Texas

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

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Courts are now saying that some convictions could have been based on outdated DNA evidence, and are sending notice to defendants whose trials may have been affected.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

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.

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