Texas Standard for March 15, 2022

The Texas National Guard has a new leader. Will that mean a new direction for its operation on the border? Operation Lone Star continues under new leadership – we dig into what’s next for the border security mission backed by Gov. Greg Abbott. And: Make sure to shake out your piggy bank; your nickels may be worth more than 5 cents, thanks to a shortage. Also: A decline in heritage tourism in Mexico – we’ll tell you why spring break hasn’t brought back the expats like it once did. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMarch 15, 2022 9:11 am,

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Operation Lone Star chief replaced

Gov. Greg Abbott has replaced Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris as head of the Texas Military Department. Norris led Operation Lone Star, the state’s military operation in South Texas, intended to deter migrants from crossing the border. Operation Lone Star has been plagued by issues related to pay for Texas National Guard members and poor living conditions. Several soldiers have died by suicide. Today, we’ll speak with Davis Winkie of the Army Times, who reported the story with colleagues from The Texas Tribune.

Police contracts in Houston, San Antonio renewed, using very different processes

Two major Texas cities agreed on new police union contracts recently. In San Antonio, the negotiations were live-streamed and the public could weigh in. But in Houston, the public didn’t even know negotiations were taking place. Houston Public Media has obtained a copy of the contract – although the city hasn’t released it to the public yet – and won’t say when it will be published. Houston Public Media’s Jen Rice joins us today.

SXSW: Ones to watch

South by Southwest is going on right now in Austin. It’s actually at least three festivals in one — and it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why it can be helpful to have a guide. Our sister station KUT-X in Austin has identified musicians they’re dubbing “Ones to Watch.” Jody Denberg introduces us to one of them.

Just what is ‘shrinkflation’?

You’ve heard about and experienced inflation, but what about “shrinkflation”? Think the number of chips in a bag or the size of a tube of toothpaste. Clarisa Diaz wrote all this for Quartz.com and joins the Texas Standard to explain.

Tourism in Mexico

Heritage Tourism, common for decades among Mexicans living in the United States, has been on the decline in recent years. Between the pandemic and fears of violence, more and more Mexican Americans are choosing not to visit, and it’s hurting the country’s economy. Especially during peak tourist times, like now – spring break for many. For more, we’re joined by Alfredo Corchado, he’s Mexico-Border correspondent for The Dallas Morning News.

The Sounds of Texas: David Zucker on ‘Your Friend, Memphis’

Fear of racism in military towns

New research shows that some military service members of color weigh their fear of racial discrimination heavily in making career decisions. The survey by the group Blue Star Families found that some troops are turning down duty assignments because they don’t want to move to certain bases or military towns. That can affect their career trajectory … along with America’s military readiness. Desiree D’iorio reports for the American Homefront Project.

Why are nickel prices so high right now?

Tomorrow, nickel trading is set to restart on the London Metal Exchange. In case you missed it – last week nickel prices blew up, more than doubling before the exchange shut down trading of the metal for six days. It was an extraordinary step for the 145-year-old metals market as Russia’s war on Ukraine continues to shake up commodities worldwide. What is going on — and why does it matter? We turn to Will Daniel, reporter for Fortune who has been following the story.

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

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