politics

New music exhibit features iconic items owned by Willie Nelson, Taylor Swift and more

A new law making it a state crime for migrants to enter Texas without authorization faces a major test in a federal courtroom. We’ll hear the latest.

In Houston ISD, the biggest school district in the state, officials appointed by the state are getting pushback over plans to expand school reforms.

A Texas presidential museum turns a spotlight on Taylor Swift’s guitar, Willie Nelson’s boots and hundreds of other artifacts to help tell the story of American music.

Plus: The week in politics with The Texas Tribune.

Why El Paso Mexican food hits different

There’s a six-way race in Houston for the Democratic bid to represent part of the city in the Texas Senate. We’ll look at how it’s shaping up.

A case involving a Navy SEAL is testing a Pentagon policy designed to keep extremists out of the military.

Change is coming to a corridor in the Texas Hill Country known for its wineries. Why it could just be the beginning of more development.

Megan Thee Stallion’s new single, “Hiss,” is her first solo track to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s also being received as a “diss” track.

And: El Paso, with its proximity to New Mexico, does Mexican food a bit different. We’ll hear about some of the people contributing to its unique flavors.

Remembering renowned ventriloquist Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada

Ready? Or not? As primaries fast approach, an effort to prepare young Texas voters to cast their very first ballots.

A federal complaint filed over Texans being wrongfully kicked off Medicaid rolls.

The latest on a challenge to Texas’ new law prohibiting social media companies from censoring political speech online.

A new TV series on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X inspired by the groundbreaking work of a Texas professor. We’ll talk with him.

Also, the Standard’s Kristen Cabrera on the death of a beloved entertainer: San Antonio-based ventriloquist Ignacio “Nacho” Estrada.

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.

Standoff between Texas and the feds continues over Rio Grande access

Tensions between Texas and the federal government intensify over Border Patrol access.

On the day after the release of the findings of a federal investigation into the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, what we’re learning and what it could mean for accountability.

With the intensification of winter weather this week, how advocates for people experiencing homelessness are trying to shelter and care for Texans left out in the cold.

A sneak peek at the Super Bowl prospects for the Houston Texans, facing a big playoff challenge this weekend.

And we’ll have the week in politics with Matthew Watkins of the Texas Tribune.

Community colleges get a funding boost, but with some changes

Gov. Greg Abbott received a $6 million campaign contribution from an out-of-state mega donor and school voucher advocate. Investigative reporter Lauren McGaughy of the Texas Newsroom shares more.

The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán has the latest on what appear to be endorsement wars among top Texas Republicans.

There’s a new funding formula for community colleges. What could the change add up to?

And commentator W.F. Strong reflects on influencers – both intentional and accidental.

Food safety & tree protection tips as Texas awaits an arctic blast

Most parts of Texas are preparing for a big freeze as an arctic front moves in. We’ll have the latest on what to expect, plus how to prepare your trees to survive a Texas winter and tips on food and food safety in case the power goes out.

The U.S., U.K. and other allies have launched retaliatory airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen; some fear it could expand global tensions and widen the conflict ongoing in Gaza. A UT expert on global studies weighs in.

Plus: The week in politics with The Texas Tribune.

What’s ahead for space exploration in 2024

The federal government takes legal action to stop Texas from implementing a new state law aimed at arresting migrants who come into the state illegally. Julián Aguilar of The Texas Newsroom has more.

A new plan to use AI to help explore the effect of burn pits on veterans.
Why 2024 could be the launch pad for a new chapter in space exploration.

How the armadillo, a dormant dog-sized mammal considered a pest by many, won the affection of many a Texan.

Plus: The week in politics with The Texas Tribune.

A look ahead to the new year in Texas, from politics to entertainment

Two experts weigh in on the Texas political landscape and the stakes as we head into a major general election year amid growing rifts among Texas Republicans. Could the new year mark a tipping point for Texas Democrats?

Tech expert Omar Gallaga and the Standard’s own Shelly Brisbin look at what’s buzzing on the technology front.

Plus: coming attractions at the theater and some of the most anticipated book releases of 2024.

A look back at the year in review

It was a year like few others in modern memory at the Texas Capitol, with four special sessions on top of a regular session, a historic impeachment trial of the state attorney general and more.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the most seminal Texas music moments ever committed to vinyl: Viva Terlingua!

The best of the year in science & nature

Science and nature are in the spotlight today.

While the worst of COVID-19 appears to be history, scientists and researchers continue to draw lessons about what happened and how well-prepared we might be for the next pandemic.

How a Texan is trying to help answer questions about science in a new podcast aimed at non-scientists curious about the world around us.

Girl Scouts take a deep dive on science – quite literally – with the help of scuba gear.

And our conversation with an astronaut picked for our next return to the moon.

All about Texas cryptids

Most Texans have heard their names, and quite a few grew up hearing their stories: Bigfoot, jackalope, goatman, La Lechuza, chupacabra, just for starters. Scientists question whether they’re real, but the space they occupy in Texas folklore is very real indeed.

Today we’re sharing the results of a month-long effort to track down the origin stories of Texas cryptids – and discover why they have such a hold on Texas mythology and imagination.

The best of the year in arts & culture

Today we’re turning our attention to the world of arts and culture, from a riveting film featuring the audio diaries of Lady Bird Johnson, to the startling impact of a singer named Taylor Swift.

What if it is your first rodeo? We’ve got you covered there with what to do – and what not to.

And Austin-born actor Gabriel Luna talks about his role in the hit HBO series “The Last of Us.”

Our staff favorites of the year

Texas Standard producers have made their lists and checked ‘em twice – or more – selecting some of our most memorable conversations with fascinating Texans over the past 12 months.

This hour, we invite you to sit back and enjoy our staff favorites from the past year, including honky tonk heroines, birders in cemeteries, bears making a comeback and a whole lot more.

How ‘The Iron Claw’ filmmakers achieved authenticity inside the ring

Amid a shortage of ADHD medication, concerns grow about adulterated formulations at pharmacies in Mexico.

As Houston is about to get a new mayor, a look back at the tenure of the term-limited incumbent, Sylvester Turner.

Making history at the Capitol: The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán talks to the two women who are the first to hold the top law enforcement offices in the House of Representatives.

A new film about a wrestling dynasty built by a Texas family – and why “The Iron Claw” is winning over critics who couldn’t care less about wrestling.

Plus, the week in politics with The Texas Tribune.

What has Van Horn residents so worried about a new pipeline

The Department of Justice has sued Colony Ridge, a Houston-area housing developer marketing primarily to undocumented migrants, over the company’s business practices.

Concerns are growing over a proposed pipeline in far West Texas, as nearby residents in Van Horn worry they simply don’t have the resources if there were an emergency.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga tells us why Apple’s taking many of its watches off store shelves, and why the president could get involved.

Also: Veteran public radio DJ Susan Castle of KUTX Austin serves up some holiday songs with a Texas twist.

New proposals would let ranchers kill two birds. But is one really a predator?

New laws on arresting migrants who cross the border into Texas illegally are just one of many changes related to border security from this year’s legislative sessions. Julián Aguilar of The Texas Newsroom takes a closer look at what passed, what didn’t, and what it means.

How do Texas voters think lawmakers did dealing with top-line issues in 2023? Jim Henson of the Texas Politics Project shares the findings of a new poll.

A Texas perspective of the struggle over campus free speech.

Democratic lawmakers in Congress are pitching a plan to stop hedge funds from buying rental homes.

And the Standard’s Michael Marks dives in on Texas ranchers’ ongoing fight against predatory birds.

Does drone medical help offer hope for rural Texans?

A court rules that Texas power generators do not have a responsibility to provide power in emergencies, like the winter storm of 2021. Mose Buchele of KUT Austin has more on what this means.

Understanding Pope Francis’ decision to permit Catholic church officials to bless same-sex marriages.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, more used to white-collar crime enforcement, wades into Texas cattle country to bust up what it calls a Ponzi scheme.

And: For West Texans far from medical facilities, some help zooms in by way of drones.

Thousands of vulnerable Texans stand to lose food and health benefits

A plan to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel is on the ropes due to disagreements over border security. What comes next? Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston has more.


Thousands of vulnerable Texans stand to lose food and health benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC.


An obscure element of the school financial system is leaving some districts with more money than they need.


And we’ll talk to Tyler Campbell, the son of NFL Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, who’s sharing his story in a new book.

Exploring the difficulties of rural reproductive care in West Texas

Texas leads the nation in executions again, and Harris County sentences more people to die than any other county in the U.S. A new report examines dozens of death penalty cases there.

A new podcast from Marfa Public Radio looks at the challenge of accessing reproductive care in the Big Bend region.

The season started out with great expectations, but now the San Antonio Spurs have lost a record 18 games in a row. What’s gone wrong, and can it be fixed?

Plus, the week in politics with the Texas Tribune’s Ayan Mittra.