Census: Austin is the fastest growing and 11th biggest city in U.S.

The city’s population grew 12 percent over that three year span, according to the report. That number also earned Austin an illustrious distinction that comes as no surprise: Our booming burg has expanded quicker in the post-recession era than any of the 25 largest U.S. cities.  So in the spirit of encouraging a competitive attitude, which cities now tremble before the superior size of the capital of Texas? We bumped San Francisco, Indianapolis and Jacksonville, Fla., down the list.

Panel grants regent nominees green light

A Senate panel on Thursday gave preliminary approval to Gov. Greg Abbott's three appointees to the University of Texas System Board of Regents, endorsing the nominees just a week after subjecting them to a public shellacking that lasted nearly six hours.

Big businesses fear they’ll miss out on Texas tax cuts

Texas business leaders are as divided as Austin’s ruling Republicans over how to structure tax cuts for the state’s companies. One thing’s for sure: Major industries, which once ruled the roost in the Texas GOP, are playing defense. They’re pleading with the Legislature’s new breed of staunch conservatives for lower property taxes and preservation of nearly decade-old fixes to business-tax loopholes.

Once extravagant, renewable power plans go cheap

So much so that in Texas, the country’s largest wind energy producer, renewable energy plans count among the cheapest options available. In a review of the state-run website, three of the 10 lowest-priced plans offered in Dallas this week were advertised as 100 percent renewable energy plans.

LCRA increasing water supply by using Round Rock’s waste?

In Texas, everyone is thirsty for water, even for the sort you can’t drink. The treated toilet water of the citizens of Round Rock could soon be piped into the Colorado River system, according to a plan under consideration by Lower Colorado River Authority officials eager to get their hands on new water.

Group focuses daily prayers on lawmakers, issues

People across Texas will bow their heads, clasp their hands and pray for Rep. Dan Huberty and Sen. John Whitmire on Friday. The two Houston-area lawmakers are not suffering from any publicized illnesses, nor are they the subject of any undue pressure over political stands they have taken in the legislature. It's just their day.

Executive becomes fourth formal Houston mayoral candidate

Private equity executive Marty McVey said Thursday he would reinvigorate Houston's international business ties if voters elected him mayor this fall. McVey said at the formal launch of his campaign he would usher in a new era of international investment in Houston, which he pledged to make a "visionary city."

Mayor, firefighter pension trustees reach agreement

The announcement came late Thursday from the fire pension board, whose leaders for years have fought any mention of changes to benefits as Houston's enormous pension burden has continued to grow. The pension fund estimates the city would pay $77 million less over the next three years.

Bankruptcy opens another chapter in oil downturn

The first Houston oil field services firm to file for bankruptcy protection almost certainly won't be the last. Cal Dive International's Chapter 11 filing this week underscored growing anxiety surrounding oil-equipment suppliers that employ thousands of workers in Houston.

Gun safety question at issue in CPS placement program

After 4-year-old Cod­rick McCall accidentally shot himself last Sunday, his relatives said that his mother had left him in the care of a life-long friend for the night while she celebrated her birthday. In truth, the home in north Harris County belonged to a relative - supposedly a haven for the boy who was placed there months ago by the state while his family was being investigated for child abuse or neglect.

Garcia: Candidates line up to succeed Menéndez

This time around, Herrera, 41, can run for the Lege without having to pull any residency maneuvers, and she likely will be the best-known candidate in the District 124 special election, which Gov. Greg Abbott has set for March 31, with a March 10 filing deadline for candidates. Three of the four candidates to emerge so far are Democrats, with David Rosa — who lost a 2012 congressional race to Joaquin Castro — the lone Republican.

DPS border contracts spark call for investigation

A liberal advocacy group and at least one Democratic lawmaker are calling for Travis County investigators to re-open an inquiry into border security contracts between the Department of Public Safety and the private consulting firm Abrams Learning and Information Systems, or ALIS.