Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, July 13, 2022:
Latest Jan. 6 committee hearings shine light on two Texans
The ongoing House hearings into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection have revealed more evidence of the involvement of some prominent Texans. Todd Gillman, Washington bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, shares more.
TxDOT reveals $85 billion state highway expansion and transportation plan
The state has released a plan that would spend a record $85 billion over the next decade to improve its transportation infrastructure. The Houston Chronicle reports the plan “directs federal and state funding to highway, bridge, transit, airport, ferry, bike and pedestrian projects.” But that price tag is also high because of inflation – which could affect the number of projects actually get done under the plan. Jay Crossley is the executive director of the Austin non-profit Farm and City, a group that advocates to maintain current Texas highways and make them safer, versus expanding the state’s highways system. He joins us for more on the Unified Transportation Program.
Another explosion at SpaceX facility in the Rio Grande Valley
Another explosion occurred this week at the SpaceX Starbase project in Brownsville, only a month after the Federal Aviation Administration issued a finding of no significant environmental impact at the site. Texas Public Radio’s Pablo De La Rosa reports.
Austin builders are starting a lot of new homes. Finishing them is not so simple.
For much of the pandemic, the homebuilding industry has endured delays because of supply chain issues: One month builders can’t get door handles. The next, it’s door hinges, windows and refrigerators. And now this shortage has converged with another: a lack of employees. The result? The time between starting a house and finishing it is longer than usual — and perhaps longer than ever. Audrey McGlinchy of KUT has the story.
The new Elvis biopic has reeled in over $150 million at the global box office so far. The film centers around Presley’s contentious relationship with his longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Reviews are mixed about what the film gets right or what it gets wrong. But our commentator WF Strong says what’s undeniable is Elvis’ connection to Texas.
Hill Country outfitters stay afloat as drought conditions continue
A Texas river expert says river flows across the state this summer are headed into the record books for being among the lowest ever, especially if rain does not fall soon. But what about the businesses that bank on Texans’ love for river recreation? Texas Public Radio’s Brian Kirkpatrick has more.
How Mexican activists are providing Texans medication abortions
Since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on June 24, a group of Mexican activists who help people obtain abortions, known as Las Libres, has seen a spike in calls from Texans and others based in the U.S. Las Libres, or the Free Ones, mostly help people get safe medication abortions. Dianne Solis, a reporter covering immigration and social justice issues at the Dallas Morning News, shares more on how the group is helping Texans.
Fact-check: Can previously ineligible gun owners carry guns in Texas now?
Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke said in May that 38,000 Texans had their license to carry a handgun denied, revoked or suspended over the last five years, but they don’t need a license to carry anymore due to changes from Gov. Greg Abbott. Is that a fact? Nusaiba Mizan with Politifact Texas, based at the Austin American Statesman, shares more.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.