TribWire

Cruz revives plan for Guard police power at border

Three days after Gov. Rick Perry announced the mobilization of Texas National Guard troops at the Mexican border, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz unveiled legislation Thursday that would give them the federal arrest powers needed to stop illegal immigrants.

U.S. data show Texas among states getting most immigrant kids

Texas took in 4,280 of the children through July 7, followed by New York with 3,347, Florida with 3,181, California with 3,150, Virginia with 2,234 and Maryland with 2,205, said the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Administration for Children and Families. In all, 30,340 unaccompanied children have been released to sponsors in 2014, often to their parents. The agency didn’t break down numbers by nationality but the vast majority were from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Watchdog: Texas insurance regulators OK 75 percent increase

Two families are calling out the Texas Department of Insurance for not protecting ratepayers hit with a 75 percent increase in their premiums for long-term care insurance. They raise a valid question. Is the Texas Department of Insurance an ally of the insurance industry or an ally of consumers? Is the agency so limited in its powers granted by lawmakers that it can’t stop rising costs?

Dallas ISD investigator who was suspended had been looking into boss’s background

A top Dallas ISD investigator placed on paid leave last week had been investigating whether his boss lied on her district job application by saying she had no criminal record. Jeremy Liebbe, who runs DISD’s Office of Professional Standards, had begun looking into the background of Tonya Sadler Grayson, an executive director in the human resources department, according to three people familiar with the case.

Committee to study ending the state lottery takes shape

The Texas Legislature’s discussions about eliminating the state lottery are moving forward. House Speaker Joe Straus on Thursday announced his appointments to the Legislative Committee to Review the Texas Lottery and Texas Lottery Commission, a new panel charged with studying the ramifications of ending the lottery, along with examining charitable bingo and how its revenue is distributed.

Conservatives Hone Script to Light a Fire Over Abortion

But a vocal group of social conservatives, dismayed both by their party’s apparent dismissiveness of their passion and by the Democrats’ success at portraying Republicans as prosecuting a “war on women,” are rewriting the anti-abortion movement’s script. The problem, they argue, is not that conservatives talk too much about social issues, but that they say too little, and do it in the wrong way.

National Guard in Texas Could Get Arrest Power

The ones due at the border next month will work side by side not with federal Border Patrol agents but with state police officers of the Department of Public Safety. They will not be able to enforce federal immigration laws but may be able to enforce state law. A 19th-century federal law that makes it a crime for military personnel to perform civilian law enforcement activities does not apply to state-duty troops.

House Republicans fear backlash from punting border bill to the fall

  • suggested by John Reynolds

“It needs to be passed before we go to the August constituent work period. I don’t think we ought to go home until we’ve dealt with it,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas). “The president has done a proposal, and if we don’t act on that, or reject that and don’t come up with a solution of our own, public opinion will swing against us. And we’ve already got such great approval ratings.

Corpus Christi ranks 7th as ‘happiest city’

Corpus Christi is the only Texas city to have happy residents, according to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research. The study, Unhappy Cities, ranks the "Sparkling City by the Sea" as the seventh happiest city based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other data, including age, income, race and sex.

Davis, Van de Putte to visit Corpus Christi shrimp boil

State Sens. Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte on Thursday praised a Coastal Bend nonprofit's efforts to help minorities and needy families, and hoped its volunteers would remember them come Election Day. The Democrats shook hands and posed for pictures with supporters Thursday at a $20-a-ticket shrimp boil hosted by the nonprofit Minority Advancement Project of Texas.

Kennedy: Texas Baptist Men say they helped border kids out of love, not for politics

“What you have on the border is a humanitarian disaster,” executive Don Gibson of the Dallas-based Texas Baptist Men said Thursday. “When we responded, we didn’t think people might complain. We’re a Christian organization and we operate on Christian principles.” Now, some of the Baptist Men’s fellow Christians are mad because they bathed and fed children.

Tales of foster care abuse sound 'like prison'

Young adults who grew up in Texas' foster care system recounted harrowing stories of abuse and emotional trauma Thursday for members of a legislative committee looking for ways to better protect such children. Some choked back tears during a hearing of the Texas House Select Committee on Child Protection, and chairwoman Dawnna Dukes said what she heard made foster care sometimes sound "like prison."

Wendy Davis 100K anonymous small donors have given $3.25 million

State Sen. Wendy Davis' gubernatorial campaign has kept the identities of roughly 100,000 donors hidden from the public, casting a shroud over what amounts to an army of small contributors who have collectively given more than $3.25 million. Both the sheer volume of anonymous small donors and the total dollar figure raised through such contributors are unprecedented for a statewide election in Texas.

At CPS, McManus to be in charge of thwarting attacks

After an attack on a California power station last year, CPS Energy looked at ways to better protect its computer network and facilities — and federal regulators began handing down recommendations to utilities, hoping to achieve the same aims. The position that Police Chief William McManus will step into after his retirement in December is one of the results.

Texas disability advocates sue Uber, Lyft, 30 other entities

A coalition of Texas disability advocates sued ride-share companies Uber and Lyft on Thursday as part of dozens of lawsuits filed around the state ahead of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. "Uber and Lyft are up and coming in terms of transportation companies, and they don't really have any means to provide wheelchair accessibility," said plaintiff David Wittie, of the advocacy group ADAPT of Texas. "They are socially irresponsible and not accessible and equivalent for people with disabilities."

Alamo Drafthouse to Abbott: No talking in theater

The Austin-based chain, which used to play the angry voicemail of a customer who had been kicked out for texting during a movie, is threatening to boot the Republican nominee for governor if he ever tries to repeat on its premises what he did in a recent ad: talk during a movie.

Success doesn't require a four-year degree

Too many high school students and their parents are getting the misguided message that success requires a college degree, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs says. And that unrelenting focus toward traditional higher education is causing students to miss a variety of well-paying, in-demand careers.

Perry's startup fund is not all it seems

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has distributed $205 million in taxpayer money to scores of technology startups using a pet program designed to bring high-paying jobs and innovation to the nation's second most-populous state. But a closer look at the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, one of Perry's signature initiatives in his 14 years as governor, reveals that some of the businesses that received money are not all they seem. One actually operates in California.

Texas-Mexico Oil Pipelines Offer Cover for Smugglers' Violence

The Border Patrol finds an average of one corpse a day in the badlands near the U.S.-Mexico border. While the Border Patrol says it doesn’t break out what proportion of the dead have met their end along the pipeline trails, anecdotal evidence suggests the figure is high. Authorities say beatings, kidnappings, and rapes are rising as pipeline networks expand and new conduits are installed to handle surging oil and gas output from the Eagle Ford, the largest shale oil formation in the U.S. The mayhem is about to get worse, according to the Border Patrol, now that Mexico has opened its energy industry for the first time in 75 years.

Mighty Jim Hogan and the Art of the Anti-Campaign

Just down the road from the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne, Texas, past the theater where a local company is staging a version of “Steel Magnolias,” sits the Cleburne Public Library. In the back, a few rows down from the display with the Louis L’Amour short story collection, Jim Hogan, Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner, shows off his seat of power.