News Roundup: Ted Cruz And Beto O’Rourke Will Debate Again Sept. 30

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 24, 2018 1:04 pm

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

Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, will meet for their second debate in less than a week in Houston on September 30th, during the race for the U.S. Senate. Their first debate – held Friday in Dallas – was marked by tough talk and stark policy divides. Bill Zeeble with KERA News in Dallas has more:

“Differences between these two candidates are wide on almost every hot topic, where immigration and border security may be the hottest. Ted Cruz summed up his position in four words. Legal good. Illegal bad.

‘I think when it comes to immigration we need to do everything humanly possible to secure the border. That means building the wall. That means technology. That means infrastructure. That means boots on the ground.’

Cruz said O’Rourke’s out of touch with Texas. O’Rourke said Cruz is out of touch.

‘Sen. Cruz has sponsored legislation that would have this country build a 2,000-mile wall 30-foot high, at a cost of $30 billion … using the power of eminent domain.

Even though, said O’Rourke, a congressman from El Paso, the border is safe. Polls show this closely watched race is also extremely close.” 

Here’s the entire debate:

Texas added 32,000 jobs in August, marking 26 consecutive months of employment growth. That’s according to figures from the Texas Workforce Commission released at the end of last week. Lisa Givens is a spokeswoman for the agency. She explains the state is seeing growth across industries, but one in particular drove job gains last month.

“One of the largest industries that we track is professional and business services, which led all the industries with an additional 10,300 jobs over the month of August,” Givens says. 

Texas also saw a small drop in the unemployment rate in August.

“Our unemployment dropped slightly to 3.9 percent down from 4 percent in July,” Givens says.

Givens points out several areas in the state saw even lower rates of unemployment. She says they track the unemployment rates in 27 different Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSAs.

“Eighteen of our MSAs are at or below 4 percent, and the remaining are all also in very low areas, such as the 4 and 5 percent range,” Givens says. 

Midland has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.2 percent. Following that is Amarillo at 2.8 percent and Odessa at 2.9 percent. The Austin-Round Rock area ranks fourth in Texas at 3 percent unemployment.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate is 3.9 percent.

Rain on your wedding day, while a pain, is often considered good luck. But maybe not so much when it rains the night before your nuptials.

The Austin Fire Department worked with its colleagues in Liberty Hill, Leander, Cedar Park and Georgetown on Saturday to help rescue dozens of wedding guests in Liberty Hill from rising waters, after the San Gabriel River flooded. Bret Britton, one of the wedding guests getting ready for bed in a tent, described the scene to KXAN, the NBC affiliate in Austin.

“Just as we were getting settled on the air mattress in the tent, we realized it was starting to float and then very quickly the poles of the tent collapsed in,” Britton said. 

In total, 61 people were evacuated from the wedding venue site.