Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, May 17, 2021.
There are two weeks left in the Texas Legislature’s regular session, meaning there’s a dash to get things done. Despite initial thoughts that the session would a focus on quality-of-life issues related to the pandemic and preventing another deadly winter blackout, it’s taken a sharp right turn to focus on culture war issues instead. We’ll talk to Allie Morris, statehouse reporter for The Dallas Morning News and Jeremy Wallace, political reporter for the Houston Chronicle, about the waning days of the 87th Texas Legislature.
Houston has been an eviction hotspot during the pandemic, with close to 30,000 eviction cases filed since the start of the COVID-19 restrictions. A federal program to pay delinquent rent was supposed to help; in the Houston area, officials are scrambling to hand out more than $150 million. But as Houston Public Media’s Jen Rice tells us, landlords don’t necessarily want that money.
The Colonial Pipeline says its system is back up and running after a criminal group shut down company operations and Colonial paid a $5 million ransom to the hackers. The attack has revealed weaknesses in infrastructure cybersecurity – and some lingering issues remain with supply in some places. Here with the latest is Matt Smith, director of commodity research for ClipperData.
New beers become available all the time in Texas. Few of them, however, do so with as much fanfare as Yuengling did. A staple of bars and cooler shelves back east, Yuengling’s brewery dates back to 1829 and is the country’s oldest operating brewery. Joining us with more is Mark Noon, assistant professor of English at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and author of “Yuengling: A History of America’s Oldest Brewery.”
The border has been closed to most migrants during the pandemic, including those seeking asylum. Now, the Biden administration is expanding efforts to grant humanitarian exceptions for migrants considered vulnerable. That includes transgender people stuck in dangerous Mexican border cities. Angela Kocherga from KTEP in El Paso reports from across the border in Juarez.
For the first time since the pandemic began, some colleges are holding in-person commencement ceremonies. But along the U.S.-Mexico border, where travel is still restricted for Mexican nationals, it’s more complicated. The University of Texas at El Paso worked out a deal with U.S.Customs and Border Protection allowing Mexican parents with current travel documents to cross the border for commencement. But KERA’s Mallory Falk reports many extended families still had to divide their celebrations across the Rio Grande.
All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.