Monday, April 22, 2024

The Roundup

Article Icon 1 Russian Group Behind Texas Water Hack

More information has emerged regarding the January cyber attacks on water utilities in Panhandle towns. Federal reports confirm that a Russian hacker group called CyberArmyofRussia_Reborn hacked the water systems of Muleshoe, Lockney, and Hale Center.

After defending against thousands of hacking attempts, local leaders “unplugged” their water programs and began manual operations

City managers for Lockney and Hale Center acknowledged the risk intrusions like this can pose for communities, but they also said the attacks were of a nuisance than a critical problem. Federal authorities are continuing to investigate the matter.

Article Icon 1 Judge Rules in Favor of Harris County

A Texas judge has ruled in favor of Harris County’s ‘guaranteed income program’ managed by the nonprofit Uplift Harris, which will begin giving $500 per month to households at the end of April.

This comes after state Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the county’s program, citing it violates the Texas Constitution by providing public funds to a lucky few instead of all county residents.

Judge Ursula Hall argued the program was passed in other Texas cities, like Austin, and found no reason to block its implementation. The AG’s office is not expected to appeal.

Article Icon 1 Abbott Tackles Healthcare Employment

Governor Greg Abbott has created a new state task force to tackle the ongoing shortage of healthcare workers.

Executives within the Texas Nurses Association confirm the staffing crisis, citing the state’s need for 44,000 additional nurses to meet medical demands and certified instructors to teach new nurses.

State officials plan to improve college recruiting programs to address the issue. Austin’s Concordia University has already made headway, with 300 nursing students expected to graduate this week.

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Your privacy and financial freedom were attacked last year when the government launched their Digital Dollar program — and became one step closer to obtaining total control of your savings. Here’s what a digital dollar can mean to you:

  • Cash is over — Everything will need to be bought and sold electronically.
  • Privacy is over —  All transactions will go through the government. They would know exactly how much you spend and on what.
  • Freedom is over — If you support the wrong cause, you can be penalized, or simply lose all your funds with the click of a button.
  • Retirement funds are over — They could force you to spend your savings to pump up the economy by applying negative interest rates.

Learn how to protect your freedom and your finances. Get your FREE copy of this Digital Dollar guide.

Around Texas

➤ Dallas: A city jury has awarded a Fort Worth man over $1 million in lost wages and benefits for being wrongfully terminated from his city employment. The former Assistant Director of IT services for Fort Worth argued he was fired for exposing alleged corruption within city leadership. (Watch the Coverage)

➤ Houston: Police Chief Troy Finner recently provided an update on the city’s thousands of unreviewed criminal cases. 4,017 sex crime cases have now been reviewed, and 3,462 have been cleared “mostly due to no additional leads.” (Details)

 Austin: City police officers have begun learning how to draw blood from suspected DWI individuals, which Emergency Medical Services traditionally do. The pilot program is to address the ongoing staffing shortage of EMS personnel. (Video)

➤ State officials have discovered a parasitic disease, ‘trichomonas gallinae,’ that’s killing doves and pigeons in Texas. While it doesn’t impact humans, it can affect the digestion and breathing of all birds. Experts urge residents to clean their bird feeders and baths to prevent further spread. (Learn More)

➤ Pittsburg: School district officials are gearing up for a vote on a $93.8 million two-part bond package. The first proposition would be for a $74.4 million new high school, and the second is expected to add $19.4 million of improvements to their junior high school. Early voting begins today and is set to last until April 30. (Video)

Texas Sports

➤ The Houston Texans released a new logo for their helmets and immediately received negative feedback from social media, with many comparing the “H” logo to that of a high school or UFL team. (See the Design)

➤ The NBA playoffs began with a 97-109 loss for the Dallas Mavericks. Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic pushed hard in the third quarter against the Clippers, but they couldn’t overcome James Harden’s 28-point performance. Game two is scheduled for April 23 at 9 pm CT. (Get the Stats)

➤ America’s Sweethearts are set to get their own Netflix series. The episodic documentary is geared to be an accurate portrayal of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ day-to-day life in the 2023-2024 season. The docuseries is expected to be released this summer. (Watch the Trailer)

The Business Of Texas

➤ Austin-based Tesla has begun recalling over 3500 Cybertrucks for faulty accelerator pedals. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, pedal pads have reportedly come loose and become trapped by the interior trim. (Get the Details)

➤ Waco: Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Hotel 1928 has garnered national acclaim after being ranked in Travel + Leisure’s ‘Top 100 Best New Hotels’. The magazine chose this lodging because of its commitment to Texas history and culture. (Learn More)

➤ Dallas: The engineering company Jacobs was recently awarded a $1.5 billion contract to provide IT services for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence. The Texas firm is expected to assist the agency’s cyber warfare component until November 2027. (See the Details)

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Your freedom is under attack:

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Et Cetera

➤ Dallas: The original ‘USS Enterprise’ model of the 1960’s Star Trek series has been returned to Gene Roddenberry’s son after it went missing in the 1970s. Once Heritage Auctions acquired the model from an eBay seller, they immediately contacted Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry for its safe return. (See the Model)

➤ McKinney: A local USPS carrier received national commendation through the ‘Postmaster General Heroes Program’ for assisting police in locating $10K that was blowing along the North Central Expressway. The cash belonged to a Vietnam veteran who was involved in a car crash earlier that day. (Video)

➤ Fort Worth police welcomed Yellowstone actor Cole Hauser into their ranks as an Honorary Police Officer. Hauser was recognized for his continued support of first responders and servicemembers through the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. (See the Photos)

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The Polling Station

Have you ever camped along a Texas beach?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Other

Friday’s Results:

What’s the best way to experience a football game in Texas?

  1. Be in the stadium: 35.6%
  2. On the couch: 31.6%
  3. Tailgating: 13.2%
  4. In a sports bar: 10.2%
  5. Other: 9.4%
Texas Trivia

What Texas city was home to the state’s first skyscraper?

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