Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. Check back later today for updated story links and audio.
A trial begins today in Galveston that marks the first important test of the Voting Rights Act since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key portion of the law in June. The case has implications not only for Galveston County residents, but for Texas and the nation as a whole. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider joins us with a preview.
Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing an impeachment trial in the state Senate over allegations ranging from dereliction of duty to obstruction of justice. Last week, Paxton’s lawyers filed a motion saying the impeachment should be dismissed, citing a legal rule they call “prior-term doctrine.” The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán explains the rule and its mixed history.
How outdoor workers are dealing with the ongoing heat
In this summer of extreme heat, we’ve been hearing a lot of advice about getting outdoor activities done before or after the hottest part of the day – but that’s not always an option. A Houston concrete worker shares with us how he gets through the day.
Have scientists located the first dark stars?
Does the universe contain dark stars – objects that are bigger and brighter than our own sun, that are powered by particles of dark matter? A team of astrophysicists who have analyzed data from the James Webb Space Telescope say these mysterious celestial giants could exist. Katherine Freese, director of the Weinberg Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, tells us what the team has observed.
Many of the bills passed by the Texas Legislature go into effect Sept. 1. Among them is a measure of particular importance to rural Texans: the so-called Right to Farm Bill, which strengthens protections for farmers and ranchers to carry out the tasks required for them to do business. We’ll hear more from Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, a lawyer and the writer of the Texas Agricultural Law blog.
Texas music history: Arnett Cobb
Arnett Cobb, known as “the wild man of the tenor sax” and the author of jazz standards like “Smooth Sailing,” hailed from Houston, and his recording career spanned more than 40 years. In our continuing series from KUTX in Austin, we take a look at Cobb’s legacy.
Hot weather can be deadly, and this summer has been no exception. In June, a man from Florida and his teenage stepson died in Big Bend National Park after hiking on a hot day. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has implemented a unique protocol to help hikers who appear in distress in hot weather. Jeff Stebbins, a public affairs specialist at the Grand Canyon, tells us about the program.
The deep freeze caused by Winter Storm Uri in February 2021 knocked out electricity for millions of Texans for days on end. One of the reasons why the outage lasted so long is that Texas’ electric grid is essentially an island. Texas has managed its own grid for decades – but that could change, as federal regulators consider a rule that would force the state to connect to other grids. We’ll hear more from James Osborne, Washington-based energy reporter for the Houston Chronicle.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.