5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, April 14

ERCOT asking for energy conservation

Here are things to know for Wednesday, April 14:

1. US to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11

President Joe Biden will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that were coordinated from that country, several U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The decision defies a May 1 deadline for full withdrawal under a peace agreement the Trump administration reached with the Taliban last year, but leaves no room for additional extensions. A senior administration official called the September date an absolute deadline that won’t be affected by security conditions in the country.

While Biden’s decision keeps U.S. troops in Afghanistan four months longer than initially planned, it sets a firm end to two decades of war that killed more than 2,200 U.S. troops, wounded 20,000, and cost as much as $1 trillion.

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2. Senate passes bill to curb Texas governor’s power to shut down state for extended time during emergency

The Texas Senate passed a constitutional amendment Tuesday that would substantially reign in the power of the governor during emergencies like this past year’s coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate action, which must still be approved by the House, would require the governor to call a special session in order to declare a state emergency that lasts more than 30 days. The special session would give lawmakers the chance to terminate or adjust executive actions taken by the governor or pass new laws related to the disaster or emergency.

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3. UDPATE: ERCOT cancels energy conservation notice for Texans, issues another alert

Hours after canceling its emergency conservation notice issued Tuesday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued another advisory warning of a potential shortage of reserve power Wednesday.

Late Tuesday, the agency sent out the following message to retail electric providers and the Texas Public Utility Commission:

“Capacity Insufficiency: ERCOT is issuing an OCN for a projected reserve capacity shortage for hours ending 13:00 through 20:00. ERCOT is requesting all QSE’s to update their COPs.”

ERCOT is not yet asking people and businesses to conserve electricity, but the message is an indication that such a request could be made of Texans again Wednesday.

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4. Sprouts store manager shot during robbery at Spring store

A Sprouts store manager is recovering after being shot during a robbery in Spring, deputies said.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable deputies responded to reports of an aggravated robbery at the Sprouts located at 20707 Kuykendahl Road on Sunday, April 11.

Shortly after entering the store, the two suspects ordered the store clerk to open the register and the two men began to steal the money.

Deputies said the manager attempted to intervene, but one of the suspects shot him and then they fled on foot.

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5. 2-year-old found walking along feeder road; Woman accused of leaving children alone in motel while she went to eat with friend

A woman is facing charges after she left her three children -- all under the age of 10 -- alone in a motel while she went to go eat with a friend, according to Harris County Pct. 4 Constable Mark Herman.

Herman said his office received a call about a 2-year-old who had been found wandering alone along the feeder in the 16112 block of the Northwest Freeway.

Authorities said they were able to get the child to safety and started trying to locate the toddler’s family. After some searching, constable deputies said they found an open door at a nearby Super 8 motel where two other children, aged 8 and 3, were asleep inside.

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