TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 8/1/11

A new analysis of the decisions of U.S. immigration court judges finds that at least two of the five immigration judges in El Paso have a far higher denial rate than the national average. What accounts for the disparity is a matter of debate.

Forests of enormous electric wind turbines now rise across West Texas — a far cry from the smaller, water-pumping windmills that covered the land a century ago. In Lubbock, a museum called the American Wind Power Center traces this change, juxtaposing old and new.

Brandi Grissom talked to Adan Muñoz, the director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, about the agency's budget cuts, jail overcrowding and eroding facilities.

Higher education leaders in Texas have been pushing for more pathways to college degrees for Texas. Today, Gov. Rick Perry, along with higher education committee chairs Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, announced a new one: Western Governors University Texas.

About two dozen candidates and political action committees have more than $1 million in their accounts, some of them much more, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of midyear filings with the Texas Ethics Commission.

 

Though the amount of freight being shipped by truck in the U.S. is up, there aren't enough drivers to meet the demand. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the shortage is particularly troubling for Texas.

Ross Ramsey talked to Comptroller Susan Combs about the flip in her position on abortion, the data breach at her agency this spring, what office she might seek next and how all of the politics of those subjects mix.

When Gov. Rick Perry emerged from back surgery on July 1, he tweeted that his “little procedure” had gone “as advertised.” The possible presidential contender didn’t reveal that he’d undergone an experimental injection of his own stem cells.

Gov. Rick Perry is finally getting the kind of national spotlight he’ll need to run for president, but this weekend’s “day of prayer and fasting” rally in Houston may not be the kind of attention he was looking for.

Anita Perry first entered the national consciousness as the spur to her husband’s possible presidential run. But a different theme emerges when friends and associates talk about the wife of Texas’ 47th governor: She is not the type to draw attention to herself.

DAY 1 of our 31-day series on the effects of new state laws and budget cuts: Thousands of Texas teachers will not have jobs to return to in the fall, the result of a school finance plan that cut $4 billion from districts statewide.

DAY 2 of our 31-day series on the effects of new state laws and budget cuts: Licensed hunters will be allowed to shoot feral hogs from helicopters.

DAY 3 of our month-long series on the effects of new state laws and budget cuts: In light of the case of Anthony Graves, the terms for compensating wrongfully imprisoned individuals have been more clearly defined.

DAY 4 of our month-long series on the effects of new state laws and budget cuts: Less financial aid will be available for college students in Texas.

 

 

 

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