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On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ann M. Williams, founder/artistic advisor; and Zenetta S. Drew, executive director, Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Texas Senators have approved a bill that creates statewide regulations for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. House Bill 100 would preempt regulations on the so-called transportation network companies in cities like Austin. The Senate passed the bill on a 21-9 vote.

The bill passed with at least two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate, so it could take effect immediately if Gov. Greg Abbott signs it, which he is expected to do. 

Pat Jones Photography/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

It was May 17, 2015, shortly after noon in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. Little is known about what started it. Some say it was a fight over a parking space that led to a patron’s foot being run over. And suddenly in the mix – a flurry of gunfire.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Some Texas Democrats in Washington are suggesting a Trump impeachment. U.S. Rep. Al Green of Houston was the first to call for the president's impeachment on Monday. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, also of Houston, and U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela of Brownsville have said it is a possibility.

Texas Republicans, meanwhile, are either waiting to weigh in or are silent.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

With deadlines looming, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday threatened to push for a special session of the Legislature to pass a bill to regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans and legislation to set new thresholds for when cities and counties must get voter approval for their tax rates.

After its Broadway debut in 2005, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was nominated for a half dozen Tony awards (it won two of them), and quickly became a popular musical worldwide. It's toured America and has been produced in, among other places, Hong Kong, Oslo, Mexico City, and Jerusalem. So when the members of Sam Bass Theatre had a chance to put the show on in Round Rock, they jumped at the chance.

"What's really great about Putnam County," says Sam Bass board president Brett Weaver, "is that you have the laugh moments and you have the serious stuff, and it goes back and forth [between] really funny, silly dances and then really serious internal dialogues."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Billy Thogersen offered to narrate the scene.

“People are [milling] about, looking at 24-by-48-inch maps of the new zoning, lots of colors and confusing acronyms and codes,” he said in the cafeteria at LBJ High School in Northeast Austin. The room, emptied of students, held roughly 30 community members interested in hearing more about CodeNEXT, the city’s rewrite of its land development code.

Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, accused of misleading a former client who invested in a company in which Uresti has a financial stake, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 charges over his involvement in the alleged investment Ponzi scheme, one of two separate indictments issued Tuesday. 

Syeda Hasan / KUT

Government officials and community activists from across the state gathered outside the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to voice support for taking legal action to stop the so-called “sanctuary cities" law.

Luis Antonio García Sepúlveda/Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

You may not have known him, but many thousands have relied on his reports for decades, covering drug cartels and organized crime. Award-winning reporter Javier Valdez was gunned down in the middle of the day in Sinaloa, Mexico, becoming at least the sixth journalist killed in that country since March.

Some fear that the attacks on journalists could lead to a de facto information blackout.

Kremlin.ru (CC BY 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

Officials with the State Department say the Syrian government has constructed, and is using a crematorium at a military prison. Just a few hours later, the Washington Post broke the news that President Donald Trump revealed classified information when he met with Russian officials last week in the Oval Office.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — John Cornyn withdrew from consideration to be the next FBI director on Tuesday, saying the "best way I can serve is continuing to fight for a conservative agenda in the U.S. Senate."  

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

President Donald Trump reportedly leaked "highly classified" intelligence to Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office last week.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is hosting a series of meetings to ask the public for input on what might be on a bond proposal this November. The plan includes modernizing some schools and tackling other projects prioritized by the school board.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A month ago, President Donald Trump signed a measure that would allow state and local governments to deny federal funds to family planning clinics that also provide abortions. Texas may soon be the first state to test out that measure to defund clinics like Planned Parenthood. 

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0

From Texas Standard:

The talk of Washington is still centered on the news from last week that President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Trump cited Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as the reason for his dismissal, but others are worried that the firing may have had something to do with the agency's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign, during the election.

Tom/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Mosquito season is looming large in Texas, and with it, renewed fears of mosquito-borne illnesses. Several Zika cases have already been reported this year in the Rio Grande Valley.

CSIS

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments Monday in Seattle on whether President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban is a form of religious discrimination. The revised order limits travel from six, instead of seven Middle Eastern countries. Iraq is no longer included on the list thanks to the efforts of Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the former inspector general for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

If President Donald Trump picks U.S. Sen. John Cornyn to lead the FBI, it’s not a given that the Texan would sail through the confirmation process in his own chamber.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, on Sunday said he was uneasy about picking Cornyn — or anyone else with a political background — to succeed James Comey, who Trump last week ousted as FBI director amid the agency’s investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. 

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

The federal housing choice voucher program, which used to be called Section 8, is aimed at helping low-income families meet their housing costs. Here in Austin, it’s one way the city is trying to meet the growing demand for deeply affordable housing. 

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