AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry on Sept. 13 declared Orange, Jefferson and Galveston counties a disaster area resulting from Hurricane Humberto. Gov. Perry ordered state agency and military resources and personnel to the area before the storm hit. Relief workers delivered generators, water and ice to stricken areas.

Humberto took only 18 hours to develop from a tropical depression into a Category 1 hurricane with sustained wind speeds in excess of 85 mph and heavy rains.No tropical cyclone on record ever reached the intensity of Humberto at a faster rate near landfall, the National Hurricane Center reported. After striking Texas, the weather system moved across Louisiana and Mississippi and into Alabama.Entergy Texas, a major power provider in 26 counties including the three in the disaster zone, reported power outages to 118,019 customers.

Seventy-two hours after Humberto struck the coast, Entergy said power

restoration to customers was almost complete. A widely reported early estimate of damages caused by the hurricane came to about $500 million.

The Texas Department of Insurance urged residents affected by the hurricane to call the consumer hotline, 1-800-252-3439 for answers to storm-related insurance questions.

Border security

council is formed

Gov. Perry appointed 11 members to the newly created Texas Border Security Council to serve at his pleasure. The council was created by Senate Bill 11 of the 80th Legislature.

The council's job will be to devise performance standards, reporting requirements, audit methods and other procedures for homeland security fund allocation and use. Council members include the presiding officer Cameron County Judge

Carlos Cascos of Brownville, Brewster County Judge Val Clark Beard, Hudspeth County Judge Becky Dean-Walker, Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor, Maverick County Sheriff Tomas S. Herrera, Secretary of State Phil Wilson, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Buddy Garcia and Public Safety Commission member Allan Polunsky.

Three private businessmen, Fred Burton of Austin, Scott A. McLaughlin

of El Paso, and Robert Braxton Holt of Midland, also were appointed to the council by Perry.

“Texans understand there can be no homeland security without border security,” said Perry. “The members of the Border Security Council will play an important role in reinforcing the state's efforts to strengthen the safety and security of Texas.”

More minorities

take AP exams

The Texas Education Agency reported minority students represented 52 percent of all Advanced Placement test takers in Texas in 2007.

Fifty percent of those who took the test in 2006 identified themselves as minorities. In 2002, the figure was 45 percent. High school students who score highly on AP exams can earn college credit for courses, saving their families thousands of dollars in tuition costs and giving students a head start on a college education, the TEA reported.

Wilson visits NYC for Texas

Texas' new Secretary of State Phil Wilson, on the job since July 1, took a trip east to drum up business for the Lone Star State.

He had this to say: “During the trip we visited the New York Stock Exchange and discovered that Texas has 216 companies worth $2.42 trillion that are publicly traded on the exchange - the most of any state in the nation.

“This is proof that the Lone Star State truly is ‘wide open for business' and has the potential to remain an economic powerhouse for years to come.”

Wilson makes trips like this for Texas One, an outreach program to promote Texas as an attractive place for businesses to relocate.

City dedicates Richards bridge

The city of Austin on Sept. 7 officially renamed and dedicated the former Congress Avenue Bridge as Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue

Bridge. Richards served as governor from 1991 to 1995. She died Sept. 13, 2006.