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Leading Off (12/1/21)

Texas Railroad Commission narrows weatherization loophole, Televangelist among new COVID-19 deaths, and a former TV anchor goes public with priest sex abuse allegations
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Leading Off (12/1/21)

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Texas Railroad Commission Narrows Weatherization Loophole. After the Railroad Commission was lambasted by a Senate committee in September for a rule that allowed electricity producers to opt out of weatherization mandates by paying a measly $150 for a waiver, the commission changed the rule so that some large electricity producers are unable to avoid weatherization improvements and any company that pays for a waiver may have its application rejected by the commission.

Dallas County Reports 14 New COVID Deaths in 5-Day Totals. The two-week average of daily new cases continues to fall. Fifty-eight percent of county residents 5 and older are fully vaccinated.

Televangelist and Daystar founder Marcus Lamb, 64, Dies After Contracting COVID. Lamb died Tuesday after reportedly battling COVID-19, which family members called a “spiritual attack from the enemy.” Lamb’s cause of death has not been released, but the televangelist, who started Daystar in Bedford in 1997 and grew it into an international powerhouse that broadcast to 71 countries, had hosted COVID-19 vaccine skeptics on the Christian TV network and promoted alternative treatments for the disease. On Twitter, Ben Marsh, a pastor at the First Alliance Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., blamed Daystar’s worldwide reach for spreading “rampant COVID denialism and slow uptake of vaccines.”

Former TV Anchor Brendan Higgins Joins Jesuit Priest Sex Abuse Lawsuit. Higgins initially joined the suit, which was filed last year, anonymously, but he has decided to make his story public now that his two sons are adults. He tells the Dallas Morning News that the late Rev. Patrick Koch, a Jesuit teacher and family friend, sexually abused him when Higgins was a junior at the school. He hopes that by making his story public more sexual abuse survivors will come forward. “I feel anger. And I don’t have enough respect for the Jesuits to feel betrayal,” Higgins told the DMN. “I just feel like they’re criminals.”

Family of 9-Year-Old Killed at Astroworld Rejects Travis Scott’s Offer to Pay for Funeral. Ezra Blount’s family laid the 9-year-old to rest in Dallas on November 23 after he was trampled and killed during Travis Scott’s performance earlier that month. After receiving the offer from Scott to pay for the funeral expenses, a lawyer representing the family said in a letter: “This isn’t a photo-op story here. This is a ‘who’s responsible and why’ type of investigation. And he’s on the short list.”

Three Shootings and Two Deaths in Dallas Overnight. Stay safe out there.

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