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25% Of All Critical Infrastructure In The US Is At Risk Of Failure Due To Flooding, New Report Finds

25% of all critical infrastructure in the US is at risk of failure due to flooding, new report finds

As a massive investment to repair roads and adapt to climate change faces an uncertain fate in Congress, a new report finds much of the country's infrastructure is already at risk of being shut down by flooding. And as the planet heats up, the threat is expected to grow. Today, one-in-four pieces of all critical infrastructure in the US — including police and fire stations, hospitals, airports and wastewater treatment facilities — face substantial risk of being rendered inoperable by…

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Building The Texas Water Data Hub From The Ground Up

Building the Texas Water Data Hub from the ground up

Roughly five years ago, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation began gathering a small group of Texas water data stakeholders to discuss opportunities to improve decision-making in the water space by improving access to the data that decisions are based on. Through those discussions, the seed for the Texas Water Data Hub was planted. However, before cultivating a hub, it was critical to conduct a gut check with the Texas water community to determine if such an effort would be…

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Highland Lakes Residents Speak At Recent LCRA Board Meeting As Agency Continues Work On New Commercial Dredging Ordinance

Highland Lakes residents speak at recent LCRA board meeting as agency continues work on new commercial dredging ordinance

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula - Published October 27, 2021 Highland Lakes residents who spoke during a recent Lower Colorado River Authority board meeting urged directors to be cautious while creating a new commercial dredging ordinance. At its Nov. 17 meeting, the LCRA Board of Directors will consider whether to adopt the proposed Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance (HLDO). The 15 directors also will decide on proposed changes to the existing Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance (HLWO). The HLDO is “a solution…

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Bee Cave Seeking To Become Dark Sky Community

Bee Cave seeking to become Dark Sky Community

The city of Bee Cave will apply to become a Dark Sky Community, a move that would further efforts to preserve the night sky in the Hill Country region by placing restrictions on lights inside city limits. To become a Dark Sky Community, cities must apply through the International Dark-Sky Association and meet certain criteria, which include operating under IDA-compliant outdoor lighting ordinances, educating the public on the importance of the dark sky and gaining community support for the IDA…

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2021 Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced & 2022 Calendar For Sale!

2021 Hill Country photo contest winners announced & 2022 Calendar for sale!

The Texas Hill Country is a unique region filled with diverse wildlife, clear springs, sprawling rural landscapes, historic towns, and some of the starriest night skies in the country. With a rapidly growing population and increasing development coming into the region, many of these special qualities are at risk of being lost forever. Each year the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) holds a photo contest encouraging photographers to capture images of the Texas Hill Country they would like to protect forever.…

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River Otters Are On The Rise In Texas

River otters are on the rise in Texas

With their thick, glistening manes, proclivity for play, and taste for crawfish, members of a growing southeastern species are flocking to Texas. And no, we’re not talking about recent graduates of Louisiana State University. North American river otters, which were scarce in the Lone Star State for most of the last century, are on the rebound.   Read more from Laura Furr Mericas with Texas Monthly here.

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Biedermann Declines Reelection In District 73

Biedermann declines reelection in District 73

After nearly six years in the Texas House of Representatives, Fredericksburg Rep. Kyle Biedermann on Wednesday announced he would not seek a fourth term representing District 73. His statement, posted on his Facebook page just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, hinted at another run for public office closer to home. Meanwhile, former New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel announced he’ll seek the GOP nod in District 73, with social worker Justin Calhoun saying he’ll seek the Democratic nomination.   Read…

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Republicans Say Texas’ New Political Maps Are “race Blind.” To Some Voters Of Color, That Translates As Political Invisibility.

Republicans say Texas’ new political maps are “race blind.” To some voters of color, that translates as political invisibility.

As they devised political maps to maximize their hold on power for another decade, Texas Republicans laid the foundation for a crucial argument they may need in defending their handiwork against multiple legal challenges claiming they are discriminating against Texans of color. Their pursuit of partisan advantage produced new districts giving white Republican voters even greater say in deciding who represents Texans in Congress and the Legislature. Despite overwhelming population growth among people of color in the state, the power…

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Farm Families And Mental Health

Farm families and mental health

Farm families face unique stressors, including financial challenges and family-farming relationships that blur the line between their business and personal lives. These stressors can affect the entire family and may lead to physical illness, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), farmers are more than five times as likely to commit suicide as the general population and are more likely to report substance abuse. Stress and depression also increase the probability of…

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Texas Is Watering Down Federal Infrastructure Funds

Texas is watering down federal infrastructure funds

A ticking time bomb lies at the bottom of the Llano River, near a small town called Junction. In 2018, major flooding across the watershed overwhelmed the region’s water infrastructure as high waters brought with them silt, dirt and debris. Nearly three years later, the exposed sewer lines under the river still haven’t been buried properly. When the next flood rips through the Hill Country, those lines could rupture, an expert says, causing millions of gallons of raw sewage to…

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