Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

Todd Wiseman/Callie Richmond via Texas Tribune

Underage Texas women seeking abortions without their parents' consent will face a tougher set of legal hurdles in the new year.

State law already requires minors — those under age 18 — to get sign-off from at least one parent before receiving an abortion, unless doing so could put the young woman in danger of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In those cases, a judge can be asked to approve the procedure.

Michael Tefft/Texas Tribune

As of today, a new state gun law is in effect: Open carry begins today, meaning that license holders are able to openly carry their weapons.

But, will those license holders who already carry concealed handguns opt to start carrying openly instead? How will Texas police officers know if an individual is brandishing a firearm, or just legally openly carrying? And, what if a business doesn’t want firearms on its premises—can it ban open carry?

KUT's Jennifer Stayton spoke with Austin Police Department Chief of Staff Brian Manley to find out more about what changes the law brings.

From the Texas Tribune

A "winter solstice" display by the Freedom From Religion Foundation has been ordered removed from the Texas Capitol after Gov. Greg Abbott called it a "juvenile parody."

The display had been approved by the State Preservation Board, of which Abbott is chairman, after it was sponsored by state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin. 

Photo via Bland's social media account

From Texas Standard:

In a highly anticipated decision earlier this week, the grand jury refused to issue any indictments related to the death of Sandra Bland.

Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman, was arrested and charged with assaulting a public servant on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas. She had allegedly failed to use her turn signal while changing lanes and was pulled over. After her arrest, she went through intake and was booked into Waller County jail. Three days later she was found dead in her jail cell.

 


Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman

Texas universities would violate the state's new campus carry law if they banned guns in dormitories, Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a non-binding opinion issued Monday afternoon. 

That opinion goes against recommendations made by a task force at the University of Texas at Austin, which suggested banning guns in dorms in a report to university President Greg Fenves earlier this month. 

Image via Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The average American family will spend $900 this holiday season. If you are among the lucky 22 percent of Americans who will get a bonus this season – that's probably what you'll use. The majority of us in situations like these that require extra cash look for alternatives.

Perhaps you've seen commercials like this one: A camera zooms in and out shooting some pretty nice trucks and cars. Vehicle owners point to bumper stickers that reflect their personalities. The images in the commercial may vary but the message is the same: if you own your car, borrow money from us. Just let us keep your car title as security.

 


Image via Flickr/Rachel Johnson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The next military conflict might not start with a bomb, but with a blackout.

National security experts have long warned that the United States’ infrastructure was vulnerable to hackers abroad. A few high profile cases have made headlines in recent years. In 2012 and 2013, Russian hackers were able to get into the U.S. public utilities and power generators to send and receive encrypted messages.

 


Image via Flickr/Adam Barhan (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you attended the Texas Craft Brewers festival earlier this year, you saw the work of more than 60 of those craft brewers. It was an opportunity for these breweries to get their brands and their beers in front of the drinking public because many haven’t been around for very long.

Image via Flickr/MSC U13 (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Soccer star Abby Wambach suited up for the last time as a member of the US women's national team last night. Wambach ends her career with 184 goals scored in international play. That's the most by any player, man or woman: Two Olympic gold medals and a World Cup. Her accomplishments led some, including the President, to call her the GOAT – the Greatest Of All Time.

From the Texas Tribune

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Texas has violated foster children's constitutional rights to be free from an unreasonable risk of harm, saying that children "often age out of care more damaged than when they entered." 


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.

 


Image via Flickr/Texas Military Department (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The surge in immigrant children has prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to extend National Guard deployments at the Texas border. Paul Weber, a reporter covering the story for the Associated Press, says while the exact number of troops is unknown, it’s probably in the low hundreds.

“In December of 2014 when Gov. Perry first deployed the National Guard to the border, he sent up to 1,000 troops,” Weber says. “But as recently as February, state officials said that there's now only about 200 troops there. And that was in anticipation of an expected drawdown to eventually get the troops out of there.”

 


Here's An Apple Pie Recipe For Any Texan Holiday

Dec 16, 2015
Image via Flickr/Steven Depolo (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Every Christmas my mom would bake eight pies: four apple and four pecan. Now, we wouldn’t eat all of those ourselves. Two would be given away to pie-less people and two would be placed in the deep freeze for some emergency of the future. Pies and money were similar in my mom’s mind. Save a fourth of everything in deep savings for some future need.

When baking these pies, she had a quite a memorable ritual she followed.

 


Malcolm McClendon/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Because of a recent spike in minors crossing the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is ordering the Texas National Guard to stay in the area through December.

The troops were originally scheduled to leave by the end of the month, but Abbott said in a statement that because of federal inaction, the Guard will stay in place.

You might remember a story from about a year ago of a plumber from Texas whose used truck ended up in hands of Islamist militants in Syria.

A photo of the truck posted on Twitter showed the Ford F-250 being used by jihadis. Last week, the plumber filed a lawsuit against the dealer that bought his truck and he's seeking $1 million in damages.

Image Courtesy via Linda Gonzalez and Henry Christopher ZH

From Texas Standard:

Dripping Springs has called itself the "Wedding Capital of Texas." But what does that really mean when there are more single adults in the United States than married ones? Moreover, what does it mean when the state is in the middle of a wedding bust?

Image via YouTube

From Texas Standard:

The last of the 2015 Republican presidential debates is slated for Tuesday. It's the first debates since GOP candidate Donald Trump declared Muslims should be prohibited from entering the United States. It also comes after John Podesta, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, told donors that his prediction for the 2016 race would be a contest between Clinton and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Texas Taxpayers Foot $2.7 Million Bill For WrestleMania

Dec 11, 2015

Gov. Greg Abbott has agreed to spend up to $2.7 million in taxpayer funds to bring the barrage of blood, sweat and spandex that is WrestleMania to Texas next year.

Image via Flickr/Texas.713 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard: After the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama and his colleagues in Congress pushed to close what they call a loophole in background checks. They were not successful. The word loophole, it should be noted, is a political term, primarily used by advocates of gun control who say there's a gap in the law when it comes to the sale or transfer of guns between private citizens.

Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard: It's something that we do regularly, or should, to help keep up our health. Most would never imagine it to be a matter of life and death, but then again a visit to the dentist almost never is. As unreal as it sounds, deadly dentistry is more common that one might think.

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