Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023:
An investigation by Military Times and The Texas Tribune recently found that Texas National Guard leaders disbanded Operation Lone Star’s intelligence wing after officers infiltrated invite-only WhatsApp group chats filled with migrants and smugglers. The activity was reported by a whistleblower, and at least four intelligence officers have faced discipline as a result.
Davis Winkie, a senior reporter at the Military Times, shares more details about the investigation.
More than 770 new laws passed by the Texas Legislature are set to go take effect Sept. 1. All this week, the Standard and its partners are looking at some of these new laws.
One of them is the CROWN Act, a law banning discrimination based on hair texture or hairstyles associated with race. The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports that supporters say it will empower Black and brown people.
In the sandhills of West Texas and New Mexico, the tiny dunes sagebrush lizard makes its home in the heart of the Permian Basin, America’s most prolific oil field. This summer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service renewed efforts to officially declare the dunes sagebrush lizard endangered, but oil and gas advocates worry this could devastate the industry.
Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden has the story.
To much of the world, Texas is a vast desert: a place of high plains, rocky mesas and dusty canyons. Certainly there are parts of West Texas where you’d find such features. But more than half the state is green with rolling hills, lush forests and vibrant coastal plains.
So why is it that the desert dominates the popular imagination of Texas among non-Texans? Commentator WF Strong says to blame Hollywood.
The town of Uvalde is full of memorials to the students and teachers killed during last year’s shooting at Robb Elementary School. Now, a mosaic mural organized by the Uvalde Love Project has been unveiled.
Wanda Montemayor, an Austin-based art therapist behind the project, talks about it with the Texas Standard.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark law that prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, was signed on July 26, 1990. Its signing was preceded by a demonstration in support of the bill called the “Capitol Crawl,” in which people with disabilities crawled up the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Maria Palacios, who participated in the demonstration, remembers the event, and comments on the impact of the ADA.
What do you take with your coffee? A shop in Dallas offers kitty companions to go along with your cup of Joe. KERA’s Sally Verrando went to check out the city’s first cat café.
She’s been called the greatest of all time, cementing her place among names like Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan. And her career is far from over, despite a small hiatus.
Simone Biles of Houston is back and making history, recently winning a record eighth U.S. all-around gymnastics title. Associated Press sports reporter Will Graves talks with the Texas Standard about gymnastics’ GOAT.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Michael Marks with the Talk of Texas.