Archive for March 20, 2012
I am not a genius when it comes to picking the NCAA tournament but this year I am going way out on a limb. If Indiana can beat Kentucky…IF…the Hoosiers will likely be the NCAA Champions. That may be something of a reach, after all, Kentucky is good and beating any team twice during the same year is almost impossible, so here is my second prediction. A team from the Big-10 will win the NCAA Championship. Ohio State, Indiana and Wisconsin are strong…very strong and have the stamina to put it together. For the Hoosiers, the real test comes Friday night in Atlanta.
Indiana coach Tom Crean said today he doesn’t think the Hoosiers’ 73-72 victory over Kentucky in December means much as the two teams prepare to play in a NCAA South Region semifinal game on Friday night. “That game was so long ago, they’re a different team,’’ Crean said before the IU players and coaches boarded a flight for Atlanta. “So are we. But they have different strengths.” Indiana’s Christian Watford hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give IU the victory in that first meeting and set off a wild celebration at Assembly Hall. Kentucky has lost just once since then, to Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game. “They have a lot of multi-dimensional guys,’’ Crean said. “They can score from 3, they can score on the pull up and they can get to the rim.”
Kentucky freshman center Anthony Davis, who was named the national player of the year by the United States BasketballWriters Association on Monday, got in early foul trouble in that game and finished with just six points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes. That apparently proved to be something of a learning experience for Davis, who has not struggled with foul issues since. ‘They’re better offensively,’’ Crean said. “They’ve added things, Davis with his (outside) shooting. They move the ball really well.”
Crean talked about his friendship with Kentucky coach John Calipari and joked that he doesn’t have 8 million Twitter followers like Calipari does. Actually, the Kentucky coach has just fewer than 1.2 million, still a fairly staggering number. Crean has a relatively modest 66,000, by comparison. “John is a really good coach, but this year, more than ever, this (Kentucky) team really shares the basketball,’’ Crean said. “You can’t look at them and say we’re not going to guard this person here or this person there. They’re really, really dangerous.”
Kentucky basketball’s Coach Cal downplays revenge factor vs. IU
Most of his teammates stuck to the company line Saturday night after the University of Kentucky beat Iowa State to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 and a rematch with Indiana. Most of the Wildcats said revenge for the Hoosiers’ buzzer-beating win over UK on Dec. 10, the team’s only regular-season defeat, will not be their main motivation in Friday’s sequel. But Cats freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the most emotional of the team’s players, didn’t hold back. “I hate that commercial,” he said, referencing the ESPN promo that features IU’s winning shot and court rush. “We’re going to get them back.”
By Tuesday, though, Kentucky coach John Calipari was trying to tone down the talk of payback and focus his players on tightening up any remaining weaknesses, of which there appear to be very few. “He’s the youngest freshman in the country,” Calipari said of Kidd-Gilchrist, who recently turned 18. “They say stupid things. I don’t ever teach anger, because the physiology of that is really close to fear. So if you try to make your team angry … and it doesn’t go right, it turns into fear within their own bodies. So I don’t do that. “We’re worried about us being our best.”
The Wildcats (34-2) looked very close to that in their 87-71 demolition of the Cyclones in the Round of 32. The Hoosiers (27-8) staged another thriller in the same round, erasing a five-point deficit against last year’s Cinderella, Virginia Commonwealth, in the final two minutes to set up the rematch. To Calipari, however, it’s almost inaccurate to call it that. “Let’s not worry about what happened four months ago,” he said. “That was so long ago, I had to watch the tape to remember anything. One thing about it: We’re better, but so are they. Both teams are way better than they were then. Defensively, they’re way better than they were. They’re more physical. They’re better.” For Kentucky, sophomore forward Terrence Jones has certainly been better down the stretch than he was the last time the Cats played Indiana. He had four points, one rebound and six turnovers in that game and was on the bench at crunch time.
Afterward, Calipari said Jones “absolutely gave us a zero” against the Hoosiers. On Tuesday, the coach described it as a “no-show” and said there was at least one more unidentified player who was mentally checked out in that first meeting. That hasn’t been the case for Jones lately. In the last six games, he’s averaging 15.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 assists. “I hope he keeps playing like he’s been,” Calipari said. “Whatever you’re eating, whatever you’re reading, tell the rest of the guys.”
Although Jones admits to being motivated by ESPN’s ad — “They can show the commercial every break from now until the game” — he’s also trying to avoid letting emotions get the best of him Friday. “It happened to us, this same situation last year, playing a team that beat us,” Jones said, referring to the North Carolina loss that UK avenged in the Elite Eight. “(Indiana) beat us before, so we’re going to have to respect them and just try to match their intensity.” Whether it’s the revenge angle or the simple fact that the Cats cruised into this game by wrecking the last two opponents in the second half, Las Vegas expects a much different result from the first game against Indiana. Kentucky is a nine-point favorite over Tom Crean’s Hoosiers. “It’s funny how now everybody’s trying to give Tom billboard action. ‘Oh, they’re going to kill them,’ ” Calipari said. “C’mon now. This is going to be a war.”
NCAA Tournament 2012: Indiana-Kentucky keys to game
Indiana is one of only two teams in the nation to know what it takes to beat Kentucky. IU’s 73-72 win on Dec. 10 at Assembly Hall was No. 1 Kentucky’s only loss of the year until it fell to Vanderbilt 71-64 in the Southeastern Conference tournament title game. But as the Hoosiers (27-8) prepare to play the Wildcats (34-2) for a second time in Friday’s Sweet Sixteen at Atlanta, the question is simple: What is the blueprint for a two-game series sweep? Here are four keys:
Limit easy baskets
Kentucky is at its best when it runs. IU would prefer the game be played in the halfcourt. In the first meeting, Kentucky managed just six fast-break points. “You cannot allow transition points off your mistakes and you can’t allow broken plays,” said former IU player, coach and current ESPN college basketballanalyst Dan Dakich. “You can’t get a defensive stop and then allow someone to come in, get a rebound and kick it out for an open 3-pointer. Those are the things that can kill you against a team as talented as Kentucky.”
Shoot a high percentage
IU is a dangerous tournament team because of outside shooters Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Will Sheehey and Matt Roth. IU ranks sixth in the nation in field goal percentage (.491 percent) and second in 3-point percentage (.437). The Hoosiers won despite shooting 43.1 percent in the first meeting, but did make 9-of-15 3-pointers. It also helped that Watford made the last shot. “I think you can game plan against Kentucky and stop their best players from scoring from the perimeter,” Dakich said. “But Indiana just has a bunch of guys that can make shots. And teams like that are always dangerous in the NCAA tournament.”
For the most part, IU freshman Cody Zeller has avoided foul trouble this season. But playing against an imposing player such as Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, it’s imperative that Zeller stays on the floor. In the first meeting, Zeller played a season-high 37 minutes, scored 11 points and had seven rebounds. It didn’t hurt that Davis was in foul trouble; he had four fouls and played 24 minutes but has not had more than three fouls since that game. “The one thing that will be different this time is that both of these teams are playing better than they were in December,” said ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. “You have to remember that was Kentucky’s first real road game and I think a player like Davis was affected by that. But Zeller is a completely different player, too. I think that will be one of the real interesting matchups to keep an eye on and foul trouble will be a big part of it.”
Limit dribble penetration
Marquis Teague put on a clinic in the second half of the first game taking Jordan Hulls to the basket. This time it will likely be Victor Oladipo, Sheehey or even Watford guarding Teague, but the point remains the same. Kentucky is a team that wants to drive the ball to the basket for a score. Force the Wildcats to become a jump-shooting team and a major threat is gone. “You have to stop all of their guys from penetrating,” Bilas said. “They do run pick-and-roll, they do get into the lane and when they do, if you help uphill, they’re just going to pitch that ball up to the rim for a lob.”
The Indianapolis Star and the Courier Journal contributed this report.
Waller County Sheriffs deputies are looking for this man, Trey Sesler, 21, last seen driving a black 2010 Mustang, VDY058, after he allegedly killed three family members in their home, Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in Waller, Texas.
WALLER, Texas — (DMN) – Police in Texas are looking for a 22-year-old online animation critic suspected of gunning down three of his relatives in the family’s Waller home. An arrest warrant has been issued for Trey Eric Sesler after the bodies of his parents and his brother were discovered around 1 p.m. in their residence in Waller, 40 miles northwest of Houston. Police said they believe Sesler may still have a high-powered weapon with him and had recently made inquiries about body armor. Considered armed and dangerous, he may be driving a 2010 black Ford Mustang with Texas license plates VDY058. Authorities checked on the home after a call from concerned family members.
“It’s a horrific scene. A family was murdered here,” said Waller Police Chief Phil Rehak. “We found that there was a lot of damage done to the residence. I could see, actually, a person lying on the floor through a window,” said Rehak. “We later discovered three bodies in the residence.” Rehak said he’s not aware of any prior problems with Trey Sesler and didn’t comment on a possible motive. Texas Rangers, the DPS and Waller County deputies have joined the investigation.
Trey Sesler (Facebook photo)
Over the last 4½ years, Trey Sesler developed an online following as “Mr. Anime” – an alter ego who was the star and producer of hundreds of Japanese animation reviews. His YouTube channel, Lens Cap Productions, also features several amateur short films, some of which included his brother. Trey Sesler’s Facebook page indicates that he attended Waller High School. In December, he asked his Facebook friends to visit his YouTube channel and click on ads to “help me build my income” and posted: “finally work out of the home, about time” later that month. “I would absolutely love to make a living off reviewing anime,” he beamed in another video earlier this month.
Last week, Sesler posted a one-minute video indicating that he was excited about a new job. “The good news is that I now have found a full-time job in a department that I am interested in, which is film,” he said in the March 13 footage to his viewers, adding that he’d be posting fewer animation reviews.
KHOU-TV contributed to this report.
MEXICO CITY, Mexico — (DMN/CBS News) – A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit central and southern Mexico on Tuesday, damaging some 800 homes near the epicenterand swaying tall buildings and spreading fear and panic hundreds of miles away in the capital of Mexico City. One of the strongest to shake Mexico since the deadly 1985 temblor that killed thousands in Mexico City, Tuesday’s earthquake hit hardest in border area of southern Oaxaca and Guerrero states, where Guerrero official confirmed that some 800 homes had been damaged, with another 60 having collapsed.
Hours after the shaking at noon local time (18:06 GMT), there were still no reports of death or serious injury, even after a less powerful, magnitude-5.1 aftershock was felt in the capital and several other aftershocks near the epicenter in a mountainous rural region. “It was very strong, very substantial,” said Campos Benitez, hospital director in Ometepec, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the epicenter. Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre, who is from Ometepec, was headed there to survey the damage and ordered emergency crews and civil protection to the area to help with the damage. The state did not say how many were displaced.
In Mexico City, frightened workers and residents poured into the streets of the capital just minutes after noon local time (18:02 GMT). Telephone service was down in the city and throughout the area where the quake was felt, and some neighborhoods were without power, according to Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who set up a hotline for people to report damage. A pedestrian bridge collapsed on an empty transit bus. About 40 passengers were stranded for a short time on the Mexico City airport air train, but later released. The airport closed for a time but officials said there was no runway damage and they resumed operations.
Samantha Rodriguez, a 37-year old environmental consultant, was evacuated from the 11th floor on the Angel Tower office building. “I thought it was going to pass rapidly but the walls began to thunder and we decided to get out,” she said. Mexico City, built on a lakebed, was badly damaged in 1985 when an 8.0 earthquake killed at least 10,000 people. In past years, Guerrero has suffered several severe earthquakes, including a 7.9 in 1957 which killed an estimated 68 people, and a 7.4 in 1995 which left three dead.
Tuesday’s quake was the strongest shaking felt in the capital since a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck also in Guerrero in December. Officials said at least three people died in Guerrero, but there were no reports of widespread damage. A magnitude-8.0 quake near Manzanillo on Mexico’s central Pacific coast killed 51 people in 1995 and a magintude-7.5 quake killed at least 20 people in the southern state of Oaxaca in 1999. In Huajuapan, Guerrero, near the epicenter, hotel owner Marco Antonio Estrada also reported shaken-up guests but no major damage. He said it was longest and strongest he ever felt. People ran out of their homes and cars. “It was very strong, but we didn’t see anything fall,” said Irma Ortiz, who runs a guesthouse in Oaxaca. She said their telephones were down, and that the quake shook them side-to-side.
Ana Lucero Aguilar, who sells chickens from her home in the town of Putla Villa de Guerrero very near the epicenter, told CBS News that there were some minor cracks in buildings and minor damage to the modern public school – but since most structures are made of adobe and clay tile, they were not damaged. She said the quake lasted about 30 seconds. The U.S. Geological Survey set the intensity of the first quake at 7.4 and said the epicenter was 11 miles underground. The survey set the aftershock at 5.1. Groups of women hugged and cried at Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument, where hundreds of people evacuated from office buildings said they had never felt such a strong earthquake. Others typed ferociously on their Blackberries.
Mexico City’s airport was closed for a short time but there was no damage to runways and operations were returning to normal. In Oaxaca, Sylvia Valencia was teaching Spanish to five adult students at the Vinigulaza language school when the earthquake hit. “Some of us sat down, others ran out,” she said. “It was hard, it was strong and it was long.” After the shaking stopped, however, she said they found no damage in their own classrooms, nor outside in the historic center of the city, so they went back to class. Celia Galicia, who works at the U.S. consular office in Oaxaca, had just flown in from Mexico City when the temblor hit. She said there was panic in the airport, and a dash for the doors. But she said that she saw no damage at the airport and no one was hurt. She says one building in downtown Oaxaca appears to be damaged and has been evacuated. She added that they felt two strong aftershocks, and that in downtown Oaxaca most people were out on the street. “It started shaking badly,” she said.
Malia Obama safe after Mexico earthquake
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, right, sit for a family portrait in the Oval Office, Dec. 11, 2011. (Credit: White House Photo/Pete Souza)
First daughter Malia Obama, who is reportedly in southwestern Mexico on a school trip, “is safe and was never in danger” in the wake of a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit near Acapulco on Tuesday, the first lady’s office said. The White House does not traditionally discuss the Obama children, but broke with the policy to announce that Malia Obama is safe. Word of her trip to Mexico was reported by a number of media outlets on Monday, though CBS News and DMNEWSI have not reported her trip until now.
The Monday reports prompted the first lady’s office to reach out to media outlets and ask them to pull the stories, which many elected to do. In order to protect the “privacy and security” of the first daughters, the first lady’s office said, it was reiterating its longstanding request that news organizations not “report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest.” Malia, 13, is reportedly in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on the school trip. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was felt strongly in Oaxaca, according to the Associated Press.
Something dawned on me today while writing a piece about the possible parole of Abigail Young the mother of Emma Thompson who was murdered in Houston in 2009. There are those who are victims advocates, like Andy Kahan in Houston, who are often the only voice left for those murdered and their families. Kahan’s work is admirable and noted. He is a fierce advocate for victims of crime. On the other side are people like Berry Scheck and the Innocence Project who are often the only voice left for offenders locked up in prison for crimes for which they are actually innocent. I write about both because, essentially, it is the same battle. The Texas criminal justice system needlessly re-victimizes crime victims over and over again.
Cases in point. Texas leads the nation in both DNA and Non-DNA exonerations. These are cases where people have been freed from prison, some from death row, because their innocence was proven either via DNA evidence, other forensics or recanted testimony. Almost every single one has a touch of prosecutorial misconduct. In most situations where an innocent person has been locked up, the actual perpetrator was still free to commit other crimes and threaten public safety.
Texas Governor Rick Perry says the state’s justice system works. Perry said the discovery of the problems in Anthony Graves case proved the system works, in response to a reporter’s question on how the justice system might change in light of Graves’ case. “I think we have a justice system that is working, and he’s a good example of — you continue to find errors that were made and clear them up,” Perry said. “That’s the good news for us, is that we are a place that continues to allow that to occur. So I think our system works well; it goes through many layers of observation and appeal, et cetera. So I think our system is working.”
Perry should try that line on Graves or Kerry Max Cook or any of the other exonerees. Perhaps he should try that line on Emma Thompson’s family who must fight the parole of Emma’s mother after she has served less than two years of a 20 year prison sentence. Perhaps Perry should try that on the families of the Houston serial killers who must maintain vigilance to keep Elmer Wayne Henley and David Brooks locked up in prison.
What is frightening is that both sides have some unlikely allies who are essentially saying the same thing. The Texas criminal justice system does not work…it’s not fine…it is broken. Terribly broken and in need of an overhaul. One of Houston’s famed prosecutors, Kelly Siegler who is by no means soft on crime led the fight to exonerate Anthony Graves. Regarding Graves, Siegler, a former Harris County assistant district attorney and special prosecutor on the case, told The Associated Press the original prosecutor “handled this case in a way that would best be described as a criminal justice system’s nightmare.”
Siegler is well known nationally for her successful and sometimes theatrical prosecutions. Siegler can hardly be described as being soft on crime which is why her role in Graves exoneration is so poignant. This reporter is having a hard time wrapping his brain around the fact that Kelly Siegler took the lead on exonerating anyone…for anything. Siegler joins a growing chorus of Texas prosecutors that are speaking up about miscarriages of justice that have otherwise innocent people being freed from Texas prisons and it’s Death Row at an alarming rate.
San Francisco, California this afternoon.
ACAPULCO, Mexico — (DMN) – A strong, long 7.6 earthquake with an epicenter in Guerrero state shook central southern Mexico on Tuesday, swaying buildings in Mexico City and sending frightened workers and residents into the streets. The U.S. Geological Survey set the intensity at 7.6 on the Richter scale and said the epicenter was 11 miles underground. Mexico’s National Seismological Survey said the temblor had an epicenter southwest of Ometepec.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard’s Twitter account said the water system and other “strategic services” were not experiencing problems. Reuters reported of problems with traffic and cell phone lines in the capital after the quake hit. Its depth was about 11 miles (17 km), the USGS said. The agency earlier reported the magnitude of the quake at 7.9, but later revised that figure. Residents rushed into the streets after feeling the temblor in Mexico City.
CBS News and CNN contributed to this report.
Texas…we have a problem. Don’t roll your eyes and sigh thinking that there is nothing that can be done to fix a criminal justice system that is an honest to goodness joke. You hear a lot about exonerations, ole Texas leads the nation in both DNA and non-DNA exonerations but even when we get the right person locked up, keeping them there is subjective and wrought with problems. The story about little Emma Thompson is one that truly breaks my heart…to this day.
The details are heart wrenching, disgusting and troubling. A Houston jury in September of 2010 sentenced Lucas Coe, who raped his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter shortly before her death, to life in prison and a $10,000 fine. Neither Coe nor his family members reacted to the verdict. Jurors convicted Coe, 28, of super aggravated sexual assault of a child in visiting state District Judge Doug Shaver’s court. The case stemmed from the June 27, 2009, death of Emma Thompson, whom authorities said died from abdominal trauma. She arrived at the hospital with more than 70 bruises, a busted lip and a fractured skull. She also had a sexually transmitted disease.
Coe was not charged in the death because super aggravated assault can carry a stricter punishment than murder. After the verdict was announced, the girl’s father, Ben Thompson, said in a victim impact statement that Coe was a “bogeyman.” “You’re going to pay a long and horrible price for what you did to my daughter,” Thompson said. He said the girl was beaten so badly the family considered a closed casket funeral.
The sentence, which jurors announced after deliberating two and a half hours, matched what prosecutors asked for during closing arguments. “And if we could give him more, we would,” said Assistant Harris County District Attorney Colleen Barnett. “Life’s not even good enough for what he’s done.” Defense lawyers said the minimum, 25 years, was enough punishment for the crime. Defense Attorney William Van Buren opened his closing arguments, which lasted less than five minutes, with 60 seconds of silence to illustrate how slowly time can drag. “There are 13,140,000 of those minutes in a 25-year sentence. He will suffer.” Van Buren said. “That’s flat time. There is no parole. He will duly suffer.”
Both sides said the most powerful testimony in the 1½-week trial was from the 10-year-old son of one of Coe’s former girlfriends. The boy said Wednesday that Coe repeatedly snuck into his room at night to beat and choke him in 2006. He said Coe told him he would kill his mother if he told anyone the truth. “What happened to Chase is eerily similar to what happened to Emma,” Barnett said. “There was vomiting, unexplained bruises, dizziness and falling down.”
During her closing arguments, Barnett compared the two children and said Coe probably did the same things to Emma that he did to the boy, but more. Barnett showed a photo of Emma’s bedroom focusing on a baby monitor that was unplugged and said that was how Coe escaped detection. Coe still faces assault charges in Montgomery County for his treatment of the boy. After Emma Thompson’s death, it was revealed that Texas Children’s Protective Services had been told the girl had genital herpes two weeks before she died. The agency had investigated the case, but did not remove the child from the home, saying there was no evidence she was in physical danger. It later was revealed that CPS previously had investigated Coe three times in connection with another girlfriend’s child.
The jury also heard testimony from several doctors about the girl’s injuries and saw graphic photos of the child’s autopsy. Six weeks before she died, Emma’s mother, Abigail Young, a former registered nurse, was dating Coe. Both had genital herpes, and defense lawyers said the girl could have contracted the disease from casual contact with either of them. Young was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison for failing to protect her child. Emma died from abdominal trauma, including a severed pancreas, at Memorial Hermann-The Woodlands Hospital, prosecutors said.
Now that you have the background. Here is what makes me so damned mad! Emma’s mother who failed to protect her is now up for parole. That’s right. Emma Thompson’s grandmother and others including Houston Victims Rights Advocate Andy Kahan are pushing to keep Emma’s mother in prison. The grandmother fears she could hurt another child if set free. In a story airing on KTRK-TV, Kevin Quinn reports that a jury found Abigail Young guilty only of “reckless endangerment of a child by omission,” sentencing her to 20 years in prison. Under Texas law, Emma’s mother becomes eligible for parole after serving less than two years in prison for her role in the death.
Emma’s grandmother Laurie Thompson said, “That’s half of Emma’s life, that’s only half of Emma’s life. It’s really only 19 months of a 240-month sentence.” Emma’s grandmother was in disbelief when she received a letter from the state alerting her to Young’s parole eligibility. Attorneys initially told us Young wouldn’t become eligible until she had served a quarter of her 20-year term. But the state’s calculation of time she’s served includes actual time and something called “good time” credits — days shaved off her sentence for good behavior. The combination is making her eligible for parole now.
Kahan opined that “not even two years into her 20 year sentence — that’s pretty stunning.” I agree. Wholeheartedly. Kahan says on his Facebook page that “another twist is that Young will be up for Parole Review yearly and by statute the Parole Board has no discretion in granting a longer period between hearings. Lori Thompson and I plan on seeking legislative action to add the offense of Reckless Injury to a Child to the list of offenses eligible for 1-5 years between parole hearings.”
Emma’s grandmother is now launching a letter writing campaign to convince the parole division that Abigail Young is a continuing threat to society. She said, “In my mind’s eye it certainly is a miscarriage of justice. It’s a travesty. It’s offensive, I think, to the whole judicial system.” If you’d like to write a letter on Thompson’s behalf, you can contact the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
You’ll need to include Abigail Young’s name and TDCJ ID # 01668233.
Send letters to: Review and Release Processing, TDCJ Parole Division,
P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station, Austin, TX 78711.
How to contact the Victim Services Division
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time)
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles – Hearing Office Locations
Rissie Owens, Presiding Officer
8610 Shoal Creek
Austin, Texas 78757
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 13401,
Austin, Texas 78711-3401
Phone: (512) 406-5452
Fax: (512) 406-5482
Please, take a few minutes and let your voice be heard!
HOUSTON, Texas — (DMN) – A line of thunderstorms was moving through the Houston area Tuesday morning, prompting multiple watches and warnings from the National Weather Service. All of Southeast Texas was under a Flash Flood Watch until 6 p.m. Tuesday, and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for Chambers, Galveston and Liberty counties until 10 a.m. Tornado Warnings were briefly issued for both Harris and Brazoria counties, though there were no reports of funnel-cloud or tornado sightings. Before the storms passed through, temperatures were in the 70s, but after the storms, they dropped into the 50s.
Th strong storms caused major delays and cancellations at Houston’s airports this morning. More than 60 flights were cancelled and another 160 have been delayed at Bush Intercontinental Airport due to severe weather moving through the Houston area this morning. Houston Airport System spokeswoman Darian Ward said no flights will be able to arrive in Houston because of the storms until after 8:45 a.m. She said arrivals are backed up as well due to the storms. The severe storm system also caused major delays out of Houston last night.
According to officials, more than 300 people spent the night on cots in the baggage claim at Bush airport on Monday night because of the storms in Dallas that were moving toward Houston. The US Coast Guard in Houston will not shut down the ship channel, said Lt. Michael Scott, the watch supervisor for vessel traffic. He said several units were moving this morning at about 7:30 a.m. He said that the Houston pilots suspended boarding at 10:40 p.m. last night.
More than 28,000 Houston businesses and homes are without power this morning after a severe storm moved through the area, according to CenterPoint Energy. Most of the major outages were in western and northern areas of Houston, which has seen the bulk of the heavy rain this morning. Few homes and businesses east of Interstate 45 were reporting outages. Officials expect other spots will see outages as the storms move through the area. “We’ve been responding to outages as the weather system moves through the area,” said Alicia Dixon, a CenterPoint spokeswoman. Dixon said most of the outages are caused by high winds knocking tree branches into power lines. CenterPoint estimates customers will regain power from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the energy company. To check to see where the power outages are, click here.
Four road closures and several accidents along freeways slowed the morning commute this morning as a severe thunderstorm system moved through the area.
According to TranStar, numerous lanes were closed at the following locations:
- One shoulder lane was closed at Interstate 10 at Interstate 45 due to a two-vehicle accident
- One shoulder lane was closed at Interstate-10 eastbound at the West Loop due to a two-vehicle accident
- One main lane and one shoulder lane were closed at Interstate-45 North HOV lame after Shepherd due to a two-vehicle accident
- One main lane and one shoulder lane were closed on North Sam Houston Tollway at westbound Wilson Road due to a single-vehicle wreck.
- Two HOV lanes were closed as US 59 HOV southbound after Kelley Street due to a single-vehicle wreck
- One main lane was closed at US-59 southbound at the 610 West Loop due to a two-vehicle wreck.
Construction projects also closed lanes at the following locations: eastbound lanes of Westheimer at Voss Road; westbound lanes of Interstate 10 at Shepherd; westbound lanes of Interstate 10 and T.C. Jester; and northbound lanes of Interstate 45 near Telephone Road. Cool temps will stick around Wednesday, with lows in the 50s and highs in the mid-60s, but things will warm back into the upper-70s by the time the work week comes to an end.
Houston, Texas this morning.
Cool palms may lead to a smaller waistline
Standford study shows that obese women who wore a palm cooling device were able to reduce blood pressure, lose more inches off their waist and improve their overall speed