Texas

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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Fort Hood Shootings
8:28 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Emotional Testimony During Sentencing of Fort Hood Shooter

Maj. Nidal Hasan could be sentenced to death.
Brigitte Woosley

The second day of sentencing begins today in the military trial of convicted Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan.

The court is likely to hear more testimony from survivors and the families of those killed.

A jury found Hasan guilty of premeditated murder Friday in the November 2009 mass shooting that killed 13 and wounded 32. In the sentencing phase, the focus has shifted to the human cost of Hasan's shooting spree.

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West Plant Explosion
9:32 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Back to School in West, Four Months After Plant Explosion

April's explosion caused the ceiling of the gym at West High School to collapse.

Students are heading back to school in West, Texas today. Many of them will be going back to temporary classrooms. That’s because April’s deadly explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant destroyed most of the city’s public schools, along with hundreds of homes.

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Fort Hood Shootings
4:53 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Hasan Guilty on All Counts in Fort Hood Shooting Trial

Maj. Hasan during closing arguments. A jury is deliberating whether he is guilty of 13 premeditated murders and 32 attempted premeditated murders at Fort Hood in 2009.
Brigitte Woosley

Update: Army Maj. Nidal Hasan has been found guilty on all counts of premeditated murder and attempted murder in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood. Hasan now faces either life in prison or the death penalty. Sentencing begins Monday. 

Army psychiatrist Hasan acted as his own attorney in the case – but he did so little in his own defense that his standby counsel expressed concern that he was purposely seeking the death penalty.

Sentencing begins Monday. The sentencing phase runs similarly to a trial. The 13 members of the military panel will decide Hasan’s sentence—not the judge. Prosecutors  are expected to call 19 witnesses, including family members. They’re expected to talk about the grief they experienced losing a loved one.

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