Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.
Texas nursing homes are seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases among residents as the delta variant continues to spread across the state. Here to tell us more is Alexa Schoeman, deputy state ombudsman within the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program for Texas Health and Human Services.
Dr. Michael Krol knows first hand about the devastation COVID-19 has caused in nursing homes. He’s an assistant professor at UT-Austin’s Dell Medical School, and the medical director for Austin Geriatric Specialists and multiple nursing homes in the Austin area. When we last spoke to Dr. Krol in December, he had just received vaccines for his patients. We’re checking back in to see how nursing homes are faring during the delta variant surge.
The start of the school year in Texas coincides with another rise in COVID-19 cases across the state – rural Texas included. On Monday, Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District, about 80 miles south of Midland, announced that its schools would pause for two weeks so that students and staff could quarantine. For more on the situation we now bring in the district superintendent, Tracy Canter.
I like Austin but I love San Antone. That’s not an official Texas Standard endorsement, mind you: it’s the title of a new song from a Texas musician hailing from Alamo City. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan reports not only does the song have a little fun with the small rivalry between the two Central Texas cities, it’s also a barn burner building on some well-trod themes in Texas music.
After the rapid collapse of Afghanistan’s U.S. backed-government to the Taliban, Texas is getting ready to settle potentially thousands of Afghan refugees. The Pentagon says it’s preparing up to 22,000 spaces for refugees at Fort Bliss in El Paso and another military camp in Wisconsin. Private groups, like Refugee Services of Texas, are also preparing to resettle hundreds of Afghan refugees. Ashley Faye, development director for Refugee Services of Texas, joins us today.
It’s the golden anniversary of the discovery of Quetzalcoatlus. 50 years ago,a University of Texas geology student discovered the pterosaur in Big Bend National Park. Today, the remains of the massive winged creature he discovered lives at the Texas Memorial Museum, housed on the UT-Austin campus. Associate museum director Pamela Owen joins us today to talk about the legacy of quetzalcoatlus, the challenge of museum funding in the time of COVID and more.
For the past six years, an American non-governmental organization called Ascend has helped Afghan girls train to become mountain climbers. These girls defied societal norms and expectations to climb some of the country’s highest mountain peaks. To many, they represented a new hope for women in Afghanistan. Now the NGO is working desperately to help them evacuate the country. Texas Public Radio’s Dan Katz reports.
All this plus the Texas News Roundup, and Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.