The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
The U.S. Senate was scheduled to vote Monday on whether to fund the federal government. Republicans and Democrats ultimately voted to pass a short-term spending bill that would provide the federal government with enough funding to operate through February 8.
The U.S. House still needs to act and is expected to this afternoon. In the meantime, all non-essential services have halted during the shutdown. But unlike the shutdown in 2013, most national parks have remained open, including Big Bend National Park in west Texas.
Robert Alvarez, with Visit Big Bend, spoke with Marfa Public Radio. “You can drive in. You know there’s no one in the entrance station there, but you can drive the main roads. You can go all the way down Santa Elena Canyon. So really, it looks almost exactly the same,” Alvarez says.
He adds that while things may seem the same during the shutdown, tourists should be aware that visitor centers at the state’s 16 national parks will be closed and no new permits will be issued.
Thousands around the country and throughout Texas took to the streets this weekend for the second annual Women’s March. Events were held in places like Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and Brownsville. Courtney Collins with KERA News talked to marchers in Dallas on Saturday – where an estimated 7,000 people turned out – about how this year’s protest is a little different than the first.
Beverly Trousdale says last year the marchers were angry. This year, they’re determined. “I think this is more about getting out the vote. Doing something practical now. I mean, we yelled and screamed last year. We got the attention of the world last year,” Trousdale says. “So okay, now we have that attention – what are we going to do with it?” The signs on display in Dallas were as diverse as the crowd. Some disparaged President Trump, some affirmed climate change, and some demanded protection for immigrants.
Many touted strong women, both real-life and fictional, from Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton to Princess Leia and Hermione Granger. Katrina Adams brought her two daughters to the march hoping they’d learn a valuable lesson. “To stand up for what they believe in,” Adams says. “And if somebody’s being treated poorly, they need to step up and say it. Don’t just stand by the side and let it happen.”
Marchers a few blocks away were using their voices to protest abortion. They gathered and prayed before the Walk For Life. “Why are we injuring our fertility, why are we doing violence to our bodies and calling that empowerment? It doesn’t seem empowering to shut down my body’s natural capabilities,” said Bianca Temez-Buccino, who participated in the march. She says that apart from her stance on abortion, she has a lot in common with the women’s marchers. “I think us on kind of like the pro-life anti-abortion side are just as concerned about those things,” Temez-Buccino says. “Like equal pay, the rising number of sexual assault cases that are reported on the news.”
At both marches, every woman holding a sign was there for the same reason: to speak up. Women’s marcher Jannie Eddins says the unity was overwhelming. “I mean why would you want to be anywhere else?” Eddins says. “I mean you can feel the love, you can feel their energy.” This is history, she says, and she wanted to be a part of it.
A federal appeals court has put on hold for the time being a judge’s final order mandating sweeping changes to the state’s foster care system.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Texas a temporary stay late Friday. As promised, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed the final ruling from U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack. Jack found that despite the state’s “admirable” efforts to improve the system over the last two years, it still violated the constitutional rights of children in “Permanent Managing Conservatorship.” The stay was granted the same day Judge Janis Jack issued her final edict in the roughly seven-year-long class action lawsuit.