TribWire

Is Texas becoming a battleground?

In early 2013, Democratic activists who had previously coordinated field work for the Obama campaign in other states launched “Battleground Texas,” dedicated to turning Texas blue.  Backed by a number of major Democratic donors, the group claims to have raised more than six million dollars in its drive to build a Democratic infrastructure, recruit candidates, register and turnout voters for the Democratic ticket.

Texas House speaker: Road funding to be short even if Proposition 1 passes

The state’s systematic transportation shortfalls are poised to take a front seat in next year’s legislative session — even if voters next month agree to send billions to the state highway fund. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates it will lack about $5 billion needed annually to maintain current infrastructure and build new highways and roads to keep up with expected population growth. Next month’s Proposition 1 will ask voters to send a portion of energy production tax revenues currently going in a savings account to the state’s highway fund.

Dallas DA Craig Watkins used forfeiture fund for bug sweep

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is worried about bugs. But not the creepy-crawly kind. He’s concerned someone, somewhere, is listening. Less than two months before agents from the FBI’s public corruption squad visited Watkins’ office in 2011, he paid a security company to sweep for listening devices, according to records obtained by The Dallas Morning News. The money came from an account that he controls, funded by law enforcement seizures.

Poll: Davis cuts Abbott’s lead, still not winning big share of women

Wendy Davis has winnowed Republican Greg Abbott’s lead to single digits in the governor’s race but has not attracted a majority of women voters. With just five weeks left in the Texas governor’s race, a Texas Lyceum poll found that Abbott holds a nine-point lead, 49 percent to 40 percent. Abbott holds a statistical lead among women, 46 percent to 44 percent, according the survey. That’s within the poll’s margin of error, which means it is a statistical tie.

Scrutiny in Texas to Detect Whether Ebola Has Spread

The man who has become the first Ebola patient to develop symptoms in the United States told officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital last Friday that he had just arrived from West Africa but was not admitted that day because that information was not passed along at the hospital, officials acknowledged Wednesday.

Airlines face Ebola fallout

  • suggested by John Reynolds

And unlike SARS, an airborne disease, Ebola can be transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids. The U.S. also has relatively few direct flights to and from Africa. Even so, Ebola fears helped bring down airlines’ stock prices Wednesday, contributing to a 200-point drop in the Dow Jones average.

Appeals court declines to reinstate DeLay charges

Texas' highest criminal appellate court on Wednesday refused to reinstate charges against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, clearing him of wrongdoing in a now nearly decade old money laundering and conspiracy case.

State fires employee for alleged leak during contract talks

Leah Rayne, the commission's business technology architect, admitted to officials that she leaked details about an internal strategy meeting to Truven Health Analytics, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company that was in final negotiations for an enterprise data warehouse contract, commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said.

UTMB doctor: More resources needed to beat Ebola

Ksiazek's stay in Sierra Leon led him to the realization that only a massive influx of resources like the one promised by President Barack Obama last week can stem the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The countries where Ebola is rampant are some of the poorest in the world and lack some of the key resources that would be taken for granted in U.S. hospitals, such as disposable gloves to protect doctors and nurses, Ksiazek said.

Texas Ebola patient had contact with children

A man who has the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States was sent home when he initially sought medical attention last Friday, even though he told hospital officials he was visiting from Africa, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Child deaths from abuse, neglect drop in Texas

The number of Texas children who died from abuse or neglect appears to have dropped for the third consecutive year in the fiscal year that ended last month, state officials this week told a legislative committee. The decline is welcome news for a state that in recent years has led the country in that type of tragedy, but advocates said it may be partially explained by a change in the official definition of neglect.

Medical school may be in UH future, Khator says in address

The university, where the possibility of a medical school has been on some officials' minds at least since 2007, plans to launch a study into what it would take to bring a medical school to campus. The school, which officials hope could open by 2020, would train primary care physicians.

Davis claims momentum as Abbott touts $30M in war chest

Wednesday morning, the Davis campaign took heart in a new poll showing her trailing Abbott by 9 percentage points, one of the closest margins all year. The Abbott campaign quickly countered with its own news, volunteering that he has more than $30 million in the bank for the last five weeks of the race.

Ebola Patient Could Bring Legal Issues for Hospital Lawyers

As officials diagnosed the first case of Ebola in the United States at a Dallas hospital, it may be creating "a nightmare" for the hospital's in-house lawyers, said the former general counsel of a large hospital system. One of the potential legal issues: There was a two-day delay between when the Ebola patient first visited Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and when the hospital placed him in isolation.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections releases new execution protocol

Media witnesses for executions have been cut by more than half, from 12 to five. Midazolam also was used in two recent problematic executions, one in Ohio and another in Arizona. The new protocol increases the amount of the drug by five times. It also requires the medical professional inserting a single vein IV be trained to perform the procedure.