Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.
Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.

Housing Crunch Hurts Foster Care Oversight

The oil boom has brought jobs and prosperity to Midland and Odessa, but it has also driven up housing prices, making it difficult for the Department of Family and Protective Services to hire caseworkers. The challenge comes at a time when the agency is under pressure to fill jobs after the deaths of two foster children.

 

 
A gas well last fracked in March sits 385 feet from Debbie Ingram's home in Argyle, Texas on July 22, 2014.
A gas well last fracked in March sits 385 feet from Debbie Ingram's home in Argyle, Texas on July 22, 2014.

Denton Fracking Ban Could Spur Legal Clash

A North Texas town's effort to ban hydraulic fracturing may prompt an unprecedented showdown between two powerful rights: a city's authority to shape development and mineral owners' right to tap their resources. 

Denton Fracking Ban Could Spur Legal Clash

A gas well last fracked in March sits 385 feet from Debbie Ingram's home in Argyle, Texas on July 22, 2014.
A gas well last fracked in March sits 385 feet from Debbie Ingram's home in Argyle, Texas on July 22, 2014.

A North Texas town's effort to ban hydraulic fracturing may prompt an unprecedented showdown between two powerful rights: a city's authority to shape development and mineral owners' right to tap their resources. 

 

The Brief: July 24, 2014

The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.
The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.

The Rick Perry Presidential Watch has revved up in a big way.

Report: New Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions

A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.
A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.

Abortions in Texas decreased by about 13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley after strict abortion regulations went into effect last November, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Brief: July 25, 2014

Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.
Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.

Can those National Guard troops being sent to the border arrest people? The latest word is they can. And the reason why is that Rick Perry sent them, and not the federal government.

Lawmakers Hear Tales of Foster Care Woes

State lawmakers have already met several times this year to discuss rampant and persistent problems in the state's foster care system. On Thursday, they heard from former foster youths to find out what needs to be changed.

Cuellar: "Failure is Not an Option" on Border Crisis

US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.
US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.

If lawmakers do not act to address the immigration crisis on Texas' southern border before their August break, smugglers will get the message that the government does not take the crisis seriously, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar says.

Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns

Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.
Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.

Several public drinking water systems in Texas have quality issues that have not been adequately addressed, the Environmental Protection Agency told the state in recent correspondence obtained by the Tribune. 

Analysis: A Border Plan — and a Political One

Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton,  and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announced the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry, flanked by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and Texas Adjutant General John Nichols, announced the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas border on July 21, 2014.

Gov. Rick Perry said a plan to send National Guard troops to the state's border with Mexico was necessary because the federal government isn't doing enough there. The move could also address a political weak spot he discovered in his 2012 presidential run.