This Week in Texas: Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Posted May 13, 2020 in The Mignon Memo

Only in Austin…

Eyes on the Skies: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to Fly Over Austin This Afternoon

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will fly over Austin and San Antonio today in honor of front-line workers and health care professionals serving in the coronavirus pandemic. The Austin flyover will start at 2:40 p.m. and end at 3:15 p.m., with the squadron starting over Leander before circling over Georgetown, Round Rock and Pflugerville and then passing over downtown Austin along I-35. It will then circle around to Lakeway and South Austin before returning to fly down I-35 over Buda and Kyle. A similar flyover over Dallas and Houston was conducted last week by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.

**Note that inclement weather in either city could delay flyover times or postpone the event altogether.

Texas Senate District 14 Special Election

The candidate filing deadline for the Senate District 14 special election is 5pm today. Don Zimmerman, a Republican former Austin City Council member, made things official Monday, and it’s expected that Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, a Democrat whose last day in that office was Tuesday, will file sometime today. As you will remember, State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) filed for the seat last week – he released a list of over 120 endorsements this week.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that he was doubling the length of the early voting period for the upcoming July 14th primary runoff elections, which includes this special election. Early voting will begin June 29th, “such that election officials can implement appropriate social distancing and safe hygiene practices,” Gov. Abbott stated in his proclamation.

Texas 2036 Online Tool Takes Comprehensive Look at COVID-19’s Toll on Texas

On Friday, Texas 2036 launched a new COVID-19 tracking dashboard that presents health and economic data, both statewide and for all Texas counties currently reporting COVID-19 data, in one easy-to-visualize format. The tool aims to give Texans a daily snapshot of how the pandemic is affecting their lives and livelihoods; since the launch it has been accessed thousands of times and has been cited in the media as an important source of information on the outbreak and its impact on Texans.

Murder Hornet Task Force in Texas

Governor Greg Abbott has charged a task force of Texas A&M AgriLife experts with studying the “Murder Hornets” that have been in the news recently. The goal is to protect Texas citizens, agriculture and honey bees if the hornets arrive in Texas.

The Asian giant hornets, which were sighted in northwestern Washington state and Canada in late 2019, have caused concern across the country – they prey on bees and can decimate local honey bee populations, essential for pollination in most fruit and vegetable crop production. Additionally, the hornets’ painful stings can cause fatal allergic reactions in people already sensitive to bee stings.

We’re filing this under “What’s next, 2020!?”