The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
The third deck of the Battleship Texas will reopen next month after repairs are complete. It’s the last remaining battleship that took part in both World Wars. Texas Parks and Wildlife runs the historic site in LaPorte, near Houston. Spokesperson Stephanie Garcia explains what visitors will be able to see when portions of the vessel reopen.
“Some of the rooms that are going to be tourable for anyone that wants to go see them on January 5 is going to be the ship’s engine room, the machine shop, the brig, an ammunition passageway, and the radio room – all of which have been closed for about 2 years.” Garcia says.
Garcia says the grand reopening ceremony is set for January 5 and attendees will get a unique ticket.
“Their ticket’s actually going to be a piece of salvaged steel from the ship in order to board the ship after the ribbon cutting ceremony, so it’s going to be really special,” Garcia says.
The first 104 people to show up will get free admission to honor the 104-year-old ship.
Severe weather is on its way out of Texas today, but Wednesday night it managed to do some damage.
In Dallas, football got sacked. Lightning forced the cancellation of the first ever SERVPRO First Responder College Bowl game. The NCAA says it’s likely the first time a bowl game was shut down over weather.
A plane passing through Texas was diverted to Austin because of turbulence, sending two people to the hospital with minor injuries.
Matt Bishop is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
He says Texas normally sees severe weather in the spring, but it’s been known to hit in the winter.
“In fact, three years ago we had a tornado outbreak in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the exact same date of December 26, so yeah it can happen, and it has happened in some recent history,” Bishop says.
Bishop adds as the day goes on, storms will move into Louisiana, leaving Texas in the clear.
Texas leads the country when it comes to wind power generation. But as Mose Buchele reports for KUT News, advocates for wind power are worried the 2019 Legislature could end policies that have helped it flourish.
Before lawmakers arrive in Austin, before bills are even filed. The agenda for the legislative session is often set by think tanks and lobbyists. So when an influential conservative policy shop called the Texas Public Policy Foundation started calling for an end to renewable-friendly policies this past summer, wind advocates like Jeff Clark took note.
“And we’re organizing our communities, our landowners our rural communities, our school districts and then folks around the state who care about cleaner cheaper power. Getting them to respond at the legislature,” Clark says.
Clark is head of the industry group Advanced Power Alliance. He thinks some lawmakers may try to cut renewables out of state subsidies that many energy producers get. Though there’s an unusual alliance forming to protect wind and solar. It includes not just environmental and public health groups, but business associations, natural gas companies, and rural chambers of commerce that see an economic benefit and business potential in renewable energy.