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

In the weeks before state health officials destroyed more than 5 million newborn blood samples they had stored without consent, privacy advocates, parents and lawmakers reached a last-ditch accord to save them, but the deal blew up when the learned the state had shared some of the samples with the military for a forensic database.

Local governments, Native American tribes and nonprofit organizations in Texas hauled in more than $298 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2003 through 2008. Where'd it go?

The government says only a few prisoners remain on what it calls “voluntary fasting” at the Port Isabel Detention Center, where advocates say inmates are protesting a system steeped in failure, secrecy and alleged human rights abuses.

Next fall, UT-San Antonio will spend millions to field a football team it hopes will someday compete with cross-state rivals like the University of Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. But the plan goes far beyond athletics. As the college makes a push to become one of the next tier-one research universities in Texas, campus leaders say the school’s academic and athletic goals are closely linked.

Democrat Bill White sat for a long interview at a TribLive event, talking about taxes, running the state's biggest city, trial lawyers, dropouts, campaigns, and what he expects to see from his opponent.  

 

For the general election campaign, as they compete for the votes of a broader electorate, Rick Perry and Bill White will likely shift the substance and tone of their stump speeches.

Rick Green has resurfaced, and he’s running for Texas Supreme Court.

All across Texas, households are theoretically preparing to participate in the 2010 census, which begins next week. Steve Murdock on his work, the dramatic shifts happening throughout the state and the country, and why they matter. "I argue that the Texas of today is the U.S. of tomorrow."

The primaries just ended and some runoffs are still ahead. But some political eyes are already focused on the November races for federal and state legislative seats.

Before the flood of amendments under consideration by the State Board of Education this week, we produced this annotated version of the high school U.S. history standards, which have been the focus of controversy. And then the board began its work, which continued well into the next day, when some members gave up.

Texas has spent tens of millions of dollars since 2004 on “disease management” — phone calls and check-ins with Medicaid patients designed to control costly chronic illnesses and save the state money. But the jury's still out on whether it worked.  

Since the 1940s, the whooping crane has climbed from a population of just 16 to become a triumphant token of North American conservation efforts. Now the bird is the focus of a lawsuit that pits the environmental movement’s mightiest weapon, the Endangered Species Act, against principles held near and dear in Texas — the rights of private property holders and of the state against the federal government.

 

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