Texas Standard For June 25, 2021

Texas lawmakers are coming back to the Capitol for a special session. But what’s going to be on the agenda? We’ll have a few predictions. And: Accountability: that’s at least one thing critics say has been lacking in the way the Army handles sexual assault and harassment cases – efforts to change that. Also: For a small college, a big financial gift opens up huge opportunities – the story from Odessa. Plus: In Austin: understanding an incredible spike in housing prices. And: Even DJ Screw’s biggest fans admit there’s a lot they don’t know about the late, great hip-hop icon – a new attempt to delve deeper. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 25, 2021 9:32 am

Special Legislative Session Preview

This week Gov. Greg Abbott announced that a special legislative session will convene on July 8. Abbott hasn’t specified specific agenda items he wants lawmakers to tackle, but based on how the regular session ended, political observers have some clues. Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, talks to the Standard.

Army Sexual Assault Accountability

Service members who survive sexual assault and harassment often find that their assailants face little accountability. But an elite Army unit has started taking more aggressive measures against enlisted soldiers found guilty of those crimes. It’s also taking steps to better represent survivors in the process. Texas Public Radio’s Carson Frame reports.

Balmorhea Pool Reopens

This weekend, for the first time since 2019, the historic spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park will reopen to the public. The pool — and the rest of the 42-acre park — has been closed for all this time because of various repairs and renovations, some of which are still ongoing. But that won’t matter to the many visitors looking to take a swim at Balmorhea. Marfa Public Radio’s Carlos Morales has more.

Odessa College Donation From MacKenzie Scott 

MacKenzie Scott is an award-winning novelist, but she’s perhaps better known as a global philanthropist and ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Forbes calculates her net worth at $60 billion dollars. But Scott has been determined to give the majority of her fortune away. Her latest round of donations came earlier this month, $2.73 billion dollars to dozens of colleges, specifically to those with track records of success when it comes to educating students from chronically underserved communities. And one of those institutions was Odessa College, which received a $7 million-dollar donation from Scott. Gregory Williams, Odessa College’s president, talks to the Standard.

Austin Home Price Surge

In Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, the real estate markets are hot. Homes are selling quickly, for way above asking price and sometimes sight unseen. But nowhere in the state is the market quite like Austin, where the median sales price of a home rose $100,000 in five months. KUT Austin’s Audrey McGlinchy takes a look at what’s going on.

‘Mogul’ Podcast About The Life Of DJ Screw

This Sunday is a hip-hop holiday of sorts in Houston. It’s June 27th — a date made iconic because of a DJ Screw mixtape with that name. Though he died two decades ago, Robert Earl Davis Jr., known as DJ Screw, has continued to influence hip-hop today. His life and legacy is the focus of a new season of the podcast “Mogul.” The Standard talks to the podcast’s host, Brandon Jenkins.

Typewriter Rodeo Poem: ‘Summer Trips’

Week In Texas Politics

Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey reviews the week in politics. Topics include the Ken Paxton whistleblower lawsuit, Wendy Davis and the results of the latest UT/Texas Tribune poll results on what Texans think about voter fraud and permitless carry.

All this and the Texas News Roundup, plus Michael Marks with the Talk of Texas.

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