Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, July 12, 2022:
The chairman of the Texas House committee investigating the response to the Uvalde shooting said that security video from Robb Elementary School – as well as a preliminary report of the House’s investigation – will be released to families of the 21 people killed in the shooting over the weekend and then released to the public after. Sergio Martínez-Beltrán, who covers state politics and government for The Texas Newsroom, joins us to talk more.
It’s been nearly a month since the Food and Drug Administration gave COVID vaccines for children under 5 years of age the green light. Here in Texas, nearly 2% of children in that age group have received their first dose of the vaccine – a lower rate than doctors had hoped, but faster than the national rate for kids that age. Karen Brooks Harper, who has been covering this for the Texas Tribune, joins us to discuss more.
The country’s newest military branch is ditching annual fitness tests in favor of wearable devices to track and give feedback on service members’ physical activity, mental health, balanced eating and sleep. Space Force leadership says the approach will prioritize general wellness beyond just a yearly physical assessment that has spurred eating disorder symptoms and other unhealthy behaviors in some military members. Eric Schmid has the story for the American Homefront Project.
Austin’s light-rail system is still years away from becoming a reality – the first trains won’t start running until 2029 at the earliest. But some people are worried already about how much it could cost to ride light rail. They don’t want Capital Metro to up-charge customers like the agency does for those who ride the MetroRail commuter train. KUT’s Nathan Bernier has more.
This morning, NASA unveiled a trove of high-quality images captured by the giant James Webb Space Telescope, a $10 billion project that scientists hope will shed light on the mysteries of how the universe began. The first image, revealed Monday at the White House, showed the deepest infrared view of the universe to date. Today, views of the Carina and Southern Ring nebula, along with a group of closely packed galaxies called Stephan’s Quintet, were among the eagerly anticipated images. Steven Finkelstein, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin who co-leads a team that uses the telescope, explains the importance of these images.
There is one thing many Republicans and Democrats have agreed on for some time now: The U.S. immigration system is broken. What can’t be agreed upon is how to fix it. But what becomes of the people directly impacted by this system? Efrén Olivares wants to help tell some of those stories, along with his own. Olivares, deputy legal director of the Immigrant Justice Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, joins us to talk about his new book, “My Boy Will Die of Sorrow: A Memoir of Immigration from the Front Lines.”
The Permian Basin in West Texas and eastern New Mexico is one of the world’s most prolific oil and gas fields. It’s also critical to the state economy – not to mention the biennial budget, which is largely funded by taxes on oil and gas. Anything to slow down production is likely to be viewed dubiously by state leaders, particularly when the federal government is involved. That’s why a big fight may be brewing between Austin and Washington over new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency. James Osborne, energy and politics reporter for the Houston Chronicle based in Washington, joins us to share more.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.