Texas

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

Janis Joplin: More Than Just A Great Big Voice

Oct 22, 2019
David Gahr/Getty Images)

From Texas Standard:

Janis Joplin left her Texas home in the early 1960s. She didn't fit in in Port Arthur, where she grew up, and she wanted to make a name for herself as a musician. She did that, and more, becoming the biggest female rock star of the era. Joplin's greatest musical success, the album, "Pearl," was released after her death from a heroin overdose in 1970. She was just 27. 

By Tuesday morning, over 30 House Republicans had already called for the speaker's resignation or pulled their support.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

 

First-term Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on Tuesday announced he will not seek reelection to the lower chamber in 2020 — completing a stunning fall for the Angleton Republican who enjoyed near unanimous support in the House just months earlier.

Savana Dunning/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The American West isn’t a fixed idea; its scope and definition can change depending on whom you ask. So how does Texas fit into it? University of Texas historian H. W. Brands tries to answer that question and more in his new book, “Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West.” In it, he invites readers to rethink the West, how Texas fits into it, and what the West meant to Americans in the past and what it means to them today. 

Sandra Dahdah

From Texas Standard:

Water nourishes us. But it also forms borders between geographic regions, and has even become responsible for migration, as individuals and families make decisions about where to live based on the availability of this critical resource. In Texas Standard's series, "Drop by Drop," reporter Joy Diaz set out to learn how water affects politics, migration, the environment and economics. Diaz says she was motivated to produce the series by the growing importance of water in cross-border issues.

A memorial for the 26 people killed in the Sutherland Springs shooting in 2017.
Lynda M. González / KUT

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A sporting goods retailer violated the law by selling an AR-15-style rifle and large capacity magazine to a man who later used them to kill more than two dozen worshippers at a Texas church in 2017, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.

Devin Patrick Kelley presented a Colorado driver's license at an Academy Sports + Outdoors store in Texas to buy the rifle and ammunition, the Department of Justice said in a motion filed Tuesday in San Antonio.

Louis Vuitton Sets Up Shop in Small-Town Texas

Oct 17, 2019
jackmac34/Pixabay (Public domain)

From Texas Standard:

Keene, a small Texas town southwest of Dallas, will soon be home to a new 256-acre leather workshop for the French luxury brand Louis Vuitton. President Donald Trump will cut the ribbon during the grand opening this week. 

WikiCommons

From Texas Standard:

By the beginning of this year, more than 30 states had legalized some form of cannabis use, mostly for medical purposes. But Texas has been slow to embrace the change. And companies looking to obtain a license to lawfully sell medical marijuana in the state find the process particularly challenging.

Census 2020 sign
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The U.S. Census Bureau has opened offices in Austin and Leander ahead of the 2020 census, a constitutionally mandated count that happens every 10 years.

Pexels

From Texas Standard:

A new commissioner will take over at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in December.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced this week that Jaime Masters, from Kansas City, Missouri, will lead the struggling agency. The announcement came after The Dallas Morning News reported that a federal judge is threatening to fine Texas if the agency doesn’t comply with court-ordered fixes to the state's foster care system.

Whatever Happened To The Dennis Bonnen Scandal?

Oct 8, 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Not long after the end of this year's "Kumbaya" legislative session, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen was accused of trading press access to the House floor for the targeting of potential political adversaries. But some two months later, Bonnen is still in power, and little has come of the scandal. 

Paul Oliver

From Texas Standard:

Many people have strong opinions about Texas music, but few are true experts on the subject. Alan Govenar is one of those experts. He's studied Texas blues, and has written award-winning books. His latest work is the completion of a long-awaited project started by two musicologists more than half a century ago.  

Protesters stand outside the Governor's Mansion at a rally in support of refugee resettlement services in November 2015.
Pu Ying Huang for KUT

Texas’ refugee resettlement programs are bracing for what could be a huge blow – one that stakeholders say could weaken the state's support system for years to come.

Courtesy Héctor Galán

From Texas Standard:

There’s a historical marker in Presidio County that tells the story of a massacre that took place a century ago in the small town of Porvenir. The Spanish word, porvenir, means “future” in English. But when Texas Rangers and others rounded up more than a dozen townspeople and shot them dead in 1918, Porvenir didn’t seem like it had much of a future at all.

Wells Dunbar/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Next year, U.S. residents will be asked to fill out the 2020 Census. A misleading political document being mailed out now could confuse some recipients.

Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio

From Texas Standard:

An arraignment hearing will be held next week for the suspect accused of targeting Hispanics, and killing 22 people, at an El Paso Walmart in August. But covering legal proceedings for those who’ve committed mass violence poses a problem for news organizations: How do they identify the shooter?

Brian Reading /Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law. The measure entitles college athletes in the Golden State to make money from their name, image and likeness, including through endorsement deals or jersey sales. Those opportunities are currently forbidden under NCAA rules.

Photo courtesy Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle

From Texas Standard:

Many Texas cities have neighborhoods that have been changed by gentrification: Bishop Arts District in Dallas and East Austin are just some examples. And now, Houston’s Independence Heights – considered Texas’ first black city – could face a similar fate.

A roadside memorial continues to grow for Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal.
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

A man loved by those he knew and admired by thousands he didn’t will be laid to rest Wednesday, as mourners gather in Cypress to honor fallen Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal. 

Students walk through "The Quad" at Texas State University.
Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Texas State University dramatically under-reported how many sexual assaults occurred on its San Marcos campus in 2016 and 2017, according to revised figures the school released Monday as part of an annual security report.

Photo courtesy of Apple

From Texas Standard:

When President Donald Trump started slapping tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States in 2018, one American company that stood to lose big was Apple. The parts Apple needed from China to build its top-of-the-line Mac Pro would have been prohibitively expensive to assemble in the U.S. But now, Apple has announced it’s not only building the Mac Pro in America, but production will be right here in Texas.

Rhonda Fanning/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Texas is increasingly becoming important in the 2020 presidential race. Republican Congressman Will Hurd called it a “jump ball” during an interview at the Texas Tribune Festival on Thursday. In other words, the state, in his mind, is up for grabs.

Courtesy Matt Walter/Museum of the Big Bend

From Texas Standard:

As GPS is used more and more to help us get where we’re going, a new exhibit at Sul Ross State University’s Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine is making a case for why maps still matter. 

Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Officials are still trying to tally the full impact of Tropical Depression Imelda. The storm brought over 40 inches of rain to some parts of Southeast Texas, causing at least five deaths and an untold amount of property damage. Recovery and repairs have already started – a process that’s unfortunately familiar to many of those affected

Like Harvey, Imelda's Torrential Rains Render Southeast Texas Roads Impassable

Sep 20, 2019
Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Tropical Depression Imelda dumped as much as 43 inches of rain in parts of Southeast Texas over the past few days. Weather experts rank Imelda as the seventh-wettest tropical storm in U.S. history, but the extent of the damage is unclear.

Speaker John Boehner/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making his first visit to the U.S. since he won a landslide reelection victory in May. The centerpiece of his U.S. tour is a visit to Houston on Sunday. 

The event is billed as "Howdy, Modi!" and the 50,000 tickets were snapped up within minutes of their release.

Florian Martin/Houston Public Media

From Texas Standard:

Is Houston one of the most dangerous cities in America? Some of the city's mayoral candidates say so, claiming on the campaign trail that the city is getting even more dangerous.

The Travis County Appraisal District's website
Julia Reihs / KUT

The Travis County Appraisal District said its computer systems were hacked Sept. 11 in a ransomware attack, but there's no evidence any data from appraisals was compromised. The district said it didn't pay any money to the attackers. 

Pedestrians cross Colorado Street in downtown Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every year, more people move to Texas from other states than leave. They come for jobs, higher education and a relatively lower cost of living, among other things. But the net population growth from those new arrivals has been shrinking, and researchers are trying to figure out why.

Wikimedia Commons / WhisperToMe (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

On Sept. 15, 1959, an ex-convict new to Houston attempted to enroll his 7-year-old son at Poe Elementary, near Rice University. School officials denied his enrollment, saying he lacked the proper paperwork. The man later returned to the schoolyard with a briefcase and some obscure messages. He then exploded the briefcase, killing himself, his son, the school's custodian, a teacher and two young students.

Sony Music Archives

From Texas Standard:

The American South has long been the backdrop for stories about country music. But a new series by a team led by veteran documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, reexamines many old narratives about the roots and role of country music in American culture. The series, "Country Music," spans 16 hours and eight episodes, and debuts Sunday night on public television.

Julie Dunfey is the producer, and Dayton Duncan is a producer and writer for the series. Duncan says it puts great emphasis on Texans and artists with Texas roots, including Bob Wills, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Johnny Rodriguez and Flaco Jiménez. 

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