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Gov. Abbott announces end of statewide mask mandate, reopening of businesses at full capacity

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Gov. Greg Abbott celebrated Texas Independence Day by announcing that Texans will no longer be required to wear face masks in public, and all businesses can re-open at full capacity starting next week. The governor chose a crowded restaurant in Lubbock as the venue for his announcement, and spoke to a mostly maskless and cheering audience, according a report in the Dallas Morning News.
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On cusp of spring, Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle residents warned of fire danger, thunderstorm risk

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Today (Thursday) is expected to bring critical fire danger to the southwestern Texas Panhandle with elevated danger elsewhere in the western half of the Panhandles. Amarillo’s National Weather Service meteorologists reported yesterday that they were highly confident that elevated to critical fire danger would develop in the western Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles this afternoon. Winds out of the southwest, ranging from 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph, are anticipated.
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What a difference a week makes—temperature tailspin eases

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Two hundred seventy-five hours—11 1/2 days—from Monday, Feb. 8 at 1:30 am until Friday, Feb. 19 at 1:15 pm, the mercury stubbornly refused to budge above the freezing mark. Arctic air blanketed a large part of North America as two storms interacted, producing record-shattering low temperatures, wind-chill readings not seen in a generation, and snow.
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Hemphill County COVID test positives remain low as hospital vaccine distribution continues

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New positive tests for the coronavirus continued to dramatically decline in Hemphill County this week. On Wednesday, the Hemphill County Hospital District lab announced zero new positive cases of COVID-19 among in-county residents over the last seven days. Only one case remains active among Hemphill county residents, according to this latest report.
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Southwest Power Pool, Xcel Energy, and regional co-ops resume normal operations

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AMARILLO—The Southwest Power Pool moved to normal operating status at 10 pm Saturday, signaling the end of a power emergency across its 14-state footprint that includes Xcel Energy’s Texas and New Mexico service area along with regional electric cooperatives and municipal utilities.