TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll on the race for governor and the hypothetical race for president in 2016, Batheja on conversations about high-speed rail in Texas, Rocha and Dehn’s interview with actor/activist Eva Longoria, Ayala and Hamilton on a case of campaign embezzlement, Malewitz on a steep drop in oil prices, Walters and Root on what the state could have done — and didn’t — in its Ebola response, Satija on a dispute over ozone between regulators and scientists, E. Smith’s TribLive with top East Texas lawmakers, M. Smith on textbooks and Texas regulators: The best of our best for the week of Oct. 20 to Oct. 24, 2014.

 
 

Ebola Task Force Chief: "This is the New Normal"

Dr. Brett Giroir, director of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, speaks during the panel's first public hearing on Oct. 23. At left is Dr. Kyle Janek and at right is Dr. David Lakey.
Dr. Brett Giroir, director of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, speaks during the panel's first public hearing on Oct. 23. At left is Dr. Kyle Janek and at right is Dr. David Lakey.

Texas needs to be better prepared to respond to emerging infectious diseases like Ebola, the director of a new state task force on such diseases said Thursday.

TxDOT Ends Program That Converts Paved Roads to Gravel

Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.
Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.

The Texas Department of Transportation has ended its controversial program aimed at converting some badly damaged paved roads to gravel, more than a year after the launch of the initiative drew national attention to the agency's budget troubles.

 

 

Texas Takes Last Pass at Social Studies Textbooks

State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

In a month, the State Board of Education will take a final vote on the social studies textbooks that will be used in the state's public schools for the next eight years. 

Analysis: A Missing Piece in the Voter ID Debate

Vote signs outside early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.
Vote signs outside early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.

State leaders asked for and received a study that said the voter photo ID law would leave more than a half-million voters without required state-issued IDs. But they didn't tell most legislators about it, according to a federal judge's findings.

New in TribTalk: Scheck on Max Soffar

In 1981, Max Soffar was sentenced to death for the murder of three people at a Houston bowling alley. Soffar, who has spent three decades on death row, says his confessions were coerced. Prosecutors say that the case against him is solid, and police officers deny accusations of coercion.
In 1981, Max Soffar was sentenced to death for the murder of three people at a Houston bowling alley. Soffar, who has spent three decades on death row, says his confessions were coerced. Prosecutors say that the case against him is solid, and police officers deny accusations of coercion.

Let Max Soffar — an innocent man on death row in Texas who is dying of liver cancer — spend his last days at home, writes Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project.