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Houston Firefighters Respond in Florida, Hurricane Michael Causes School Delays, Culbertson And Fletcher to Debate, And More

What we’re following this morning at Houston Public Media

Wednesday, September 10, 2018


Houston first responders head to Florida

Vehicles are loaded, fueled, and staged to deploy TX-TF1 to Florida in response to Hurricane Michael on October 8, 2018.

Seven Houston firefighters have been sent to Florida in preparation of Hurricane Michael. They are members of Texas Task Force 1, which has been activated by FEMA.

“Some of the Houston firefighters, in the last just year alone, they’ve gone to now Michael, Florence, Maria, Irma, and Harvey,” Texas Task Force 1 Training Manager Stephen Bjune told News 88.7. “As soon as landfall happens, we'll go in and start helping those local responders, those local communities that have been impacted by major Hurricane Michael.”

Bjune said 70 team members, ten support personnel, six boats, and four search dogs arrived in Florida Tuesday night, along with specialized equipment.


Hurricane Michael, while hitting Florida coast, causes school delays in Galveston

Hurricane Michael is causing some school delays along our Gulf Coast.

Galveston ISD says Crenshaw Elementary/Middle School on Bolivar Peninsula will delay classes until 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning due to unpredictable high tides.

News 88.7 confirmed with school officials that the high tides are connected to Hurricane Michael, which is heading towards the Florida Panhandle.

High Island ISD in Galveston also has a late start, at 10:00 a.m. as well.


Culberson and Fletcher to debate

As the 2018 midterm elections near, Representative John Culberson and democratic challenger Lizzie Pannill Fletcher have announced a debate.

The two will square off at 6:00 p.m. Monday, October 15th on the University of Houston campus.


Will Latinos turn out for the midterms?

With less than a month left before midterm elections, many experts say immigration issues will energize the Latino vote, but that doesn't mean Latino representation will be higher than in 2016 – that's because it's a midterm election.

Civic Engagement Expert Mindy Romero says though turnout is less in midterm years for all groups, Latinos are even less likely to vote.

"We do think this will probably be a better year for turnout, but it's still within that context,” Romero said. “We're not going to see numbers, certainly within the Latino community, that are on par with the presidential election."

A recent poll of Latino voters found 63% as saying voting in the 2018 election is more important than voting in 2016.


Texas gets funds for opioid battle

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has received $2.6 million in federal funds to expand the state's public health response to opioids over the next year.

The funds come through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will help local health departments and health care providers prevent overdose deaths and enhance the available data on opioid use in Texas, as well as expand the prescriber network for medication-assisted treatment.

According to DSHS, the funds will also improve the department's ability to track opioid-related illnesses and other conditions being seen in emergency rooms around Texas.


Election officials deny rejecting Prarie View voter registrations

After concerns spread Tuesday that some college students at Prairie View A&M had their voter registrations rejected, local election officials say that has not happened.

"We have absolutely not rejected one voter registration from the campus," said Waller County Elections Administrator Christy Eason.

The League of Women Voters of Texas, a voting advocacy group, said it had received unverified reports of local students' registrations being returned or denied.

Eason said in recent weeks there has been confusion about students who live on campus not having the correct address for their precinct listed on their registrations, but she said the county had not mailed students notices about the issue.


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