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Hundreds Of Houston Airport Workers Will Get A Raise, Update On Imelda Recovery, And UT Professor Wins Nobel Prize For Lithium Battery

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Hundreds Of Houston Airport Workers Will Get Raise

Hundreds of workers at Houston’s three airports will get a raise under an executive order Mayor Sylvester Turner signed Wednesday. The executive order requires airlines and concession businesses that enter future contracts with the City of Houston to pay their airport employees a minimum hourly wage of $10.39 in 2019, $11.22 in 2020, and $12 in 2021 and 2022.

The policy will also apply to workers who are subcontracted by airlines and concession businesses like restaurants and souvenir shops.

Turner said he has met with airport workers who have told him that many can’t make ends meet. Members of the unions SEIU Texas and Unite Here have asked the mayor and city council to approve a raise over the past few months.

SEIU Texas President Elsa Caballero said the raise is a first step and thanked Turner, but added her union will continue to work toward a $15 hourly wage.

A man takes down a tent as heavy rains from Tropical Depression Imelda flooded Galveston on Sept. 18, 2019.

Update On Imelda Recovery Resources

Texans impacted by Tropical Storm Imelda can now apply for federal aid through FEMA. Imelda was one of the wettest tropical cyclones in U.S. history, according to the National Weather Service, and five deaths have been attributed to the storm.

On Oct. 4, President Donald Trump granted a federal disaster declaration to six Texas counties, including Harris County. FEMA then opened the application process for individual assistance. People can apply online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Additionally, the IRS is extending the deadline for individuals who had an extension to file their 2018 tax return. Originally, that deadline was Oct. 15 but the IRS has extended it to Jan. 31, 2020.

The Texas Workforce Commission is also accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from Imelda may be eligible for those benefits.

University of Texas Professor John Goodenough has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

UT Professor Wins Nobel Prize For Lithium Ion Battery

UT Austin Professor John Goodenough has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work toward creating the lithium-ion battery. These batteries have become an integral part of cell phones, laptops and even electric cars.

Goodenough shares the Nobel — and its 9 million kronor (or $981,000) in prize money — with his co-creators, M. Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University in New York and Akira Yoshino of the Asahi Kasei Corporation in Tokyo.

In an interview with KUT’s Mose Buchele in 2017, Goodenough said he hopes his work helps power a “big revolution” that will reduce the world’s dependence on carbon-emitting technology.

At 97 years old, Goodenough is the oldest-ever Nobel laureate. In a statement from UT Austin announcing his award, Goodenough said he was honored and humbled to win the prize after a long career.

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