Wildfire

Are unlicensed teachers affecting student performance in Texas?

After the worst-ever wildfire disaster for Texas agriculture, there’s now an effort to help ranchers who lost large numbers of pregnant cows.
A year after the mall shooting in Allen, what the data reveals about gun violence there more broadly.
A new report documents how unlicensed teachers are becoming fixtures in many Texas schools.
Organizers of the Texas Eclipse Festival in Burnet County are now offering partial refunds to attendees because the event ended a day early.
Also, just how smart is artificial intelligence getting? Commentator W.F. Strong tried a little experiment.

Is Tesla running out of power?

Twisters up north, flooding to the east, wildfire dangers out in the far west and a forecast that won’t let up… yet. Boat rescues reported in central east Texas and many road closures as riverbanks swell from the rain. Meteorologist Eric Berger with the latest and what to expect.
On the heels of layoffs in April, the state’s wealthiest resident moves to make deeper cuts at the nation’s top EV maker. A tipping point for Tesla?
An update on what Travis County officials describe as the worst outbreak of opioid overdoses in years.
Plus, a preview of a new podcast exploring the state’s takeover of the Texas’ biggest school district.

Xcel Energy target of multiple lawsuits after Smokehouse Creek Fire

A pilot program for guaranteed income in Harris County is put on hold by the Texas Supreme Court.
Could residents of Corpus Christi become the first in the state to drink treated seawater from the tap? Some say a desalination plan’s needed to meet growing water demand, but many locals say the downsides are too serious to swallow.
The northern Panhandle is recovering from the devastation brought by the Smokehouse Creek Fire, caused by a downed electric pole belonging to Xcel Energy. Now, Xcel is the target of multiple lawsuits from people who lost assets during the blaze.
Also, efforts to get people living in flood zones out of harm’s way – could Harris County’s approach teach the federal government a thing or two?

Texas Eclipse Festival attendees with disabilities describe treacherous conditions

Landowners in southeast Texas say they should be able to sue the state over their flooded property, and the U.S. Supreme Court agrees. People in Winnie, Texas, say their land only started to flood after the state rebuilt part of nearby Interstate 10. Now, they can seek compensation for the damages.
Live music seems more expensive, but are musicians getting paid more? Not really. We’ll talk to someone trying to change that.
And the attorney general crusades against a media outlet on behalf of Elon Musk.

Questions over how to remember an East Texas manhunt

SpaceX successfully conducted a test launch of its massive Starship rocket from its Starbase facility in Boca Chica this morning. We’ll hear from Gaige Davila of Texas Public Radio live from Brownsville.
The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to ban TikTok, citing security concerns related to the Chinese-owned platform’s control of Americans’ data. The Standard’s Shelly Brisbin has been following the story, including where Texans in Congress stand.
And: Why a courthouse renovation is East Texas is dividing a community.

State approves Boca Chica State Park land swap with SpaceX

A Texas electricity company acknowledges its role in the largest wildfire in state history, a Panhandle blaze still only partially contained. We’ll hear more from the Texas A&M Forest Service.
Despite objections from Brownsville and Rio Grande Valley residents, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department voted to move forward with a plan to swap land within Boca Chica State Park to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Tech expert Omar Gallaga has an update on the Facebook/Meta outages shutting down services for many on Super Tuesday.
And: Actor Thomas Haden Church on his latest film, “Accidental Texan,” a title that also describes his journey to the state.

UTEP scientists spot bird not seen in decades

A unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court reverses a challenge to Donald Trump’s eligibility to remain on primary ballots, just ahead of Super Tuesday.

The Texas Newsroom’s Rachel Osier Lindley shares an update on wildfires in the Texas Panhandle, where the biggest blaze in state history is only 15% contained.

We’ll have more on some key races to watch, from Abilene to Dallas County, as Texans prepare to go to the polls tomorrow.

And: The yellow-crested helmetshrike, a bird long feared extinct, was discovered by a team of scientists from the University of Texas at El Paso on an expedition to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The latest on the Smokehouse Creek Fire in the Panhandle

The Smokehouse Creek Fire in the Panhandle, already the second biggest wildfire in Texas history, is so far 0% contained. We’ll talk with an evacuee and officials with the Texas A&M Forest Service to get the latest.
With increasingly unpredictable rainfall and extended droughts, you may be thinking about what to plant to survive our new weather reality. The Standard’s Alexandra Hart has ways you can cut water use without letting your lawn die.
Plus: Director Richard Linklater and filmmaker Alex Stapleton on the new HBO three-part series based on Lawrence Wright’s recent book “God Save Texas.”

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.

KUT Morning Newscast for August 22 2023

Central Texas top stories for August 22 2023. Wildfire near Luling. CapMetro feedback. Hays County Database. Hutto Stage 3 Water Restrictions. Kids Fostering Seniors.  

Tours from Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are big for local economies

COVID cases in Texas rise by almost 25% in a week as concerns mount over a new variant. Although the vast majority of Texans have given up masks and social distancing, health officials say they’re still important tools as cases pick up and students return to the classroom. Dr. Catherine Troisi of UTHealth Houston joins us with an update.

Young plaintiffs in Montana score a high-profile victory in a fight to force their home state to take climate change more seriously. Could a similar approach work in Texas?

And: Tours from Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are generating huge spending on everything from concert tickets and merch to spillover effects on travel, clothing and more.

KUT Morning Newscast for August 16, 2023

Central Texas top stories for August 16, 2023. Budget process begins for Austin. Amaze wildfire spreads near Smithville. New film studio to open in San Marcos

San Antonio nonprofit forges community for veterans through knife-making

An increasing border presence by state troopers has led to a rise in police chases ending in crashes in El Paso.

A once-pregnant prison guard who says she was told she couldn’t leave her shift as she was experiencing contraction-like pains is now suing over the death of her child. Texas Tribune reporter Jolie McCullough joins with more.

In the wake of a San Antonio police shooting of a woman with mental health issues and an investigation of officers involved, questions remain about how well the department polices itself.

And a San Antonio nonprofit, Reforged, helps veterans forge ahead through knife-making classes and a peer-support group.

How to prepare and stay safe amid high wildfire danger

With low humidity and winds picking up across Texas, a growing wildfire threat has prompted officials to raise the state’s preparedness level. What should Texans be doing to prepare for the danger of wildfires?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is facing not one but two Democrats with considerable name recognition as he prepares to try to retain his Senate seat.

A conversation with Ire’ne Lara Silva, Texas’ poet laureate.

And there are growing concerns about artificial intelligence in Zoom amid recent changes to the app’s terms of service.

KUT Morning Newscast for August 4, 2023

Central Texas top stories for August 4, 2023. How heat can affect medications. CapMetro opens new money saving service. Updates on Central Texas wildfires

As Texas leads the nation in ‘family annihilation’ cases, what can be done?

Ken Paxton, the impeached attorney general, is headed for a Houston courtroom today on his 2015 securities fraud charges.

An update on wildfires across the state as firefighters brace for another tough day of heat and wind. We’ll hear where the fire threat is greatest and what to do to prepare.

Since 2020, Texas has emerged as the epicenter of “family annihilation” cases, in which someone kills at least two kinds of family members.

A new documentary traces the careers of two of Texas’ most famous musical siblings: Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

And commentator WF Strong on what “Lonesome Dove “got right and wrong.

KUT Morning Newscast for August 2, 2023

Central Texas top stories for August 2, 2023. Red flag warning issued for Central Texas. Fire at Bastrop State Park burns 100 acres. July the hottest on record.

Feral hogs are a big problem in Houston

It’s spring in Texas, and that means tornadoes. We’ll find out what’s expected this season.

A federal judge has ordered banned books be put back on the shelves in Llano County.

The CBP One App is a lifeline for migrants stuck on the border seeking an appointment to apply for asylum. But many simply cannot connect.

A new hybrid school in Dallas teaches kids remotely part of the week and in person the rest.

And feral hogs are a growing problem across the state – one place they’ve caused trouble recently is Harris County.