Texas

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

Screenshot via news.jammedup.com

From Texas Standard:

Last August, a Harris County Sheriff's deputy was filling up gas at a Chevron station just outside of downtown Houston when an individual walked up to the deputy and shot him the back of the head. The suspect went on to shoot the deputy 15 more times.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

State lawmakers will revisit the debate over whether federal actions protecting gay rights are infringing on religious liberties this week, with a Texas Senate panel taking up the issue tomorrow.

Following last year’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide, there’s been a debate about whether that landmark civil rights ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, would hinder religious freedoms. Republican state leaders say that’s why they want the legislature to consider laws that they say would protect those freedoms in Texas.

The U.S. Supreme Court next month is scheduled to hear its biggest abortion case in at least a decade, and the reach of that decision is likely to be impacted by the absence of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died over the weekend.

Screenshot via YouTube/KaceyMusgravesVevo

From Texas Standard:

Look up Golden, Texas, and you’ll see it's 35 miles north of Tyler. Wikipedia says it's best known for its sweet potatoes. But that’s probably because most folks don’t realize that Kacey Musgraves, who some say is saving country music from itself, just so happens to be from sweet potato country.

Image via Flickr/Nan Palmero (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

According to Forbes, Texas has four of America's next boom towns: Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Thanks to technology hubs like Austin and "opportunity cities" like San Antonio, Texas is pretty much the blueprint for America's cities of the future.

Image credit Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The morning after the New Hampshire primary, let's consider that no so-called presidential frontrunner – in this case, Hillary Clinton – has ever lost an early primary by 20 percentage points. That may mean nothing. Or, it may mean that Bernie Sanders' talk about a political revolution is more than empty stump speech puffery.

The key to the conventions is the South, and candidates know it.

  

Callie Richmond for the Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has helped state Republicans — at least temporarily — dodge major action on climate change.

Photo via Flickr/stephenvelasco (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

On Tuesday, New Hampshire voters will exercise their right to shape both Republican and Democratic presidential nominees’ futures. They’ll be voting in the country's second nominating process – the primaries.

Some experts believe Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have the greatest chances for victory in New Hampshire and that wins there could give them a lot of momentum in their push for the Presidency.

 


Marjorie Kamys Cotera for the Texas Tribune

A federal judge has again denied a bid by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to block the federal government from resettling Syrian refugees in the state.

Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey on Monday rejected Paxton’s request for a preliminary injunction to bar the Syrian refugees, dealing another blow to Gov. Greg Abbott’s vow — made in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris that left 130 dead — to keep people fleeing the war-torn country out of Texas. 

Image via Flickr/The White House (Governmental Works)

From Texas Standard:

Over this weekend the U.S. and its allies conducted 17 air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. These strikes come shortly after the Afghan Air Force claims to have hit ISIS-related targets in eastern Afghanistan.

Image via flickr/greenplasticamy (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Mexicans consume more carbonated drinks per person than any other nation in the world, at an average of 36 gallons a year according to experts. That's 40 percent more than the average American.

Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Texas leads the nation when it comes to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, and the state may be adding to those numbers through closer scrutiny of DNA evidence practices.

Courts are now saying that some convictions could have been based on outdated DNA evidence, and are sending notice to defendants whose trials may have been affected.


Why Barbecue Homogenization is a Good Thing

Feb 4, 2016
Photo via Flickr/wallyg (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Barbecue in the U.S. comes in all shapes and sizes. The multiple variations of sauces, cuts of meats, and rubs provide a distinction between certain regional styles of the dish. Or do they? 

Image via Pixabay/jarmoluk (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Tonight at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, the owners of the new U. S. soccer team, the Spurs Sports & Entertainment group, are set to make a big announcement. But before they do, let's discuss what's in a name when it comes to sports teams.


Gallup-Healthways

Texans say they’re not as well-off as they were a year ago, according to a new Gallup-Healthways poll measuring each state's well-being. But despite the drop, Texas' well-being index number is pretty high compared to other states'.

Since 2008, Gallup-Healthways has issued its annual report, the State of American Well-Being, which analyzes five facets of wellness: Sense of Purpose, Social Relationships, Financial Security, Relationship to Community and Physical Health.

Image credit Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Few things translate into all cultures and backgrounds. Homelessness is one of them. No matter the country, there are people living in the streets. What varies is how communities try to deal with the issue.

In Austin, Alan Graham has spent decades feeding and housing the destitute with Mobile Loaves and Fishes, the organization he founded. Today Graham will be named Citizen of the Year by the Austin Chamber of Commerce. And while you may not have heard his name, chances are you've heard one of his most well-known prescriptions for homelessness – building communities of tiny houses for the disabled and chronically homeless.

Image credit Shelby Knowles/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

If you want to understand what's happening in the nation at large, you need to understand the unusual politics of Texas. On Tuesday, a prominent advocate of the idea that "less is more" when it comes to government has a big head start on a voyage he hopes will end at the White House.

Image via Flickr/Donnie Ray Jones (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Every two weeks in Bexar County, a baby dies.

That number is the highest in the state. The majority of deaths are attributed to unsafe sleep patterns or "co-sleeping," when the baby sleeps with parents or a sibling. Babies can suffocate or be smothered while sleeping with bigger people.

A San Antonio hospital is taking a cue from Finland and offering "baby boxes" to new mothers. But what are they and how do they help keep babies safe?

 


Image courtesy David Pilgreen

From Texas Standard:

The company that prints new voter registration cards is probably busy this time of year. There are tons of new eligible voters in 2016. Data from the 2010 Census tells us 7 million Texans were under 18 six years ago. Many of those people are now eligible to vote this time around.

Photo courtesy Russell Lee Photography Collection at UT-Austin

From Texas Standard:

Paulino Serda was a small ranch owner near Edinburg, Texas, in 1915 when a group of Mexican bandits came through town. They demanded he open the gates that connected the ranches so the group could pass.

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