Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast one year ago this Saturday. Rockport took the brunt of the storm’s high-speed winds and tornadoes that spun off as it moved inland.

As the city picked up the pieces, one woman decided to help anyone and everyone she could. 

Margaret Nicklas

From Texas Standard:

The system of small hospitals that provides emergency and other health care to millions of rural Texans is in trouble. As many as 18 rural hospitals in Texas have closed since 2013, and many more may be on the verge. These closures can devastate local economies and leave some of the most vulnerable Texans with few health care options.

Kimberly Vardeman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In Lubbock, Texas Tech is in a tizzy over what's being called regentgate. The story centers on Robert Duncan, a career public servant who tendered his resignation as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System last week. But the story goes that he effectively got pushed out because of plans for a veterinary school and pressure from very high places. 

It has been a year since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas’ Gulf Coast, bringing heavy rains and widespread flooding.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson checks in with KUT reporter Jimmy Maas (@maasdinero), who has been speaking with victims of the storm to see how they’re doing today.

Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News

Just days after Hurricane Harvey released its grip on Texas a year ago, Guillermo Martinez Ayme was hard at work in the rebuilding effort.

He was one of more than 100 workers laboring from sunrise to sunset seven days a week, gutting a MainStay Suites hotel in Ingleside, 20 minutes north of Corpus Christi, that had been totaled by the storm. They worked 10- and 12-hour shifts in stifling summer heat, tearing down mold-infested walls, discarding storm debris and moving rotting furniture out of the four-story building.

Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Up and down the Gulf Coast, Texans are still trying to get back to where they were before Hurricane Harvey hit. Some have had to rebuild from the ground up. For others, the trouble is with the ground itself.

Jill Ament/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that the Rebuild Texas Fund reported the amount of recovery money Nueces County, where Port Aransas is located, has received. The reporting agency is called the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas.

City leaders say Hurricane Harvey damaged 100 percent of Port Aransas' businesses and 85 percent of the beach community's homes.

Kimberly Vardeman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In south Texas, cotton farmers are beginning to reap what they've sown. The harvest season starts in the Rio Grande Valley, and slowly creeps north throughout the fall. Whether it's drought, hail, flood, or pests, there's plenty that can go wrong while growing cotton. But farmers aren't clear of the hazards once they get the crop out of the ground. They still have to avoid cotton contamination. That's something that Jimmy Roppolo knows quite a bit about. He's the general manager of United Ag Cooperative in El Campo, where they're starting to gin this season's cotton.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

On September 26, in the stately Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress, a Texan from Beaumont will receive one of the highest honors awarded to folk and traditional artists, a national heritage fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

But "folk and traditional artist" does not come to mind when you see Barbara Lynn doing her thing on stage.  She slings a Fender Stratocaster, left-handed, playing blues-infused Gulf Coast soul with the presence of a pop star. She's had hit records, been invited to perform on American Bandstand, and her songs have been covered and sampled by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Lil Wayne and Moby. But she never cultivated the whole celebrity thing.  Indeed, Barbara Lynn has never been much for playing by the rules.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Political pundits, pollsters and activists have been saying for a while that the 2018 midterm elections are likely to result in some upheaval in the ranks of incumbent officeholders. Already, in special elections in other states, Democrats have run strong in reliably Republican areas, and here at home, one senator, and several members of Congress face enthusiastic opposition. But statewide officeholders – Republicans Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller – face somewhat easier paths to reelection. Still, Democrats are campaigning aggressively.

AgriLife Today/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Raising cattle anywhere is hard, but it’s especially hard in the Rio Grande Valley. And that’s thanks to fever ticks. They can spread a fatal disease that decimated cattle herds through the 1900s and is still feared today. And it’s not just the ticks themselves that can cause headaches, but the regulations designed to control them.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

After seven long years of litigation, opponents of Texas' voter ID law say the case is over.

In a court filing on Wednesday, opponents of the law requiring Texas voters to present photo identification to vote told a federal district judge that the case was settled and that they would not pursue any other remedies or changes to the law they first challenged in 2011 as discriminatory against voters of color.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

For most people, going to a Department of Public Safety office means waiting in line – something that DPS megacenters were supposed to help alleviate.

Caroline Covington

From Texas Standard:

Putting mental health services into primary care clinics is an idea that’s gained traction in recent years. In Texas, it came about partly out of necessity after the state mental health care system streamlined its services over a decade ago. An unintended consequence was that people with less severe mental health issues ended up seeking care in community clinics that weren’t fully equipped to care for them.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Winston Churchill once said, “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

Winston Churchill did not, in fact, once say, “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”

Editor's Note: This story contains graphic language.

A former worker at a shelter for immigrant youths in Arizona has been accused of molesting eight teenage boys over a nearly yearlong period at the facility, according to federal records cited by nonprofit news site ProPublica.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz

A new poll released Wednesday suggests that U.S. Sen Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, are in a dead heat.

The poll from Texas Lyceum shows Cruz holding a slim margin over his Democratic challenger in the U.S. Senate race. Among likely voters, Cruz carries 41 percent of the vote compared to O’Rourke’s 39 percent. Nineteen percent of voters said they were undecided.

Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

When the state of Texas successfully halted a proposed 2014 federal immigration program to aid adult immigrants, the state's attorneys were able to convince federal courts Texas would be irreparably harmed by the implementation of the sweeping initiative.

But as the Texas attorney general’s office goes to court next week in an attempt to shut down the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that argument won’t be as strong because the program has been in place for more than half a decade, attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said Tuesday.

Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.

From Texas Standard:

As the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey approaches, there are questions about whether the federal and state response to the storm will play a role in the midterm elections. In the first stages of recovery, state leaders and local officials in towns hit hard by the storm expressed anger over what they felt was a delayed response from federal and Texas officials. But as time goes by, and more people have gotten back to a new normal, and it may be that those sentiments are not as strong.

Texas A & M Forest Service

A wildfire has burned about 557 acres in Burnet County. As of Wednesday, the Park Road Fire is 90 percent contained, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The service initially reported about 150 homes had been evacuated, along with Inks Lake State Park and a fish hatchery. Residents returned to their homes Tuesday, and Inks Lake State Park has partially reopened.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Rotten sandwich meat that’s turned green or black; noodle soup cooked so little that the noodles are still hard; drinking water that smells like chlorine, Clorox or “just bad.” Cramped, cold conditions; tearful separations of children and mothers; guards who said Mexicans won’t ever receive asylum in the United States.

For Edna, Texas, Walmart Leaving Is A Turning Point

Jul 20, 2018
Michael Marks

From Texas Standard:

In big cities, businesses open and close all the time – usually with little fanfare. But when a retailer leaves a small town, it’s big news. Small town economies are fragile, and even one business packing its bags could spell major problems for locals. And that’s exactly what’s happening in Edna, Texas.

Hans Splinter/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the 1920s, archaeologists dug up a trove of ancient artifacts near Clovis, New Mexico. What humans had known about their past was changed forever. These artifacts were the oldest man-made objects found on the Western Hemisphere, and the discovery led to a theory that the first humans to set foot in the Americas did so around about 13,000 years ago, and that they made and used tools like the ones found near Clovis.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

KUT hosted a community discussion Wednesday at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center about how federal immigration enforcement has impacted communities in Austin. Members of the community who have experienced deportations in their families and people who work with immigrant communities shared their stories.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises of tougher immigration policies, leading to a constant flow of policy changes — from scaling back on programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to his “zero-tolerance” policy along the border that’s led to separation of parents and children attempting to cross into the U.S.

All of these individual actions amount to a broader strategy that is now becoming clear.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke wants to unseat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. O'Rourke's campaign has enjoyed record fundraising success, and he's a star among national Democrats. But to win, he needs to generate excitement among potential voters, especially those who don't normally turn out to vote in Texas elections.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / Texas Tribune

The federal government said Thursday morning that it has reunited 57 immigrant children under the age of 5 who had been separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In doing so, the government declared that its efforts to reunite "eligible children" in that age group complete.

Ken Lund/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

In early January 2017, a fire allegedly started by Mark Vincent Perez burned a mosque in Victoria to the ground. Since then, the community has remained quiet about the motivations for this act of arson. As the case goes to trial, details are finally coming out, one witness at a time.

From Texas Standard.

When Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl in Midland, was stuck in a well for 58 hours in October of 1987, CNN carried most of the rescue effort live. There was an international sigh of relief when a crew of roughnecks and first responders finally brought Baby Jessica to the surface.

Austin History Center, PICB 2011116

The landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade is in the spotlight again with President Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement. The ruling found a constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion.

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