Texas

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.

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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."

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Texas Standard
12:49 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Could the Business Community End Mexico's Drug War?

After twenty powerful business groups and think tanks publicly expressed outrage at Mexican authorities over rampant lawlessness, Mexico captured its most wanted drug lord, Servando 'La Tuta' Gomez.
Madison450/wikimedia commons

One day after twenty business leaders issued a public vote of no confidence in the country's biggest newspapers, officials announced they had captured Mexico's most wanted kingpin.

After twenty powerful business groups and think tanks publicly expressed outrage at Mexican authorities over rampant lawlessness, Mexico captured its most wanted drug lord, Servando “La Tuta” Gomez.

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Texas Standard
11:09 am
Tue March 3, 2015

How to Raise a Texan Long Distance

Jake Silverstein is trying to raise his five- and eight-year-olds in New York with some semblance of their Texan heritage.
flickr.com/zeldman

Loving Texas is one thing. Teaching your children to do the same when they no longer live here is something else altogether.

Jake Silverstein left his post as editor of Texas Monthly to head up a little outfit called The New York Times Magazine - a tough job but someone’s gotta do it. But back when he was at the helm of Texas Monthly, he was responsible for one of its most popular issues: It featured babies in cowboy boots under a banner asking, “How Do You Raise a Texan?”

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2015 Legislature
10:36 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Without Medicaid Flexibility, Texas Republicans Say No to Program's Expansion

The Texas Senate Republican Caucus has sent a letter to President Barack Obama saying that without flexibility in the current Medicaid program, they won't support any type of expansion of the program in the future.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Leaders of the Texas Senate have sent a letter to President Barack Obama [read a PDF of the letter here] about Medicaid. It says that if Texas can’t make changes to how it runs Medicaid now, there’ll be no Medicaid expansion for Texas in the future.

The Affordable Care Act gives states the option to expand Medicaid to cover more people, or in the case of Texas and some other states, not expand it.

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2015 Legislature
10:34 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Why Texas Deletes Vaccine Records from State Registry

A group of doctors visited State Rep. Ken Sheets, R-Dallas, to discuss the ImmTrac vaccine registry in Texas.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

With vaccines in the news the past couple months, you might have got to wondering about your own.

Remember that card with a record of all of your shots on it? If you’re past your college days, it might’ve been a while since you’ve seen it – if you even have at all. If you didn’t tell your doctor at age 18 that you want Texas to keep that record electronically, chances are your records are gone, but some state lawmakers are trying to change that. 

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Texas Standard
1:45 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Five Things All Texans Need To Experience

Texas wildflowers make Aasen's short list of the ultimate Texan experiences.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/texaseagle/

To celebrate Texas Independence Day, Texas Standard spoke to KERA’s Eric Aasen to get the top five experiences every Texan should try.

Why him?

It’s safe to say one of KERA‘s most popular blog posts ever was Eric Aasen’s 39 Things to Do In Texas Before You Die. People came out of the woodwork with reactions and recommendations for ventures he left off the list.

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Ebola
7:16 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Nurse Treated For Ebola To Sue Texas Hospital

Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract Ebola within the United States, tells the Dallas Morning News that she worries about continued health issues and will sue the hospital where she contracted Ebola.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:09 am

Nurse Nina Pham tells the Dallas Morning News that while she is Ebola free, she suffers residual effects from contracting the disease from a patient she cared for last fall at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

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Texas
9:43 am
Thu February 26, 2015

How Many Construction Workers Die in Texas Every Year?

Workers rights' supporters gathered at the J. J. Pickle Federal Building to commemorate construction workers who died while working.
Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT News

Advocates for workers' rights say that Texas leads the nation in construction deaths. Some believe the majority of accidents, and even deaths, go unreported due to the legal status of many construction workers.

One of the few studies on the topic is from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think-tank in Austin. In 2007, the CPPP found 142 documented deaths of construction workers in Texas. The second state with the most deaths was California with 81.

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Texas
5:39 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Court of Appeals Stays Execution of Rodney Reed

The Huntsville facility in Texas where Death Row inmates are housed. Inmate Rodney Reed was granted a stay of execution Monday.
Credit Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay Monday afternoon in the case of Death Row inmate Rodney Reed. Reed was accused of the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, and he was scheduled for execution on March 5. Since Reed's conviction, many have come out in support of his innocence and argued that, at the very least, further DNA testing is necessary to determine what happened.

Reed's attorney Bryce Benjet, who works with the Innocence Project, said in a statement:

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Texas
12:25 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Reaction to Immigration Overhaul Block Runs Along Party Lines in Texas

U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat, criticized U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's temporary stay of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.
Credit KUT News

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not start accepting applications Wednesday for a program designed to shield more than four million immigrants from deportation, a direct result of this week's federal court ruling that temporarily halts an expansion of the program to people over 30 and to immigrant parents living in the country illegally.

The reaction to this decision runs along party lines. U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat, says the deportation relief provided to people who came to the country as children boosts the economy by putting people to work.

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Texas
11:19 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Judge Halts Obama's Immigration Order

President Barack Obama speaking in Austin on Thursday, May 9, 2013.
Credit Tamir Kalifa/Texas Tribune

Editor's note: read Judge Andrew Hanen's ruling in three parts here, here and here.

Gov. Greg Abbott hailed a federal judge's decision Monday to halt President Obama’s executive action on immigration — a decision that gave the state of Texas an initial victory in its battle against what state leaders call federal overreach.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the Obama administration did not "comply with the Administrative Procedure Act" when the executive action was announced in November. The policy seeks to give as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants — including some 1.46 million in Texas, a work permit and temporary relief from deportation.

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Affordable Care Act
2:28 pm
Sat February 14, 2015

Signup Period for Health Insurance on Federal Marketplace Ends Sunday

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell visits Austin on Feb. 13, 2015, two days before the deadline to sign up for health coverage on the federal marketplace.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Ahead of Sunday's deadline, officials say consumers are stepping up enrollment for 2015 coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law. The President's top health official was in Austin Friday to encourage more Texans to enroll.

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Same-Sex Marriage
4:30 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Gay Couples Ask Court to Lift Hold on Same-Sex Marriage in Texas

Plaintiffs in a case against the same-sex marriage ban in Texas are asking the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay on a federal judge's ruling that the gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.
Karina Kling/Time Warner Cable News

Plaintiffs in a case challenging the same-sex marriage ban in Texas have filed a new request [read PDF here] asking the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay on a federal judge’s ruling that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. That stay is in place while the appeals process continues.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio ruled against the gay marriage ban in Texas, but he put that decision on hold temporarily while Texas appealed it.

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Texas
1:24 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Erroneous Toll Bills Fuel Criticism at TxDOT Hearing

Bill Jacobus/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Approximately 30,000 Texas drivers with valid TxTag accounts erroneously received bills in the mail for using the state’s toll roads, officials with the Texas Department of Transportation and Xerox told state senators Wednesday during a tense hearing.

“I thought it was going to be a large number, but I didn’t think it would be so large,” state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said a a Senate Transportation Committee hearing. TxDOT officials said they plan to refund all of the people who were erroneously charged, but they acknowledged there could be others who might not know they were incorrectly charged.

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The Border
2:23 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Patrick Wants $12 Million to Keep Guard on Border

Dan Patrick, then the lieutenant governor-elect, is shown speaking to reporters at the Texas Capitol on Jan. 8, 2015.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Saying that drug cartels are “ramping up” their efforts as the Texas National Guard prepares to leave the Rio Grande Valley next month, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced Tuesday that he’s seeking an additional $12 million to keep the troops there through May.

Beyond that, he added at a Capitol news conference, he would work to get a supplemental bill to fund deployments through August, in the hopes that the Texas Legislature would pass a budget that includes deployment funding beyond that. The Senate’s budget includes about $815 million for border security, which is more than the previous seven years combined.

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Texas
12:20 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Previously Unseen Footage of Selma March Found in Amarillo

A screenshot from Joe Jeoffroy's home video of the Selma march. Watch the full video below.
Joe Jeoffroy

When representatives from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) went to collect home videos to digitize in Amarillo, they were excited to see some Texas family footage – maybe a barbecue or a birth or a child's first steps.

But they were even more excited when they stumbled upon a high-quality 16mm home movie of a pivotal point in the civil rights movement: the 1965 Selma, Ala. protest march.

Amarillo resident Joe Jeoffroy brought his father's 1960s home movie collection to TAMI's video roundup to get the films digitized, and he mentioned that one of the videos might contain his father's footage from Selma. 

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Texas
5:14 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Questions Arise About Sexual Assault Findings at Texas Detention Center

Immigration Detention Center in Karnes City, Tex.
KUT News

The Department of Homeland Security says it has found no evidence that women at the Karnes Immigrant Detention Center in Texas are being sexually assaulted. DHS released the results of its investigation today.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) says the DHS investigation was not thorough enough.

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2015 Legislature
4:22 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Bill Would Require More Texas Parents to Vaccinate Children

State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, is introducing a bill that would reduce the number of reasons parents can use to get their children in public schools exempted from required vaccinations.
Pascal Dolémieux/flickr

A state lawmaker wants to boost vaccine requirements for children in Texas public schools and give parents fewer exemptions.

Right now, public schools in Texas can waive immunization requirements for students whose parents claim exemptions including medical, military or what the state calls reasons of conscience.

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Criminal Justice
11:49 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Texas' Use of Solitary Confinement Worsens Inmate Mental Illness, Report Says

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project says Texas' prison agency uses solitary confinement way too much.
Still Burning/flickr

Texas prisons kept 6,564 people in solitary confinement in 2014, and civil rights groups in Texas have a new report out that argues the state is using what it calls administrative segregation way too much: for an average of four years per inmate, and in some cases, as long as two decades.

Inmates are locked up alone in a 60-square-foot cell most of the day in Texas, and researchers with the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project say that worsens mental illness and makes inmates more dangerous to guards and to the public. It also costs taxpayers at least $46 million a year in extra security costs, according to the report.

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