Texas Standard For July 26, 2021

As a new variant of COVID-19 takes hold in Texas, we’re learning about one of the deadliest places to be in Texas after the pandemic hit. After COVID-19 first gripped Texas, veterans homes overseen by George P. Bush suffered fatality rates of 25% or more, well above the statewide average for nursing homes. We’ll talk to one of the investigative reporters behind these new findings. And: The governor’s bid for reelection: two challengers so far, but how much of a contest is it shaping up to be? Also: An effort to turn back time at Fort Stockton’s Comanche Springs. Plus a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJuly 26, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, July 26, 2021.

COVID and State-Run Nursing Homes

New reporting by the Houston Chronicle and The Texas Tribune spotlights the deadly impact of COVID-19 in the state’s nursing homes, which at one time were hotspots for the spread of the virus. Seven of Texas’ nine state-run veterans homes had fatality rates of 25% – much higher than the statewide average of 11%. Jay Root, investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle, joins us with the story.

Governor’s Race

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking a third term in 2022. He’s currently facing two challengers in the Republican Party primary next March. But Andrew Schneider of Houston Public Media says that, for the moment, it’s Gov. Abbott’s race to lose.

Tiny Homes for Vets

There’s a movement afoot to build tiny homes for military veterans currently experiencing homelessness. The challenge for communities in Texas and elsewhere isn’t just building these smaller homes, but finding the land for them. Chris Haxel of the American Homefront Project has more.

Green Power Goals

Across the world, nations are doubling down on the push for renewable energy. Last week Japan announced it’s raising its 2030 green energy goals, aiming for 36 to 38% power via renewables. Earlier this month the European Union made a similar commitment. So where does the U.S. stand in its green power goals? For more we’re talking with Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.

Comanche Springs

It’s been 60 years since Fort Stockton’s Comanche Springs flowed year-round. That’s because Texas law allows farmers to pump as much water as they want out of aquifers. But a new group is looking at ways to keep water in the springs all year – including possibly paying farmers not to pump. Here to talk about the project is Abbie Perrault, managing editor of The Big Bend Sentinel.

The Sounds of Texas:  Adrienne Perlman on The Berlin Wall

San Pedro Creek Culture Park

Downtown San Antonio, perhaps most famous for its riverwalk, will soon have a colorful new addition. Muralists have been selected for the first part of San Antonio’s San Pedro Creek Culture Park. Jack Morgan of Texas Public Radio reports on the one-block stretch that promises to give downtown more art and more history.

Sixth District Congressional Race

A runoff election tomorrow will select the replacement for the only Texas member of Congress to die after testing positive for COVID-19. The sixth Congressional District stretches down from a chunk of Tarrant County in North Texas through Ellis and Navarro counties. As Miranda Suarez of KERA reports, the contest comes down to two Republicans  – and one of them is the widow of late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright.

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

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