TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Feb 8, 2010

Debra Medina's roller coaster hit the downhill track on Thursday, when she said on a radio talk show that questions about government involvement in the 9/11 attacks might be warranted. And she proceeded to have a day full of crisis management, trying to keep her insurgent campaign for governor out of a tailspin.

Rick Perry leads both of his Republican rivals — but Kay Bailey Hutchison and Debra Medina are in a virtual tie for second place in a primary that could require a runoff election. Bill White has a wide lead over Farouk Shami and five others in the Democratic primary, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Bill White and Farouk Shami introduced themselves to a statewide audience this week, for better and for worse, in the first and probably only televised debate in the Democratic primary for governor.

Federal education officials are targeting a list of "persistently lowest-achieving" schools with a set of remedies that includes firing and replacing the management, even if it's not the management that got the school into trouble. And you can search for trouble spots in your part of the state with our data app.

Felipe Reyna used to sweep the floors in the courtroom where he's now an appeals court judge appointed by Gov. Rick Perry. But some Republicans are working hard to knock him off the bench. 

A West Texas sheriff built a criminal case against a nurse for complaining about a doctor after the Texas Medical Board — making a wrong assumption — gave him copies of the anonymous complaint naming the nurse. She was acquitted this week.

Estimates of the state's financial shortfall range from $11 billion to you-name-it — a situation reminiscent of 2003, when state lawmakers hiked various fees and made big cuts in programs to balance the budget. Time for a look at the rearview mirror.

People with titles like Blog Warrior and Talking Head are transforming politics in North Texas, heading various factions in the loosely organized Tea Party movement. And they could affect some races in the Republican primaries.

The Border Patrol program that collected illegal immigrants from Arizona and shipped them back to Mexico through Presidio is on hold, but could start again when traffic from across the border picks up.

 

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