News Roundup: Santa Fe Students Return To School, And More Secure Campuses

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 21, 2018 9:36 am

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

The new school year is underway in Santa Fe, Texas, and students will find a number of safety protocols in place. Since the mass shooting there in May which left 10 people dead and 13 injured, the school district has spent over $1 million in security upgrades, such as a more secure front lobby, more police officers, and panic buttons. Annette Holder plans to volunteer as a parent patrol at Santa Fe High. Holder told Houston Public Media she doesn’t want students or parents to feel complacent.

“Because being involved is what’s going to help us stay on our toes, and keep our kids feeling like they’re safe, and the ones that may have a tendency to not want to follow, toe the line, that they’re being watched more carefully,” Holder says.

The Santa Fe school district also plans to have mental health teams on campus throughout the year. State lawmakers have also recommended increasing mental health resources at Texas schools to increase safety on campuses statewide.

State lawmakers are meeting in Houston Monday to take stock of housing needs, nearly one year after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas.

Members of the Urban Affairs Committee of the Texas House will consider several issues, including the availability of affordable and low-income housing in areas affected by the storm.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a year since Hurricane Harvey,” said Committee Chair Carol Alvarado. “We know the devastation, we know the severity of it, we know the impacts that it left. Many families are still not in their homes but we’re going to shed a light on that today.”

Lawmakers will also consider how to rebuild communities in a way that will reduce future disaster-related damage.”

A state appeals court has temporarily blocked Austin’s new paid sick leave ordinance that requires private employers to provide this benefit to their workers. KUT’s Joseph Leahy reports.

The order on Friday allows for a lawsuit brought by several business groups against the ordinance to proceed. The Austin City Council passed the rules in February mandating up to eight paid sick days a year for workers starting October 1. The lawsuit filed in April on behalf of the Texas Association of Business, the National Federation of Independent Business and others claims the ordinance violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act. On Thursday, San Antonio became the second city in Texas to require the sick leave benefits.   In Austin, I’m Joseph Leahy.

Texan Simone Biles dominated all of the events at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships this weekend. In fact, she swept the entire competition, which wrapped in Boston Sunday night. She took home five gold medals – winning all four event titles and her fifth all-around title. Biles acknowledged her achievement on Twitter Monday.

Here’s her Floor Exercise on the first day of the national contest.

The Olympic gold medalist told NBC it was good to be competing again, after taking 14 months off after Rio.