Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, September 27, 2021.
Texas Election Audit
Hours after former President Donald Trump demanded Gov. Greg Abbott support legislation to audit the results of the 2020 presidential election, Texas announced a full forensic audit of the vote in Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties. Why, and why these four counties? For that, we’re joined by Brandon Rottinghaus, political science professor at the University of Houston.
Houston Housing Director
Houston’s former housing director has been fired, after he delivered a 10-minute presentation in City Council chambers describing how his department was pressured by the mayor’s office to award projects to a well-connected developer. Mayor Sylvester Turner has denied wrongdoing. What’s going on here? Houston Public Media city hall reporter Jen Rice joins us with the details.
New State Park in North Texas
A new state park in North Texas is inching closer to opening day. Construction on Palo Pinto Mountains State Park started earlier this year, and fundraising is still underway to build a visitor’s center and other facilities. In the meantime, KERA’s Miranda Suarez brings you this sneak peek of a park in progress.
How Rising Electric Bills in Europe are Connected to the Texas Freeze
After the February freeze, some Texans had some huge electric bills. Now, in parts of Europe and Asia, people are seeing their bills rise as much as 40%. What does it have to do with Texas? Well, as it turns out, we’re all in this together. Here to help explain is our go-to energy expert Matt Smith.
Ann Richards’ Legacy Project
Folks around Texas may have noticed banners lining streets with famous quotes from former Gov. Ann Richards. It’s part of an art installation created by the newly formed Ann Richards Legacy Project. Margaret Justus served as Richards’ deputy press secretary from 1989-1994, and is behind the project. She joins us today with more.
North Texas Schools’ Mask Requirements
Out of the 1,200-plus school districts across Texas, fewer than 100 are requiring masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19. From KERA North Texas, Bill Zeeble looks at two districts: one openly defying Gov. Abbott’s executive order against such mandates, and another embracing it.
Face Mask Mandate Ban Lawsuit
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating the Texas Education Agency over their policy prohibiting mask requirements in schools. One early complaint against the TEA and Gov. Abbott’s order was Disability Rights Texas, which filed a federal lawsuit in August on behalf of some immunocompromised students. Riki Graves is the mother of one of those children, and she joins us now.
Veteran PTSD Stigma
A recent survey found most Americans greatly overestimate how many veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder. Two-thirds of survey respondents believe it’s more than half. But the real number is fewer than one in five. As Chris Haxel reports for the American Homefront Project, the misperception can lead to problems for veterans with and without PTSD.
All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.