TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 11/7/11

“Oops.” That’s the word Gov. Rick Perry uttered after his major stumble in the Republican presidential primary debate in Michigan Wednesday. It spoke volumes about how bad his debate performances have been, how far he has sunk as a 2012 presidential contender.

The Tribune's Thanh Tan talks to her colleague Emily Ramshaw about why Perry's debate gaffe is yet another self-inflicted wound that threatens his ability to convince voters he's ready to be president.

Has South Carolina's primary turned from a must-win to a can't-win for Gov. Rick Perry? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on how the governor's South Carolina prospects now may have changed.

Perry put the best face he could on what will be remembered as one of the worst TV debate moments in U.S. presidential campaign history. But now he and his supporters are treating first-test Iowa as if it is his last chance for political survival.

In this edition of the Texas Tribune Weekend Insider, reporter Julian Aguilar explains the challenges and temptations facing business owners on the border. And reporter Morgan Smith takes us to West Texas, where school districts have benefited from the wind energy boom.

Amid the most intense drought in state history, Texas voters split on a pair of water-related constitutional amendments that had the backing of many environmentalists and businesses. Analysts are scrambling to explain their differing fates.

Mark Alan Norwood, a 57-year-old Bastrop resident, was arrested  and charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton. Michael Morton, her husband, was exonerated of her murder last month after spending nearly 25 years in prison.

Despite shrinking state support, University of Texas at Arlington president Jim Spaniolo signaled on Tuesday that his school would not raise tuition in the upcoming 2012-13 academic year. It could be just a temporary respite, however.

Energy development capitalizing on the high winds in West Texas has injected sluggish rural communities with new economic lifeblood. The “windfall” has bestowed hundreds of millions of dollars on mostly tiny schools.

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