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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

'Umbraphiles' plan Texas trip to view total solar eclipse

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Monday, March 11, 2024   

In less than a month from today, thousands of eclipse-chasers will travel to Texas for a dimming of the sun. And one city is making the most of the rare event.

Kerrville - population 25,000 - will dismiss kids from school to attend a festival in the city park, hear speakers from NASA, and enjoy live music and children's programming.

Associate Professor in the University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy Keely Finkelstein said a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby obscuring the view of the Sun - either a little or a lot.

"A good chunk of Texas is in the path of totality," said Finkelstein, "so having a total solar eclipse like at a specific location is more rare."

Kerrville was one of only three U.S. cities chosen by NASA to livestream the eclipse.

The Festival on April 8 will occur in Louise Hays Park, with the city predicted to have a total solar eclipse that lasts 4:23 minutes.

A judge in Bell County has issued a disaster declaration ahead of the event, noting it will take "extraordinary measures" to keep residents and visitors safe.

He said officials are expecting Bell County's population of 400,000 to double, if not triple, in the days leading up to April 8.

At a recent news conference, Police Chief Chris McCall said Kerrville is not going that far, but is taking precautions.

"We are going to make a request through our law-enforcement partners in the region that are outside of the event area for a number of personnel," said McCall. "Part of our issue is not only our event in our park, but also the traffic post-event."

This will be the second solar eclipse in Texas in six months - an annular "ring of fire" eclipse was visible last October 14.




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