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.

From Texas Standard:

Right now in Texas, only educators over the age of 65 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the state's Phase 1B vaccination plan.

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.

When the COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use in December, Pastor Timothy Sloan was chatting with some of his congregants and the question of whether to get the vaccine came up. Sloan leads a Black megachurch in Humble called The Luke Church, and he knew that some of his 5,000 members would look to him for guidance.

State officials plan to roll out a $1.3 billion rental assistance program for Texans struggling to keep up with housing payments during a shaky economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The new program comes after a separate state initiative was criticized for its limited scope and because many landlords declined to participate.

More than 1.6 million Texans had little or no confidence in being able to pay next month’s rent, according to a January survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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.

TPR’s Jerry Clayton recently spoke with Heather Fazio, Director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy about legalization efforts and the voters who support those efforts.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, an Arlington Republican, has died.

His campaign staff announced the news Monday. Wright had lived for years with cancer and was diagnosed with COVID-19 in January. He was 67.

From Texas Standard:

For some Texans, getting a COVID-19 vaccine has been a challenge. From long lines to confusing online registration, it can be a complicated, time-consuming endeavor.

But not in Amarillo – at least according to Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner. Parts of Amarillo are located in Potter County.

This story includes violent language that may offend some readers.

In an arrest affidavit submitted on Jan. 16, the Federal Bureau of Investigation described This Is Texas Freedom Force as “an extremist militia group.”

The new label from one of the United States’ primary federal law enforcement agencies came 10 days after the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

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

Gov. Greg Abbott will give his State of the State address at 7 p.m. Central time Monday. You can watch it live here, courtesy of our partners at KXAN-TV in Austin.

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.

A group of Republicans has launched a national campaign targeting Republican Senator Ted Cruz and others who they say need to be held accountable for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.

The group, called the Republican Accountability Project, is made up of leaders of Republican organizations and some former Trump administration staffers.

They've purchased billboards in cities across the country.

This summer, students called on the University of Texas at Austin to stop playing the “The Eyes of Texas,” the alma mater song that has historical minstrel show ties. Aggies petitioned Texas A&M University to take down the statue of Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross, a former governor and Confederate general.

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.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday voided rulings from lower courts that upheld a ban on most abortions in Texas early in the coronavirus pandemic.

Victor Arcos spent four months inside of a Houston immigration detention facility, where he said he routinely saw examples of medical neglect.

Arcos said he remembers a fellow detainee complaining about a bullet lodged close to his spine, who was denied treatment. He also watched his own kidney disease deteriorate from stage one to stage three because of what he said was a lack of treatment.

“There's a lot of stuff (nurses) get away with,” he said, “There's nothing you can do. You're a convict. You're a prisoner. You're nobody when you're inside.”

Hidalgo County Health Authority Ivan Melendez says coming into COVID-19 units nowadays feels like going through a nonlinear version of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

“You cry,” he told the Tribune. “There’s a lady that I’m taking care of that I’ve known since I was a child. … We grew up together, and I know she’s going to die. … It’s the same thing: ‘We got together for Christmas.’ Now we’re seeing the ramification of it.”

Julia Trigg Crawford took the news that the Biden administration had canceled permits for the Keystone XL pipeline with a certain amount of skepticism. After all, she said, the pipeline is running oil every day under her North Texas farm.

"I see it from my window when I'm on the tractor. I have to mow around the markers in the pasture,” she said by phone a couple days after the administration officially “killed” the controversial project.

On the day Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States and Kamala Harris as the first woman of color to be vice president, Texas Republicans greeted the new administration with a mix of calls for bipartisanship and vows to vehemently oppose Biden’s agenda.

Yira Aldape said she “woke up with a little pep” in her step Wednesday morning. Tricia Cortez said it was “a party” in her house. Juanita Valdez-Cox breathed “a sigh of relief” as she watched President Joe Biden take the oath. But Marianna Treviño-Wright said she was “not yet celebrating.”

On a recent day, the parking lot at Pasquotank High School in Elizabeth City, N.C. was transformed into a kind of vaccine freeway, with four lanes of cars bearing drivers and passengers getting COVID-19 inoculations.

And several of those administering the shots were in camouflage.

President-elect Joe Biden says he's going to activate National Guard troops to help with the nation's lagging COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday said his health priorities for this year’s legislative session include expanding telemedicine across the state, increasing services for those dealing with mental health issues, and making sure Texas has an adequate supply of personal protection equipment.

His public comments came after a meeting in Houston with state health leaders and the president and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital to brief them on his priorities for Texas lawmakers, who returned to the Capitol last week.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn new information. Details are gathered from federal court documents and research from the George Washington University Program on Extremism.

Updated March 31, 8:37 a.m. CT

A North Texas man has been arrested for alleged crimes in connection with his participation in this month’s riots at the U.S. Capitol, the FBI announced Monday.

Guy Reffitt of Wylie has been charged with unlawful entry and obstruction of justice. He’s at least the fourth North Texan to face charges related to the attack.

In an affidavit, an FBI agent said Reffitt was part of the large crowd that gathered outside the Capitol.

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