TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/5/14

Texas regulators will take a fresh look at an eight-year-old rule that allows smaller electricity generators to “swim free” of rules designed to root out manipulation of the wholesale energy market.

In the most contentious matchup yet in what has become an increasingly vicious Republican runoff for lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick and incumbent David Dewhurst hurled personal attacks at each other in Dallas on Wednesday.

If a Libertarian or a Green Party candidate won a race for the Texas Legislature or statewide office, it would be a first. But those candidates can determine who does get into office.

Here's full video of our May 8 TribLive conversation with state Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, a candidate for Texas attorney general in 2014.

Defense lawyers say that information about the drug Texas uses in executions – pentobarbital — is shrouded in secrecy. And they worry a dearth of information could lead to cruel and unusual executions.

The co-chair of the committee considering the actions of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall has concluded that the regent's behavior does not warrant impeachment.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott announced the third plank of his education policy plan on Thursday, calling for millions in increased funding for online learning initiatives.

How much water does the state need in the coming decades? It depends on whom you ask. State water planners say that Texas needs 2.7 trillion more gallons of water a year by 2060. But some water law and planning specialists say that figure is far too high.

Filmmaker Richard Linklater always thought life in prison was too harsh for Bernie Tiede, the East Texas mortician who murdered his 81-year-old companion. Now — in large part because of Linklater's film on him — Tiede is no longer behind bars.

As Mexican officials contemplate relocating a major railway that connects the state of Chihuahua to Texas, trade experts in El Paso have mixed views on whether the investment is needed immediately.