Texas Standard for Aug. 3, 2023: Texas leads the nation in ‘family annihilation’ cases. What can be done?

Since 2020, Texas has emerged as the epicenter of “family annihilation” cases, in which someone kills at least two kinds of family members.

By Texas StandardAugust 3, 2023 9:18 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023:

Ken Paxton is finally in court for his 2015 securities fraud charges

The last few months have been marked by legal trouble for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He’s has been suspended from his position without pay since late May and faces removal from office, pending a trial in the Texas Senate.

Paxton is no stranger to legal woes. He has been under indictment since 2015 in a felony securities fraud case but has mostly avoided the courtroom – until now.

Paxton will appear as a defendant in a Houston criminal courtroom Thursday as that long-delayed case against him moves forward. Ryan Autullo, who cover state politics at the Austin American-Statesman, joins Texas Standard today with the latest.

Firefighters injured in San Jacinto County as wildfires pop up amid Texas heat

Two firefighters are currently hospitalized with burns sustained while battling the Snowhill Fire, a wildfire that broke out in San Jacinto County on Wednesday. The blaze consumed 215 acres before being declared 100% contained late Wednesday.

However, the Snowhill Fire is just one of several blazes that emergency responders and officials are contending with as Texas grapples with extreme heat and persistently dry conditions. For the latest update on these firefighting efforts and the current situation, we’re joined by Erin O’Connor, public information officer for Texas A&M Forest Service.

How this Houston landscaper is able to work outside all day

Texas’ record-breaking temperatures have many people staying indoors. But for people who work outside, that isn’t an option. Today we’ll hear from Houston landscaper Noe Alvarado on how he gets through the day:

Amazon’s Prime Day hits record high, but retail stores face challenges

Amazon soared to new heights during its annual Prime Day event, reaping a staggering $12.7 billion in sales. However, the tech giant’s ventures into the realm of brick-and-mortar retail haven’t been as smooth.

Despite acquiring Austin-based Whole Foods a few years ago, Amazon is encountering difficulties with its physical stores like Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go. In response, Amazon has announced plans for a comprehensive overhaul of its physical retail spaces.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga has been meticulously tracking Amazon’s retail endeavors and is here to provide us with the latest insights.

Texas leads the nation in ‘family annihilation’ cases. What can be done?

The frequency of mass shootings and their media coverage has arguably left many Americans somewhat desensitized to these killings. Yet when we hear or read about how a whole family has been killed, it cuts through.

People who research such incidents call these cases “family annihilation” – a murder-suicide, usually carried out by a father with a gun.

Recent investigative work by the Indianapolis Star, analyzed by the Austin American-Statesman, shows that while Texas constitutes 9% of the U.S. population, it accounts for approximately 14% of all family annihilation cases over the past two years. Since 2020, Texas has emerged as the epicenter of these horrific incidents, a grim distinction that raises many questions.

Mikisha Hooper, a representative of the Texas Council on Family Violence, joins us to delve into the sobering findings.

’Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan: Brothers in Blues’ traces two legendary Texas’ guitarists’ careers

Two brothers from Dallas pushed music in a new direction in the 1960s when, instead of embracing guitar pedals, they embraced the blues.

The documentary “Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan: Brothers in Blues” follows their journey from the Oak Cliff neighborhood to the top of music charts. The music-rich doc also features stories from Eric Clapton, Nile Rodgers, Billy Gibbons and others.

Producer and director Kirby Warnock tells the Texas Standard he drew in part on his own memories of watching some of their earliest performances. He joins us today.

How historically accurate is ‘Lonesome Dove’?

“Lonesome Dove” is one of the most popular Texas novels of all time, with readers around the world captivated by Woodrow Call and Augustus “Gus” McCrae’s cattle-driving adventure.

Larry McMurtry’s novel sold millions of copies since it was first published in 1985. The miniseries that followed in 1989, starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, was the second most popular mini-series of all time, second only to “Roots.”

But Texas Standard commentator WF Strong says author Larry McMurtry was never as in love with the book as his fans were.

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

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