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

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From Texas Standard:

Election day may be on Nov. 3, but early voting in Texas officially starts today, and runs through October 30.

Chuck Lindell, state capitol reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, tells Texas Standard about the constitutional amendments on the ballot this year .


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From Texas Standard:

Texas barbecue, like Texas itself, has many origins. There's the Mexican influence, which you can taste when you bite into a juicy barbacoa taco, and then there's the influence of Germans and Czechs who brought the idea of meat shops and cooking meat over hot coals to the Lone Star State.

What really helped shape our idea of barbecue isn't nearly as well documented or celebrated: the influence of slave populations and their style of cooking.

Where there's smoke, there's Daniel Vaughn. The Texas Monthly barbecue editor stepped in to the Standard's studio to tell us more.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

From Texas StandardResidents of Bastrop County are battling flames again in the second crop of wildfires in the past five years.

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From Texas Standard

It may be one of the most innovative merit scholarship programs anywhere in America.

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From Texas StandardDuring her first couple of years in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial city in Central Mexico, Dallas native Carrie Cameron spent most of her time creating art. But then, she thought there had to be more to retirement than just making beautiful things. 

Bob Daemmrich via Texas Tribune

A stalled oil drilling boom is forcing the state to revise its income predictions — but not enough to force any cuts in the state budget, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Tuesday.

Be the Change, Inc./flickr

From Texas StandardAs enormous as the state of Texas is, 95 percent of its land is privately held. So if you're serious about conservation, any efforts on publicly held land are just a start. The next step is convincing private landowners to embrace best practices, too.

KUT News

Austin Mayor Steve Adler is among those calling on Texas state leaders to drop a lawsuit over President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

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From Texas Standard

Get ready, folks. We're officially a week away from the biggest event in Texas: the Texas Tribune Festival, that annual gathering of the state and nation's political elite with regular Texans who want the inside track on politics and policy.

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President Obama gave a speech Thursday night at a dinner for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

"America's greatness does not come from building walls, it comes from building opportunity," he told the room.

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From Texas Standard

The top political story Friday was the mayhem on Capitol Hill.

Kevin McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the House Speaker’s race Thursday evening left a vacuum – and some jockeying for position in a party split over direction.

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From Texas Standard

Big beards, sleeves of tattoos and dark sunglasses; those are bold fashion statements, to say the least.

You might see a person that fits that description and think their appearance screams "I'm tough, I'm bad, I'm not to be messed with and I don't care what you think."

Maybe that's not a fair assessment. Some of the them do care what you think of them, and they know what you're thinking about them, too.

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From Texas Standard: 

Sometime between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, something unprecedented will happen at the nation's federal prisons: the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in U.S. history.

The first 6,000 of an expected 46,000 federal prison inmates will be released in that four day window. It's the result of a downward revision in mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, a change that's being made retroactively.

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From Texas Standard:

Since 2009, chickens are legally free to roam a paved road in Bastrop called Farm Street – there's even a sign that says so. The stretch of road is home to an historic chicken sanctuary. But now there's so many chickens migrating into other roads in people's yards, it's creating considerable chaos.

Ken Kesselus, the mayor of Bastrop, says he doesn't give one cluck – if they wander away from safety, they might be fair game.

When the Young Lieutenant Met the Wild Mustangs

Oct 8, 2015
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From Texas Standard:

He was 22 years old, riding his horse south of Corpus Christi in the vicinity of what would one day be called the King Ranch. But that wouldn’t happen for another twenty years.

This vast stretch of sandy prairie was still known as “The Wild Horse Desert."

In some ways it was a spooky place – ghostly. You would see horse tracks everywhere, but no people. There were plenty of worn trails, but the population was merely equestrian.

Pu Ying-Huang/KUT News

An economics professor at the University of Texas says he won’t return to teach next fall because of the state’s new campus carry law.

Microeconomics Professor Daniel Hamermesh says he only planned to stay at UT-Austin for a couple more fall semesters anyway, but he says getting new professors to come here will be the problem.

Image via Mengwen Cao/KUT

From Texas Standard:

It happened on the floor of the U.S. Senate: Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas and prospective applicant for the top job in the executive branch, asked for a recorded vote on his proposal to defund Planned Parenthood and dump the nuclear deal with Iran.

What followed was seven seconds of awkward silence, which said more than any pundit could about the relationship between one Texas senator and the rest of the U.S. Senate.


Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Jews celebrate Simchat Torah today. This festive holiday marks the end of the annual cycle of Torah readings and starts off the new cycle.

Jews in Austin just recently got two historic Torah scrolls to read from. The scrolls, along with a 19th century synagogue, came from a disappearing Jewish community in Brenham.

Laura Rice/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Fridays mean high school football across most of Texas. And this time of year also means fall homecoming celebrations.


From Texas Standard: Imagine you turn on the radio one day and you hear a sound like that emergency broadcast signal. Only this time, the announcer does not say "This is only a test."