News Roundup: Weather Service Is Working To Determine If Greenville Was Hit By A Tornado

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 20, 2019 1:56 pm

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

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth will visit another North Texas town Thursday to assess weather damage. They’ll be trying to figure out if Greenville, in Hunt County, was hit by a tornado Wednesday.

Bianca Garcia is meteorologist with the National Weather Service. She says a supercell did develop in that area – that’s a rare type of thunderstorm with a deep, persistent rotating updraft called a mesocyclone.

“And that is what produced some pretty large hail, upwards of 2 inches which is larger than a ping pong ball – I think we have reports of golf-ball sized hail,” Garcia says.

Garcia says the Weather Service has received reports of a tornado in Greenville, where there is widespread damage. Still, she says they have to go out and survey the area to confirm whether it was one.

“And we’ll go out, take a look at the viewing area where the damage occurred, take photos, note the direction of the damage,” Garcia says. “And then back at the office we’ll do another analysis with radar and the damage photos and determine whether or not it was a tornado.”

No one was injured in Wednesday’s storms.

Local media outlets report winds tore off a chunk of the roof of a church. Greenville’s Farmer’s Market, Whataburger, and other buildings were heavily damaged.

The price of prescription medication will soon be less of a mystery for Texans. Ashley Lopez with KUT News in Austin explains how a new state law taking effect in September aims to increase transparency for prescription drugs.

Whenever a drug’s price increases by 15% in one year or 40% over three years – House Bill 2536 requires that drug makers disclose that price to the state. Rob Schneider with AARP Texas says for too long neither the public – nor lawmakers –  had a good idea about what was driving those prices either.

“So what this prescription drug transparency legislation does is require drugs that meet a certain threshold, they’ve got to report the factors that are driving the price increases,” Schneider said.

Under the law, drug makers will have to report this information to the state – and the state will release it to the public. The law also directs pharmacy benefit managers and insurance companies to create annual reports on things like drug rebates and fees.

Census data out Thursday shows the United States is growing older and more diverse. Texas is home to the county that saw the fastest growth in its Hispanic population between 2017 and 2018. Liberty County, near Houston, saw an increase of more than 11%. Ellis County in North Texas had the fastest growth in its black population nationwide – seeing a 9% increase between 2017 and 2018. The county seat is Waxahachie. Texas also has the third largest Asian population in the country – behind New York and California.