Texas Standard For October 15, 2020

There’s the vote, and there’s that other count that will determine representation in the Lone Star State. And the deadline is tonight. Have you been counted? Although the Census Bureau says 99.9% of households are accounted for, only 62% of Texans have completed the census. We’ll hear about the potential impact and how to get counted before the deadline. And: An intra-party tiff turns into a potential tipping point in the U.S. Senate race in Texas. Also: When you wish upon a star, you turn into a streaming service? Tech expert Omar Gallaga tells us why Disney’s making a major shift amid a pandemic. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardOctober 15, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Thursday, October 15, 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.

End of the Census Count

The U.S Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration to stop the census before its scheduled end date. The Census Bureau said on Wednesday that people can fill out the census form online until 6 a.m. Eastern time on Friday and that paper responses must be postmarked by Thursday. Lila Valencia, a senior demographer for the State Data Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio talks to the Standard about that decision. 

Fifth Circuit Rules on Prison COVID Protections

In a victory for Gov. Greg Abbott, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans halted an order that would have provided more robust protection against COVID-19 at a geriatric prison near Houston, where many inmates are at higher risk of infection Houston Chronicle reporter Gabrielle Banks talks to the Standard about the ruling. 


San Antonio’s community college system is launching a new free tuition program this year called AlamoPROMISE. Several other cities, including Dallas, Tyler and Houston, have similar Promise programs. Texas Public Radio’s Camille Phillips reports on how launching the program during a pandemic has been a challenge. 

Disney Prioritizes Streaming

In a major reorganization this week, Disney, which already dominates the streaming entertainment landscape, announced it would shift its focus even more in that direction, with theme parks and movie theaters continuing to face losses during the pandemic. Tech expert Omar Gallaga explains Disney’s pivot.

Protests Against Border Wall Expansion

President Trump has promised that more than 400 miles of border wall will be completed by the end of year. Several wall projects are at different phases in the Rio Grande Valley. TPR’s Reynaldo Leaños Jr. reports anti-wall activists in the city of Pharr held a mock funeral procession on Sunday to protest wall construction in a region where more than 3,000 people have died from COVID-19.

Is a Hegar-West Spat Hurting Her Chances With Black Voters?

A tiff among Democrats in the Texas U.S. Senate race could hurt Democrat MJ Hegar’s chances of rallying an important bloc of voters in her effort to unseat Republican incumbent John Cornyn.

Early Voting in and around Houston

The Houston area is seeing record voter turnout this week. Nearly 288,000 voters cast a ballot in the first two days of early voting. That’s 12% of eligible Harris County’s registered voters. But in the neighboring county of Fort Bend, it was a different story. A programming error that delayed poll locations from opening on time has been correct but not forcing many voters to leave without casting a ballot, reports Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall.

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

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