Andrews Kurth law firm, there have been 621 COVID-19 related complaints filed in Texas since March 2020.

Monahans, Texas, is a city in the Permian Basin — home to attractions like the Monahans Sandhills State Park, dubbed an “ocean of sand.”

For residents in the tight-knit community, a lack of reliable broadband internet access hinders everyday life.

A federal watchdog for pandemic relief funding is asking for information about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s efforts to change a loan program. Requirements of the program were altered soon after Cruz wrote to officials in charge. The changes benefitted major Cruz donors.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s failed lawsuit seeking to throw out election results in other states came originally from lawyers close to the campaign of former President Donald Trump, according to a report in the

Republican lawmakers, buoyed by a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court and the trouncing of state-level Democrats in the November election, are pushing to reclaim Texas’ role as the vanguard among states restricting access to abortion this legislative session.

Texas will soon begin a program to test drinking water in thousands of elementary schools and child care facilities across the state following an update to federal standards on lead and copper exposure.

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