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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Feb. 4, 2011

Your afternoon reading: abortion sonogram hearings set for next week; Anchia's plum Super Bowl seat; and a Texas congressman's own budget woes

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Your afternoon reading:

  • "U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa quietly filed for personal bankruptcy last month with $2.9 million in debt he traces to a loan he backed to his family’s closed food processing company." — U.S. Rep. Hinojosa files for personal bankruptcy, The Monitor
  • "Texas lawmakers tried to fix the problem six years ago and have tried every two years since then to plug loopholes in Texas' eminent domain law to better protect landowners from having their property taken for public projects." — Eminent domain bill sent to full Senate, Austin American-Statesman
  • "The Army officer facing trial for the deadly attack at Fort Hood forged such suspicious ties with suspected al-Qaida operatives before the attack that a House committee chairman representing the Houston area is preparing a congressional inquiry into whether Army Maj. Nidal Hasan acted alone or was part of a wider terrorist conspiracy. Texas Rep. Michael McCaul said he will dig into the possible terrorist link in an inquiry by the House Homeland Security Committee on investigations that he chairs." — Texas Rep. Michael McCaul to probe whether Fort Hood gunman was part of a conspiracy, Texas on the Potomac
  • "President Barack Obama's first nominee for a judicial vacancy in Texas, U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Saldaña of Laredo, was approved by a Senate panel Thursday." — Obama's first Texas judicial pick clears hurdle, San Antonio Express-News

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, won't be on the 50-yard-line for Sunday's Super Bowl in Arlington. But some could argue he's got the next best seat: at the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama." — Anchia Gets Super Bowl Seat — at the White House
  • "Jim Spaniolo, the president of UT-Arlington, said the university is committed to increasing its engagement with research that 'could change the quality of life of many, many people' — but funding cuts resulting from the state’s budget shortfall would slow that momentum." — Tier-One Contender Wary of Cuts
  • The chief executive of the Texas electric grid operator discusses what caused the rolling blackouts across the state on Wednesday, why the list of power plants that failed has not been made public — and why he doesn't know if he lost power in his own home. — Trip Doggett: The TT Interview
  • "Slashing funds for community-based mental health care will hurt taxpayers and degrade the quality of life for thousands of mentally ill Texans and their families, Harris County Jail officials told Texas budget writers today in written testimony for the Senate Finance Committee." — Jail Officials: Mental Health Cuts Hurt Everyone

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