TYLER, Texas — Bullard ISD was recently recognized as a registered First Responder Organization after the district earned a Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund 2023 Excellence Award. The FRO is a group association of certified medical services personnel that works in partnership with a licensed emergency medical provider to respond to medical emergencies until the ambulances arrive. view article arw

An apparent road rage incident devolved into a fight in front of an elementary school Thursday morning in Cibolo and landed a St. Hedwig man in jail, police said. Police were alerted to a man who was assaulted in the Watts Elementary School parking lot on Thursday morning, Cibolo Police Department spokesman Officer Matt Schima said. The suspect drove away before authorities arrived, Schmia said. The men reportedly fought in front of their children, he said. The suspect’s child was in the suspect’s truck and the victim’s child was nearby outside their vehicle, Schima said. “We believe both observed,” he said. view article arw

As the state’s wildfire season continues, rural fire departments and their volunteers are strained to keep up with hundreds of fires.  The first thing Wil Kitchenges saw when he reached Huntsville was a plume of smoke drifting across Interstate 45.  The 46-year-old field operations chief was part of a team of first responders from the Florida Forest Service, called upon to help manage a rapidly spreading forest fire in Walker County, about 75 miles north of Houston.  Kitchenges, who has 25 years of disaster management experience in Florida, knew immediately that this wildfire was major.  “Your brain starts to gather that, OK, the fire activity is obviously extreme,” Kitchenges said. view article arw

No injuries were reported in a crash involving a train and a United ISD school bus, according to Union Pacific.  The incident occurred at about 6:50 a.m. Monday near the intersection of West Calton Road and Santa Maria Avenue.  Two school-aged children were sitting at the front of the bus near the driver when the collision occurred, a Union Pacific spokesman said in a statement.  “Neither the train crew nor the three people on the school bus were injured,” the statement reads. view article arw

This summer, industrial scale batteries have helped boost the energy supply during critical evening hours. Battery storage represents a small fraction of Texas’ energy mix now, but it’s expected to rise sharply in coming years.  On Wednesday night, minutes before the state’s grid operator went into emergency mode to make sure it would have enough power to meet high demand during another triple-digit day, batteries provided more electricity to Texas homes and businesses than ever before. A small but growing number of batteries sent 2,172 megawatts to the grid on that critical evening — just under 3% of the overall supply. One megawatt can power about 200 homes when demand is high, so batteries dispatched enough electricity to power roughly 434,000 homes at that moment. “Energy storage is increasingly a part of making ends meet from a supply point of view,” said Andy Bowman, CEO of Jupiter Power, a company that operates more than 400 megawatts worth of batteries in West Texas. Some batteries are built to charge directly from wind or solar farms, but increasingly, stand-alone storage is being built to charge from any power source on the grid. The rows of utility-scale batteries vary from about the size of schoolhouse lockers to as large as shipping containers. Most batteries charge up when electricity is cheapest, such as early in the morning, and typically discharge for one to two hours in the evening before they need to recharge again. view article arw

A contractor died after he fell through the roof of the Seguin ISD administrative offices building Wednesday afternoon. The incident was reported about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday at district offices, 1221 E. Kingsbury St. in Seguin, Seguin Battalion Chief Tom Teboe said. view article arw

The Van Police Department said that on Saturday they arrested two people who are accused of vandalism and theft at Van ISD property. Van PD said officers were responding to a report of theft and vandalism at a Van ISD property when they said they saw two suspects leaving the area in a reportedly stolen UTV. According to Van PD, the two suspects left the UTV and went into the woods north of Virginia Street and west of the Van Memorial Stadium. view article arw

"The Monroe Police Department was notified and will be handling the criminal case," the SCSO said. SMITH COUNTY, Texas — Officials are investigating after a 14-year-old allegedly stole a school bus out of Louisiana Thursday morning and was pulled over in Smith County. According to the Smith County Sheriff's Office, around 10:45 a.m., two Smith County investigators were traveling west on I-20 near Lindale when they saw a yellow school bus driving erratically and weaving across traffic. view article arw

North Texas got a short breather from a summer so blistering that people stayed home from the North Texas Fair and Rodeo. Sure, temperatures last week were still eye-popping, with days reaching 98 degrees, but after weeks of peak temperatures over 105 degrees, local parks and neighborhoods saw people coming out of their homes and apartments — especially in the mornings and as the sun set. But excessive heat warnings are back this week, with Thursday predicted to reach 106 and Friday getting up to 107 degrees. With those boiling temperatures expected, school officials are continuing practices to keep students and staffers safe. view article arw

Due to low reserves and a drop in frequency, ERCOT entered directly into EEA 2. To protect the stability of the electric system, ERCOT has access to additional reserve sources only available during emergency conditions," said Pablo Vegas, ERCOT President and CEO. "High demand, lower wind generation, and the declining solar generation during sunset led to lower operating reserves on the grid and eventually contributed to lower frequency, which precipitated the emergency level 2 declaration." The council never needed to use controlled outages, simply deploying additional resources. ERCOT continues to ask everyone to reduce their electric use. The Conservation Appeal is in effect until 9 p.m. view article arw

Only HISD buildings without sprinkler systems will be exempt from Superintendent Mike Miles’ open-door policy as of now. Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles is scaling back a controversial policy that required most teachers to keep their classroom doors open during the school day in response to concerns about fire safety from the Houston Fire Department.  Classroom doors in older buildings with no sprinkler system will remain closed for now to comply with fire safety requirements, according to Miles, who said roughly 20% of the buildings in the district lack sprinklers.  “This is about fire safety, and in that case, we want to be as safe as possible,” Miles said. “So if we don’t have a sprinkler system in the building, we will keep the doors closed until we can figure out how to magnetize or have fire-rated doors. … We’ll figure that out, but right now, safety is the No. 1 priority, so we’re going to do that.” view article arw

The state’s power grid operator triggered its emergency operations on Wednesday evening, allowing it to call on all available power generation to stay ahead of demand — and bringing it closer than it's been all summer to a worst-case scenario of ordering rotating power outages. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas got through the tight stretch without having to call for power cuts to customers in order to prevent the grid from being severely damaged. ERCOT triggered its second of three levels of emergency operations at 7:25 p.m. It lifted emergency conditions 77 minutes later, when plenty of surplus power was again flowing to the grid to meet demand. Intense heat this summer has tested grid operators, repeatedly forcing them to turn to backup tools to keep operations running smoothly. ERCOT asked Texans to conserve energy 10 times this summer because of the high demand for power. On Wednesday, wind power was also forecast to be low. view article arw

Lily Falconer, Hebron High School senior and Lewisville resident, founded Cozy Crates to provide comfort and solace to children who have been victims of natural disasters. Falconer's journey in the nonprofit sector began after she faced the challenges brought about by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Fueled by her own experiences, Falconer was determined to ease the burdens of other children undergoing similar hardships. This led her to found Cozy Crates. “I am excited to begin the second year of Cozy Crates,” Falconer said. “With the help of many volunteers, we have prepared 150 Cozy Crates boxes that we hope to deliver to affected children. Each of these boxes is filled with items that are designed to comfort children, provide a sense of normalcy and ownership and promote resilience.” view article arw

The water in these four unincorporated communities near Lubbock has been undrinkable for years, residents say. They hope to win $3 million in state grants to improve their systems.  During a community meeting in July, residents of four unincorporated communities south of the Texas Panhandle held mason jars filled with brown, cloudy water — visual evidence of the water quality issues that have for decades plagued the more than 300 residents of these rural West Texas communities.  Situated in the outskirts of Lubbock and Shallowater, residents of the four developments have received regular notices of water quality violations from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, the state’s environmental agency. Elevated levels of fluoride, arsenic, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals have made the water undrinkable for nearly two decades, according to TCEQ records, leaving residents to rely on bottled water. view article arw

In the final hours before Hurricane Idalia struck Florida, experts say its eye experienced a phenomenon that kept it from further intensifying.   In the final hours before Hurricane Idalia struck Florida the storm had grown into a Category 4 beast lurking off the state’s west coast, and the forecast called for it to continue intensifying up until landfall.  An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft had recorded winds up to 130 mph (215 kph), the National Hurricane Center said in an ominous bulletin at 6 a.m. Wednesday. As the sun rose an hour later, however, there was evidence the hurricane began replacing the wall around its eye — a phenomenon that experts say kept it from further intensifying. Maximum winds had dropped to near 125 mph (205 kph), the Hurricane Center said in a 7 a.m. update. Then came another surprising twist: A last-minute turn sparing the state’s capital city of Tallahassee from far more serious damage.“Eyewall replacement cycles are common in major hurricanes, and so when you see that, it does lead to some temporary weakening,” said Kelly Godsey, one of the meteorologists tracking the storm at the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, where his colleagues slept inside the weather office so they could be at work in case the city was devastated. view article arw

PERRY, Fla. – Hurricane Idalia tore into Florida with winds howling at the speed of a fast-moving train Wednesday, splitting trees in half, ripping roofs off hotels and turning small cars into boats before sweeping into Georgia as a still-powerful storm that flooded roadways and sent residents running for higher ground. “All hell broke loose,” said Belond Thomas of Perry, a mill town located just inland from the Big Bend region where Idalia came ashore. Thomas fled with her family and some friends to a motel, thinking it would be safer than riding out the storm at home. But as Idalia’s eye passed over about 8:30 a.m., a loud whistling noise pierced the air and the high winds ripped view article arw

EDUCATION Power Outages Left Areas of a Spring ISD Campus Without Electricity For Most of The Day FAITH BUGENHAGEN AUGUST 28, 2023 5:15PM Westfield High School experienced off-and-on power outages most of the morning and early afternoon. Westfield High School experienced off-and-on power outages most of the morning and early afternoon. Screenshot On Monday, the school day was interrupted for many Spring ISD students attending Westfield High School as the campus had intermittent power outages throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. The district notified parents around 11:30 a.m., asking them to pick up their children, and told those who could not that they were communicating with transportation services to see if it could operate earlier bus routes. Crew from CenterPoint Energy worked to restore the outages while parts of the campus operated on generator power. However, the generator’s capacity could not provide energy for all affected areas. view article arw

The revision further explains definitions of what is deemed inappropriate in books. It also clarifies materials available with parental consent. view article arw

A Virginia father was arrested after allegedly using a metal water bottle to attack his son’s youth soccer coach during a game over the weekend. Blerand Hxoha, 45, was charged with malicious wounding after allegedly striking the coach's face multiple times during the soccer match at George Hellwig Memorial Park in the city of Manassas on Saturday, leaving the coach with a black eye and swollen face, FOX 5 DC reported. Hoxha is being held in jail without bail. Coach Vince Villanueva said he is unsure why Hxoha attacked him, but recalled that the team was losing pretty badly when he was knocked out. "The father went over to talk to the son and then when I went to get him and put him back in the game, I said 'Are you okay?' And he said, ‘No he’s not,' and he said, 'Coach can I talk to you?' And then everything went downhill from there," Villanueva told FOX 5. view article arw

MIAMI -- Idalia became a hurricane on Tuesday as it intensified on a path toward Florida's Gulf coast, with the National Hurricane Center warning of an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds in Florida in the next two days. Heavy rainfall in western Cuba could produce flooding and landslides, forecasters said, and hurricane-force winds were expected later Monday. view article arw

Practicing in the summer heat is nothing new for Texas high school football teams. But even by the state's scorching standards, this month has seen a torrid run of hot temperatures. Football teams have been practicing as early as July 31—between then and the opening night of the regular season on Thursday, temperatures in Dallas have hit a high of at least 103 degrees on 22 of 25 days, according to the National Weather Service. That includes a recent stretch between Aug. 17-20 with highs of either 108 or 109 degrees. "It’s always hot in August when we start and we always have to adjust a little bit due to our district’s heat policy," said Kody Groves, Mesquite ISD athletic director. "However, it does seem to have been a little abnormal due to the amount of consecutive days over 100 without some relief from rain or a cold front." School districts have had to adapt, so much so that the majority of opening-week football games around the area had their start times delayed by anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. view article arw

The extreme heat facing Texas is straining the power grid and ERCOT might need to initiate emergency conditions that could result in rolling blackouts across the state. If ERCOT declares emergency conditions, there are three levels before a rolling blackout might occur. At level one of the emergency conditions, conservation is requested. At level two, ERCOT advised creating a plan in case rolling blackouts occur, which would only happen at level three. At level three, ERCOT's website advises that “health and safety should be made a priority by using city or county instructions and resources.” view article arw

Students will stay home Monday as repairs continue to the air conditioning system at Plano West High School. Plano ISD said in a statement to families weekend HVAC repairs improved some areas, but the overall system “is not fully functional." The school for more than 2700 juniors and seniors did not hold class on Friday either. Christina Richards told NBC 5 that her 11th-grade student shared how uncomfortable classrooms were earlier in the week. “He said his face was dripping with sweat in one of his classes, so I was concerned,” Richards said. Those concerns extend across North Texas school districts holding classes during record-setting August heat. And the discomfort starts well before students enter warm buildings. view article arw

WINONA, Texas (KETK) – Winona Elementary will be closed on Monday due to flooding in some areas from overnight rain. The district said all other campuses will remain open, and elementary staff will report to work at their normal time. Classes at Winona Elementary are expected to resume Tuesday. view article arw

The following is a list of current outages: view article arw

Thanks to statewide conservation efforts, Texas was able to avoid rotating outages Thursday, when energy demands were projected to exceed supply. After hours of waiting to see if the Texas Electric Reliability Council of Texas would call for local brownouts, ERCOT said in an 8:35 p.m. tweet that its energy conservation request, first issued at noon, would end at 10 p.m. statewide. ERCOT’s voluntary conservation notice was its third issued in seven days, and its fourth this summer. view article arw

Be Aware!

August 2505:13 AM

ERCOT forecasts tight grid conditions, San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg warns of possible rolling blackouts this evening - Meantime, ERCOT expects extremely tight conditions this evening – tighter today than any other day this summer – ERCOT expects to be in emergency operations into the evening hours read more arw

All London Independent School District campuses were closed Wednesday after damages caused by Tropical Storm Harold. The district called restoration crews in early to start repairs on the damages. "We started seeing factors of electricity going out, fluctuating and then permanently going out in some buildings. We have four campuses so they were each experiencing different things going on," London ISD Superintendent Judi Whitis said. view article arw

After more than six years, a court date has been set for a former Franklin Independent School District (FISD) employee accused of engaging in theft and tampering with evidence. According to court records, Joe Squiers, the former Director of Technology at FISD, faces allegations of taking school equipment, specifically two projectors and a number of related accessories valued at thousands of dollars. Additionally, it is alleged that he fabricated an invoice with the intent to manipulate the investigation’s outcome. view article arw

Historically, anti-drug messaging in schools has failed to acknowledge the mental health reasons that youth self-medicate. Without that key lesson, advocates worry House Bill 3908 will be another D.A.R.E. campaign.  More than 40 years after former First Lady Nancy Reagan launched her famous “Just Say No” advertising campaign, Texas and the rest of the nation are once again trying to combat youth drug use through public school awareness programs.  The Drug Abuse Resistance Education initiative — commonly known as D.A.R.E. — was introduced to schools in the early 1980s. It was designed to equip elementary and high school students with the skills to avoid drugs by standing up to peer pressure, but the program began to fade out of school districts across the country by the middle of the 2000s due to lack of results. This hasn’t stopped other anti-drug programs from taking its place over the years as the country constantly scrambles to figure out how to solve the problem of youth drug abuse. view article arw

Harold will impact Houston and Southeast Texas in multiple ways. First, along the coast, there is a high rip current risk from Galveston westward and southward down the coast. Winds will be breezy in Southeast Texas with gusts between 20 and 30 mph. The wind, combined with drier air north of Houston, is making for a fire weather warning (red flag warning). view article arw

Houston-based Intuitive Machines plans to become the first private company to land on the surface of the Moon this fall. The Texas company recently announced that its three-meter-tall lunar lander, dubbed Nova-C, will be ready for launch in November. On Aug.13, Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus confirmed that the company secured a six-day launch window starting on Nov. 15 for its IM-1 mission. "Our lunar lander is complete and will be prepared for delivery in September," view article arw

Six children and two teachers are dangling nearly 1,000 feet in the air in Pakistan after a cable connected to the gondola they are traveling in snapped, reports say. An "extremely risky" helicopter rescue mission is now unfolding Tuesday to save those stuck in a mountainous area in Battagram, located about 125 miles north of the capital of Islamabad, officials told Reuters. An image posted by Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed a black object suspended high above a ravine. The children and teachers reportedly were taking the gondola to get to school Tuesday. view article arw

TRENTON, Texas - Some students in Trenton, in Fannin County, are headed into their first day back on campus after their school burned down last year. Trenton Elementary School, the district’s only elementary school, burned to the ground in April. Smoke also damaged the middle school nearby. view article arw

A Texas mother is furious after her 5-year-old son was dropped off at the wrong bus stop and left wandering around a neighborhood for 45 minutes alone on Wednesday, August 16 – the first day of school – according to a report from KHOU 11. The mother, Nadine Penn, told the station she "panicked" after her son didn't show up at his bus stop. view article arw