oil

Meet Emma, the AI assistant answering the phones at Amarillo City Hall

Just in time for high summer, a surge in COVID cases? What officials are saying about a new subvariant.
It could be a very wet 72 hours of so for much of Southeast Texas and beyond as meteorologists focus on what could be the first big storm of hurricane season coming together in the Gulf of Mexico.
In Amarillo, phones at City Hall are answered by Emma – a first-of-its-kind virtual assistant powered by AI, built specifically for the city.
Why some analysts are pumping the brakes on predictions of a looming oil glut thanks to electric vehicles.
And: why some Texas Democrats say schools could be key to their success in November.

Supreme Court rejects a Trump-era ban on bump stocks

The Supreme Court has struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks – devices that can be attached to a semiautomatic gun to make it fire more quickly – in a case brought by Michael Cargill, a U.S. Army veteran and owner of a gun store in Austin.
The State of Texas wants to replace the judge overseeing the lawsuit over its foster care system, Judge Janis Jack, saying she can’t be impartial.
There’s been a rash of near-misses between planes at busy airports. A new piece of equipment in Austin could help prevent that.
Plus: A new investigation finds that thousands of Texans live near oil and gas wells that could be leaking excess amounts of hydrogen sulfide, putting their health at risk.

The Future of Work in Texas – A Texas Standard special

Texas is changing, and so is the world. If we squint to try to look at the future job landscape, what do we see? There are more than 15 million working Texans right now, but while the state boasts steady growth and “record high levels” for jobs and the labor force, there are always unknowns on the horizon.
Among them: tech advancements and the impacts of climate change. So how will the jobs of tomorrow look different? We’re exploring all that and more today in The Future of Work in Texas.

The buzz around the Bumble ad controversy

The border buoys case in court: Why the arguments surrounding Texas’ river barrier were not about immigration.
El Paso County residents are concerned a proposed highway expansion project could imperil the Rio Bosque – a marshy area along the Rio Grande that has been “re-wilded” to support native plants and wildlife.
What will soon be one of Texas’ biggest gas pipelines is raising both environmental and safety concerns from the residents along the path.
The new book “They Came for the Schools” takes us further into the story of the Carroll Independent School District’s battle over what’s on library shelves and in classrooms.
And: Austin-based dating app Bumble apologized this week for an ad campaign that some believed mocked the choice not to date, or to remain celibate. Tech expert Omar Gallaga shares more.

Voters in Texas have elected their first slate of property appraisal board members

A former Texas oil exec is being punished for allegedly raising the price of oil. Is it the tip of the iceberg or water under the bridge?
In spring elections across larger Texas counties, voters got a more direct say in who runs the obscure agencies that oversee the property appraisal process – agencies that determine how much you pay in property taxes.
The promise of solar panels seems bright, but some companies are getting some heat for misrepresentation. What you need to know.
New Mexico has a booming recreational marijuana industry thanks in part to some Texans making the trip. Will laws change on this side of the border?
Plus the most beautiful spot in Texas? Some point to a place out west that’s a bit off the beaten path.

Introducing Rhizome, Laredo’s unique art project and community collaboration

The Texas Medical Board has offered a wide definition of emergency medical exemptions to the state’s strict ban on abortion.
Health care is also at the center of a massive cyberattack that’s been crippling insurance payments, but consumer information is very likely involved.
Police high-speed chases can be extremely dangerous for the general public, not just the vehicles involved. What we’ve learned in a deep dive into the data for North Texas chases.
The price at the pump has been going up again and global uncertainties could affect that further.
And we’ll take a trip to Laredo to explore Rhizome, a community art project, and hear from artist Crystal Wagner.

The Rio Grande is getting saltier. What’s that mean for agriculture?

The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on SB4, the controversial Texas law that allows state and local police to arrest and prosecute migrants who enter the state, after delaying implementation of the law last week.
A lack of medical insurance and access to treatment is making life in rural Texas tougher than many might imagine.
Energy insider Matt Smith has the latest on rising gas prices as many Texans hit the road for Spring Break.
The Rio Grande, the body of water that outlines the border between Texas and Mexico, is becoming saltier – affecting people, farmland and livestock on both sides of the border.
And: Amid a statewide teacher shortage, one Central Texas school district is trying to turn things around by creating its own pipeline of new recruits.

A younger generation is taking over the Texas oil fields

For the first time in centuries, an American-built – and more specifically, Texas-built – spacecraft has touched down on the moon.
Multiple law enforcement officers who responded to the 2022 Uvalde school shooting have been ordered to appear before a grand jury investigating the failed police response.
The folks calling the shots in the Texas oil industry seem to be getting younger. What does this change mean for the industry?
A giant among advocates for people with disabilities in Texas steps down after a quarter century. We’ll talk with Dennis Borel of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities about the challenges ahead.
Plus, the week in politics with The Texas Tribune.

Which Texas cities take the lead in ending homelessness?

The U.S. Senate has passed a major aid bill for Ukraine and Israel – but its fate in the House is uncertain.

Despite its dominance in politics statewide, the Republican Party in Texas ain’t what it used to be. What’s changed, why, and what it means for the future.

As the numbers of people experiencing homelessness rise nationwide, some cities are making progress. A new report examines what’s working and what lessons can be learned.

In Texas oil country, two longtime rivals are expected to merge this year in a $26 billion deal. What it adds up to.

Plus, a conversation with celebrated author and poet Sandra Cisneros.

Texas frackers are going electric – but can the grid handle it?

With a push from Texas Republicans, the U.S. House moves a step closer toward a vote to impeach the head of Homeland Security.

Amid a shortage of teachers statewide, a move in Dallas to get more men of color in the classroom.

In the Texas oilfields, how a push for greener drilling has some worried about the effects on the power grid.

A browser update for the ages? Why new features in Google Chrome have one tech writer warning of the end of the human internet.

And Temu takeover? Why U.S. giants like Amazon and Walmart are rethinking their strategies as a China-based retailer turns up the heat.

Exploring SpaceX’s potential land swap with Texas

The Texas Supreme Court hears arguments in a case challenging a law banning puberty blockers and hormone therapy for trans minors.

John Whitmire, Houston’s new mayor, campaigned to be “tough-but-smart on crime.” Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider takes a look at some of Whitmire’s plans for law enforcement.

SpaceX wants to give the state 477 acres of land near a national wildlife refuge in exchange for 43 acres from Boca Chica State Park, near its launch site – but the plan is drawing local pushback.

And: West Texas A&M University plans a new institute to advocate what the school’s president calls “Panhandle values.” Critics fear it’s a push to spread conservative values across the university.

A national lab didn’t detect disease in Texas deer, but the state had already euthanized them

Missing mail and massive delays in postal delivery in the Houston area are sparking action from U.S. Rep. Al Green. We’ll hear what he plans to do about it.

A controversial law allowing Texas police to arrest people suspected of crossing the border illegally takes effect soon – but some rural sheriffs in the Big Bend region say they’re not eager to enforce it.

And: An entire herd of white-tailed deer at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area was euthanized amid concerns about the spread of a contagious disease. But the affected deer may not have had the disease after all, according to new test results.

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?

Justice Department report on Uvalde shooting finds ‘critical failures’ in police response

After a review of thousands of videos and other evidence, the Justice Department has released its report on the Uvalde school shooting, finding “critical failures” by law enforcement before, during and after the attack.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down much of a new Texas law that sought to restrict which books are available in school libraries.

Texas may soon be a hub for hydrogen fueling. The Standard’s Shelly Brisbin has more.

CinéWilde, which bills itself as the state’s only monthly LGBTQ film series, turns 10.

And: Remembering award-winning science fiction author Howard Waldrop.

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.

What’s behind the massive oil spill in the Gulf?

An oil spill in the Gulf is considered to be among the worst in U.S. history. After two weeks, why is it getting so little attention?

We’ll hear about an unintended impediment to the growth of electric vehicle manufacturing in the U.S.

After a political fight over a school voucher-like program, salary bumps for Texas teachers are off the table. Why some teachers say they’re OK with that.

Also: What’s behind Mark Cuban’s sale of the Dallas Mavericks, and what could it mean?

Examining Texas’ legacy of anti-LGBT laws

After seven months pushing a school voucher-like plan, Gov. Greg Abbott gets a firm pushback from fellow Republicans. Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report shares the latest.

Mexico plans to offer “know your rights” educational sessions in Texas as lawmakers send a wide-ranging border security bill to the governor.

Amid slowing sales of EV’s, one city in Texas seems to be leading the switch away from gas pumps to charging stations.

The past legislative session saw the filing of a historic number of bills impacting LGBT Texans – but that’s just the latest effort in what’s been a half-century of criminalizing these communities, according to a new investigation from KXAN TV.

Why Texans can’t vote on abortion or marijuana anytime soon

The fourth largest earthquake on record in Texas struck Wednesday out west, renewing concerns about fracking and seismic activity. Erin Douglas of the Texas Tribune with more on yesterday’s temblor and what researchers and regulators are saying about it.

The latest on a runoff for mayor in Texas’ biggest city.
In San Antonio, plans to close several public schools getting pushback from communities targeted for closure.

The economics of electric vehicles: Is the race to EVs losing power?

And voters in Ohio approve ballot measures on abortion and marijuana this week. Why such measures aren’t likely to land on Texas ballots anytime soon.

What’s next after Cruise suspends self-driving cars in Texas?

Several of the biggest cases before the Supreme Court this term originated in Texas, including United States v. Rahimi, which centers around the constitutionality of prohibiting people under domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns.

There are growing concerns about near misses at airports – and the Austin airport in particular is drawing a lot of attention.

The driverless taxi company Cruise suspended its service in Texas and elsewhere, pending a review of accidents. What’s next in the driverless car space?

Plus a conversation with a musician many consider the original queen of outlaw country: Jessi Colter discusses her 13th studio album, “Edge of Forever.”

Why bird watchers are flocking to Texas cemeteries

Early voting is now underway in Texas – but what’s on the ballot? We’ll get caught up on the 14 constitutional amendments Texans are being asked to weigh in on, ranging from property taxes to education, infrastructure and more.

First it’s Exxon mobil scooping up Pioneer, now Chevron acquiring Hess. Is it a new era of mergers and acquisitions in the oil field – and if so, why?

Final resting places are also surprisingly active sites for a certain group of hobbyists. The Standard’s Raul Alonzo has more with “Cemetery Birding” author Jennifer Bristol.

And the Texas Rangers are off to the World Series after defeating the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS.