Coming up on Good Morning East Texas: The National Weather Service confirms that Wednesday night's storm system created 9 tornadoes as it moved through East Texas. We'll get an up-close look at some of the damage along with a view from the air in Chopper 7.
Federal investigators have determined that three church fires in East Texas during the past week were all cases of arson. That means there have now been six confirmed church arson cases in East Texas since January 1st. However, investigators are still not saying if all six fires are connected.
Plus...we'll hear from Grammy Award-winning singer and composer Lionel Riche in advance of this weekend's UNCF television special "An Evening of Stars", which will honor Richie with the group's "Award of Excellence".
We have another great day shaping up for us, as skies will remain sunny today with highs back into the lower 70s. A few clouds will start to move in late this afternoon and overnight as our next storm system moves in from the west.
We have seen pictures from the ground of some tornado damage but we took Chopper 7 up Thursday to give you some aerial views.
A bird's eye view showed the surprising size of Wednesday night's twisters, but views from the ground provided perspective on the sheer power of the storms.
There are no reports of any injuries, after a man with a handgun fired several shots today on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol in Austin.
|STATE & NATIONAL NEWS|
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. (AP) - Hail, lightning and thunder came in with the rain pummeling Southern California, flooding streets and leaving a trail of damage. Authorities continue to warn of huge mud flows in foothill communities and they urge residents to obey evacuation orders.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haitian officials will try to reduce the threat of disease in the capital by moving hundreds of thousands of people to more adequate encampment outside the city. Hundreds of squalid settlements across Port-au-Prince house homeless families without sanitation, and, in some cases, without actual shelter.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is shifting his focus to jobs today as he travels to hard-hit Ohio. He'll tell voters there that investments in clean-energy technologies will help boost the nation's economy. It's seen as a test drive of an aggressive populist push on jobs -- a top concern for voters across the country.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Curious about tire safety? How about Medicare services? Check the Internet, where the government today is posting a wealth of new data from all Cabinet-level departments. It's part of President Barack Obama's promise of a more open, transparent government.
LOS ANGELES(AP) - It'll be a Los Angeles judge's task to decide whether Roman Polanski will be sentenced in absentia in his decades-old sex case involving a 13-year-old girl. Prosecutors want the director to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom. His lawyer and the victim's attorney are urging the judge not to side with prosecutors. The case is being argued today.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Former President George H.W. Bush is expected today to endorse Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for governor. She's challenging Governor Rick Perry in the March 2 Republican primary. She also has support from former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker.
WACO, Texas (AP) - A jury in Waco has handed down a 65-year prison sentence for former minister Matt Baker, who was accused of killing his wife and trying to cover it up as a suicide. Authorities say he drugged and suffocated her in 2006.
DALLAS (AP) - The National Weather Service confirms at least five tornadoes caused damage in east Texas this week. The tornadoes near Canton, Sulphur Springs, Larue and Poynor left trails of uprooted trees, shattered homes and toppled trucks on Wednesday. One had winds estimated at up to 130 miles per hour.
BIG LAKE, Texas (AP) - The West Texas town of Big Lake is backing out of a lawsuit that seeks to have part of the Texas Open Meetings Act struck down as unconstitutional. A group of cities and elected officials argues that the law violates officials' free speech rights.