Texas

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

Emil Pakarklis/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Cheryl Gerber for the Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas wants to take its voter identification battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the justices to hear his arguments about why the state’s photo ID requirements for voting do not discriminate against Hispanics and African-American voters. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

The state of Texas is threatening to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, if the feds don't accept the state's proposal for continuing the program in the next fiscal year. 

Bex_X_Pi (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said that by taking a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner," he's protesting racial injustice and police brutality. The idea was to spark a national conversation about these issues.

Other players have joined Kaepernick, not just in San Francisco and not just in the NFL. Athletes across the country, competing at different levels, are taking a knee – including high school football players in Texas

 


John Burnett/NPR & Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Editor’s note: This story contains graphic depictions of a crime.

The federal government is trying to disrupt the Texas operations of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang. It began in California in the 1960s and spread to Texas in the 1980s. Chapters formed across the country, but the federal government decided that those in Texas were among the most brutal and violent. In 2008, the federal government launched an aggressive six-year operation that landed 75 members of the Aryan Brotherhood in prison.

This highly exclusive, all-white criminal organization rarely talks to outsiders, least of to all members of the press. But NPR’s John Burnett spoke with James “Chance” Jones, a senior major in the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT).

 


DarkoStojanovic/Pixabay (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

The ACLU and ACLU of Texas are getting involved in a lawsuit over a regulation in the Affordable Care Act. In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against federal regulations that prohibit healthcare discrimination against people who are transgender. The lawsuit was announced by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Franciscan Alliance. The lawsuit will be heard in Wichita Falls.

The rules state that healthcare entities are not allowed to deny or limit services – including gender transition services – based on race, national origin, sex, age or disability.

 


YouTube/Prophet Manasseh

From Texas Standard:

A couple weeks ago, I got this call from a number with a Dallas area code:

Hello. This is St. Mary’s Prayer Center Ministry calling today to see if you need urgent prayer. If you would like to have someone from our center pray for you, please press 1. If you would no longer like to hear from us, please press 3.

 


Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The Texas foster care system is not perfect. We’ve all heard stories about children bouncing around from one foster placement to another, or kids who are in and out of the system – as if going through a revolving door.

But that’s not the intent. Marissa Gonzalez is a spokesperson for Child Protective Services.

"When a child first comes into foster care, it is temporary,” she says. “The whole idea is for them to be safely reunited with their parents."

 


Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas lawmakers on Thursday revisited the fate of a $150 million cut in state funding to Medicaid payments for disabled children’s therapy made in 2015 — though the outcome of that cut remains uncertain as a legal battle over its legitimacy remains before the Texas Supreme Court.


'The Tacos of Texas' is the Ultimate Taco Road Trip

Sep 15, 2016
Twitter/ElMundoDeMando

From Texas Standard:

In a state where the taco reigns supreme, it was inevitable that someone would write the be-all, end-all book on the subject.

That’s exactly what taco journalists Armando Rayo and Jarod Neece have done. The two taco-lovers embarked on a journey across 10 cities in Texas to find the best, the worst and the weirdest tacos for their new book, The Tacos of Texas.

 


Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Numbers show a much tighter presidential race than anyone might imagine in what's often considered to be the reddest of red states. The Texas Lyceum released its closely watched polling results yesterday, showing that the race to the White House is still neck-and-neck.


Joe Diaz/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The United States Census Bureau dropped new data this week, as part of the American Community Survey, a yearly estimate of a plethora of different topics concerning American households, including numbers on healthcare, income, and poverty.

 


From the Texas Tribune: The family of Sandra Bland — who died last year in a Waller County Jail cell — has reached a settlement with Texas officials in a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer for the family said Thursday.

Texas Tribune

A new poll finds broad opposition in Texas to one of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s signature campaign promises.

Pie4all88/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Attorney General’s office and the Harris County Attorney’s Office are going after shops selling the synthetic cannabinoid Kush. Instead of prosecuting users, the offices have jointly filed 10 lawsuits against Houston-area novelty stores, where up to 40 percent of sales come from the drug. One novelty store has agreed to a nearly $1.2 million settlement after an undercover sting operation.


Why I Won’t Fall for Fall Weather in Texas This Year

Sep 13, 2016
Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

It’s September! It must be fall!

I know this because you can’t raise an eyebrow right now without hearing about football games or school starting or the latest fall fashions. September’s on the calendar, in the newscasts, planted firmly in the zeitgeist.

Thinking about it — this new, exciting season — I get a little shiver. Isn’t that a nip in the air I just felt? No, it’s just the air-conditioning going full throttle.

 


What Can Austin Do to Support Its Musicians?

Sep 13, 2016
Austin Anderson/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Austin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital” of the world. But a flood of newcomers to the city has produced some dire consequences for the very people who've earned the city that title – the musicians who can no longer afford to live there.

Mayor Steve Adler says the city has reached a tipping point. 

 


World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Since the 1970s, federal law has stated that all children with disabilities are entitled to a free public education appropriate to their needs. Nationwide, the percentage of kids who receive special ed services is around 13 percent.

But in Texas, that number is substantially lower. Just 8.5 percent of all public school kids in Texas are enrolled in special ed programs – the lowest percentage in the country. That number appears to be no mere accident – instead, it’s a rather specific objective.


Ken Piorkowski/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

For years, Texas has led the nation in the number of executions, but the state's death chamber has been idle since April, and there have been several high-profile stays of execution. 

Could this be a sign of something broader going on when it comes to the death penalty in Texas?

 

 


Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Many nights – somewhere in a Texas Child Protective Services office – there's a child sleeping, tucked in somewhere among the desks and computers instead of spending the night with a family. That’s because there are not enough families in Texas registered to foster kids who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

But the situation would be much worse for CPS without the help of these children’s extended families. Thousands of aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends around Texas volunteer to care for kids while they're in the system. CPS calls this type of care a kinship placement.

 


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