Hilco Real Estate 6-2024

State resumes requiring job searches to get benefits

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Opinion

Texans receiving unemployment benefits will need to show an active effort to find a job starting Nov. 1.

The Texas Workforce Commission suspended the requirement in March as the pandemic started. More than 3.6 million have filed for unemployment relief since then, according to Texas Tribune research.

Workforce Executive Director Ed Serna said the state continues to suffer from the pandemic, “but we’re seeing employment opportunities begin to bounce back in Texas as our economy restarts. There are opportunities out there, and getting Texans back to work and businesses up and running again will create even more.”

Abhi Rahman, Texas Democratic Party communications director, called the action “wrong and emblematic of Republicans who will do the most cruel thing imaginable every chance they get.”

“These are Texans who are struggling to put food on the table or fighting off evictions,” Rahman said. “These are Texans who have lost everything due to no fault of their own.”

Workforce officials report 695,000 jobs are available at WorkInTexas.com, the state’s online portal. Texas Workforce also reported the state’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.3% in September, up from 7% in August.

State resumes requiring job searches to get benefits

A small-town Texas librarian is making big waves as an advocate for universal broadband access.

Dianne Connery, director of the Pottsboro Area Library, is spotlighted in Arizona State University’s ShapingEDU’s blog for her efforts to make high-speed internet available in her town of 2,000. Pottsboro is about 75 miles north of Dallas.

The article notes she helps library users with their online medical appointments, works to create wifi hotspots around Pottsboro for students during the pandemic, and teaches people how to use Google Drive. She also drives around town testing to show where broadband coverage has been exaggerated by service providers.

“Working in a rural library, I talk to people every day who struggle with not having access to broadband,” Connery said. “Their stories inspired me to work to improve conditions. In particular, I saw how young people do not have the same experiences and opportunities as kids in the suburbs and urban environments.”

Burning like a heat wave

La Niña conditions threaten to make this a dangerously dry and warm winter and spring in much of Texas.

A La Niña event could lead to a drought and a summer heat wave similar to the weather pattern that smacked the state in 2010-11, according to Nelun Fernando with the Texas Water Development Board. Other factors might affect the amount of rainfall between now and the summer, he said, but already 18 counties in West Texas and the Panhandle are experiencing exceptional drought.

“We can say with some certainty, though, that the die is loaded toward drought persistence over West Texas through the winter and possibly through spring,” Fernando said.

Giving Texas the business

The Aggies and the Longhorns aren’t likely to finish No. 1 in football this season, but Texas can celebrate a national championship in economic development.

The state ranked No. 1 for the eighth consecutive time in a survey of U.S. corporate executives. The survey was announced at the International Economic Development Council’s annual conference, which was held virtually in Dallas.

Executives preferred Texas over No. 2 Georgia by a wide margin. North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee round out the top five. Factors cited in the ranking: overall business climate, a favorable tax climate, a pro-business environment, and access to talent.

Carve out Halloween fun with care

Halloween activities will need to be more thoughtful this year to be safe during the pandemic, the Texas Department of Health Service advises.

Trick-or-treating from door to door is considered a high-risk activity for spreading COVID-19 and should be avoided, according to the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People also should avoid attending crowded indoor costume parties and going to an indoor haunted house or on a hayride with those who are not part of their household.

Instead, the state and federal health agencies recommend lower-risk holiday activities such as carving pumpkins, decorating at home and having a virtual costume party. Moderate-risk activities include participating in one-way trick-or-treating where goodies are left at the end of the driveway; having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are 6 feet apart and wear protective masks; and visiting pumpkin patches where people use hand sanitizer, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distance.

Costumes with facial coverings are not sufficient replacements for proper cloth face masks, officials said.

“Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe,” the CDC advises. “Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.”

By Chris Cobler, board member and past president of the Freedom of In­formation Foundation of Texas • [email protected]

Subscribe RH Love

0 Comments

NTMWD Plant Smart 2024

Related News

Comic Relief

Comic Relief

People use different ways to learn to read. Some folks use the vowels and consonants method. Others memorize how the words look.  I used both, but I had a secret weapon many didn’t know about.  Comic books.  While most kids were having, “Fun with Dick...

read more
35 Texas counties eligible for individual disaster aid

35 Texas counties eligible for individual disaster aid

Residents in a total of 35 Texas counties now qualify for individual disaster assistance following a series of severe storms and flooding that began in late April, The Dallas Morning News reported. “I thank our federal partners and emergency response personnel across...

read more
Phelan wins re-election bid, seeks speaker post again

Phelan wins re-election bid, seeks speaker post again

House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, narrowly won re-election in a hotly contested runoff race and has vowed to seek his third term as speaker, drawing threats from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to oppose any of his supporters in the 2024 primary. “I’ve done it...

read more
Additional disaster assistance approved

Additional disaster assistance approved

Seven Texas counties have been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for grants for emergency work and replacement of disaster-damaged public infrastructure, after severe weather and flooding struck much of Deep East Texas, Gov. Gregg Abbott’s office...

read more
Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

You would think that there’s only one way to fold towels. But, you’d be wrong. Growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, my momma showed me how to fold them, as well as shirts, socks, underpants, and other personal sundries. I assumed that this skillset would carry me all the...

read more
The Lawn Moore

The Lawn Moore

America really is The Land of Opportunity. Even if there’s only one opportunity, and that opportunity is cutting the grass.  Ashdown, Arkansas, was a pretty typical small American town in the 1960s and 1970s.  Kids weren’t just handed things. If we wanted...

read more
A myth understanding

A myth understanding

In the South, we believed with all of our hearts what we were told when we were children. Even if it was wrong. In the 1960s, the RCA color console TV my family had on Beech Street in Ashdown, Arkansas, could make you go blind. It could if you believed what our mom...

read more
On the road again and again

On the road again and again

Back in the 60s, some American college kids protested the Vietnam War, but mostly, they conducted sit-ins. Few protests were violent. Other American college kids would have contests to see how many of them they could cram into a Volkswagen. Today, some college kids...

read more
Aisle be seeing you

Aisle be seeing you

As a child growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, we had two main grocery stores. Shur-Way and Piggly Wiggly. Or as my dad called it, “Hoggly Woggly.” A trip to the store was like each TV commercial had come to life. Advertising agencies at the time were very good at what...

read more
‘Aggressive’ hurricane forecast for Gulf Coast

‘Aggressive’ hurricane forecast for Gulf Coast

Colorado State University researchers are calling this year’s hurricane season forecast “the most aggressive” ever, the Texas Standard reported. They say there is a 54% chance a hurricane will strike the Texas coast, and a 25% chance it will be major. Justin Ballard,...

read more
Order photos