Lawmakers, Observers React to Tense UT System Meeting

University of Texas System Regent Steven Hicks listens to a speech at the meeting on May 12, 2011.
University of Texas System Regent Steven Hicks listens to a speech at the meeting on May 12, 2011.

Longtime employees of the University of Texas System could not recall a split vote on the board of regents, which has traditionally settled differences behind closed doors and presented a unified front. That changed on Wednesday.

Wichita Falls, Texas, Could Go Dry by Year's End

A plant employee, Charles Cupp, takes water samples at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013.  This plant is responsible for the membrane reverse osmosis process being used on the city's water supply.  The city estimates that it's total water reserves are hovering around the 40 percent mark as of this year forcing it to begin implementing it's stage 3 emergency water restrictions and furthering steps toward increasing its water reclamation initiative.
A plant employee, Charles Cupp, takes water samples at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013. This plant is responsible for the membrane reverse osmosis process being used on the city's water supply. The city estimates that it's total water reserves are hovering around the 40 percent mark as of this year forcing it to begin implementing it's stage 3 emergency water restrictions and furthering steps toward increasing its water reclamation initiative.

Wichita Falls is the largest city in Texas in danger of running out of water. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the city of more than 100,000 could run out of water in less than six months.

Senate Approves $195.5 Billion Budget, 29-2

Senators Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, l, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy,  Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound and Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio listen to SB 1 budget debate wrap-up on March 20, 2013.
Senators Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, l, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound and Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio listen to SB 1 budget debate wrap-up on March 20, 2013.

The Texas Senate approved a $195.5 billion budget Wednesday that even supporters called an intermediate step toward a final spending plan for the next two years. 

Lawmakers Urge New Hearing in Death Penalty Case

Death row inmate Duane Buck, Texas Department of Criminal Justice photo
Death row inmate Duane Buck, Texas Department of Criminal Justice photo

More than 100 elected officials, religious officials and lawyers have sent a letter to the Harris County district attorney's office urging a new hearing in the case of Duane Buck, who they say was unfairly sentenced to death because of an expert witness's testimony.

Christine Morton's Brother Testifies in Norwood Trial

Prosecutor Lisa Tanner enters Tom Green County Courthouse on the first day of Mark Norwood's trial, Mar 19, 2013.
Prosecutor Lisa Tanner enters Tom Green County Courthouse on the first day of Mark Norwood's trial, Mar 19, 2013.

Christine Morton's brother John Kirkpatrick testified Wednesday in the trial of Mark Norwood, who is accused of beating Morton to death in 1986. Kirkpatrick told jurors how he found the bandana that links Norwood to the crime.

Senate Committee Advances Abortion Clinic Bill

State Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, is in a Republican runoff to keep his seat.
State Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, is in a Republican runoff to keep his seat.

A Senate committee on Tuesday approved a controversial Republican-backed bill that would raise licensing standards for abortion clinics. Democrats say the legislation would effectively ban abortion in Texas.

Gun Buyer in Norwood Case Will Testify on Video

Defendant Mark Norwood exits the Tom Green County Courthouse after the first day of his trial for the murder of Christine Morton, Mar 19, 2013.
Defendant Mark Norwood exits the Tom Green County Courthouse after the first day of his trial for the murder of Christine Morton, Mar 19, 2013.

A former Austin construction company owner who employed alleged murderer Mark Alan Norwood will tell jurors in a videotaped deposition this week that Norwood sold him a pistol that was stolen when Christine Morton was killed.

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