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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The death penalty and DNA testing in a 16-year-old triple murder in the Texas Panhandle. The second debate between the three Republican candidates for governor. Charter schools are having a hard time hanging on to the employees that matter the most: Teachers. The possibilities and perils of a switch to electronic medical records. A rundown of top races. Who's giving to candidates, and how much? Social networks and politicians. Ballots: The slow reveal. And a new and highly requested feature makes its debut. The best of our best from January 23 to 29, 2010.

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The second Republican gubernatorial debate capped the week, and that's probably the last one on that side of the political ledger; the Democrats will meet a week from Monday for a faceoff, but the Republicans aren't talking about any more televised arguments before the primaries. We covered the debate itself (our liveblog from Emily Ramshaw and Ross Ramsey, Ben Philpott's audio report, and Elise Hu's flash from the focus group) and led up to it with Ramsey's preview of what was at stake for the candidates, and Abby Rapoport's report on spoilers in past elections.

Brandi Grissom's terrific stories about a triple-murder and the convicted killer's attempts to reopen the case for new DNA testing are here and here, and a video of Hank Skinner telling his side is here.

Ramshaw took at look at efforts to move doctors to electronic records and Andrew Kriegbaum wrote about training the people who'll train the doctors how to do that.

Charter schools are churning through teachers at an uncomfortable rate, and Brian Thevenot sorts through that.

The Democrats in the Texas delegation got calls from Julian Aguilar, Morgan Smith, and Reeve Hamilton for a snapshot of where they stand on health care reform. Some are still sitting.

The political part of the week started with Ramsey's rundown of the top races on the ballot, based on the idea that just because there are two people in a race doesn't mean it's competitive. These, on the other hand, are competitive.

Matt Stiles dove into the data and came up with a list the 20 biggest donors in Texas politics, and later, with a supplemental list of donors who give in more roundabout fashion. Stiles also dipped back into his data maps, illustrating which parts of Texas give disproportionately to which gubernatorial candidates.

Hamilton got social, looking at who's using Facebook and Twitter in politics and how. And why. And he and Rapoport went to the governor's weekend summit for bloggers to see the governor's attempts to enlist the wired. They even shot video.

What's with this? It takes 12 seconds to get a bill emailed from the gas company, but it takes Texas political parties three weeks — after the deadlines for candidates have passed — to figure out who's on the ballot.

Oh, and one last bit of business about what's probably our most-requested feature: Our tech wizards added email alerts to the arsenal this week. Sign up here if you'd like a note — immediately or in digest form — when we post new content.

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