TribWire

Heated Debate Surrounds Push for Deep Fryers in Schools

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, the cowboy-hat-wearing champion of local control, is looking to buck a decade-old statewide ban on deep fat fryers in public schools. Putting decision-making back into the hands of Texas school districts, he says, “isn't about french fries, it's about freedom.”

State Health Tests Prodded Blue Bell Recall

Shortly after lab tests on two Blue Bell ice cream flavors — Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough — came back “presumptive positive” for Listeria, Kathy Perkins, an assistant commissioner at the state health agency, reached for the phone to call Brenham.

Cruz blasts GOP senators for caving on Lynch nomination, skips vote

Sen. Ted Cruz breezed into Washington just long enough Thursday to support a failed effort to filibuster attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch — and to accuse fellow Republicans of rolling over by allowing her confirmation. Then, an evening fundraiser in Dallas lay ahead, so he headed to the airport without voting against her confirmation two hours later.

‘Low and slow’ good for BBQ and politics

For Roberts, the “low and slow” method of Texas barbecue is also the way to get what you want from the Capitol. Keeping a low profile and slowly building up connections, Roberts has become a force in Hays County politics. This legislative session, a project he has had in the cooker for six years might be ready for plating, like a slice of brisket that falls apart when you pick it up with a fork.

Day after blowup, Patrick signals conciliatory tone

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Patrick predicted the chances of a special legislative session this summer to work out contentious issues are "twenty percent or less" because of a thawing in chilly relations between the two legislative chambers.

Blue Bell unveils new worker training and plant-cleaning programs

Starting Monday, Blue Bell Ice Cream will be churning out frozen treats at their production plants, but consumers still won't be able to have any. In the latest development in the ongoing listeria outbreak affecting the Bren-ham-based icon, any ice cream produced next week at their plants will only be used for testing and gathering baseline data, company officials said Thursday

S.A. congressman denies problems from fracking

Amid criticism from Democratic colleagues, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith used a hearing Thursday of the House Science Committee, of which he is chairman, to condemn efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency and critics to slow hydraulic fracturing.

Secret Service faulted for security at Bush home in Houston

WASHINGTON - The Secret Service took more than a year to replace a faulty alarm in the Houston home of former President George H.W. Bush, sparking concerns about the family's safety and necessitating additional deployments of manpower, according to a government report released Thursday.