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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The best of our best content from Jan. 19-23, 2015.

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In a moment he called "highly improbable," Greg Abbott officially became the 48th governor of Texas in a ceremony on the south steps of the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. His wife, Cecilia Abbott, became the first Latina first lady of Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced his nominees to fill upcoming vacancies on university system boards, sending clear signals about his vision for those boards.

With a new lieutenant governor installed for the first time in over a decade Wednesday — and over the cries of Democrats — the Texas Senate voted to break from an almost 70-year tradition intended to encourage compromise among its members.

The companies owned and operated by many of the people Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has appointed to his new advisory council heavily lobby the Legislature and rake in millions of dollars in state contracts.

Mexican governors attended the gubernatorial inaugurations of Ann Richards, George W. Bush and Rick Perry. But in a break with tradition, they weren’t be in Austin when Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took his oath of office. 

There was music, dancing and (literally) tons of barbecue at Tuesday's inauguration celebration. Use this Storify page to see what folks shared on social media and follow the Tribune's on-the-ground reporting.

Three different musical acts — along with six cash bars — entertained an estimated 10,000 guests including lawmakers from both parties, legislative staff, Capitol lobbyists and some of the state’s top political donors.

The Texas Department of Transportation has spent about $10.6 million in education costs since 2002, nearly half what state agencies have spent in total on tuition reimbursements and other educational programs. Check out our breakdown.

A slim majority of Texas hospitals earned bonuses from Medicare this year for treating their patients well. But many are also being fined under a different Medicare program for treating their patients poorly.

Full video of our conversation with state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, the chairman of the House Public Education Committee.

Full video of the LBJ Library Future Forum's 1/21 panel discussion, "The Future of Texas," featuring state Reps. Donna Howard, D-Austin, Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, and Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass.

A former Texas environmental investigator says he tried to blow the whistle on his employer. But instead of helping him, he said, a high-profile Texas law firm tattled on him, leading to his dismissal. The firm, Baker Botts, denies the accusations.

After Denton voters decided to ban fracking, other Texas cities could weigh similar moves. Legislators are expected to look at ways to avoid a city-by-city fight over drilling regulations. 

In one of his first moves as governor, Greg Abbott has tapped Stuart Bowen Jr., the special inspector general who oversaw the reconstruction of Iraq, to be the chief watchdog at the state's embattled health agency.

Houston lawyer Terry Giles' legal career has ranged from defending Richard Pryor to taking on Anna Nicole Smith. Now he's jumping into presidential politics as the top dog for Republican Ben Carson's nascent campaign. 

Only one private company in the state has the power to condemn and take land for a toll road. Following public backlash over its proposed road near Dallas, state Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, wants to take that power away.

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