Construction

The state’s only sugar mill is closing. What’s next for sugar cane farmers?

New laws – one from Texas – to regulate platforms like Facebook and TikTok are getting Supreme Court scrutiny today, with potentially profound implications.
Years of drought have devastated sugar growers in South Texas – so much so that the state’s only sugar mill is closing.
Austin’s I-35, the spine of the region’s roadway grid, is about to undergo the largest expansion since the highway opened in 1962. Nathan Bernier joins with a drill down into what it means.
And: We’ll learn about a device that can help blind and low-vision people experience the eclipse.

Remembering political trailblazer Eddie Bernice Johnson

The death of a giant in Texas politics: reaction to the passing of longtime political trailblazer Eddie Bernice Johnson.

A new year brings a new mayor in Houston. What John Whitmire plans to do to address the most pressing issues facing the city.

What 2024 heralds for one of the busiest thruways in Texas: the north-south corridor of Interstate 35.

An economist with the Dallas Fed shares red flags for Texas employment.

The San Antonio-Havana connection: A new cross-cultural art exchange between the two cities.

Also: Longhorn Nation recovers from a semifinal loss to Washington in the College Football Playoff.

What’s the future of air conditioning in Texas?

You’ve heard of abandoned, so-called orphan oil wells? Now there’s a growing concern about zombie wells.

After the pandemic, Texas Medicaid rolls are shrinking – but many are losing coverage for procedural reasons, and they may not even realize it.

A new state law means that next year, construction workers in some Texas cities may not have the protections they do now requiring water breaks

With climate change, can demand for A/C keep up? We talk to an author who says it might be making things worse.

And at TV stations large and small, something strange: the case of the disappearing meteorologists.

Texas Standard: October 14, 2022

The House January 6th panel wraps up evidentiary hearings. Did they move the needle for Texans prior to a big election? We’ll explore. Other stories we’re tracking: a big cost of living increase for social security recipients, the biggest in 4 decades. What does it mean for Texas and the long term future of the program? Also the organizer of the first Amazon workers union on the state of labor. And a look at a the complicated legacy of Cesar Chavez. A champion of labor, and a tough campaigner against illegal immigration. Plus the week in Texas politics and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 13, 2022

At the hearings on the January 6th insurrection, the spotlight turns to the some potentially key figures from Texas. We’ll have the latest. Other stories we’re tracking: an 85 billion dollar ten year transportation plan for Texas. What it includes and what it leaves out as the state tries to deal with a growing population. And with that growing population, a boom in new home construction. But why so many delays in finishing projects? Plus water levels low on many Texas rivers and questions about whether businesses catering to river recreation will sink or swim. And the Mexican activists fielding calls from Texans seeking abortions. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Home building in Austin is taking longer and longer

Austin builders are starting a lot of new homes. Finishing them is not so simple. For much of the pandemic, the homebuilding industry has endured delays because of supply chain issues: One month builders can’t get door handles. The next, it’s door hinges, windows and refrigerators. And now this shortage has converged with another: a lack of skilled workers and employees.

While builders in the Austin area are starting new homes at historic numbers, the number of new homes finished and sold lags behind. According to the real estate research firm Zonda, builders started roughly 26,500 new homes during the first few months of this year, while homebuyers closed on just under 20,000 new homes. Compare that to the last months of 2019, when the number of new homes started and new homes sold diverged by just 300 homes.

Texas Standard: April 15, 2022

The business of border security. Who’s making millions, and who’s paying the price tag? An investigation by the Houston Chronicle takes a closer look. Also, new commercial checkpoints at the border set up by Governor Abbott now opening back up for business? We’ll have the latest. Plus presidential debates and their impartiality. How debatable? The GOP says Republicans running for president will have to sign a pledge not to participate with the Commission on Presidential Debates. Ricard Pineda of the University of Texas at El Paso talks about the implications. And Kristen Cabrera cracks open the story of an Easter tradition especially widespread in south Texas and northern Mexico. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 6, 2020

The magic number is 270. Is this the end of the general election of 2020? Texas-based political analyst Matthew Dowd joins us for an overall look at where we stand in the presidential contest and what it means long term for Texas. Also as COVID-19 spikes once more, it’s not just El Paso and more rural hotspots that need to be concerned. We’ll have an overview of the state of the virus in the Lone Star State as we approach the holidays. And new findings about covid spread among Texas contruction workers raising danger signs nationwide, plus the week that was in Texas politcis with the texas tribune and a whole lot more when the TS gets underway right after this.

Texas Standard: December 12, 2019

Blocked at the border: a judge in El Paso puts the brakes again on part of the president’s border wall project, although parts of the wall are still going up. We’ll have more on the latest legal challenge to the president’s effort to fulfill his campaign promise of a border wall from the Gulf to the Pacific. Also, a battle in the Texas Capitol City over changes to the code may be the shape of things to come for the rest of Texas, we’ll hear why. And 2019, a good year for cyber security? Our tech expert Omar Gallaga gets us up to speed and more today on the Texas Standard:

Construction

Some argue Texas doesn’t really have seasons — though that may depend on which part of Texas you call home. Still, a season almost all Texans share despite the weather: construction season. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: September 2, 2019

The Governor says The status quo is unacceptable in the aftermath of the second mass shooting in West Texas in a month. We’ll have more on reaction to this weekend’s mass shooting in the Midland Odessa region and the mounting sense of frustration over what to do to end what the governor calls the status quo. Also, a closer look at a possible end to America’s longest military conflict. And a Texas-sized balancing act between climate control and historic preservation. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 13, 2019

A year after Parkland, what if anything is changing to make Texas schools safer? Five things you need to know about what happens next. Also: The end of El Chapo’s career, but not his cartel. After years of work to win convictions against the drug kingpin, what changes? We’ll take a look. And as many New Yorkers rethink the three billion dollar price tag to land Amazons second headquarters, a researcher says New York could learn a thing or two from the Texas experience. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 22, 2018

Early voting gets underway across the Lone Star State and more Texans are registered than ever. But are they actually voting? We’ll check in on how early voting is going as Texans begin casting ballots in the much anticipated midterms. Plus a primer on early voting should you plan to cast a ballot. Plus a Texas filmmaker revisits Molly and Ann: what two of the most famous and politically restless Texans could teach us about how to do politics today. And what impact could the Khashoggi affair have on Texas energy? All that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 31, 2018

Down to the wire: Canada racing to do what Mexico did: strike a deal with the U.S. and save NAFTA. If they can’t, what will it mean for Texas? We’ll take a look. Also, politics watchers nationwide are enthralled by the Senate race in Texas. One of the most serious challenges from the Democrats in decades and hispanics may hold the key. Question is: will they turn out to vote? But more than that, how will they vote? Republicans rethinking their strategy. Also, business is booming in construction across Texas, just one problem: where are the workers? Those stories and a whole lot more on todays Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 18, 2018

A shooter situation at a school in Galveston county. Santa Fe High School goes on lockdown, we’ll have the latest from our reporting partners. Also, what could be an important moment in U.S. Mexico relations: a televised debate in the contest for the presidency of Mexico. The front runner? One way to think of him is as a Trump of the left. And a wildfire in the panhandle spawns a rare phenomenon that creates more fires from above the story behind an unusual pyro cumulus cloud formation. Also, they called him the Tex Mex Elvis, now Freddy Fender’s daughter is fighting to preserve her father’s legacy. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 7, 2018

The Texas Governor reveals a plan to address issues surrounding sexual assault and harassment. We’ll have reaction from female lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Also, it’s no secret construction is big business in Texas, and more women are getting involved to reap the benefits. But they also face challenges. We’ll have the story. And a self-cloning crustacean proves fascinating for pet owners and hobbyists but could cause some woes for environmentalists. A look at why. Plus Texas Standard commentator WF Strong gets a little lovey dovey in an unexpected way ahead of Valentine’s day. And we’ll crunch the numbers in a fact-check of a statement by the Texas Luetenant Governor. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 3, 2017

The Texan who heads the House Science Committee: and who opposes arguments on climate change, won’t be going back to Washington. Lamar Smith’s announcement not to seek reelection comes as his colleagues take the wraps off a new tax reform plan- one that democrats call a giveaway to the rich, and the republicans claim will benefit the middle class. So what does it mean for Texas? We’re asking questions. Also, a new I-35 rivalry between teams that aren’t even in their respective cities. Confused? So are a lot of soccer fans. We’ll explain. Plus: a preview of the Texas Book Festival, the week that was in Texas Politics and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 2, 2017

Trying to make sense of a massacre, as medical crews and police work the worst mass shooting in history, offers of support from Texas, we’ll have the latest. Also, the hired hands helping to rebuild Houston: why some say those workers most at risk, are also the most vulnerable. And with a new movie named for the city set for release and the sunset of a major HGTV show, Waco wonders about its future, we’ll stop in. And who was born in 1959 and is celebrating her 15th at long last? We’ll look at whether quinceañera Barbie has what it takes to break out in a demanding marketplace. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 27, 2017

A decades old backlog of evidence gathered after sexual assaults and the Houston lawsuit that could shake things up, we’ll have the story. Plus our question of the day: can a former punk rocker from El Paso stage a Texas sized political upset? The ballad of Beto vs. Ted, and the battle for the US senate. Also, a harvey-sized hit to Texas hospitality? Why there’s no room at the inns. And a little known defense department program has been discovered at a major Texas installation: what is the mission of Starbase Kelly? And why is everyone so small? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard: