Texas

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

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services recently released new internal guidelines that cut the caseloads of foster care workers who have been overwhelmed for years by an unmanageable number of clients. But the department has faced many challenges lately, beyond a struggling workforce.

WhisperToMe/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Over the years, Texas has tried to boost enrollment in college. After all, people with college degrees tend to earn higher wages. But for some first-generation students, many of whom also come from families with low incomes, the transition from high school to college can be daunting. And it's this transition that one education nonprofit says is a blind spot in the Texas education system.

Elizabeth Trovall / Houston Public Media

Nearly 100,000 people were approved for citizenship in Texas in fiscal year 2019, according to new data released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Statewide, the number of people who will become citizens increased 50% from fiscal year 2018. 

Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse

From Texas Standard:

Thanks to video streaming, gone are the days of going to the video store, strolling the aisles in search of the perfect title. Gone, too, are all the trappings of the VHS rental experience – the candy by the register, the posters and branded merchandise to promote the latest releases and, of course, the stickers on VHS tapes reminding you to rewind.

Courtesy El Nuevo Día newspaper

From Texas Standard:

The massive exodus of Puerto Ricans heading to the mainland started in 2006 with the island’s recession. Then came the government’s debt crisis of 2014 and more people left. After hurricanes Maria and Irma, people also left in droves to the point that the Pew Research Center released a study in 2018 saying the island's population had reached a 40-year low.

Eddie Gaspar for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both Texas Republicans, joined with most of their colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a new North American trade deal.

A sign for Emancipation Park in Houston
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

A bill to study if an Emancipation trail in Southeast Texas should receive a national designation is now headed to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

Why Texans Love H-E-B So Much

Jan 16, 2020
Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Everything is bigger and better in Texas – at least that’s how the saying goes. From food to clothing, and now grocery stores, Texas consumers are proud of Texas brands, and H-E-B is one of them. The data also proves that popularity. H-E-B ranked No. 1 in a recent survey of consumer satisfaction with U.S. grocery stores by consumer data company dunnhumby. H-E-B even beat last year's No. 1, Trader Joe’s.

The facade of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Julia Reihs / KUT

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is rolling out new internal guidelines this week to reduce the caseloads of frontline staff who work with children in the foster care system.

Staci Myers /Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the latest installment of our monthly series, "Texan Translation," we examine the ways that English and Spanish combine to form what's known as Spanglish.

Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site sits in a small prairie, tucked just inside the pine curtain of East Texas. If you stand on the porch of its temporary visitors center and look southwest down state Highway 21, you can see a good distance – all the way to a forested ridge a few miles off. You couldn’t always see that far, but you can now.

United Nations Photo/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the boxing ring he was known as "Big George." But today, most people know George Foreman for his business ventures. Foreman has helped sell millions of George Foreman Grills, which were first introduced in 1994 and are still on the market today.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Texas’ Catholic bishops issued a sharp rebuke of Gov. Greg Abbott, a fellow Catholic, following his decision Friday to ban refugees from initially settling in Texas.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

New York billionaire and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is spending his weekend on a bus tour of Texas. He plans to meet with supporters and community leaders in San Antonio, Austin and Dallas. The Houston Chronicle reports former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, made a three-day trip to Texas this week as well.

Mike Fisher/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, is well-known for its fight against President Donald Trump's border wall. The government had planned to build the wall along the habitat, which is a sensitive space for butterflies that are important pollinators. But that's not the only environmentally sensitive area along the border that could be affected by wall construction.

A Tale Of Land Development In Two Texas Cities

Jan 9, 2020
Renee Dominguez/KUT and Gabriel C. Pérez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Texas cities often make it onto those "Best Places to Live" lists. But with that popularity comes population growth, and no two cities handle it the same way. That's especially true when it comes to Austin and Houston.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A federal appeals court late Wednesday ruled the Trump administration can use nearly $4 billion in military funds for construction of the president’s long-promised border wall.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard:

For nearly 50 years, American men have been required to register with the the U.S. Selective Service at age 18 – effectively adding their names to a potential draft pool in the event the military is short of soldiers in a time of crisis.

Within hours of the U.S. airstrike in Iraq last week that killed Iran's top commander, online interest in the draft soared.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott briefs reporters at a press conference held at the capitol.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott is warning Texans to be “particularly vigilant” over potential cyberterrorism from Iran, suggesting that heightened tensions with the country have caused an increase in attempted attacks on state agencies.

Michael Minasi/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Like few other Texans in recent years, one former El Paso congressman is known to many by his first name alone. But that extraordinary name recognition, and even an unexpectedly close Senate race against Ted Cruz in 2018, wasn't enough to propel Beto O'Rourke to the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, O'Rourke is focused on getting more Democrats elected in Texas.

Julia Reihs/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

It’s a clear, cool morning in West Texas, and about 50 people are watching a helicopter wind its way around the south side of Elephant Mountain – a brown, flat-topped summit about 30 miles south of Alpine. The sun isn’t all the way up yet, but you can tell that the helicopter is hauling some unusual cargo.

Protesters hold a sign that says "Refugees Welcome."
Pu Ying Huang for KUT

A large majority of the country’s governors have told the Trump administration that their states will continue accepting refugees, but with less than three weeks left to make up his mind, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hasn’t made clear if he’ll add his name to that list.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

In 2019, the U.S.-Mexico border topped the news, in part, because of the promise that President Donald Trump had made to build a wall along it. While Trump's border wall continues to be a popular topic today, the construction of barriers along the border is nothing new.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Texas has changed a lot during the past decade. State Demographer Lloyd Potter says its population isn't just booming; it leads the country.

A police officer holds a rose
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A sheriff's deputy was shot and killed after a traffic stop in East Texas on Tuesday, bringing the total number of on-duty officer fatalities in the state this year to 18.

Pedestrians cross the street in downtown Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas had the biggest increase in population of any state in the country in the last year, according to estimates released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

This has been a busy year, politically speaking. And 2020 will likely top it, given that a presidential election is on the horizon. With that in mind, Texas Standard host David Brown spoke with the leaders of the Texas Republican and Democratic Parties to learn about their top takeaways from this year – and what they expect in the year to come.

Antonio Cueto/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

In recent years, migrating to the United States has become harder. The Trump administration has added restrictions to all visa categories, whether they be F-1 student visas or H-1B visas that allow people to work temporarily in the United States.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texans will be able to have delivery drivers bring alcohol directly from retailers to their doors in time for the holidays.

Stephanie Tacy/KUT

From Texas Standard:

On average, 1,000 people move to Texas each day. And traditionally, that means more roads and more lanes to accommodate new drivers. But when it comes to roads, is bigger always better?

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