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AM Update: Hurricane Season Begins, Spurs Lose to Thunder, Houston Gets Replica Rocket

Photo courtesy; Image courtesy National Weather Service; Photo courtesy San Antonio Spurs

Hurricane Season Could Bring Texas Much Needed Rain

Today is the official start to hurricane season.

So far this year we’ve seen two named tropical storms – Alberto and Beryl. Neither caused widespread damage. The 2011 season brought seven named hurricanes.

Regional climatologists tell KUT News that a good amount of rain from a tropical storm or hurricane this summer could be the quickest way for Texas to recover from the worst drought in state history.

About 12 percent of the U.S. population lives along the coast between Texas and North Carolina. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that’s more than 37 million people. That number has more than doubled in the past 50 years.

Governor Rick Perry is scheduled to be at a hurricane emergency response exercise with the Texas Department of Emergency Management later this morning.

San Antonio Spurs 2-1 in Conference Finals

Last night the San Antonio Spurs broke their 20-game winning streak with a defeat by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the third game of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

Despite their two-game lead in the best-of-seven tournament, the Spurs seemed to lose confidence early. Although they concluded the first quarter with a two-point lead, by the end of the second quarter they were an insurmountable thirteen points behind.

The Thunder’s Thabo Sefolosha played a primary role in mentally disarming the Spurs in front of an Oklahoma City crowd with four steals in the first three minutes alone. Sefolosha played sharply for the rest of the night, accumulating 19 points, six steals and six rebounds.

Sefolosha’s back-up shooting guard, James Harden, held his own as well, shooting 15 points in the 26 minutes he was on the floor.

The Spurs couldn’t seem to get their feet on the ground – Sefolosha at times marked point guard Tony Parker, limiting his performance. Nonetheless, Parker and Stephen Jackson led the Spurs offense, both scoring 16 points. Tim Duncan scored below his average points-per-game, making five of fifteen baskets for 11 points.

On Saturday night, Game 4 of the series will again be played in Oklahoma City.

Houston, We Have a Rocket

Houston did not receive one of several coveted retired space shuttles, but by this afternoon the city will have a full-sized replica.

The 122-foot long replica, called “Explorer” will arrive in Houston’s Johnson Space Center this afternoon, following an eight day journey from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Yesterday the mock-up docked in Galveston, where it received some fine-tuning and repairs in preparation for celebrations at the Johnson Space Center.

Though Houstonians are embracing the new monument, many are disappointed the towering shuttle is only a replica. NASA elected to give four retired shuttles to affiliated cities more attractive to tourists – Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Cape Canaveral/Orlando.

However, the Houston Chroniclereports that this model shuttle can be toured more extensively than its counterparts, allowing visitors into the cockpit and mid-deck. Houston will undergo a weekend-long “Shuttlebration” to commemorate the shuttle’s arrival.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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