Texas Standard For December 18, 2020

In what sounds like a return to the worst days of the state’s foster care crisis, a new report finds foster kids sleeping in state offices. We’ll hear details. And: Why a COVID-19 treatment being touted by state officials doesn’t seem to be making much of a dent in helping patients in one of the hardest hit parts of Texas. Also: With the Legislature set to reconvene, how’s this going to work with social distancing? Plus: The week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune and more.

By Texas StandardDecember 18, 2020 10:13 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Friday, December 18, 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.

Foster Care Capacity Crisis

A federal judge once declared the state’s foster care system unconstitutional, violating foster kids’ rights to be free from unreasonable risk of harm. At one particular low point, there were so few places for Texas foster kids to be sheltered, abused and neglected children were being forced to sleep in the offices of Child Protective Services. Now the Dallas Morning News’ Bob Garrett’s reporting reveals what appears to be a repeat of that crisis, exacerbated by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Treatment Not Helping Much In Lubbock

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to tout COVID-19 antibody therapies given emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration last month. They’re meant to help with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms in adults and children and prevent hospitalizations. They’ve been distributed in some of the hardest-hit areas across Texas, including in Lubbock. But a recent report by the Houston Chronicle’s Jeremy Blackman says the treatments don’t seem to be helping much in keeping COVID-19 hospitalizations down there. He joins us today.

Eviction Update

Texas housing advocates are bracing for a possible sharp rise in evictions in the New Year, since a CDC moratorium is set to expire this month. But even with that national order in effect, courts in Harris County are evicting hundreds of renters each week, Jen Rice of Houston Public Media reports.

Virtual Field Trip

Most school field trips are understandably paused because of COVID-19, but not all of them. KERA’s Bill Zeeble joined some Dallas high schoolers on a live, virtual visit to the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.

Legislature Access

During a normal year at the Texas Legislature, the Capitol would be crawling with people. Of course, the 87th regular session, starting in January, won’t be normal. The Legislature will convene at the state Capitol at a time when coronavirus cases are high in Texas. And that will have major implications for just how the people’s businesses gets done in 2021. Texas Standard’s Michael Marks has more.

Shingle Mountain Removal

After a years-long fight from people living near it, a huge pile of toxic waste in Southeast Dallas known as “Shingle Mountain” is finally being hauled away. The removal started yesterday morning. But KERA’s Alejandra Martinez reports, it will take until March to completely tear it down.

“Country Ever After”

A reality TV show available on Netflix follows a family that looks very much like Texas: multicolor, multiracial, imbued with deep faith and going through a ton of things that life has thrown their way. We’ll talk with “Country Ever After” star, Texas native and international country personality, Coffey Anderson.

Typewriter Rodeo 

The Week in Texas Politics

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

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