TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 9/16/13

A past Texas State Board of Education chairman and outspoken creationist urged his former colleagues on Tuesday to approve high school biology textbooks he said would "strike a final blow to the teaching of evolution."

In a TribLive conversation, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken talked about his plan to reduce property taxes and increase sales taxes to pay for public education.

As the Highland Lakes that supply Austin drop to near-historic lows, the Lower Colorado River Authority is considering cutting off flows to Matagorda Bay. But officials on the Gulf Coast say the move could devastate the economy. 

Dan Patrick has made his opposition to abortion a centerpiece of his campaign for lieutenant governor. But two prominent abortion opponents are criticizing the Houston senator for once owning stock in the maker of the "morning after" pill.

Abortion-rights groups say the recent closure of several clinics will hurt women seeking general health care services. Anti-abortion activists say there are still plenty of alternatives available. So who's right?

Use our interactive to see how Texas and its most populous areas compare on several U.S. Census metrics — from poverty levels to rates of the uninsured — according to the 2012 American Community Survey.

A diverse coalition is racing to institute a plan to increase energy and water efficiency upgrades that supporters say could help Texas improve its conservation record.

The percentage of Texans living in poverty dropped from 18.5 percent in 2011 to 17.9 percent in 2012, marking the first decline in the state since the recession began in 2008.

Faculty and staff at Sul Ross State University are looking forward to a 3 percent salary bump after the school hit its enrollment goals this year, a sign the university may be bouncing back from a slump.

Despite recent improvements that aim to prevent wrongful convictions, an American Bar Association report says much work remains to ensure fairness in the application of the death penalty in Texas.

If Debra Medina doesn't run for comptroller in 2014, it will be because of a lack of money, not will. The former gubernatorial candidate said grass-roots supporters can't contribute enough funds to wage a serious statewide bid.

Congressional border Democrats still seeking progress on immigration reform said that time is slipping away and the issue could be on hold until next year or beyond.

Gov. Rick Perry has directed the Texas Department of Insurance to establish strict rules to regulate so-called navigators trained to help Texans purchase health coverage under "Obamacare."

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