Johnathan Silver, Texas Tribune

Mesquite High School yearbook/Facebook

After a police officer fatally shot an unarmed 15-year-old in the Dallas area Saturday night, Texas lawmakers are considering whether pending bills could prevent similar deaths — or if any legislative solution is even needed.

Fourteen recommendations in the Texas House County Affairs Committee's recent report to lawmakers – including calls for them to increase police officer training for de-escalation and mental health awareness, to back jail-to-treatment diversion programs, and eliminate consent searches during stops – will be the foundation for the Sandra Bland Act.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

From the Texas Tribune: The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Cameron County health department announced Friday they've identified four more locally-transmitted cases of Zika in Cameron County.

In late November, the first such case in Texas, contracted by mosquito bite, was reported out of Cameron County.

Jennifer Whitney for Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: More than a year after state lawmakers told it to stop incarcerating so many teenagers, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department has diverted 52 juvenile offenders to local programs for help and rehabilitation instead of shipping them to state lockups.

From the Texas Tribune: The family of Sandra Bland — who died last year in a Waller County Jail cell — has reached a settlement with Texas officials in a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer for the family said Thursday.

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