Oct 16, 2017 | 51 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ongoing clean-up effort totals enough debris to fill 186 football fields 1 foot high
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Oct.16, 2017

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Transportation has collected more than 10 million cubic feet of debris – or the equivalent of about 186 football fields – in the four districts most impacted by Hurricane Harvey since landfall August 25. From Corpus Christi to Houston and numerous towns in between, TxDOT crews have worked tirelessly to help clear roadways and help citizens in their ongoing recovery efforts.

“We continue to deliver much needed service to those communities seeking our assistance,” said TxDOT Deputy Executive Director Marc Williams. “I am so proud of the men and women of TxDOT who have so selflessly given their time and energy to this clean-up effort, even while many of them continue coping with their own personal losses.”

More than 600 TxDOT employees working weekly rotations have been brought in from around the state to assist local employees with debris removal in the hardest-hit areas on the coast from Corpus Christi to Beaumont. At the height of the storm, more than 500 road closures impacted the state transportation system. Today, only one road -- Park Road 1C in Buescher State Park in Bastrop County -- remains closed due to damage. Additionally, more than 4,300 bridges were inspected following the storm and only 13 required some repair.

Of the 25 State of Texas Assistance Requests for debris removal TxDOT has received, work has been completed in 10 counties and cities.

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Local Residents Earn Degree from WGU Texas
Oct 16, 2017 | 48 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUSTIN, TX (Grassroots Newswire) Oct. 16, 2017 - The following local
residents have received their degree from WGU Texas. The university held
its 6th annual commencement ceremony at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin
on Saturday, Sept. 30, and celebrated the graduation of more than 1,995

* Brent Hudson of Gilmer (75644) has received his MBA in IT Management.

* Lauren Edwards of Gilmer (75644) has received her Master of Business

At the commencement, the online, nonprofit university recognized 1,234
undergraduates and 761 graduates who have completed their degrees in
business, information technology, K-12 teacher education, and health
professions, including nursing. Dr. Marni Baker Stein, who joined WGU in
August as Provost and Chief Academic Officer, delivered the commencement
address and joined Dr. Steven Johnson, Chancellor of WGU Texas, in
honoring the new alumni participating in the ceremony.

"Today, many Texans juggle full-time jobs, family responsibilities, and
limited budgets, making higher education something that's simply out of
reach," said Dr. Steven Johnson, WGU Texas Chancellor. "We've helped
change that as WGU Texas continues to deliver high-quality higher
education solutions that meet the needs of our diverse Texas population.
This year's graduates are a strong testament that higher education is
within reach."

Forty percent of this year's graduates represent the first generation in
their family to complete college. The average age of the graduates is 40;
the youngest grad is 20; the oldest is 85. From this class, the average
time to complete a bachelor's degree was two years and seven months, while
completing a master's degree took about one year, nine months.

WGU Texas' online, competency-based model allows students to move quickly
through material they already know so they can focus on what they still
need to learn. As a result, many students are able to accelerate their
studies, finishing faster and saving money. Tuition is charged at a flat
rate of about $3,000 per six-month term for most programs, regardless of
the number of courses completed. On average, students are able to complete
a bachelor's degree in less than three years, many while holding a
full-time job and raising a family. The online model also enables students
to enroll and study from anywhere across the state, and complete
coursework at a schedule that works best for them.

About WGU Texas
WGU Texas is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university established
to expand Texans' access to higher education throughout the state. Formed
through a partnership between the state of Texas and nationally-recognized
Western Governors University, WGU Texas is open to all qualified Texas
residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate
degree programs in the high-demand career fields of business, K-12 teacher
education, information technology, and health professions, including

Follow WGU Texas:

Contact for enrollment information:
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US Forest Service Actively Involved in California Wildfire Response
Oct 16, 2017 | 105 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Alongside its local, State and Federal partners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service remains actively involved in response to wildfires in California. While these fires are not on National Forest System lands, the Forest Service provides additional firefighting personnel, incident management teams, and equipment resources to support the State of California and other federal agencies whose resources are challenged by the size, numbers, and severity of these fatal fires.

“The people of California are not in this alone. This is a unified effort that involves the dedication of the whole firefighting community,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke. “The Forest Service has boots on the ground and is providing other critical resources in California, as well as other parts of the American West, and we will remain as long as necessary.”

While Cal Fire is leading overall operations, as of Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 the Forest Service has committed over 1,500 firefighters to the effort. Forest Service firefighting resources currently supporting state and local fires include: 12 Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crews specially trained in wildfire suppression tactics; 103 Type 2 crews; 285 engines; 5 dozers; 1 water tender; 55 support vehicles; 23 fixed wing aircraft (includes air tankers, water scoopers, lead planes and air attack); and 8 helicopters (Type 1 and Type 2).

Additionally, over $6.6 million worth of supplies and equipment have so far been mobilized by agency cache warehouses for such items as: water handling equipment, hoses, nozzles, fittings, foam, folding portable water tanks, batteries, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), etc. Additional crews, equipment and aircraft are on order.

Currently, the Forest Service also has 15 large air tankers committed, 2 DC-10 very large Air tankers, 2 C-130s with air tanker modules, 34 helicopters and 3 scooper aircraft for water drops.

Firefighters are working to keep dozens of new fires small and of shorter duration, limiting damage and reducing costs and exposure to firefighters and the public.

The public is encouraged to continue following the guidance of local officials and stay informed. Information about wildfires is available on an interagency website, Inciweb:

“The U.S. Forest Service has an enduring history of supporting wildfire response and we continue to work with cooperators, partners, communities and the American public to reduce the risk of wildfire in the nation.” Chief Tooke said. “Our commitment to our local, State and Federal partners in California is steadfast, and we are dedicated in our mission of caring for the land and serving people.”

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