ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
34°
Sunny
H 49° L 29°
  • clear-night
    34°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 49° L 29°
  • clear-day
    61°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 49° L 29°
  • clear-night
    52°
    Evening
    Clear. H 66° L 41°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National

    Pass the turkey — but maybe hold the politics. The already-fraught topic now includes allegations of sexual misconduct against politicians of various political stripes.From GOP President Donald Trump to Democratic Sen. Al Franken, politicians past, present and aspiring stand accused of sexual misconduct and that could keep tensions high at the holiday table. More than a third of Americans dread the prospect of politics coming up over Thanksgiving, a new poll shows.Glenn Rogers, a Republican from Los Angeles, says he asks people around the table to talk about things to celebrate from the past year. Not everyone, he knows, will be toasting the Trump presidency.'For the most part, we get to the point where we know that we're not going to agree with each other and it gets dropped,' says the 67-year-old manufacturing consultant, who says he voted less for Trump than against Democrat Hillary Clinton.With a cascade of sexual misconduct scandals now echoing similar allegations against Trump during the campaign, tempers on the subject of Trump may not have cooled, says Rogers. 'When you start talking about it now, there's still some, I think, real animosity when you start talking about character.'Rogers is among more than a third of Americans who say they dread the prospect of politics coming up over Thanksgiving, compared with just 2 in 10 who say they're eager to talk politics, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Four in 10 don't feel strongly either way.Democrats are slightly more likely than Republicans to say they're uneasy about political discussions at the table, 39 percent to 33 percent. And women are more likely than men to say they dread the thought of talking politics, 41 percent to 31 percent.Those who do think there's at least some possibility of politics coming up are somewhat more likely to feel optimistic about it than Americans as a whole. Among this group, 30 percent say they'd be eager to talk politics and 34 percent would dread it.The debate over whether to talk politics at Thanksgiving is about as American as the traditional feast itself. By Christmas 2016, 39 percent of U.S. adults said their families avoided conversations about politics, according to the Pew Research Center.But Americans are still trying to figure out how to talk about the subject in the age of Trump and amid the sexual misconduct allegations that have ignited a new debate over standards for conduct between men and women. The conversation, some analysts and respondents say, touches on identity among people who group themselves by other factors, such as family, friendship or geography.Ten months into Trump's difficult presidency, he remains a historically unpopular president and a deeply polarizing force in the United States. His drives to crack down on immigration in the name of national security and the economy cut right to the question of who is an American. And his defense on Tuesday of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge accused by six women of pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, comes amid a wider deluge of sexual misconduct scandals.For any mention of Moore, who denies the accusations against him, there's Franken of Minnesota, who has apologized or said he feels bad about the allegations against him. For every mention of the 'Access Hollywood' tape in which Trump could be heard bragging about touching women without their consent, there are allegations that Democratic President Bill Clinton assaulted women. Both men deny the accusations.Trump won the 2016 election, even though more than a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct, and roughly half of all voters said they were bothered by his treatment of women, according to exit polls. Trump called the allegations false and said he would sue the women, but that hasn't happened.In the past, the Emily Post Institute Inc. received Thanksgiving etiquette questions that were typically about how to handle difficult relatives, says author Daniel Post Senning.'Now, I am hearing questions like, 'I don't want to go,' or 'I can't imagine sitting at a table with someone who has this perspective and staying through the meal,'' he says. 'My impression is that it's still out there. ... The shock of that election is a little further in the rearview mirror, but I think people still have strong feelings about it.'Fort Worth, Texas, resident Greg McCulley saw that firsthand last year. He recalls that of a dozen adults gathered around the Thanksgiving table, all but one was celebrating Trump's election. That was his sister-in-law, who fumed about Trump and the 'Access Hollywood' tape. Tension seethed.'It was like, you say Donald Trump was bad, then someone says Bill Clinton was bad, so that extended to Hillary Clinton,' says McCulley, 43, an Air Force retiree who voted for Trump but doesn't dispute that Trump's recorded remarks were troubling. He does expect politics to come up this year, probably about sexual assault.'The conservatives have more of a bigger bone. They'll say look at Al Franken,' says McCully, who nonetheless looks forward to the conversation. 'But it may be that my sister-in-law keeps her mouth zipped and says, 'I don't want to wade into those waters again like last year.''The AP-NORC poll of 1,070 adults was conducted Nov. 15-19 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later interviewed online or by phone.___Follow Kellman and Swanson on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman and http://www.twitter.com/EL_Swan___Online:AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org
  • New faces and old favorites will fly, float and march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as police go all-out to secure it in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots.One of the nation's biggest outdoor holiday events, the parade makes its way through 2 ½ miles of Manhattan with marching bands, performers from Broadway hits, elaborate floats and signature giant balloons. Olaf from the Disney movie 'Frozen' and Chase from the TV cartoon 'Paw Patrol' will be among the new balloons Thursday, along with a new version of the Grinch of Dr. Seuss fame.The parade also will feature heavy security, including officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors among the crowds, sharpshooters on rooftops and sand-filled city sanitation trucks poised as imposing barriers to traffic at every cross street.'Every year the NYPD has done more to keep this event tonight and the parade itself safer,' Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio told crowds gathered to watch the balloons being inflated Wednesday. 'Because we understand we are dealing with a very challenging world. And so the amount of resources and personnel we put in has increased each year to make us safer.'Authorities say there is no confirmation of a credible threat to the parade, but it comes after a truck attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center killed eight people in October. Weeks earlier, a gunman in a 32nd-floor Las Vegas hotel room rained bullets on a crowd at a country music festival, killing 58 and injuring hundreds.New York City's mayor and police brass have repeatedly stressed that layers of security, along with hundreds of officers, will be in place for the Thanksgiving parade and that visitors shouldn't be deterred. But they're asking spectators to be alert for anything suspicious.Police officers will escort each of the giant balloons to help monitor wind speeds and ensure the wafting characters don't go off course, but winds weren't expected to climb above 17 mph.In 2005, a balloon caught an unexpected gust of wind and struck a lamppost in Times Square, injuring two people. Since then, the parade has been accident-free.The 91st annual parade begins at 9 a.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC. Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Flo Rida and Wyclef Jean will be among the stars celebrating, along with performances from the casts of Broadway's 'Anastasia,' ''Dear Evan Hansen' and 'SpongeBob SquarePants,' plus a dozen marching bands.
  • Holiday shopping mania can make it easy to forget some common-sense rules to keep you and your belongings safe. Police recommend these tips before hitting the stores on Black Friday: 1. Remove valuables from view: After a successful shopping run, you should place and secure all holiday packages in your trunk, away from prying eyes. Thefts are crimes of opportunity, and thieves wait and watch those who park, so lock and secure all windows and doors. 2. Plan your route: Park in well-lighted spots, which thieves tend to avoid. It takes only three minutes for a vehicle to be burglarized or stolen, safety experts say. 3. Don’t leave vehicle idling: No matter how quick the trip into the store will take, always turn off the ignition, lock your doors, roll up the windows and take your keys. 4. Report any suspicious activity: Call 911 if you see something fishy and be sure to give a good description of the suspicious subject. 5. Follow all traffic rules: For instance, don’t block intersections or rights of way, and park only in marked spaces. If you create a parking space, you risk being towed. 6. Keep your eyes peeled: Watch for shoppers crossing streets and walking in parking lots. Look for cars backing in and out of parking spaces. Sunset Valley police want shoppers to remember that all incoming mall traffic has the right of way and should not stop — exiting traffic should always yield.
  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade has signaled the start of the holiday season for nearly 100 years. It draws 3 million people in person in New York City, and more than 50 million on television.  There are stars who sing and dance, marching bands and balloons. Big balloons. This year’s version of the parade is set to go off Thursday in New York City with a cast of more than 8,000. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s parade. What time does it start? 9 a.m. ET. It is scheduled to last until noon. What channel is it on? The parade is broadcast on NBC. How long is the parade route? 2.5 miles What is the parade route? The parade begins at 77th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan. It moves south on Central Park West, and at Columbus Circle, it turns east onto Central Park South. When the parade reaches 6th Avenue, it turns south on to 34th Street. At 34th Street it turns west to Macy's Herald Square and ends at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue. When was the first Macy's Thanksgiving day parade? The first parade was held on Christmas in 1924. Which balloons will we see this year? Angry Birds’ Red Ice Age’s Scrat and his Acorn Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Sinclair’s Dino Hello Kitty Pillsbury the Doughboy Ronald McDonald Trolls SpongeBob SquarePants Pikachu The Elf on the Shelf Charlie Brown Diary of a Wimpy Kid Super Wings’ Jett Paw Patrol’s Chase The Grinch Frozen’s Olaf Novelty Balloons Charlie, Kit & C.J. Holiday Elves Harold the Policeman Yellow Star Pumpkins Harold the Baseball Player Rex the Happy Dragon Cloe the Clown Christmas String of Lights Candy Cane Blue Ornament Red and Gold Macy’s Star What about the floats? There will be 31 floats in the parade. Who is performing? Gwen Stefani 98 Degrees Sara Evans Andra Day Cam Common Dustin Lynch Wyclef Jean Goo Goo Dolls Smokey Robinson Kat Graham The Radio City Rockettes Olivia Holt JoJo Siwa Andy Grammer Miss America Cara Mund Leslie Odom Jr. Padma Lakshmi Tom Colicchio Angelica Hale Bebe Rexha Lauren Alaina Nicky Jam Sabrina Carpenter Patti LaBelle Marching Bands There are 12 marching bands in the parade. They are: Nation Ford High School Band West Harrison High School NYPD Marching Band U.S. Air Force Colony High School Band Ohio University Marching Band Rockford High School Marching Band Macy’s Great American Marching Band Prairie View A&M Marching Storm Rosemount High School Marching Band Davis High School Marching Band Trumbull High School Parade History According to the New York Tourist Commission, the inaugural Macy's Day Parade took place on Christmas 1924 and had an audience of 250,000 people. There were no giant balloons until 1927 when Felix the Cat showed up. The parade was first broadcast on radio in 1932. The Balloons The balloons are filled with 12,000 cubic feet of helium. They are inflated the day before Thanksgiving at the American Museum of National History from 3 p.m. -10 p.m. Some numbers On average, 300 bands a year apply for the 12 slots in the parade Those handling the balloons, 30 to 100 of them for each balloon, are volunteers. It  takes 15 minutes to deflate the balloon.    
  • Seven months after losing 300 pounds on “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” Mama June Shannon is here to prove she’s still keeping the weight off! >> Read more trending news The 38-year-old reality star was spotted out and about in Atlanta this week while Christmas shopping and was happy to show off her slim figure. Dressed in athletic wear leggings and a long-sleeved gray shirt, she was all smiles while proving she’s kept her weight loss promise. “I can promise you I’m never going back to that size. I’m happy where I’m at,” Shannon told PEOPLE back in April after she underwent weight loss surgery and drastically changed her diet and exercise routine, going from 460 pounds to a size 4. At the very beginning of her weight loss journey, she wanted to drop the pounds to make her ex Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson jealous at his then-upcoming wedding to his new love. However, over time it became much more than that. “My goal when I first started this weight loss journey was to make Sugar Bear kind of jealous,” she said. “But it’s no longer about revenge. Doing all the surgeries really took a toll on me -- not just physically, but emotionally. I feel like [I’m] becoming the person on the outside that I always felt like [I was] on the inside.” When she made her big debut after shedding the weight, her daughter and “Toddlers & Tiaras” star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, said, “She looks great. I’m really proud of her.” While Shannon continues to drop jaws whenever she updates fans on how she’s been keeping up her weight loss, she barely turns heads back at home. “It’s kind of crazy. A lot of people don’t recognize who I am until I talk,” she said. “It’s kind of like I’m in my own disguise. Normally when I walk through the streets, everybody notices me, and now it’s like nobody [does].” However, she may not slip under the radar for much longer, because she’s headed back to your television screens in January for “Mama June: From Not to Hot” Season 2:
  • The Latest on U.S. Rep. Joe Barton's response to a nude photograph of him circulated on social media (all times local):10:15 p.m.A published report says U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to U.S. Capitol Police for exposing his behavior. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the woman, whom it didn't identify, played for the newspaper a recording of a telephone conversation she had with Barton in 2015. The Post said the recording captures the Texas Republican warning her against using the materials in a way that would hurt his political career. The woman detailed encounters and contacts she had with Barton over a five-year period beginning in 2011.In a statement to The Post, Barton said a transcript of the recording provided by the newspaper may be 'evidence' of a 'potential crime' against him. He said he has been informed that the Capitol Police have begun an inquiry.Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press late Wednesday.___4 p.m.U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas is apologizing after a nude photo of him circulated on social media.Barton released a statement Wednesday saying that while separated from his second wife, prior to their divorce, he had sexual relationships 'with other mature adult women.'The 68-year-old Republican from Ennis says each relationship was consensual and has since ended. He says, 'I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.'Barton announced his re-election bid this month. The photo appeared on an anonymous Twitter account.His spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News that Barton has no plans to step down.Barton joined the U.S. House in 1985. He's the longest-serving member of Congress from Texas.
  • U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, issued an apology Wednesday after a sexually explicit photo of him made the rounds on social media. >> Read more trending news Barton reportedly sent the photo to a woman he was involved with after he and his now ex-wife had separated. “While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” he said, according to The Texas Tribune. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.” Barton, who recently announced he would run for re-election in 2018, said through a spokeswoman that he has no plans of resigning.
  • George Avakian, a Russian-born jazz scholar and architect of the American music industry who produced essential recordings by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other stars has died at age 98.Avakian's daughter, Anahid Avakian Gregg, confirmed that her father died Wednesday morning at his home in Manhattan. No further details were immediate available.Avakian, an executive at Columbia Records and Warner Bros. among other labels, helped popularize such consumer standards as liner notes, the long-playing album and the live album.Few could claim as many milestones as Avakian, who started out as an Ivy League prodigy rediscovering old jazz recordings and became a monumental industry figure and founder of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, presenters of the Grammys. Through the artists he promoted and the breakthroughs he championed, Avakian helped shape the music we listen to and the way we listen to it.'The innovations Avakian brought or helped bring to the recording industry are so fundamental and taken for granted today that most people under the age of 70 would find it hard to imagine there was ever a time when they didn't exist,' DownBeat magazine declared in presenting Avakian a lifetime achievement award in 2000.His contributions date back to the late 1930s, when he was an undergraduate at Yale and a jazz fan frustrated by the limited availability of his favorite music. He wrote to numerous companies and finally convinced Decca to let him compile 'Chicago Jazz,' widely regarded as the first jazz album and among the first jazz records to include liner notes, written by Avakian.'Decca said in essence, 'We don't know quite what jazz in those cities is about but you seem to know so why don't you go ahead and produce them,'' Avakian told JazzWax in 2010.Avakian was soon working on new and old music, documenting and making history, and jazz's stature was changing from popular entertainment to art. He prepared a series of reissues at Columbia that featured recordings by Armstrong, Ellington and Bessie Smith and helped launch the inclusion of alternate takes of individual songs. He produced the classic 'Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy' and one of Dave Brubeck's most popular albums, 'Dave Digs Disney.' He also signed up Davis for Columbia and co-produced 'Miles Ahead,' the 1957 album that began Davis' collaborations with arranger Gil Evans and established him as among the first jazz superstars of the post-World War II era.'I saw him as the best trumpet ballad player since Louis Armstrong,' Avakian told The Wall Street Journal in 2005.The music business was rapidly changing in the 1940s and '50s, thanks in part to Avakian. Columbia was the industry leader in issuing classical recordings as albums and Avakian, as head of Columbia's pop division, oversaw the landmark 1948 release of 100 long-playing records for pop and jazz. Featuring Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore and other artists, they were pressed on vinyl that was thinner than the traditional 78 rpm 'shellac' records and played at what became the standard speed, 33 1-3 rpm.In the 1950s, Avakian supervised two historic live recordings: 'Benny Goodman Live at Carnegie Hall 1938' and 'Ellington at Newport.' The Goodman concert, released in 1950, was among jazz's first double albums, first live albums and first to sell a million copies. 'Ellington at Newport,' featuring a sensational 27-chorus solo by tenor saxophone player Paul Gonsalves on 'Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,' captured the 1956 performances that revived the middle-aged Ellington's career.Avakian's other achievements ranged from producing Bob Newhart's Grammy-winning debut 'The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart' and Sonny Rollins' comeback album 'The Bridge' to managing Keith Jarrett and teaching, at Columbia University, one of the first courses on jazz. In 1958, he was among the founders of the recording academy, which in 2009 presented him a Trustees Award for lifetime achievement. His other honors included an advocacy award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres from France and the Soviet Union's highest honor, the Order of Lenin.Avakian, essentially retired from the music industry since the 1970s, was a breeder of race horses in recent years, notably the champion pacer President Ball. Avakian was married to the violinist Anahid Ajemian, with whom he had three children. She died on June 13, 2016, at age 92.He was born in 1919 in the Russian city of Armavir, the child of wealthy Armenians who fled from the civil war that followed the 1917 revolution. Once settled with his family in New York, Avakian fell in love with jazz listening to the radio, on low volume, so his parents wouldn't know he was still awake. When he entered Yale, jazz was still a relatively new and popular genre and few sensed it had lasting value.Avakian was barely out of his teens when he met Armstrong. While at Yale, he helped unearth tracks from Armstrong's foundational Hot Five and Hot Seven sessions from the 1920s. After serving in the infantry during World War II, when Avakian was based in the Philippines, he was hired by Columbia and was soon back in touch with Armstrong.'Louis remains the artist I most admired and most enjoyed recording, by a distinct though relatively narrow margin,' Avakian told JazzTimes in 2000, 'narrow because it was also an enormous pleasure working with Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Mahalia Jackson, Erroll Garner, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck and a host of others who were not just great artists, but among the best friends I have ever had.
  • The Georgia Dome implosion Monday morning in downtown Atlanta caused a massive dust cloud that settled over the area, covering nearby cars and buildings in a thick coat of dirt and grime. >> Read more trending news It also left some city residents worried about the impact of the particle pollution on their health.  Neighbors with asthma, allergies and bronchitis have been taking extra medicine and staying inside to avoid breathing in the dust, according to WSB-TV. The dust has also made an impact on nearby businesses, such as window and car-washers.  Gregory Price with 70s Car Wash told the TV station that cars have been coming in caked in the dust, which he described as a hard, clay-like consistency that’s difficult to get off.  “It usually takes about an extra 20 or 30 minutes because you got to rinse it all off,” Price said.  He wasn’t the only one who noticed the difference. A window washer said he’s never seen dust so thick; a woman claimed the soot is causing her congestion, watery eyes and difficulty breathing. >> Related: Goodbye, Georgia Dome – thanks for the memories! The Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association has asked the demolition company for car wash vouchers, according to WSB-TV. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority had not responded to the station’s request for comment Tuesday. 
  • More than three years ago, SpaceX founder Elon Musk gathered with state leaders at this remote South Texas beach to trumpet it as the future location of the world’s first commercial spaceport.  But so far, the only liftoffs from the shifting dunes are being achieved by seagulls and pelicans. SpaceX — the Hawthorne, Calif., company started by Musk with the aim of reducing the cost of space travel and one day facilitating the colonization of Mars — still counts the Boca Chica site in its plans. The company installed two large tracking antennas at the location this year, perhaps the most tangible indication yet of its intended purpose as a launch point for commercial satellites and, eventually, exploration of the solar system. But progress on the Boca Chica facility — in which Musk vowed SpaceX would invest $100 million and initially predicted could be sending up rockets by late 2016 — has been slower than either SpaceX or state officials envisioned when it was announced in 2014. The state has pledged a total of $15.3 million in incentives to the project, although SpaceX has returned a small portion of the state money it has received so far because it hasn’t met early job-creation goals. The slower rate of progress is partly the result of difficulties building on the beach after bedrock turned out to be deeper than expected and the water table turned out to be higher than expected. That prompted SpaceX to bring in hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of new soil to stabilize the site to support future structures. Other slowdowns have been caused by the company’s focus on more pressing issues after one of its rockets exploded in 2015 shortly after liftoff from a leased launch pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and another exploded on the pad in 2016, temporarily grounding some of SpaceX’s commercial operations both times. Most recently, SpaceX has said the first blast-off from Boca Chica could take place by the end of 2018. Spokesman James Gleeson reiterated that goal in a recent interview — although he added a caveat. “SpaceX has continued to make progress on building the first-ever commercial spaceport in South Texas while also overcoming a number of challenges in the last few years,” Gleeson said. “We continue to target late 2018 but we’re reviewing our progress in South Texas and SpaceX will turn the launch complex online as soon as it’s ready.” Progress has been slow at the future commercial spaceport, but the company still counts it in its plans. Work on the spaceport is expected to pick up in early 2018, SpaceX has said. Boca Chica is in Cameron County, about 20 miles east of Brownsville at the southernmost tip of Texas, where Texas Highway 4 dead-ends into the Gulf of Mexico. A small housing development, called Boca Chica Village, is nearby. According to state documents obtained by the American-Statesman through an open-records request, the deadline for the Boca Chica spaceport to become operational or potentially lose more of the state incentive money pledged to it is less than a year away — on Sept. 30, 2018. The agreement also requires that 120 people be employed by the facility by the end of this year, 180 by the end of 2018 and 300 by the end of 2024. Only a handful of people were working at the location during a recent visit by the American-Statesman, however, and there was little to distinguish it amid the windswept landscape as the future site of a cutting-edge launching point for space exploration. Aside from the two tracking antennas brought in this year — which aren’t yet operational — the most notable structure was a large platform of compacted soil, set off by fencing and a “SpaceX Launch Site” sign. Across the highway, the metal framework of what appeared to be a storage building was being erected around some heavy equipment. ‘Par for the course’ The spaceport has been viewed by state and local Cameron County leaders as the linchpin to establishing South Texas as a hub for an emerging private U.S. space industry in an era of NASA budget cuts, and former Gov. Rick Perry was on hand for the ground-breaking ceremony in September 2014. At the time, the Brownsville Economic Development Corp. estimated SpaceX would create 500 jobs over 10 years with an annual payroll of more than $51 million. Musk — a billionaire serial entrepreneur who also started electric-car maker Tesla and is known for bold statements and futuristic pronouncements — said during the groundbreaking that rockets launched from Boca Chica would carry commercial satellites at first but eventually could be critical to establishing a human presence on Mars. SpaceX’s formal name is Space Exploration Technologies Corp. “It could very well be that the first person that departs for another planet will depart from this location,” Musk said at the time. The rate of progress at Boca Chica since then isn’t necessarily a surprise to some SpaceX observers, however, because both the company and Musk have reputations in the aerospace industry for issuing ambitious timetables that often are revised. “Being behind schedule is kind of par for the course for SpaceX,” said Bill Ostrove, primary space analyst for Forecast International. “They lay out very aggressive plans in terms of time schedules that are very rarely if ever met. There’s kind of an expectation that anytime SpaceX gives you a date, you always have to assume that there is going to be a few years of delay.” Still, Musk does have a track record of eventually accomplishing many of the goals he sets — such as when SpaceX made history this year by relaunching into orbit and then successfully landing a booster rocket that it had flown before. The feat marked a milestone because the company views reusable rockets as the key to lowering the cost of space flight. “I wouldn’t doubt (Musk) in the end,” Ostrove said, although he said he hadn’t heard anything specifically about SpaceX’s latest Boca Chica plans. Texas beat out Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico to win the future spaceport. The state pledged $2.3 million from the jobs-focused Texas Enterprise Fund and $13 million from another state incentive fund called the Spaceport Trust Fund, in addition to millions more in various tax incentives committed by local governments nearby the proposed launch site. SpaceX received its first payment from the state’s spaceport fund — routed through the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp. — this year, totaling $2.6 million and intended to help pay for infrastructure, such as the tracking antennas. To date, SpaceX has paid back about $81,000 of the $400,000 in incentives money it initially received from the Texas Enterprise Fund because it didn’t meet hiring goals for either 2015 or 2016. Under the incentives agreement with the state, the company was supposed to have created 60 full-time jobs related to the site by the end of last year, but it had created only 10, according to documents obtained by the American-Statesman. Support for the project continues to be solid among state leaders and local Cameron County officials, however. “The governor’s office remains confident Brownsville will be home to the launch of a new SpaceX venture,” said Ciara Matthews, a spokeswoman for Gov. Greg Abbott. “SpaceX has continually maintained a partnership of transparency with the state of Texas, and the governor’s office continues to work with the company to ensure a successful project and full compliance with their (Texas Enterprise Fund) agreement.” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. said he doesn’t consider the spaceport behind schedule because his understanding of SpaceX’s plans since he took office in November last year has been that the first launch wouldn’t take place until late 2018. But Treviño also said he wasn’t aware that SpaceX had fallen short of its hiring targets, noting that Cameron County isn’t charged with monitoring job creation at the site since the company’s job-related incentives come from the state. Cameron County has granted a $1.8 million, 10-year property-tax abatement to SpaceX, he said. “Obviously, (the hiring shortfall) is a slowdown and a little bit of a delay, but I haven’t heard anything (else) that would indicate the project is in a slowdown or is a project that is not going to come to fruition,” Treviño said. “We are being told (by SpaceX) that the plan and the project is still moving forward.” He said he’s confident “we are going to see launches taking place from Cameron County” eventually. “It’s really exciting,” Treviño said. “Obviously, we would love to see more tangible examples of the progress, but I’m sure we will.” According to SpaceX, he and others won’t have to wait much longer for an increase in activity at the future spaceport. The recently installed antennas at Boca Chica are expected to be operational next year — although they’ll initially track flights blasting off from elsewhere — and the company also indicated development of the overall launch complex should pick up. “Even as our teams worked to modernize and repair our launch complexes in Florida so that we could reliably return to flight for our customers, SpaceX invested $14 million into the South Texas project,” said Gleeson, the company’s spokesman. “Now, with our launch construction projects in Florida wrapping up by early 2018, SpaceX will be able to turn more attention to our work in South Texas,” he said.