News For December, 2010

Callie Richmond

TribBlog: Life in the Fast Lane

More than a third of Texas drivers think roadways are less safe than they were five years ago even though data shows that deaths have steadily decreased, according to a survey by the Center for Transportation Safety at the Texas Transportation Institute.

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Ivan Pierre Aguirre

In the Jailhouse Now

When country music icon Willie Nelson got arrested for marijuana possession last week, he wasn’t the only Texas legend who figured in the story. Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West, who put Willie in the local pokey, is a reigning symbol of the years-long fight over border security and immigration.

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Justin Dehn

T-Squared: Donor Ask, Donor Tell

Today marks the beginning of an effort to more openly and aggressively disclose when donors to The Texas Tribune are — for reasons entirely related to their place in the center of the news — the subjects of stories.

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Justin Dehn

Woody Hunt: The TT Interview

The chairman of the Governor's Business Council on why the business community cares about higher ed, why we have to incentivize outcomes, whether it's possible to increase productivity and who's to blame if we don't.

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Texas Attorney General's Office

TribBlog: Warren Jeffs On Texas Soil

Warren Jeffs has made it to Texas. The embattled leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — the polygamous Mormon breakaway sect whose Eldorado ranch was raided by child welfare officials in 2008 — will stand trial in San Angelo for allegedly sexually assaulting a child.

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The Weekly TribCast: Episode 57

In this week's TribCast, Evan, Ross, Elise and Reeve discuss the freshman class at the Lege, the ongoing speaker's race and potential cuts to higher education. Full Story 
Jacob Villanueva

TribBlog: Big 12 Spenders

Texas universities are likely facing massive budget cuts in the upcoming legislative session — so how are they spending the money they have now, and is there even any room for cuts? A new report offers some clues.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

A Man of Conviction?

Harris County District Judge Kevin Fine is set to hold a hearing Monday in the case of John Edward Green, who is charged with fatally shooting a Houston woman during a robbery in June 2008. Green’s attorneys and capital punishment opponents want Fine to find that prosecutors can’t seek the death penalty because the way we administer it in Texas is unconstitutional. “The current system is profoundly and fundamentally flawed from top to bottom,” says Andrea Keilen, executive director of the Texas Defender Service. Prosecutors counter that the ruling should be made by higher courts, not a trial judge.

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Ken Paxton: The TT Interview

The Republican state representative from McKinney on why he's running for speaker, why Joe Straus is "the most controversial Republican elected official ... that maybe has ever happened," the role of outside groups in what has historically been a forum for the most inside of insider politics and whether he thinks he can really win.

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Chamber of Secrets

It's orientation week for the largest incoming class of House members since the early '70s. Before their work begins in January, they're learning how things work in the pink building — and drawing balls to see who gets the most seniority. Full Story 
Caleb Bryant Miller

The Brief: Dec. 2, 2010

Some House newbies on Wednesday experienced the crush of political defeat for the first time — courtesy of a box of ping pong balls.

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Majorie Cotera

The Midday Brief: Dec. 2, 2010

Your afternoon reading: Sheila Jackson Lee and WikiLeaks, talk of a pardon for Tom DeLay, and Chuck Norris (yes, that Chuck Norris)

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Joel Martinez

Saved by the Bell

Public schools have long had a strained relationship with their charter cousins, which battle them for students and money and boast loudly about their relative success. But in the Rio Grande Valley, a federal grant has the largest public school district partnering with Teach For America and a network of charter schools to create a teacher training center with hopes of luring quality educators to one of Texas' most poverty stricken regions — and keeping them there. In the process, the competitive tension is being replaced by a spirit of constructive collaboration.

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