If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
If you happen to visit a high-traffic area in one of the state’s larger cities, you might come across some folks wearing sandwich boards, such as one sees during tax season or mattress sales. The Texas Department of Transportation has adopted this marketing device to promote its “Be Safe. Drive Smart” pedestrian safety campaign this month.
Pedestrians account for one in five traffic fatalities in the state. Last year, 5,366 traffic crashes involving pedestrians occurred, with 841 people killed. TxDOT is using the highly visible sandwich boards to remind both drivers and pedestrians to follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other. The boards are being worn by members of TxDOT’s street teams.
July 31 deadline for newborn enrollment in TTPF
The deadline to open a Texas Tuition Promise Fund college savings account for a child younger than 1 year old is July 31, according to the state comptroller’s office. Participants can lock in 2021-2022 tuition and fee prices for their loved little ones at Texas public colleges and universities by establishing an account by then.
Wildfire risk remains high across state
As the nearly statewide drought shows no signs of abating, wildfire danger continues to spread across the state. The Chalk Mountain Fire in Somervell County and the 1148 Fire in Palo Pinto County caused local officials to urge residents to evacuate. Several lakefront homes were destroyed around Possum Kingdom Lake last week as a result of the 1148 Fire, which involved 457 acres and was about 50% contained as of Sunday, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
There were 16 active wildfires across the state, the largest being the Chalk Mountain Fire involving 6,705 acres. It was 10% contained as of Sunday. A total of 215 counties in Texas now have burn bans in place.
State continues job gains
Texas added 82,500 nonfarm jobs in June, the largest gain this year. The state again set new employment highs, as total nonfarm employment reached. 13.43 million, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
“This type of sustained economic success is only possible when employers and job seekers have maximum opportunities to reach their full potential, and TWC works hard to support those opportunities,” Bryan Daniel, TWC chairman, said.
Jobs in the oil and gas industry led the increase with 4,900 new jobs, while the construction sector lost 3,000 workers. The state’s unemployment rate dropped a tick to 4.1%, down from 4.2% in May.
Nearly 90,000 Texans have died of COVID-19
Approximately two-and-a-half years after COVID-19 began to sweep the country, nearly 90,000 Texans have died as a result of the disease, according to Texas Department of State Health Services, with more than 6 million cases reported since 2020. The BA.5 variant is now causing most of the infections, with a rolling seven-day average of 11,905 cases reported daily. The number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations on Sunday in Texas totaled 3,454, according to DSHS, which is up slightly from the previous week.