Texas

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

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.

Photo credit Joey Palacios/Texas Public Radio

From Texas Standard:

Texas Public Radio news director Shelley Kofler  has spent the past week on the impacts of population growth. TPR staff visited Fredericksburg and Bexar County, as well as middle-income and historic neighborhoods in San Antonio. She shared with the Standard some of the newsroom conversations she and her staff had that led to the "Growing Pains" series.

"A lot of this started just with us sharing our personal experiences in the newsroom," Kofler says. "And then we checked it out, and we looked at the data, and we said 'We have some real serious challenges here.'"

 


From the healthcare.gov enrollment site

Sunday is the last day to buy health insurance for 2016 on the federal health insurance exchange.

Austin’s freelancers, contractors and musicians are among those taking the most advantage of the program.


Image via NASA (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Today in 1986, the Challenger space shuttle broke apart over the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Just 73 seconds after the shuttle's lift-off, its seven crew members were dead.

Image via Wikipedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

One of the most difficult, but edifying, exercises in following the news is trying to get a handle on how what's happening today will be understood in the future. What really matters versus what doesn't. What we think we know right now can seem awfully near-sighted, once those same facts show up in the rearview mirror.

Ray's Sporting Goods in Dallas' Oak Cliff is a neighborhood firearm dreamland.

It's stocked with the latest pistols, shotguns and AR-15 military-style rifles. Chuck Payne, the store's manager, says he has sold to a lot more women recently.

"A lot of married ladies with their husbands, some without, but they've decided that their husband's not home, they need to be able to do something and they need a different gun than what their husband had," Payne says.

The DeLorean Motor Co., which hasn't made a car in more than 30 years, is planning to build several hundred new replicas of the stainless steel, gull-winged car featured in the sci-fi movie trilogy Back to the Future.

Thanks to the Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturing Act, which was inserted in last year's transportation bill, companies can build small batches of replica vehicles.

Weinberg photo via Flickr/Larry D. Moore (CC BY-SA 3.0), Protest photos credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, University of Texas at Austin professor Steven Weinberg said a faculty meeting that despite campus carry legislation, he would not be allowing guns in his classroom when the law takes effect in August.

Since then, he's become something of an unlikely leader in the campus carry debate, the Texas Tribune reports.

Weinberg spoke to the Standard about his opposition to campus carry and how he's willing to fight it.

 


Image courtesy Angelos Angelou

From Texas Standard:

Every January for the past three decades, state and local officials have gathered in Austin to hear economist Angelos Angelou give his annual economic forecast. Some say he's conservative in his forecasts, yet lawmakers follow his words carefully because he's been proven to be on the money in the past.

Image credit Jon Shapley/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

House Bill 11, passed during the 2015 legislative session, is a sweeping law pitched as part of a broader $800 million border security effort. It expands the border presence of the Texas National Guard, green-lights hiring more troopers, and mandates an intelligence center to analyze crime data at the border.

One of the law’s other provisions has recently drawn a lawsuit that's just now making headlines. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, better known as MALDEF, has filed suit against Texas over what's called the “immigrant harboring” provision. They argue that it's unconstitutional under federal law.

 


Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Regular gym goers know January is the worst. All those people who usually don’t show up crowd into classes and hog the equipment in an effort to meet their New Year resolutions.

But whether you’re a gym rat or an occasional exerciser, you may not realize that personal trainers – the ones with abs you’d pay big money for – don't usually have equally enviable salaries.

 


Jacob Villanueva/Texas Tribune

A Harris County grand jury on Monday indicted the videographers behind undercover recordings of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston and cleared the women's health provider of any wrongdoing.

Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

What's the most indulgent thing you've ever done for your birthday? Checked something off your bucket list? Or bought yourself something really expensive? This week, Austinite Taylor Thompson turns 17 and he’s decided to go all out on a spending spree. Normally, birthdays at the Thompsons' are low-key celebrations. The family doesn't even blow up balloons.

This year, however, Taylor Thompson will be spending $170,000 dollars to celebrate his birthday. He announced his plans over the weekend in Austin.


Photo via Flickr/fabliaux (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In November, state district Judge Judy Kocurek was shot in the driveway of her Austin home – a murder attempt that had been preceded by a phone tip to police. Kocurek was never informed of the threat against her.

Tony Plohetski, investigative reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, said it's unclear how many threats are made against judges in Texas and judges aren’t always informed of the threats to their safety.

 


Photo via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

There are only nine days left until decision day in Iowa. It’s the first shot that will set the stage for the rest of the presidential nominating process.

On the Republican side, the U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is still within striking distance of the juggernaut that is Donald Trump. Although, a recent issues of the National Review has a roster of 22 major conservatives all coming out strongly against Trump.

 


Photo via Flickr/prettyinprint (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Gas prices are at the lowest they’ve been on average in about seven years, according to AAA. Today crude oil prices are near 2003 lows – under $27 a barrel – and lower gas prices will follow.

Image via Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The federal government is turning off of some broadcast TV stations forever to free up space for the broadcast signals needed by smartphone users to play videos, run apps, and make calls.

One of the big beneficiaries of this re-allocation of the airwaves will be Texas billionaire Michael Dell.

 


Image via malloreigh/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Eighteen-year-old Suraiya, a student from Dallas tweeted a selfie back in December.

It pictured her lying on her side in her underwear and a striped T-shirt. She was showing off her body because she was proud of it. The exposure showed her true skin color, her hip-to-waist ratio and her belly, covered in fine dark hairs. The image isn’t sexual. 

How Many Guns Can You Open Carry in Texas?

Jan 20, 2016
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

Texas’ open carry law took effect at the beginning of the year, combining the state’s pre-existing concealed carry with open carry to create a single permit to carry a handgun in Texas: the license to carry (LTC).

The concerns among most open carry-averse Texans is the proliferation of permitting, which some say could make ordinary Texas sidewalks look like an old west movie. 

Photo via Office of the Attorney General

From Texas Standard:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has vowed to beat the odds and quash online sports gambling. Even if you don't play daily fantasy sports, you've probably encountered the names of the sites: Draft Kings, Fan Duel. They advertise incessantly so you might be tempted to admit that's a measure of their prominence and popularity.

Despite that popularity, those sites may soon be gone from Texas. Paxton says sites that charge players to compete cannot operate legally in the state.


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