Texas Standard for February 15, 2022

As early voters begin to cast primary ballots, Black Voters Matter activists draw attention to what they call a crisis of voter suppression. And: A snapshot of political sentiment as voters prepared to pick nominees for statewide offices. The results of a new UT-Texas Politics Project poll. Also: Student journalists report firsthand on the effects of the pandemic on Young Americans. Plus: A homecoming of sorts for one of Texas’ best-known rock and roll exports. Our conversation with Spoon frontman Britt Daniel on his band’s new release. Those stories and so much more today

By Texas StandardFebruary 15, 2022 9:40 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

After changes to Texas voting laws, activists launch Black Voters Matter campaign

Texans are already casting ballots for this March’s party primaries – the first election since the passage of sweeping changes to voting procedures. Those changes are being blamed for a wave of rejections of vote-by-mail applications. Houston Public Media’s Cory McGinnis reports activists with the Black Voters Matter group are traveling across Texas, fighting back against what they call a crisis of voter suppression.

New polling looks at Texas races, plus issues on voters’ minds 

With early voting underway, new polling from the University of Texas and the Texas Politics Project offers some insight into voters’ views. Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project, joins us with the findings.

A closer look at State Board of Education races 

From books in school to how teachers talk about race, education is a hot political topic. But despite the controversy, most voters aren’t paying much attention to the 15 State Board of Education races across Texas. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports takes a closer look.

Long lags in licensing are keeping new nurses out of hospitals 

The strain of COVID-19 has led to healthcare staffing shortages. But there’s another obstacle keeping Texas hospitals from being fully staffed: unusually long wait times for getting nursing licenses approved. An NPR investigation shows Texas has some of the slowest turnaround times in the country. As Texas Tech Public Media’s Jayme Lozano reports, that’s leaving some people stuck – and out of the workforce.

Students report on how the pandemic has upended school life

The new PBS Newshour special “Our New Normal: How Teens Are Redefining School Life” centers student reporting on how the pandemic’s changed education. Joining us to talk about it is Makayla Lambert, high school student journalist from Leander ISD.

Sitting down to talk ‘Lucifer on the Sofa’ with Spoon’s Britt Daniel 

Over decades, Austin-based band Spoon has earned a reputation for being one of the most consistently good rock bands going. Joining us to talk about their tenth album “Lucifer on the Sofa,” we’ll hear from frontman Britt Daniel.

Why Texas officials closed these oyster reefs indefinitely

Oyster harvesters are protesting a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department decision to close certain reefs to oyster gathering – a decision protestors say threatens their livelihood. Officials closed the reefs because surveys showed just a small population of oysters that were big enough to legally harvest. Jennifer Beseress-Pollack, chair for Coastal Conservation and Restoration at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute, joins with more.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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