“Hey, darling. I heard you weren’t doing so well. I’m thinking about you and I’m praying for you. Remember I love you.”

—George Strait, in a video message to ten-year-old Isabella “Bella” Gamboa of Midland, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. Gamboa, a big George Strait fan, is terminally ill, and she’s been listening to his music before every surgery and every night before bed.


Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys warms up on the field prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.Tom Pennington/Getty

Bad News ‘Boys
A federal appeals court issued a ruling on Thursday that allows the NFL to begin its six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to ESPN. Although Elliott and the Cowboys can still continue to legally challenge the league’s decision to suspend Elliott over domestic violence allegations, the ruling means that Elliott won’t be able to play until November 30 against the Washington Redskins. “We are currently exploring all of our legal options and will make a decision as to what is the best course of action in the next few days,” Elliott’s attorney Frank Salzano said, according to ESPN. The Cowboys have a bye this week, but if his attorneys can’t successfully get another injunction putting off the suspension before the team returns to action on October 22, he’ll miss at least one game after starting the first five of the season. The league suspended Elliott in August after a yearlong investigation into domestic violence allegations involving several incidents in 2016 with his then-girlfriend. Elliott never faced criminal charges, but the NFL found his actions warranted a suspension. Last month, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking the suspension, siding with NFL players’ union attorneys who claimed the investigation process was unfair to Elliott, allowing him to play earlier this season.


Big Money
The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a bill giving $36.5 billion in aid to areas affected by recent disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, after some concern earlier this week about whether Texas’s delegation would not vote to approve the measure because it didn’t earmark enough funding for the state’s Harvey recovery. According to the Texas Tribune, some Texas congressional members felt the Lone Star State was neglected in the bill in favor of hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico and California, which is dealing with deadly wildfires right now. The delegation sent a letter to congressional leadership last week requesting $18.7 billion in aid for Harvey alone. The exclusion of those specific funds caused some tension, and Governor Greg Abbott even called out the Texas delegation for not fighting hard enough to secure the money. But the bill did take two big steps for aid in Texas: It set aside $18.7 billion for FEMA’s main relief fund, and cancelled $16 billion in debt owed by the National Flood Insurance Program, from which thousands of Texans are expecting payouts after Harvey. Every Democrat in the House voted for the bill, which passed 353-69 and will head to the Senate next. Six Texas Republicans voted against it: U.S. Representatives Joe Barton of Ennis, Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, Kenny Marchant of Coppell, John Ratcliffe of Heath, and Roger Williams of Austin.

Oops, Again
It feels like it’s been a while since the last Rick Perry gaffe—too long, perhaps. But the former Texas governor came through with a big one on Thursday, when he accidentally referred to Puerto Rico as a separate country, according to the Washington Post. It happened while the energy secretary was speaking before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Thursday, after U.S. Representative Kathy Castor of Florida asked him about plans for building a more distributed energy grid. “Congresswoman Castor, you have just pointed out the real challenge that this country faces in dealing with the territory and the citizens of Puerto Rico. That is a country that already had its challenges before this storm—” at this point, Castor cut him off, informing him that Puerto Rico isn’t a country. “Well, they’re—it’s America,” Castor said. “They’re American citizens, so it’s not a country.” Perry apologized for “misstating.” Oops.

October Boys
The Houston Astros are four wins away from reaching the World Series for the first time since 2005, and they take on the New York Yankees Friday night in the first game of the American League Championship Series. Although the Astros disposed of the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, the Yankees will likely be a tougher out. They have a lineup filled with power bats, including Aaron Judge, who led the American League with 52 home runs in the regular season. The Yankees are also coming off a thrilling ALDS victory over the Cleveland Indians, during which they won three-straight games after losing the first two games of the series, so they have some momentum. Houston has home-field advantage, and ace Dallas Keuchel will start for the Astros Friday night against Masahiro Tanaka for New York. Keuchel pitched six shut-out innings against the Yankees the last time these two teams played each other in the postseason, a 2015 AL Wild Card matchup that the Astros won 3-0.


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A dog named Oreo that went missing from Houston during Harvey has been found way up in Michigan WXYZ

Texas A&M is apparently setting its sights on Penn State football coach James Franklin CBS Sports

A sixteen-year-old girl from Texas screamed so hard during a One Direction concert that her lungs collapsed (she’s fine now) New York Post

An employee at the “Good Samaritan Society” in Denton is under investigation for alleged embezzlement Denton Record-Chronicle

Someone stole a van full of supplies meant for a taco festival and used it to break into a taqueria in an attempted ATM robbery Houston Press