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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Multi-part stories from Ramshaw and Grissom and Stiles on mental health services for detained immigrants and on payday lenders who provide exorbitantly priced credit to people with nowhere else to turn... Twitter, word clouds and the race for governor — a Stiles joint... Farouk Shami is in and Hu was there to watch... Philpott went to Bastrop for a gather of Republican governors... Rapoport finds a State Board of Education that's trying to control itself... and we have the skinny on legislative races that are likely to be competitive (only about 5 percent of the races on the ballot). It's the best of The Texas Tribune from November 14 to 20, 2009.

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This week, Emily Ramshaw investigated mental health care for detained immigrants and found huge shortages of adequate care — and in some cases, of any care at all. Detaining Care is in three parts, here, here, and here.

A Brandi Grissom and Matt Stiles series on payday lenders — Debtor's Treadmill — peeled back the covers on high-cost, largely unregulated bankers for people the regular bankers won't help. They've managed, with legislative help, to keep regulators mostly out of their business. And many of their borrowers find they've borrowed at too high a price. In two parts, here and here.

Matt Stiles found a graphic way to analyze what the gubernatorial candidates are talking about, running their Twitter feeds into Word Clouds. You've just got to see it.

Hospitals owned by the doctors who treat the patients are controversial, numerous and sometimes, luxurious. Emily Ramshaw reported on how those facilities  — in the eyes of their rivals — are wrecking health care.

Like a fighting family with visitors in the house, the State Board of Education is trying to play nice. But Abby Rapoport wrote that legislators are looking, and several members of the board have drawn election opponents in 2010.

Republican governors from all over the country met this week at a resort Hyatt near Austin to talk about national politics, to check out some potential 2012 presidential candidates and to talk about the 10th Amendment, among other things. Ben Philpott watched the proceedings for the Trib and for KUT Radio.

With nearly 200 legislative races on ballots around the state (don't worry, no voter will see more than three of them), barely a dozen races are really competitive. We took a look in a story we called Fight Club.

Reeve Hamilton tackled term limits, finding politicians generally like them more when they're out of office than when they're in. A case study: Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Farouk Shami jumped into the Democratic primary race for governor and Elise Hu was there to catch it, while others speculated about Eliot Shapleigh's odds in that race for Brandi Grissom's report... The gubernatorial candidates — some of them, anyhow — started television campaigns this week (Hutchison, Perry, and Shami)... The state budget already has stretch marks — the result of a recession and its drag on the sales taxes that provide most of the state's revenue... Brian McCall decided not to seek another term in the House... Don't miss Elise Hu's story on Harry Cabluck's retirement from the Austin press corps (we hope it's short)... We had columns this week from Lyndon Olson on civility and from Cathie Adams on Republicans and Boyd Richie on Democrats, each saying why their party is right and the other is wrong... And the data bank on state salaries continues to grow; we've added Texas A&M University to a set of information that already included most state employees, workers in the state's biggest cities, and the Aggies' rivals at the University of Texas.

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