Texas

Texas
10:51 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Could Liability Insurance for Bars Curb Drunk Driving?

One thousand three hundred thirty-six Texans died in crashes caused by alcohol in 2013.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/ kevharb

This legislative session, Arlington Rep. Chris Turner pre-filed a bill that would hold bars responsible for the behavior of over-served customers, requiring all bars in the state carry minimum liability insurance.

While Turner’s bill may seem onerous to some bar owners, he argues his proposal to require bars to have insure bars would insulate owners from lawsuits and, ultimately, curb drunk driving.

Read more
Affordable Care Act
9:20 am
Tue March 17, 2015

ACA Enrollment Period Extended for Those Who Were Uninsured in 2014

The federal government has allowed a special enrollment period through April 30, 2015 for certain people who faced a tax penalty on their 2014 tax return and are still uninsured.
KUT News

The signup period to buy an Obamacare plan for 2015 ended last month, but now, there’s a separate window to sign up for a very specific group of people.

Elizabeth Colvin, the director of nonprofit Insure Central Texas, which helps people with the health insurance application process, says this is only for people who are penalized on their 2014 tax return for being uninsured last year.

Read more
Border & Immigration
8:10 am
Mon March 16, 2015

After Suicide Attempts, Advocates Draft Petition to End Immigrant Detention

A view of the Karnes County Detention Center shortly after its opening in July 2014.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

There's a new petition making the rounds through Texas and the United States.

Its goal is to end the incarceration of immigrant mothers and children. A catalyst for the petition was a recent wave of suicide attempts by some of the women in detention in facilities in Texas.

Read more
Texas
1:14 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

TGI Pi Day: On Saturday, the Date and Time Align With Pi Out to Ten Digits

March 14, 2015 is National Pi Day.
Alex Cockroach/flickr

March 14, 2015 is National Pi Day – as in 3.1415. And, at 9:26:53 a.m., the date and time will align with the first ten digits of pi: 3.141592653.

Read more
2015 Legislature
10:59 am
Fri March 13, 2015

'Marlise's Law' Would Let Stand Pregnant Women's End of Life Directives in Texas

Ernest Machado speaks at the Capitol on March 12, 2015 to shore up support for a bill that would remove the pregnancy exclusion from Texas law on end of life advanced directives.
KUT News

The case of Marlise Muñoz made national headlines when her family sued a Fort Worth hospital to take her off life support.

She was kept on machines for roughly two months, but doctors couldn’t remove her because she was pregnant. This case is now in the spotlight again, but this time at the Texas Capitol. 

Read more
Affordable Care Act
10:26 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Texans Bring Call for Medicaid Expansion to Capitol Steps

At a rally for Medicaid expansion in Texas at the Capitol on March 12, 2015, pets participated, too.
KUT News

As the legislative session picks up steam, dozens of people from across the state came to a rally on the Capitol steps Thursday to show support for Medicaid expansion in Texas under the Affordable Care Act.

Speakers included Texas residents and business community leaders like the president of the Texas Hospital Association and chambers of commerce. 

Read more
Texas
10:39 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Texas Ends Contract With Group That Has Run Alamo For More Than A Century

Members of the San Antonio Living History Association fire a volley as they take part in a Dawn at the Alamo memorial service at Alamo Plaza in San Antonio on March 6, 2006. Texas is taking back the landmark from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which has run the Alamo for more than 100 years.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 3:17 pm

Texas is ending its contract with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to run the Alamo. The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that the move ends the organization's more than 100-year-long management of the landmark.

The change will help "create a bigger, brighter future for this Texas shrine," Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said in a joint statement with the DRT.

Read more
Texas Standard
4:21 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Meet the Texan Who Traveled Overseas to Fight ISIS

Texan Patrick Maxwell on patrol with Kurdish security forces in 2014.

Wednesday was a fierce day of fighting in Iraq. The self-proclaimed Islamic State set off 21 car bombs in Ramadi as Iraqi forces gained ground in Tikrit, re-taking control of a military hospital there.

Back in the U.S., the debate continues about how best to deal with the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But for some veterans the time for talk is over. Unknown numbers of American war vets have taken up with foreign fighters battling ISIS.

Read more
Texas Standard
3:14 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

The Case for 'Fixin' To' as the Official Verb of Texas

flickr.com/batega

From Texas Standard: 

“Fixin’ to” is the national verb of Texas. Certainly you find it in use in other states, but it is particularly pervasive in Texas. For many of us it is the default verb for anything to do with the near future. And most of us replace that final “o” with an “a”– as in, Fixin’ Ta. As my mom would say, “I’m fixin’ ta vacuum in there, so y’all don’t get too comfortable.”

Read more
Affordable Care Act
12:06 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Most Texans Who Enrolled in Obamacare Plan Received Tax Subsidy

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 85 percent of consumers in Texas qualified for a tax credit of about $240 dollars a month to reduce their 2015 premiums.
KUT News

In a challenge to the Affordable Care Act heard recently by the Supreme Court, King v. Burwell, the argument was that people who bought health coverage on a federal exchange, like the one in Texas, cannot qualify for a tax credit to make the monthly premium cheaper. That's because of wording in the health care law that challengers of the legislation say only allows the IRS to give tax credits to people on a state exchange.

While that battle plays out in Washington, the federal government has released numbers this week showing how many people are receiving tax credits.

Read more
2015 Legislature
10:42 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Senate Bill Could Change How Texas Agencies Make Deals

State senators are reviewing a bill that would change Texas laws on how state agencies award contracts.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

A state senator says Texas has "gaping holes" in the laws on contracting. To change that, a panel of lawmakers is reviewing a bill from State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, that would overhaul how billions of dollars in state funding are awarded.

Under the bill, the more money involved in a state agency contract, the more competitive bids required before signing a deal. Agencies would have to post their contracts online and develop a contract management database, for instance.

Read more
Texas
7:53 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Will Texas Abolish Daylight Saving Time?

A map of daylight saving time use across the world — countries in blue still use the time-switch, those in orange previously used DST and those in red have never enacted a time-switch.
Wikimedia Commons

Like many across the world, you may have come into work late this week because of daylight saving time. Yesterday, lawmakers heard testimony on a bill that could end the “spring forward” clock change once and for all in Texas.

State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton) says there are a lot of myths about daylight saving time. He says farmers don’t really care for it, and that it doesn’t seem to conserve energy. He even says there are studies showing more car accidents and heart attacks following the clock change.

Read more
Texas
10:43 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Job Growth Spurs Temporary Housing Market in Houston

Luxury condominiums like Waterwalk hope to cash in on population growth and business development.
Courtesy of WaterWalk

Approximately 50,000 people relocate to Houston every year, creating a luxury-housing boom.

Imagine waking up in your luxury apartment. There’s a knock at the door – in wheels some scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, a gourmet breakfast delivered. Every morning. And your company’s paying for all of it. That could be the reality for some Houston transplants as early as June, if David Redfern has his way. He’s the president of Waterwalk.

Read more
Texas
10:41 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Updated: Texas Man Cleared by DNA Gets Posthumous Degree

An online petition collected more than 12,000 signatures in support of asking Texas Tech University to grant a posthumous degree to Timothy Cole. Friday the board voted to award him the degree.
thepetitionsite.com

Update March 10, 2015 9:45 a.m. Texas Tech University's Board of Regents voted Friday to award an honorary degree to Timothy Cole. The Associated Press first reported about this vote on Monday, after the university released a statement on the regents' vote.

Original story Dec. 11, 2014: Timothy Cole was the first person to receive a Texas posthumous pardon for a crime he didn’t commit. That happened in 2010. Now, a Texas resident wants Texas Tech University to grant Cole an honorary degree.

Read more
2015 Legislature
8:56 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Texting While Driving Ban Bill Gets Another Run at Texas Capitol

Texas lawmakers are discussing a texting while driving bill again in the 2015 legislative session.
via Xconomy

Texas lawmakers in a transportation committee say they want to make 2015 the year Texas bans texting and driving statewide.

Read more
Immigration
8:43 am
Mon March 9, 2015

U.S. Children of Undocumented Parents Report Anxiety, Depression

A study in the Journal of Child and Family Studies led by UT Austin School of Social Work Dean Luis Zayas suggests children of undocumented parents have high levels of anxiety.
KUT News

A study from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California, Davis, and the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría, Mexico City, looks at the mental health of children who are U.S. citizens, but whose parents are undocumented Mexican immigrants.  

These U.S.-born children of undocumented parents reported high levels of anxiety and also symptoms of depression if their parents were detained or deported. 

Read more
Texas
3:54 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Report: Texas Population to Double by 2050

Justyna Furmanczyk

From the Texas Tribune: Texas' population is expected to double by 2050 to 54.4 million people, according to projections released Thursday by the state demographer.

That increase will largely be due to more people moving to the state, rather than just by Texans having more children, according to the report by State Demographer Lloyd Potter and his staff. Migration patterns are expected to "substantially alter the future age structure of Texas," the report found.

Read more
Texas
11:18 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Tortillas: The Hot Food Trend 500 Years in the Making

Tortilla makers made $12 billion in 2012.

The editors of Food & Wine magazine named homemade tortillas as an upcoming trend. Producer Brenda Salinas puts them on blast.

When Chef Jorge Rojo learned that Food And Wine Magazine had named homemade tortillas a trend to watch in 2015, he scoffed.

Read more
Texas Standard
12:48 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Why Mack Brown Loves Twitter And His Answers To Your Questions

Mack Brown, former head coach of the Texas Longhorns football team, visits with Texas Standard.
Mengwen Cao KUT News

From Texas Standard:

When Mack Brown stepped down as head coach of the Texas Longhorns football team, he was the second winningest in school history with a national title under his belt. We all know that Mack Brown, but there’s another one — the off-the-field tactician who recruits for nonprofits.

Read more
Texas Standard
12:59 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

24 Signs You're a True Texan

Ever had beef enchiladas on the San Antonio River Walk?
kylemonahan/flickr

How can you tell if someone's a real Texan? Our resident expert shares a cowboy's wisdom on the subject. 

An old rodeo cowboy from George West once helped W.F. Strong define the makings of a true Texan. He told him: "All you gotta do is ask a few questions."

Read more

Pages