NRA stages big gun show in Texas days after school massacre
The National Rifle Association begins its annual convention in Houston on Friday, and leaders of the powerful gun-rights lobbying group are gearing up to “reflect on” -- and deflect any blame for -- the deadly shooting earlier this week of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Task force to review event safety in wake of Astroworld show
HOUSTON (AP) — A new task force will look into how to improve the safety at large Houston-area events in the hopes of avoiding another tragedy like last year's deadly Astroworld music festival, offici[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Mourning starts as Houston officials probe concert deaths
Mourners began building a memorial to those lost at a Texas concert as authorities said they would watch video, interview witnesses and review concert protocols to determine how eight people died when fans suddenly surged toward the stage to watch rapper Travis Scott.
Houston officer dead, another wounded while serving warrant
HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston police officer was killed and another was wounded Monday morning during a shooting that also killed a 31-year-old man whom the officers were attempting to arrest on drug charg[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Nicholas, now tropical storm, may cause deadly flash floods in parts of Texas, Louisiana
Tropical Storm Nicholas has weakened to a tropical depression as it slowed to a crawl over southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana as its heavy rains continued to drench the area, maintaining a flood threat.
Local mask mandates pop up in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning COVID-19 restrictions
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is the most recent official to defy the governor’s order. He announced Monday that the city’s nearly 22,000 city employees will be required to mask up inside city buildings where social distancing is not doable.
Houston mask mandate might violate Texas governor's order
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston city workers are being told they must resume wearing masks while on the job, a requirement that could go against Gov.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Houston area getting little of $1B in Harvey flood aid
Houston area officials are expressing shock and anger after learning their communities, which suffered the brunt of damage from Hurricane Harvey, will be getting a fraction of $1 billion that Texas is awarding as part of an initial distribution of federal funding given to the state for flood mitigation.
Congress questions Texas officials about power grid failure
Congress is looking into the cause of the power blackouts across Texas last month. A House panel planned to hear Wednesday, March 24, 2021, from officials who oversee the state's energy industry and electric grid. (AP Photo/LM Otero File)DALLAS – Congress is looking into last month’s massive and deadly power outages across Texas and questioning officials who oversee the state’s energy industry and electric grid. After outages in February 2011, Robb’s group recommended that Texas power plants needed better protection against winter storms. AdHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the Texas grid was designed for peak summer heat, and policymakers wrongly believed that the 2011 severe winter storm was an anomaly.
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo lands top Miami job; mayor calls him the Tom Brady of police chiefs
“We went out and got what I feel is America's best chief," said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez standing alongside Acevedo at a news conference Monday after describing him to The Miami Herald as the Tom Brady or Michael Jordan of police chiefs. He is replacing Chief Jorge Colina, who retired in February, becoming Miami’s fifth chief the past decade. And Acevedo announced a few weeks after the raid that the police department would no longer use no-knock warrants. AdOn Monday, Acevedo acknowledged the problem with bad policing and said he thought he brings a new perspective to the Miami Police Department. "Do not confuse kindness for weakness," Acevedo said regarding his gestures over the past year to advocate for police reform.
Suit seeks to stop massive $7 billion highway project in Houston
A protester holds a sign during a July 23, 2019, news conference in Houston where community advocates called for a delay in plans to expand Interstate 45. HOUSTON – A federal lawsuit was filed Thursday to stop a massive $7 billion highway widening project in Houston that local officials and community advocates say won’t improve the area’s traffic congestion and will disproportionately impact minority residents who would be displaced by the proposed construction. The proposed 10-year construction project would improve 24 miles along Interstate 45 and several other roadways, with a major remaking of how these thoroughfares go through downtown Houston. This project displaces communities and the project is bad for our health,” Hidalgo said. “They are supposed to study and incorporate the feedback from the community before they bulldoze the community into a project that is not appropriate,” Hidalgo said.
Austin officials say they'll continue requiring masks in public — but it's unclear how they'll be able to enforce the rule
Austin Mayor Steve Adler says enforcement of the mask rule will be limited. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas TribuneAustin and Travis County public health leaders say that they will continue requiring residents to wear masks in public, even though Gov. Austin authorities acknowledged that city governments alone can't impose mask orders, but argued that public health authorities can. Escott is the appointed public health physician and expert to whom our community entrusts our public health," Adler said. In a video message posted to Facebook late Tuesday, Adler said it's a Class C misdemeanor to violate the public health order.
Join The Texas Tribune for an interview with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on the role that Texas cities play in combating climate change
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joins The Texas Tribune for a live event on March 11Cities are key contributors to climate change, as transportation, buildings and power plants are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Join The Texas Tribune at noon Central March 11 for a live interview with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, chair of the Climate Mayors coalition. AdThey’ll discuss the role that cities play in combating climate change and preparing for climate emergencies, such as hurricanes and winter storms. Previously, Turner served in the Texas House, representing parts of Houston, for more than 20 years. Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.
Biden to visit storm-ravaged Texas Friday
President Joe Biden speaks about the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Washington. AdHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Sunday on CBS' “Face the Nation” the state of Texas should bear those “exorbitant costs," rather than residents. Biden previously tweeted about Texas and the other affected states, received regular updates from his staff and declared states of emergency in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Biden spoke to the governors of the seven states most affected by the winter weather. Biden said last week that he hoped to travel to Texas but he didn't want his presence and the accompanying presidential entourage to distract from the recovery.
In Texas, attention turns to storm repairs, political peril
Her kitchen appeared mostly undamaged, but the plumber that cut into Espinoza’s wall found water had been pouring in underneath the floor. Many residents are unsure when they'll be able to make permanent repairs, what they'll have to pay out of pocket or even when they'll be able to go home. Roberto Valerio, a plumber in North Texas, said the broken pipes and other problems caused by the storm had led to “big chaos.”“We can’t find what we need easily,” he said. His office encouraged out-of-state plumbers to come fix Texas pipes. A rushing sound could be heard in Espinoza’s kitchen Saturday night, when Valerio turned the water back on.
Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on February 21, 2021
Plus, a revealing interview with the COVID-19 point person on former President Trump's National Security Council, Matt Pottinger. But we want to turn to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. JAKE SULLIVAN (National Security Adviser/@jakesullivan): Good morning. It's-- it's been widely reported that you went into the Oval Office alongside National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and told President Trump at the end of January that this would be the greatest national security threat that he ever faced. Matt, I mean, as a national security risk, did you ever look and say who exposed him and figure out how that happened?cbsnews.com
State of Texas should pay for enormous energy bills after power outages, Houston mayor says
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Sunday called on the state of Texas to pay for the enormous electric bills that scores of Texans reported after severe winter weather knocked out power and rose energy prices. Frigid conditions last week caused major grid failures and skyrocketing demand that left millions of people without heat and electricity. Now, as power resumes for most of Texas, some households face utility bills as high as $10,000. The high utility bills in Texas are due to the state's unregulated power grid that's nearly cut off from the rest of the country. "These systems need to be weatherized … we need to open up the Texas grid."cnbc.com
Transcript: Mayor Sylvester Turner on "Face the Nation," February 21, 2021
The following is a transcript of an interview with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner that aired Sunday, February 21, 2021, on "Face the Nation." MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner. MAYOR TURNER: You have to bear in mind that the power outages and the water system are all interconnected, so it's not one versus the other. And the power system, as you know, is- is powered by a mix of energy resources, fossil fuels and green energy. MAYOR TURNER: Ok.MARGARET BRENNAN: But for your constituents, they're going to have to pay to fix all this.cbsnews.com
This week on "Face the Nation," February 21, 2021: Pottinger, Sullivan, Turner, Price, Gottlieb
"Face the Nation" Guest Lineup:Jake Sullivan, National Security AdviserNational Security Adviser Matt Pottinger, Former Deputy National Security Adviser, Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford UniversityFormer Deputy National Security Adviser, Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford University Mayor Sylvester Turner, (D-Houston)(D-Houston) Mayor Betsy Price, (R-Fort Worth)(R-Fort Worth) Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Former FDA CommissionerHow to watch "Face the Nation"Date: Sunday, February 21, 2021TV: "Face the Nation" airs Sunday mornings on CBS. Click here for your local listingsRadio: Subscribe to "Face the Nation" from CBS Radio News to listen on-the-goFree online stream: Watch the show on CBS' streaming network CBSN at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. With the latest news and analysis from Washington, don't miss Margaret Brennan (@margbrennan) this Sunday on "Face the Nation" (@FaceTheNation). And for the latest from America's premier public affairs program, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.cbsnews.com
Rockets-Pacers game postponed because of Texas storm
Houston Rockets' John Wall, bottom, goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Philadelphia. All rights reservedHOUSTON – The game between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night was postponed because of continued utility shortages in the area from this week’s winter storm. Friday’s game against Dallas was called off on Thursday. The team said the decision was made after discussions with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the NBA. ___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Texas Governor Greg Abbott blames power grid operator for winter storm disaster
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday placed blame for the state's widespread power outages on the grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The governor said that days before the disaster, ERCOT experts assured the state that it would be prepared for the then-approaching storm. "They said, five days before the winter storm hit, ERCOT assured that 'we are ready for the cold temperatures coming our way,'" the governor said. He added that ERCOT's "annual winter assessment, which was designed to ensure the state is prepared... assured the public of Texas that there would be enough power to meet peak demand this winter." The governor said he could not provide a date for when water will be returned to homes because Texas water treatment is managed locally.cbsnews.com
Southern cities hit hard by storms face new crisis: No water
About 260,000 homes and businesses in the Tennessee county that includes Memphis were told to boil water because of water main ruptures and pumping station problems. And water pressure problems prompted Memphis International Airport to cancel all incoming and outgoing Friday flights. Paul Lee Davis got to the front of the line at a water station set up by city officials only to have the water run out. Water service was restored Friday to two Houston Methodist community hospitals, but officials still were bringing in drinking water and some elective surgeries were canceled, spokeswoman Gale Smith said. AdMore than 192,000 Louisiana residents -- some still struggling to recover from last August's Hurricane Laura -- had no water service Friday, according to the state health department.
Texas power outages stretch into third day as millions face freezing conditions
Anger over Texas' power outages in the face of a record winter freeze continued to mount Wednesday as millions of residents in the energy capital of the U.S. remained shivering. One night, the baby girl slept between her mom and dad in their bed just to stay warm. In some cases the desperate effort to stay warm turned deadly. But hours after those assurances, the number of outages in Texas only rose, at one point exceeding four million customers. ERCOT CEO Bill Magness told CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca he supports an investigation, but argued the power outages were necessary to avoid greater damage.cbsnews.com
‘A complete bungle’: Texas’ energy pride goes out with cold
But hours after those assurances, the number of outages in Texas only rose, at one point exceeding 4 million customers. Forcing controlled outages was the only way to avert an even more dire blackout in Texas, Magness said. The outages are the widest Texas' grid has suffered but hardly a first in winter. A decade ago, another deep February freeze created power shortages in Texas the same week the Super Bowl was played in Arlington. A federal report later flagged failures in the system, including power plants that are unable to stand up to extreme cold.
Power outages linger for millions as another icy storm looms
Nearly 3.4 million customers around the U.S. were still without electricity, and some also lost water service. More than 100 million people live in areas covered by some type of winter weather warning, watch or advisory, the weather service said. Weather-related outages have been particularly stubborn in Oregon, where some customers have been without power for almost a week. At the peak of the storm, more than 350,000 customers in the Portland area were in the dark. In Oregon, authorities confirmed Tuesday that four people died in the Portland area of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Power outages linger for millions as another icy storm looms
Weather-related outages have been particularly stubborn in Oregon, where some customers have been without power for almost a week. The worst U.S. outages by far have been in Texas, where 3 million homes and businesses remained without power as of midday Wednesday. AdThe president of the Texas power grid manager, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said he hoped many customers would see at least partial service restored by later Wednesday or Thursday. At the peak of the storm, more than 350,000 customers in the Portland area were in the dark. In Oregon, authorities confirmed Tuesday that four people died in the Portland area of carbon monoxide poisoning.
'A complete bungle': Texas' energy pride goes out with cold
AdBut hours after those assurances, the number of outages in Texas only rose, at one point exceeding 4 million customers. The outages are the widest Texas' grid has suffered but hardly a first in winter. A decade ago, another deep February freeze created power shortages in Texas the same week the Super Bowl was played in Arlington. AdOn Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Texas had requested 60 generators and that hospitals and nursing homes would get priority. “There’s a serious lack of preparation on the part of the energy companies to not be ready,” Murdoch said.
Texas power council is 'anything but reliable,' Abbott says
Greg Abbott ordered the legislature to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is in charge of delivering electricty throughout the state. Because of ERCOT, Texas is lauded for energy independence through a "world-class" power grid. Officials blame the cold weather for freezing up power generators, according to the Houston Chronicle's Marcy de Luna and Amanda Drane. "I wish I had the power to do it," Turner said about power restoration in Houston. Oncor, which is the power utility company in the North and West Texas, tweeted that ERCOT is "unable to predict" when power will be restored.mysanantonio.com
Texas likely to partner with FEMA for vaccine ‘super sites’
(AP Photo/LM Otero)AUSTIN, Texas – Texas will likely partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to open two vaccination “supersites” in Dallas and Houston, and more could be on the way, Gov. The mutated version of the virus spreads more easily, and health officials worry vaccines could be less effective against it. The governor said adding more sites is possible, but his office did not immediately release further details, including whether that meant Texas would get more vaccine doses or if those sites would pull vaccine from other areas. AdThe announcement came one month after the first new known COVID-19 variant, one first identified in the United Kingdom, was identified in Houston. Meantime, the Texas COVID-19 death toll rose to 38,700.
Street mural unveiled in Houston honoring George Floyd
HOUSTON – A street mural honoring George Floyd was unveiled Saturday in Houston along two blocks of the street that passes in front of Jack Yates High School, where Floyd was a student. Floyd’s death last year in Minneapolis after being pinned to the ground under a white officer’s knee helped spark summer long protests against police brutality. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner called the mural "another public statement that the life and death of George Floyd is not in vain.”The mural is to spell out “Black Lives Matter” with Floyd’s high school football jersey and the school mascot at either end. The mural was commissioned by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Houston Society for Change and a non-profit social activism organization formed by Floyd’s former high school football teammates called 88 C.H.U.M.P.
Texas to get more vaccine doses than expected this week
The Houston Health Department has said that this week it will focus its vaccine allocation on people at the highest risk for severe illness and those in vulnerable communities. The state has received nearly 2.9 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Texas providers have administered nearly 2.3 million doses of vaccine, according to the state health department. On Sunday, Texas health officials reported 11,155 new and probable coronavirus cases and 171 more deaths due to the illness caused by the virus. There have been nearly 2.1 million virus cases and 36,491 deaths as a result of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the Texas health department.
Rapper Bow Wow apologizes for attending packed Texas nightclub
FILE - Bow Wow attends WE TV's "Bridezillas" Season 11 premiere party on Feb. 22, 2018, in New York. HOUSTON – Rapper Bow Wow apologized after Houston’s mayor called him out for attending a crowded gathering at a city nightclub during a weekend packed with concerts as Texas continues to grapple with the coronavirus. I cant believe i get the blame for a whole weekend,” Bow Wow tweeted Monday morning. It was my boys 30th bday weekend and i came down off the love — Bow Wow (@smoss) January 19, 20213. — Bow Wow (@smoss) January 19, 2021But Turner made clear that he doesn’t dislike Bow Wow and said the pandemic is not the time for concerts.
The Latest: Hawaii says scarcity hinders vaccination efforts
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)HONOLULU — Hawaii’s leaders say limited supply is the main thing constraining distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in the state. He said the sites have set the vaccine doses aside and will receive replacement doses on Tuesday and Wednesday. ___TORONTO — Canadian officials say the country won’t be getting any Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine next week and 50% less than expected over the next month. U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer confirmed last week it would temporarily reduce deliveries to Europe and Canada of its COVID-19 vaccine while it upgrades production capacity. ___JERUSALEM — Israel’s Cabinet on Tuesday extended an existing nationwide lockdown through the end of January as the country contends with a runaway surge in coronavirus cases.
Mayor Nirenberg joins other Texas mayors in requesting more COVID-19 vaccines from Biden administration
SAN ANTONIO – With President-elect Joe Biden taking office in less than a week, mayors across the U.S. are already requesting more COVID-19 vaccines from his administration. Mayor Ron Nirenberg and several other mayors across the nation, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, penned a letter to Biden’s administration requesting the ability to bypass the state and get a direct line of vaccines to their communities. “I’m proud to join my mayoral colleagues in requesting that the Biden Administration prioritize a direct line of vaccines to our communities,” Mayor Nirenberg said on social media Thursday. Biden’s plan so far is to spend $25 billion on vaccine production and disbursement, NPR reports. Mayors said in the letter that they hope to develop a plan with the Biden administration on day one that will help residents to get their COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible.
State takes over Houston's Harvey home repair program
The state took over the program this week and Torres and other residents who have applied for assistance say they’re worried that could lead to yet more delays. A third of the funding — nearly $428 million — went to a program for home repair and reconstruction. Harvey dumped up to 50 inches (1.3 meters) of rain on the Houston area following landfall on Aug. 25, 2017. In the Houston area, Harvey flooded more than 150,000 homes, with more than 16,000 residents identified as potentially needing repair help. In its own program, the land office has fixed more than 2,000 homes and has approved nearly 2,900 reimbursements statewide.
Close call with storm renews debate over Houston barrier
Bill Merrell, a professor in the Marine Sciences Department at Texas A&M University at Galveston and a former president of the school, sits along Galveston Bay as he talks about the Ike Dike project Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Galveston, Texas. The Ike Dike is a coastal barrier that, when completed, would protect the Houston-Galveston region including Galveston Bay from hurricane storm surge. The project was conceived by Merrell in response to the extensive surge damage caused by Hurricane Ike in September of 2008. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Close call with storm renews debate over Houston barrier
The Ike Dike is a coastal barrier that, when completed, would protect the Houston-Galveston region including Galveston Bay from hurricane storm surge. Now the close call has renewed a debate about whether the Houston area should build a massive and expensive barrier to protect against storm surge. Galveston Bay is healthy, and fish and other animals thrive there because water circulates in and out of the gulf, said Bob Stokes, president of the Galveston Bay Foundation environmental group. “No hurricane storm surge barrier will ever protect us from 150 mph winds. No hurricane storm surge barrier will ever protect us from rain,” Stokes said.
Coronavirus hot spots in Texas homeless shelters highlight challenges unsheltered residents face social distancing, staying clean
Nursing homes, jails and prisons have become well-known locations for coronavirus outbreaks, but Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has identified another major hotspot for COVID-19 cases in his city: homeless shelters. "We are now testing people in our homeless shelter, and what we are finding is there are people who are infected with this virus, Turner said, according to the news report. Days later, the Dallas Life homeless shelter reported 38 cases in its facility. Large homeless shelters are traditionally very tight, congregate quarters, with people often sleeping in bunks lined up close together or side-by-side on mats on the floor. Nationally, the countrys homeless population is also aging rapidly: 40% of the 1 million people the National Health Care for the Homeless Council served were over the age of 50 in 2019.
Houston's mayor challenges Nirenberg via social media to give out hygiene kits to homeless
Houston's mayor challenges Nirenberg via social media to give out hygiene kits to homelessHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner is calling on his fellow Texas leaders, including San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, to help donate and assemble hygiene supplies to the homeless. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is calling on his fellow Texas leaders, including San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, to help donate and assemble hygiene supplies to the homeless. Photo: Josie Norris /Staff Photographer Photo: Josie Norris /Staff Photographer Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Houston's mayor challenges Nirenberg via social media to give out hygiene kits to homeless 1 / 1 Back to GalleryHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner is calling on his fellow Texas leaders, including San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, to help donate and assemble hygiene supplies to the homeless. The city's communications department was not immediately available to provide comment on whether Nirenberg will respond to the call. Nirenberg also recently worked to distribute supplies with the San Antonio Food Bank.mysanantonio.com
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner wins reelection in runoff
Mayor Sylvester Turner defeated Tony Buzbee during Saturday's runoff election. Unofficial results released by the Harris County Clerk's Office on Sunday morning show Turner capturing just over 56% of the vote. In seeking a second term, Turner touted guiding Houston through the devastating floods of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and reducing the city's huge pension debt as some of his accomplishments. Turner had highlighted Buzbee hosting a fundraiser for Trump in 2016 and donating $500,000 to his presidential inauguration committee. While the race leading up to the Nov. 5 vote was full of bluster between Turner and Buzbee, the campaigning during the runoff was more subdued.chicagotribune.com
Houston mayor's race: crime, flooding, Trump are all issues
As Houston's mayor seeks a second term, he's hoping to use residents' antipathy toward President Donald Trump to help him beat his biggest challenger. One Turner campaign ad features a video clip of Trump calling Mexican immigrants racists and criminals as he launched his 2016 campaign. It ends by saying, "The last thing we need is more noise from Trump or his copycat Tony Buzbee." Like Trump, Buzbee has said he's an outsider who is going to shake things up. Buzbee, like Trump, is also known for having an extravagant lifestyle and he's self-financed his political campaign, having spent $10 million.chicagotribune.com