While Searching for Mom, Sisters Form Drug-War Support Group

Twins, Nitza Alvarado Espinoza (black shirt) and Mitzi Alvarado Espinoza, with their sister Deisy, at a rally in Austin on November 9. The sisters started "Hijos de Desaparecidos" after their mom was kidnapped by the Mexican military in Chihuahua. They are currently in deportation proceedings but their attorney has filed a petition seeking a special-immigrant status since they were abandoned or orphaned.
Twins, Nitza Alvarado Espinoza (black shirt) and Mitzi Alvarado Espinoza, with their sister Deisy, at a rally in Austin on November 9. The sisters started "Hijos de Desaparecidos" after their mom was kidnapped by the Mexican military in Chihuahua. They are currently in deportation proceedings but their attorney has filed a petition seeking a special-immigrant status since they were abandoned or orphaned.

The mother of twin sisters Mitzi and Nitza Alvarado Espinoza disappeared from their home in Mexico in 2009. Now exiled in El Paso, the sisters have formed a movement aimed at providing comfort to young victims of the drug war.

Devils River Could Feel Impact of Hunt for Water

The Devils River, which runs through the Dolan Falls Preserve, is known by nature enthusiasts as one of the most pristine rivers in Texas.
The Devils River, which runs through the Dolan Falls Preserve, is known by nature enthusiasts as one of the most pristine rivers in Texas.

Thanks to conservation efforts and its remote location, the Devils River is seen as one of the state's last pristine rivers. But change could be coming for the river, as some are eyeing its basin for new water supplies. 

South Texas County Gets Off TxDOT's Gravel List

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of  FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.

La Salle County officials have agreed to pay a portion of the repair costs and all the maintenance costs for 20 miles of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation had intended to convert to gravel.

Prosecutors Prepare to Open Their Files

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.

As 2014 approaches, Texas district and county attorneys are preparing to implement a new law that aims to prevent wrongful convictions by requiring prosecutors to open their files to defense lawyers. 

 

Brandenburg and Lyle: The TT Interview

From left to right: David Lyle, senior counsel for state advancement, American Constitution Society, and Bert Brandenburg, executive director, Justice at Stake.
From left to right: David Lyle, senior counsel for state advancement, American Constitution Society, and Bert Brandenburg, executive director, Justice at Stake.

Two experts in campaign finance and its effects on how judges decide cases say the money has a measurable effect and that some changes in law can help.

The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Nov. 26, 2013

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaking before a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at the Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford TX. Abbott is seeking to become the next governor of Texas.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaking before a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at the Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford TX. Abbott is seeking to become the next governor of Texas.

Your evening reading: gun advocates find hope in Abbott's open-carry proposal; O'Rourke stock purchase might have broken new restrictions; IRS issues new guidelines to squeeze dark-money groups

2011 UP Settlement Could Impact Bridge Dispute

The uncompleted new international railroad bridge near Brownsville passes over the border fence and US 281 before crossing the Rio Grande.
The uncompleted new international railroad bridge near Brownsville passes over the border fence and US 281 before crossing the Rio Grande.

A 2011 settlement between U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Union Pacific could play a role in ending the current stalemate over the transfer of a Cameron County rail scanning machine.

Funding Woes Imperil Future of State Parks

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Palmetto State Park
Palmetto State Park

The struggle to secure funding and land for state parks in Texas dates back to the early 1900s. Today, as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department marks the end of its 50th year in operation, the struggle continues.

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