Coronavirus

How big events like the pandemic lockdowns can warp our sense of time

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s effort to get business records from Annunciation House, a group that helps migrants, is blocked by an El Paso judge.
As firefighters move closer to containing the blazes that have consumed large parts of the Panhandle in recent weeks, many locals are looking more closely at the causes and asking hard questions about why more wasn’t done to prevent those fires.
As politicians bicker over federal funding, members of the military and their families struggle with worries and fears amid a near-constant threat of a government shutdown.
And: Anyone else feeling a post-COVID time warp? What the science says about perceptions of time.

How frontline workers fared during COVID and how best to protect them

A Texas senator wants to reopen impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Ken Paxton – but it’s unlikely to happen.

What have recent heavy rains done for drought conditions in Texas?

A plan to overhaul the way the U.S. Census Bureau counts people with disabilities has received so much pushback that the agency is rethinking the updated questions.

And: lessons learned from the pandemic about the impact on frontline workers.

Residents fight proposed Brazoria County primate facility

Is artificial intelligence coming soon to Texas government? A new report says it’s already here.

More than 300,000 immigrants arrived at the southern border in December. Angela Kocherga of KTEP takes a look at one of the busiest border crossing areas year-round: the El Paso sector.

Volunteer pilots are helping abortion-seekers get out of Texas.
A biomedical company wants to build a massive facility for primates in Brazoria County. But locals are fighting back.

And: remembering the music and legacy of Rocky Morales.

The State of Disability in Texas – A Texas Standard special rebroadcast

It’s a population that’s often overlooked and underestimated: People living with disabilities play a wide variety of important roles in the life of modern Texas.

They’re living full lives, advocating for better caregiving options, inclusive transportation and voting accessibility. And many participate in the vibrant arts and culture of our state.

Learn more in this special edition of the Texas Standard: The State of Disability in Texas.

Legislature takes up ban on vaccine mandates at private businesses

Years after peak COVID, Texas lawmakers are taking steps to ban vaccine mandates by private businesses.

Amid a nursing shortage in Texas and beyond, the journey of a new nurse trying to make a difference.

An award-winning novel set near the border takes the western genre to a whole new place. We’ll talk with ‘Valley of Shadows’ author Rudy Ruiz.

Also: As a new NBA season approaches, there are big expectations building for the San Antonio Spurs’ 19-year old Victor Wembanyama.

How a UT professor is helping the CDC plan for the next pandemic

The Texas Education Agency is moving forward with plans to monitor problems with Austin ISD’s special education services.

What did we learn from COVID-19? We’ll talk to UT’s Lauren Ancel Meyers, who has been tapped to help the U.S. develop a plan to better tackle the next pandemic.

Texas tops the nation in oil industry deaths – but there’s more to the story once you get into the numbers.

Also: Remembering a pioneer of Tejano music, Lydia Mendoza, who earned the title of “Meadowlark of the Border.”

Dungeons & Dragons becomes lifeline for some Texas death row prisoners

When it comes the electric grid, every megawatt counts during peak demand. Industrial batteries have long been seen as a potential game-changer for energy storage. We’ll have details about how they’re coming online in the Lone Star State.

A new vaccine for COVID-19 will be in pharmacies soon. An epidemiologist lays out what you and your family needs to know.

Plus, Dungeons & Dragons on death row, the latest headlines, and a school finance revolt in North Texas.

The State of Disability in Texas – A Texas Standard special

How does disability impact millions of Texans, from public policy to long COVID?

People living with disabilities – a population that’s often overlooked and underestimated – play a wide variety of important roles in the life of modern Texas. They’re living full lives: advocating for better caregiving options, inclusive transportation and voting accessibility. And many participate in the vibrant arts and culture of our state.

Encompassing the wide array of these experiences in just one program would be impossible. That’s why we’re treating this special as a kickoff of Texas Standard’s yearlong commitment to featuring the voices of and covering the topics important to disabled Texans.

Tours from Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are big for local economies

COVID cases in Texas rise by almost 25% in a week as concerns mount over a new variant. Although the vast majority of Texans have given up masks and social distancing, health officials say they’re still important tools as cases pick up and students return to the classroom. Dr. Catherine Troisi of UTHealth Houston joins us with an update.

Young plaintiffs in Montana score a high-profile victory in a fight to force their home state to take climate change more seriously. Could a similar approach work in Texas?

And: Tours from Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are generating huge spending on everything from concert tickets and merch to spillover effects on travel, clothing and more.

Podcast explores whether a Texas Ranger extracted a false confession

Two major changes in federal policies within the past 24 hours having outsized implications for Texas. Change number one: the end of Title 42 rapid deportations. But for tens of thousands now trying to cross the Mexico border into Texas, the deportations continue.

The end of an era for the pandemic as the national emergency is lifted, but a Texas epidemiologist says that doesn’t mean an end to the COVID-19 threat.

A confession of guilt during a Texas murder investigation, but was the confession real or compelled by questionable interrogation techniques?

Also the week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune and poetry from the Typewriter Rodeo.

Title 42 expires as border braces for migrants’ mass arrival

The end of an era, and the start of what could be a dramatic new chapter in the history of border and immigration policy. Title 42 ends at the stroke of midnight, and predictions of a period of chaos at the border are coming from President Biden on down. We’ll talk to someone on the front lines of providing shelter and food to migrants crossing into the U.S.

What rights does a fetus have in a post-Dobbs America? How the end of Roe v. Wade has states testing the limits of fetal personhood.

Nueces County charges ahead with plans for a new Tesla lithium refinery despite concerns about some of Elon Musk’s other big Texas projects.

How Austin has changed

Last night’s State of the Union touched on immigration, inflation, gun violence and other issues. Richard Pineda of the University of Texas at El Paso joins us with analysis of the annual message by the president to Congress.

A legal challenge to an abortion drug and a possible decision from a federal judge in Amarillo that could come as early as this week, with potential implications nationwide.

Wage gains for migrants filling jobs in the U.S. and why a visa program for seasonal workers may not be working for U.S. employers.

And author Lawrence Wright on the astonishing transformation of the Texas capital city.

How a ban on TikTok at UT-Austin affects journalists and other students

The Texas House and Senate release their spending roadmaps for the session, leaving tens of billions on the table unspent. It may be an understatement to say the state is awash in cash. Both chambers are now proposing unprecedented outlays. Bob Garret of the Dallas Morning News joins us to help with the numbers. Also pressure on Texas lawmakers to take more action on gun safety in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde. Also what health experts are learning about Long Covid and chronic fatigue. And Omar Gallaga discovers a de facto treasure trove for PC gamers. And time runs out for TikTok on many Texas campuses. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

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:

Why Texas and the U.S. need larger apartments

Is there a Speaker in the House? Texas’ role in the drama over who will lead the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. No state sends more republicans to Congress than Texas, but those republicans are at loggerheads over who to pick as House speaker, and it’s brought Congress to a standstill before the next session’s even underway. Sean Theriault of UT Austin explains what’s happening and why. Also new travel restrictions as a Covid outbreak spreads in China. How concerned should Texans be, and will the restrictions really help? And W.F. Strong looks back on an historic sunken treasure discovery and more today on the Texas Standard:

Big Bend National Park to add thousands of acres of parkland

Tridemic? One of the world leading virologists says its more like a Septademic. Dr. Peter Hotez joins us and talks about staying healthy during the holidays. Also as the humanitarian crisis on the border grows Governor Abbott is calling for an investigation of some of the non-profits helping migrants. We’ll explain. Plus, Google is making some changes that affect the results that show up in your searches including those shopping ads. Our go to tech expert Omar Gallaga takes us behind the curtains. And Big Bend National Park is about to get a little bigger with new areas to explore. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

The fight over preserving El Paso’s Castner Range

A San Antonio doctor says hospitals are facing a crisis as COVID-19, RSV and flu cases mount before in this holiday season. In Bexar county the wait for hospital beds on the rise, and some health experts are sounding an alarm as families gather for the holidays. We’ll hear the latest. Also a big OPEC meeting, a European ban on Russian oil and the ripple effects for Texas oil producers and consumers. And in a decades long effort to open up El Paso’s Castner Mountains what could be a tipping point for a regions that’s been losing a lot of natural land to developers. Those stories, the talk of Texas and and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 17, 2022

Arbitrary and capricious- so says a federal judge ordering an end to COVID-19 related rapid expulsions at the border. We’ll look at what’s next for Title 42. Other stories we’re covering: an 800% spike in ER visits for young people facing mental health emergencies in Texas. Anna Bauman of the Houston Chronicle with more. And tens of thousands of Tech company layoffs in rapid succession. Our go-to Tech expert Omar Gallaga has been looking into the whys and what’s next. And concerns about an outbreak of canine influenza in Texas. What pet owners and caregivers should know those stories and much more coming up today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 27, 2022

As a new poll points to a tightening race for Texas Governor, a focus on an issue considered one of the biggest. We’ll talk about how immigration and border security have been front and center in the contest between Republican incumbent governor Greg Abbott and democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. Also with disinformation and misinformation rampant, the Standard’s Michael Marks on how to be a smart news consumer. And rising prices, rising wages. But not all paychecks rising at the same rate. Sean Saldana with more. And the southern second person plural that one writer now calls the most inclusive of all pronouns. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 26, 2022

Governor Abbott extends a COVID-19 disaster declaration for Texas as a majority of states move the other direction. We’ll have the latest. Other stories we’re tracking: a stay of execution for a Texas death row inmate turns the spotlight on a tactic used by police to extract confessions…not all of them true. Also as election day approaches the nuts and bolts of voting machines: often at the center of disinformation claims. And how bout them…ticket prices? If you want to see the Astros in the world series it’s gonna costa ya, big time. We’ll hear how much. And the barbecue capitol of Texas heats up for an event that’s truly smokin. All that and much more today on the Texas Standard: