Texas

Texas
11:39 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Go Ahead, Pick the Bluebonnets — Just Leave Some for the Rest of Us

Go ahead: Pick 'em.
Callie Hernandez/KUT

Alix Crunk says that as a child growing up in Texas, she never questioned it when adults told her, “Don’t pick the bluebonnets.”

“Made sense — so I didn’t think to question it. And then when we had a state trooper come in, he mentioned it…I’ve heard it from so many credible sources, so it just kind of made sense, and I never thought to question it,” says Crunk, a teacher at Mills Elementary School.

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Texas Standard
9:44 am
Sun April 12, 2015

This Sunday is Dedicated to Reading Texas Authors

Texas is taking over one day of “Drop Everything and Read” month.
Via Pixabay.

This story comes from Texas Standard.

There’s a popular kids book by Beverly Cleary titled Ramona Quimby, Age 8. It’s the sixth book in the Ramona series. In it, the struggling pre-adolescent protagonist proclaims that the best part of third grade is the time when you can “drop everything and read.”

Well that sentiment’s not just for precocious book characters or little kids, either.

This Sunday marks the first ever Drop Everything and Read Texas Day or “DEAR Texas Day” – for those of us who like acronyms.

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Texas Standard
9:55 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

True Tex-Mex Cuisine’s Long Adios

Quite possibly the best Tex-Mex food image of all-time: the inside cover of ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres Album.
Laura Rice, Texas Standard

This story comes from Texas Standard.

This article originally appeared on Texas Monthly. Read the full story here.

Is Tex-Mex a fading cuisine? It sure seems that way in Houston, where I find it’s getting harder and harder to find the authentic stuff.

First, we’d better define what true Tex-Mex is. According to a non-scientific survey… no vegetables – except for maybe a few shreds of iceberg lettuce on the tacos or a single wilted leaf of it under the scoop of side-dish guacamole, thus rendering the dish a “guacamole salad.”

When everything seems to be the same 4 or 5 ingredients rearranged.

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Texas
11:59 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Watch: Fort Hood Shooting Victims Receive Purple Heart Medals

Memorial portraits for the victims of the 2009 shooting.
Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT News

Updated 11 a.m. This morning, victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting attack were awarded Purple Heart medals for their service and sacrifice. A video of the ceremony is available below.

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Texas Standard
2:07 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Rethinking Hazing Laws After a Horrifying Incident in Ellis County

Ellis County volunteer firefighters were charged with sexual assault this week in connection to a hazing incident.
Succo/Pixabay

From Texas Standard:

When a hazing incident makes the news, we usually think of college campuses – a fraternity rush gone wrong, or an initiation ritual for a sport team. But not always. That was the case this week in Texas.

Five members of the Ellis County Volunteer Fire Department have been charged with aggravated sexual assault. The incident allegedly occurred back in January as part of a hazing ritual for new recruits.

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Texas
10:41 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Can A Reality Singing Competition Fix Tech's Diversity Problem?

The decision to hire something is usually made before the interview phase has even started.
Photo via flickr.com/reynermedia

We all know how the hiring process works: A hiring manager posts an opening, describes their ideal candidate and waits for the influx of resumes. After doing some interviews, the manager has to make a gut decision, a subjective assessment - and the research shows that more often than not, they’ll pick someone who has a really similar background as them.

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Texas Standard
3:31 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

A Spanish Guide for Texas Gringos

There are key phrases and words that every Texan should know, no matter where you grew up.
Joe McGowan/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

With Texas' rapidly changing demographics, many have come to the personal conclusion that it's simply insufficient to be fluent in one language alone.

But for some English speakers, let's face it — Spanish language fluency is probably not in the cards. You know who you are.

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Texas Standard
3:01 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Houston Doctor Heads to Middle East to Prevent the Next Ebola

There are links between conflict and contagion, and one doctor thinks prevention is key.
Pixabay

From Texas Standard:

It wasn't too long ago when Dallas became the epicenter for what many feared could have been the beginning of a nationwide ebola epidemic. Since then, the U.S. government has fought to figure out when and where the next viral epidemic may come from.

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Texas
12:04 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Texas Lawmakers Make Push to Raise Minimum Wage

Seven bills propose raising the state's minimum wage, which is currently set at $7.25 an hour.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

This legislative session, Texas lawmakers are considering seven bills dealing with raising the state's minimum wage.

One of the bills would bring it up from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour for an estimated 2.4 million Texans. But there are pros and cons to raising the state's minimum wage.

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2015 Legislature
10:43 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Texas Education Bill Aims to Answer School Finance Question

State Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock has authored a school finance bill, HB 1759, that would put another $3 billion dollars back into Texas public schools.
Nathan Bernier/KUT

The Texas House lawmaker in charge of public education has unveiled a plan that he says answers the question: What to do about school finance?

That question has been looming over Texas lawmakers since 2011, when more than 600 school districts sued the state over billions of dollars in cuts to school funding. 

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Texas Standard
3:53 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Scientists to Explore Impact Zone of Asteroid That May Have Killed the Dinosaurs

An artist’s impression of the Chicxulub asteroid impacting the Yucatan Peninsula.
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.

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Texas Standard
1:52 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Author T.C. Boyle Takes a Hard Look at Gun Violence

Renowned author T.C. Boyle analyzes the phenomena of the individual shooter in his new novel “The Harder They Come.”
Mackenzie Dunn/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard

T.C. Boyle is no stranger to tackling the taboo in his literature. His more than 20 novels examine every restricted topic in America and have earned him more accolades than many authors would ever dream of receiving. The New York Times raves his latest novel is the best one yet.

The Harder They Come examines the shootings that seem to be taking place nonstop across America. “It seems like there’s one every month now,” Boyle says. The novel takes place in Fort Bragg, California; however, it could be anywhere in the United States.

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2015 Legislature
10:25 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Hispanic Evangelicals Say Texas Bill Wrongfully Targets Undocumented Christians

Hispanic evangelical pastors in Texas say they oppose a bill by Sen. Charles Perry, shown here, that prohibits local governments from passing sanctuary city measures.
KUT News

Hispanic evangelicals in Texas have common ground with some conservative Texas lawmakers on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. When it comes to a measure known as the sanctuary cities bill, however, evangelicals say their faith stops them from supporting the measure.

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Texas Standard
2:32 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

The New Battle Over the Alamo

A new museum and visitors center is in the works for the Alamo, but will the collection in the library curated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas be a part of it?
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Jonathanmallard

This story comes from Texas Standard.

For about a century, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) were caretakers of the Alamo. The group rescued parts of it from being demolished and made efforts to carefully preserve its history.

But new Texas General Land Commissioner George P. Bush ended an arrangement with the DRT last month. Bush cited multiple issues – including the DRT’s failure to keep the Alamo operating without placing significant financial demands on his office.

That’s ignited a new battle over the Alamo.

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Texas
5:17 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Group Reports Hunger Strike at Immigrant Detention Center

Karnes Detention Center after it was renovated in 2014.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

More than 40 mothers held in the Karnes Detention Center started a hunger strike Tuesday to protest for their release, according to the San Antonio legal aid organization RAICES. The center detains immigrant families who cross the border illegally.

RAICES says it recorded a phone call with a detainee, which it posted to YouTube. In it, a woman speaking in Spanish confirms the strike and reports that more women are joining up.

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Texas
3:00 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

State Audit: 'Operational Defects' Led to 21CT Deal

Texas Health and Human Services Commission Kyle Janek and former HHSC chief counsel, Jack Stick.
Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A scathing state audit of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's $20 million deal for fraud tracking software has revealed "operational defects" within the agency's procurement process. 

According to the report, which was released on Thursday, no one took ownership of the deal or ever questioned why it should not be competitively awarded. 

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Texas Standard
11:01 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Maker Movement Takes Off in Texas

Denny Hammil created a toy that lets your dog fetch without you.
Photo via worldofnovelty.com

Storytelling and authenticity are changing the way consumers choose products.

After a long career in technology, Denny Hamill was ready to retire and take it easy. Then his grandson came to him with a problem: a dog named Prancer.

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2015 Legislature
10:00 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Rally Draws Attention to Wage of Home Caregivers in Texas

At the Capitol on April 1, 2015, advocates for people with disabilities showed up in force to draw attention to how much home care attendants earn at minimum an hour in Texas.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

At the Capitol Wednesday, advocates for people with disabilities showed up in force to draw attention to how much home care attendants earn, which isn't much more than minimum wage.

The chants were hard to ignore at the rotunda. Home care attendants came to ask Texas lawmakers to raise their minimum wage, since in the state, caregivers get a minimum of $7.86 an hour.

At the rotunda, Sarah Watkins, who is in a wheelchair, said she has a tough time keeping a caregiver for long.

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Texas Standard
2:32 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

November Madness: The 2016 Republican Presidential Bracket

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was is the first politician to declare candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. John Schnur, director of USC's Center for Politics, places Cruz in his 'Western Rebellion' bracket.
Gage Skidmore/flickr

From Texas Standard: 

Who will make it to the Final Four – and who will get bounced out?

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is down to the final four. It kicked off two weeks ago when 64 teams began competing to represent their region in the finals. And just like that tournament, the announcement by Texas Senator Ted Cruz tipped off the race for the GOP nomination for president.

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2015 Legislature
7:47 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Texas House Gives Preliminary Approval to Budget Bill After Hours of Debate

Lawmakers debated the House budget bill, HB1, all day and night of March 31, 2015.
KUT News

At 5:39 a.m. Wednesday, the Texas House gave preliminary approval of its state budget bill for 2016-2017.

House lawmakers spent nearly 18 hours going through amendments that would add or take away spending, hot button issues included, and passed the budget on a vote of 141-5.

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