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Study: Texas, U.S. Elections Vulnerable to Foreign Hacking

Study: Texas, U.S. Elections Vulnerable to Foreign Hacking

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by Mark Richardson DALLAS – When you cast your vote March 6 in the Texas primary, how will you know if your ballot is secure? A new study warns that most states – and particularly Texas – have done very little since 2016 to ensure that no one can tamper…

Opponents Say Bill Pending in Congress Weakens ADA Protections

Opponents Say Bill Pending in Congress Weakens ADA Protections

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by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – A bill aimed at strengthening the Americans with Disabilities Act may not be what it seems. The U.S. House of Representatives could vote this week on HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, which would give businesses accused of not complying with…

Texas Health Clinics in Limbo Until Congress Renews Funding

Texas Health Clinics in Limbo Until Congress Renews Funding

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by Mark Richardson SAN ANTONIO, Texas – More than 1 million uninsured Texans are in limbo, waiting for Congress to approve funding for the neighborhood clinics known as Community Health Centers. Lawmakers face a Thursday deadline to approve a new budget to avoid another federal government shutdown. The Federally Qualified…

Texas Program Aims to Make Communities Healthier

Texas Program Aims to Make Communities Healthier

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by Mark Richardson HOUSTON – Some community clinics in central and southeast Texas are being asked to “improve health – not just health care” in their areas. A new grant program aims to help the clinics address the underlying conditions in their communities that cause health problems. The grants from the Episcopal…

Kids’ Advocates Blast State’s Appeal of Foster-Care Ruling

Kids’ Advocates Blast State’s Appeal of Foster-Care Ruling

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by Mark Richardson CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Children’s advocates are crying foul after state officials appealed a federal judge’s ruling mandating numerous changes to the state’s foster care system. The order describes the system as “still broken,” and lists additional steps to protect abused and neglected children. The Texas Legislature approved a…

Unprecedented Number of LGBTQ Candidates on Texas Primary Ballot

Unprecedented Number of LGBTQ Candidates on Texas Primary Ballot

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by Mark Richardson HOUSTON – An unprecedented number of openly LGBTQ candidates will be on the ballot for the March 6 Texas primary elections. According to OutSmart, a Houston entertainment and advocacy magazine, at least 49 LGBTQ candidates – both Republicans and Democrats – will be on the ballot running for…

Texas Supreme Court to Settle Dispute Over Plastic Bag Ban

Texas Supreme Court to Settle Dispute Over Plastic Bag Ban

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by Mark Richardson AUSTIN, Texas – A decades-old dispute between Texas cities and state officials over plastic grocery bags has finally made its way to the state Supreme Court. At least 10 Texas cities, including Austin, Brownsville and Lardeo, have passed ordinances outlawing single-use plastic bags in grocery and retail…

Trump Extends Religious-Refusal Protections to Health Providers

Trump Extends Religious-Refusal Protections to Health Providers

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by Mark Richardson HOUSTON – A Trump administration plan to protect healthcare workers who refuse to provide services on religious grounds is raising the concerns of civil rights advocates. A presidential order has authorized the creation of a “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” of the Department of Health and Human Services. Its…

Study: Number of Women Grows in Texas Prison System

Study: Number of Women Grows in Texas Prison System

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by Mark Richardson HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Prison populations are dropping in most states, but a new study finds the number of incarcerated women isn’t falling as fast as it is for men. And in Texas, it’s actually growing. Nationally, the total prison population peaked around 2009. The study, by the Prison Policy…

The BIG SQUEEZE Accordion Contest is Back for 2018

The BIG SQUEEZE Accordion Contest is Back for 2018

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Texas Folklife Will Search for Top Young Accordion Talent in Showcases Across the State  Grand Prize Winners will be selected in the following updated four categories:  Polka Grand Prize (Age 25 and under); Cajun & Zydeco Grand Prize (Age 21 and under); Anthony Ortiz, Jr. Conjunto Grand Prize (Ages 18-21);…

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