Texas

Don't Want to Wear a Mask? In Some Places, It Could Cost You.

States and cities are introducing penalties for people who don't comply with mandatory mask policies. But enforcement is tricky, with some public officials and civil rights experts arguing fines are counterproductive.

Florida Tops 200,000 Coronavirus Cases as ICU Beds Fill Up in Some Tampa Bay-Area Hospitals

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Principals told to quarantine after coronavirus exposure at meeting … Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules for governor on emergency powers … Portland, Oregon extends police union contract.

He Removed Labels That Said “Medical Use Prohibited,” Then Tried to Sell Thousands of Masks to Officials Who Distribute to Hospitals

Using TaskRabbit and Venmo, a Silicon Valley investor and his business partner had workers repackage non-medical KN95 masks so he could sell them to Texas emergency workers.

Texas and Florida Restricting Bars Amid Coronavirus Surge

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas bars to close, while a state official said Florida is planning to suspend on-premises alcohol sales. Both states are grappling with trying to control the virus, while allowing businesses to operate.

Saharan Dust Sweeps Into Gulf Coast Region

The atmospheric event isn’t uncommon, but this time the plume is unusually large. It could pose some health risks for people with preexisting respiratory conditions.

Texas Lawmakers Urge Trump Administration to Keep Testing Sites Open

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Civil rights experts say they’ve uncovered the first case of a person wrongly arrested after incorrect facial recognition software identification … New York proposal would ban Tik Tok from government devices … A proposal for a tourism tax credit.

With Coronavirus Cases Climbing, Texas Governor Warns of Possible Restrictions—But Says They Will Be ‘The Last Option’

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Sexual abuse survivors urge change to Utah's constitution ... Philadelphia city council members push for a stimulus package for Black neighborhoods ... Tennessee passes strict abortion law.

In Rural Texas, the Covid-19 Pandemic Has Brought More Accessible Mental Health Care

Mental health services have always been scarce in Texas' vast rural stretches. But the pandemic has caused the state to lift restrictions on providing care online or by phone.

Small Businesses Failed by Federal Bailout Program Turn to Cash-Strapped Local Governments for Help

Thousands of small businesses, especially those owned by people of color, have been left behind by the stipulations of the Paycheck Protection Program. In Texas, local governments are lending millions of dollars and it’s not enough.

Texas AG Brokers Deal With Counties on Opioid Payouts

The deal would send 15% of any national settlement deal directly to cities and counties.

Texas Allows Evictions to Proceed Again

The state, which like others is experiencing historic levels of unemployment, is one of the earliest to restart eviction proceedings.

‘Double Whammy’: Oil Crash Adds to Virus Budget Woes in Some States

Alaska is dealing with some especially tough financial issues. In Louisiana, one lawmaker says: "It's just kind of the perfect storm with the coronavirus and the collapse of oil and gas."

Texas Does Away with Jail Time for Violation of Coronavirus Orders

Gov. Greg Abbott’s reversal stands in contrast to strict enforcement in Hawaii and some other states as leaders continue to grapple with the virus outbreak.

Texas Still Won't Say Which Nursing Homes have Covid-19 Cases. Families Are Demanding Answers.

Citing a state medical privacy law, Texas is refusing to release the names of long-term care facilities where residents have died from COVID-19, even as those case numbers soar and families plead for information.

Is This Rural Community Really Texas’ Sickest County?

State data indicates that Donley County in the Panhandle has the highest coronavirus infection rate in Texas. But county Judge John Howard—also the only local doctor—believes that's because he's testing far more than other counties.

He Spent $500,000 to Buy Coronavirus Tests. Health Officials Say They’re Unreliable.

An ER owner bought 20,000 rapid COVID-19 tests, but a week later they were seized by the federal government. It’s a bitter example of what can go wrong when local governments try to buy supplies on the open market from unknown manufacturers.

‘Prisons Are Bacteria Factories’; Elderly Most at Risk

“You’re going to see devastation that’s unbelievable.”

Speaking Statistically, This GOP Donor Wants to Convince You that Money Buys Justice in Texas

After losing before the Texas Supreme Court against a big oil company, a wealthy Republican donor concluded that major corporations represented by certain elite law firms are more likely to succeed at the state's high court.

How States Are Battling Other States’ Travel Bans

Texas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare California’s ban on state-funded travel to the Lone Star state unconstitutional.

Texas Can’t Quit the Aoudad

Some Texans are calling for the extermination of this exotic African transplant. But others depend on it.