Texas Standard for April 27, 2022

In Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star border-security mission: a death among the ranks brings new scrutiny from lawmakers. Republican Rep. James White talks with the Standard’s Laura Rice about the death of Texas Army National Guard Specialist Bishop Evans, and the future of Operation Lone Star. And: As many families move to Texas, others are deciding they have to leave for the sake of their kids after new polices take effect aimed at parents of trans kids. Also: A stay issued in the case of Melissa Lucio, the mother originally set to be executed for the death of her 2 year old. What happens next? That and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardApril 27, 2022 9:05 am

Texas House committee set to scrutinize Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star

Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security efforts – dubbed Operation Lone Star – have been under scrutiny for months. Today, the Texas House committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety is set to discuss the mission, which has been dogged by complaints of poor planning, low morale, and a recent on-duty death. Committee chair and Republican state Rep. James White of Hillister joins us today.

Trans kids and their families are leaving Texas amid state efforts to charge parents with child abuse

Two months ago, Gov. Abbott called for child abuse investigations into parents of transgender children, caused an unprecedented level of stress among trans kids and their caretakers. The strain has been so much so that some families are leaving Texas. Houston Public Media’s Sara Willa Ernst tells us about some families that no longer see a future for their kids here.

Bad air, climate change – Dallas County officials look to electric vehicles for help

The air quality around major cities in North Texas is among the worst in the state. Part of the problem is pollution from gas-powered cars and trucks. Dallas County officials are exploring one way to improve the air quality by electrifying their fleet of about a thousand cars. But it’s not a quick or easy process, as KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports.

In Texas, thousands in fines paid by oil and gas polluters benefit the fossil fuel industry

Fines are meant to punish a misdeed and deter a person or entity from becoming a repeat offender. But what if the fine actually ended up benefiting those required to pay up? That’s what might be happening for some oil and gas polluters. Journalist Amal Ahmed reports for Floodlight, a nonprofit newsroom focused on the climate. She joins us today with the results of her recent investigation.

After her stay of execution, what’s next for Melissa Lucio?

On Monday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stopped the execution of Melissa Lucio this week. Lucio has been on death row since 2008, when she was convicted of murder after the death of her two-year-old daughter. Serious doubts about her guilt moved the court of criminal appeals to issue a stay. So what happens to Lucio now? Houston defense attorney Nicole DeBorde Hochglaube offers a glimpse at what’s next.

‘Running Red-Lights’ tells the story of sex work in San Antonio

Despite being known as world’s oldest profession, sex work still generates plenty of discussion and controversy. Texas Public Radio’s Bri Kirkham and Kathleen Creedon wanted to know how the business of prostitution evolved in San Antonio and trace it to present day. Today the Standard starts featuring their new podcast “Running Red Lights,” beginning with the history of San Antonio prostituion – and some of the women who made San Antonio one of the busiest red light districts in the country.

Fact-checking Greg Abbott’s claims that Biden has ‘open border’ policies

Gov. Abbott says President Biden has implemented “open-border policies” at our southwest border. Is that a fact? Helping us unpack that statement is Nusaiba Mizan with PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.

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