Reactions of understanding, grief, and healing from Uvalde mass shooting – Houston Public Media
In continuing this conversation, we hear from those who have had their lives universally changed by this event and others like it. In sharing their stories, we learn how grief can be turned into action.houstonpublicmedia.org
Whistleblower report on baby formula didn’t reach top FDA food safety official
Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response, didn’t learn about a whistleblower complaint alleging safety issues at a baby formula plant until four months later, according to Yiannas and and others knowledgeable about the case.washingtonpost.com
FDA head: Baby formula factory could reopen by next week
WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Food and Drug Administration told lawmakers Thursday that a shuttered baby formula factory could be up and running as soon as next week, though he sidestepped questio[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Biden invokes Defense Production Act to boost baby formula manufacturing to ease shortage
The Abbott manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, on May 13, 2022. President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to increase baby formula manufacturing to ease a nationwide shortage caused by the closure of a key plant in Michigan. Biden is requiring suppliers of ingredients used in baby formula to direct those goods to key manufacturers before any other customers. The president has also directed the Health and Human Services Department and Department of Agriculture to use aircraft from the Defense Department to pick up infant formula from overseas that meets U.S. health and safety standards. Please check back for updates.cnbc.com
Baby formula shortage is making low-income mothers struggle to pay for a product usually covered by the state
The state’s poorest mothers are paying hundreds of dollars out of pocket when they find baby formula because they say they can’t risk waiting for the exact brand and size container covered by Texas’ Women, Infant and Children program.
Parents swap, sell baby formula as Biden focuses on shortage
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden stepped up his administration's response to a nationwide baby formula shortage Thursday that has forced frenzied parents into online groups to swap and sell to ea[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
First bus of migrants who crossed into Texas makes trip to Washington, D.C. – Houston Public Media
The transport is part of Abbott’s plan to expand Operation Lone Star and came in response to the Biden Administration’s decision to end Title 42 – a pandemic-era rule that rapidly expels migrants from the U.S.houstonpublicmedia.org
‘Disability Book Week’ opens world of literary contributions to better understand, empower disabled community
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joins Texas Governor Abbott and officials from other states to proclaim April 23 – 29 as “Disability Book Week,” which will highlight authors worldwide with disabilities. It also includes books that have a leading character with a disability shown in a positive way.
Gov. Greg Abbott replaces Texas military leader who has overseen heavily criticized border mission
Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Suelzer will take over as the military department’s new leader. He replaces Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, who was criticized for her handling of Operation Lone Star, as adjutant general of the Texas Military Department.
Amazon, Walgreens and CVS limit Covid-19 tests per customer amid soaring cases
As the omicron variant spreads throughout the U.S. and Covid-19 cases spike ahead of Christmas, demand for at-home testing kits has risen dramatically. That prompted Amazon, Walgreens and CVS to place limits this week on how many tests each customer can buy.
Texas colleges and universities get more than $3 billion for campus construction projects under bill headed to Gov. Greg Abbott
Before ending the special session Tuesday, Texas lawmakers reached a deal to allocate roughly $3.3 billion to higher education institutions for capital projects. The price tag went up from the Senate's original proposal.
Gov. Greg Abbott adds property tax relief, bail to special session agenda
Abbott has faced pressure from his right to prioritize property tax relief. One of his challengers in the Republican primary has slammed him for not including it earlier in the agenda, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called it his top priority this session.
Gov. Greg Abbott calls special legislative session for redistricting, other conservative priorities starting Sept. 20
On top of redistricting, Abbott wants lawmakers to take up bills on restrictions for transgender student athletes and the allocation of billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
Texas to spend $25 million on 2-mile concrete barrier amid Gov. Greg Abbott’s push for a state-funded border wall
The barrier in Eagle Pass is the first glimpse into how much a state-funded border wall could cost. But Abbott’s office says it’s a “concrete barrier” that is separate from his border wall push.
Drivers who hit someone in a crosswalk in Texas could now face prison time thanks to new law named after Fort Bend County woman
Not many days after Lisa Torry Smith died in 2017, after family members learned it was not a crime in Texas to drive into someone in a crosswalk, they decided the law needed to change.
Gov. Greg Abbott says more apprehensions, drug seizures justify a border wall. Advocates say he's misrepresenting the numbers.
The governor said Texas needs to build a border wall to reduce migrant apprehensions and fentanyl seizures. But immigration and drug treatment experts say Abbott's oversimplifying the issue.
Gov. Greg Abbott formally opens Texas GOP bid to clamp down on local efforts expanding voting access
(Harris County planned to send out applications to request a mail-in ballot, not the actual ballots.) Harris County officials quickly fired back at Republicans’ proposals in their own press conference. Ad“These kinds of attempts to confuse, to intimidate, to suppress are a continuation of policies we’ve seen in this state since Reconstruction,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. In a previous interview, Harris County’s election administrator Isabel Longoria said she hoped those initiatives would become permanent for future elections. Election officials and even former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr also said there was no evidence to back Republican claims.
Some Houston area businesses welcome statewide mask mandate removal, while other others fear backlash
HOUSTON – Masks will no longer be mandatory at Texas businesses starting Wednesday, March 10, per Gov. “Tomorrow I am not going to be enforcing the mask mandate because I think it’s up to the individual,” Contello said. AdShe added that customers can still choose to wear a mask if it would make them more comfortable while shopping. “If you want to stay home, stay home and be safe,” she added. Let’s get our life back on track.”Joseph said he hopes people who may not agree with his stance, not take it out on his restaurant’s employees.
Houston reaches grim milestone of 2,000 COVID-19 deaths
FILE - Dr. Joseph Varon hugs and comforts a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) during Thanksgiving at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 26, 2020 in Houston, Texas. HOUSTON – The city of Houston reached a grim milestone of the weekend. Officials said the death toll for COVID-19 has crossed 2,000 people, only a few days after the one-year anniversary of the first Houston-area COVID-19 case. In addition, he reported nearly 500 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths on Sunday. Turner did thank business owners and customers that have continued to wear masks, social distance and practice other COVID-19 safety precautions.
President Biden declares major disaster in Texas after winter storm
All rights reserved)President Joe Biden arrives at Kalamazoo Battle Creek International Airport to visit a Pfizer manufacturing site, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Portage, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Texas after extreme winter weather caused power outages and water disruptions for millions in the state. Abbott requested the Major Disaster Declaration on Thursday, requesting individual assistance and public assistance in each of the state’s 254 counties. Abbot requested the Major Disaster Declaration in order to provide individual assistance, public assistance, and hazard mitigation for individuals and communities impacted by the severe winter weather. The Biden administration approved the request for individual assistance in 77 counties and for public assistance in all 254 counties. “I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state,” said Abbott in statement.
Houston Newsmakers: Record breaking winter weather cripples Texas
Investigating the Texas power gridThe forecast was for record breaking cold for Texas, including Houston. KPRC Investigates reporter Robert Arnold takes a deep dive into what went wrong and is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall. After his second impeachment acquittal, former president Trump may have a renewed ability to play a pivotal role in the future of the Republican Party but to what end? “He has the ability to make life very difficult for the Republican party, particularly in seats that are competitive seats where they want some moderate or centrist moderate candidates,” Jones said. “I think that he’s going to be the butt of national jokes for a while,” Professor Rottinghaus said.
‘This is unacceptable’: Abbott declares ERCOT reform an emergency item for legislature, wants investigation of agency
Greg Abbott on Tuesday declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas an emergency item for the upcoming 2021 legislative session. “The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” Abbott said in a statement Tuesday. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. I've asked the House State Affairs and Energy Resources Committees to convene a joint hearing on Feb. 25 about the factors that led to sustained power outages across Texas. Governor Dan Patrick also expressed his concerns over ERCOT’s handling of the power outages, announcing that the Senate Business & Commerce committee would move forward with hearings to assess the ERCOT’s operations.
After weeks as one of the nation's worst COVID-19 hot spots, Laredo leaders see no easy way out
Health care worker Mary Carreon administers a COVID-19 vaccine to an elderly patient in Laredo on Feb. 1. During an emergency city council meeting last week, Laredo officials passed a motion to request that the federal government send National Guard troops to help distribute vaccines. Treviño, the Laredo health authority, has repeatedly argued against stricter measures because of the economic damage they can cause. Martinez, the city council member, said many residents live paycheck-to-paycheck and don’t have savings to help them survive a city lockdown. “The little carnita asadas, the barbecues — as a result, we have high numbers of infections, and so one begets the other.”Richard Chamberlain, the city’s health director, said the best way out of the city’s COVID-19 crisis is through vaccinations.
Emergency SNAP benefits for March 2021 extended: Here’s what families need to know
HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size. The emergency March allotments are in addition to the more than $2.5 billion in benefits previously provided to Texans since April 2020. AdAdministered by HHSC, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1.6 million eligible low-income families and individuals in Texas. Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits. “Providing emergency SNAP benefits is critical to our state’s ongoing COVID-19 response because it ensures that Texas families can continue to put healthy meals on the table,” said Governor Abbott.
Texas’ second round of COVID-19 vaccines earmarked for smaller hospitals and long-term care facility residents
Nearly a quarter-million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine arrived at hospitals and health care facilities around Texas this week. Questions remain about who will be first in line for the vaccine once healthcare workers and long-term care residents have had their chance to be inoculated. Decisions on how vaccines are allocated are made by a state panel of advisers — composed of lawmakers, local and state health officials, and medical experts and researchers — and finalized by Hellerstedt. Texas is participating in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a federal program to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Vaccine doses will be distributed free to those facilities, which are set to receive them starting on Monday, Abbott’s office said last week.