Wade Goodwyn

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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says reservoir releases will keep water flooding into some homes for up to two more weeks. He's urging people in the western part of the city to get out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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A chemical plant just northeast of Houston is at risk of explosion following the failure of refrigeration equipment that is needed to cool the volatile compounds produced there.

The CEO of Arkema Inc., Rich Rowe, said Wednesday that the Crosby, Texas, facility is flooded by 6 feet of water and that both primary and backup power have failed. Without cooling systems, the risk of fire and explosion grows ever more serious. "The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it," Rowe said.

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Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, was an early supporter of President Trump and often praises him. But he says he has not heard directly from Trump since the president said he was seriously considering pardoning Arpaio on a recent conviction for criminal contempt of court.

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At an event Wednesday night, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was met by about 150 protesters who oppose the Senate's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. On a hot evening, they stood outside a hotel in McKinney, a north Dallas suburb, shouting "shame on Ted" and "save Medicaid."

The by-invitation, town hall-style event was held one day after the senator's appearance in McAllen was disrupted by protesters concerned about health care as well as immigration.

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Arguments over Confederate statuary and flags rage on across the South. Confederate memorials in Norfolk and St. Louis were vandalized, the small town of Brandenburg, Ky. welcomed a Confederate statue that the University of Louisville had taken down and New Orleans has now removed four monuments.

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President Trump wants to revive a program that deputizes local law enforcement to help federal immigration agents cast a wider net.

It's part of his vow to increase deportations of unauthorized immigrants.

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Kristen Hotopp stands in the front yard of her well-worn East Austin home, where she has lived for the past 17 years. She points across the street at an attractive, nearly new, two-story home — by far the nicest on the block.

"There are two units on this lot," Hotopp says. "There's a house in the back that's smaller and a house upfront. We're getting investors descending upon the area and buying up a lot of these properties."

The Big 12 Conference decided Wednesday to impose a multi-million dollar sanction on Baylor University after another recent round of stinging revelations about the extent and nature of the university's problems with alleged sexual assaults by former members of its football team.

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Texas could soon follow in the footsteps of Indiana and North Carolina and pass its own "bathroom bill" in the upcoming legislative session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made passage of such a bill, which could require transgender Texans to use the restroom which corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, a priority.

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Abortion rights activists on Monday filed a challenge in federal court to stop Texas' new rules requiring health clinics to bury all fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages.

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Last year, the Texas legislature approved a $350 million cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates to early childhood intervention therapists and providers. The cuts, made to help balance a billion dollars in property tax relief, affect the most vulnerable Texas children — those born extremely prematurely or with Down syndrome or other genetic conditions that put them at risk for developmental delay.

It's called sticking to your guns to the noble and bitter end, and it's almost certainly what the Senate majority is going to do when it comes to refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland.

Polls show the presidential race in Texas is closer than it's been in decades. Some even show the two candidates within the margin of error.

Does Hillary Clinton actually stand a chance in Texas? It's unlikely, but it could be closer than at any time in the past 20 years. The reason for how competitive the race looks lies in two demographic groups — Republican-leaning suburban women offended by Trump's comments about women, and Latinos, who are fired up to vote against him.

They congregated in VFW halls and sports bars, private homes and the back rooms of restaurants — Americans gathered to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finally go toe to toe.

Or to see how the Atlanta Falcons fared against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

One contest or the other, the seductive glow of large flat panels drew more than the usual contingent of moths to their Monday night flames.

The Clinton crowd

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As we near the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we're reminded of many stories of courage and sorrow that emerged that day. One of the lesser known stories is the subject of a new musical "Come From Away." It tells what happened in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. More than 6,000 airline passengers were forced to land there on 9/11 after America's airspace was closed. The play opened last night at Ford's Theater in Washington, and NPR's Wade Goodwyn saw it.

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A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Obama administration's public schools directive for transgender students. The guidelines allow students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

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