Texas Matters

Fridays at 12:30 p.m. & Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply.  Texas Matters is a statewide news program that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues and culture of Texas.

Texas Matters is hosted by David Martin Davies, who talks directly with policymakers and newsmakers in a lively discussion designed to shed light on issues often overlooked by other media.

David Martin Davies:

Davies is the host of "The Source" and a veteran journalist with over 25 years’ experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico. He is a regular contributor to NPR and American Public Media's "Marketplace." Davies also has written for "The San Antonio Light", "The San Antonio Express-News," "The Texas Observer" and others, and hosted KLRN public television’s interview program "Conversations."

Texas Matters is made possible by the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

There may not be snow in San Antonio but its still Christmas time in Texas. And it's a time for stories.

Sharing your favorite childhood story of the holidays with your own children is a way to keep the spirit of Christmas strong.

On this Texas Matters we'll visit some Texas Christmas traditions and hear classic stories of the holidays with Texas storyteller John Henry Faulk, and San Antonio writer Yvette Benavides.

Segment 1

The Mesquite tree – easy to say it’s not a popular tree for Texas ranchers. It’s thorny – it hogs water – stringy with shade – crowds out grassland – and almost impossible to kill.

But there’s another side to the Mesquite. It could be considered a super tree that have many positive attributes that benefits the ecosystem above and below the ground.

And the Mesquite is also a super food that’s tasty too.

Federal and state officials are investigating Brown County’s County Attorney Shane Britton. There are questions about Britton’s practice of accepting donations from suspects in misdemeanor criminal cases to pay their way out of being prosecuted.

If you get sick or injured in Texas – you’d best do it in the city. Texas rural health care is in crisis. In the last three years 15 rural hospitals have closed their doors and more are expected to follow suit. This leaves a highly vulnerable population without quick access to health care and emergency treatment.

David Pearson is trying to find a way to reverse the trend. Pearson is the president/CEO  of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals.

A new state mandate demands burials for fetal tissue is soon to take effect – but the Texas Medical Association says it’s in the dark about the requirements.

State and federal officials investigate allegations of corruption and bribery where law breakers could buy their way out of jail.

And rural hospitals in Texas are in trouble – there’s been an epidemic of hospital closures. And a growing number of counties in the state are without a single doctor.

This is Texas Matters from Texas Public Radio – I’m David Martin Davies

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