Texas Standard For May 11, 2021

Greg Abbott has a challenger in 2022’s gubernatorial race. And no, his name’s not O’Rourke or McConaughey. A former state senator and prominent North Texas businessman is running for governor to the right of Greg Abbott. We’ll talk about Don Huffines’ bid for the top spot in Texas government. And: The latest in our project tracking vaccinations across the Lone Star State, the Texan reaching out to the reluctant. Also: Last fall’s Texas school reopenings blamed for more than 40,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 800 deaths. What are the lessons from the data, and what about this fall? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 11, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

Huffines’ Gubernatorial Bid and Trump’s Influence

Dallas-area businessman Don Huffines served in the Texas Senate from 2015 to 2019 before he was ousted by a Democratic challenger. Now he’s coming out against Gov. Greg Abbott, accusing state leadership of not being tough enough on the border, election security or property taxes. For more insight on this gubernatorial challenge from the right, we’re joined by Mark Jones, political science professor at Rice University.

Vaccine Tracker #8

The Texas Department of State Health Services says more than 50% Texans over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. But with another half of Texans still to go, demand has dropped dramatically. We know from earlier polls that about a third of Texans were likely to refuse the vaccine. So what about that other 20% or so? The Texas Standard’s Laura Rice spoke to one community organizer who has shifted her business model to help find those still seeking vaccines.

COVID Sewage Testing

Last summer, health officials in Houston began using the city’s sewage system to help detect where the coronavirus was spreading. Now, they’ve fine-tuned the process. And as Houston Public Media’s Katie Watkins tells us, they’re zeroing-in on specific buildings, including schools.

Nail Salon Recovery

In the past year, small business owners have faced uncertainty and change during the pandemic. Some were forced to close their shops. But as KERA’s Elizabeth Myong reports, one Dallas nail salon has not only bounced back, but the owner’s opened a second location – which she’s using to give back to the community.

Texas School Reopenings and COVID Spread

Reopening Texas schools for in-person classes last fall led to an additional 800 deaths from COVID-19 and 43,000 cases in the first two months. That’s according to a University of Kentucky report published in the National Bureau of Economic Research on Monday. Aaron Yelowitz, professor of economics at the University of Kentucky and a researcher on this report, joins us today.

 International Trips of Discovery

Many of us have ways of remembering the important people in our family who came before us. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan found a family in San Antonio with a tradition that has survived death, and joins generations together in incredible ways.

CPB UTEP Crossings for Graduation

Since March 2020, the United States southern border has been closed to non-essential travel. But some parents of University of Texas at El Paso graduates who are in Mexico could be allowed to cross to see their kids graduate this spring and summer. For more we’re joined by Jewél Jackson who covers higher education for El Paso Matters.

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

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