Texas Newsroom

Citing the threats of the coronavirus, six Texas voters filed suit in federal court Wednesday challenging restrictions that limit age eligibility for voting-by-mail to those 65 and older.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas will allow some businesses — like retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls — to open as early as Friday, with new rules outlined by the governor's taskforce.

This story was updated on May 1 with statements from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

While much of the country has been on lockdown because of the coronavirus, construction of President Trump's border wall has continued.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have called for a full-stop on construction. But the administration has accelerated some efforts to build the wall, and Trump is using the pandemic to justify his push for it.


From Texas Standard:

What happens to a town whose very livelihood relies on galas, weddings and special events when a pandemic hits, forcing all those scheduled vows to be put on ice?

If you're the wedding capital of Texas – the Hill Country town of Dripping Springs – you work madly to hold on to bookings. You also look for ways of pivoting part of your business to supply emergency first responders.

Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen Friday provided they limit occupancy to no more than 25%, Gov. Greg Abbott said.

At a news conference Monday, Abbott said he was letting his stay-at-home order expire and allowing businesses to reopen in phases.  

Read this story in English. 

Las tiendas, restaurantes, cines y centros comerciales de Texas podrán reabrir a partir del viernes siempre y cuando limiten la ocupación a no más del 25%, dijo el lunes el gobernador Greg Abbott.

En una conferencia de prensa el lunes, Abbott dijo que aguardaba a que su orden de quedarse en casa expirara para permitir a los negocios reabrir en fases. 

Click here to read this story in English.

Con tantos tejanos sin trabajo debido a las órdenes de quedarse en casa por el COVID-19, los bancos de alimentos se han sumado a los esfuerzos en  la primera línea de respuesta en el estado. El aumento de la demanda está empujando a los bancos de alimentos de Texas al límite, ya que ellos también esperan que les llegue la tan necesitada ayuda estatal y federal.

Claudia Garza and her husband Rick own Bright and Early Productions, a photography and videography company targeting the real estate industry. In an effort to keep employees safe from COVID-19 they’re currently only photographing unoccupied homes. They’ve lost business as a result and had to reduce their employees’ hours.

When they found out that $349 million was set aside for the first Paycheck Protection Program, they wanted to apply through the bank where they have their business and personal accounts, Wells Fargo. But they couldn’t.

Daily updates on new cases of COVID-19 and deaths related to the illness often include people 65 and older. Why do the elderly tend to be more susceptible to viral infections?

Last month, as Texas began to shutter businesses and cancel public events, counties across the state began cutting the number of people in local jails, concerned that the facilities offered a particularly deadly breeding ground for the pandemic. On March 1, there were more than 68,000 people in Texas jails, including people being held pre-trial and those who’d been convicted and sentenced. On April 1, there were just over 58,000.

Maria Hernandez isn’t a household name. She’s not famous. She was never a mayor or a congresswoman. But, her family says, the 91-year-old was tough.

The Hays County Commissioners Court has revoked permits it issued to let Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline project bore under county roads.

Retail businesses can reopen in Texas today – as long as they’re only doing curbside or delivery. On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to announce the next phase in the state’s loosening of restrictions put in place to contain the coronavirus.

But are we ready?

Texas state parks reopened this morning – albeit with some limitations, and retail stores can re-open Friday for delivery and pickup orders. These are the first steps in Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to re-open the Texas economy and begin easing back on social distancing.

The Texas Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order that limits judges' ability to grant personal bonds to people with a history – or people who are accused of – violent crimes.

Clinics that provide abortions have resumed providing the procedure after a state ban on nonessential medical procedures expired.

Unprecedented Demand Strains Texas Food Banks

Apr 22, 2020

From Texas Standard:

With so many Texans out of work because of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, food banks are the state’s newest first responders. And the soaring demand is pushing Texas food banks to the limit as they, too, wait for sorely needed state and federal aid to arrive.

Texans rallied outside the state Capitol over the weekend, pushing for Gov. Greg Abbott to quickly reopen the state. But, as Texas COVID-19 deaths continue to rise, Abbott’s planning a more gradual approach and outlined a phased reopening for the state’s economy on Friday.

After facing intense criticism for suggesting on Fox News last month that he’d rather perish from the new coronavirus than see instability in the state’s economic system, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Monday night that he’s thankful Texas is beginning the process of reopening its economy because the restrictions are currently “crushing small businesses” and the economic market.

Gov. Greg Abbott said his team is working quickly on a program to get Texans back to work and that he’ll be making an announcement Monday about next steps to reopen the state's economy. 

“The good news is Texas is prepared to be taking very positive steps toward opening up our state and finally ensuring that we’re going to have more of our employees going back to work,” he said during a press conference Tuesday.

He did not say what types of businesses will be able to open.

For the first time in history, a barrel of West Texas oil was so worthless Monday that oil companies would pay you to take it. Oil prices have been low for months, but the negative pricing of a valuable commodity can be hard to wrap your head around. How does it happen?

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 have likely not peaked nationwide, UT Austin researchers reported Friday. Their findings are in contrast to those of a popular COVID-19 predictive model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which suggested U.S. deaths peaked Monday.


Texas Towns Hit Hard As COVID-19 Keeps Tourists At Home

Apr 20, 2020

From Texas Standard:

With springtime well underway and summer on the horizon, many Texans would typically be planning weekend road trips or even longer vacations within the Lone Star State. But most tourist attractions and beaches are closed for vacationers because of the pandemic.

A Travis County judge issued an order Friday that essentially opens up Texas’ strict ballot-by-mail program to all voters during the coronavirus pandemic.

But local election officials say voters didn't have to wait for the courts to weigh-in.

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