Texas

In these uncertain times, we all need somebody to lean on.

Or so felt the residents of South Side on Lamar, an apartment building in Dallas, Texas, where a group of residents stuck their heads out of windows in a chorus of quarantined voices.

Building resident and soulful tenor Danzel Barber led an apartment quarantine singalong to the popular Bill Withers song "Lean on Me."

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The city of Austin, Texas, has canceled South by Southwest, after a disaster was declared in response to the expanding coronavirus.

The annual event is a staple for the technology, music and film worlds; last year's edition drew more than 400,000 visitors to the city. The 2020 edition was slated to take place March 13 to 22.

In a statement Friday afternoon, SXSW said: "The city of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the city's directions."

The city of San Antonio says more than 120 people repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be released from quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base on Tuesday, one day after the mayor declared a public health emergency to block the evacuees from leaving the base.

For Texas Democrats, the state's Super Tuesday primary could help define the shape of a party that's on the rise after more than two decades of being shut out of power.

During the Trump administration, the party has experienced a surge of new voters — ranging from suburban voters in areas of Texas historically dominated by Republicans to a new crop of young, racially diverse voters.

Pueblo, Colo., home to famous chilies, a steel mill and strong union ties, is working to diversify its economy.

In Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR has taken a back seat to financial services as the population booms with immigrants and Northeastern transplants.

Wisconsin is deeply purple and up for grabs — and eyes are on its large cities like Milwaukee this election.

Many of America's communities are changing, and so is how voters decide what matters most to them and whom they want their leaders to be.

With the new year come many new state laws across the country. There are the usual suspects — gun laws, marijuana legalization and housing protections — but there are also some new frontiers: groundbreaking laws concerning Internet user privacy and the classification of contract workers in California, for example.

Here are some of the most notable laws taking effect Jan. 1, in no particular order:

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Updated at 9:35 p.m. ET

A gunman opened fire during a church service Sunday morning in White Settlement, Texas, killing two people before two church members returned fire and killed him, authorities said.

"Preliminary reports indicated that the man entered the church and fired a weapon," White Settlement police Chief J.P. Bevering said at a press conference. "A couple of members of the church returned fire, striking the suspect, who died at the scene."

It appears Texas will get one of the strongest laws in the nation against surprise medical bills after all.

Earlier this year, lawmakers passed legislation to protect people in state-regulated health plans from getting outrageous bills for out-of-network care.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf visited a construction site in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas on a windswept day last month and repeated a Trump administration pledge.

"We are on track to build 450 to 500 miles of new wall by the end of 2020," he told reporters. Behind him, steel panels atop a concrete levee wall, 30 feet in all, are rising from the sugar cane fields and bird sanctuaries of the valley — which is really a river delta. They are the first section of new border wall built under President Trump where there was no barrier before.

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