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The Brief: June 23, 2014

The discovery of a mass grave in Brooks County containing unidentified immigrants already has a couple of state lawmakers calling for an investigation of what happened.

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The Big Conversation

The discovery of a mass grave in Brooks County containing jumbled together remains of unidentified migrants already has a couple of state lawmakers calling for an investigation of what happened. State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, said he was asking the cemetery to be secured "to prevent any evidence from being damaged, tampered with, or destroyed."

He added, "There's no question in one way or another that this is illegal, whether it violates the actual penal code or it if constitutes fraud." His statement came on the heels of a call from state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, for an investigation.

A team of researchers earlier this month exhumed 52 graves in the Sacred Heart Burial Park in Falfurrias. What they found were "remains found in trash bags, shopping bags, body bags, or no containers at all."

The grisly discovery comes as Texas officials prepare to spend an additional $1.3 million weekly to boost border security efforts. Some experts told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times' Mark Collette that the number of border-crossing deaths could increase "as immigrants sought more remote, and therefore more dangerous, pathways north."

The Day Ahead

•    We will livestream the Monday morning press conference from GOP gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's tour of facilities housing unaccompanied immigrant minors at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

•    The joint legislative committee on water desalination meets at 10 a.m. in Corpus Christi to hear testimony on ocean and saltwater desalination. (agenda)

•    The Senate Transportation Committee meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to evaluate progress on relieving traffic congestion and the use of comprehensive development agreements to alleviate congestion. (agenda)

•    The Senate Open Government Committee meets at 1 p.m. in the Betty King Committee Room to look at suggestions to improve the transparency of state government websites when it comes to expenditures and contracts. (agenda)


Agents Want More Time With Texas College Athletes, by Terri Langford

Texas a Testing Ground For Energy Storage, by Jim Malewitz

Analysis: A Movement, or Just a Moment?, by Ross Ramsey


Wendy Davis defiant as campaign grinds on, Politico

Filibuster anniversary offers risk, opportunity for Texas Dems, Houston Chronicle

Texas Democrats: Women are key to 2014 victory, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Money tied to disputed bills flows to candidates for tax chief, San Antonio Express-News

Rebooted after scandal, Texas cancer agency rethinking priorities, Austin American-Statesman

Battling over the Brazos, The Dallas Morning News

Texas considers allowing taller billboards along rural highways, The Associated Press

Seitel Data to conduct seismic testing on Texas A&M campus, Bryan-College Station Eagle

Conservatives Plan to Use Poll Watchers in Mississippi, The New York Times

Quote to Note

“It’s like trying to decide who you get to marry based on one 15-minute meeting."

Drew Pittman, of Waco-based Domann & Pittman sports agency, arguing the rules in Texas limiting contact between agents and athletes don't always make for the best professional partnerships

Today in TribTalk

Why the fate of a Dallas highway matters to all Texans, by Patrick Kennedy

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are on sale now.

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Energy Environment Health care Politics Glenn Hegar Greg Abbott Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa Ted Cruz Wendy Davis