Texas Standard For September 17, 2020

The end of the month is fast approaching and that means time is running out to complete the 2020 census. With only a few days left, we check in with counties in East Texas, far West Texas and Southwest Texas. And: A U.S. Congresswoman tells us why she was moved to introduce legislation after the gruesome murder of Fort Hood Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén. Also: On COVID-19, we check in with San Antonio. Plus: We tell you why some COVID-19 tests are so expensive. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardSeptember 17, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Thursday, September 17, 2020. Joy Diaz will host, filling in for David Brown. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Roundtable on Census Counting

The overall count of Texas households for the 2020 census stands at 91 percent right now. But don’t be deceived. There are some Texas counties where only about 20% of households have been counted. The Standard talks to three experts on that impact: Lonnie Hunt, director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, Sarah Hidalgo-Cook, general manager for the Southwest Area Regional Transit District and Denise Vasquez, research coordinator for UT Health Science Center at Houston’s El Paso Campus. 

Another Family Goes Home School

Millions of students nationwide remain at home in this pandemic, learning on district laptops or tablets. Some children are now back in class and others should return soon. But at least one family in Hurst, Texas, won’t go back. KERA’s Bill Zeeble introduces us to some new home schoolers.


Like everything else, this year’s baseball season is a little unusual because of the pandemic. But if you like your baseball really unusual, and you want to be part of the game, there’s Blaseball. It’s a brand-new, web-based fantasy baseball game that tech expert Omar Gallaga has been playing. 

COVID Test Cost

What did your COVID-19 test cost? Well that depends. Gwendolyn Wu, health care and business reporter for the Houston Chronicle, found that costs can range from a penny to more than $14,000. She talks to the Standard about how that happens and why.

Heidi Connealy: Back to School Poem

1,000 COVID-19 Deaths in San Antonio

San Antonio has reached a grim milestone. The local health department confirmed the 1,000th death from COVID-19 on Sunday. Dominic Anthony Walsh, with Texas Public Radio’s Petrie Dish podcast, traces the pandemic’s local path from the start to now.

 The “I Am Vanessa Guillen Act”

The brutal murder of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén continues to spur calls for massive changes in the way the U.S. military handles sexual assault and harassment in its ranks. A new bill introduced by a handful of Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress on Wednesday called the I Am Vanessa Guillén Act aims to ensure survivors of sexual assault, harassment and violent crimes on U.S. military bases taken seriously and their assailants are held accountable. U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, and the chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, talks to the Standard about the bill she authored.

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

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