Texas Standard

Texas Standard
11:14 am
Thu May 21, 2015

The Next Fight in the Waco Shootout Will Be in Court

From Texas Standard

As the dust settles on the Twin Peaks parking lot after Sunday's deadly biker shootout, the showdown in the courtroom is just beginning.

Authorities in Waco no doubt have a challenge ahead of them — sifting through the physical evidence and countless statements regarding the encounter that left 9 dead. But the district attorney’s office is now tasked with how to prosecute the roughly 170 arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime.

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Texas Standard
2:53 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Texas State Aquarium Files Suit Against Chemical Supplier

jasoncwallace/flickr

From Texas Standard:

It's been exactly one month and a day since a ghastly event down in Corpus Christi.

On that day, workers at the Texas State Aquarium applied a white powder to the tanks of two huge exhibits: the Islands of Steel and the flower garden. They were trying to treat an infestation of a potentially deadly flatworm that attaches itself to fish.

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News
4:27 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Wendy Davis Wants to Empower Women Everywhere

Wendy Davis visits KUT studios on September 11, 2014.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

In this era of political cynicism, you could argue that few people of either party inspire the sort of fascination that Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis once did.

It was a spectacular moment on the floor of the Texas Senate in 2013. It seemed to come out of nowhere too – a woman in tennis shoes, holding her ground in outrage over limits to reproductive freedom. Seemingly overnight, Davis became the de facto face of Democratic Texas, the loyal opposition on the rise. But after a run for the state’s top office – and a crushing loss to Governor Greg Abbott – Davis seemed to disappear from the political stage.

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News
1:30 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

How Economically Healthy is Your Texas County?

To assemble the map, Michael Theis of the Austin Business Journal looked at each county's population, median household income and housing affordability index for 2013.
Screenshot via Google Maps

From Texas Standard:

There are some 254 counties in Texas, and inevitably if you were to try to map the state's economic health, you'd probably find some clear winners and losers. But a new survey shows that the answers might not be what you'd expect to find.

A new survey by the Austin Business Journal mapped out data from the Texas Relative Economic Community Health Index, or TRECH, to determine the most and least fiscally sound counties in the state.

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Texas Standard
2:31 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

What the Battle Over Music Streaming is Really About

johanl/flickr

From Texas Standard:

Last year, music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify generated more revenue than CD sales. Musicians say they aren’t happy with how much they’re getting in return, especially now that streaming companies like Amazon, Google, and even NPR, have formed a lobbying group to try to lower the amount they pay to musicians. 

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Texas Standard
2:05 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Why Airports Are Getting Nicer While Planes Are Getting More Uncomfortable

skynoir/flickr

American Airlines recently unveiled its 787-8 Dreamliner. It carries 226 passengers, 198 of them in coach — and industry insiders have said if you’re not in first class, the airplane is uncomfortable for long trips. But the silver lining could be that when you get to the airport, you might almost mistake it for a shopping mall.

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Texas Standard
1:51 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Why Can't My iPhone Speak Spanglish?

Siri's response to why she doesn't speak Spanglish? 'I've never really thought about it.'
mirandagranche/flickr

A lot of Texans switch back and forth between English and Spanish effortlessly, without even thinking about it. But if you’re typing on an iPhone, switching between the language keyboards mid-sentence is a big hassle. With more and more multilingual users, why isn’t one of the top smartphones up to the task?

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News
12:15 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

One Year Later, is San Antonio's Promise Zone Delivering?

76771463@N02/flickr

From Texas Standard:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced the latest cities to be designated "promise zones" this week. This is the second set of cities to take part in the federal program that seeks to reduce poverty and crime, increase economic and educational opportunities and attract private investment.

None of the eight announced this week are in Texas, but we thought this was a great opportunity to check in with one of the inaugural five.

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Texas Standard
12:07 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Why Terlingua Doesn't Want Reality TV Cameras in Their Town

A National Geographic film crew has come to town.
jbparrott/flickr

Terlingua, a small town in Brewster County, West Texas, near the Rio Grande, used to be a mining town. Now it's mainly a tourist destination on the way to Big Bend — but pretty soon, Terlingua might attract a different kind of tourist.

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Texas Standard
3:13 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

What Austin's Police Chief Thinks We Can Learn from Baltimore

Protest at the Baltimore Police Department Western District building at N. Mount St. and Riggs Ave. on April 25, 2015.
veggies/wikimedia commons

From Texas Standard:

Television is supposed to draw people closer to the action and make them feel like they're there.

But it doesn't quite feel that way watching footage of the Baltimore riots. It's out there — distant — as we observe and decide for ourselves what went wrong from the comfort of our homes.

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Texas Standard
3:32 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

How the BP Oil Spill is a Prototype for Future Disasters

Anchor-handling tugboats battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in 2010.
Ideum/flickr

From Texas Standard

As we look back on the last five years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, some big questions linger: What will the next disaster be, and can we prepare for it?

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Texas Standard
1:09 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Statewide Drought Over? Yes, But…

Texas has been in an ongoing drought since October of 2010. But the statewide drought may now just be a regional one.
Via Pixabay.

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Drought Monitor puts out a map every week that updates drought conditions in Texas. This week’s map looked mostly white – which indicates no drought at all – with some peach, orange and red in the center – indicating moderate to exceptional drought.

Last year at this time, only small parts of the state were in the clear. Two years ago, 99 percent of the state was in some level of drought.

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Texas Standard
3:17 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Will Police Harass More Blacks for Open Carry Than Whites?

A Texas lawmaker is worried blacks will be harassed more often for open carry than whites. His amendment may have opened a back door to unlicensed carry statewide.
Lucio Eastman/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard

The open carry of handguns has gotten a thumbs up from the Texas Legislature this session – not too much surprise there.

But one unexpected amendment would prevent police officers from stopping those who carry openly just to check for the proper licensing. 

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Texas Standard
11:21 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Books for Avoiding April Showers

62295661@N07/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

Clay Smith of Kirkus Reviews brings us two hard-hitting books to read during April showers – both of them tackling issues swirling about in popular media and the news.

In fiction, Smith recommends God Help the Child by Toni Morrison. In the book Morrison, the only living Nobel prize winner for literature, tackles race and childhood.

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Texas Standard
3:28 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Pre-K Funding Widens Rift Between Abbott and Patrick

Proposed legislation surrounding pre-K education becomes more than just parental rights this week.
US Dept of Education/flickr

From Texas Standard:

In a letter presented Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s Grassroots Advisory Board called two pre-kindergarten enhancement bills in the Texas Legislature “a threat to parental rights.”

The letter also called out the bills for being “godless” and “socialistic" — a take that's at striking odds with that of Gov. Greg Abbott, who made pre-K funding a priority during his campaign.

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Texas Standard
2:14 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Port Arthur Wants Filmmakers to Blow Up Its Old Buildings

texasbackroads/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

Tough economic times can stimulate creative ways for cities to save or raise money. Sure, you could trim the workforce, or raise taxes to help fund urban renewal projects, but one Texas town is thinking a bit bigger: They want to take it to the silver screen.

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Texas Standard
3:28 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Looking Back on the BP Oil Spill: How It All Started

What we knew – and when we knew it – about the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
SkyTruth/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. Two days later, it crashed into the ocean. By mid-May, an underwater camera showed the broken pipe constantly gushing black liquid into the Gulf of Mexico.

As the oil spread, so did the panic. Crews tried several different methods to keep it from spreading across the Gulf and into sensitive ecosystems. Engineers tried everything from a containment dome to a “top kill” – sealing the pipe with cement. Nothing worked.

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Texas Standard
3:06 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Texas Businesses Stand Ready For Trade With Cuba

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.

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Texas Standard
2:26 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

For Innovations in the Funeral Industry, Look No Further Than Houston

Credit Brenda Salinas

From Texas Standard:

As the demand for natural burials grows, industry experts say innovation is likely to come from Houston.

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Texas Standard
1:32 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Visiting the Deep South of the '60s — Through a Teacher's Journal

Credit Alain Stephens

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

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