Texas Standard for Aug. 2, 2023: Unraveling the ‘Iron Pipeline’ of gun smuggling from Texas to Mexico

Criminal organizations in Mexico are often armed with high-powered firearms, many of which originate from the U.S. – and Texas plays a significant role as a source.

By Texas StandardAugust 2, 2023 9:33 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023:

Houston ISD under TEA: Superintendent Mike Miles draws fire for sweeping changes

The Houston Independent School District was recently placed under the administration of the Texas Education Agency, which in June appointed Mike Miles as the superintendent. Shortly after assuming his role, Miles revealed comprehensive reforms targeting three high schools and over two dozen elementary and middle schools.

These reform measures entail significant changes, including staff reductions, the repurposing of school libraries, and the potential recruitment of uncertified teachers to address staffing gaps. Despite being met with strong opposition from Houston leaders, the implementation of these reforms raises critical questions about the trajectory of the school district’s future.

Anna Bauman, education reporter at the Houston Chronicle, joins us with the story.

Collin County water rates could rise to meet growing population’s needs

The North Texas Municipal Water District is currently deliberating a potential rate increase, projected to be approximately 11%, though subject to changes.

The cities encompassed by the district, such as Plano, McKinney, Frisco, Allen and Richardson, will be affected. Local officials express concern about the increase, likening it to facing double-digit salary hikes each year. KERA’s Caroline Love reports.

Maternal healthcare disparities persist across Texas counties

Pregnant people in almost half of the counties in Texas can’t access adequate health care, according to the latest report by the March of Dimes, a nonprofit that supports maternal and infant health.

Long distances to birthing hospitals and lack of doctors contribute to these disparities. Learn more on the Standard today:

How the Texas Attorney General’s Office became a vanguard for conservative priorities

Over the past 25 years, the Texas Attorney General’s Office has seen three influential figures at its helm: John Cornyn, Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton. Each of these attorneys, along with their legal teams, has ardently promoted a conservative legal agenda in Texas and beyond. Their tenure in Austin has established the office as a formidable power center, challenging Democratic administrations and federal bureaucracy alike.

Eleanor Klibanoff’s three-part series for The Texas Tribune delves into the outsized role of the Texas Attorney General’s Office in advancing legal conservatism in the state and beyond. Not only have these attorneys left their mark on Texas, but their former lawyers have also expanded this influence, assuming pivotal positions on the federal bench. She joins us today.

Balancing kindness and assertiveness: How to lead in the workplace

In today’s corporate culture, there’s a preference for leaders who are not aggressive or rude, but rather kind and approachable. However, being overly nice can lead to concerns about being taken seriously or viewed as too accommodating.

Wall Street Journal columnist Rachel Feintzeig tackled this dilemma many professionals – especially women – face when trying to navigate this balance, in an article titled “Don’t Be a Jerk at Work. (But Don’t Be Too Nice, Either.)” She joins us today.

Sethward: Rising through failing on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Amidst the glitz and glamour of “America’s Got Talent,” one performer stands out for embracing failure and capturing the hearts of millions. Meet Sethward, the artist known for audacious auditions that didn’t quite make the cut but earned him a devoted fanbase. With numerous attempts since 2018, Sethward’s unforgettable acts have garnered millions of views on YouTube, making him a unique presence on the talent show stage.

Join us as we chat with Canyon, Texas-native Sethward about his journey and unyielding spirit on “America’s Got Talent.”

Unraveling the ‘Iron Pipeline’ of gun smuggling from Texas to Mexico

For years, the violent reign of cartels in Mexico has posed a daunting challenge for authorities. One major reason is that these criminal organizations are often armed with high-powered firearms. Many originate from the U.S. – and Texas plays a significant role as a source.

Kevin Krause, a seasoned reporter covering criminal courts for The Dallas Morning News, along with his colleague Alfredo Corchado, delves into the intricate web of firearms smuggling from Texas to Mexico, exploring the “iron pipeline” of high-powered weapons across the border. Krause joins us with more today.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.

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