Here are things you need to know for Tuesday, August 25:
1. Tracking the tropics: Laura strengthens to hurricane as it enters Gulf of Mexico
The Texas and Louisiana Gulf coasts are watching the tropics closely, as Hurricane Laura churns through the Gulf of Mexico.
The forecast is gaining precision as landfall draws closer. Right now, coastal areas between Houston and Southwestern Louisiana are the most likely to get a direct hit.
The track has shifted slightly west overnight and although the center of the track is still east of Houston a direct impact for Galveston Bay is still possible. Even if landfall is east, closer to Sabine Pass or even SW Louisiana, there will be impacts in Southeast Texas, including damaging winds and dangerous storm surge.
2. Why you should be freezing water bottles right now, and other clever hacks for disaster prep
Living on the Gulf Coast, many of us are practically experts at storm prep. While we have heard of the usual storm prep suggestions, including getting your documents and medicine in order, there are a few other things you could be doing right now to prepare.
3. Community boiling with anger over fate of 2-year-old Maliyah Bass; Family meets with Houston activist Quanell X
A small, makeshift memorial of balloons, flowers and candles could be seen Monday outside the southwest Houston apartment where 2-year-old Maliyah Bass lived.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said there is a “high probability” that the body of a 2-year-old child found in Brays Bayou on Sunday morning is Maliyah’s. She was previously reported missing in southwest Houston.
Anger boiled over at the Sunset Crossing Apartments off Beechnut Monday. Neighbors who live there were not happy to see Maliyah’s mother and boyfriend return to the property with Houston activist Quanell X. The crowd gathered outside of the apartment to express their frustration.
4. Texas GOP lawmakers sue governor over virus tracing contract
Five Texas GOP lawmakers sued Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday over a $295 million contact tracing deal signed during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic that they claim skirted oversight and amounted to the governor exceeding his authority.
The lawmakers are among the most conservative in the state Legislature, and the lawsuit in a Travis County court broadly reflects ongoing anger from the Texas GOP’s far right over Abbott’s handling of the pandemic, including his orders in July to mandate face coverings that led to some county GOP groups censuring him.
5. Nearly 350,000 unemployed Texans don’t qualify for extra $300 weekly benefit
Approximately 347,700 Texans currently receiving unemployment benefits do not qualify for the additional $300 weekly payments issued by the Trump administration, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Some people do not qualify because they did not indicate on their unemployment filings that they lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic, said Cisco Gamez, spokesman for the Texas Workforce Commission, the state agency in charge of distributing jobless benefits. Those Texans could change their status when filling out future payment requests, Gamez said, and could then qualify for the extra $300 payments.
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WORD OF THE DAY:
Bonanza: [ buh-nan-zuh ] (noun) a source of great and sudden wealth or luck; a spectacular windfall: The play proved to be a bonanza for its lucky backers.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
Aug. 25, 1835: “The Great Moon Hoax” is published in the “New York Sun”: On Aug. 25, 1835, the first in a series of six articles announcing the supposed discovery of life on the moon appeared in the New York Sun newspaper.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Form follows function.” - Louis Sullivan