Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, Oct. 16, 2023:
Galveston County’s 2021 voting map violates the Voting Rights Act, a federal judge ruled Friday. He agreed with plaintiffs who charged that the map, drawn after the 2020 census, divvied up county commissioners court precincts in a way that prevents Black and Latino residents from electing a commissioner of their choice.
Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider has been following the trial in Galveston, and he joins Texas Standard with more.
Texas’ public school teachers say they’ll fight efforts to implement school vouchers in the state. The Legislature is holding a special session to focus on the issue, so educators are planning on going to the Capitol.
But who will teach the students as they protest? The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports they’ve enlisted plumbers.
A tour of historic Houston homes
In the next few weeks, a Houston neighborhood that’s been around for well over 100 years is showcasing some of its homes.
Houston Public Media’s Gail Delaughter took an early visit to learn how they’ve taken on the challenges of historic preservation:
Despite Texas’ rapid growth, at least three of our largest cities – Houston, Dallas and Austin – have far more office space than people working inside.
What does this surplus of commercial property signal about the state of the economy? Wall Street Journal reporter Konrad Putzier joins the Standard with the story.
With its vast and diverse landscapes, Texas is home to thousands of animal species, including some that occur nowhere else in the world. But expanding human development poses a threat to native wildlife: More than 50,000 animal-vehicle collisions were reported to Texas police between 2010 and 2016 – and that number is likely a major undercount.
The Texas Department of Transportation has been building wildlife crossings since the 90s in an effort to keep both animals and drivers safe, and in August the department applied for funding from the federal Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program to bolster those efforts.
TxDOT environmental specialist John Young shares more about the program and how it works.
The story goes something like this: A man is walking home alone, late at night. Maybe he’s been drinking. Suddenly, he hears a noise … and sees glowing eyes staring at him from a tree.
If you grew up in South Texas or northern Mexico, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the legend of La Lechuza. That word translates from Spanish as “barn owl,” but La Lechuza is something altogether spookier.
For our series Tracking Texas Cryptids, the Texas Standard’s Raul Alonzo and Sarah Asch tell us more.
Texas ranked at the very bottom of the country last year when it came to access to children’s mental health services. Experts say the need for counseling and other services is dire.
Sammantha Gutierrez of KACU reports on efforts to close the gap.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.