TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/10/14

The former TWIA chief says two top Republicans tried to pressure him into fighting more cases and complained that fees paid to lawyers were ending up in Democratic coffers. The Republicans said their actions were appropriate.

The ongoing drought in Central Texas is claiming an innocent bystander: hydroelectricity. As the Lower Colorado River Authority limits water releases downstream, hydroelectricity — a power source that spurred the LCRA's creation almost 80 years ago — has faded further into obscurity.

A letter from a state lawmaker asks the attorney general's office to give an opinion on whether Texas cities' bans on plastic bags are in compliance with the state’s health and safety laws.

Will primary night results carry into runoffs? Not necessarily, political observers say. A recent change in election law has prompted Texas to extend the time between primaries and runoffs. 

As University of Texas System regents hired consultants to help find a successor for Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, UT-Austin's president said he would be comfortable with Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek, the governor's reported pick.

 

Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say interest in a plan to save the lesser prairie chicken should persuade the federal government not to list the bird as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. 

Texas Democratic leaders tried to keep Kinky Friedman off of their November ticket, for fear voters will not take him seriously. But if he wins a runoff for agriculture commissioner in May, he might offer them their best odds for a win.

As they put their focus squarely on the November general election, Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis are pushing the issue of potential conflicts of interest for officeholders into a brighter political spotlight.

The lineup for the upcoming Civil Rights Summit hosted by the LBJ Library and Museum is the latest accomplishment for the library's director, Mark K. Updegrove.

A little-known customs agreement between the United States and Mexico removes a major hurdle in how goods move across the border and could be an economic boon to South Texas.