Texas

Tom Delay
10:26 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Appeals Court Overturns Tom Delay's Money Laundering Conviction

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (left) and his defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin at the Travis County Criminal Justice Center on November 1, 2010.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.

A state appeals court in Austin has overturned the money laundering conviction of former Texas Congressman and House Majority Leader Tom Delay. 

Three years ago, DeLay was convicted for conspiring to illegally funnel $190,000 in corporate campaign contributions to Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature in 2002.

Delay has been free since his conviction while the case was appealed.

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Politics
8:45 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Interview: The Calculus of a Wendy Davis Run for Governor

Wendy Davis during her filibuster of abortion-restricting Senate Bill 5. "She is now an official, certified celebrity who has some life and legs beyond this election cycle," Evan Smith says.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

Not since Ann Richards has the star of a Texas Democrat risen as fast or conspicuously as that of Wendy Davis.

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Libraries
11:48 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Bookless Public Library Opens In Texas

An artist's rendering shows computer stations at the new BiblioTech bookless public library in Bexar County, Texas. The library is holding its grand opening Saturday.
Courtesy of Bexar County

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 5:02 pm

An all-digital public library is opening today, as officials in Bexar County, Texas, celebrate the opening of the BiblioTech library. The facility offers about 10,000 free e-books for the 1.7 million residents of the county, which includes San Antonio.

On its website, the Bexar County BiblioTech library explains how its patrons can access free eBooks and audio books. To read an eBook on their own device, users must have the 3M Cloud Library app, which they can link to their library card.

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Texas
8:46 am
Fri September 13, 2013

This Map Carves the U.S. Into Seven Nations - And Splits Texas Three Ways

Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill, Forbes Magazine

"America is not a single country. It is a collection of seven competitive nations and three quasi-independent city-states, each with its own tastes, proclivities, resources and problems.”

So writes geographer and futurist Joel Kotkin for Forbes Magazine.  In his new map of America’s future, entitled America’s Next Decade, Kotkin sees not only the outlines of a remarkably robust nation running from south Texas to western Florida, but also the emergence of Americas next major "global city" - right here in Texas. 

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Military
12:11 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Van De Putte And House Dems See National Guard Refusal In Opposite Ways

Chris Eudaily TPR News

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:58 pm

With Attorney General Greg Abbott now advising the Texas National Guard about the legal side of their refusal to process federal same-sex couple benefits, a group of House Democrats are urging Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the head of the Texas National Guard, to rescind his decision and start processing the benefits.

But the issue is more complex than you might imagine.

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Military
4:11 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Texas National Guard Won't Process Benefits for Same-Sex Couples (Update)

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard participate in a parade in Laredo earlier this year. The Texas National Guard won’t process benefits for same-sex couples despite a Pentagon directive.
flickr.com/texasmilitaryforces

Update: Sixteen Democratic state lawmakers have signed a letter asking the head of Texas Military Forces to process benefits claims for same-sex spouses.

“We call on you to respect Texas’ military families, to reconsider your position, and to follow the lead of virtually every other Adjutant General for the National Guard of the United States by, without further delay, enrolling all eligible spouses of National Guard service members at facilities operated by Texas Military Force,” the letter reads.

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Child Protective Services
8:52 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Child Protective Services Launches Foster Care Redesign

Child Protective Services has launched a program, Foster Care Redesign, in North and West Texas (Regions 2 & 9) on this map. It's goal is to keep foster children closer to their communities.
DFPS

The state’s child welfare agency is launching a new program aimed at improving the outcomes of children in foster care in Texas. The project, called Foster Care Redesign, has been in the works for years. 

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Texas
5:25 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Hired Hog Trapper Has Three Years To Clean Out Dallas

Feral hogs were once just a rural problem in Texas, but now they threaten to turn city parks into sties.
Courtesy City Trapping

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 5:26 pm

Texas has a pig problem.

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West Plant Explosion
11:32 am
Tue September 3, 2013

VIDEO: The First Festival in West, Texas Since the Explosion

Credit Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Residents of the town of West, Texas came out over the weekend to enjoy their annual Labor Day festival – Westfest. With plenty of beer, sausage, polka music and rides, it’s a celebration of the town’s Czech heritage. 

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Texas
1:10 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Photos: Six Outrageous Fried Foods at the State Fair of Texas

Fried King Ranch Casserole is one of the nominees for the Big Tex Choice Awards at the 2013 State Fair of Texas in Dallas.
facebook.com/statefairoftx

Update: The Associated Press reports a deep fried Cuban roll took top honors at the State Fair of Texas’ “Big Tex Choice Awards” this year: That's shredded pork, ham, cheese, pickles and sauce, rolled in dough and thrown in a deep fat fryer.

Another foodstuff profiled below – Fried Thanksgiving Dinner (which is exactly like it sounds) – took the prize for “Most Creative” entrée. The State Fair opens Sept. 27.

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Texas
11:08 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Texas Megachurch At Center Of Measles Outbreak

The Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, is linked to at least 21 cases of measles.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:58 pm

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. more than a decade ago. But in recent years, the highly infectious disease has cropped up in communities with low vaccination rates, most recently in North Texas.

There, 21 people — the majority of whom have not been immunized — have gotten the disease, which began at a vaccine-skeptical megachurch.

The outbreak began when a man who contracted the virus on a recent trip to Indonesia visited the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, about an hour and a half northwest of Dallas.

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Texas
8:08 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Texas Has Highest Percentage of People Without Health Insurance

CDC/ Debora Cartagena

Texas continues to lead the country in the percentage of uninsured people under 65. That has been a trend for at least the last five years.

The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show more than one in four people under 65 did not have health insurance – that was more than 5.7 million people in 2011.

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Fort Hood Shootings
10:58 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Hasan Faces Lengthy Appeals Process Before Execution

Hasan has been sentenced to death for killing 13 and wounding more than 30 people at Fort Hood in 2009. But his trial faces an automatic appeals process, which could take years.
Landov Landov

The jury in the court martial of Nidal Hasan sentenced him to death Wednesday. He was convicted of killing 13 people and wounding more 32 in the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood. But legal experts say it could still be years before the death sentence is carried out – if at all.

Under military law, Hasan’s case will automatically be appealed because he received a death sentence, even if he doesn’t want to appeal.

But before the case goes to an appeals court, the commanding general of Fort Hood must approve the findings and the sentence. That alone will take a while.

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Fort Hood Shootings
2:17 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Hasan Sentenced to Death for 2009 Fort Hood Shootings

Brigitte Woosley

Army Major Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death for the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead and 32 wounded.

The military jury deliberated for a little more than two hours before announcing their decision. Military law requires the panel be unanimous to impose the death sentence.

Hasan could be the first member of the military executed since 1961, though the sentence triggers an automatic appeals process that could stretch for years to come.

In representing himself during the trial, Hasan presented little in the way of a defense. In his opening argument, he admitted the evidence would show he was the shooter. He offered no closing argument and did not call any witnesses during either the trial or penalty phase. 

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Fort Hood Shootings
1:54 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Hasan Declines to Present Defense During Sentencing

Brigitte Woosley

Update, 2:30 PM: When given the opportunity to speak on his own behalf today, Hasan simply said "the defense rests." The jury was dismissed, and will likely return tomorrow morning for closing arguments for sentencing.

Earlier: Emotional testimony from survivors and family members of victims of the Fort Hood shooting ended today in the military trial of Army Major Nidal Hasan, now in its sentencing phase.

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