Texas passes 10,000 confirmed new virus cases in single day
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has surpassed 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time as a resurgence of the outbreak rages across the U.S. The record high of 10,028 confirmed cases Tuesday follows Republican Gov. Greg Abbott decision to mandate masks in much of the state and to close bars, retreating from what had been one of America’s fastest reopenings. New York and Florida are the only other states to have reported more than 10,000 confirmed new cases in a single day. Texas surged past 8,000 hospitalizations for the first time over the Fourth of July weekend, a more than quadruple increase in the past month.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SMALL BUSINESS LOANS-CONGRESS
Data: Congress created virus aid, then reaped the benefits
WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released government data show at least a dozen lawmakers have ties to organizations that received federal coronavirus aid. Among businesses that received money was a California hotel partially owned by the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as a shipping business started by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s family. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Car dealerships owned by Republican Reps. Roger Williams of Texas and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, and fast-food franchises owned by Republican Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, also received money through the Paycheck Protection Program.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SUMMER CAMPS
Missouri summer camp virus outbreak raises safety questions
An overnight summer camp in rural southwestern Missouri has seen scores of campers, counselors and staff infected with the coronavirus. That’s raising questions about the ability to keep kids safe at what is a rite of childhood for many. Missouri is one of several states to report outbreaks at summer camps. Others include Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. The Missouri outbreak caused the Kanakuk camp near Branson to cancel and send teens home. On Friday, the local health department announced 49 positive cases at the camp. By Monday, the number had jumped to 82.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-STATE FAIR
State Fair of Texas cancelled due to COVID-19
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The director of the board for the State Fair of Texas says the 2020 event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Board chair Gina Norris said Tuesday that health and safety were the top prioirty. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson says the fair made the safe and responsible decision. Dallas County has reported more than 27,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Statewide, Texas has confirmed more than 198,000 cases. The board said the future of football games traditionally played at the Cotton Bowl Stadium during the fair, including the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma Red River Rivalry, will be decided by the NCAA, conferences and participating universities.
Officer hurt, man killed after shooting in Harris County
HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities say a deputy constable was shot and wounded and a man was killed after gunfire broke out when officers responded to a domestic disturbance call. The shooting happened early Tuesday in Harris County. Authorities say two officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment when a man shot one of the officers in the stomach. The officers returned fire, killing the man. The wounded constable is expected to make a full recovery.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-TEXAS UNEMPLOYMENT
Texas tries to recoup unemployment after overpaying Texans
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas is attempting to recoup unemployment payments after mistakenly sending them to thousands of Texas amid the pandemic. The Houston Chronicle reported Monday that the Texas Workforce Commission, an agency that oversees unemployment benefits, estimates that it overpaid by $32 million. The commission has sent 46,000 notices to people, saying they were overpaid or ineligible to receive benefits. The commission said it has a team that audits unemployment claims to ensure that these mistakes don’t happen.
VIRUS AD-NEIGHBOR STATES
New Mexico ads ask visitors to comply with virus safeguards
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Tourism Department has published advertisements informing residents of neighboring states that visitors should comply with its rules regarding masks and travel. The advertisements in six newspapers in Texas and Arizona include letters explaining New Mexico has different rules than the other two states. The tourism department spent $67,000 on the full-page advertisements in major newspapers in Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona and in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas in Texas. Tourism department spokesman Cody Johnson says the two states were targeted because they recently have experienced surges in COVID-19 infection rates.
Army identifies buried remains as missing Texas soldier
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An Army commander has confirmed that the remains found last week buried near Fort Hood belonged to a 20-year-old soldier who vanished more than two months ago from the Texas base. A day earlier, an attorney for Spc. Vanessa Guillén’s family had said Army officials told the family at their Houston home that the remains were hers. Investigators have said that Guillén, who had been missing since April, was killed and dismembered by U.S. Army Specialist Aaron Robinson, a fellow soldier who took his own life last week.
RICKEY SMILEY-DAUGHTER SHOT
Rickey Smiley’s daughter injured after being shot in Texas
HOUSTON (AP) — Atlanta-based radio host and comedian Rickey Smiley says his daughter was hospitalized after being shot in Houston while on her way to Whataburger to get something to eat. Smiley said on his show Monday that his daughter was shot Sunday night. Smiley said that his daughter was “going to be fine” and he was headed to Houston to be with her. Houston police have reported an incident in which a woman was shot in her vehicle Sunday night but have not released her name. Houston police have said three men and a woman were injured when someone opened fire in a Houston intersection Sunday night.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SMALL-BUSINESS LOANS-POLITICS
Trump donors among early recipients of coronavirus loans
WASHINGTON (AP) — As much as $273 million in federal coronavirus aid was awarded to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by major donors to President Donald Trump’s election efforts. That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of government data that was released Monday. Many of the Trump-connected businesses were among the first to be approved for a loan in early April. All told, the Trump supporters who run these companies have collectively contributed at least $11.1 million since May 2015 to committees supporting Trump. Each donor gave at least $20,000. Trump’s campaign calls the program a resounding success.