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The state’s only sugar mill is closing. What’s next for sugar cane farmers?

New laws – one from Texas – to regulate platforms like Facebook and TikTok are getting Supreme Court scrutiny today, with potentially profound implications.
Years of drought have devastated sugar growers in South Texas – so much so that the state’s only sugar mill is closing.
Austin’s I-35, the spine of the region’s roadway grid, is about to undergo the largest expansion since the highway opened in 1962. Nathan Bernier joins with a drill down into what it means.
And: We’ll learn about a device that can help blind and low-vision people experience the eclipse.

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.

What can Texas teach California about dealing with homelessness?

As temperatures rise, so does gun violence. What does this mean for a Texas already struggling with climate change?

A new study on police response times in Texas’ biggest city and what it hints at for other departments elsewhere in the state.

Send in the clones – after Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, are any of the alternates gaining traction?

California doesn’t often turn to Texas for policy tips, but more and more lawmakers from the Golden State are taking a closer look at how Texas cities are handling homelessness.

And a new book on the sitcom’s role in shifting attitudes toward the LGBTQ community.

Astronaut Christina Koch on NASA’s upcoming Artemis 2 mission

Tensions are growing in Austin over the use of DPS officers to augment local police.

Facing resistance to a plan similar to school vouchers, an alteration getting attention at the state Capitol is focused on students with disabilities. Talia Richman of the Dallas Morning News Education Lab has more.

NASA’s plans to return to the moon: We’ll talk with Christina Koch, one of the astronauts assigned to the upcoming Artemis 2 mission.

And on this 4/20, a closer look at the complicated relationship between country music and Willie Nelson’s favorite way to kick back.

How the Farm Bill is about a lot more than farming

Another election day looming, another deadline to register to vote. We’ll look at what Texans need to know.

A court decision that could change rules involving gun laws and domestic violence.

They call it a farm bill, but it affects issues ranging from SNAP benefits to environmental regulations. A closer look at one of the most consequential items on Congress’ agenda.

That little blue badge on Twitter: what does it mean nowadays? Omar Gallaga with a reality check.

And as Texas lawmakers move to help with water issues for colonias, communities struggle with other mounting issues.

Stop It Melle Mel!

Confucius and Fresh discuss Melle Mel’s comments about Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. Then they debate whether or not best-of lists are an attempt to keep New York hip-hop relevant.

You’ll hear a special “What If?” version of Hip-Hop Facts where they ask what would have happened to Method Man’s debut album if RZA’s basement hadn’t flooded, what if Pimp C hadn’t gone to jail, and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Melle Mel was right that Kendrick Lamar being named as one of the greatest rappers of all time is a bit premature.

Confucius talks about how US music retail revenue is up, the House’s investigation of Twitter, Tucker Carlson’s real feelings about Donald Trump, and more in Confucius Reads the News.

 

 

 

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.

A giant tourism investment is coming to North Texas

A big announcement that could add up to a major boost for tourism and the economy of North Texas. Underscoring the explosion of population and business growth in the Lone Star State, the announcement of plans to build a Universal Theme Park in Frisco is generating excitement in some quarters and concerns in others. We’ll hear all about it. Also after supply chain disruptions and worse, why Laredo could be at the center of a shift in how U.S. companies do business. And talk of a federal ban on gas stoves ignites a political firestorm, and fresh concerns about the safety of a common appliance. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Nas, Clickbait, and Relevance

The fellas start with a two-parter inspired by 21 Savage’s recent comments on Nas; how much of it is embedded in clickbait culture and past that, what really is relevance in hip-hop?
Hip-Hop Facts covers a ton of chance connections: From Babyface, Whitney Houston, and Dr. Dre to Nas and DJ Envy, DJ Toomp and T.I. and yes, even Jay-Z and Gorillaz.
Kendrick fans may disagree with the Unpopular Opinion, but according to Fresh himself, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers basically came and went. Listen to all that plus reactions to the latest headlines from Donald Trump, Atlanta, Nancy Pelosi, Elon Musk, and more.

Texas Standard: November 17, 2022

Arbitrary and capricious- so says a federal judge ordering an end to COVID-19 related rapid expulsions at the border. We’ll look at what’s next for Title 42. Other stories we’re covering: an 800% spike in ER visits for young people facing mental health emergencies in Texas. Anna Bauman of the Houston Chronicle with more. And tens of thousands of Tech company layoffs in rapid succession. Our go-to Tech expert Omar Gallaga has been looking into the whys and what’s next. And concerns about an outbreak of canine influenza in Texas. What pet owners and caregivers should know those stories and much more coming up 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:

Rest in Power, Takeoff

In this relatively somber episode of The Breaks, Fresh and Confucius reflect on the untimely passing of Migos co-founder Takeoff. But a bigger, two-part discussion lies behind all the fond memories. What does this mean for the longevity of hip-hop artists and why are white people so quick to scapegoat the genre when tragedy strikes?

Hip Hop Facts fills you in on plenty of Migos trivia plus Paul Mooney’s role on In Living Color.

Just in time for Election Day, Fresh’s Unpopular Opinion pleads rappers to stay directly out of partisan politics…lookin’ at you, Killer Mike.

Lastly, Confucius Reads the News about Elon Musk’s Twitter changes, Drake & 21 Savage’s new collaboration, and the latest punches from Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice Roberts.

Texas Standard: October 18, 2022

Iranian made drones rain fire on Ukraines capitol of Kyiv, we’ll look at the significance and long term implications. Coming up a Texas A&M expert takes a closer look at Russia’s new round of drone attacks and the potential for further escalation in Ukraine. Also, Houston, we have a problem: a new report says several of the city’s suburbs are sinking. We’ll hear why and what can be done to stop it. And disinformation in Spanish speaking media sparks a demand from a coalition of Latino organizations is asking social media platforms to intervene. Plus seeking sterilization in a post Roe Texas. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

For the Love of Money

Inspired by Akademiks comments about certain rappers’ behavior at Michael Rubin’s white party,  Confucius and Fresh discuss hip-hop’s fascination with billionaires and crime lords. Then they talk about whether today’s rap lyrics are more dangerous than they were in the past.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about the beef between Cypress Hill and Ice Cube, whose flow Method Man copied on Biggie’s “The What,” how Disney tried to sign Dr. Dre,  and more.

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Tupac was a great writer, but not the best rapper.

Confucius talks about the death of James Caan, inflation and its impact on Kool-Aid, Twitter suing Elon Musk, and more.

 

 

Texas Standard: July 14, 2022

After confusing accounts over law enforcements response to the school shooting in Uvalde, the surveillance camera footage appears to offer clarity, but there’s been pushback over its publication.Tony Plohetski of the Austin American Statesman and KVUE joins us with more. And a new poll shows democratic challengers in the top 3 statewide races in Texas closing the gap on republican incumbents as election day approaches, just 5 points separating Governor Abbott and Beto O’Rourke. We’ll have the latest numbers plus much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 9, 2022

In the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting, wrenching testimony on Capitol Hill and questions about what comes next to protect school kids. We’ll have the latest. Also, what if anything Texas lawmakers might do to tighten gun regulations. And the fight for political control in South Texas this fall. But among democrats, fireworks and calls for recounts already in two close congressional runoff races. Also a new report on childcare deserts. And behind the scenes for primetime hearings on the January 6th insurrection. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

An Edit Button on Twitter

It’s not the biggest thing in the world. It may be the smallest — a misplaced letter, forgotten punctuation, clumsy thumbs. But it can obscure your message, change its meaning entirely, or just make you feel a little silly. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Tales of Jay-Z

Confucius and Fresh talk about how important Hot 97’s Summer Jam was to the culture in the pre-internet era, and discuss whether the West Coast has fully gotten its due as a rap coast.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about the first hip-hop record to go diamond, how Big KRIT’s “Glass House” came to be recorded in Austin, who Atlanta rapper Baby Tate’s mother is, and more!

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Chicago is not getting its due for the amount of influence that the city has had on the culture.

In Confucius Reads the News Confucius talks about Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter, Greg Abbott’s decision to bus migrants to Washington D.C., Patrick Beverly’s celebration at winning the 7th spot in the playoffs, and more.

 

 

Twitter

Social media can be an escape — a place to share wins and cat photos. It can also be a place where bullying runs rampant, misinformation is spread, and anxieties are stoked. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: March 11, 2021

Texas Governor Greg Abbott was once Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. What would the AG think of the Governor?? We’ll explore. Also, the stimulus package and how big Texans and little Texans could benefit from it. Plus ERCOT and the gray area in which it operates. It’s a non-profit but it looks like, works like and functions like a government agency. So why not comply with open records requests? And Twitter is 15 now and 15 year old girls in Texas should have a quinceañera. So we are throwing Twitter one. But we’re also asking is it time to start acting like a grown up? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard: