Drought

Slap fights could be coming to Texas

Texas leads the nation in deaths of kids left in hot cars. Research explains why it happens and how to prevent it.
A heat dome hovers over parts of Texas, baking the state. What can we expect as summer starts?
Regulators will decide if the sport of slap fighting – in which two people stand across a table and slap each other in the face as hard as they can – should come to the Lone Star State.
Are plans for an oil export terminal 30 miles off the Texas Gulf Coast too ecologically dangerous?
And: A tour of a cavern first discovered in Central Texas the 1960s, known as Hidden Wonders, is unlike any other the state.

Why is Texas launching its own stock exchange?

Finance titans BlackRock and Citadel Securities are teaming with investors to raise $120 million to open the Texas Stock Exchange. The group still has some regulatory hurdles to clear before opening but plans to start listing stocks for sale as early as 2026.
On its fourth try, SpaceX achieved a breakthrough for its Starship rocket with a successful return to earth. But not all those gathered to witness the event from Boca Chica got what they were hoping for. The Standard’s Kristen Cabrera reports.
As more tourists flock to the remote West Texas town of Terlingua, bringing money and development, some locals are concerned the town’s running dry.
And: In the Big Bend-area town of Alpine, recovery efforts are underway after a fire destroyed a historic building in a central part of town.

A visit to the traditional Mexican rodeo in San Antonio

One year later, a survivor of the Allen mass shooting talks about his long road to recovery.
New water rules take effect in the Rio Grande Valley as some border cities cope with historically low reservoirs.
With the rise of cloud-based services and AI, the demand for power has soared. What it means for the state Texas.
A new book by University of Houston professor Brandon Rottinghaus takes a look at the political life of Rick Perry, Texas’ longest-serving governor.
And we’ll go to a charreada in San Antonio where Mexico’s rodeo skills are on display.

The latest on the Smokehouse Creek Fire in the Panhandle

The Smokehouse Creek Fire in the Panhandle, already the second biggest wildfire in Texas history, is so far 0% contained. We’ll talk with an evacuee and officials with the Texas A&M Forest Service to get the latest.
With increasingly unpredictable rainfall and extended droughts, you may be thinking about what to plant to survive our new weather reality. The Standard’s Alexandra Hart has ways you can cut water use without letting your lawn die.
Plus: Director Richard Linklater and filmmaker Alex Stapleton on the new HBO three-part series based on Lawrence Wright’s recent book “God Save Texas.”

Why Austinites should embrace a ‘summer blonde’ lawn during a drought

A mild February, especially the last couple of weeks, may have you dreaming of Spring. But that means, if you have a yard, it’s time to start work on flower beds and other landscaping. But with increasingly unpredictable rainfall and extended droughts, you may be thinking about what to plant to survive our new weather reality. Over the last few days the KUT newsroom has been focusing on water and all it means to our area. Today a story from the Texas Standard’s Alexandra Hart about ways you can cut water use without simply letting your lawn die.

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.

Could Texas’ electric grid finally connect to other states?

A grand jury in Uvalde will consider possible charges over law enforcement’s failed response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary.

An Air Force general who was stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph faces a court-martial over charges of sexually assaulting a subordinate.

The Texas power grid is famously separate from the rest of the country – but a plan has been quietly moving forward to connect it to a grid operating in the southeastern U.S.

And: Shipping lanes are shifting routes amid attacks in the Red Sea. What are the ripple effects in Texas?

KUT Afternoon Newscast for December 13, 2023

Central Texas top stories for December 13, 2023. Much needed rain fell today. Fewer people live and work in Austin. Eanes ISD partners with the Texas Workforce Housing Foundation to provide affordable housing to teachers and staff. Hays CISD expects the student body to more than double by 2033. Peter Pan Mini Golf has its lease renewed. How to watch tonights Geminid meteor shower.

Rare ‘Cattle Tyrant’ spotting dominates birders’ attention

Traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people under 45, and the odds of survival may depend on what part of the state you’re in. Lauren Caruba of the Dallas Morning News joins us to talk about a new investigation.

The Texas Standard’s Sean Saldaña has the latest on what some may see as contradictory signals in new employment numbers in Texas.
Are Texas roads considerably less congested? Why a new state-mandated report may raise some eyebrows.

And why the visit of a Cattle Tyrant to Corpus Christi drew excited fans from far and wide. The Standard’s Raul Alonzo explains.

KUT Morning Newscast for October 24, 2023

Central Texas top stories for October 24, 2023. Vote by mail registration deadline. Proposition 9. Integral Care layoffs update. Dead tree removal. Texas Rangers win the pennant.

Dallas pastor stuck in Israel shares what he’s seen amid renewed conflict with Hamas

A third special session of the Texas Legislature gets underway and it’s not just education that’s on the agenda. Although the governor’s push for a so-called education savings accounts is getting the lion’s share of attention as the session starts, border security is rising fast as a top issue. Julián Aguilar of the Texas Newsroom joins us with more.

As Texas lawmakers offer support for Israel, some Texans are feeling the effects of war firsthand. We’ll talk with the head of a Dallas interfaith group caught in Israel at the outbreak of fighting, now trying to get himself and his colleagues back home safely.

Fall is finally here. What does that mean for Texas’ drought?

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan has faced increasing pressure to resign since Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial – and a special session of the Legislature starts next week.

El Paso, a city with a reputation as welcoming to migrants, is now at a breaking point, according to its mayor. Angela Kocherga of KTEP El Paso has details.

About 24 million Texans are living through some level of drought right now, according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. What’s on the horizon as fall weather moves in?

The former Texas Memorial Museum on UT Austin’s campus, shuttered in March due to COVID and cutbacks, returns in grand style with a new name and focus.

KUT Morning Newscast for September 14, 2023

Central Texas top stories for September 14, 2023. Prosecution rests in Ken Paxton trial. Kyle is running low on water as it faces drought. Austin City Council calls for police transparency program.

KUT Afternoon Newscast for August 14, 2023

Central Texas top stories for August 14, 2023. Excessive heat warning. Calls for water conservation. Parmer lane fire relief. CapMetro service disruptions. Hot school buses. University of Texas at Austin Medical Center. Longhorns 11th in AP rankings.

Why many Texas cotton farmers are planting less this year

After a disastrous season for cotton production, could Texas lose its crown as top producer? Three Texans on the front lines talk about why some fear 2023 could be a tipping point.

The head of the University of Texas System Board of Regents puts a pause on new diversity, equity and inclusion policies.

With student debt forgiveness plans on hold, what are the implications for those struggling most to get out from under it?

Also tech expert Omar Gallaga on the rising price of social media verification and whether it pays to buy into the changes.

Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.

Texas marks MLK day with parades, celebrations and reflections on the life and the impact of a giant in the civil rights movement. Coming up, civil rights scholar, teacher and author Peniel Joseph with reflections on what the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have thought of today’s political and social landscape. Also with the Texas Legislature in recess until tomorrow, a look ahead at what to expect in this second week of the 88th session. And if you bought it, you can fix it… unless it’s a tractor? How the farm became a focal point in a fight over the right to repair. And concerns about an oil spill in the Gulf activists say hasn’t been cleaned up. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

The Flood

Drought has crept back over much of Texas. Now, a burst of rain provides much-needed moisture to a parched land. The challenging, perhaps heartbreaking ebb and flow of this weather pattern was the inspiration of this Typewriter Rodeo poem.