South Texas Makes Gains in Fight Against Boll Weevils

Field Unit Manager Stephen Daniel of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program checks a boll weevil trap located adjacent to a cotton field in Mustang Ridge, Texas, Aug. 14, 2013.  Daniel uses a TBWEP pickup truck as a mobile office where he weekly checks dozens of traps for the pest insect outside of Austin.
Field Unit Manager Stephen Daniel of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program checks a boll weevil trap located adjacent to a cotton field in Mustang Ridge, Texas, Aug. 14, 2013. Daniel uses a TBWEP pickup truck as a mobile office where he weekly checks dozens of traps for the pest insect outside of Austin.

In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, eradication efforts aimed at the boll weevil — an insect that can destroy the yields of cotton plants — are benefiting in part from the current drought.

News App: Salary Database Updated

In honor of Labor Day, we've updated more than 40 different entities in our employee payroll database, including the Texas A&M University System, the University of Houston System and Austin ISD. The updates also include two new school districts.

The Playlist: A Little Bit Longer

Texas Senator Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, in the Senate chamber on May 29, 2011 where her one hour filibuster killed SB1811 for the regular session and prompted a special session.
Texas Senator Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, in the Senate chamber on May 29, 2011 where her one hour filibuster killed SB1811 for the regular session and prompted a special session.

State Sen. Wendy Davis announced that she's postponing her decision about a gubernatorial run while she helps care for her sick father, so we begin this week's news-inspired playlist with the Jonas Brothers' "A Little Bit Longer."

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 8/26/13

Aguilar finds a marriage divided by a river, Batheja on plans for new gravel roads, Grissom on the latest disputes in the Hank Skinner case, Hamilton follows UT’s top regent into the fray, MacLaggan peers into the digital divide, Murphy maps the levels in Texas’ shrunken lakes, Philpott finds Democrats waiting for Wendy, Root reports that the wait will be a little bit longer, Rocha on John Cornyn and federal health care, Satija finds greener grass that could save water and M. Smith on the growth of cyber schools in Texas: The best of our best for the week of Aug. 26 to 30, 2013.

Smitherman: Unborn "Would Have Voted Republican"

Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.
Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.

In a recent speech to an anti-abortion group, Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman, a Republican candidate for attorney general, said he believed many unborn babies "would have voted Republican."

State Bar, Anderson Attorneys Make Case to Judge

Judge Ken Anderson, l, sits at the defense table as the court of inquiry begins in Georgetown on April 19, 2013.
Judge Ken Anderson, l, sits at the defense table as the court of inquiry begins in Georgetown on April 19, 2013.

Parties in a disciplinary case against the prosecutor who pursued Michael Morton’s since-overturned murder conviction will have to wait another week for a decision on whether they will go to trial.

Appeals Court Orders New Trial for Dennis Davis

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Dennis Davis speaks during an interview at the C. T. Terrell Unit in Rosharon on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Davis is serving 36 years in prison for the 1985 murder of Natalie Antonetti.
Dennis Davis speaks during an interview at the C. T. Terrell Unit in Rosharon on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Davis is serving 36 years in prison for the 1985 murder of Natalie Antonetti.

UPDATED: A Texas appeals court on Friday ordered a new trial for Dennis Davis, who is serving 36 years in prison for the 1985 murder of Natalie Antonetti of Austin. 

 

Minors Can No Longer Use Tanning Salons

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Kori Polston, 20, a UT student undergoes an indoor tanning session in an ultraviolet tanning bet at Aruba Tan salon in Austin, Texas, Aug. 27, 2013.
Kori Polston, 20, a UT student undergoes an indoor tanning session in an ultraviolet tanning bet at Aruba Tan salon in Austin, Texas, Aug. 27, 2013.

This year, Texas joined several other states that ban minors from tanning indoors. Previously, certain minors — those between 16 ½ and 18 — could tan with parental consent. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series. 

New UT Regents Chairman Determined to Avoid Drama

Regent Paul Foster at the University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting Aug. 22, 2013.
Regent Paul Foster at the University of Texas System Board of Regents meeting Aug. 22, 2013.

After one week on the job as chairman of the embattled University of Texas System Board of Regents, Paul Foster says that he hopes to build consensus and avoid being "dragged into the fray."

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