Texas Standard for March 8, 2022

A Houston native and American basketball icon arrested and detained in Russia. What can the U.S. do to secure her release? We’ll have more on WNBA star Brittney Griner and concerns she’s being held as a political prisoner in Russia as western pressure over Ukraine swells. And: Decades after NASA’s big move to Texas, economist Ray Perryman sizes up the space industry’s multi-billion dollar trajectory. Also: The Rolling Pines Fire reconsidered: a report on what caused the most recent big fire near Bastrop, and what it could mean long term. Plus: The case for the face of the new right in Texas. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMarch 8, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

While Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, a famous Texas athlete languishes in a Russian jail

U.S. women’s basketball great – and Texan – Brittany Griner has been in Russian custody for nearly a month. Arrested at a Russian airport for possession of hashish oil, many questions surround the nature of Griner’s arrest. Richard Justice has been following the story for Texas Monthly and joins us today.

North Texans connect with Ukrainian friends and loved ones amid Russian invasion

Even as we keep up with the news from Ukraine, the steep increase in gas prices is the most direct impact of Russia’s invasion for many. But some Texans are hearing firsthand accounts of loved ones in Ukraine trying to survive the violence. KERA’s Bill Zeeble brings us some of those voices.

Harris County leaders will debate a measure to fire the elections administrator after primary night’s vote count debacle

Harris County Republican leaders are calling for the county to fire its elections administrator. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider says those calls follow long delays releasing the vote counts on election night – and the news that the administrator failed to tally some 10,000 mail-in ballots.

Space exploration is big and bright in Texas

The space race has been a part of the Texas mystique since the beginning. It’s also big business, responsible for millions of dollars and thousands of jobs, both public (NASA) and private (SpaceX, Blue Origin). Economist Ray Perryman of the Perryman Group has been running the numbers, and joins us to talk about space exploration’s financial impact on the Lone Star State.

New report examines how a prescribed burn in Bastrop raged out of control

An independent panel’s findings into why a prescribed burn got out of control and spread over 800-plus acres in Bastrop in January has been released by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The review, ordered by the Texas A&M Forest Service recommends changes to how the state park agency initiates its prescribed burns, a practice typically meant to prevent wildfires and promote conservation. Rodney Franklin, director of the TWPDs State Parks Division, joins us to talk about the findings.

Bug Lady

Wizzie Brown is a program specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and our go-to insect expert. Something bugging you? Drop us a line and we’ll pass it along.

An alternate universe comes to the Crow Museum of Asian Art

There’s a new collection at a Dallas museum that looks a little like giant toys. The Crow Collection of Asian Art features an entire world of brightly-colored creatures made of fabric and wood, vinyl and paint. Some are six feet tall, but they still look a bit like playthings. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports this fantasy world comes from an artist’s very real personal disruption.

Is Dan Crenshaw forging a ‘new right’ in Texas?

One week after the Texas primaries, analysis of the results are still coming in. The Fort Worth Star Telegram’s opinion page recently wrote “the GOP primaries seemed to be between the right and the far-right, reason and conspiracy, veterans vs. civilians.” The leader of this post-Trump “new right?” Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw. Star-Telegram opinion writer Nicole Russell joins us with her perspective.

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

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