State government

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Ramsey on Flintstone truthers, Thevenot on the explosion of "dual-credit" enrollees and the potential sacking of teachers when student test scores don't measure up, Ramshaw on government-subsidized child care providers with troubled track records, Stiles's enhanced state employee salary app and new dangerous day care app, Aguilar on our commie trading partner and the cost of being undercounted in the next census, Philpott on the legal wrangling over gay divorce and how social media fanned the flames of Debra Medina's 9/11 flap, and our roundup of powderkeg party primaries: Hu in HD-20, M. Smith in CD-23, Ramsey in HD-98, Hamilton in HD-127, Grissom HD-76 and HD-78, and Rapoport in SBOE 5. The best of our best from February 15 to 19, 2010.

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Jacob Villanueva

Trading Places

Texas, that famous bastion of conservatism, has become a leading exporter of agricultural products to communist Cuba — second only to Louisiana among the 50 states.

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Data App: Day Care Danger

More than 120 federally subsidized day care centers had their licenses denied or revoked by the state for violations of regulations and minimum standards in the last two years. Map their locations and drill down into the records by the provider name or action taken by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

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Jacob Villanueva

Primary Color: HD-127

Four plausible candidates are vying for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring state Rep. Joe Crabb, R-Atascocita, and each has a decent shot. The tough part for voters in this reliably Republican north Houston suburb is differentiating between them.

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Caleb Bryant MIller

TribBlog: Skinner Execution Postponed

The trial judge who initially decided Hank Skinner would die Feb. 24 — one week from today — has pushed the execution date back to March 24, says Skinner attorney Rob Owen, co-director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Capital Punishment Clinic.

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Jacob Villanueva

The Numbers Game

More than 373,000 Texans went uncounted by the 2000 census, resulting in a loss of $1 billion in federal funds. With eight of the nation's 50 hardest-to-count counties right here in our state, the coming 2010 census is a cause for concern — and an apparent lack of attention by elected officials is making matters worse.

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Jacob Villanueva

Day Care Danger

The Texas Workforce Commission spent nearly $50 million during the last two years on day care centers and in-home childcare providers with troubled track records — including sexual and physical abuse, kidnapping, and leaving infants to suffocate and die in their cribs. A Texas Tribune review found that at least 135 subsidized facilities had their licenses revoked or denied by the Department of Family and Protective Services in 2008 and 2009 and had their funding immediately suspended.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Primary Color: Five to Watch

In honor of today's kickoff of early voting — a two-week period in which political junkies, committed activists and other go-to-the-head-of-the-class types will line up to cast ballots for their favorite candidates, unable to contain their enthusiasm or anger until March 2 — we present five different installments in our Primary Color series. Brandi Grissom reports on the GOP face-off to take on state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, in House District 78. Elise Hu tackles the four-way scrum between Republicans in HD-20 hoping to succeed retiring state Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown. Ross Ramsey asks why a perenially safe incumbent, state Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, has a fight on her hands this year in HD-98. Abby Rapoport looks at the battle for conservative cred in the race for the District 5 seat on the State Board of Education. And Morgan Smith picks apart the five-way race for the GOP nomination in Congressional District 23 — and the chance to topple U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.

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