State News

Texas Justice
2:14 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Lawmakers urged to reform parole with technology

With Georgia's recent success, Texas lawmakers are trying to save money on the state prison system by using more technology to keep in contact with prisoners on parole.
NPR

*Clarification appended

The solution to saving money on the state prison system may be more spending on technology, experts and lawmakers mused at a Tuesday panel on criminal justice policy. 

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Texas Agriculture
4:33 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Ongoing drought pushes beef prices to record levels

Drought conditions in Texas continue to make the cost of beef raise.
NPR

As Texas, the nation's biggest beef-producing state, enters its fourth year of drought, beef prices have reached their highest level in almost three decades, according to the Texas Beef Council.

Economic and agriculture experts are concerned that as drought conditions continue nationally and in Texas, increasing food prices could take a toll on ranchers, grocers and consumers. While some ranchers are enjoying the bigger bottom lines of the increased prices, others worry the increased prices could mean a drop in sales.  

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Texas Education
2:54 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Schools on their own to avoid double-testing math

Texas' eight-graders may have to take two math tests at the end of each year. One math test for their regular math assessment and another to fit Texas' new algebra I comprehension requirements.
NPR

After some eighth-grade students in Texas public schools finish their state math exams in May, they could have to sit back down soon after and take another one.

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Texas Health
2:45 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Texas telemedicine taking off

To better serve the growing number of insured patients, some hospitals are turning to the telemedicine.
Lauren Silverman / KERA

A shortage of medical specialists, combined with a glut of newly insured patients has put some rural Texas hospitals in a bind, according to Breakthrough.

One solution is telemedicine. Think of it as a kind of video conferencing on steroids that links doctors to patients hundreds of miles away.

Dr. Pritam Ghosh is in Dallas, listening with a stethoscope to a patient’s lungs, in the east Texas town of Sulphur Springs. And no, this isn’t a story about a 100 mile long stethoscope…it’s about a Dallas company bringing high tech telemedicine to the masses.

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Texas Water
2:40 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Next 3 months ‘huge’ in preventing brutal Texas summer

As springtime rolls around, preparations are already being made to help insure that this summer is a safe one.
NPR

Texans looking for relief from the drought are eagerly anticipating the chances of an El Niño event starting this summer, which could bring much wetter conditions. But the focus should actually be on the near-term, according to Victor Murphy, climate service program manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Fort Worth. Murphy says that the next three months, April, May and June, will be crucial to staving off another critically dry—and hot—summer, according to State Impact.

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Women's Health
1:00 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

Abortion provider shutters McAllen and Beaumont clinics

NPR

Editor's note: This story was updated twice, first to include a response from Texas Right to Life and Amy Hagstrom Miller, and then to provide details from a Thursday conference call with Whole Woman’s Health.

Whole Woman's Health announced late Wednesday that it is closing two abortion clinics — one in the already underserved Rio Grande Valley and another in Beaumont — as a result of strict abortion regulations passed by the Legislature last year.

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Texas Water
7:00 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Water planners to set bar for conservation funding

NPR

When voters approved using $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund for water financing last November, they were also supporting a measure that reserves 20 percent of that money for “water conservation and reuse projects.”

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Texas Agriculture
4:29 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Fewer women farmers in U.S., but more in Texas

NPR

The number of women farmers in Texas is increasing, bucking the national trend, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture. 

The number of female principal farm operators in Texas increased 10 percent between 2007 and 2012, while the number of female principal operators across the country declined, according to the data released last week. 

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Texas Government
2:58 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Same-sex marriage advocates battle in court

NPR

A federal court in San Antonio will hear arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the legitimacy of Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. It is one of several cases pending in courts statewide, a venue in which gay rights activists say their odds of winning legal protections are far better than in the conservative state Legislature.

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Texas Education
12:40 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

A&M-Commerce, South Texas College announce $10K degrees

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Since Gov. Rick Perry issued his famous — some skeptics might say infamous — call in 2011 for Texas universities to develop $10,000 bachelor’s degrees with textbooks included, he has proudly noted the announcements of more than a dozen degrees purporting to meet that challenge. 

But only one degree on that list takes into account the cost of textbooks and, rather than simply tweaking the price tag on existing offerings, derives its savings from a fundamental reconsideration of the way students experience higher education — and it only just launched. 

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