Texas Standard for February 4, 2022

A frigid Friday and ongoing warnings in much of North and Central Texas to stay off the roads. In the run up, this week’s winter storm was characterized by many as the first real test of the power grid following last years rolling blackouts. But was it? And do traumatized Texans feel more assured? We’ll explore. And: A butterfly sanctuary in South Texas closes its doors indefinitely following death threats and more from partisan conspiracy theorists. Also: The week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardFebruary 4, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, February 4, 2022.

Thousands without power, roads impassable – but grid still working 

Tens of thousands of utility customers across Texas were without power late yesterday. So far, downed tree limbs and local issues – not the state electrical grid – are to blame. Texas Newsroom reporter Julián Aguilar is tracking how the winter storm is hitting parts of the state and joins us with an update.

As the omicron wave continues, more military personnel are being deployed to civilian hospitals

The Pentagon is in the process of deploying about 1,000 active-duty service members to civilian hospitals around the county. They’re being asked to help ease staff shortages in places struggling with the COVID-19 surge. Reporter Lucy Copp of the American Homefront Project visited one hospital where active duty Air Force troops are working.

Most Austinites experiencing homelessness will go without the city’s shelters during this week’s freeze

Austin opened its shelters for people living outdoors ahead of this week’s freeze. But despite those efforts, hundreds of folks likely went without overnight shelter. KUT’s Andrew Weber visited one encampment in North Austin that planned on toughing it out.

Texas just opened its first new psychiatric hospital in over two decades 

A new public psychiatric facility is opening in Texas for the first time in 25 years. A partnership between UT Health Houston, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Medical Center hopes to ease the strain on the state’s psychiatric resources. The John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center, which just opened, contains 264 beds for psychiatric patients. Here to talk about the new program is Dr. Lokesh Shahani, psychiatrist and chief medical officer at the center.

President Biden just announced a cancer ‘moonshot.’ Texas has its own ambitious program.

Texas voters approved the creation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas in 2007. C-PRIT, as it’s called, gives out billions of dollars in grant money to innovators in the field. It’s the largest state-led investment against cancer in the U.S. and the second largest in the world. What does President Biden’s cancer “moonshot” mean for them? We’ll ask chief scientific Officer Michelle Le Beau.

Why far-right conspiracists are targeting a butterfly center in South Texas

Conspiracy theorists have set their sights on an unlikely target: a butterfly sanctuary in South Texas. The National Butterfly Center has been in operation for over two decades, but drew attention in 2017 when it filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its border wall plans. Now it’s being targeted by far-right conspiracy theorists who, without any evidence, claim that the center is involved in human trafficking. Now, the National Butterfly Center has shut down indefinitely after escalating harassment and threats. Marianna Treviño-Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, joins us today.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup, Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas, and your Friday favorites: Typewriter Rodeo and The Texas Tribune’s James Barragán with the week in Texas politics!

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