Jill Ament | KERA News

Jill Ament

From Texas Standard:

In February, 12-year-old Linda Rogers died when her home in Northwest Dallas exploded as she was getting ready for school. A preliminary report cited a crack in a natural gas line.

An investigation by the Dallas Morning News finds that, since 2006, more than two dozen homes across  North and Central Texas have been destroyed or damaged because of natural gas leaking from Atmos Energy's aging system. Nine people have died. At least 22 others have been injured.

From Texas Standard:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that the Rebuild Texas Fund reported the amount of recovery money Nueces County, where Port Aransas is located, has received. The reporting agency is called the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas.

City leaders say Hurricane Harvey damaged 100 percent of Port Aransas' businesses and 85 percent of the beach community's homes.

From Texas Standard:

Political pundits, pollsters and activists have been saying for a while that the 2018 midterm elections are likely to result in some upheaval in the ranks of incumbent officeholders. Already, in special elections in other states, Democrats have run strong in reliably Republican areas, and here at home, one senator, and several members of Congress face enthusiastic opposition. But statewide officeholders – Republicans Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller – face somewhat easier paths to reelection. Still, Democrats are campaigning aggressively.

From Texas Standard.

In early January 2017, a fire allegedly started by Mark Vincent Perez burned a mosque in Victoria to the ground. Since then, the community has remained quiet about the motivations for this act of arson. As the case goes to trial, details are finally coming out, one witness at a time.

From Texas Standard.

Texas is facing lawsuits over some of its abortion laws, including House Bill 2, which restricts access to abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires abortion clinics to maintain the same medical facilities as hospitals. The state is also being sued over the Fetal Burial Law, which requires clinics to bury remains from abortions and miscarriages.

From Texas Standard.

In a backlash against the president’s immigration policies, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, are now echoing calls from some Democratic Socialists and other progressives that ICE should be dissolved. The Texas Observer first reported this story, picked up today by The New York Times.

From Texas Standard.

Still celebrating its advance in the World Cup this week, Mexico is headed into another emotional weekend as the much anticipated presidential election gets underway.

From Texas Standard.

South Texas is ground zero for a fight to end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Trump administration has tried to end it, but twice, courts have ruled that the administration can’t do that. Now DACA opponents are trying a different legal maneuver – Texas and six other states have sued the federal government. The Trump Justice Department’s not putting up a fight, which could mean the end of DACA.

From Texas Standard.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 on Monday that it was OK for Ohio to remove people from voter registration rolls if those voters skip a few elections and then fail to respond to a notice from election officials. Ohio claimed this was necessary for the proper upkeep of voter registration lists and to prevent voter fraud.

Republicans have been pushing for such restrictions without much actual evidence of fraud, while Democrats have often seen such moves as attempts to suppress voting. What does the ruling mean for Texas?

From Texas Standard.

Headlines of the past few days have heralded the potential consequences of the impending decision by a federal district judge on whether Texas-based AT&T can merge with Time Warner. Business writers say the decision will determine whether old-line media companies will have the tools to compete with tech and entertainment companies in the future, or whether those media companies will lose out, as tech giants and makers of entertainment go around the older firms to sell to viewers. And entertainment consumers will be affected too, if fewer companies consolidate to control both the means of accessing content, and the content itself.

From Texas Standard.

Four years later, the disappearance of 43 Mexican college students is still a mystery. A government inquiry was inconclusive – and it turned into an international scandal after it came to light that some people were tortured to make confessions.

From Texas Standard.

In efforts to avoid strict state sanctions, Houston ISD, San Antonio ISD and Waco ISD are all school districts that have recently either considered or adopted plans to consolidate several of their consistently failing public schools into charter school partnerships.

From Texas Standard.

Texas has been fighting to keep a secret for years now – the name of the pharmacy that supplies its execution drugs. But late last week, after a lengthy court battle, the state Supreme Court refused to grant an appeal of a lower court ruling that the state must reveal where it gets these drugs.

From Texas Standard.

Amid allegations of physical and sexual abuse of minors in the state’s juvenile lockups, the scandal-rocked Texas Juvenile Justice Department has had a massive leadership shakeup in recent months. Gov. Greg Abbott has demanded to see an action plan to address how kids at state lockups are treated – and now the head of the Juvenile Justice Department has submitted one.

From Texas Standard.

In an effort to control its borders, the U.S. has been unequivocal in declaring what will happen to those who illegally immigrate to the U.S. with underage kids in tow – you may be be separated from your kids. It’s supposed to be a deterrent. In the past, parents with children were not routinely prosecuted for illegally crossing the border. But that’s changed, and now kids are being separated from their parents.

From Texas Standard.

Following the May 18 mass shooting at Santa Fe High School – and the Sutherland Springs church shooting in November, and the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida – Gov. Greg Abbott convened roundtable discussions about gun violence at the Capitol this week.

From Texas Standard.

Sunday will mark the second presidential debate for candidates vying to be the next political leader of Mexico. The debate will be televised and take place in the border city of Tijuana.

From Texas Standard.

Some people are convinced that hypnosis is real: they’ve seen it done, they’ve experienced being hypnotized. But is it science? Is it so reliable that we should be able to use it to help make life or death decisions? Two death row inmates have had their sentences delayed as they make the case that they were convicted on the basis of evidence obtained through hypnosis. They say – and other states would agree – that amounts to junk science.

From Texas Standard.

Lupe Valdez and Andrew White, the Democrats vying for a chance to face Gov. Greg Abbott in November, are preparing for their only debate of the primary campaign, to be held Friday in Austin. It won’t be broadcast, but will be livestreamed by KXAN-TV in Austin. And the Republican incumbent isn’t waiting around to see who will win the May 22 runoff. Abbott has released a campaign ad calling Valdez “too liberal for Texas.”

From Texas Standard:

The just-released Quinnipiac University survey of some 1,029 registered Texas voters says incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz can count on 47 percent of the vote, while Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke has 44 percent. That 3-point lead for Cruz makes this race too close to call, with an election looming in November.

From Texas Standard.

For anyone who’s spent much time online, snark and nasty comments seem to come with the territory, but for women journalists, is it also part of the job? In a new cross-cultural study, 75 women journalists reported attacks they’ve experienced ranging from misogynistic comments to sexual violence – and they say it influences how they go about their reporting.

From Texas Standard.

Facing potential new tariffs with China, some Texas agricultural producers say they’re concerned about extra taxes on the products they ship to China. But the state’s Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller says most Texas producers won’t be affected.

From Texas Standard.

Texas is re-upping a request to “opt in” to a federal law that would speed up the execution appeals process in the state, potentially leading to quicker executions.

From Texas Standard.

In Texas, where the weather is no laughing matter, it’s not an exaggeration to say storms are wreaking havoc in many parts of the state.

On Thursday, tornadoes touched down near Rockport and Refugio. KUT Ausin’s Jimmy Maas says at least three Texas communities recovering from Harvey – Holiday Beach, Seadrift, and Woodsboro – are once again picking up the pieces.

From Texas Standard.

You can squeeze a lot into a spending proposal that’s 2,200 pages long and $1.3 trillion deep. But if you look at the fine print in the spending deal passed by Congress and signed by the president late Friday, you may notice something big in there when it comes to Texas – $1.6 billion in new border security infrastructure.

From Texas Standard.

A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reveals something about Hurricane Harvey recovery that officials aren’t talking about – massive petrochemical contamination, a toxic impact of the storm that’s far more widespread than previously suspected.

From Texas Standard.

A gas explosion in Dallas killed a 12-year-old girl last month and prompted the evacuation of a northwest neighborhood of close to 3,000 people.

From Texas Standard.

In the middle of all of the hype surrounding South By Southwest, the European ambassador to the U.S. has landed in the Texas capitol city.

Ambassador David O’ Sullivan is representing the EU at SXSW’s Cities Summit.

From Texas Standard.

In the 2016 presidential election, evangelical voters were some of President Donald Trump’s most stalwart supporters. But new data from the Pew Research Center indicates that his support among white evangelical women has dropped about 13 percentage points, to 60 percent, compared with about a year ago.

From Texas Standard.

There’s not much more politicking left in the 2018 Texas primary elections. The mailers have been sent, the town halls have been held, the donations have been deposited. There’s not much left to do but wait for the returns – and vote on Tuesday, if you haven’t yet. You can be sure that political journalists across Texas are already writing outlines for Wednesday’s news, gaming out possible outcomes and wondering about what it all means.

Pages