Texas Standard For July 28, 2021

New CDC guidelines on masks in schools this fall. Now, one of Texas’ biggest teachers groups is sounding an alarm: the Texas State Teachers Association calling on Gov. Abbott to drop his order against mask mandates, as school districts prepare for a return to the classrooms and the COVID-19 delta variant drives up cases and hospitalizations statewide – we’ll have the latest. And: The relationship between vaccination rates, media literacy and what can be done to improve both. Also: An auspicious anniversary for the state’s top law enforcement official, a PolitiFact check and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJuly 28, 2021 9:34 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

Teacher Organizations And Face Mask Requirements

COVID-19 cases are spiking again, fueled by a more contagious variant of the virus. And with less than a month before most public schools resume in Texas, educators are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to rescind his order preventing cities and school districts from imposing mask requirements. Ovideo Molina, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, joins us with his perspective today.

Ask A Doctor

Texans have lots of questions about COVID-19, especially the highly contagious delta variant. UT Health San Antonio’s Dr. Fred Campbell joins us today with answers. Listeners can share their coronavirus questions through our COVID-19 resource page for future segments with Dr. Fred.

North Texas Congressional Runoff

In a closely watched congressional runoff between two Republicans in North Texas, state lawmaker Jake Ellzey beat Susan Wright on Tuesday in the special election to replace her late husband. Diagnosed with cancer and COVID, Ron Wright died in office in February. KERA’s Bill Zeeble was in Ennis at Ellzey’s party.

Update On Criminal Case Against Ken Paxton

It’s been six years since Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was indicted on three felony charges related to securities fraud violations – violations for which Paxton still has not stood trial. The case has ground to a halt due to legal wrangling over its jurisdiction and legal fees for the many associated lawyers. If that weren’t enough, the FBI is also reportedly investigating activities of Paxton and a key donor. Oh, and Paxton is up for reelection next year. Helping us sort through it all is Lauren McGaughy, investigative reporter for The Dallas Morning News.

Media Literacy And COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

Some of Texas’ most conservative-leaning counties also have some of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the state. And there’s concern that the misinformation flourishing in those places is having direct consequences on people’s health. Yvonnes Chen researches media literacy and health for the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. She joins us today.

Bail Reform Nonprofits

Texas lawmakers are considering changes to the bail system that would make it harder for nonprofit organizations to get people out of jail. If approved, the new law could keep people in custody longer. Houston Public Media’s Jen Rice reports, that’s just one of the issues on hold right now, with Texas Democrats preventing the legislative session from moving forward.

W.F. Strong: ‘Plumbing The Depths Of Jacob’s Well’

After a relatively cool Texas summer so far, the thermometer has started to creep up once more. Predictably, many Texans have been turning to their favorite swimming holes. But there’s one such spot in Central Texas that has a bit more mystery to it than most. Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong dove deep into one of the state’s most popular spots to cool off – Jacob’s Well.

PolitiFact Texas

A Texas GOP fundraiser says that 74,000 questionable mail-in ballots were recently found in Arizona. Is that a fact? Brandon Mulder investigated the claim for Politifact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman.

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

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