Category Archives: The great state of Texas

Bastard cabbage update

Because I still like saying “bastard cabbage”. There’s a war raging in Texas this spring — between wildflowers and bastard cabbage. Officials say bastard cabbage, also known by its proper name, rapistrum rugosum, poses a threat to the livelihood of … Continue reading

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Lawsuit filed to stop the Boca Chica land swap

Okay. A coalition of Rio Grande Valley organizations have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, seeking to block the state agency from pursuing a land swap with Elon Musk’s SpaceX spacecraft company. Last month, the Texas … Continue reading

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And the seas will rise

We’re so not ready for this. Cities along the Gulf Coast are bracing for 10 to 12 inches of sea level rise by 2050, and data from a study in the journal Nature last week showed those risks will be … Continue reading

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Hope we have enough water this summer

Not looking great for some parts of the state right now. Two consecutive summers of brutal heat and drought have left some parts of Texas with notably low water supplies going into 2024. A wet year or a well-placed hurricane … Continue reading

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A closer look at Colony Ridge

There have been problems for awhile. Not the kind of problems that got the wingnuts all frothed up, but problems nonetheless. When the fast-growing Colony Ridge development outside Houston became a fixation of right-wing media last year, Texas’ Republican leaders … Continue reading

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Boca Chica land swap allowed to proceed

I still dunno, man. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously Monday to pursue an exchange that would give 43 acres of Boca Chica State Park in Cameron County to Elon Musk’s SpaceX spacecraft company. The state park land … Continue reading

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Abortion and IVF roundup

Texas IVF patients are dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now. Heather Burzlaff has four embryos in a freezer in Dallas and she doesn’t know what to do with them. After seven years of medications, egg retrievals and waiting, … Continue reading

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Crypto miners really don’t want to tell us how much energy they consume

And for now at least, they don’t have to. U.S. officials this week indefinitely withdrew a survey aimed at gathering information on the crypto-mining industry’s power use, hindering attempts to understand the sector’s impact on grids and energy prices at … Continue reading

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The Panhandle wildfires

Scary stuff. A blanket of snow and rain that descended over the Texas Panhandle on Thursday helped firefighters to quell the spread of the largest wildfire in the state’s history, which has engulfed more than 1 million acres of land … Continue reading

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The Boca Chica land swap

I dunno, man. Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioners are considering a land swap with SpaceX that would give Elon Musk’s space exploration company about 43 acres from Boca Chica State Park. In exchange for the land in Texas’ southernmost strip … Continue reading

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How should state agencies use artificial intelligence?

We’ve now got a committee for that. When the Texas Workforce Commission became inundated with jobless claims in March 2020, it turned to artificial intelligence. Affectionately named for the agency’s former head Larry Temple, who had died a year earlier, … Continue reading

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We’re beginning to quantify the effect of the abortion ban

Three stories from the Chron about abortion and forced births. The first one involves rape victims. Read carefully. More than 26K rape-related pregnancies estimated after Texas outlawed abortions. Texas saw an estimated 26,313 rape-related pregnancies during the 16 months after … Continue reading

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On the weather and the climate

Good news: The dormant wildfire season — which has produced nearly all of the 30 largest wildfires in Texas — is here, but data from the Texas A&M Forest Service suggest this may be a mild year thanks to El … Continue reading

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The Texas Freedom to Read Project

Good stuff. A group of Texas parents has a mission: Let their kids follow their curiosity in school libraries. The Texas Freedom to Read Project launched in December to counter the statewide surge in book challenges and removals in public … Continue reading

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The real way to make a fortune in cryptocurrency

Get paid millions to not use electricity. It’s brilliant. When the news broke that Bitcoin mining company Riot Platforms made $32 million by reducing — or being willing to reduce if needed — its energy use last August in Texas, … Continue reading

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Elevated Access

More great reporting from Texas Public Radio about the brave and creative ways that people in Texas are finding to help others get the health care they need outside the state. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, … Continue reading

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What would it take to prove the existence of Bigfoot?

Texas Monthly’s Lauren Larson visits the annual Texas Bigfoot Conference and asks the important question. [Michael Mayes, a schoolteacher and author of Valley of the Apes: The Search for Sasquatch in Area X] introduces a question that has preoccupied investigators … Continue reading

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What the Texas State Aquarium will be doing this winter

Rescuing freezing animals, for one thing. The patient, rescued by a concerned stranger, had been in the hospital for almost a year since suffering in the cold around last Christmas. She had been eating well and gaining weight after her … Continue reading

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State abandons effort to retake Fairfield Lake State Park

Of interest. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has effectively thrown in the towel on a monthslong battle to buy or seize a 5,000-acre property that includes the now-closed Fairfield Lake State Park in Freestone County. Dallas-based developer Todd Interests … Continue reading

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Woolly mammoth de-extinctioning

Here we go. In a historic building in Deep Ellum, a colossal effort is underway to bring some of the most famously extinct animals back to life. The wild mission comes from a Dallas-based company called Colossal Biosciences which is … Continue reading

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Three stories about abortion

All from Texas Public Radio, which has been doing a great job with these. Big Bend area group plans anti-abortion pregnancy centers in Presidio, Alpine. A local nonprofit formed earlier this year is seeking to open two new anti-abortion pregnancy … Continue reading

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Warfarin update

Warfarin is a toxicant that has shown promise in reducing the feral hog population. A few years ago the Lege asked for a study on its effects before it could be approved for more general use. We now have the … Continue reading

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“Solar For All” grant

From the inbox: Earlier this year, the Biden Administration announced a $7 billion national “Solar For All” grant competition via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help expand solar energy production across the country. Harris County leaders enlisted a coalition … Continue reading

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Data from Dallas County cyberattack allegedly posted online

We’ll see how bad this is. Data allegedly from the recent cyber attack on Dallas County systems has been posted online, county officials confirmed on Tuesday. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said officials were “aware of an unauthorized party posting … Continue reading

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Dallas County says it successfully defended itself against that cyber attack

Very good news if true. Dallas County said Tuesday that an attempt to hack into its computer systems earlier this month has been thwarted and staff are continuing to investigate the incident. The county announced on its website that its … Continue reading

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Skeet Jones indicted and suspended

Have you been waiting for a Skeet Jones update? Well, you’re in luck. State regulators have suspended without pay the top elected official of Texas’s least-populated county after a grand jury indicted him for cattle rustling. Judge Skeet Jones, patriarch … Continue reading

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Dallas County suffers ransomware attack

Add them to the list. Dallas County experienced a cybersecurity incident this month that affected parts of its network, an official confirmed on Monday. In a statement to Recorded Future News, Dallas County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins said that there … Continue reading

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The looming Kerr County election disaster

I have five things to say about this. Responsibility for running elections in Kerr County has shifted among three different people in the past two months. The first two officials bailed on the job after a months-long effort by one … Continue reading

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Private dam proposal withdrawn

Good news. After months of opposition by communities along the Llano River, the former CEO of Houston-based energy company Phillips 66 has withdrawn his permit application to build a private dam on his ranch in Edwards County, according to state … Continue reading

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Lubbock County passes “abortion travel ban”

It’s time to take this to court. Three county commissioners approved an ordinance Monday that would bar pregnant Texas women from traveling through Lubbock County for an abortion in another state. The commissioners – Jason Corley, Terence Kovar and Jordan … Continue reading

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Drought 2023

It’s bad. Any questions? A lingering drought affecting more than 80% of Texas is causing wildfires, hurting agriculture and drying up water supplies throughout the state. This year’s drought comes less than a year after Texas experienced one of its … Continue reading

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From the “I gave you a million bucks and this is the thanks I get?” department

This is buck wild. Colony Ridge, a massive residential development north of Houston, has quickly taken center stage in Texas politics. After weeks of reports in conservative media portraying the development as a “magnet for illegal immigrants,” followed by state … Continue reading

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A Loving County update

The country’s smallest county has the biggest election contest lawsuits. Most people can tell you where they live. But here in the least-populated county in the United States, “Where is your home?” can be a trick question laced with dark … Continue reading

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The Arlington nun mutiny

Oh my God this story is wild. There’s a strange saga unfolding in Texas. It involves allegations and accusations of illicit sexual relationships, drug use, theft, abuse, spying, planted evidence, and plots to steal a multimillion-dollar property. The people involved … Continue reading

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