Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
It’s more than the Laredo fight between Jessica Cisneros and Henry Cuellar: in South Texas, Democratic congressional and legislative runoffs are showcasing the tension between newly energized progressives and more traditional politicians with moderate or conservative approaches. The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek writes three more south Texas races are important indicators for the future of Democrats in the region. He joins us today.
The COVID treatment flying under the radar
COVID vaccines mostly help prevent people from getting sick to the point that they have to be hospitalized. But it still happens, usually for people who are especially vulnerable or immunocompromised. Some die. Houston Public Media’s Sara Willa Ernst says there’s another option for people who don’t respond well to the vaccines, but most Texans don’t know about it.
For many, COVID-19’s impact on our everyday lives has lessened. But its effect on the criminal justice system will continue to be felt for a long time. In Dallas County, a backlog of criminal cases has left many defendants facing jail or legal limbo for months, or even years. County commissioners are saying criminal court judges need to work more. KERA North Texas’ Bret Jaspers reports.
Our commentator W.F. Strong has more.
U.S. troops are returning to Somalia
President Joe Biden has signed an order to redeploy American forces to war-torn Somalia. The move is a reversal of the previous administration’s order to pull out of the East African nation after years of American presence. For more on the conflict and what the order means, we turn to Alan Kuperman, associate professor at UT Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs:
Fifty years ago this month, singer/songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey released his first album. A quietly but massively influential record, the self-titled album included songs that have since been covered by Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, and Captain & Tennille. Half a century later, a who’s-who of Texas musicians are still waiting on a follow-up. John Spong spoke to many of them for a feature in Texas Monthly, and we’ll hear from Spong today.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke said “Under Greg Abbott, property taxes have gone up $20 billion.” Is that a fact? Here to sort it out is Nusaiba Mizan with PolitiFact Texas, based at the Austin American-Statesman.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.