Texas Standard For August 10, 2021

As the delta variant continues to infect Texans and strain hospitals, more schools are defying the governor’s orders and mandating masks. The Austin Independent School District joins Dallas and likely Houston in mandating masks. We’ll talk to AISD’s superintendent about how the district came to this decision and what challenges may lie ahead. We’ll also check-in with our doctor on call about what decisions parents are weighing as they consider whether to send students to in-person learning. Plus the Texas Legislature is back in session again. And: This time it looks like they may soon have enough lawmakers in attendance to do business. What that means as Democrats still try to fight a bill over how Texans can vote. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardAugust 10, 2021 9:33 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

Local Leaders Respond to Abbott Mask Mandate

Texas hospitals are rolling out a new round of overflow protocols as the Delta variant surges through the state. Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott is holding fast to his ban on mask and vaccine mandates in local government. But as Houston Public Media’s Paul DeBenedetto reports, cities, counties and school districts are looking for a way around that ban – and in some cases openly defying the governor’s orders.

AISD Defies Abbott’s Mask Protocols (LIVE interview)

The Austin Independent School District is one of the entities defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s order banning local mask mandates. Here to tell us more is AISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde.

Crimes Against Children

The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center kicks off its annual Crimes Against Children Conference this week, ahead of the upcoming school year. As KERA’s Ana Perez reports, with Texas and the nation moving into its second year of the pandemic, better training for emergency workers, teachers and health care workers is needed to spot child abuse when so many people are isolated.

PUC Electricity Debt

February’s historic freeze left hundreds dead and millions without power. But despite all those Texans left in the cold, the state wants to borrow six and a half billion dollars to settle power generators’ outstanding bills – and make ratepayers foot the bill. That’s what Dave “The Watchdog” Lieber has discovered at The Dallas Morning News. He joins us with more.

Ask a Doctor: COVID Questions

Throughout the pandemic we’ve been taking questions from listeners and posing them to Dr. Fred Campbell, an associate professor of medicine at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Do your listeners have questions of their own? Share them with Dr. Fred, and read answers to previous listener questions here: https://www.texasstandard.org/coronavirus

Sounds of Texas: Molecule App

NOAA Ups Hurricane Chances

After a lull in the Atlantic Hurricane season, there are now three tropical disturbances being tracked moving westward. Texas Public Radio’s Jerry Clayton reports how new predictions indicate an above average hurricane season, and talks to coastal residents about their plans.

Second Special Session

Gov. Greg Abbott called a second special session of the Texas Legislature immediately following the first. The initial special session and the end of the regular session were both derailed by Texas House Democrats’ quorum break. The House even issued an order to arrest the Dems upon their return to Texas. But earlier this week, a judge in Austin overturned that order. And yesterday, a few Dems last seen in D.C. returned to the House. Is there a connection? For more, we’re bringing in James Barragán, politics reporter for the Texas Tribune.

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

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