Texas

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

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

On October 2, 1989, the Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state’s school finance system was unequal. The case was Edgewood ISD versus Kirby, pitting San Antonio’s Edgewood Independent School District against the state education commissioner at the time, William Kirby.

Lee Leblanc/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

In Lawrence Wright’s new book “God Save Texas,” he begins his ode to the Lone Star State with a place that may be among the most Texan of all retailers – Buc-ees. That little beaver in the logo may be cute, but it’s got teeth. A lawyer for the roadside destination told a federal jury Tuesday that San Antonio-based Choke Canyon Bar-B-Q is using a similar cartoon critter in its logo to confuse drivers into pulling off the highway to shop at its travel stop instead.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading Texas into a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for exacerbating the opioid crisis among Texans.

In an announcement Tuesday afternoon, Paxton, a Republican, flanked by several assistant attorney generals, said the state is taking the drug maker to court for misrepresenting the risks of opioid addiction.

Daphne Zaras/NSSL

From Texas Standard.

Tornadoes have an unmistakable sound – but scientists are learning that the tornado also makes other sounds that you can’t hear. That’s what has seized the interest of Brian Elbing, because those inaudible sounds could save lives.

Flickr/Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Some people are convinced that hypnosis is real: they’ve seen it done, they’ve experienced being hypnotized. But is it science? Is it so reliable that we should be able to use it to help make life or death decisions? Two death row inmates have had their sentences delayed as they make the case that they were convicted on the basis of evidence obtained through hypnosis. They say – and other states would agree – that amounts to junk science.

Photo by Jorge Sahueza-Lyon/KUT News

Ed Schipul/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Last week, one writer described the hysteria and and hype in Houston right now as on a scale somewhere between anticipation for the Super Bowl and the new Avengers movie. So to say Houstonians and Texans further afield are pumped for what starts Monday night in Space City may be an understatement as the hometown Rockets take on the Golden State Warriors in the first game of the NBA’s western conference finals.

JBColorado/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Summer is coming. The kids are about to get out of school, and that means trips to the pool. In Texas, there is one pool that stands above the rest – the pool at Balmorhea State Park, a true desert oasis. Generations of Texans have gone west to cool off in the spring-fed pool near the foothills of the Davis Mountains. This year, there’s a problem, though.

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

From Texas Standard.

On May 31, President Donald Trump will be back in Texas for lunch – $5,000 per plate – with well heeled Houstonians, then that evening he’ll preside at a dinner in Dallas.

Natalie Krebs

From Texas Standard.

Out in the sand dunes of west Texas, a tiny lizard has been wrapped up in a big controversy for years. The four-inch long dunes sagebrush lizard calls the middle of the Permian Basin home, but conservationists have long feared the oil boom there would be detrimental to the lizard’s rare habitat. But in the past year, a new threat has emerged.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard.

For a lot of Texans, knowing what to do during a tornado warning is second nature, because when you live in Tornado Alley, you know how deadly and destructive twisters can be.

For many weather professionals and hobbyists, too, Tornado Alley is ground zero for researching some of the nation’s deadliest natural disasters, and a ticket to the greatest thrill ride on Earth.

House Intelligence Committee

From Texas Standard.

It was a cold rainy day back in February 2016 outside NFL headquarters in New York. Media crews were fluttering about in anticipation of a protest much buzzed about on social media. It would be a demonstration against Houston-born Beyoncé's halftime performance at the Super Bowl, which was memorable for costumes echoing those used in the 1960s by the Black Panthers and dance moves which included raised fists.

Courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas history is already full of pretty rowdy tales. But one Austin-based author decided to make it a little rowdier with a work of historical fiction about Republic of Texas President Mirabeau Lamar and his rival Sam Houston.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Young women molested by Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics team doctor, called on Texas to pursue criminal and civil charges against the owners of the Karolyi Ranch, a Huntsville facility that hosted the women's national team for decades.

Texans for Andrew White

From Texas Standard.

Lupe Valdez and Andrew White, the Democrats vying for a chance to face Gov. Greg Abbott in November, are preparing for their only debate of the primary campaign, to be held Friday in Austin. It won’t be broadcast, but will be livestreamed by KXAN-TV in Austin. And the Republican incumbent isn’t waiting around to see who will win the May 22 runoff. Abbott has released a campaign ad calling Valdez “too liberal for Texas.”

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Michael S. Murphy

From Texas Standard.

Early Thursday morning at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, DC, three American detainees returned home from North Korea. President Trump greeted the men and said the release of the hostages shows that the U.S. has “a very good chance of doing something very meaningful” with North Korea.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

From Texas Standard.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows most of Texas is in some stage of drought. The worst of it is up in the Panhandle, but almost everything southwest of the Brazos is affected.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Travis County Jail saw a drastic reduction in the number of undocumented immigrants it transferred into Immigrations Customs Enforcement custody in the first part of 2017, according to a new study.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

The First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs broke ground at the site of a new church on Saturday, six months after a gunman killed more than two dozen people during Sunday services.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Whenever there’s a medical emergency the very first thing on one’s mind – especially if they’re insured – isn’t typically how much the bill could be. It’s to get help as quickly as possible, then deal with the cost later.

Lynda Gonzalez for Texas Standard

From Texas Standard.

Over the weekend, an estimated 80,000 people descended on the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas for the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting – over 900 firearms and gun-related vendors, along with politicians from President Trump to Governor Greg Abbott. The event was a window into an organization that, in the wake of shootings such as Parkland and Sutherland Springs, has been under increased scrutiny.

The Hathi Trust Digital Library/Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]

From Texas Standard.

It’s time once again for what they call the most exciting two minutes in sports. The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby will happen this Saturday.

Greg Goebel/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Many of the caimans, iguanas and tigers that enter Texas come from Latin America.

Earlier this week, border patrol agents recovered a duffel bag dropped by smugglers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas. But the contraband inside wasn’t drugs. It was a bengal tiger cub. It’s far from an isolated incident. Illegal wildlife trafficking is big business in Texas. Some estimates say Texas’ tiger population is second only to that of India.

KBE/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

When we think about countries that pose a nuclear threat to the United States, North Korea probably tops the list. But in 1962, at the height of the Cold War, it was the Soviet Union whose missiles kept the U.S. on high alert. And some of those nuclear missiles were as close to the U.S. as 90 miles – in Cuba. A new book explores the Cuban Missile Crisis through the little-known story of U.S. pilots who flew U-2 spy planes in an attempt to find out what sort of threat the Soviets’ armaments posed.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard.

In what many would call the "Bible Belt" of the Lone Star State, an ugly reality looms. Communities in East Texas are grappling with a suicide rate that’s higher than any of the other most populous counties in the state.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

After awarding full scholarships to 50 Nepalese students to attend the University of Texas at Tyler, the university revoked the scholarships because of what officials have called an “oversight.”

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Tens of thousands of people, including the president, vice president and top Texas elected officials, are gathering in Dallas later this week for the National Rifle Association’s 147th annual meeting. And protesters will be active throughout.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked a court to stop the federal government from issuing or renewing DACA permits while a lawsuit Texas filed yesterday with six other states is pending.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Following through on a months-old promise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leading a seven-state coalition against an Obama-era immigration measure that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants nationwide from deportation, including more than 120,000 in Texas.

Graphic by Cheryl Gerber

A federal appeals panel on Friday OK'd state lawmakers' efforts to rewrite Texas' embattled voter ID law to address discriminatory faults previously identified by the courts. 

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