Alain Stephens

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From Texas Standard:

Each day in the United States, four to five children die due to child abuse and neglect. That number comes out to about 1,500 children each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and experts say many more cases go unreported.

Image courtesy John Savage

From Texas Standard:

According to the latest statistics, about 12 of every 10,000 Texans are living homeless, many of whom have an intellectual or developmental disability. While state programs and aid are available, the wait times are daunting. Some services have lists with applicants waiting for well over a decade.

Some reports rank Texas near last place with regard to well-being of those with intellectual disabilities.  John Savage has been following the story for the Texas Observer.


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From Texas Standard:

In the face of fierce opposition calling it a "bathroom bill," the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was rejected by voters last week.

Houston's ordinance sought to extend civil rights protections to transgender individuals and several other groups of citizens, but quickly came under fire for its proposed extension of equal rights to public restroom use.


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From Texas Standard:

On Monday President Barack Obama made the call to "ban the box" for federal job applicants with prison records so that they are given a chance to get through the door.

The box in question is the check box on job applications asking applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard: As a country, we've been looking towards November elections and which candidates will be moving into office, but we haven't been paying much attention to the other end of the story: What do you do when you get out of office?

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From Texas Standard

Big beards, sleeves of tattoos and dark sunglasses; those are bold fashion statements, to say the least.

You might see a person that fits that description and think their appearance screams "I'm tough, I'm bad, I'm not to be messed with and I don't care what you think."

Maybe that's not a fair assessment. Some of the them do care what you think of them, and they know what you're thinking about them, too.

Image via Pexels/Karolina Grabowska (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Since 2009, chickens are legally free to roam a paved road in Bastrop called Farm Street – there's even a sign that says so. The stretch of road is home to an historic chicken sanctuary. But now there's so many chickens migrating into other roads in people's yards, it's creating considerable chaos.

Ken Kesselus, the mayor of Bastrop, says he doesn't give one cluck – if they wander away from safety, they might be fair game.

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From Texas Standard:

Sandra Cisneros is a daughter of Texas.

She isn’t really a Texan, per se, but her writing – mostly involving Latinos and Latino issues – has so resonated among Texas audiences that she was awarded the Texas Medal of the Arts. She was writer-in-residence at Our Lady of The Lake University in San Antonio once upon a time and received the Texas Institute of Letters Dobie Paisano Fellowship.

Cisneros is the author of “The House on Mango Street.” It’s a book so beloved that it’s required reading in middle schools, high schools and universities across the country. It’s sold over six million copies since its initial publication and it’s still selling strongly.

Tomorrow, Cisneros releases her memoir, “A House of My Own.”


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From Texas Standard:

If you're a member of the military, you've probably already go a lot on your plate: frequent moves, training, and the looming threat of being sent into combat.

DonkeyHotey / flickr

From Texas Standard:

Immigration is often discussed in terms of government policy and official enforcement efforts – or lack thereof, depending on whom you ask. But when citizens take actions into their own hands, the dimensions of the discussion get more complicated.

In Dallas, one landlord is reportedly checking the immigration status of tenants and rejecting lease renewals of those who don’t have social security numbers. Now some people are urging Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas City Council to step in and stop these unofficial immigration checks.

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 From the Texas Standard.

Improvements and enforcement aren't coming fast enough.

If you live near the Eagle Ford Shale you may have heard an ad from the Texas Department of Transportation warning drivers in the area to be extra cautious on the roadways.

It’s part of a campaign called "Be Safe, Drive Smart." Roadways aren’t like they used to be. Before the shale oil boom, the 26 counties that make up the Eagle Ford were small, bucolic places – country roads, few cars.

Now, not so much.


From Texas Standard:

Two years ago, the WestStar Food Company’s business with Cuba was good. Patrick Wallesen, the company’s president, says WestStar exported agricultural products through the port of Corpus Christi for more than a decade.

“We averaged about 5,000 metric tons a year of product. Primarily into beans, black beans, great northern beans,” Wallesen says.

Alain Stephens

Jo Ivester joins Texas Standard to talk about life in Mount Bayou, Mississippi, and what she learned through her mother’s work.


From Texas Standard:

When you think of space, what do you see? Planets, stars, maybe a satellite or a shuttle? Well, some business people are seeing green. A group of space entrepreneurs is meeting in Austin this week to lay the framework for how Texas could be the launch pad for the private space industry.

Courtesy of Donald E. Davis

From Texas Standard:

Have you ever wondered what happened to the dinosaurs? Well, you’re not the only one.

That’s why an international group of scientists, funded by the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, are planning to launch an expedition to drill into the Chicxulub crater, a 150-mile wide impact crater buried underneath the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

For most Texans, spring time gives us a small window of opportunity to trek outside in some bearable weather. It's almost become a tradition for Texans to use this precious time to take photos in patches of bluebonnets. But just as we humans are beginning to shake off winter and go outside into the sun, so are are the snakes.

Anyone who's spent a significant time in the southwest can tell you, snake bites are a real danger. So what do you do if you encounter one?

From Texas Standard

On average there are about a dozen ongoing civil wars across the world. Most of the news coverage of these conflicts revolves around political and military action, but what happens when that dictator or president is overthrown? What happens when a country has to restart anew and a new constitution has to be drafted?

Well, there’s an app for that.

This week, State Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) filed a bill that would require the release of antlered deer in the spring – rather than in the fall right before hunting season begins. It will limit the time that deer breeders have to transport their deer. It's an effort to curb the practice of captive deer farming, which breeds deer for their impressive antlers. It's a method that some deer hunters argue is unfair and unsportsmanlike. 

Flickr user Greg Goebel,

In Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas a new airport is being built. But it won't cater to pilots or offer any amenities common to the typical airstrip –because this one is being built exclusively to house the U.S Army aerial drones.

If an aerial drone fleet housed in a state of the art bunker sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, you're not far off. The Texas Standard's David Brown speaks with John Horgan, writer for the Scientific American online and teacher at the Stevens Institute for Technology

Now that the elections are over the big question on everybody’s mind is – what now? What changes will we see coming in the state and what battles will be fought in the halls of the Texas Legislature? If Texas knows anything - it’s how to make legislative waves. In recent memory Texas gained national notoriety for a variety of topics ranging from its voter ID law to its much debated abortion restrictions.