Texas Standard for June 8, 2022: Latest on WNBA star Brittney Griner’s imprisonment in Russia

The U.S. has declared Brittney Griner was wrongfully detained in Russia – but as her imprisonment drags on, advocates are asking the American government to do more to ensure the release of the Houston native. And: After the school shooting at Sandy Hook more than a decade ago, Texas passed a plan to address school shootings. But why have so few districts opted in?  Plus: A PolitiFact check and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 8, 2022 9:33 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Check back later today for updated story links and audio.

Texas Republicans want to arm more school employees, but few districts are opting in

“Since Texas launched the school marshal program in 2013, just 84 school districts out of more than 1,200 have armed school staff,” Kate McGee writes in the Texas Tribune. “Educators say the program’s lack of popularity shows that teachers don’t want to be the ones to defend schools from mass shootings.” McGee joins us with more.

The latest on WNBA star Brittney Griner’s imprisonment in Russia

Over 100 days have passed since WNBA star and Houston native Brittney Griner was detained by Russia. Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for allegedly possessing cannabis vape cartridges. The U.S. has declared she was wrongfully detained – but as her imprisonment drags on, advocates are asking the U.S. to do more to ensure Griner’s release. Mechelle Voepel, who has been covering the latest on Griner’s detainment for ESPN, joins us today.

El Paso urges lawmakers to act on assault weapons after Uvalde

El Pasoans who packed a town hall meeting on gun violence and school safety called on state lawmakers to limit access to semi-automatic assault weapons. The El Paso delegation to the state Legislature held the meeting in response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde. KTEP’s Aaron Montes has more.

Small beer breweries are pouring new economic life into the Hill Country

Texas Public Radio’s Brian Kirkpatrick reports breweries from Blanco to Fredericksburg and Dripping Springs to New Braunfels are attracting locals, weekend day-trippers and even a few visitors from across the country. Bottoms up!

A counselor’s perspective on Texas, mental health and mass shootings

As Texas politicians focus on mental health matters after mass shootings like the one in Uvalde, we often hear from academics and professors; less often from counselors who regularly meet with young people with mental health needs. Martin Sauer, a licensed professional counselor with close to 30 years experience, reached out to us about what he felt he wasn’t hearing in the debate about mental health and mass shootings. 

A fresh take on the teen summer romance novel

Austin-based author Kelis Rowe’s debut novel “Finding Jupiter” follows two Memphis teenagers through a rocky summer romance. Rowe says it was important to her to write about Black teens in a way “where the reader doesn’t have to be reminded that they’re Black by their struggle or by their race-based encounters but that they’re just steeped in their humanity.”

When two of Houston’s biggest theater companies open this season, audiences will see something new

If you’re ready for live theater after a two-year pandemic hiatus, Houston’s performing arts scene has created a diverse lineup. Houston Public Media’s Fabiana Chaparro examined how George Floyd’s death in 2020 prompted stage productions to mirror the social changes in their communities. Haya Panjwani voices this story.

A Uvalde fact-check

In days since the Uvalde shooting there’ve been multiple claims coming out of the tragedy that require additional scrutiny. So, what’s fact and what’s false? Nusiaba Mizan with Politifact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman, checks the following claims:

– Gov. Greg Abbott claims Chicago’s ‘tougher’ gun laws fail to prevent gun violence

– No, government data does not say that defensive gun use saves lives

– Among children, firearms the leading cause of death in 2020


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

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