Texas Matters

Fridays at 3:30 p.m., Saturdays at 6:30 a.m., and 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 20 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.

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Texas Matters
5:37 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

"Blood Aces," The Story Of Benny Binion

There is definitely some kind of spiritual connection between Texas and Las Vegas. And that could be traced back to one particular murderous crook named Benny Binion. There’s a statue of Binion today in Vegas with him high on a horse with his cowboy hat tilted in a cocky fashion.

Doug Swanson has written the incredible story of this gamble cowboy - "Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion," the slam-bang thrill ride of a biography by Doug Swanson of the Dallas Morning News.

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Texas Matters
5:22 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Is ISIS Crossing The Texas-Mexico Border?

A screen grab from an ISIS recruiting video
Credit NBC news

As the United States engages the terrorist organization ISIS or ISIL in Iraq and Syria, there are people here sounding the alarm that the Texas Mexico border is being crossed by members of the Islamic State seeking to harm to Americans.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter was on Fox News this week (video below) saying that he believes that members of ISIS have already crossed the border.

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Texas Matters
3:11 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Texas Parks And Wildlife Sinking A Ship For Artificial Reef

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working on building an artificial reel off shore of Corpus Christi and this weekend they plan on sinking a ship in that effort. Dale Shively is the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s artificial reef program leader.

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Texas Matters
3:09 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

DWI Dude Running For Texas Top Cop To Legalize Pot

Credit dwidude.com

The race for Texas attorney general already has it’s oddities: The Democrats are fielding a candidate named Sam Houston and the Republican candidate, state Sen. Ken Paxton, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and more criminal charges could be coming.

Enter the Libertarian in the race, attorney Jamie Balagia, who is also known as the "DWI Dude," a moniker he acquired for his stalwart defense against DWI and drug charges. His website is dwidude.com

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Texas Matters
1:08 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Is A Water Revolt Coming To Texas?

Texas has never had enough water to go around, and with this ongoing drought and population growth water has never been more precious.

As cities are looking to shore up their long-range water plans they are reaching farther into the rural parts of the state looking to buy up water. But the rural areas are reacting with suspicion and dread as they witness their aquifers being tapped.

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Texas Matters
12:54 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Tea Party Takes On Border Security

Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas tea party leaders are calling on Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with security on the southern border. And declare that Texas is being invaded.

The group released what they call a guiding document for future political action that they say will address the threat to the nation’s economy, security and health caused by illegal immigration.  

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Texas Matters
12:40 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Texas Voter Turnout: Looking Back At The 2010 Raid Of A Voter Registration Drive In Houston

Credit Chris Eudaily / TPR News

On a fall Monday in 2010, agents with the Texas attorney general’s office raided the offices of Houston Votes, a large-scale voter registration project.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said the raid was required to protect the integrity of the ballot box. Critics say it was a heavy handed effort to intimidate voter registration in an area where voter turnout is historically low.

Fred Lewis is the president of Texans Together, the nonprofit parent group of Houston Votes.

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Texas Matters
2:26 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Remembering Ranchera Great 'La Perla Tapatia'

I would like to celebrate the life of Janet Cortez, a ranchera singer whose stage name was La Perla Tapatia. Cortez was member of beloved singing group Las Tesoros de San Antonio. She died Sunday at 83.

I was fortunate enough to see her perform several times in her trademark bolero hat and black and white cape, but what amazed me was her determination to perform despite a life time of health issues -- including throat cancer.

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Texas Matters
2:20 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Naomi Shihab Nye Reflects On Ferguson And Gaza

Two major stories have dominated the news this summer: the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the clash between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

While both stories have settled into an uneasy peace, San Antonio-based poet Naomi Shihab Nye has a unique perspective having grown up in both places. She offers this commentary.

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Texas Matters
2:09 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Continuing Reaction To The Texas School Finance Ruling

If the Texas Supreme Court upholds the ruling, it will be up to the Legislature to pass school finance reform.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Texas Matters: Groups and politicians from across the state are all having their say in yesterday's ruling in the Texas school finance case. We hear from a MALDEF attorney, a conservative policy analyst and two legislators on the Senate Committee on Education.

Big issue, big decision

School districts throughout the state are applauding a court ruling that may eventually lead to an overhaul of the way Texas pays for schools.

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