Michael Marks

Barclay Fernandez/The Victoria Advocate

From Texas Standard:

It’s been five months since the Victoria Islamic Center was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 28. The fire was later determined to be arson. Yesterday, there was another development in the case, which is far from over.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Making a list of the best and worst lawmakers after each Texas legislative session isn't quite as old as the Legislature itself, but it's still a time-honored tradition. Texas Monthly has put out such a list since 1973, and each one is an occasion awaited with bated breath by political observers, legislative aides and of course, the lawmakers themselves.

bryansjs/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

There are deals, and then there are big deals. Amazon buying Austin-based grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion certainly falls into the latter category. But what makes this deal so big isn’t even the money – there have been bigger deals before – it’s the ripple effects on workers, wages, other companies and everyday people.

Ashley Rodgers/Texas Tech University

From Texas Standard:

The headline in both the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle today read the same thing – “We’re Getting Out.” These words were taken directly from the speech President Donald Trump gave yesterday when he announced the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Georgia National Guard/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

If a soldier commits a crime, is that different than if anyone else commits a crime? There’s an argument that decisions made in the heat of battle by those sacrificing for their country should be judged differently than others.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

By now, most Texans are familiar with Sid Miller. Famous for his ever-present cowboy hat, the state agriculture commissioner – who's also a rancher and a Republican – has generated his share of controversy in recent months. But this week he's making news on his own terms with a commentary written for TribTalk, the editorial wing of the Texas Tribune.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

After months of back and forth over how to fix what ails funding for Texas schools, lawmakers argued late into the night, Wednesday over a bill that would pump more state money into school budgets statewide. In the end, members of the House and Senate couldn't see eye to eye on what to leave in the bill to make school financing more equitable statewide.

Image courtesy SeniorLiving.org (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

"Dead on arrival" is how Texas senior senator, Republican John Cornyn, characterized the formal budget plan unveiled by President Trump. It puts 66 programs on the chopping block, and includes a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, a 30 percent cut for the State Department and 20 percent from the Department of Agriculture.

dallashabitatphotos/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

On its current path, the Dallas police and fire pension fund would run out of money in 10 years, leaving thousands of public safety pensioners in the lurch.

Matthew Peoples/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The cooler in your local gas station or grocery store is now a much more colorful place than it once was. Texans who like to bend the occasional elbow are still riding the wave of the craft beer boom.

Kim Daram/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In 1985, Pedro Solis Sosa was sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing a sheriff's deputy in Wilson County. Prosecutors alleged that Sosa killed Ollie Childress Jr. with the officer's own pistol after robbing a bank.

Pubdog/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The risks of lead poisoning are well-known. Exposure to lead can cause brain damage and behavioral disorders, as well as other ailments like kidney failure. Lead exposure is particularly dangerous for children.

Places like Flint, Michigan have grabbed headlines for catastrophic levels of lead exposure. But it's a problem in central Texas, too. Using data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Waco Tribune-Herald found that nearly six percent of children in the area who were tested had elevated levels of lead in their blood – nearly double the state average.

 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

We are about 48 hours away from the federal government shutting down if members of the House and Senate can't come to some sort of budgetary agreement. We have been here before – passing continuing resolutions at the 11th hour to keep the government's doors open has become something of a Washington tradition. Right now, lawmakers are haggling over funding President Donald Trump's proposed border wall, increased defense spending, and payments to insurance companies that offer plans on Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

John Koetsier/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is giving headaches to some of the state’s lawmakers, but it may be a self-inflicted ailment. In 2013, the Legislature scaled back the panel’s regulatory powers in an effort to give university leaders more of a role in determining what’s best for their students and institutions.

 

Spc. Carlynn Knaak/Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

There's nothing unusual about a state lawmaker and a mayor being worried about turnout in a local election. But in Dallas, it's not just low turnout that's got two local leaders concerned. It's the cause.

 

Andrew Rivett/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Speed bumps are an annoying staple of subdivisions and parking lots. But beyond the headaches they give drivers, a new report from Imperial College London is giving people a whole new reason to talk about them. According to the report, the bumps in the road might be taking a toll on the environment.

From Texas Standard:

In the early 1950s, the threat of nuclear war and Communism cast shadows over much of the western hemisphere. And for a brief time, they darkened the pastures and hills of Central Texas more than anywhere else.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced a trade agreement Wednesday between the state and a group of settlers on the West Bank of Israel. Neither the U.S. government nor the United Nations recognizes the settlements.

World Travel & Tourism Council/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott says the state – not cities or counties – should have the final say on issues like fracking regulations, bag bans, ride-hailing and any other regulatory issue. At two recent events, Abbott said he’d support a policy placing a broad-based ban on regulations at the local level unless certain standards are met.

 

A middle school hallway
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

It’s standardized testing season for Texas public school students. For some school districts, test time means missing documents, computer glitches and shoddy technical support.

 

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