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Governor stresses importance of getting flu shot

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Get your flu shot, governor says

While scientists race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is urging everyone to get a flu shot.

Texans need to do their part to keep moving forward the state’s recovery from the pandemic, the governor said. Last week, he also eased restrictions placed on businesses in most of Texas.

In a new public service announcement, Abbott reminded Texans that flu season already has arrived. Getting a flu shot is especially important this season to help keep hospitalizations down during the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19, he said.

“I got mine today,” Abbot said. “I can tell you it is the best way to reduce your chances of contracting and spreading the flu. So protect yourself and loved ones this flu season and get a flu shot today.”

California firm finds friendlier skies in Texas

Incora, formerly known as Wesco Aircraft, is moving its headquarters from Valencia, California, to Fort Worth.

Incora, an aerospace and defense services provider, will relocate to the former Federal Aviation Administration building on Meacham Boulevard near Interstate 35W and Loop 820. The company received a $1 million package of incentives from Fort Worth’s economic development department. It also received a Texas Enterprise Fund grant of $1.8 million.

“Our new, larger office space in Fort Worth will allow us to bring our teams together to increase efficiency, encourage collaboration and support the future growth of our business,” Incora Chief Executive Officer Todd Renehan said in announcing the move. “This centrally located site also will offer more accessibility and availability to our customers and colleagues across the U.S. and in Europe.”

About two months ago, Moody’s Investor Services downgraded Wesco’s ratings to negative, based on the disruptions created by COVID-19. Moody’s said the company could improve its rating by increasing the amount of cash it had on hand and strongly executing on its recent merger with Pattonair. After the merger in January, Wesco and Pattonair formed Incora.

Open your heart to music

As Hispanic Heritage Month events happen across Texas, a new book encourages people to celebrate in song.

“Corazón Abierto: Mexican American Voices in Texas Music,” is set to be published Nov. 15 by Texas A&M University Press. The author is Kathleen Hudson, founding director of the Texas Music Heritage Foundation in Kerrville.

“By sharing the artists’ accounts of their influences, their experiences, their family stories, and their musical and cultural journeys, ‘Corazón Abierto’ reminds us that borders can be gateways, that differences enrich, rather than isolate,” Texas A&M notes in promotional material for “Corazón Abierto,” which translates in English as “open heart.”

Another Texas A&M book might be of interest to those who correctly guessed last week’s question about which celebrity appeared in the first “Don’t mess with Texas” commercial in 1986. Legendary Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan played “The Eyes of Texas” in a  memorable start to the campaign. Vaughan, who died in a helicopter crash four years later, is remembered in a Texas A&M book released earlier this year, “Seeing Stevie Ray,” by photographer Tracy Ann Hart.

The “Pride and Joy” of Dallas, Austin and blues music lovers everywhere, Vaughan was correctly identified by “Capital Highlights” readers Lew Cohn, of Highland Lakes Newspapers; Maria Whitsett, of the Burnet Bulletin; Colleen Bailey, of The Gladewater Mirror; Michael Flores, of the Bay City Tribune; Nancy Wilson, of the Marlin Democrat; Terry Fender, of the Bowie News; and Andrea Schutter Riebeling, of the Fayette County Record.

Riebeling, a real estate agent, added she had the good fortune of seeing Stevie Ray when she was about 20 years old. “I was just standing an arm’s length away from him at the concert hall in Austin, so he really touches my heart!”

Ike Dike moves forward

As Hurricane Sally hammered nearby states, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn touted in a news release the progress of a massive flood mitigation project along Texas’ Gulf Coast.

The Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay project, sometimes referred to as the Ike Dike, is intended to protect nearly 4,000 square miles from Brazoria County to Orange County. Last month, Orange County voted to move into the design phase with the Army Corps of Engineers. After a design study is completed in April, the project will be submitted to Congress for authorization and funding.

The Corps also is conducting a Coastal Texas Study with the Texas General Land Office to provide a comprehensive strategy for flood mitigation and coastal protection beyond Houston.

“The question isn’t if that next bullet will come, but when, and how ready we will be.” Cornyn said. “With these projects, Texas will be stronger, safer and better prepared for whatever Mother Nature sends our way.”

Cornyn’s Democratic challenger in the Nov. 3 election, MJ Hegar, responded to the statement, saying Texas is being pummeled by the effects of climate change.

“We’ve had over a decade to act on the Ike Dike, but under Sen. Cornyn’s watch it still hasn’t materialized — perhaps because just six years ago he didn’t even know what the Ike Dike was,” Hegar said. “We need bold investments in both energy and infrastructure, including but not limited to the Ike Dike, to help Texans on the frontlines of worsening natural disasters and holistically address the climate crisis — something Sen. Cornyn has repeatedly failed Texans on.”

Chris Cobler is a board member and past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. He welcomes email at cobler@texaspress.com.

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