Texas

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

A middle school hallway
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

It’s standardized testing season for Texas public school students. For some school districts, test time means missing documents, computer glitches and shoddy technical support.

 

U.S. F-15E fighter planes
Stuart Rankin/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you Google "Syria and civilian casualties," you’ll find numbers that vary widely depending on who is reporting the information and why. Russia has long been blamed for a lack of discretion in choosing targets for its airstrikes, leading to massive numbers of civilian deaths. But with President Donald Trump giving field commanders more latitude to fight ISIS, claims of civilian casualties caused by American-led forces have increased significantly.

 Talented musician, writer, and activist Maud Cuney-Hare rose to prominence in the Northeast, but she never gave up her Texas heritage.

Born in Galveston in 1874, she was the daughter of Adelina and Norris Wright Cuney, one of the state’s most influential African-American politicians and civil rights leaders of the post-Civil War era. She grew up in an upper-class home filled with music and literature, and after graduating from high school studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

When white students tried to have her barred from living on campus, she stood her ground and won the right to remain in her dormitory. She cultivated relationships with prominent black leaders, including W.E.B. DuBois, to whom she was briefly engaged and with whom she remained close both personally and professionally throughout her life. 

 

 Allie Victoria Tennant was one of the most accomplished sculptors in Texas during a career that spanned more than five decades. Tennant became a prominent artist in the Regionalist style during the 1930s, joining a circle of artists who chose Texas themes as their subject matter. Many of her sculptures are now displayed in the Dallas Museum of Art. Her best-known public work is the monumental Tejas Warrior, which still stands at the Hall of State at Fair Park.

 In 1923, Mary Couts Burnett gave more than $3 million to Texas Christian University, one of the largest gifts to a Texas institution.  A native of Weatherford, Burnett married wealthy cattleman and oil baron Burk Burnett about 1892. After the death of their only child in 1917, Mary Burnett feared that her husband was trying to kill her. In response, he had her declared insane and confined to a private house in her hometown.  

KUTX Austin

From Texas Standard:

Ten years ago, Joe Lewis – a 20-something from the Austin suburbs –  first tried to storm the stage. By day, he was delivering fish for a local seafood restaurant; by night, he was putting his unique spin on the blues that Austin was best known for. With a sound that evokes Stax and Muscle Shoals more than the cosmic cowboys, Lewis stands out in Austin.

 

bigbirdz/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A new survey reports that 15 percent of undergraduate women at the University of Texas at Austin say they’ve been raped. The survey, conducted by the university’s School of Social Work’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, is the most comprehensive of its kind ever done. The survey polled 28,000 students during the 2015 academic year.

When she was 23, Sophie Alice Callahan wrote the first novel by an American Indian woman, titled Wynema, A Child of the Forest. The book tells the story of a Creek girl and her teacher, an Anglo woman from the South. Callahan used the cross-cultural friendship between the two women to educate Anglo readers about the rights of Native Americans and of women. The book highlights the women’s opinions about the suffrage movement and the painful realities of U.S. Indian policies, like the effects of the Dawes Act and the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

It’s no surprise that the Texas population continue to grow. The state’s major cities are all getting bigger, but it’s the areas surrounding the urban core – the suburbs – where growth rates are highest.

John Morgan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Reform of the Texas foster care system has been an elusive goal for state lawmakers. A federal judge ruled the system unconstitutional and "broken" two years ago. One proposal that has received support in the current legislative session would have the state contract with religious organizations and other non-profits to provide care for foster children. But the idea has received pushback from some of the religious groups themselves.

 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Legislature’s two houses have about nine weeks to approve a balanced two-year budget. But disagreement over accounting “gimmickry” is dividing lawmakers in the House and Senate. The Senate finance committee approved a $107 billion budget, but House Speaker Joe Straus says that the senators relied on questionable accounting practices to avoid tapping into the state’s rainy day fund, a savings account funded mainly by oil and gas tax revenue.

Consuelo González Amezcua (called Chelo), a poet and artist, gained acclaim for the "filigree art" drawings she did in Texas, which drew inspiration from pre-Columbian, Mexican American and Egyptian history. Her unique drawing technique reflected the elaborate metal work found in Mexican jewelry.

 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A House vote on the American Health Care Act – the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare – is slated for Thursday. But some conservatives are wary – they worry the bill will leave too many people uninsured. Others say it doesn't go far enough in repealing the original law.

 

Terry Canales/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

What's in a name? It turns out that question has relevance long after Shakespeare's time. In fact, it's at the center of a bill before the Texas Legislature this session.

 

  In 1942, six months after the U.S. entry into World War II, the Army Air Force, facing a shortage of male combat pilots, turned to pioneering pilot Jacqueline Cochran to launch a flight-training program for women. Of the 25,000 women who applied, 1,830 were accepted, and 1,074 completed the training to become Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs.

 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Maria Aberra put on her red school uniform shirt with the Texas emblem like she does every morning — but instead of heading to her charter school, she drove 20 miles with her mom Tuesday to the Capitol to testify on school choice.

Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas standard:

It's not common for a teenager to hang out in the office of a pro bono attorney whose clients are Texas death row inmates. But, that's where 15-year-olds Sebe Shearer and Heidi Ellis are.

 

"I've known Sebe for a really long time now since elementary school and I also needed volunteer hours – so I decided to come with her,” Ellis says.

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee quizzed FBI Director James Comey on Monday over the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia and President Donald Trump’s Twitter allegations that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

 

Lydia Mendoza — known as “La Alondra de la Frontera,” or the lark of the border — was one of the most talented and popular and talented musicians in the history of Tejano music. Mendoza was born in Houston into a musical family of Mexican immigrants in 1916. She performed on the streets with her family’s band, which won an audition in San Antonio for OK Records in 1928.

 

From Texas Standard:

Here in Texas, if you’re headed to a Buc-ee’s, there’s little confusion about what that means -- Beaver Nuggets, an expansive jerky selection and clean bathrooms. Those are images closely tied to the convenience store chain and it is suing to keep it that way.

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