ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.
Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.

Former Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong Dies at 82

Bob Armstrong died Sunday night at age 82. He served as land commissioner for 12 years, and later at the U.S. Department of the Interior. "He was a lover of Texas," says one of his successors. 

Former Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong Dies at 82

Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.
Three former Texas land commissioners — (l-r) Jerry Patterson, Bob Armstrong and Garry Mauro — at the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Jan. 2, 2015. Armstrong, 82, died March 1, 2015.

Bob Armstrong died Sunday night at age 82. He served as land commissioner for 12 years, and later at the U.S. Department of the Interior. "He was a lover of Texas," says one of his successors. 

The Brief: Feb. 24, 2015

Activists who support a legislative proposal that would lift the state's handgun licensing requirements stand outside the state Capitol on the opening day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.
Activists who support a legislative proposal that would lift the state's handgun licensing requirements stand outside the state Capitol on the opening day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.

This month's University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll explored registered voters' views on carrying handguns in public, finding a strong plurality of 45 percent supporting the current legal framework of licensed concealed carry.

The Brief: Feb. 23, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the Iowa Freedom Summit at the Hoyt Sherman Place theater in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the Iowa Freedom Summit at the Hoyt Sherman Place theater in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are the co-favorites among Texas Republicans to take their party's nomination for president, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The Brief: Feb. 16, 2015

State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.
State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.

Bipartisan appears to be a dirty word in a couple of the special election contests set to be finally decided on Tuesday.

The Brief: Feb. 13, 2015

Regent Wallace L. Hall, Jr. of the University of Texas System at the regular meeting of the Board on May 15, 2014
Regent Wallace L. Hall, Jr. of the University of Texas System at the regular meeting of the Board on May 15, 2014

The Kroll report, which looked into the admissions process at UT-Austin and whether some well-connected people had too much influence on that process, surfaced on Thursday.

Return to Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition

To report on and understand the haphazard irrigation system the Rio Grande has become and the changes it is going through, Colin McDonald decided the best approach would be to travel the length of the Rio Grande by foot and small boat. Relive his journey here.

Legislation Would Let Tesla Sell in Texas

Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on January 15th, 2015
Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on January 15th, 2015

A group of state lawmakers have filed legislation that would allow Tesla to sell its luxury electric cars at as many as 12 stores in Texas, renewing the California-based company’s challenge to a state law protecting franchised auto dealers.

Lawmakers Asked to Boost Parks Funding

Texas is home to 95 state parks, including Boca Chica State Park.
Texas is home to 95 state parks, including Boca Chica State Park.

State parks are crumbling under the weight of decades of deferred maintenance. Lawmakers and state officials say they desperately need a funding boost from the 84th Legislature — and not just for the next two years. 

The Brief: Feb. 19, 2015

Health and Human Services Commission head Kyle Janek (l.) and state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who called for his resignation on Jan. 15, 2015.
Health and Human Services Commission head Kyle Janek (l.) and state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who called for his resignation on Jan. 15, 2015.

Senate budget writers on Wednesday lit into Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek, a former senator himself, in a hearing that concluded with another call for him to resign.