Texas

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

Shelby Knowles/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been charged in federal court with allegedly misleading investors in a technology company. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed the charges Monday in a Sherman-based court. They are similar to the allegations Paxton faces in a pending indictment handed up by a Collin County grand jury last year.

Callie Richmond/Texas Tribune

Daniel Hernandez, an investigator for the state’s Child Protective Services agency, left his South Austin home at dawn on a recent Thursday holding a stack of folders. Their contents detailed troubles facing the children and families Hernandez was scheduled to check on that day: a starving infant, parents using drugs in front of a child and a teenager's suicide attempt.

Thomas Hawk/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has the largest prison population in the country, with over 172,000 people serving prison sentences. Those prisoners make up a substantial workforce in the state, contributing to the  production of everything from mattresses to bacon. It's an industry that has been valued at nearly $2 billion a year. But inmates make only pennies an hour in return.

Banspy/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Some of America’s biggest school districts in New York City, Chicago, Miami-Dade County and Houston are hiring more security officers and police than counselors. In Houston, for example, there is only one counselor for every 1,175 students.

Policy and research editor Matt Barnum, from a nonpartisan news website focusing on education issues called The 74,  looked at the data.


Rod Aydelotte/WacoTrib

From Texas Standard:

Last May, nine people were killed, 20 injured and 177 people were arrested in a biker shootout at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. One hundred fifty people were indicted with a $1 million bail set for each of them. As we approach one year later, not a single person has seen trial. In fact, there hasn't been a single trial date set, either.

Merle Haggard Didn't Just Sing It, He Lived it Too

Apr 7, 2016
Jeremy Luke Roberts/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Despite his well-known song saying he’s an Okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard never claimed it as autobiographical. The country music legend was born in Oildale, California. Although he wasn’t a native Texan, he got here as fast as he could.


Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Some Texas lawmakers and other officials are trying to tackle what’s seen as a problem with property taxes. The Texas Senate Select Property Tax Reform and Relief committee is hosting a series of Road Meetings throughout the state.

Flickr/WOCinTech Chat (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Perhaps it's not surprising that women and minorities employed by the state of Texas make less money than white men who work similar jobs. But does the fact it's gotten worse over the last decade give you pause?

Flickr/S Lowe (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

There's something about toll roads that just isn't very fun. It's probably that part where you have to pay to drive on them. Of course, we help pay for the roads we drive on through taxes and other fees – but it's more in your face when you roll through the toll plaza.

At least one Texas lawmaker is urging the state to pump the breaks.


Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

If you're a regular listener to the Standard, you may remember Courtney Meeks. She's homeless and pregnant. When we met her in January, Meeks was standing at the corner of a busy intersection in Austin asking drivers for money. Back then, she thought she was really close to giving birth.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: In a unanimous decision released Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold Texas' current system for drawing legislative districts so that they are roughly equal in population.


Aaron Jacobs/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Remember the Alamo? How could we forget. Remember Denton? That's a different sort of battle.

Flickr/AgriLife Today (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

As Texas moves forward with legalizing access to cannabis oil for some epilepsy patients, the state still needs to set up a system for distributing the medicine. Some folks in McKinney are offering up an idea: they want to repurpose a hundred-year-old cotton gin to grow, process and distribute cannabis oil.

Flickr/Visit El Paso (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Fifty years ago, the NCAA men's basketball tournament started with just 22 teams in the first round. When it came down to the championship game: on one side was the all-white Kentucky basketball team, as most college basketball teams were at the time; the challenger was Texas Western, an all-black team from El Paso – the university has since become the University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP.

Flickr/Jayel Aheram (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The body of a Marine who died last week has finally returned home. Louis Cardin was killed after his unit was hit by an ISIS rocket attack in Iraq. Now the Pentagon says they want to place even more combat troops into Iraq – reiterating Defense Secretary Ash Carter's intention to "put boots on the ground."

Flickr/Jin (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Maybe you’ve heard Texas Rep. Pete Sessions wants magic to be recognized as an official national treasure – the proposal made headlines, many of them a little snarky. But how could magic solve some of the state’s most pressing needs?

Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

It's been a turbulent year for the state's Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). First there was the December court order by a federal judge in Corpus Christi – a sweeping and scathing order condemning what she called a "broken" foster care system, declaring it in violation of the Constitution and demanding a complete overhaul with a special master to be appointed to recommend fixes.

Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

If you’re single and living in a big city like Dallas, Austin or Houston, it’s easy enough to login to find a date. Online dating apps like Tinder and Grindr are location-based – they find potential date matches based on who's living near you.

I bet you could, or have, spent what feels like a solid hour just swiping through strangers on your smartphone screen. The possibilities can seem endless. But what happens when you open those same apps in a small town like Van Horn, Alpine, or Marfa?


Glamour Shots Help Shelter Pets Find Homes Faster

Mar 25, 2016
Courtesy Bill Wilson

From Texas Standard:

Mike Ryan is a volunteer at Austin Pets Alive! He’s trying to get a good picture of Summer, a brown lab mix. Two more volunteers are giving Summer treats in an effort to get her to face the camera.

"I treat it like we have only one picture to get through to the person who is going to be looking at the dog," Ryan says. "So, for the picture, two things are eye contact so the dog is looking directly into the camera, and the other thing is the dog looks like it is smiling."


Pablo D. Flores/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

From Texas Standard:

Forty years ago today, Argentina experienced a military coup that threw out then-president Isabel Perón. What followed was seven years of military dictatorship, where tens of thousands of people "disappeared.”

But they didn’t simply disappear – they were tortured and killed by the militia. The military claimed these people were from violent guerrilla groups, threatening Argentina's democracy, but many were college students, professors, priests, and social workers – anyone who was deemed a threat or spoke out against the Argentine government, a dictatorship that lasted from 1976 to 1983.

Some say human rights violations had been taking place even before the military officially took power.


Pages