Texas Standard For July 12, 2021

Hundreds of Texans descend on the Capitol for marathon weekend hearings on measures to overhaul Texas voting system. Republican lawmakers in Texas are poised to pass what many Democrats consider to be bills aimed at voter suppression. We’ll have the latest. And: Amarillo, once a bright spot in the fight to get Texans vaccinated against COVID-19, now near the bottom of the list among metros. What happened? And what comes next? Also: As a child, she was inspired by someone who looked like her on the TV show “Star Trek.” Now, she’s the new director of the Johnson Space Center. Her story and much more today on the Texas Standard:

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By Texas StandardJuly 12, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, July 12, 2021.

A Special Texas Lege Weekend

Texas House and Senate committees advanced new Republican-drafted elections bills after late-night hearings attended by more than 200 people that stretched all night and into the early morning hours. Taylor Goldenstein, state politics reporter with the Houston Chronicle, shares the latest.

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Across TX

The Amarillo area was an early bright spot in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner told us they were getting plenty of doses “and we will not turn anybody away.” Fast forward to today, and it looks like Amarillo’s early success hit a brick wall. When it comes to the percentage of the population vaccinated, Amarillo ranks 13th out of Texas’ 15 biggest metros. So what happened? Karen Brooks Harper wanted to find out. She co-reported the story for The Texas Tribune and joins us today.

CPAC Wrapup

Members of the conservative movement came to Dallas over the weekend to network and hear from political and media elites, including former President Donald Trump. KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports from the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Violence at Fort Hood

After the death of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén, an internal investigation found Fort Hood to be a place where women “vulnerable and preyed upon.” There have been an alarming number of deaths at the Texas base, and many under unclear circumstances. It’s the topic of an in-depth story for Vanity Fair by May Jeong, who joins us today.

Matt Smith on the Energy Industry

Johnson Space Center’s New Director

NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston has a new director. Vanessa Wyche has been a part at NASA for more than 30 years, rising through the ranks as an engineer and then an administrator. In her new role, she oversees 11,000 civil service employees and contractors working on human space flight missions. Director Wyche is also the first Black woman to lead a NASA center. We welcome Vanessa Wyche to the Standard today.

Back to Office

As the pandemic recedes, employees across the country are returning to the office. But after more than a year of remote work, many are reluctant to go back. Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin spoke to employees about what they are looking for in their post-pandemic work life and how employers can strike the right balance.

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

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