Texas Standard for May 19, 2022: Mesquite Heat fire burns as wildfire conditions intensify

Twenty miles southwest of Abilene, evacuation orders are issued as a dangerous fire consumes homes. Also: Migrants fill shelters in Ciudad Juárez waiting for a major change in U.S. immigration enforcement that could come as soon as Monday. And: Waves for wheat farmers – how a topsy-turvy global market is hitting Texas’ breadbasket.

Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 19, 2022 9:17 am,

Here are the stories for the Texas Standard for Thursday, May 19, 2022:

Meet the two Republicans running for Texas land commissioner

Early voting in Texas’ May 24 runoff elections is underway, and voters will determine which Democrats and Republicans make it to the ballot in November. Earlier this week we heard from the two Democrats vying for the land commissioner nomination. Today, The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports on the Republicans: Dawn Buckingham and Tim Westley.

Mesquite Heat fire burns as wildfire conditions intensify

Eight wildfires are active across the state this morning, according to the Texas Wildfire Incident Response System. Weather forecasts for much of the state include high heat and high winds – two major challenges for firefighters trying to contain those blazes. One of the largest is the Mesquite Heat fire, which began Tuesday afternoon in Taylor County. Erin O’Connor, public information officer with the Texas A&M Forest Service, joins us with more.

Drought and global chaos conspire to keep Texas wheat farmers from profiting off record prices

Texas wheat farmers are getting ready to harvest, but they’re not expecting a bumper crop. A lot of wheat producers are going to take a loss this year, and a topsy-turvy global market doesn’t offer much stability for the future, either. The Texas Standard’s Michael Marks reports that those conditions are making major waves in the wheat world.

That ping pong table isn’t cutting it: what big tech is doing to retain employees

When it comes to pay and perks, tech companies have a reputation for being generous to their employees. But now some firms are finding that what they offer isn’t enough to attract or keep the talent they need to keep innovating. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga noticed this trend among several big names in the tech world, and he’s here to tell us about it.

Thousands of migrants are waiting in Juárez to claim asylum once Trump-era immigration restriction expires

City officials in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, say an estimated 15,000 migrants are filling up shelters or sleeping on the streets. They’re waiting for Title 42, a Trump-era policy that cited COVID as a reason to restrict immigration, to end on Monday. The anticipation of folks seeking asylum has drained resources on the southern side of the border, while those on the U.S. side prepare for historic demand. Ruben Garcia, director of El Paso’s Annunciation House shelter and its network of 15 area shelters, joins us with more.

A magical journey awaits this 12-year-old forced to save her parents

Author Jenna Yoon joins the Standard to talk about her new YA book, “Lia Park and the Missing Jewel.”

Striking San Antonio Symphony back on stage at First Baptist Church

The musicians of the San Antonio Symphony have been on strike since late September, but they’ve still been staging occasional concerts for the public at the First Baptist Church. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan was at the symphony’s most recent performance.

Misunderstood and sometimes parodied, the U.S. Space Force is educating the public about its mission

The U.S. military has been involved in outer space for decades, with the Air Force and other military branches taking the lead. But about two years ago, Congress created the Space Force to take over most of those responsibilities. Eric Schmid of the American Homefront Project traveled to Colorado to see some of what the Space Force does.

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

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