For TX Charities, a Struggle to Send Aid Across Border

“Junior” Silva walks through the chapel and the Senda de Vida immigrant shelter in Reynosa, Tamaulipas on August 24, 2014.
“Junior” Silva walks through the chapel and the Senda de Vida immigrant shelter in Reynosa, Tamaulipas on August 24, 2014.

The parish at McAllen's Sacred Heart Church has acted as a shelter for thousands of Central Americans crossing the border illegally into Texas. An effort to send some of its surplus donations into Mexico is facing hurdles. 

Analysis: Ruling Provides Candidates a Talking Point

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

As candidates in the general election focus on making themselves known to voters, the latest school finance ruling provides their clearest marching orders yet.

New in TribTalk: Susan Miller on Challenges to AP U.S. History

The new U.S. history framework is the first of what will be updates to all 34 AP subjects offered as a result of a redesign effort launched by the College Board in 2006.
The new U.S. history framework is the first of what will be updates to all 34 AP subjects offered as a result of a redesign effort launched by the College Board in 2006.

Susan Griffin, executive director of the National Council for the Social Studies, says Texas-based critics arguing that changes to AP U.S. history amount to historical revisionism are off the mark. 

Abbott Opinion Murky on Plastic Bag Bans

An environmentalist dressed as a "bag monster" protests HB 2416 on March 20, 2013 by State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, banning local bag ordinances.
An environmentalist dressed as a "bag monster" protests HB 2416 on March 20, 2013 by State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, banning local bag ordinances.

Plastic bag bans in Texas cities such as Austin and Laredo may be legally sound, according to an opinion issued by Attorney General Greg Abbott's office handed down on Friday afternoon — that is, as long as they didn't ban bags for the purposes of "solid waste management."

SpaceX, Blue Origin Compete for NASA Contract

SpaceX CEP Elon Musk, right, shows his delight on the return of the Dragon spacecraft as NASA chief Charles Bolden, left, listens on June 13, 2012.  SpaceX is considering building a spaceport in south Texas for future launches.
SpaceX CEP Elon Musk, right, shows his delight on the return of the Dragon spacecraft as NASA chief Charles Bolden, left, listens on June 13, 2012. SpaceX is considering building a spaceport in south Texas for future launches.

Four private space travel companies, including two with ties to Texas, are competing for a NASA contract that will have them ferrying astronauts to space "like a taxi." NASA will announce the winner of the contract in the coming weeks.

Taxpayer Tab Grows for Perry's Defense

Gov. Rick Perry talks with New Hampshire voters at a morning GOP rally in Stratham, NH on Aug. 25, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry talks with New Hampshire voters at a morning GOP rally in Stratham, NH on Aug. 25, 2014.

The state tab for Gov. Rick Perry's criminal defense, previously thought to be $80,000, has hit $133,000. Perry has said he will pay for his lawyers with campaign money from now on.  

On Border, Questions Over National Guard Troops' Needs

Governor Rick Perry gives a pep talk to National Guard troops training for deployment to the Texas border at Camp Swift on August 13, 2014.
Governor Rick Perry gives a pep talk to National Guard troops training for deployment to the Texas border at Camp Swift on August 13, 2014.

Democrats say media reports that some National Guard troops on the border haven't been paid and can't afford basic necessities are infuriating. Republican Gov. Rick Perry's office says the National Guard is fully equipped to help them.