Texas Standard For October 26, 2020

Coronavirus case numbers exploding in El Paso. We’ll look at how the city is trying to treat patients as hospitals reach capacity. And: Just over a week left to Election Day and it’s far from just the presidential race on the ballot. We’ll highlight one sheriff’s race that’s heating up. Also: Transitioning from oil is something even the oil companies are thinking about. We’ll learn today why hydrogen might be a clean, but not so simple, option. Plus: Remembering Jerry Jeff Walker. Texas troubadour, cosmic cowboy and misbehaving musician. Those stories plus a local debate over masks, a spooky anthology and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardOctober 26, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, October 26, 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.

Kocherga on COVID Cases Spike

El Paso is struggling with contact tracing – a crucial tracking tool that can help slow the spread of COVID-19 – as it experiences one of the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreaks. In recent weeks, the number of people notified within 48 hours that they were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 plummeted from 88 percent on Oct. 1 to 30 percent on Oct. 24, the day health officials announced a record 1,216 El Pasoans tested positive for the novel coronavirus.Angela Kocherga, news director for KTEP in El Paso and reporter for El Paso Matters, talks to the Standard.

Tarrant County Sheriff’s Race

Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, a Republican, is running for his second four-year term. His Democratic challenger, Fort Worth police captain Vance Keyes, is a 20-year veteran of the department. The sheriff’s main job is running the county jail, but as KERA’s Miranda Suarez reports, Keyes has been critical of Waybourn’s controversial partnership with the federal government when it comes to immigration enforcement. .

Kerrville Mask Debate

As COVID-19 spreads in rural communities across Texas, residents are split on the right balance between personal liberty and social responsibility. Texas Public Radio’s  Dominic Anthony Walsh takes us to Kerr County, where a mask mandate is back in place after cases rose.

Hydrogen and Renewable Diesel

As the oil and gas industry struggles, major energy companies are looking to hydrogen. Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData talks to the Standard.

Horror Anthology Castlebridge Media

Remembering Jerry Jeff Walker

The Asylum Trap, part 5

For the past week, we’ve been hearing from asylum-seekers who are stuck in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, as part of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy – formally called the Migrant Protection Protocols or MPP. Their asylum proceedings are on hold, because of COVID-19. But even if court were to start back up tomorrow, it’s really hard to be granted asylum. In the final part of our series “The Asylum Trap,” KERA’s Mallory Falk looks at what that could mean for thousands of people stuck on the border…including one couple with an unexpected love story.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Michael Marks with the talk of Texas.

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