Texas Standard for Jan. 4, 2024: Rare mushroom sparks excitement in Central Texas and beyond

A rare star-shaped fungus found only in Texas and a few other places worldwide is capturing the attention of mushroom enthusiasts.

By Texas StandardJanuary 4, 2024 9:22 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024:

GOP members gather at the border

Led by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, a group of Republicans in Congress called for stronger border security policies in Eagle Pass yesterday. Valerie Gonzalez, an immigration and border reporter for the Associated Press, has more details.

Ruling on emergency abortion guidance

A federal court sided with Texas in a lawsuit over access to life-saving abortions. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that federal regulations cannot require hospitals to perform medically necessary abortions to save the life of the mother if doing so would run afoul of state laws.

Eleanor Klibanoff, women’s health reporter for the Texas Tribune, explains the impact of the ruling.

From the Pentagon to Silicon Valley

After a career in the military, at one time it was common for a general or Defense Department official to take a job at a company like Lockheed Martin or Raytheon. But now, a new generation of ex-military hands is joining the venture capital world, according to reporting from the New York Times.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga tells us about how it works.

Remembering veteran journalist Hugh Aynesworth

Legendary Dallas journalist Hugh Aynesworth died on Dec. 23 after suffering a stroke. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports the 92-year-old newsman covered some of the biggest, darkest national stories of the past half-century.

What are the benefits of cold exposure?

A new year often comes with a resolve to make healthier choices. Some may be drawn to a current trend – cold exposure – that advocates claim has all kinds of health benefits.

So what is it, and what does the science say about ice baths, cold plunges and cryotherapy? Texas Public Radio’s bioscience and medicine reporter Bonnie Petrie dives in.

Music therapy for people with special needs

Communication is the key to learning. But for some, verbal communication is not possible. However, one service in South Texas has found a way to reach certain individuals, using music. KEDT’s Cathy Edwards explains:

A star is born: Rare mushroom sparks excitement in Austin and beyond

A rare star-shaped fungus found only in Texas and a few other places worldwide is capturing the attention of mushroom enthusiasts. Commonly called the Texas Star, these mushrooms have been popping up throughout Central Texas this winter, from a state park in the Hill Country to the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

KUT’s Becky Fogel stopped by another spot in Austin where the fungus is growing.

Understanding Texas’ lottery laws

Texas law has prohibited the sale of lottery tickets by phone since the 1990s. But technological advances are leading some lawmakers to call for a new interpretation of this rule.

Mobile apps that allow third-party companies to buy tickets on behalf of Texas Lottery players and deliver them digitally saw a surge in popularity in 2023. But they exist in a legal grey area, and lottery officials say they don’t have the power to regulate them. Bob Garrett of the Dallas Morning News explains the state of play.

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

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.