Texas

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

"True Conviction" is coming to Independent Lens on PBS.

From Texas Standard.

Christopher Scott was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 for capital murder. He spent more than a dozen years behind bars before another man confessed to the crime and Scott was declared innocent. With his second chance at freedom, Scott teamed up with two other exonerated Texans to form a Dallas detective agency of sorts to help others who have been wrongfully convicted.

Jonathan Baker

From Texas Standard.

Tulia is an agricultural hamlet of 5,000 souls in the middle of the Texas Panhandle, just under an hour south of Amarillo. It’s where 18-year-old Tawnee Flowers grew up and went to high school.

COMPADMIN /Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

Today, the majority of headlines about the National Rifle Association involve a bit of controversy – debates over gun laws inevitably following mass shootings, or boycotts by citizens or businesses not wanting to be affiliated with the gun rights group. But it hasn’t always been this way. At its founding, the NRA was focused on firearms skill and safety, not politics.

Brianmcmillen/Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0

From Texas Standard.

For many Texans of a certain age, learning civics and math and grammar began as we sat cross-legged on the floor in front of a big cathode ray tube on Saturday mornings. In between  The Archies, Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, Josie and the Pussycats and Super Friends, we learned lessons that have stuck with us all our lives.

Mayor Ginger Nelson/Facebook

From Texas Standard:

The Amarillo City Council’s no clapping policy is designed to maintain order at council meetings, but some say the rule is unconstitutional. Instead of clapping, people are instructed to raise their hands to signal agreement or keep their hands down to signal disagreement.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

A petition to put rewrites of Austin’s land development code, including CodeNEXT, to a public vote was deemed valid by the City Clerk on Monday.

Austin Price/KUT

From Texas Standard.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a long-running Texas redistricting case. The dispute goes back to 2011, when Republicans in the state legislature drew Congressional and state legislative districts in a way designed to favor GOP candidates, and to move as many Democrats as possible into a few other districts.

Credits: NASA / Lockheed Martin

From Texas Standard.

A flight from Dallas to London takes about nine hours on average – not bad, considering it's 4,800 miles away. But imagine cutting that travel time in half. That’s the promise of supersonic flight – a plane moving faster than the speed of sound. It’s not only possible; it’s also been done commercially before.

City of Amarillo

From Texas Standard.

At Amarillo City Council meetings, clapping is a sign of rebellion. And citizens are called out for doing it.

Mayor Ginger Nelson recently enforced the city’s no clapping policy.

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

From Texas Standard.

When Heman Sweatt applied to the University of Texas at Austin Law School in 1946, he was automatically rejected because he was black. He sued, and the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices ruled unanimously in his favor, and Sweatt became the first black student at the UT Law School.

But his enrollment was just the beginning of a long struggle to integrate the school.

Molly Adams/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Young immigrants protected by the DACA program have been in limbo since the Obama-era program was canceled by President Trump last year.  Now we’re hearing rumblings of Republicans, including at least one from Texas, trying a new strategy to get a DACA vote in Congress.

Photo courtesy of Kathy McCullough

From Texas Standard.

This week’s deadly Southwest Airlines incident marked the first passenger death in U.S. commercial aviation since 2009. A mother of two was killed when she was partially pulled from the plane by decompression forces after a window was shattered by shrapnel from an exploding engine.

Kevin Garber/AP

Southwest pilot Tammie Jo Shults is being praised for her cool demeanor after her plane suffered a blown engine — killing one passenger — and she was forced to make a one-engine, emergency landing in Philadelphia with nearly 150 people on board Tuesday.

Caught in the grips of calamity, passengers on Flight 1380 used their phones to send texts to loved ones and share news of their desperate state.

George Bush Presidential Library

From Texas Standard.

Back in the late '80s and early '90s, you could be fired if your employer discovered you’d done something like volunteering to work with AIDS patients. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome was, at the time, considered a death sentence, saddled with the stigma as a disease spread by drug users and gay men.

cool.as.a.cucumber/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Every time a vessel comes to a port of call, a local sailor takes command of the ship to maneuver it through the shallow water to berth, or out to sea. Those sailors are called “marine pilots” or maritime pilots, and they must be experts on their specific ports and waters.

Office of Senator Luther Strange/Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

From Texas Standard.

Defining violent crime can be trickier than it sounds. Mugging someone on a sidewalk or robbing a store with a firearm are obviously violent acts. But, what about stealing something from an unoccupied and unlocked home? Even the Supreme Court has difficulty making the call.

YouTube screenshot

Parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are suing radio show host Alex Jones for defamation.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society

From Texas Standard.

This is the third story in a three-part series about HemisFair ’68. For part one, click here. For part two, click here.

Today, if you stand at the site where San Antonio held a World’s Fair 50 years ago, you’ll see structures that define San Antonio, like the Tower of the Americas, for one. What you won’t see, though, are too many remnants of what used to be there – what was cleared away for the fair to take place.

Andrea Garcia for KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are all on Democrats’ short list to pick up House seats in the November midterms, but that’s expected when it comes to so-called battleground states. As Frank Bruni of The New York Times notes, Democrats definitely smell blood in the water this year.

Screenshot/Texas Archive of the Moving Image

From Texas Standard.

Many of us have a cabinet or a closet at home with a stack of homemade VHS tapes – or those little tapes that went into newer-model camcorders – or maybe even Super 8s on little plastic reels. What’s on them may be personally worth keeping. But in the age of Blu-ray and digital files, will you ever watch them again?

Courtesy of UTSA Libraries Special Collections at ITC

From Texas Standard.

This is the second story in a three-part series about HemisFair ’68. For part one, click here.

50 years ago this week San Antonio kicked off its world’s fair – HemisFair ‘68. Thursday, we brought you the story of how HemisFair turned San Antonio into the city we know today. It’s no small miracle that the fair even happened in the first place.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

A lot of interesting people pass through the Texas Standard studios – high-profile politicians, authors, and musicians among them. But the guest who came through this week caused a bit of a stir. Native Texan, Academy Award winner, and proud Austinite Matthew McConaughey sat down with host David Brown – not to plug a movie, but to talk about why he calls Austin home.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

From Texas Standard.

For anyone who’s spent much time online, snark and nasty comments seem to come with the territory, but for women journalists, is it also part of the job? In a new cross-cultural study, 75 women journalists reported attacks they’ve experienced ranging from misogynistic comments to sexual violence – and they say it influences how they go about their reporting.

Flickr/Raleigh Meade (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

There’s a saying that every Texan has two hometowns: their own, and San Antonio. Historically, culturally and personally – somehow all Texans have a connection to the Alamo City. But as we learn in the first of a three-part series on the 50th anniversary of HemisFair ’68, San Antonio hasn’t always been the modern, tourist-ready town it is today. Getting there involved a few growing pains – and a massive party.

U.S. Army/Maj. Randall Stillinger

From Texas Standard.

About 250 Texas National Guard troops have deployed to the Texas-Mexico border. Texas’ Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll eventually send more than 1,000. But even with the state’s leadership so supportive of any appearance of cracking down on illegal immigration, are the Guard troops really doing immigration enforcement? And how do folks who already work on border law enforcement perceive the influx of military personnel?

LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto

From Texas Standard.

Because 1968 was such a historic year, 2018 is packed with momentous 50th anniversaries. It was a year of ideological divides, assassinations, Vietnam – and a Texan in the White House tasked with leading the country through it all.

YouTube, via PBS News Hour

From Texas Standard.

The first day of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress wrapped up Tuesday. Zuckerberg sat alone at a brown wooden table, surrounded by nearly half the Senate, and by the look of things, just as many photographers. He was there to answer questions about the social network’s role in presidential election meddling and the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard.

YouTube remains under fire for disturbing content made available in the Suggested Videos area of its YouTube Kids app, and for collecting data on young children. Even as recently as a couple of weeks ago, publications including Wired reported that the app was still awash in creepy and violent videos targeted at kids.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

If you’re a renter in Texas and you fail to pay your rent, your landlord may have the legal right to enter your home and take your belongings. The clause, called a landlord’s lien, is standard language in many residential leases, but it can also apply to stores and restaurants that fall behind on rent.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A judge has dismissed a complaint against confessed Austin bomber Mark Conditt now that his body has been identified and released to his family, U.S. Attorney John Bash said today. The investigation into a motive is ongoing, he added.

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