Texas

Texas public schools will be required to provide in-person instruction for students this fall, but state education officials have delayed releasing final public health guidelines for keeping them safe on campuses during the pandemic.

Officials with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission are suspending alcohol permits of bars and restaurants not following COVID-19 protocols.

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As coronavirus hospitalizations and cases continue to rise in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott is urging people to wear masks and follow other health protocols to slow the spread of the disease. 

“COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled,” he said during a news conference Monday.

Some blood banks in North Texas are worried about a blood shortage. They're now offering COVID-19 antibody tests as an added service and incentive to donate.

With the call for changing the names of 10 Southern military bases gaining momentum in Washington, the question is starting to arise in Washington — and outside of it — of what names might replace those of the Confederate generals they now bear.


From Texas Standard:

Some of the state’s most populated cities and counties are mandating businesses require customers to wear face masks. The ordinances started going into effect over the weekend.

In Dallas County, for example, businesses can now be fined up to $500 per violation if they don’t comply with a countywide face-mask ordinance.

The Trump Administration is planning to severely limit approvals of new H-1B visas. Companies use that type of visa to bring in temporary guest workers to fill specialized roles, and Texas could be the state most affected by the changes.

During shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texans have been able to purchase alcoholic beverages to go from restaurants, including liquor. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to make the change permanent.

The South Texas Veterans Healthcare System is putting a pause on reopening after a surge of patients sought treatment for COVID-19.

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When recent UT Austin graduate Kevin Robles woke up Thursday morning, he checked his phone, saw the breaking news notification and felt some of the fears he’s been holding the last few years dissipate. 

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Cuando Kevin Robles, recién graduado de la Universidad de Austin, se despertó el jueves por la mañana y revisó su teléfono, vio la notificación de noticias de última hora y sintió que algunos de los temores que ha tenido durante los últimos años se disiparon. 

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak in Texas, healthcare workers have expressed concerns about the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). Local governments have scrambled to put together contact tracing teams. Five years ago, one state senator tried to plan for a situation like the pandemic happening now.


U.S. Sen. John Cornyn on Thursday afternoon announced that he will introduce bipartisan legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

“As we do every year, tomorrow Texans will celebrate Juneteenth and the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in our state,” the state’s senior senator said in a floor speech Thursday.

More than 600,000 undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program —or DACA — received some good news this week.

The Supreme Court upheld the Obama administration program that allows children who were brought to the US illegally to live and work in the country. 

They are often referred to as “Dreamers,” and there are more than 100,000 of them in Texas. 

Texas students will be returning to public schools in person this fall, Gov. Greg Abbott told state lawmakers Thursday morning.

The state's top education officials confirmed the plans in a statement to The Texas Tribune.

Will students actually go back to school this fall? In Texas, state officials say yes.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath confirmed Thursday that the state's public schools will open for students to return, if they wish.

"It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall," the commissioner said in a statement. "But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses."

Celebrating her birthday in Galveston, Melinda Prince walked out of Yaga’s Cafe on Thursday full of coconut shrimp. What she didn’t realize was one of the employees at the restaurant may have been working while infected with the coronavirus.

Prince found out three days later through a post from the restaurant's Facebook account.

U.S. borders will be closed to all but essential travel for another month.

The federal government reached an agreement Tuesday with Mexico and Canada to extend the border closure that has been in effect since the end of March.

During that time, local businesses along the Southern border have been suffering.

LGBTQ Texans marked a major victory Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal civil rights law prevents employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. But in Texas, which did not have such workplace safeguards, LGBTQ lawmakers and advocates say they are far from done fighting for other essential protections.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the mayors of other major Texas cities are asking the governor to allow them to enact and enforce public health emergency declarations that require the use of face masks.

From Texas Standard:

A comprehensive report written by two court-appointed federal monitors says that children in the Texas foster care system continue to face "unreasonable risk of serious harm."

The assessment, released this week, comes several years after a U.S. district judge in Corpus Christi ordered the state to fix its foster care system, finding it unconstitutionally unsafe for young people in its care. 

From Texas Standard:

Student athletes at the University of Texas at Austin are asking the university to change some of its practices and traditions in the wake of national protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

The Texas Democratic Party filed applications with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday asking justices to rule on whether the state should be forced to open up its vote-by-mail program during the coronavirus pandemic.

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As the state set another record Tuesday for COVID-19 hospitalizations, Gov. Greg Abbott tried to reassure Texans the uptick is manageable.

Detainees at the Port Isabel Detention Center in the Rio Grande Valley have been concerned about a potential COVID-19 outbreak at the facility for months, as the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities across the country.


North Texas LGBTQ advocates are celebrating Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sexual discrimination in the workforce. In a 6-3 vote, the court ruled that LGBTQ employees can't be fired because of their sexual orientation. 

With the number of people hospitalized for the new coronavirus continuing to climb in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that there’s “no real need to ratchet back the opening of businesses in the state.”

Texans who want to vote in the upcoming Texas primary runoff election have until Monday, to register.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delayed the upcoming primary runoffs from May to July after the coronavirus pandemic hit the state of Texas.

President Donald Trump rejected calls to defund police during his visit to Dallas Thursday. Trump was in town for a roundtable discussion about policing and race relations, and his first in-person fundraiser since pandemic lockdowns began. 

Criminal indictments were announced against four executives at two of the largest poultry processing companies in the country last week. Friday, Jayson Penn the CEO of Pilgrim's Pride pleaded not guilty to the price-fixing charges. The same day the Justice Department issued subpoenas against the four largest beef processing and meat packing outfits.

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