Alain Stephens

Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Texas leads the nation when it comes to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, and the state may be adding to those numbers through closer scrutiny of DNA evidence practices.

Courts are now saying that some convictions could have been based on outdated DNA evidence, and are sending notice to defendants whose trials may have been affected.


Why Texas is a Hotbed for Tropical Diseases

Jan 6, 2016
Image via Flickr/US Department of Agriculture (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Heavy rains capped by periods of hot muggy weather, spare tires holding standing water, mosquitoes and fleas carrying dangerous strains of diseases that threaten the local populace. You’re probably picturing the Philippines or maybe Haiti, but what if I told you this scene is right here in Texas?

Image via Dallas Municipal Archives

From Texas Standard:

There is no doubt about it – America is in need of infrastructure repair. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest infrastructure report card, U.S. infrastructure was given a D+ and the country’s crumbling levee and dam system was noted in particular.

That danger is more apparent than ever for the over 400,000 people living downstream from the Lewisville Lake Dam in North Texas. Engineers are saying that dam is a ticking time bomb if nothing is to prevent its breach.

 


Photo via Flickr/fabliaux (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The nation is currently in a judicial crisis – and Texas is right in the middle of it.

For many years now, Carl Tobias has been sounding an alarm over unfilled seats on the federal bench, but the University of Richmond law professor now says the epicenter of the problem is the Lone Star State. Texas has far more vacancies than any other state in the country, he notes.

 


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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.

 


Image via Flickr/Kent Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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.

 


Image via Flickr/Kathryn Decker (CC BY 2.0)

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.

Image via Flickr/Embajada de EEUU en la Argentina (CC BY 2.0)

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.”

 


Image via Wikimedia Commons/KGuirnela (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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.

Photo via Flickr/jaredzimmerman (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

 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.

Madfab/Pixabay

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.

gsfc/flickr

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.

flickr.com/arcaist

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?

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