TribWire

Years Late, New Border Rail Crossing Set to Open

After more than a year of wrangling between local leaders and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over who should pay to move an X-ray machine, the first new rail bridge in more than a century connecting Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley is expected to open in February.

GOP Leaders Divided on Immigration Crackdown in Texas

Texas Republicans appear to be universally outraged by President Obama’s executive order affecting millions of undocumented immigrants, but are far from united on using their own power to police unauthorized workers and the employers who hire them.

Politics of Climate Change in Texas Have Shifted

Texas leaders weren't always so skeptical about climate change. But the state's rightward shift, coupled with a booming oil and gas economy, have changed the tenor of the debate. Scientists and environmental advocates say that's a growing problem for Texas, the country's biggest climate polluter. This story was produced in collaboration with The World, a program by Public Radio International.

Court: Drawing DWI suspect blood without warrant unconstitutional

It’s unconstitutional for police officers to draw the blood of drunken driving suspects without a warrant, an appeals court has found. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals concluded Wednesday that the nonconsensual search of a DWI suspect’s blood without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Panetti Case Highlights Lack of Sanity Standard

The fact that Scott Panetti is facing lethal injection on Dec. 3 despite a 30-year history of documented mental illness demonstrates that the ambiguities of the legal standard of “competency” he helped to define are far from resolved.

The Brief: Lower Prices Complicate Future of Oil Boom

Lower prices complicate future of oil boom; Hotter, drier projections threaten Texas Miracle; Losers blame college voters for Denton fracking ban; Court declines to stay Panetti's execution; Last contested vote for Texas House speaker was in 1975.

7 arrested as protest escalates on Interstate 35 near downtown Dallas

Protesters are winding through downtown Dallas streets after briefly blocking Interstate 35. Police cars continue to accompany the group, which appears to be working its way back to Dallas Police headquarters where the march started earlier after peaceful and prayerful rallies. Fewer than 50 people remain from a group that was once more than 200-people strong.

Hundreds in Austin join Ferguson protests across the nation

Angry chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot” permeated the air at Austin police headquarters as hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday evening in response to a grand jury’s decision Monday not to indict the white police officer responsible for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., earlier this year.

Protesters Block I-35E in Downtown Dallas

  • suggested by John Reynolds

Dozens of people protesting the decision by a grand jury in Missouri not to indict a police officer involved in a deadly shooting walked onto Interstate 35E in Downtown Dallas on Tuesday. Dallas Police Post Officer-Involved Shooting Data The group stood on the I-35E overpass above Dealey Plaza at about 9:30 p.m. as cars attempted to pass by. Police eventually closed the interstate in both directions as a precaution.

Obama Threatens to Veto $440 Billion Tax Deal

The deal, negotiated by House Republicans and aides to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the outgoing majority leader, showed how much power has shifted since the Republican election victories this month. The negotiations fractured Democrats, and separated the Obama administration from Mr. Reid.

Obama to Introduce Sweeping New Controls on Ozone Emissions

The sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest, would be the latest in a series of Environmental Protection Agency controls on air pollution that wafts from smokestacks and tailpipes. Such regulations, released under the authority of the Clean Air Act, have become a hallmark of President Obama’s administration.

Moody's: Producers to cut spending amid oil price tumble

  • suggested by John Reynolds

As the price of crude oil continues to fall, credit rater Moody’s Investors Service predicted on Tuesday that oil producers will cut their spending 20 percent next year. If the weak prices persist, companies could slash capital spending, according to the analysis released by Moody’s on Tuesday.

New statewide land position aims for more public ed funds

Carlos Truan, a Democrat, served 34 years in the House and Senate, and he was the first Hispanic member to become the Dean of the Senate, the most senior member. He died in 2012, having been a pioneer for bilingual education in Texas. Now Rene Truan is part of a division of the General Land Office that aims to get more money for the education that his father prioritized.

Lawmaker to push bill on foreclosed gas leases

A state lawmaker plans to reintroduce a bill in next year’s legislative session designed to protect oil and gas drillers with invalidated leases snarled in foreclosure. Rep. Jim Keffer, chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee, saw his previous bill to address the widespread problem in the Barnett Shale vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry, who praised parts of the measure but said it needed to be narrowed to deal only with urban drilling.

Texas Medicaid regulators hit with legal setback

The 3rd Court of Appeals found the agency had improperly expanded a law allowing regulators to withhold payments from providers against whom there was a “credible allegation of fraud.” Since 2011, the inspector general has withheld tens of millions of dollars from 127 providers, much of it from dentists and orthodontists, as it developed cases against them.

Court: State wrongly withholding millions from dentists

Texas officials have been illegally withholding millions of dollars from dozens of dentists and orthodontists based on only the suspicion of minor wrongdoing, an appeals court ruled Tuesday, dealing another blow to the state's beleaguered unit charged with rooting out Medicaid fraud and abuse.