Texas

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

Joy Diaz

From Texas Standard.

China said on Friday that it plans to impose tariffs on American fruit, pork and wine among other products. The announcement comes a day after President Trump signed a memo proposing $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese-made products.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reveals something about Hurricane Harvey recovery that officials aren’t talking about – massive petrochemical contamination, a toxic impact of the storm that’s far more widespread than previously suspected.

Craig Sunter/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

New U.S. Census Bureau numbers show some Texas counties and metropolitan areas are growing because of both domestic and international migration.

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show Texas is still growing.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

If you’ve ever been to a Walmart in Texas looking for liquor, you’ve noticed that, by law, they don’t sell it. Beer and wine, yes, but not spirits like tequila or whiskey.

And that’s because of a somewhat arcane law that allows privately owned corporations to sell liquor, but prevents public traded companies from doing the same. But now, that could change. Walmart sued to challenge that rule, and on Wednesday a federal district judge sided with the retail giant.

Diann Bayes/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Maybe you haven’t considered Abilene for a weekend excursion, but this prairie town has a lot to offer – including some of the best little guesthouses in the state.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Over the last three weeks, a bombing spree in the Texas capital city shared eerie similarities to a string of Austin killings from 1885 that continued for over a year.

“The idea that these were crimes aimed at minority residents, in a weird way pacified people in Austin in 1885,” Skip Hollandsworth says. “And you can see it in the same fashion in the last three weeks.”

Pixabay

From Texas Standard.

We’ve all got bills – and the state of Texas does, too. Bills are nothing to be afraid of, if you can manage them. If you miss some payments or take on more debt than is healthy, your credit score will go down and your interest rates will go up. Suddenly, your debt has become overwhelming.

Currently, Texas has a AAA credit rating, the best there is, so it’s less expensive for the state to borrow money and it makes for a hospitable business environment. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has issued a warning about the state’s credit rating and its rainy day fund, which helps the state keep up with its long term liabilities.

Diann Bayes/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

A gas explosion in Dallas last month killed a 12-year old girl and brought new attention to an aging infrastructure. The natural gas supplier, Atmos Energy, says it’s upgrading old steel pipes in the area, but many wonder why it took a deadly explosion to draw attention to the issue in the first place.

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

From Texas Standard:

The 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament tips off Friday. And the road to the championship may go through Texas. Although there are only three Lone Star State schools in the field of 64, you could make a strong case for each one’s title chances.

KUT

From Texas Standard:

The Rio Grande isn't as full as it used to be. And that's a problem for everyone who shares the river. Texas claims that New Mexico is keeping more than its fair share of the water. And it's actually suing that state and Colorado in a case that's gone to the Supreme Court.

But the Rio Grande doesn't just flow through the U.S. It also feeds Mexico. Officials on both sides of the border are concerned about water scarcity, and they are taking new measures to conserve the resource.

Shutterstock

From Texas Standard.

President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. The Texas Department of State Health Services says more than 1,100 Texans died from opioids in 2016. Cities and counties across the state have had to increase services to meet the demand.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard.

Spring break is a time to relax and get away for vacationers, but it’s a make or break season for businesses along the Gulf Coast. And that’s especially so this year, as the region tries to rebound from Hurricane Harvey. So we at the Texas Standard made a few calls. We asked a basic question – how’s business?

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

A panel of three appellate judges ruled Tuesday that most of the state’s immigration enforcement legislation, Senate Bill 4, can remain in effect while the case plays out, handing a victory to Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican supporters of the legislation.

U.S Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Scorza

From Texas Standard.

In February, a video was released on the website Voice of Jihad – a piece of propaganda created by the Taliban that displays an overnight raid against Afghan security forces in Kandahar.

Screenshot/Youtube

From Texas Standard.

The City of Arlington has replaced its existing fleet of buses with vans operated by Via, an on-demand ridesharing service. Arlington is the first city in Texas to take this step, and it’s among the first cities in the country to try eliminating buses. Supporters of the idea say it is more cost-effective for the city and more efficient for riders. Critics wonder whether all of the city’s bus riders will continue to have access to public transit.

Loren Kerns/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

A gas explosion in Dallas killed a 12-year-old girl last month and prompted the evacuation of a northwest neighborhood of close to 3,000 people.

Jimmy Maas / KUT

It's not uncommon for cities, states – even countries – to highlight their workforce, investment opportunities, or visitor and tourism offerings at South By Southwest.

There are booths for places like Mexico, Ireland ... and Bastrop.

Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

Last month the University of Texas System pulled the plug on its Institute for Transformational Learning, a $75 million project meant to serve as a sort of technology startup.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

In the 2016 presidential election, evangelical voters were some of President Donald Trump’s most stalwart supporters. But new data from the Pew Research Center indicates that his support among white evangelical women has dropped about 13 percentage points, to 60 percent, compared with about a year ago.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

In the middle of all of the hype surrounding South By Southwest, the European ambassador to the U.S. has landed in the Texas capitol city.

Ambassador David O’ Sullivan is representing the EU at SXSW’s Cities Summit.

Pixabay/Public Domain

From Texas Standard.

In a Tarrant County courtroom in 2014, Terry Lee Morris stood before State District Judge George Gallagher. Morris was on trial for soliciting sex from a minor, a charge he was eventually convicted of. When he wouldn’t respond to Judge Gallagher’s questions, the judge instructed the bailiff to attach stun belts to Morris’ legs. But as Morris failed to answer questions to Judge Gallagher’s satisfaction, the judge instructed the bailiff to send 50,000 volts to him. He did that three times.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

From Texas Standard.

Film has now been part of South by Southwest for 25 years. It’s grown from a local fest to a competitive international stage for filmmakers and has launched the careers of many big names. Academy Award winner Brie Larson credits SXSW with launching her career and so does Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig.

When SXSW Film began in the mid-90s, it was a very different event than it is today.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard.

The Lone Star State is home to annual festivals of all kinds. There’s the annual goat barbecue in Electra every April, the Luling Watermelon Thump in June, and of course, the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup.

Blind Students Learn To Code With A Swipe And A Tap

Mar 9, 2018
Austin Price/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Tech companies say the U.S. needs more and more workers with computer coding skills. There’s also a severe unemployment problem among people with disabilities. A program created last year by Apple to encourage all kids to learn to code is now entering the lives of some Texas students with visual disabilities.

Not everyone who learns to program will make a career of doing it, but for a blind kid who gets the coding bug, having an accessible way to write software could be a start toward filling those job gaps.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

Just as thousands of musicians are descending upon Austin in hopes of getting that big break at South by Southwest, one of the city’s most beloved performers has packed his bags for Tennessee. Texas honky-tonk legend Dale Watson is putting down new roots in Memphis, in a house just a mile from Graceland.

Bob Jagendorf/Flickr

From Texas Standard.

A woman who once oversaw the youthful offenders program at a Texas prison in Brazoria alleges that “a culture of cover-up” exists at the state’s Department of Criminal Justice, or TDCJ. The would-be whistleblower told Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News that Texas teens who are placed in the program are in danger, because of a cycle of abuse. The concerns detailed by former program supervisor Dominique Mitchell have been ignored and reporting of incidents discouraged, according to Mitchell.

Robin Jerstad/Marjorie Kamys Cotera via Texas Tribune

Lupe Valdez and Andrew White will advance to a runoff in the Democratic primary for governor.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Land Commissioner George P. Bush won the GOP primary Tuesday and avoided a runoff against his predecessor.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera (O'Rourke)/Robin Jerstad (Cruz)

It's official: Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke will face off in the general election for U.S. Senate in Texas.

Cruz, the Republican incumbent, and O'Rourke, a Democratic congressman from El Paso, were on track to easily capture their parties' nominations Tuesday night, according to early returns. 

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