Texas Standard For October 12, 2020

Just one day away from the first in-person voting in the 2020 general election in Texas, and a major legal fight still n play over absentee ballots. A bitter back and forth over drop off points for mail-in ballots, even as they’re already being collected. What this last-minute legal battle portends for an unprecedented number of Texas voters. And: Answers to listener questions about mail-in voting, and the pandemic. Also: An unexpected boom in natural gas prices. Plus: Going, going, gone? Historic letters under lock and key in Mexico City discovered at auction. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

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By Texas StandardOctober 12, 2020 9:30 am

Programming Note: The Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings are preempting the Standard on many NPR stations – but that doesn’t mean we have the day off! Folks can listen live to the show on the Texas Standard site at 10 a.m. TST. All other distribution channels (podcast, etc.) are also humming along normally.

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, October 12, 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.

Mail-In Ballot Drop Off Legal Back and Forth

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order restricting mail-in voters to one delivery location per county remains in force. A federal judge had ruled Friday that Abbott’s order was unconstitutional but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans halted that ruling. Houston Chronicle reporter Taylor Goldenstein talks to the Standard about the flurry of weekend court activity and what it means.

Texas Decides; Where’s My Mail-In Ballot?

With all this legal wrangling over voting by mail, voters are wondering how the process actually works. Up until Election Day, our Texas Decides series has been answering listeners’ questions about voting. The Standard’s Shelly Brisbin takes us on the journey of an absentee ballot.

Houston Pandemic Housing

Many of Houston’s most vulnerable communities are still struggling to pay their rent during the pandemic. Rent relief programs and a federal eviction moratorium are meant to protect them – but many are still forced out without an official eviction order. Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall brings us the story of one family who say that during the pandemic, they’ve lost everything.

Good News for LNG Producers

Oil demand may have taken a tumble this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s not all gloom and doom for the energy industry. Natural gas is actually on solid footing right now as liquefied natural gas exports are up from terminals along the Gulf Coast. Matt Smith, director of commodity research for ClipperData data talks to the Standard. 

Ask A Doctor: COVID-19 Questions Answered

As we’ve done most weeks during the pandemic, we take listeners’ medical questions about COVID-19 to Dr. Fred Campbell. He’s a doctor of internal medicine and associate professor of medicine at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. 

Bug Bites: Phorid Flies

Stolen Cortés Letters

The few documents left behind by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés after his landing on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in 1519 are supposed to be under tight security in Mexico’s National Archives. A recent auction listing, however, shows that a few seem to have somehow slipped out. El Paso Times reporter Lauren Villagran talks about her story.

Battle Over Renaming a Midland School

Dozens of Confederate symbols have been removed across the United States. After Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, thousands called on the Midland Independent School district to strip Robert E. Lee’s name from the city’s high school. The district approved, a move which could cost more than $3 million. Since then, a battle has raged over what to call the campus. And, as Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden reports, a trace of the Confederate general’s name may end up staying.

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

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