A bill recently introduced in the Texas state house aims to reward employers who violate Obamacare, offering subsidies to any company that uses religious objection as an excuse for denying its employees copay-free contraception.
House Bill 649, introduced by state Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R), was apparently inspired by the controversy over craft chain store Hobby Lobby. That store sued to deny its employees contraception coverage, citing its male president’s religious objections. But since Hobby Lobby, and companies like it, will be forced to pay a fine for violating the law, Strickland wants to compensate them with tax breaks:
The tax credit would be limited to the amount of a federal fine that the company pays or the amount of state tax the company owes.
“When a business is being stressed nearly to the point of bankruptcy by punitive federal taxes, of course the state should give them relief,” Stickland said in the news release.[...]
“The Obama administration’s mandate and their threats to bury Hobby Lobby with $1.3 million per day Read more…
The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Irving Wednesday night.
The quake hit at 10:16 pm., with the epicenter in Irving just south of the intersection of the Bush Turnpike and Highway 114 and 3.5 miles east of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The USGS said it measured the quake at a depth of 10 miles.
In the minutes following the tremor, WFAA’s Facebook page received more than 250 comments — most of which were from people who said they felt the earth unexpectedly shaking.
“I’m in Irving off 161 and Rochelle,” wrote John Hendry. “Felt a boom and house shook; no apparent damage.”
“It freaked me out!” wrote Tonya Taylor Paris from Euless near D/FW International Airport. “My whole house rattled and crackled after it happened. My front large window rattled really loud.”
“We all thought our chairs were moving due to a plane,” said Lisa Olivero Riccetti, who was at D/FW.
“It felt like a bus ran into the building,” wrote Martin Ross at Belt Line Road and Walnut Hill Lane in Irving.
“This is the third time this has happened since I lived in these apartments,” said Veronica Rodroguez-Harris in Irving.
Last September, multiple earthquakes measuring 3.4 and 3.1 magnitude shook the same general area
Before you know it all driver licenses, public work badges, bus passes, etc. will be tracked/ traced. The Mark of the Beast is coming folks! It is a matter of time before everything is consolidated…
A federal judge in Texas ruled Tuesday that a San Antonio high school was permitted to expel or transfer a student if she refused to wear the school’s mandated identification badges.
Last year Northside Independent School District began issuing school IDs embedded with RFID chips, which monitor students’ movements from when they arrive at school until when they leave. One student, 15-year-old Andrea Hernandez was suspended when she refused to wear the ID badge on (albeit slightly loopy) religious grounds — her parents believed the RFID chip to be “the Mark of the Beast.”
Hernandez sued the school district, who tried to accommodate the girl and her family by saying they would remove the RFID chip from her badge, but that she would still need to wear the badge itself. Wired explained that Hernandez family continued to take issue:
The girl’s father, Steven, wrote the school district explaining why Read more…
The chances that a 15-inch rainfall might hit Central Texas in any given year have long been about 1-in-1,000. But with the warming of air that scientists expect over the century, some predict those chances might jump to 1-in-50.Kerry Emanuel, a prominent Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor, will lecture on the topic in Austin on Tuesday. The talk, titled “Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico: The History and Future of the Texas Coast,” is free and open to the public, part of the University of Texas’ Hot Science-Cool Talks series.
“We expect hurricane-related rainfall is going to get worse over next 100 years,” Emanuel said in an interview.
While that news might seem welcome in drought-stricken Central Texas — especially since moister, hurricane rain-saturated soils are likely to Read more…
Tornado season is only just beginning, but already this year has seen dozens of destructive twisters from Illinois to Texas, where up to 18 might have touched town on Tuesday alone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The numbers show just how unusual: March saw 223 twisters, up from an average of 80 from 1991-2010, according to the National Weather Service. February saw 63, compared to an average of 29; and January saw 97, compared to an average of 35.
So what’s behind the outbreak?
“We’ve had record heat,” weather.com meteorologist Greg Forbes told TODAY, and “that warmth is a big ingredient that provides the instability for the storms.”
Last year started off slowly but then saw a record 758 tornadoes in April 2011, noted Roker. ”Hopefully we’re not on track for that this year.”
U.S. forecasters have predicted a Read more…
By Karen Brooks
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A massive wildfire east of the Texas state capital of Austin has destroyed 476 homes since Sunday and is still burning out of control, state officials said on Monday.
“I’m still seeing no containment,” said April Saginor, public information officer for the Texas Forest Service, who confirmed that the Bastrop County Complex Fire has scorched more than 25,000 acres and burned 476 residences so far.
“That’s a record in Texas for a single fire,” she said of the homes destroyed.
The Bastrop fire is one of more than sixty fires which have kindled across Texas since Sunday afternoon, fueled by the gusty winds generated as Tropical Storm Lee pushed by Read more…
Winds fuel flare-ups in Palo Pinto County, across state
Strong north winds fueled wildfire flare-ups around Possum Kingdom Lake on Sunday and firefighters managed to contain most of them, but the rest of Texas wasn’t as lucky as thousands of acres and hundreds of homes burned in another day of the worst wildfire season in the state’s history.
A wildfire estimated to be 16 miles long near the Austin suburb of Bastrop charred about 14,000 acres Sunday, destroying or damaging an estimated 300 homes.
“It’s catastrophic,” Mark Stanford, fire chief of the Texas Forest Service, said Sunday. “It’s a major natural disaster.”
More than 40 new wildfires were reported to the Texas Forest Service on Sunday as strong winds, low humidity and very dry vegetation left firefighters scrambling to extinguish blazes throughout the state.
“We’re very stretched right now,” Tom Berglund of the Texas Forest Service said Sunday.
As of Sunday afternoon, firefighters Read more…
Midland is officially in the midst of the hottest summer on record.
With a high temperature of 100 degrees Friday, the record for 100-degree days in one year is now 53, breaking the old mark of 52 previously set in 1964. With triple-digit temperatures expected through the weekend, the hot conditions will continue into the first part of the school year.
Midland experienced 21 days of triple-digit temperatures in 2010.
“This has been an abnormal weather year,” Read more…
Turkey vultures drop in for a drink from one of the very few remaining watering sources on a private ranch that spans over 7,000 acres Saturday Aug. 6, 2011, near San Angelo, Texas. Randy Bolf, a fence contractor and rancher that leases the property for his cattle herd said that all of the rain and run-off watering tanks on the ranch that straddles Tom Green and Coke county have dried up and area wildlife and his cattle rely on the artificial watering sources he maintains on the property. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
(AP) — In a muddy pile of sand where a pond once flowed in the Texas Panhandle, dead fish, their flesh already decayed and feasted on by maggots, lie with their mouths open. Nearby, deer munch on the equivalent of vegetative junk food and wild turkeys nibble on red harvester ants – certainly not their first choice for lunch.
As the state struggles with the worst one-year drought in its history, entire ecosystems, from the smallest insects to the largest predators, are struggling for survival. The foundations of their habitats – rivers, springs, creeks, streams and lakes – have turned into dry sand, wet mud, trickling springs or, in the best case, large puddles.
“It has a compound effect on a multitude of species and organisms and habitat types because of the way that it’s chained and linked together,” said Jeff Bonner, a wildlife biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Since January, Texas has only gotten about 6 inches of rain, compared to Read more…
Second aerial drone is coming to Corpus Christi.
By Gary Martin
WASHINGTON — A second unmanned aerial vehicle soon will be based at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, providing surveillance of the Gulf Coast and the U.S.-Mexico border above Texas, officials said Wednesday.
A third Predator drone maintained in Arizona is used to monitor Texas border areas over the Big Bend region and El Paso.
Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Kostelnik, who heads the U.S. Customs and Border Protection UAV program, told a House Homeland Security subcommittee the new drone would provide additional surveillance, and “on any given day there could be three or more (unmanned) aircraft in Texas.”
“Technology is part of Read more…