Tribpedia: Todd Staples

Heated Debate Surrounds Push for Deep Fryers in Texas Schools

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Jan. 13, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Jan. 13, 2015.

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, the cowboy-hat-wearing champion of local control, is looking to buck a decade-old statewide ban on deep fat fryers in public schools. Putting decision-making back into the hands of Texas school districts, he says, “isn't about french fries, it's about freedom.”

Sid Miller speaks at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.
Sid Miller speaks at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.

Ag Commissioner Says Consumers "Screwed"

The Texas Department of Agriculture is supposed to ensure consumers aren't getting ripped off by fuel pumps, retail scanners or other measuring devices. But the agency is so cash-strapped that consumers are getting "screwed" due to a lack of oversight, the agency's new commissioner says.

Farmers in the community of Mumford worry that if Union Pacific Railroad acquires the rest of the land it needs to build a new rail yard in the area, the familiar landscape of cotton fields off of FM 50 in the fertile Brazos River Valley will change forever.
Farmers in the community of Mumford worry that if Union Pacific Railroad acquires the rest of the land it needs to build a new rail yard in the area, the familiar landscape of cotton fields off of FM 50 in the fertile Brazos River Valley will change forever.

Farmers Turn to Lawmakers for Help in Fight Against Rail Yard

As they run out of legal maneuvers, residents in a small community fighting against the potential construction of a rail yard on farmland with nutrient-rich soil are now asking lawmakers for support in stopping the project.

Hispanic Growth Rate by Texas House District
Hispanic Growth Rate by Texas House District

The Brief: March 12, 2014

Writing in The Wall Street JournalDante Chinni of the American Communities Project at American University makes the argument that if Texas flips blue, it could do so in a hurry. And not just because of the state's growing Hispanic population.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to supporters in Houston after primary election results indicate he is heading into a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, speaks to supporters in Houston after primary election results indicate he is heading into a runoff with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Patterson, Staples Weigh In on Lt. Gov. Runoff

Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples offered differing takes on Tuesday on how the May runoff between their former lieutenant governor primary opponents — Dan Patrick and incumbent David Dewhurst — might turn out.

Vote signs outside early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.
Vote signs outside early voting locations in Austin on Feb. 23, 2014.

The Brief: March 4, 2014

Another dose of winter weather expected to hit overnight from Austin and San Antonio to Houston is injecting a note of uncertainty into today's party primary elections.

Texas Attorney General and candidate for Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott gives keynote speech during the Texas Rally for Life on January 25th, 2014
Texas Attorney General and candidate for Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott gives keynote speech during the Texas Rally for Life on January 25th, 2014

The Brief: March 3, 2014

Election Day is tomorrow, and the tenor of some of the campaigns has moved toward "no quarter, bayonet the wounded."

A sunrise marks the beginning of a new September day in Paint Creek, Texas, home of Governor Rick Perry, on September 22, 2011.
A sunrise marks the beginning of a new September day in Paint Creek, Texas, home of Governor Rick Perry, on September 22, 2011.

The Brief: Feb. 27, 2014

Texans are much more optimistic about the direction of the state than the nation as a whole, according to the final installment of findings from the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.

The Brief: Feb. 25, 2014

Democrats and Republicans in Texas differ in their enthusiasm for spending more money for education, but they tend to agree on the need to invest more, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are both running in the 2014 Republican primary for lieutenant governor
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are both running in the 2014 Republican primary for lieutenant governor

The Brief: Feb. 19, 2014

News reports on Tuesday evening that the famously tough-on-immigration lite guv candidate Dan Patrick employed undocumented immigrants at his sports bar in the 1980s had a couple of his rivals condemning him and Patrick complaining of dirty politics.

Texas Attorney General and candidate for Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott gives keynote speech during the Texas Rally for Life on January 25th, 2014
Texas Attorney General and candidate for Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott gives keynote speech during the Texas Rally for Life on January 25th, 2014

The Brief: Feb. 18, 2014

Greg Abbott starts off the early voting period today on the road plugging his get-out-the-vote effort. But it's the presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee's choice of Ted Nugent to join him that is sparking headlines.