News Roundup: Southwest Airlines Says Govt. Shutdown Caused Up To $15 Million In Lost Revenue

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJanuary 25, 2019 12:57 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Southwest Airlines says the ongoing partial government shutdown is costing the carrier millions. The Dallas-based carrier estimates that so far, in January, it lost out on $10 million to $15 million in revenue.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary C. Kelly discussed the shutdown’s impact on a Thursday call with analysts and media about the company’s earnings.

“So, as for the government shutdown, I’ll sum it up in a word: It is maddening. And I will also state the obvious here, which is that no one can predict what impact it will have if it continues,” Kelly said.

The Southwest CEO added that the company will do everything it can to contain the damage the shutdown is causing. Despite these estimated losses, the company also announced a milestone Thursday: the airline has been profitable for 46 years straight.

The Dallas Stars are sending a teenage rookie to the National Hockey League’s all-star game Saturday. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports the 19-year-old Finnish phenom is the hockey team’s only representative at the game this year.

It’s morning practice at the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Star’s home. Pucks fly as skaters scrimmage and slide swiftly across the ice at scintillating speed. From a distance they may all look the same. They’re not. Nineteen-year-old defenseman Miro Heiskanen stands out. Just ask teammate and defenseman John Klingberg, himself a former all-star.

“To see where he is as a 19-year-old already, that’s pretty unbelievable, because that just makes you think and realize how good he’s going to be in a couple years. I would say he’s one of the best skaters in the whole world already,” [says Klingberg.]

That great skater first hit the ice when he was two. The Stars drafted Heiskanen just a couple years ago. It usually takes longer to reach the top, moving up through the pros. Heiskanen’s there now, the rare teen all-star in his first season at the NHL level. Of course, it was a little surprise.

“I think I’ve played pretty well this season, so wasn’t that big, but of course a little bit,” [Heiskanen says.]

The All-Star game’s in San Jose. Heiskanen’s teammates encourage him to enjoy it and have fun meeting the league’s other superstars, some of whom Heiskanen looked up to as a kid not too long ago.

A small Texas school district closed down this week because of a flu outbreak. About 87 percent of students attended classes at McDade Independent School District in Bastrop Wednesday.

Classes were cancelled Thursday, and still are as of Friday. And while the kids are away, custodians and maintenance workers are focused on disinfecting schools. Superintendent Barbara Marchbanks spoke with KUT News.

“We used antibacterial agents, microbial agents, that we take and clean walls, we clean floors, we clean desks, we clean window sills, we clean doorknobs, light switches, keyboards. Anything and everything that a human hand could have touched, we clean it,” Marchbanks said.

Classes are expected to resume on Monday.