Texas Standard for February 18, 2022

A grand jury has indicted 19 Austin police officers in what appears to be one of the biggest indictments of a single police department in connection with the racial justice demonstrations of 2020. And: The week in politics with the Texas Tribune. These stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardFebruary 18, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, February 18, 2022.

19 Austin police officers indicted for excessive force during 2020 protests

During racial justice protests in 2020, after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, police used methods like tear gas and bean bag rounds to control crowds. But in Austin, some officers’ use of force may not have been legal. Yesterday a grand jury indicted 19 Austin police on charges related to the protests. Associated Press reporter Acacia Coronado joins us with more.

After 2021 winter storm, Fort Worth’s water system buckles down for future blackouts

The winter storm that knocked out power for millions of Texans last year also froze pipes. Many individual homes and apartments were affected, but in cities like Fort Worth, the storm wreaked havoc on the entire water system, further affecting hundreds of thousands of people. KERA’s Miranda Suarez reports Fort Worth’s water department is preparing for the future – but preparation has its limits.

Harris County wants the Justice Department to intervene in Texas’ mail-in ballot fiasco

Today is the last day to submit an application for a mail-in primary election ballot. Meanwhile, Texas has rejected thousands of mail-in ballots and mail-in ballot applications, citing the requirements in the state’s controversial new election law. Via Houston Public Media, Andrew Schneider says the state’s largest county is now asking the Biden administration to weigh in.

These Black and Latino students are guaranteed a spot in top Texas colleges, but many don’t take the offer

Texas high school students who graduate in the top 10% of their class are entitled by law to be admitted into one of the state’s public colleges or universities. Most students in this group pursue higher education – but not all of them. And the comparative few who don’t are disproportionately Black and Latino students. Valeria Olivares, higher education reporter for The Dallas Morning News, joins us with the story.

In Fort Worth, the only Black female opera company director in the US is bringing ‘outsiders’ in

When Afton Battle took over Fort Worth Opera as general director in late 2020, her challenge was daunting: transform the company, amid a pandemic. Two years later, KERA’s Jerome Weeks checks in on her effort to bring opera to the people.

‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ is revving back up on Netflix

“After nearly 50 years of hiding, Leatherface returns to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town.” That’s the premise of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot out today on Netflix. Director and Texas native David Blue Garcia joins us to talk about taking the reins of this storied franchise.

Typewriter Rodeo

The gang delivers another timely poem. Submit your own suggestions online!

The week in Texas politics

Texas Tribune political reporter James Barragán recaps some notable developments this week, including Attorney General Ken Paxton announcement of a $1.17 billion opioid settlement and another lawsuit against the Biden administration, plus the NAACP’s civil rights lawsuit against a North Texas school district.

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

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