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.
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.
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.
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. AdSnow and ice melted across Texas over the weekend, but plumbers are still racing from home to home to patch uncounted stretches of burst pipe. 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. A rushing sound could be heard in Espinoza’s kitchen Saturday night, when Valerio turned the water back on.
Frozen pipes, electric woes remain as cold snap eases grip
The thaw produced burst pipes throughout the region, adding to the list of woes from severe conditions that were blamed for more than 70 deaths. At its peak, what was the worst ice storm in 40 years knocked out power to more than 350,000 customers. Water woes added misery for people across the South who went without heat or electricity for days after the ice. Prison rights advocates said some correctional facilities across Louisiana had intermittent electricity and frozen pipes, affecting toilets and showers. In many areas, water pressure dropped after lines froze and because people left faucets dripping to prevent pipes from icing, authorities said.
Rockets-Pacers game postponed because of Texas storm
Nancy Wilson sits on her porch after returning from a water distribution site Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Houston. The city remains under a boil water notice and many residents lack water at home due to frozen or broken pipes. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON – 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. The team said the decision was made after discussions with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the NBA. No makeup date for either game has been set.
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.
'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.
'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.
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.
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.
Biggest unknown with Beta is how much rain it will bring
HOUSTON – As Tropical Storm Beta neared the Texas coast Monday, the biggest unknown was how much rainfall it could produce in areas that have already seen their share of damaging weather during a busy hurricane season. Rain from Beta was already coming down Monday in the Houston area. Earlier predictions of up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) in some areas were downgraded Monday to up to 15 inches (38 centimeters). Forecasters and officials reassured residents Beta was not expected to be another Hurricane Harvey or Tropical Storm Imelda. Harvey in 2017 dumped more than 50 inches (127 centimeters) of rain on Houston, causing $125 billion in damage in Texas.
Museum says displaying Confederate statue part of healing
John Guess Jr., CEO Emeritus of the Houston Museum of African American Culture, talks about the bronze statue "The Spirit of The Confederacy" on display at the museum, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Houston. The statue, which has been in storage following its removal, arrived at the Houston Museum of African American Culture on Monday. Guess said he believes the museum is the first African American institution in the country to house a Confederate monument. Museum officials say people will be able to see the statue up close from the courtyard at a later date. The statue sits facing a collection of eye sculptures by Bert Long Jr., a Black Houston artist.
The Latest: India adds over 28,000 new coronavirus cases
(AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)NEW DELHI India reported another record surge of coronavirus infections on Monday, adding 28,701 new cases over the previous 24 hours. India is third in total coronavirus caseload, behind only the United States and Brazil. A count by Johns Hopkins University has only the United States, Brazil and Britain with more confirmed deaths from the new coronavirus. Sundays rise to 35,006 confirmed deaths moved Mexico, a country with 130 million inhabitants, past Italy. Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lpez-Gatell said the number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus rose to 299,750 on Sunday.
Houston leaders call for city lockdown amid virus case surge
HOUSTON Top officials in Houston are calling for the city to lock back down as area hospitals strain to accommodate the onslaught of patients sick with the new coronavirus. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, both Democrats, said this weekend that a stay-at-home order is needed for America's fourth largest city to cope with the surge of COVID-19 cases. State health officials reported 8,196 new cases Sunday, another 80 deaths and a total of 10,410 people hospitalized due to the virus. On Friday, Abbott extended a statewide disaster order that warned Texans another shutdown might be needed if the virus spread isnt contained. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Mayor says George Floyd's body will return to Houston
HOUSTON The mayor of Houston said Saturday that the body of George Floyd, whose death after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck during an arrest has sparked protests across the U.S, will be returning to the city where he grew up. Floyd was a Houston native before moving to Minnesota. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a news conference that Floyd's body would be coming back to Houston but provided no additional details. This is the same city that George Floyd grew up in. And his body will be returning to this city," Turner said.