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The Midday Brief: April 12, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

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Your afternoon reading:

“Zoo directors across Texas who say they cannot understand why their popular facilities are not eligible for federal stimulus money have refused to give up trying to secure funds.” — Texas zoos could use stimulus funds

“This ain’t a sleeping night," said Norma Bowers of Garland, Texas, who arrived at 8 p.m. Saturday to snag a front-row spot off of State Highway 183 across from the former home of America’s Team.” — Thousands cheer, reflect as Texas Stadium crumbles into lore

From the day George Washington named the first member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Jay, until last year's confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, precisely one Texan has served on the nation's highest court. — Texas oft-ignored for Supreme Court vacancies

The announcement strips the small communities — long dominated by Pilgrim’s — of a major employer and taxpayer. The company still has production and cold storage facilities in the area. Those will remain. — Pilgrim's Pride to shutter East Texas headquarters, cut 160 jobs

New in The Texas Tribune:

Offices at the Texas Department of Transportation are filled with engineers from the state's flagship universities, but recently they set aside their love of burnt orange and Aggie maroon for ... Duke blue?  — TribBlog: TxDOT In the Paint

Chavez, who is in a pitched battle with Democrat Naomi Gonzalez to keep her House District 76 seat, has long touted her support of workers' rights and her advocacy of the farm workers. But in this campaign, Chavez has taken considerable heat for raising the issue of Gonzalez's sexual orientation. — 2010: Chavez Rallies with Farm Worker, Gay Rights Supporter

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is making the rounds on conservative talk radio this morning announcing the formation of a new group — the Independent Conservative Republicans of Texas. — TribBlog: Patrick Heralds New Conservative Group

But it won’t be the first time Democrats rue their lack of a Rove-like Svengali if the state party doesn’t prioritize one state Supreme Court contest that could fracture Republican hegemony on the highest civil court for the first time in more than 10 years. —  Tipping the Scales

It's a transportation funding crisis: Congestion on Texas highways is only going to get worse with our population growing, but the state lacks the billions needed to combat it. Lawmakers trying to find a way to break through the gridlock are issuing a stern warning: There's no something-for-nothing solution. — Video: Road to Nowhere


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