Texas Standard For June 30, 2021

To declare a disaster or to not declare a disaster? That is the question before counties along the border. The disaster declarations are part of a bigger plan from Gov. Greg Abbott that includes his wall –  we’ll talk about that in light of his visit to the border with former President Donald Trump. And: We’ll also look at how Abbott ending federal unemployment benefits also ends state benefits for some Texans. Also: Bastrop is growing – we’ll look at the plans for a new state-of-the-art film studio. Plus: Speaking of growth, Lubbock has a plan for its growth over the next 20 years. Will communities often forgotten be included this time? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 30, 2021 10:29 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

Border Counties Removed from Disaster Declaration

Texas is once again at the epicenter of a pretty big story that includes renewed talk for a border wall. Today, former President Donald Trump will be visiting parts of the border with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The combination of wall and fence at the border is meant as a deterrent, but it’s putting Texans at odds with one another. The governor is asking counties  to criminalize border crossers by issuing disaster declarations; the largest counties are refusing to do so, while places like Galveston – on the coast and far from the border – are going along. Sandra Sanchez, reporter for Nexstar Media’s Border Report, joins us from McAllen.

Abbott Border Wall Funding

Gov. Abbott has been touting a crowdsourcing effort to fund his latest push to build a border wall along the Texas-Mexico border. But he has also set aside $250 million from the state’s prison budget for a “down payment” on the wall – equivalent to one-tenth of the annual prison budget. Abbott could also divert federal COVID-19 relief money toward border wall construction. Todd Gillman, Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, has been writing about this.

Unemployment Benefits End

Unemployed workers in Texas can no longer get the extra $300 of federal money per week from pandemic unemployment benefits after Gov. Greg Abbott officially opted out of the federal program. As Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin reports, that means some people will also lose out on state benefits related to the pandemic.

PlanLubbock 2040, Part 1

PlanLubbock 2040 is the city’s road map for the future. It outlines how Lubbock can grow over the next two decades. But some community activists say the city’s plan also brings to light the harsh realities residents in the historically Black neighborhoods on Lubbock’s east side face. In a new season of Texas Tech Public Media’s multimedia series, “Beyond the Report,” Sarah Self-Walbrick looks at how the 2040 plan could affect neighborhoods that locals feel have been forgotten.

Bastrop Movie Lot

Bastrop may not immediately spring to mind as a premier film destination. But that could change thanks to Bastrop City Council recently approving a development deal with a California-based company with plans to build a 550-acre movie lot next to the Colorado River. We speak to Cameron Drummond about it, who’s been reporting on the development for the Bastrop Advertiser

Midland’s ‘Summer Mummers’

Midland actors recently returned to the stage to perform a show that some say is at the heart of the West Texas city’s culture: “Summer Mummers.” The annual event and fundraiser that’s performed every Friday and Saturday beginning in June and ending in September could not take place in front of live audiences last year due to COVID-19. But now, hundreds are turning out to see locals put on a show that lasts over three hours: it’s made up of a classic melodrama, dancing and a lot of bad jokes. Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden headed out to see the legendary show.

W.F. Strong: ‘Col. Robertson And The Ocean Side Highway’

In South Texas, the town of Boca Chica on the Gulf Coast is known for its beaches and bird-watching. But lately, it has become synonymous with space exploration. Its development got commentator W.F. Strong thinking about someone else who once had big plans for Boca Chica.

PolitiFact: US Rep. Rosendale On Juneteenth Act

U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale, a Republican from Montana, said that the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday is meant to replace Independence Day. Is that a fact? Brandon Mulder of PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman, examines the claim.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.

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