Harris County

What new data says about the future of Texas agriculture

It’s the first day of early voting in the Texas primary. What you need to know before casting a ballot and why turning out matters.

What exactly does “residency” mean when running for office? The answer might surprise you.

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts a census – tallying things like livestock, tractors, combines and crops – for a dense report packed with clues on where American farming is heading.

And: Remembering Sandy Wood, who helped stargazers navigate the universe for nearly 24 years as the voice of the radio program Stardate.

Inside Harris County’s guaranteed income experiment

Heavy rain, high winds and snow, elevated fire danger and more prompt the governor to raise the emergency preparedness level in Texas. We’ll have the latest overview of weather concerns.

A new report reveals high levels of toxic benzene exposure in a Houston suburb.

A plan to test a guaranteed basic income gets underway today in Harris County.

We’ll hear who’s eligible and where the money’s coming from.

The town of Diboll is seeking to be officially designated the “Quinceañera Capital of Texas.”

And: Remember cutting the cord for cable TV? Why many households are cutting the streamers, too.

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?

What’s changed for migrants on the border after Title 42’s end?

Students get grades, but so do Texas schools – and with a change in evaluations, administrators are concerned.

Critics say a state lawsuit against Planned Parenthood is an attempt to completely wipe out what was once a prime provider of abortion services in Texas.

How people experiencing homelessness are trying to cope with life-threatening temperatures.

The end of pandemic restrictions against migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. prompted a lot of speculation about how the situation at border would be affected. We’ll take a look at what’s actually changed on the ground.

Also, what put a once-sleepy town in the shadow of Dallas on the fast track to becoming one of Texas’ biggest cities.

Chronic wasting disease threatens deer and Texas’ hunting economy

With an impeachment trial looming, suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing new scrutiny from the feds in San Antonio, with a federal grand jury convened to hear from witnesses close to him.

Emergency steps are being taken due to a disease threatening the state’s $4 billion deer hunting industry. The Standard’s Michael Marks has more.

In the final month of the hottest season in Texas, DJ Susan Castle weighs in on the question: What’s the ultimate Texas summer song?

Also, the week in politics with the Texas Tribune.

Heat and the next Great Migration

An exemption to Texas’ abortion ban is on hold after an appeal by the state attorney general. What comes next?

Just how powerful are social media algorithms? Texas researchers test whether changes could help defuse political polarization.

Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies got in a kayak to take an up-close look at Gov. Greg Abbott’s floating wall in the Rio Grande.

And a warning that climate change could reverse demographic trends showing major population growth in places like Texas: Could there be a great migration northward?

The questions on local ballots across Texas this May election

Early voting is underway statewide for the May 6 elections. What’s at stake? A roundtable of reporters survey the landscape.

New emissions rules from the EPA could mean some big changes coming to Texas coal plants.

Changes to a bill restricting purchases of property by citizens of China, North Korea, Russia and Iran aren’t good enough, says Texas State Rep. Gene Wu. He says it’s discrimination.

And an axe murder in a North Texas suburb in the 1980s is now the focus of a new HBO Max series. We’ll talk to the director of “Love & Death”.

NASA mission sounds like a reality show, but it’s gathering data for a Mars journey

One of the state’s biggest counties is looking for a new top election official amid friction over the difficulty of running non-partisan elections. With early voting underway in races statewide, why the resignation of the top elections official in Tarrant County has special resonance.

A closer look at claims of Republican voter suppression in Harris County: how does the narrative square with the data?

In parts of rural Texas, growing opposition to solar and wind farms, where Texas has taken a lead.

And a virtual mission to Mars, in a hangar south of Houston? Four people, one year, and little contact with the outside world.

Lawmaker Gene Wu using Reddit to explain Texas Legislature

The clash between city leaders and state lawmakers is set to reach a new level at the Capitol. How state lawmakers are trying to crack down on policies by local prosecutors not to pursue certain cases.

A Texas researcher is pursuing a key to fight aging with the help of small monkeys.

We talk with Rep. Gene Wu, whose videos about how Texas politics actually works have blown up on social media.

In West Texas, concerns about growing tourism and the environmental impact spawn a plan to expand Big Bend National Park by purchasing adjacent land and giving it to the park.

Plus the legacy of San Antonio businessman B.J “Red” McCombs.

Plan to prevent the next blackout heads to the Legislature

Historic job growth, but how sustainable? Economist Ray Perryman weighs in on the latest numbers.

As lawmakers prepare for bruising legislative battles ahead, one thing some Texas Republicans and Democrats agree on? Dislike of a new proposal to prevent future statewide power grid blackouts.

Watch your wallets online: our go-to tech expert Omar Gallaga with the latest on data breaches.

And high hopes in some quarters for changes to Texas cannabis laws.

This Texas label makes records the old-school way

Texas’ law against censoring political speech on social media is not in force for now, but that could change. Also: Truckers like to say they keep America rolling, but more are leaving the profession than ever – and it could have major ripple effects for everyone. Plus: A generation gap in high-tech, and a major difference in how sweeping layoffs are being felt. And: A Texas nonprofit founded to support voting restrictions tried to build a hospital in Ukraine; it has not gone as planned, and now red flags are going up.

What is a ‘constitutional sheriff’?

Inauguration ceremonies at the capitol lift the curtain and set the stage as the 88th legislature gets underway in earnest. We’ll have more on the inauguration of the Governor and the Lt. Governor. Also a prison hunger strike and allegations of retaliation. And the constitutional sheriffs movement and why advocates of police reform are concerned a vow to uphold the law is being twisted into something that subverts the law. Also 50 years of BBQ. The barbecue editor of Texas monthly on what’s changed in those decades, and it might be a lot more than you think. Plus, commentator W.F. Strong in celebration of Texas grammar, a Politifact check 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:

Unpacking the Southwest Airlines holiday meltdown

Millions of dollars in tax incentives for renewable energy are now in limbo with a decision from the Texas Supreme Court. A flood of applications for millions of dollars in tax breaks overwhelmed the system before a New Years deadline. We look at what happens to all those unprocessed applications now that the state Supreme Court has said it won’t force the state to process them. Also how many voters in Harris country were prevented from casting a ballot due to problems at the polls? A new report that leaves many critical questions unanswered. And why warning signs were ignored before the chaos of Southwest Airline’s big holiday meltdown. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 15, 2022

Citing what he calls widespread problems, Governor Abbott calls for an investigation into the midterm vote in Harris County. The Texas governor says allegations of improprieties on election day in Harris county include claims of insufficient paper ballots in Republican precincts. Taylor Goldenstein of the Houston Chronicle joins us with details. Also a Dallas Morning News investigation into an app designed to alert authorities to suspicious behavior and curb school shootings. Is it working? We’ll take a closer look. And after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, more refugees settled in Texas than any other state. How those refugees are trying to help thousands left behind. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 14, 2022

Seldom has mental health been a bigger part of the public conversation in TX, but how much of a priority for state lawmakers? We’ll take a closer look. Also after a record high number of more than 375,000 teachers in Texas last year, this year, 12% left the profession. We’ll have more on a crisis of retention and recruitment in teaching. And education in prison and the implications for the long term in Texas. Plus Cop27: what the climate summit means for the energy capitol of the world. And at the intersection of an ever evolving Texas culture and the kitchen: 100 recipes. We’ll meet the authors of the Big Texas Cookbook and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 10, 2022

A major win in a very close race for the top seat in Texas’ most populous county. We continue to track final results and the implications of the midterms in Texas: Sergio Martinez Beltran with a debrief. Also apparent bipartisan agreement on one issue. With the passage of marijuana referendums in no fewer than 5 Texas cities. Plus in advance of Veterans Day, we’ll hear from a veteran who served two tours of duty during the don’t ask don’t tell era. And new archaeological findings about a west Texas massacre more than 100 years ago that complicates the historic narrative. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 2, 2022

What exactly happened during law enforcement’s response to the school shooting in Uvalde? We’ll look at what newly obtained recordings reveal. More than 5 months after the Uvalde school shooting, the Texas Tribune and Propublica obtain 911 calls and communications between police and dispatchers showing the scale of miscommunication in law enforcement’s response. Also with just 6 days til midterms, how Harris county has become ground zero over concerns about election monitors. And in a state that is mostly wet when it comes to alcohol, booze back on the ballot in some parts. The how, the why and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 25, 2022

With voting in the midterms underway, we’ll take a close look at how political disinformation is playing out in Texas politics. A case study of disinformation in action as the Texas Newsroom hones in on how false claims are affecting the democratic process. Also a disappointing report card on the post-pandemic state of education for elementary and middle schoolers. What can be done to combat learning gaps. Plus a historic shakeup in the UK, and what it could mean for Texans. And a first of its kind effort to lift barriers separating the field of chemistry and students with blindness and low vision. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 20, 2022

The Texas Secretary of State says inspectors will be sent to Harris county polling sites, citing breaches of election management in 2020. A Harris county official calls the timing of the letter suspicious. We’ll hear more. Also science fiction is now science fact, and big business, too. We’ll look at Texas’ role in the artificial intelligence boom. And after Hurricane Ian the ripple effects reaching the Texas citrus industry. Plus the Texas podcaster preserving some spooky storytelling traditions. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard: