Texas News

When a gunman opened fire at El Paso's Cielo Vista Walmart last year, the store was packed with shoppers from both sides of the border.

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Texas’ growing Latino population is poised to be significantly undercounted in this year’s census, following a slew of recent Trump administration moves.

Broken heart syndrome, or stress-related cardiomyopathy, is heart dysfunction brought on by some form of emotional or physiological stress. A new study suggests the COVID-19 pandemic can contribute to this problem.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

While debate about how to safely reopen public schools in Texas raged through the summer, Kim Olstrup was preparing to bring students back to her Midcities Montessori private school in Bedford. She bought an electrostatic disinfection device similar to one used on airplanes and halved enrollment from about 130 students to about 60 to accommodate social distancing in her classrooms.

New rules prohibiting the retail sale and distribution of "smokable" hemp products are unconstitutional, companies argue in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Travis County.

Oct. 5 is the last day to register to vote before the Nov. 3 election in Texas. Here’s what you need to know to register.

From Texas Standard:

While some families in quarantine are spending more time together than ever before, those in the Child Protective Services, or CPS system must deal with even stricter physical separation. Since the beginning of lockdown this spring, courts across Texas have required video visitation between biological parents and children in foster care.

From Texas Standard:

The nonprofit Circle of Blue recently launched its reporting project “Water, Texas,” a series about the challenges Texas faces in managing its most vital natural resource.

The organization’s senior editor and chief correspondent, Keith Schneider, told Texas Standard that his reporting in “Water, Texas,” focused on the tension between Texas' economic and environmental interests.

Texas Tech has fired the head coach and assistant coach of its women's basketball team, after a scathing report chronicling claims of physical, mental and verbal abuse against players was published on Wednesday.

Head coach Marlene Stollings was fired Thursday; the termination of assistant coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins was announced Friday morning. A third staff member, strength and conditioning coach Ralph Petrella, resigned in March at the end of the season.

Chemical In Beirut Explosion Was Also Linked To Two Texas Disasters

Aug 7, 2020

For some, Tuesday’s deadly explosion in Beirut, which officials say was caused by thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate, was a grim reminder of a 2013 disaster in the city of West, Texas.

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Friday, Aug. 7. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

When Crystal Rivas woke up on a Saturday morning in late June, her body felt off. All night, she was going in and out of chills and hot flashes. So out of an abundance of caution, she removed all her kids laptops and video games from her bedroom.

On the door for the McLennan County Republican Party headquarters on a February night, a flyer read, "Black Voices for Trump." Inside, 50 or so faces — virtually all of them white — looked up at the speaker before them.

When a Salvadoran woman grabbed her 4-year-old daughter and fled their home country in February, the coronavirus wasn't yet a global pandemic.

By the time they reached the U.S.-Mexico border a month later, that had changed. She crossed the Rio Grande, planning to ask for asylum. But Border Patrol agents took her and her daughter right back to Mexico, despite her pleas.

New rules banning the manufacture of hemp products meant to be smoked or vaporized went into effect Sunday.

The rules are part of the Texas Department of State Health Services' Consumable Hemp Program, which was created after the state passed legislation legalizing the production, manufacture, distribution and sale of hemp. Hemp contains no more than 0.3% concentration of THC, the chemical compound in cannabis that can get people high.

Caitlin Boehne wasn't too happy that she had to vote in person during a recent primary runoff in Austin, Texas.

Boehne is under 65 and isn't disabled, so voting by mail wasn't available to her under current Texas law. She says it was a frustrating situation.

"The workers, the voters — everybody has to risk their health in order to participate in the democratic process," she says. "It's astounding."


Five of the Texas Legislature’s most conservative members are suing Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials, claiming Texas leaders overstepped their bounds when they awarded a major contract for tracking Texas’ coronavirus outbreak to a little-known technology firm.

For months, as Texans have been asked to stay home to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus, Jennifer Edwards has been doing the rounds at gas stations in a trio of counties near the Texas-Louisiana border.

Volunteering as a census community organizer, the Tarleton State University professor reasoned that gas stations, like grocery stores, would continue to see foot traffic during the pandemic. 

Texas Asians Seeing More Verbal Harassment

Aug 5, 2020

From Texas Standard:

Since the new coronavirus first surfaced in China late last year, the number of reports of racist verbal threats and harassment targeting Asians in the United States has been on the rise, and both public health officials and police are starting to track it.

Gov. Greg Abbott is setting the record straight as to who has the final say on when schools can reopen this fall. The power will lie in the hands of local school officials, not public health authorities.


From Texas Standard:

On Aug. 3, Texas reported 5,839 new COVID-19 cases. But that doesn't mean all positive cases are reflected in the state's tally.

Customs and Border Protection

From Texas Standard:

Democrats running for Congress in Texas are raking in some of the biggest fundraising hauls in years compared to their Republican opponents, according to new campaign finance analysis from The Texas Tribune. The survey found that Texas Democrats have a $7.5 million advantage over Republicans in House races. But how much will the extra cash really matter for Democrats come November?

Don't Plant Or Pitch Mailed Mystery Seeds

Aug 3, 2020

From Texas Standard:

Across the country, small packets of seeds have been showing up, unsolicited, in people’s mailboxes and at their front doors. The origin of the packages – where they came from, who sent them and why – is unclear.

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Local election officials in Texas are scrambling to find enough polling sites willing to host voters in the upcoming presidential election.


Gov. Greg Abbott will skip the Republican National Convention later this month in North Carolina as he continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Texas, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will instead chair the state's delegation to the scaled-down gathering.

As of late July, there were more than 9,500 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals — and more than 6,000 had died. Medical teams from the Army and Navy have deployed to help hospitals under stress. 


President Donald Trump met with the family of slain Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen at the White House on Thursday. They shared their grief and expressed their hopes that the military system that failed their daughter and other women will be improved.

In a statement Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said local health authorities can shut down schools if there’s evidence of an outbreak after students have already returned to campus — but cannot shut them down weeks before schools open.

His statement backs a legal opinion released by the Texas attorney general issued on Tuesday.

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