Texas Standard For September 22, 2020

A Beta test for southeast Texas as rains pummel the region, roads are closed, schools shift plans and officials warn to stay put, we’ll have the latest. And: COVID-19 has hit retail hard, but what about retail politics? The pandemic’s impact on a political season like few others in recent memory. Also: Latino political power in Texas: under lockdown or primed to make major waves on election day? We’ll explore. Plus: The U.S. Department of Transportation gives the green light to the Texas bullet train connecting Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes. All aboard? Not quite. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

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By :Texas StandardSeptember 22, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Tuesday, September 22, 2020. 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.

Beta Flooding

There’s flash flooding in Houston, Tuesday, after Tropical Storm Beta made landfall. Jeffry Evans, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Houston, talks to the Standard. 

n Person Campaigning in TX During COVID-19

Political candidates this election year have turned more to online campaigning because of COVID-19. But Texas candidates locked in tough races are having to decide whether it’s time to go back out. Gromer Jeffers, a political writer for The Dallas Morning News, joins the Standard to talk about whether a lack of in-person appearances can hurt on Election Day. 

Bullet Train Update

Since the 1980s, Texas officials have talked about building high-speed rail to connect its two largest cities: Dallas and Houston. Now, the federal government has approved  a bullet train plan that will move passengers across the 250-mile journey in 90 minutes. Juan Pablo Garnham, urban affairs reporter for The Texas Tribune, talks to the Standard about what happens next.

Latino Icons, part 1, Education

Every year around this time we see a lot of references to Hispanic culture and history. That’s because September is Hispanic Heritage Month. But in Texas, Hispanic heritage is evident all year long. And one Houston woman has spent much of her life trying to draw more recognition to that point, reports Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall.

Texas Agriculture Cuts

The economic toll of COVID-19 has led many more Texans to seek assistance from food banks. The group Feeding Texas coordinates with 21 food banks across the state. It says more than 25% of Texas families are facing food insecurity. The group says budget reductions proposed by the Texas Department of Agriculture also hurts food banks. Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, talks to the Standard.

Pause/Play Podcast

On March 6, Austin Mayor Steve Adler canceled the South By Southwest festival to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But what happens when the music stops in Austin, the so-called “live music capital” of the world? It’s the subject of a new podcast from our sister stations KUT & KUTX that launches Tuesday. It’s called “Pause, Play,” and it’s hosted by KUT on-air host and producer, Miles Bloxson and KUTX producer Elizabeth McQueen. They join the Standard to talk about the podcast.

 Latino Voters

Texas’ increasingly important Latino voters head into this year’s presidential election as a pandemic continues to disproportionately affect their communities. Experts say that means Latino voters are more distracted than ever, but also have more to lose. KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports this dynamic has also made it difficult to predict what kind of impact this voting bloc will have on the election.

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

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