Senate

What does the MLS referee lockout mean for the 2024 soccer season?

In a closely watched primary battle near the top of the statewide ballot, we’ll have more on the showdown between two Democrats with considerable name recognition hoping for a chance to take on Ted Cruz in the fall.
A question about Texas seceding from the U.S. was kept off the GOP primary ballot – but it was the closest the Texas Nationalist Movement has come to putting the so-called “Texit” up for a vote in its nearly two decades of trying.
Major League Soccer referees have been locked out ahead of the start of the 2024 season, after Professional Soccer Referees Association union members voted against a bargaining agreement.
And we’ll meet Jon Muq, a Texas-based artist bringing the sounds of his native Uganda to American music.

Is high school football on the decline in Texas?

A conversation with state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a self-described progressive Democrat who’s running to challenge Ted Cruz for his U.S. Senate seat.

Three years after the big freeze that plunged most of Texas into darkness, a new bill aims to connect the state to neighboring electric grids. Mose Buchele of KUT in Austin has more.

A big change for the Texas STAAR tests: student essays graded by computer. How does that work, and how fair is it?

And: Is football still king in Texas? A Washington Post analysis looks at the sport’s rise and fall across the country.

Is the industry ready for Beyoncé’s country music album?

As Texans prepare to cast their first ballots in 2024, a conversation with Colin Allred, one of the top Democratic challengers for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Ted Cruz.

Lubbock throws the switch to join Texas’ open electricity marketplace – for better, and some fear, for worse.

A new ‘queen’ of country music? Houston-born Beyoncé generates buzz with a stylistic shift.

Also: Commentator WF Strong on a notorious Texas partnership in crime, and a love story at the heart of it.

Why the U.S. Senate’s immigration bill may be ‘dead on arrival’

Supporters say it’s the most significant bill on immigration in a generation, while opponents call it dead on arrival. Liz Goodwin of the Washington Post breaks down the provisions of the Senate’s $118 billion immigration and foreign aid bill: what’s in it and why the prognosis for passage isn’t good.

New insight on how Texas Republicans are leaning and the effect of endorsements as Texans prepare to cast primary ballots.

Houston halts commercial and residential development in a part of the city designated as a cancer cluster.

Also, a new facet in the hunt for Texas blue topaz, and rockhounds aren’t happy.

A report from Eagle Pass after a weekend of immigration protest

A bipartisan bill to address border security: one that mandates that President Biden shut down the border. David Martin Davies with more on the Senate bill on immigration and border security and an update on border protests over the weekend.

What appears to be the first human brain chip implant by Elon Musk’s Neuralink is raising concerns about safety, consent, and transparency. We’ll hear from a medical ethicist who’s been studying the implications.

In El Paso, a new exhibit that highlights a surprising relationship between humans and ducks.

And the thousandth PolitiFact check of Donald Trump – what the numbers say.

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.

Drilling down on the state takeover of Houston schools

Today, the Standard debuts “The Drill Down,” a new segment highlighting enterprise journalism from our partners across Texas. Today we’ll hear from Dominic Anthony Walsh of Houston Public Media on where things stand more than six months into the state’s takeover of the Houston Independent School District.

Democrats challenging Ted Cruz for his seat in the U.S. Senate debate for what may be the only time before the primaries. Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of The Texas Newsroom shares more.

And: A 90-year-old program designed to help blind or visually impaired people find jobs is losing participants, with many leaving because they can’t make a living.

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 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.

What are the most haunted places in Texas?

With the U.S. House of Representatives still without a leader, two Texans drop out of the race for the speakership. What happens next?

The White House is launching a new program for Ecuadorians who are trying to migrate to the U.S. We’ll have details on the change is and why it’s happening.

Miles and miles of Texas are usually traversed by car – but one writer says the train is the ultimate way to go.

Also, with Halloween on the horizon, we have the backstory on some of the spookiest places to visit in Texas.

How a Texas constitutional amendment would aid childcare centers

With the House of Representatives on hold in the absence of a speaker, a possible vote today could be a turning point.

Texas voters are about to face a big decision: a constitutional amendment aimed at boosting the availability of child care options. Lina Ruiz of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tells us more.

Two games in for the Astros and Rangers, what’s Major League Baseball’s first All-Texas league championship looking like?

More than 100 homes and businesses are on the fast track to demolition as the state moves to expand a portion Interstate 35.

Ken Paxton survived his impeachment trial. What’s next?

Ken Paxton has been acquitted on all impeachment charges by a jury of the Texas Senate. Supporters of the newly-reinstalled attorney general say it’s a victory for the rule of law and the constitution. Opponents called it a sham. It underscores a huge rift in the Republican Party of Texas almost certain to have echoes in the 2024 presidential race. We’ll have analysis of the historic trial and the Saturday vote.

More on the huge UAW labor action, and how Texas could be directly affected.

And we’ll go into the ring with the director of the new film “Cassandro.”

A budding pipeline fight highlights activists’ changing tactics

What does the first day of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s historic impeachment trial tell us about what remains ahead? The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán joins us from the Capitol with a recap.

We’ll hear the latest on a new fight over a natural gas pipeline in West Texas – and how new strategies by opponents of such development are getting traction.

Among the new laws now in effect in Texas is a requirement for those who want to run for county sheriff.

The sister of Botham Jean, who was killed in Dallas five years ago, has written a new memoir, “After Botham: Healing from my Brother’s Murder by a Police Officer.”

Plus an update on wildfire dangers statewide.

Japanese snow monkeys thrive in South Texas scrub

Voters will ultimately get the final say on the new property tax cuts passed by the Texas Legislature. What’s in it for them, and what’s missing?

The investigation of a Texas A&M professor raises new questions about political pressure on campus coming from very high places.

U.S. military academies make way for a big change: allowing cadets to be parents.

Japanese snow monkeys were brought to Texas for research 50 years ago – and a journalist was driven to find out whatever happened to them.

2024 Senate race comes into focus as Gutierrez announces candidacy

In a second special session, Texas House and Senate leaders reach a deal on property tax relief. What does it add up to?

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, making him the second high-profile Democrat – along with Rep. Colin Allred – to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz.

How Texas has become a ground zero for self-driving trucks, with word that driverless semi runs between Dallas and Houston could become a regular thing as soon as next year.

We’ll get the rundown on a legal battle between a group of nuns and a bishop in North Texas.

And a quick cooldown at a Texas ice house.

KUT Morning Newscast for July 10, 2023

Central Texas top stories for July 10, 2023. Heat advisory returns for Central Texas. A new challenger for Ted Cruz’s senate seat. Cooling centers open across Austin. Public safety commission meets.

New law will allow chaplains in Texas public schools

The Supreme Court just struck down two race-based university admissions programs. What does it mean for Texas?

Even though Texas lawmakers knew federal money was on the way for expanding high-speed Internet access across the state, they decided to also implement their own program. A look at why.

A new podcast takes a deep dive into the decisions that have made Austin such an expensive place to live – and one where people of color were systematically pushed out.

And a new Texas law set to go into effect will allow public schools to have volunteer chaplains or even to hire them as part of the staff. We’ll hear the argument against the law.

As one special session ends, the next one begins

Has the Texas border become like the Iowa State Fair, a mandatory stop for Republican presidential candidates?

It’s a long, hot summer for Texas lawmakers as the governor calls another special session, focusing solely on property taxes.

Rethink35, the organization questioning another expansion of the interstate highway that cuts through Austin, has given up its legal battle – at least for now. Why other cities in Texas
are watching closely.

Also, how Muslims in Texas are celebrating a holiday often referred to as Big Eid.

KUT Morning Newscast for June 28, 2023

Central Texas top stories for June 28, 2023. Governor Greg Abbot calls another special session. New Ombuds office for Austin ISD.  Remote marriage licenses in Hays County.

Everything you always wanted to know about the Texas energy grid

Texas senators met yesterday to talk about two divisive issues: property taxes and the impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton. So where do things stand?

Can Texas’ power grid withstand the heat? We’ll get detailed on supply and demand.

A new book from journalist Dan Solomon, ‘The Fight for Midnight,’ reimagines Wendy Davis’ 2013 abortion filibuster as YA fiction.

And a new law protecting trap-neuter-release programs for cats will soon go into effect – but some say there’s a problem no one considered.