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Texas News

Aerial view of the tent city at the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry in Tornillo on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

 

The tent city popped up over the summer, about 40 miles from El Paso, as the U.S. government sought more space to hold hundreds of unaccompanied teenagers caught crossing the Rio Grande from places like Honduras and Guatemala. It was supposed to be a temporary solution, but a one-month contract to operate the camp stretched to two months, then three, then into the holidays as its population swelled.

Two people were killed and four were seriously wounded when bombs exploded outside homes and in other areas in Austin over the span of about three weeks.
Associated Press

The FBI has determined that the man suspected in a series of bombings in Austin last year had no known links to terror organizations or hate groups, but a motive for the attacks remains a mystery.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who both won re-election in November, will kick off their second, four-year terms on Tuesday after being sworn into office on the steps of the Texas Capitol.

The inaugural ceremony will begin in the morning, with speeches from both Republicans — Patrick first, Abbott second — set to begin at 11 a.m. Check back on this page for a livestream of the event.

"Richard Overton is a Texas legend," Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday at the funeral for the World War II  veteran. Overton died last month at 112.

At the service at Shoreline Church in North Austin, Abbott said what stood out to him most about Overton was "the humility and grace in which he lived."

From Texas Standard:

Texas Standard has been inviting new members of the Texas delegation on Capitol Hill for on-air meet-and-greet sessions. Recent news has made these conversations especially timely: earlier this week we spoke about the shutdown and the situation at the border with a newly minted Democratic representative, Colin Allred. Now it's Lance Gooden's turn; he's the Republican freshman elected in November to take the place of Jeb Hensarling representing District 5, which covers parts of Dallas and East Texas.

Gooden says he supports President Donald Trump's idea to declare a national emergency in order to secure funding for the border wall. He says Trump would need to do that "especially if he wants to get what he wants because I don't think he's gonna get it in Congress."

Union members and other federal employees stop in front of the White House in Washington during a rally Thursday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

Shahid Shafi will retain his role as vice-chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party despite a push from a small faction of precinct chairs to remove him from his post because he's Muslim.

Another dockless scooter company plans to enter the market in Austin – but its users will get to sit down.

OjO Electric, LLC, a California-based company, is launching the first sit-down electric scooter rideshare in the capital. One hundred scooters are expected to hit city streets by Feb. 1 and grow to 250 later in the spring.

KERA News

KERA News staffers earned 30 awards in 2018. Six of those honors came from national journalism organizations. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, sits next to Gov. Greg Abbott as he speaks during a press conference at the Governor's Mansion on Wednesday.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / Texas Tribune

 

The “bathroom bill” won’t be back this session, its loudest champion suggested Wednesday morning.

At a Governor’s Mansion press conference on the second day of this year’s legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who last session was the top state leader championing the measure, which would have regulated the use of certain public facilities for transgender Texans — suggested there’s no need to bring back the divisive proposal that headlined the last legislative year in 2017, but failed to reach the governor's desk.

New York Public Library

From the Great Depression through the Civil Rights era, "The Green Book" travel guides were issued every year to help African-American drivers safely explore the country — and Texas.

Associated Press

Federal housing vouchers are one of the key ways for a low-income family to pay for a place to live. And landlords have the option to accept or reject those vouchers. In Fort Worth, nearly four out of five landlords contacted wouldn't accept the vouchers -- the highest rate of the five U.S. cities studied.

A Beginner's Guide To The Texas Legislature

Jan 8, 2019

The Texas Legislature heads back to work today. While you may know the body's main objective is to pass laws – especially the next state budget – you might not know much else.

That's not a criticism! The legislative process can be complex, so let's go over the basics of what the Legislature is and how it works.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald has withdrawn his name from consideration to be Baltimore’s next police commissioner.

It is a philosophical question often pondered by sports writers and curious Redditors: If every college mascot were to fight each other, which would stand victorious when the dust cleared?

There are more than 3,000 judges in Texas - and in the Lone Star state, they are elected. In the midterm elections, Democrats took control from Republicans in four of the state's 14 appeals courts. Will Texans notice this shift in the balance of power? 

DART

The holiday season tends to be less safe for drivers, and the early hours on New Year's Day are no exception.

Shutterstock

North Texas has kicke off 2019 with cold air, rain and, in some counties, icy roads.

Screenshot of video via Texas Tribune

The short answer is yes. And a handful of such local control battles have raged in the Texas Legislature in recent years.

The KERA News stories that connected the most with readers this year vary wildly in topic. But one stood out from the rest: education. 

A sexual assault evidence collection kit is checked in by a forensic analyst for testing in the biology lab at the Houston Forensic Science Center Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Houston.
Associated Press

Officials say Texas drivers donated more than $560,000 to clear a backlog of untested rape kits but the state can't find enough cities and counties to take the money.

Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press

For those traveling from Dallas to Houston, high-speed rail could make the trip a lot faster. The proposed project by Texas Central would take passengers from one city to the other in just 90 minutes.

The University of Texas Board of Regents on Thursday officially approved a new arena for UT Austin. The new building will replace the 41-year-old Frank Erwin Center. 

Regents also named Matthew McConaughey the "Minister of Culture" for the arena.

Updated 6:49 p.m.

Fitch, an international credit rating agency, has downgraded San Antonio’s credit to AA+.

When José Aguilar, a Honduran-born resident of Tijuana, Mexico, heard that a caravan of mostly Honduran migrants was headed to the border city, he knew he had to do something.

Seven years ago, Aguilar moved to Tijuana after bouncing between the United States, Mexico and Honduras for two decades. Once settled, he opened a restaurant called Honduras 504. People often call it just 504 or Catracho 504, using the informal demonym Hondurans call each other and their country code.

In a 6-0 vote, Austin's transit agency advanced its vision for getting a rapidly growing population around town as fast and easy as possible. But there are several more hoops for the Project Connect plan to jump through before you'll actually see it go into effect.

Texas Has Just Five Dry Counties Left. Why Is That?

Dec 17, 2018

From Texas Standard:

On Election Day in Stanton, just north of Midland, Ron Black was skeptical that a particular measure on the ballot would pass.

“Well, I think at first it was - uh, nobody thought it would go through because they’ve tried it so many times, you know? I can’t tell you how many times it’s gone to the ballot,” he says.

A Round Rock-based speech pathologist is suing the Pflugerville Independent School District over a 2017 state law that required her to pledge allegiance to Israel, which, she argues, violates her First Amendment right to free speech.

Jolie McCullough / Texas Tribune

Texas again executed far more inmates than any other state in 2018, according to year-end reports released Friday by two groups critical of the death penalty.

Updated 4 p.m.

The San Antonio City Council voted to 8-2 to renew incentives for developers to help create thousands of housing units downtown.

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