The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Aug. 16, 2010

Your afternoon reading:

"The Justice Department has informed former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) that the government has ended a six-year investigation of his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to DeLay's lead counsel in the matter, Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods." — Feds clear DeLay after six years, Politico

"Libertarian candidate for governor Kathie Glass of Houston sent out an email this morning describing her past week on the road. While the schedule might not be uncommon for a Democrat or Republican, it shows Glass is working hard to be something other than a footnote in this history of this year's governor's race." — Libertarian campaigning hard for governor, Texas Politics

"Nearly 4,800 prison employees would have to be laid off if Texas’ corrections agency is required to cut its spending by an additional 15 percent, a move that would drastically slash the number of guards, new budget documents reveal." — Prison officials: Deep budget cuts endanger public safety, Postcards

"The final plug on BP's blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico won't be finished until officials are convinced it's safe to go ahead. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told reporters Monday that once the order to start the permanent fix is given, it will take about a week before the well is killed for good." — Final kill of BP's well at least a week away, The Associated Press

New in The Texas Tribune:

"The Texas Supreme Court has denied Judge Sharon Keller's request for intervention in her sanction from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct." — Supreme Court Denies Keller's Request for Appeal

"Texas has the most acres of any state enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program, which seeks to prevent another Dust Bowl by paying farmers to plant grass instead of crops. But the program has fallen on hard times, and its participants worry they will, too." — Federal Program Hopes to Prevent Another Dust Bowl

"Special education students in Texas are nearly twice as likely to be suspended as students in the general population, according to the Texas Education Agency — and though they make up just 10 percent of the overall enrollment, they account for 21 percent of expulsions." — Special Education Students Disciplined Twice As Often

"The commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on why he believes the Texas-Mexico border is secure, why deportations of criminals have reached unprecedented levels, why trade between the U.S. and Mexico still thrives and what motivates most undocumented immigrants to enter this country illegally." — An Interview With CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin

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