Capital Highlights — Abbott halts border truck inspections

Gov. Greg Abbott has halted offensive inspections of state trucks across all Texas border crossings after days of bipartisan criticism of widespread delays in entering the United States.

According to the San Antonio Express-News and other media, for more than a week Abbott had troops from the Texas Department of Public Safety stop all commercial trucks passing through Texas ports for security inspections, leading to a wait until and eight hours. Normally it takes less than 30 minutes for trucks to cross the border.

Abbott announced Friday that inspections would end after he signed agreements with the governors of the four Mexican states bordering Texas to provide better security in a bid to curb illegal immigration to Texas. He was criticized by the Texas Truck Association and other Republicans, including Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

“I understand the concern that companies have about trying to move goods across the bridge, but I also know the outrage that Texans are facing because Joe Biden is not protecting the border,” Abbott said Friday.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who faces the governor in November, criticized Abbott, calling the inspections a “publicity stunt.”

“This was completely unnecessary and did absolutely nothing to improve the safety and security of El Paso, Laredo, Farr or any of our border communities in the state of Texas or the United States,” he said. Ρουρκ.

Meanwhile, at least five immigrant buses were sent to Washington, DC on Abbott’s orders. These migrants had already been processed and released by the Ministry of Internal Security and volunteered to make the trip to the country’s capital.

Drought conditions cover most of the state

A drier and cooler March for much of the state has extended drought conditions, which now cover 88% of the state, according to Dr. Mark Wentzel, a hydrologist at the Texas Water Development Council. Drought is most severe in Panhandle, the High Plains and South Texas. Few counties have escaped the harsh conditions.

The drought is expected to expand and intensify in the coming months, according to the latest seasonal drought prospects from the National Meteorological Service. A Pacific Weather Cycle called La Niña predicts drought for almost the entire state by the end of June, according to Wentzel.

The agency warns of fraudulent internet banks

Consumers should be aware of a fraudulent website that claims to offer online banking. The site claims to be owned by Palm Springs Bank or PalmSpring Bank, according to the Texas Department of Banking. The fake bank website does not indicate a physical address, but lists a mailbox in Fort Worth as the mailing address.

“The site is not affiliated with any known bank. “No bank operating under the name Palm Springs Bank or PalmSpring Bank has been authorized to provide banking services in Texas, nor has any bank under any name supervised by the Department, the FDIC or the Federal Reserve,” the press release said.

Anyone with information about the alleged bank or its website should contact the Department’s Consumer Service Activities at customer.complaints@dob.texas.gov or call 877-276-5554.

The first case of the West Nile of the year was reported

A Dallas resident has been diagnosed with West Nile virus – the first reported case of the year, according to the Texas Department of Health.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes. About 20% of people exposed develop symptoms such as headache, fever, muscle and joint pain. In rare cases, less than 1%, more severe symptoms may occur, including death.

DSHS officials recommend wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, applying insect repellent and removing stagnant water and “not giving mosquitoes a chance to bite”.

There were 112 cases of West Nile disease in Texas last year that resulted in 14 deaths.

Teachers’ salaries have remained unchanged over the last decade

The average salary of Texas public school teachers has not improved in the last decade, according to a new study called “The Lost Decade.”

The Houston Chronicle reported a new study by the non-profit policy institute Every Texan and the American Teachers Association of Texas. The study analyzed wage figures reported in the state from 2010 to 2020. It showed that, when adjusted for inflation, there was no overall pay rise and the average pay for new teachers fell slightly.

“With double-digit increases in housing and rental prices and general reductions or stagnation in teachers’ salaries, precariousness is becoming clear quickly, especially for those who teach in large urban areas,” the authors write. “If you can not afford a roof over your head, how can it be that you are looking for a way out of your demanding job?”

The fluctuation of COVID-19 cases continues in Texas

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Texas dropped significantly last week, with 11,361 reporting the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University, along with 98 deaths. The number of laboratory-confirmed hospitalizations for COVID-19 dropped once again, with 785 reported to the state.

The number of Texans who have been fully vaccinated since Sunday is 17.5 million, or 60% of the state’s population, with 6.635 million receiving a booster dose.

Gary Borders is a veteran Texas award-winning journalist. He has published a number of community newspapers in Texas over a period of 30 years, including Longview, Fort Stockton, Nacogdoches and Cedar Park. E-MAIL: gborders@texaspress.com.

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