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City of Charlottesville shrouds Confederate statues in memory of slain protester

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By David Rind

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The city of Charlottesville covered two Confederate statues with giant black veils on Wednesday in remembrance of 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer, who was killed at a rally of white nationalists and neo-Nazis earlier this month.

The Charlottesville city council voted unanimously to cover the statues in a contentious meeting on Monday at which angry protesters expressed outrage over the deadly violence that broke out at the Aug. 12 rally. Violence at the rally resulted in one death and over a dozen people injured and has sparked an intense national debate about public symbols of the Confederacy.

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy said the council’s decision came after “listening to the community about their intense need to be heard as well as their desire to make amends.

“We want to be able to mourn as a city … We are truly in a state of mourning,” he said.

Bellamy said “there are some things that as a city we could have done differently” in response to the rally.

Workers in Charlottesville covered the statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park today that was the central focus of the Aug. 12 rally, where demonstrators gathered to protest the statue’s removal. A statue of Stonewall Jackson in another city park was also covered in a large black drape on Wednesday.

Heyer was killed when James Alex Fields Jr. smashed the car he was driving into a crowd of counter-protesters at the rally, according to police. Fields has been charged with second-degree murder.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

NWS Houston-Galveston Update on Tropics and Heavy Rain Potential in SE Texas.

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This update includes the latest information as of 7 am CDT on the area of disturbed weather formerly known as TS Harvey.  We are still tracking this tropical disturbance currently located over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, which is close to redeveloping into a tropical depression.

NHC gives it a near 100% chance of development over the next 48 hours as the disturbance continues to move to
Advisories will likely be re-initiated at 10 am CDT on this system. Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches could be required later today for portions of the coast of Texas.

This system is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of Texas.

WPC has placed the upper Texas coastline under a slight risk of excessive rainfall on Thursday, and a moderate risk of rainfall for Friday, as indicated in the attached WPC Excessive Rainfall Update.

Marine impacts will include high winds and large dangerous seas possible by Friday depending on the strength and track of the system.

Please continue to monitor future outlook updates from NHC.

Resources
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at the phone numbers listed in the Resources section above.
Nikki Hathaway & Josh Lichter
National Weather Service – Houston/Galveston, TX

Governor Abbott Announces Pei Wei Global Headquarters Is Relocating To Texas

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Pei Wei is moving its global headquarters to Irving, Texas from Arizona. Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Pei Wei is moving its global headquarters to Irving, Texas from Arizona. The company was founded by P.F. Chang’s in 2000 and currently has 225 locations and more than 6,000 employees around the world, including 65 locations and an estimated 2,500 employees in Texas. The project will involve a capital investment of more than $1.5 million and the creation of at least 100 jobs. This is the fifth headquarters relocation that Governor Abbott has secured with the help of the Texas Enterprise Fund—Texas’ deal closing fund.

“The Texas model of limited government, reduced regulations and low taxes continues to create a diverse economy that attracts businesses from a variety of industries,” said Governor Abbott. “Pei Wei is a welcome addition to the Lone Star State and I am confident that our robust economy and superior workforce will fuel their continued success and growth. As Governor, I will continue to promote policies that lead to more relocations by industry leaders.”

“We are very excited to relocate to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which is home to some of our most loyal guests and highest-performing restaurants,” said John “J.” Hedrick, Chief Executive Officer with Pei Wei. “We didn’t make this decision lightly. Scottsdale is an extraordinary city that has been our hometown since the brand’s inception in 2000. But our new leadership team felt that the timing was right to make this move, as we chart a new direction for the brand, its operations and our corporate culture.”

“We are very grateful to officials at the state and local level for their support, and in particular Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer and Beth Bowman, president/CEO of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, for their leadership throughout this process,” said Hedrick. “We chose North Texas for many reasons, including its business-friendly climate, strong transportation infrastructure and deep talent pool. We look forward to bringing many well-paying new jobs to the area in the months and years ahead.”

“On behalf of the City of Irving, we are excited to welcome Pei Wei’s headquarters operation to our community, further diversifying the region,” said Mayor Rick Stopfer. “I am certain, the company’s employees and executives will find Irving, Texas is one of the world’s premier business destinations with quality assets making the transition and integration seamless. I look forward to personally welcoming the company and its team.”

“Pei Wei’s headquarter operation represents the type of projects the Irving Economic Development Partnership is proactively working to bring to Irving, Texas,” said Beth Bowman, President & CEO of the Irving Economic Development Partnership and the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. “As Pei Wei continues to grow its international footprint there were several key location factors including a central location offering ease of travel around the globe, experienced industry talent, and amenities attractive to today’s workforce. Our community delivered on all fronts, and we look forward to welcoming Pei Wei home to Irving.”

Learn more information about Pei Wei.

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Source:: Office of the Governor

      

Fort Benning drill sergeants suspended pending sexual assault investigation

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By Suzie Liu

Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ga.) — An investigation into a sexual assault allegation at Fort Benning, Georgia, has revealed additional allegations of sexual misconduct between trainees and drill sergeants, the U.S. Army said Wednesday.

The Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, along with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, were investigating a recent charge of sexual assault by a female trainee against a drill sergeant when the other allegations were discovered, the center said in a press release Wednesday.

Now, the drill sergeants under review have been suspended pending the expanded investigation. The Army said they will have no contact with trainees while the investigation is carried out.

Counseling, legal and medical services have been provided to trainees involved in the allegations of sexual misconduct, according to the Army.

“There is no place for sexual harassment or sexual assault in our Army,” the Maneuver Center for Excellence said in the release. “Our Army remains committed to maintaining a values-based climate, intolerant of these acts, and to respond appropriately when accusations are made.”

“While the investigation continues, our primary objective is the well-being of all of our soldiers,” the release added.

The Maneuver Center for Excellence at Fort Benning includes the Army’s infantry school, among other training programs.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Governor Abbott Increases Readiness Of State Operations Center As Tropical Depression Harvey Approaches Gulf Coast

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center (SOC) to elevate its readiness level as Tropical Depression Harvey approaches, and the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane and storm surge watch for the Gulf Coast. Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center (SOC) to elevate its readiness level as Tropical Depression Harvey approaches, and the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane and storm surge watch for the Gulf Coast. Starting at 7:00 a.m. today the SOC increased from level IV (normal conditions) to level III (increased readiness) and will be further elevated to level II (escalated response conditions) starting Thursday, August 24th at 7:00 a.m. Additionally, Governor Abbott has made available any and all state resources to assist in preparation, rescue and recovery efforts.

“The state’s emergency personnel are well prepared for the potential impact from Tropical Depression Harvey, and stand ready to assist in the event of any severe weather emergencies,” said Governor Abbott. “As the State Operations Center increases its readiness levels, I also encourage Texans in the storm’s path to make their own emergency preparations, heed warnings from local officials, and avoid high water areas. I ask that all Texans keep those in the Gulf Coast region in their thoughts and prayers as they prepare for this severe weather event.”

State resources currently engaged in the emergency preparation effort include:

  • Department of Information Resources
  • Public Utility Commission of Texas
  • Railroad Commission of Texas
  • State Auditor’s Office
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (Texas Task Force One)
  • Texas A&M Forest Service
  • Texas Animal Health Commission
  • Texas Attorney General’s Office
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Texas Commission on Fire Protection
  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Texas Department of Agriculture
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
  • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Texas Department of Insurance
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Texas Department of Transportation
  • Texas Division of Emergency Management
  • Texas Education Agency
  • Texas General Land Office
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission
  • Texas Military Department
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

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Source:: Office of the Governor

      

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