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In East Texas, thousands of Easter lilies with no place to go

In East Texas, thousands of Easter lilies with no place to go

A proper Easter lily is a long time in creation. The regal white flowers now in Don Darby’s New Summerfield greenhouses spent their first three years in the ground on the west coast, the bulbs planted, then dug up; planted, then dug up; planted, then dug up one last time when they'd grown big enough to sell.After the bulbs arrived in East Texas, Darby planted this crop, his 42nd, in mid-October, as he always does. The 34,000 bulbs in 34,000 little pots spent their first six weeks stacked on shelves in refrigerators, 40 days at 40 degrees.Now the flowers are many times the height of their...

April 9, 2020
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Analysis: Texas has scant data about the pandemic, leaving a lot of questions

Analysis: Texas has scant data about the pandemic, leaving a lot of questions

Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click.If you’d like to listen to the column, just click on the play button below.If you’re skeptical or curious about this pandemic, how is what you’re hearing from the official Texas sources supposed to be reassuring?The information Texans are working with is .Where to start? Not enough tests have been completed, or taken, to really know who has or doesn’t have the disease, where the Texas hotspots are, or whether people who have died of respiratory problems had COVID-19. The relatively small number of...

April 10, 2020
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Meatpacking workers in Texas Panhandle have little power to avoid the coronavirus

Meatpacking workers in Texas Panhandle have little power to avoid the coronavirus

CACTUS — To understand powerlessness in a pandemic, trace a northbound path from Amarillo up State Highway 87. Not too far shy of the border where Texas meets Oklahoma lies Moore County.There are few easy ways to make a living in this country of feedlots and dryland cotton, but one of the hardest is at the JBS Beef meatpacking plant. Just about everything looks small on these vast flatlands until you get right up on it, but the 125-acre plant in the tiny town of Cactus is massive from any vantage point.The steady billow of gray smoke from the plant's stacks tells you it is still running...

April 27, 2020
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Gov. Greg Abbott to let restaurants, movie theaters and malls open with limited capacity Friday

Gov. Greg Abbott to let restaurants, movie theaters and malls open with limited capacity Friday

Gov. said Monday that he will let the state’s stay-at-home order expire Thursday as scheduled and allow businesses to begin reopening in phases the next day, the latest ramp-up in his push to restart the Texas economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.First to open Friday: retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls. But they will only be allowed to operate at 25% capacity. Museums and libraries will also be allowed to open at 25% capacity, but hands-on exhibits must remain closed.Abbott said a second phase of business reopenings could come as soon as May 18 — as long as the state sees...

April 27, 2020
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Texas voters overwhelmingly approve of business closures, stay-at-home orders despite blow to state's economy, says UT/TT poll

Texas voters overwhelmingly approve of business closures, stay-at-home orders despite blow to state's economy, says UT/TT poll

 Texas' — and — as officials shutter businesses and limit some establishment's operations to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. But while Texans' optimism about the state's economy has fallen, they largely support those measures, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.Two-thirds of registered Texas voters agree with decisions by Gov. Greg Abbott and several local officials to suspend nonessential business operations. And more than three-quarters of voters support except for essential activities. The poll's findings come as Abbott says he will soon announce plans...

April 26, 2020
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George W. Bush won't support Donald Trump’s reelection, report says

George W. Bush won't support Donald Trump’s reelection, report says

George W. Bush will not support the re-election of Donald Trump, according to people familiar with his thinking, The Saturday.The paper said the former president and Texas governor won't vote for Trump's reelection and that his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, "isn't sure how he'll vote." The paper spotlights several members of the Republican Party who are dissenting from party lines, though Bush was the only prominent Texas politician mentioned. Freddy Ford, a spokesman for Bush, told The Texas Tribune that Bush would steer clear of speaking publicly on his presidential vote and...

June 7, 2020
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Eviction proceedings and debt collections can resume this month, Texas Supreme Court orders

Eviction proceedings and debt collections can resume this month, Texas Supreme Court orders

and proceedings can resume in Texas next week, the Texas Supreme Court has ordered, after the court temporarily put both on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.The coronavirus pandemic has steered the economy into the path of a recession. .Eviction hearings as soon as Tuesday, with orders authorizing evictions allowed starting May 26. That does not apply to certain tenants who are protected through the federal , in homes covered by federally backed mortgages. Tenants covered under that federal moratorium have protections . Others may be protected through , like those in place in Austin,...

May 15, 2020
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Texas officials walk back $15 million proposed cuts to women’s and children's health services

Texas officials walk back $15 million proposed cuts to women’s and children's health services

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day's latest updates.State health officials walked back a plan to cut $15 million in funding from health and safety net programs, including services that offer low-income Texans access to birth control and cancer screenings, and support families of young children with disabilities or developmental delays.They are instead looking at other belt-tightening measures this year to find savings — and continuing to focus cuts on the agency’s administrative budget — under a revised proposal...

September 15, 2020
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A singular figure in Texas’ coronavirus response, Gov. Greg Abbott leads a state headed in an alarming direction

A singular figure in Texas’ coronavirus response, Gov. Greg Abbott leads a state headed in an alarming direction

One evening last week, after making one of his most consequential decisions yet in Texas’ response to the coronavirus, Gov. settled in for his pandemic routine: a rapid-fire round of local TV interviews from his campaign’s satellite studio in Austin.In the hours since he’d issued a statewide mask mandate, Abbott had taken a familiar shellacking from both sides of the aisle: the Democrats who had wanted the mask requirement weeks earlier, and some Republicans who had not wanted it at all.An anchor with KIII in Corpus Christi offered a measure of sympathy.“Governor, I must tell you I wouldn’t...

July 11, 2020
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Texas judge will issue order that could greatly expand mail-in voting

Texas judge will issue order that could greatly expand mail-in voting

A state district judge said Wednesday that he will move forward with an order easing restrictions for voting by mail in Texas in light of the new coronavirus pandemic.After conducting a video conference hearing in a lawsuit filed by state Democrats and civic organizations, Judge Tim Sulak told the attorneys he will issue a temporary injunction allowing all voters who risk exposure to the coronavirus if they vote in person to ask for a mail-in ballot under a portion of the Texas election code allowing absentee ballots for voters who cite a disability. His ruling, which is almost certain to...

April 15, 2020
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