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Dallas Police Officer Allegedly Ordered 2 Murders

Bryan Riser arrested, charged with capital murder

(Newser) - In 2017, a 30-year-old Texas woman was murdered, as was, in a separate incident, a 60-year-old man from the state. Four years later, a Dallas police officer has been arrested, accused of ordering hits on the two victims. Police say Bryan Riser, 36, paid other men $3,500 to kill...

Another Head Rolls After Texas Blackouts

ERCOT board votes to fire Bill Magness

(Newser) - Another head has rolled following the devastating blackouts blamed for dozens of deaths in Texas. Bill Magness was fired as president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state's independent power grid, after an emergency board meeting Wednesday night, CNN reports. ERCOT says Magness...

Biden Slams 'Neanderthal Thinking' on Lifting Restrictions

Texas is making a 'big mistake,' he says

(Newser) - President Biden is pushing back hard against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to reopen the state "100%" starting next week. The president—using stronger language than usual—slammed the "Neanderthal thinking" of governors lifting mask mandates and other restrictions against the advice of health experts, the New ...

Pushback on Texas Order: 'Don't Cut Off Your Parachute'

Criticism emerges after Gov. Abbott rescinds mask mandate, orders state to reopen '100%'

(Newser) - Next Wednesday is a big day for the Lone Star State: Per a Tuesday executive order announced by Gov. Greg Abbott , Texas will be opening "100%" on that date, and there will no longer be a statewide mandate for people to wear face masks. Per the Texas Tribune , local...

Texas, Mississippi Lift Mask Mandates

'It is now time to open Texas 100%,' governor says

(Newser) - "It is now time to open Texas 100%," Gov. Greg Abbott declared Tuesday, announcing that the state's mask mandate is being lifted and businesses will be allowed to open at full capacity starting March 10. Abbott issued an executive order Tuesday rescinding earlier pandemic-related orders, including the...

Top Utility Regulator in Texas Quits With 'Indignant' Letter

She blames others for failing to foresee emergency

(Newser) - The top utilities regulator in Texas has become the highest-ranking official to resign over the blackouts that left millions of Texans without power amid freezing temperatures last month. The Houston Chronicle reports that Public Utility Commission Chairwoman DeAnn Walker sounded "indignant" in her resignation letter, saying she had "...

Texas Woman Sues Over Astronomical Electric Bill

But the state's variable-rate pricing model may make it a difficult battle to win

(Newser) - One of the Texans who received a terrifyingly high power bill in the wake of last week's devastating storm is suing, and consumer law experts say more lawsuits are likely to follow. But, as ABC News reports, it could be an uphill battle for those taking the state's...

5 ERCOT Board Members Resign
Board Members

5 ERCOT Board Members Resign

None of them actually live in Texas

(Newser) - In the wake of the disastrous days of Texas power outages, five members of the board of the state's Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) are reportedly stepping down Wednesday. A sixth person withdrew his application to the board. None of them actually live in Texas, the Texas Tribune...

Late Night Blasts Ted Cruz Photo Op
Late Night Blasts
Ted Cruz Photo Op

Late Night Blasts Ted Cruz Photo Op

'Most people just drove away when he tried showing them his vacation photos'

(Newser) - Late-night hosts who were on vacation during Ted Cruz's Cancun trip last week couldn't have been happier with the Texas senator's weekend photo op. Cruz had shared photos showing him meeting with first responders and putting water in people's vehicles with the hashtag #TexasStrong, which only...

Ted Cruz Not the Only One Under Fire for Fleeing Texas

AG Ken Paxton and wife state Sen. Angela Paxton went to Utah

(Newser) - It wasn't just Ted Cruz who escaped his state during Texas' devastating freeze last week. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with his wife state Sen. Angela Paxton, left on the same day as Cruz, just not for Cancun. Rather, they traveled to Utah on Wednesday, where the Republican...

Family of Texas Boy Who Died in the Cold Sues

Says state's power providers are to blame for boy's death

(Newser) - The family of Cristian Pineda, the 11-year-old Texas boy who saw snow for the first time and died the next day during the state's deep freeze, is now suing the state's power providers. The $100 million lawsuit against the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Entergy Corporation...

With Power Out, Store Waves Shoppers Through Checkout

Generosity spreads to customers at Texas H-E-B

(Newser) - A couple of hundred people were hurrying around a Texas grocery store to stock up during the storm emergency Tuesday when the power went out. A "collective groan" could be heard, one shopper said. The checkout lines at the H-E-B store in Leander were 20 carts long, the Washington ...

Texas Rep. Took Private Flight to Florida During Storm

Rep. Gary Gates says it was for family (or business)

(Newser) - A freshman congressman from Texas is facing criticism over reports he took a private flight to sunny Florida during last week's winter storm and widespread power outages. While his home state dealt with historic chills and no electricity in millions of homes statewide, the Houston Chronicle reports that Rep....

Reeling Texans Slapped With Massive Energy Bills

Some customers who buy energy wholesale are now regretting their gamble

(Newser) - Arlington, Texas resident Ty Williams didn't lose power during last week's winter storm disaster—but he may be wishing he did after receiving a $17,000 power bill. And he's not alone. A growing number of energy customers in the Lone Star State, still reeling from unusually...

Abbott Calls Biden's Move 'Partial Approval'

Disaster declaration could be added for other counties later, White House says

(Newser) - President Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Texas on Saturday, an action that will send federal money to 77 of the state's 254 counties. Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed the announcement but pointed out that he'd requested the declaration for all Texas counties. "While this partial approval...

Texas Grid Is Back to Normal
Texas Power Grid
Has Welcome News

Texas Power Grid Has Welcome News

It's back to normal, but water shortages continue to plague the state

(Newser) - Texas’ grid operators said Friday that the electrical system has returned to normal for the first time since a winter storm knocked out power to more than 4 million customers, per the AP . Smaller outages still remained Friday. But Bill Magness, president of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, says...

Boy in Texas Saw Snow for the First Time, Died the Next Day

Family suspects Honduras native Cristian Pavon died of hypothermia in bed

(Newser) - An 11-year-old boy from Honduras asked his mother to film him playing in the first snow he'd ever seen in Conroe, Texas, on Monday. It would be the last footage of him alive. Cristian Pavon's family lost power to their mobile home on Sunday night, but Cristian never...

Texas Was 'Minutes, Seconds' Away From Even Bigger Crisis

State was on the verge of 'catastrophic blackout' that could have lasted months

(Newser) - Texas was "seconds and minutes" away from an even greater catastrophe when the decision was made to bring in what were supposed to be rolling blackouts , according to officials who operate the only standalone power grid in the lower 48. Officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said...

Late Night on Ted Cruz: 'What Were You Thinking?'
Jimmy Kimmel
Goes to Town
on Ted Cruz

Jimmy Kimmel Goes to Town on Ted Cruz

'There he is, snake on a plane right there!'

(Newser) - Jimmy Kimmel dedicated a huge portion of his opening monologue Thursday to Ted Cruz's trip to Mexico in the midst of disaster in his home state. "The hypocrisy is off the charts!" said Kimmel, who's made no secret of his dislike of the Texas senator. "...

Ted Cruz Changes Tune on That Cancun Trip

Acknowledges he changed his flight home, wasn't originally coming back the next day

(Newser) - So much for the " good dad " schtick. The New York Times got a hold of a group text thread between Sen. Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz, and some of their Houston neighbors, and despite Sen. Cruz initially insisting it was all his daughters' idea to " take...

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