Marylee Williams

Intern for KUT News

U.S. Census Bureau

According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, non-English speakers are more populous in Texas than every other state except California.

The Austin metropolitan area reflects the state trend: about 28 percent of residents speak a foreign language at home, more than the national average of 20.8 percent.

Brigitte Woosley

In the opening statement at his court-martial, Maj. Nidal Hasan said, “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter.”

While the case against Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009, appears simple, punishment may not be swift.

Five months ago, Austin cashiers stopped asking, “Paper or plastic?”  And since then, Austin retailers and customers have adjusted to the city ordinance banning single-use paper and plastic bags.

However, the Texas Retailers Association argues banning plastic bags does more harm than good.

Before crushing those pesky fire ants crawling across your porch, did you ever consider the critters’ effect on the ecosystem? The University of Texas’ newly formed Texas Invasive Species program has $2.7 million dollars to answer those questions and more.

The program, formed with a six-year grant from the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation, utilizes researchers from the Brackenridge Field Laboratory to investigate and protect Texas's ecosystems from exotic invasive species.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

Decorum is the word these past few weeks at the Texas Capitol.

In the Legislature's special sessions, protest has been vocal - both outside the Capitol dome and in House and Senate chambers. Today in the House, five opponents of HB 2 were reportedly arrested by DPS troopers for failing to adhere to the chamber’s decorum. In the Senate, the so-called “citizens’ filibuster” ended the first special session with a deafening crescendo, blocking an omnibus abortion bill in its final moments.

But how does the state define decorum?

After influencing state policy at the Capitol, the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) – a non-profit conservative think tank – is now turning its attention to local municipal governments.

TPPF officials say its new Center for Local Governance will work on the local level to tackle issues including spending, funding, local control and government transparency.