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What we know about the hotel explosion in Fort Worth

Investigators are still on the scene of a hotel explosion in Fort Worth as some ask if this is part of a larger trend spotted nationwide.

A special election to fill an open Texas House seat – and a race seen as a proxy for an intraparty fight within the Texas GOP.

A community like few others: Why an experiment outside Austin to provide housing for people experiencing homelessness is being seen as a potential model for other cities.

Plus: Could 3D-printed homes help with a housing shortage?

Our favorite Texas books of the year, just in time for holiday shopping

For lots of folks in the Lone Star State, the holiday shopping season is underway. In recent years, the latest high-tech toy has become a red-hot commodity on the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. But this hour, we’ve got some alternatives for those willing to go a different direction.

Giving the gift of reading can be one of the best options out there; a great book can turn into a lifelong treasure. This hour, the Texas Standard team’s gathered up some of our favorite reads by Texas authors – and you may want to take notes.

What you need to know about viewing the upcoming solar eclipses from Texas

Though Attorney General Ken Paxton has been acquitted on all impeachment charges, whistleblowers say they’re not giving up. Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of the Texas Newsroom shares more.

It’s rare for an eclipse to be visible at the same location within several years, much less a few months – but the skies over a portion of Texas will be ground zero for observing both an annular and a total solar eclipse.

At the Rescue Mission of El Paso, plenty of food is coming in – but it’s not to feed people experiencing homelessness. Instead, those people are feeding others. Texas monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn shares the mission of Hallelujah! BBQ.

San Antonio ISD could close as many as 17 schools

San Antonio ISD could close nearly one-fifth of its schools as it deals with aging buildings and falling enrollment. But it’s not just San Antonio – this reflects a larger challenge facing many school districts across Texas.

A mystery at the Tarrant County Appraisal District has led to an office shake-up that may leave some taxpayers holding the bag.

What’s happening to the Texas economy? The Standard’s Sean Saldana’s been getting some clues from the Dallas Fed’s new Beige Book entry.

And: What’s to become of Benito, a giraffe in a Juárez park at the center of a controversy?

Astronaut Christina Koch on NASA’s upcoming Artemis 2 mission

Tensions are growing in Austin over the use of DPS officers to augment local police.

Facing resistance to a plan similar to school vouchers, an alteration getting attention at the state Capitol is focused on students with disabilities. Talia Richman of the Dallas Morning News Education Lab has more.

NASA’s plans to return to the moon: We’ll talk with Christina Koch, one of the astronauts assigned to the upcoming Artemis 2 mission.

And on this 4/20, a closer look at the complicated relationship between country music and Willie Nelson’s favorite way to kick back.

Texas county may shutter its library before it returns banned books to the stacks

Attorneys for a man convicted of fatally shooting a Black Lives Matter protester in Austin in 2020 are asking for a retrial – a request that comes after Gov. Greg Abbott asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to review the conviction.

The debate over school vouchers, or a variation called education savings accounts, has just passed by the Texas Senate. Are there parallels with a decades-old debate over charter schools in Texas?

In Llano County, after a federal order to return books with LGBTQ -and race-related content to library shelves, commissioners today take up whether to close down the library system altogether.

Also: What could be a new tipping point in offshoring jobs.

Feral hogs are a big problem in Houston

It’s spring in Texas, and that means tornadoes. We’ll find out what’s expected this season.

A federal judge has ordered banned books be put back on the shelves in Llano County.

The CBP One App is a lifeline for migrants stuck on the border seeking an appointment to apply for asylum. But many simply cannot connect.

A new hybrid school in Dallas teaches kids remotely part of the week and in person the rest.

And feral hogs are a growing problem across the state – one place they’ve caused trouble recently is Harris County.

The ‘forever chemicals’ used in fracking in Texas

Calls for justice in Ciudad Juárez after dozen of migrants die in a fire at a detention facility. New details emerge about what happened just across the border from El Paso on Monday night.

Texas school districts banned hundreds of books last year. Now, the Legislature is looking to create standards that could pull even more books off the shelves.

Research increasingly shows that “forever chemicals” are making their way into our environment – especially in Texas, where they’re used in oil and gas extraction.

Plus an update from commentator W.F. Strong and a climate referendum in El Paso.

A deep dive on big plans at the Texas State Aquarium

The Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi will soon take on a new role: the largest coastal wildlife rescue facility in the state, and one of the largest in the country.

Should taxpayers cover the multimillion-dollar settlement in a whistleblower case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton? Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of The Texas Newsroom joins us with the latest.

Black and Hispanic Texans say they don’t trust the quality of their water, according to a new survey.

More book bans in Texas? How a strategy used by abortion opponents may be used to take on librarians.

And the feds are cracking down on a financial maneuver that could implicate questions of freedom of speech.

El Paso scraps plans for multimillion dollar arena

Another day, another attempt to elect a speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Fights over who should lead lawmakers aren’t limited to D.C. There have been similar surprises in Pennsylvania and Ohio. So could it also happen in Texas? Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston shares his insights. Also Bloomberg with a list of ten lawmakers to watch in 2023: one’s from Texas, and the choice just might surprise you. Plus with a controversy over LGBTQ content in libraries, city leaders in Huntsville decide to put the library in the hands of a private company. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

The latest on Texas’ winter freeze

As temperatures plummet with a major cold front bearing down on the lone star state, down into the teens in many parts, we continue to monitor conditions across Texas. Eric Berge of Houston’s Space City Weather joins us with an overview, the dangers ahead, and when we can expect to thaw out from this last big chill of 2022. Also a rethink of ways to address the mental health crisis. And the week in politics with the Texas Tribune. These stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Yonderings

Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong explores Texas for us — often through history and lore. But he also picks up new stories from Texas. And, occasionally, he recommends one.

Texas Standard: September 22, 2022

A priority, she says, is doing something about the disappearance of rural hospitals. So why does she want to be Texas’ next agriculture commissioner? Today, we meet Susan Hays, the democrat trying to unseat the incumbent republican. Also they used to be considered inexpensive, modest, though iconic structures. Why adobe homes in Marfa and other parts of West Texas are at the center of a political fight. And a retail store in Frisco inspires a countdown and lines to get in on opening day. Any guesses what the name of that store might be, fellow Texans? Those stories and much more coming up today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 4, 2022

The Texas Supreme Court says Texas can enforce its 1925 abortion ban. We’ll have a closer look at the implications of the decision. Also, with many Texans traveling by car for the holiday, lots of folks feeling the pinch of gas prices firsthand. An update from our go to energy expert Matt Smith. And we revisit our conversation with singer songwriter and Spoon frontman Britt Daniel who shares how a Texas vibe got baked in to one of the most highly anticipated rock albums of the year. Plus reflections on this land and who it really belongs to. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 6, 2022

Sandals, shorts, and fingers crossed as summer makes an early appearance, putting a big strain on the Texas power grid. As Texans prepare for a heat wave with temps climbing toward the triple digits, how vulnerable is the state’s power grid? Matt Largey of KUT Austin has been looking into that. Also, what if they held an election and no challengers came? With election day tomorrow, and some big decisions on the ballot, some Texas counties grappling with just such a prospect. And an effort to turn a spotlight on everyday volunteers who put their lives on the line for abortion access. Those stories, the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 7, 2022

The first big test of new changes to voting rules and restrictions in Texas. What did the primaries tell us about SB1? We’ll take a closer look. Other stories we’re tracking: a Texas challenge to a federal law designed to keep indigenous kids removed from parental custody with their families and tribes. We’ll hear the story behind the story. And the war in Ukraine already hitting the home front with Texans paying more for gasoline, and pump prices could reach record levels within days. We’ll have the latest. Also the search for the anonymous person paying tribute to Sam Houston with an annual offering at his gravesite. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 11, 2022

The Texas attorney general files a legal challenge against the Biden administration’s plans for a minimum wage hike. Also, why are witnesses being instructed not to talk about race as they come before a Dallas grand jury to testify about police actions in the George Floyd protests? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 9, 2022

As more teachers quit, those who remain are taking on more students and more responsibilities; a survey suggests a new Texas public school crisis in the making. Also, efforts to ban certain books from school libraries and how what’s been happening in Hood County may be a harbinger of what’s ahead. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard: