Texas Newsroom

Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics, oft-cited philosopher and environmental activist told TPR's "The Source" on Monday that Texas does not have a bright future as an oil state. Chomsky and Dr. Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have co-authored the book "Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal."

State health officials walked back a plan to cut $15 million in funding from health and safety net programs, including services that offer low-income Texans access to birth control and cancer screenings, and support families of young children with disabilities or developmental delays.

The Texas State Board of Education gave preliminary approval this week to a sex education policy that includes teaching middle schoolers about birth control beyond abstinence — its first attempt to revise that policy since 1997.

A group of faculty at Texas Christian University wants the school to take stricter measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff — including a possible return to online-only classes.

The number of cases at TCU spiked shortly after students returned in August, according to the school’s self-reported COVID-19 data. At the beginning of September, there were more than 400 active cases.

From Texas Standard:

Many Texas businesses have been deeply affected by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. But breweries, distilleries and wineries are especially vulnerable because of a series of orders by Gov. Greg Abbott that categorized them similar to bars.

Texas primary care doctors say they’re hemorrhaging cash and at risk of closing their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, and a new trade group proposal argues it’s time for Texas lawmakers to overhaul how physicians’ practices get paid.

More patients are forgoing office visits as they stay home to avoid the virus, and doctors’ offices report that their revenues have fallen sharply as a result. Many large health insurance companies have posted huge profits during the same period.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Texas can keep its strict eligibility rules for voting by mail.

From Texas Standard:

John Cornyn has been a U.S. senator for Texas since 2002. He is the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, and many say he's in the toughest race of his political career this year, facing Democratic challenger MJ Hegar.

Political Divides On COVID-19 Could Risk Public Health

Sep 10, 2020

From Texas Standard:

For some, how they feel about the science, treatment and prevention of COVID-19 is related to their political beliefs.

Back in April, Politico and the research company Morning Consult polled almost 2,000 registered voters and found that 71% of Republicans supported treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine – a treatment President Donald Trump has touted, but that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned is unsafe for the self-treatment of COVID-19. Meanwhile, only 29% of Democrats felt the same about that drug.

Maria Flores thought she was doing the right thing when she surrendered her dog, Muffy, to Dallas Animal Services. The 10-year-old Maltese needed medical treatment, but she couldn’t afford to pay for it.

That visit led Dallas County Sheriff's deputies to arrest Flores five months later. Now, she’s in an immigration detention center, facing a felony and possible deportation.

As Texas prepares for an expected deluge of mail-in votes in November, a federal judge has found that one facet of the state’s signature verification rules for those ballots is unconstitutional and must be reworked for the upcoming election.

As Texas college towns see rising COVID-19 cases with the return of hundreds of thousands of students to campus, a small but increasing number of universities are disciplining students who attend or host house parties or Greek rush events.

On a normal first day of school, Texas children would wake up early to cram into school buses, eager to huddle and chat with their friends in the hallways before streaming toward their classrooms.

The North Texas Poison Center's received regional reports of at least 46 cases of ingestion or overexposure to bleach since Aug. 1. A few involved attempts to avoid or stop COVID-19.

The numbers were similar to the same time period a year ago. However, Cristina Holloway, Public Health Education Manager for the center, said there were shifts in the ages involved.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

Standing in front of a blue curtain adorned with the seal of the Republican Party of Texas, Allen West offered up what he deemed an “instructional video” for Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

A federal judge on Saturday ordered the U.S. Census Bureau to halt its plans to wind down operations a month early.

From Texas Standard:

Federal Judge Janis Graham Jack of Corpus Christi said in a hearing Thursday that the state has let for-profit providers endanger the lives of vulnerable kids in the care of Child Protective Services, or CPS.

Gov. Greg Abbott is considering a legislative proposal that, if passed, would put the control of the Austin Police Department under state authority.

From Texas Standard:

COVID-19 cases at Texas' public universities are spiking. University and local health officials anticipated that might happen, as colleges and universities try to return to some semblance of a normal fall semester.

Ahead of the November election, President Trump’s administration said it is racing to build 10 miles of border wall a week.

Many of those projects along the Texas-Mexico border have been met with controversy, including one next to a historic cemetery in the Rio Grande Valley.

Federal Appeals Court Hears Texas Vote-By-Mail Case

Sep 2, 2020

The Texas Democratic Party is suing the state over an election rule that limits mail-in ballots to those over 65, saying it constitutes age discrimination.

In what it’s calling its biggest week-long registration effort in history, the Texas Democratic Party is trying to contact one million unregistered voters in the span of a week.

Through phone calls and text messages, they’ll direct people to a party website to get the registration process started. Voters can enter their information and then receive an application form in the mail.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

Since March, Melissa and her husband have gutted their savings, spending more than $5,000 caring for their three children. Most of the money has gone to child care and speech therapy for their daughter Nora. Two weeks ago, the couple put their house up for sale.

Migrants Expelled Under COVID-19 Rules Land In Mexico City

Aug 31, 2020

From Texas Standard:

Earlier this year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported an increase of Mexican nationals crossing the border into the U.S. between March and May, raising concerns of COVID-19 spread into the United States. The concern prompted a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and the government of Mexico to expel migrants through repatriation flights to Mexico City.

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part one in a four-part series.

On March 13, Cheasty Anderson sat in the conference room at her office. She and her colleagues at the Children's Defense Fund were grappling with the sudden mandate to work from home.

Daily life was about to become unrecognizable in many ways, and one of Anderson's biggest challenges began that day.

A persistent Texas voter, twice thwarted when he tried registering to vote while renewing his driver's license online, has for the second time convinced a federal judge that the state is violating federal law.

The Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus Wants An Investigation Into Fort Hood

Aug 31, 2020

A dozen Texas Senate members are reupping their request for a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood military base after a soldier was found dead earlier this week, becoming at least the ninth person stationed at the Killeen post to have been found dead this year, according to officials and media reports.

Officials with the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Texas say their volunteers are no longer allowed to leave voter registration forms at U.S. post offices.

San Antonio police officers arrested a Black jogger on the city’s Northwest Side on Tuesday Aug. 25, after mistakenly identifying him as a suspect in a family violence call. Now, officials with the San Antonio Police Department say an administrative review is underway into the struggle.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

Starting Sept. 8, Texas will require school districts to file weekly reports on new COVID-19 cases among students, teachers or staff, state education officials announced Thursday.