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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Galbraith and Collier on the drought's economic impact, Grissom on the latest in the Morton and Skinner cases, Hamilton on university regents' potential conflicts of interest, Murphy on spending by Ron Paul's presidential campaign, Philpott on Rick Perry's plans for Social Security, Ramsey on the dirty little secret about dropouts, Ramshaw on how Perry and his staff downplayed allegations of abuse at state centers for the disabled, Root on Perry's flirtation with birtherism, M. Smith on GOP candidates making public ed their focus and Tan and Hamilton on why students in Texas illegally get access to state financial aid: The best of our best content from October 24 to 28, 2011.

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Despite the record dry stretch, most Texans are still far from running out of water. But the drought's economic impact is beginning to extend beyond agriculture and into tourism, real estate and other staples of urban economies.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied a request from former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson to keep him from providing testimony in an investigation of what led to the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton.

More than a dozen current and former lawmakers, prosecutors, judges, police officers and even a former Texas governor sent a letter today calling on Gov. Rick Perry to allow for DNA testing death row inmate Hank Skinner says could prove his innocence.

Legislators and other concerned groups are preparing for a thorough review of the conflict of interest policies — or lack of policies — that apply to regents of the state’s public university systems.

Use our news application to search federal campaign expenditures by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in the 2012 election cycle so far and see where his campaign has spent its money in his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In his flat-tax speech on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Perry also listed five ways to fix Social Security. One of those, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, is based on a system Galveston County created after opting out of the federal program.

The same state law that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at Texas universities also allows some to be given publicly funded grants to pay for their education.

Every time a student drops out of public school, taxpayers save money. That’s one fewer student, at an annual savings of more than $11,000 per year from state and local sources.

Rick Perry and his staff repeatedly downplayed the severity of abuse and neglect allegations at Texas’ state-run institutions for the disabled — until conditions became so dire that federal authorities intervened.

Whatever Gov. Rick Perry was doing with the birther issue, he isn’t doing it anymore. Perry now says he has no doubt Obama is a native U.S. citizen.

At least some Republican 2012 primary candidates for the Texas House hope to trade the anti-government cries of the last election cycle for a message with a decidedly different focus: the state of Texas public schools.

 

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