column

Week of July 27 - 31

Let’s search together for capital ideas

Ed Sterling wrote this column for almost three decades, so let’s open by celebrating his contributions to the Texas Press Association and its members. Ed was the calm, steady voice keeping us informed and interested.

Week of July 20-26, 2020

Department of Defense sends teams to assist hospitals in COVID crisis
AUSTIN — COVID-19 turned aggressive to the point last week that the Department of Defense activated U.S. Army and U.S. Navy medical task force teams and assigned them to Texas at Gov. Greg Abbott's request.

Amid bad news, a permanent solution to a temporary problem

Since fall 2018, 300 more U.S. newspapers have disappeared, bringing the number over the last 15 years to 2,100. That’s almost 25% of the 9,000 newspapers that were published in 2005.
That’s one upshot of “News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive?,” a report published June 25 by Penelope Muse Abernathy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Week of July 13-19, 2020

Governor: Hospitals must expand capacity as COVID-19 cases escalate
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott has again suspended elective surgeries in hospitals in 104 counties located within 11 of the state’s 22 trauma service areas.
Each of the trauma service areas has a regional advisory council and a trauma system plan to respond to health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Week of July 6-12, 2020

Governor’s order mandates wearing of face masks in public
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on July 2 issued an executive order to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus while keeping Texas as open as possible for business.
With few exceptions, the order requires all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases. 

Week of June 29 - July 5, 2020

Governor’s order restricts alcohol-serving establishments 
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state to slow down the reopening process for bars and other venues as coronavirus-related infections, hospitalizations and deaths continued to increase in Texas last week.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars." 

Week of June 22-28, 2020

Governor, education commissioner say schools will open in fall
AUSTIN — While COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, case counts, hospitalizations and deaths increased last week, more and more Texans ventured out of their homes with the deadly coronavirus showing no sign of abatement.

First Amendment Protections for Journalists Covering Protests

The killing of George Floyd and the ensuing civil unrest have placed journalists at the center of large-scale protests and demonstrations across the United States, including in major metropolitan centers throughout Texas.  In the course of covering these protests, many journalists have found themselves in harm’s way, and members of the press corps have been assaulted, detained, or arrested in the line of duty.