State News

Texas Politics
8:43 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Cruz ends year as he began, with no apologies

Ted Cruz
NPR

Ted Cruz wasn’t the only politician who promised to shake up Washington when he was sworn in earlier this year. 

But he delivered like no other. 

By the time the brash Houston lawyer and Republican firebrand completes his first year in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 3, he will arguably have become the most recognizable face of the GOP’s unapologetic far right — not bad for a guy with no previous experience in elective office.  

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Texas Crime and Corrections
1:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

New law protects pets in domestic disputes

NPR

The holidays are a time for gift-giving and celebration but, for some, it's also a time of increased family and financial pressure. Some mental health health professionals say this pressure can lead to a spike in domestic violence. 

In Texas, domestic violence victims who find the courage to leave an abusive situation can now have their pets included in protective orders.

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Texas Environment
5:20 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Report: EPA followed rules in North Texas drilling case

NPR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was legally justified in issuing — and later withdrawing — an emergency order against a Fort Worth-based driller following a 2010 complaint of groundwater contamination in North Texas, the agency’s internal watchdog said in a report released Tuesday. But questions linger the about the source of the contamination, it added. 

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Texas Politics
10:06 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

'Undecided' an early leader in primary season

NPR

The first problem with the 2014 primaries is that almost everybody is a nobody. 

The standard and somewhat lazy view is that the Democratic candidates do not have the prominence they need to get the attention they require to compete with Republicans in Texas elections. It’s not altogether wrong — it’s just that it’s not really confined to the Democrats. 

The biggest bloc of votes in polls for most Republican primaries is don’t know/undecided. Voters don’t know most of these people. 

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Texas Education
12:46 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Memo: Perry pushed new adviser position at A&M board

Rick Perry
NPR

On the afternoon before the Texas A&M System Board met to select an interim president — a selection that found Gov. Rick Perry backing one candidate and Chancellor John Sharp backing another — Perry contacted regents with a proposal for a new position "on par with [the] chancellor." 

For its title, the governor suggested "Executive President (Director) of the Board of Regents or President of the Office of the Executive Board of Regents (or something similar)." 

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Texas Crime and Courts
8:38 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Suit cites 'randomly chosen' body cavity search of woman

NPR

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents subjected a U.S. citizen to unwarranted searches, including vaginal probes and a CT scan, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union in a U.S. district court. 

The woman, who is referred to as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit, is a New Mexico resident and was stopped while entering the United States at the Cordova Bridge in El Paso on Dec. 12, 2012, according to court records. 

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Texas Crime and Courts
3:31 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

'Restorative justice' presented as option for offenses

The State of Texas Supreme Court building in Austin.
State of Texas

Could restorative justice - also known as victim/offender mediation - work as an option for punishment of low-level crimes? The Texas Public Policy Foundation's recent report "Reviving Restorative Justice: A Blueprint for Texas" suggests yes. Derek Cohen explains and discusses the reasoning behind an approach that emphasizes the offender's debt to the victim rather than the offender's debt to the state.

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Texas Water
11:15 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Crackdown on 'earmarks' leaves Red River salty

The Red River forms most of the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma.
Shelly Kofler KERA

Russell Schreiber, the director of public works for Wichita Falls, has a one-track mind these days. 

“I go to bed thinking about how we can shore up our water supply, and I wake up trying to do it,” he said. 

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Texas Health
9:55 am
Wed December 18, 2013

In North Texas, 'navigators' under scrutiny

An online course for Affordable Care Act 'navigators'
NPR

For Martha Blaine, the 10 Affordable Care Act "navigators" who meet clients daily on behalf of the Community Council of Greater Dallas blend in with the rest of her staff. 

“They are all employees,” said Blaine, the organization’s executive director. “So they have to undergo all of the same rules, regulations ... and standard operating procedures.” 

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2014 Election
8:30 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Few anticipated Stockman's challenge

U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman
NPR

Just before 6 p.m. Monday, U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman shocked many by opting to end his re-election campaign and formally challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in next year’s Republican primary. 

While the Friendswood Republican's decision drew quick national attention that evening, a select few saw it coming. In the days beforehand, news of Stockman’s plans quietly spread among some Texas Republicans, setting off a scramble for those interested in replacing Stockman in the U.S. House but not willing to run against him.  

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