Local News

Leading Off (7/21/21)

The new COVID surge, Texas Dems infect White House aide, and the Dallas mayor wants to hire more cops.

COVID Surge Continues. Dallas County reported 870 new cases and 5 new COVID-19 deaths, and the 14-day new case average is the highest it has been since last April. That has county health officials considering raising the threat level from yellow back to orange. DFW schools were hoping to return to some kind of normalcy this fall, but the recent surge raises new concerns.

Texas Dems in D.C. May Have Infected White House Aide. Six of the Democratic state legislators who have fled to Washington, D.C., during a dispute with Republicans over voting rights legislation have tested positive for COVID-19, and they are believed to be responsible for infecting an aide of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as a White House aide. Both the Texas Dems and the aides were fully vaccinated and are experiencing only mild symptoms, but the infections throw the Texas Democrats’ hopes of a meeting with President Joe Biden into question.

Meanwhile Back in Austin. Texas GOP leaders are still questioning the 2020 election results, and they filed legislation calling for a forensic audit of the results from large Texas counties, like Dallas. The legislation will not pass without Democratic members present at the special session.

Dallas Mayor Wants More Cops. Mayor Eric Johnson sent a memo to City Manager T.C. Broadnax that lays out his priorities heading into the next budget season. Johnson would like to double the number of new police officers the city is currently looking to hire and raise pay for 911 call center employees and sanitation workers. He would also like to see more money for basic services like streets and sidewalks. Alex has the details.

Family of Man Who Died in Gas Explosion Sues Atmos Energy. Last month, Deric Tarver, 35, and Ethan Knight, 22, were killed in an explosion at an Atmos facility east of McKinney, where they both worked. Tarver’s family has filed a suit seeking $250 million from Atmos Energy and Bobcat Contracting, alleging the explosion was the result of negligence. The suit comes as Plano fire investigators determined that a gas leak was the cause of a Plano house explosion Monday that hospitalized six people.

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