News

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Texas House added a potential wrinkle to Gov. Greg Abbott's special session agenda on Thursday, giving early approval to a bill that would allow property owners to plant new trees to offset municipal fees for tree removal on their land.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Police Department is weighing what to do with its fleet of 400 Ford Explorer SUVs amid concerns of carbon monoxide leaking into the cabins.

Dan Patrick's Day Off

10 hours ago

From Texas Standard:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants Texans to know that the Texas Senate is making history. Patrick says the chamber's passage of 18 bills in the first seven days of the current special session represents a record pace for either chamber of the Legislature, in either a regular or special session.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House has given early approval to a bill requiring physicians and health care facilities to report more details on abortions complications to the state — and fine those that do not comply.

Tim Park for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Wednesday gave tentative approval to a measure that pre-empts local ordinances on drivers’ mobile phone usage, effectively rolling back safety laws in the 45 Texas cities where local governments enforce stricter regulations than the state. 

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

The first documented locally acquired case of Zika in the continental U.S this year has been detected in Hidalgo County, at the southern tip of Texas. There's no indication this is the start of a large-scale outbreak.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said a person who lives in Hidalgo County, which borders Mexico, tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.

In the new play TWENTYEIGHT, "six people ... come from different cities all over the country to this place called Settlement 40 where they build a space shuttle that's going to take them to a place called the Liberian Space Station, which was marketed to black families as a seperatist utopia," explains playwright Tyler English-Beckwith. "And [it's] set to the music of Kanye West."

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

From Texas Standard:

Texas A&M–Corpus Christi is going from the Gulf Stream to the TV screen.

The coastal university will be featured on the  "Shark Week" television series Wednesday, displaying artificial reefs for the Gulf Coast that are designed to attract wildlife in areas where the ocean floor is largely made up of mud or sand.

Terry Ross/Flickr CC (BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Mayors from across the state headed to Austin on Wednesday to meet with Gov. Greg Abbott over concerns about efforts to pass measures that would replace local laws and regulations with statewide ones. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Texas women would have to pay a separate health insurance premium to get coverage for non-emergency abortions under a bill tentatively passed by the Texas Senate on Wednesday.

State Sen. Brandon Creighton, the Conroe Republican who is the lead author of the bill, said opponents of abortion should not be forced to pay for the procedure through their insurance plans and employers should be able to choose whether to include abortions in their health coverage.

Elvert Barnes/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In a series of blockbuster tweets this morning, President Donald trump wrote that transgender individuals won’t be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A Houston lawmaker is trying to get the Legislature to reverse cuts to a Medicaid program that pays for therapy for children with development delays – despite it not being on the official agenda for the special session.

One of the most profound events in Michigan's history is the Detroit riot of 1967. I was 16 years old on that day in July. My brother and I were on our way to visit our cousins three blocks from where the riot began.

Detroit, like many urban areas in the 1960s, was a place of racial tension and social unrest. The African-American community had trouble finding jobs and housing, and faced harassment from Detroit’s police force, which was 95 percent white.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

During a recent committee hearing on a property tax bill, a state lawmaker made an unusual comment: He praised Travis County.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

As part of Republican efforts to revive the controversial "bathroom bill," the Texas Senate on Tuesday gave approval to another version of the legislation.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., returned to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday after a brain cancer diagnosis to help Republican leadership begin debate on health care.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Legislature’s 30-day special session is moving through an ambitious agenda at a rapid-fire pace, at least in the Senate.

Hamza Butt/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington are taking on the fake news of the world.

The project, aptly named “Bot versus Bot: Automated Detection of Fake News Bots,” will develop tools to detect online social bots that create and spread fake news.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Law enforcement officials from across the state spoke out today at the Texas Capitol against proposed legislation that would restrict bathroom access to transgender people. Senate Bill 3, known as the “bathroom bill,” would restrict access to restrooms in government buildings to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.

Chiefs and other high-ranking law enforcement officers were uniform in their condemnation of the bill, which is a priority item during the special legislative session.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUTX

People love to wax nostalgic about the Austin of decades past. The rents were cheaper, the traffic was lighter, the music was live-r. Some of that talk may be history viewed through rose-colored glasses, but there is at least one metric by which Austin was, literally, cooler: the temperature.

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