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Paying The Price For Border Security; Too Much Rain; And Joining A Gang

U.S. Mexico Border Fence Near El Paso.

  This week on Fronteras:

--Texas spends millions on border security but wants the Obama administration to pay for it.

--Texas farmers survived the drought.  Now they’re working to survive recent flooding.

--Water problems also are plaguing New Mexico where runoff from the storms is polluting the Rio Grande.

--A Fort Worth organization is helping young people recover from the financial consequences of gang life.

--An Austin mother in public housing is struggling to keep her son in one school. 

Texas’ Governor Approves An $800 Million Border Security Plan

This week Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that provides record-level spending by the State of Texas for greater security along the 1,200 mile Texas-Mexico border.  The price tag: $800 million.

The money will pay for more state troopers, cameras and a spy plane to crack down on illegal immigration and border crime.  Gov. Abbott is taking credit for the initiative, but he doesn’t think state tax dollars should pay the price tag.  Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe reports on the legislation that passed.



Homeland Security’s Chief Meets Syrians In Houston

In Houston this week, the focus turned from border security to Homeland Security as department Secretary Jeh Johnson met with the Syrian community.  Johnson is partnering with community leaders across the nation to prevent terrorist attacks.  He said the threat of violent extremism has changed in the digital age because online recruitment and propaganda make it possible for anyone to be radicalized.  Johnson wants community organizers to help spot and prevent homegrown terrorism.  Syrian American Council president Shiyam Galyon said Syrians are committed to cooperating with Homeland Security because their family members are suffering at the hands of extremists.  Galyon says many Syrians believe American leadership will help bring a democracy to Syria that will protect all faiths and ethnic groups.  


Texas Cattle Ranchers Face Drought Then Deluge

You may have heard Texas got a lot of rain lately.  Texas cattle ranchers suffering from drought initially felt relief as May rains fell. But that turned to alarm as relentless downpours created created problems. Andrew Schneider of Houston Public Media reports, in the near term, ranchers are paying a steep price.


Storm Water Washes Pollution Into Rio Grande

Heavy rains in New Mexico produced the wettest spring that state has had in years. That’s good news for the drought, but storm water may have washed wash dangerous levels of pollution into the Rio Grande. Fronteras’ reporter Ed Williams of KUNM says there’s a lot we don’t know about how the river pollution may affect public health.


The Financial Consequences Of Gang Life

When a boy gets lured into the gang way of life, he’s usually looking for camaraderie, love, being accepted.  He’s not thinking about how the decision will affect his life as an adult.  But the costs of gang membership can add up.  We’ve heard about gang violence.  KERA’s Courtney Collins the lifestyle can also create financial hardship, which is something a program in Fort Worth is helping young people learn about.


Austin Mother Travels Hours To Keep Son In School   

In Austin, at least 20-percent of the city’s ISD students moved at least once during the last school year.  That’s according to the non-profit E-Three Alliance, an Austin based education collaborative that stands for Education Equals Economics.   Many of those students moved because their families were chasing a limited availability of affordable housing.   KUT’s Kate McGee reports on a mother doing everything she can to stay in Austin’s trendy Travis Heights neighborhood so her son doesn’t have to change schools.


Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.