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.

John Allen Rubio sits on Death Row in Texas. He was convicted of the 2003 murder of three children that were in his care. Rubio with his common law wife Angela Camacho say they believed the children were possessed by the devil. Prosecutors say Rubio committed the murders because they were homeless and so poor he didn’t want to take care of them any longer. The murder shocked the border community of Brownsville at the time and it’s a news story that’s still remembered. But former Brownsville Herald reporter Laura Tillman wanted to go deeper in the telling of this crime.

Courtesy photo

Fifty years ago a lone gunman ascended the University of Texas tower and opened fire on passersby, killing 16, wounding three dozen others, and terrorizing people for 96 minutes until three police officers and one citizen were able to get up to the observation deck and end the carnage. The campus itself still bears physical scars from that tragic day.

Sandra Cisneros,  this reluctant icon of the literary arts left San Antonio after over 20 years of calling this city her home. She found a new sanctuary in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a community known for its enclave of artists from around the world. Sandra returns to San Antonio this month for a series of readings at Gemini Ink. She's been back to the city many times, but this will mark her literary homecoming. Yvette Benavides spoke to Sandra Cisneros from her new home in Mexico.

David Martin Davies

It’s the most misunderstood cactus in Texas – Peyote. For thousands of years before the arrival of the European it was a sacred plant for the original peoples of North America. But today it remains an illegal controlled substance and the future of peyote is in doubt.

In American popular culture, peyote is a substance that is linked to the mystical – metaphysical and the bizarre. In the most recent edition of the video game Grand Theft Auto the player seeks out peyote plants and gets the virtual experience of grand hallucinations and animal vision quests.

You don’t have to look far in to Texas' past to see the ugly face of racial violence against African Americans. There is the 1910 Slocum Massacre which we’ve covered on Texas Matters. But there are so many more examples.

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