News Roundup: Census Bureau Starting Fieldwork For 2020 Count In Texas

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartAugust 19, 2019 12:40 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Field work for the 2020 census is underway in Texas. Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin reports that the agency is starting a major operation Monday for the population count:

The U.S. Census Bureau is sending people door to door to verify addresses. It’s in addition to the new use of satellite technology, which identifies new housing developments throughout the United States.

Dierdre Dalpiaz Bishop is the Census Bureau’s geography division chief. She says they’re also using information from local, state and tribal governments.

“For 65% of the addresses, we’ve been able to indicate stability. Things are looking good. But for the 35% where we’re not sure, we need to send people out into the field to validate.”

Canvassing will go on until October. Once all addresses are validated, the Census Bureau will mail out invitations asking people to respond to the census.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is recovering after a heart procedure.

Patrick’s press secretary, Alejandro Garcia, said in a statement that chest pains began late Thursday after Patrick returned to Houston from a tour, touting the state’s new school accountability system

His wife, Jan, took him to Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital where doctors found a blockage in Patrick’s heart and inserted a stent.

Garcia says that Patrick is “feeling great” and expects to return to work later this week.

Modern DNA testing kits have recently helped people determine their ethnic makeup, find notable ancestors and even helped police find the elusive Golden State Killer.

For one Texas man, a testing kit helped him find his long-lost twin.

Jim Lawless received a DNA test for Father’s day, and it revealed a surprising result: he had a sister, living in Kentucky.

“I was told growing up that I had a sister, but I thought she had died,” Lawless says.

Lawless and his sister, Tracy Walton, had been separated for over half a century when he recently boarded a plane in Houston to fly to Kentucky to meet her.

Walton told eastern Kentucky CBS affiliate WYMT she knew that she had a twin, but she never knew if she would find him.

“I had been looking for him for years. And because he went in and did the DNA test we could finally hook up,” she said.

And finding out that she still had living relatives was a shock.

“I had just told my husband two weeks before that, I didn’t have any family anymore, they were all gone … but here he is,” she said.

Walton told WYMT that she and her husband are now planning a trip to Houston to visit Lawless soon.

A high school basketball jersey believed to have been worn by former president Barack Obama fetched $120,000 last weekend at a Dallas auction.

Peter Noble, the jersey’s seller, said he went to high school in Honolulu with Obama.

He says a portion of the sale will go to the school.