Texas Standard for October 12, 2021

No Texan may be compelled to get vaccinated against COVID-19, so says the Governor in a sweeping new order. We’ll have more on the Texas governor’s executive order on vaccinations, a direct challenge to President Biden’s push for employer mandates. And: How random are Texas jury pools? Investigators are looking into the process in Brazoria Country where it’s alleged that potential jurors were vetted by geography and race. Also: Population growth brings new homes to the Hill Country, and something considerably less bucolic, too – new quarries and environmental concerns. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardOctober 12, 2021 9:29 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

Abbott’s Latest Vaccine Executive Order 

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning “any entity” in Texas from mandating COVID-19 vaccines. The Texas Tribune’s Rebekah Allen explains what this order means for all Texans, and the likely legal challenges to follow.

Brazoria County Juries

In Texas, jury pools are legally supposed to be selected at random. But in Brazoria County, south of Houston, a former district clerk is being investigated for corrupting that process. Michael Hardy has been following the story for Texas Monthly. He joins us to explain the latest.

Galveston Bay Pollution

As climate change accelerates rising sea levels and strengthens storms, there are increased risks of flooding for places like industrial plants along Houston’s Ship Channel. And that’s a concern because during floods, pollution from those facilities runs off into Galveston Bay. Now local researchers want to find out just how vulnerable those facilities are to climate change and how that affects the bay’s natural resources. To learn more, Houston Public Media’s Katie Watkins recently joined researchers on a fishing boat.

Southwest Airlines, Latest and Vaccines

Travelers on Southwest Airlines weren’t feeling the LUV this weekend. The Dallas-based carrier was forced to cancel thousands of flights over the holiday weekend and announce even more delays. Southwest says a perfect storm of factors was to blame – but as its pilots union announces its opposition to a new vaccine mandate, is more turbulence in the future for Southwest, and the aviation industry at large? Kyle Arnold, aviation reporter for The Dallas Morning News, joins us with more.

Quarries in the Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country is known for many things: the Edwards Aquifer, abundant wildflowers, and pristine rivers and the aforementioned hills. But in the past few years, the region has experienced a sharp rise in stone quarries. A new investigation says the rural area is changing, and groups tasked with regulating the growing quarry industry aren’t keeping up. Brian Chasnoff, investigative reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, has the story.

 Bug Lady: Praying Mantids

Wizzie Brown is our go-to insect expert. The program specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service joins us periodically to talk about bugs; today we’ll hear about this garden predator.

 Military Moves and Teens’ Mental Health

Many teenagers in Texas come from military families, and they’re familiar with frequent moves across the country and around the world. Perhaps less well understood is the effect of constant relocations on mental health, including anxiety and depression – especially in youth. Two teenagers from military families set worked with the National Military Family Association to learn more, surveying over 2,000 military dependents like themselves. Anne Kniggendorf of the American Homefront Project reports.

Evangelicals’ Vaccine Hesitancy

Coronavirus numbers are down across the board in Texas. New cases, hospitalizations and the average number of new deaths are all down compared to a week ago. But a fourth number is also down: the number of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine given compared to the average for a month ago. The Texas Tribune reports just under 52% of eligible Texans are fully vaccinated. Those who aren’t are more likely to be white, rural, and evangelical. Stephanie Martin is an associate professor of political communication at Southern Methodist University looking into vaccination hesitancy among evangelicals. She joins us on today’s show.

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

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