Most talked about Texas Tribune stories

As Statewide Smoking Ban Stalls, Cities Go It Alone

texastribune.org — A decision by the Paris City Council in March to ban smoking in public places, including restaurants, angered Brent McKee. A restaurant owner, McKee was thinking about the customers who enjoyed a cigarette or two while nursing their morning coffee.
Dec 19, 2014

As Statewide Smoking Ban Stalls, Cities Go It Alone trib.it/13Edmse via @TexasTribune

Dec 19, 2014

Nearly half of Texas pop. lives under a local smoking ban but prospects of a statewide ban are still dim #txlege trib.it/13Edmse

Dec 19, 2014

As statewide smoking ban burns out in Capitol, cities go at it alone: texastribune.org/2014/12/19/smo… via @amanbatheja #txlege

Easing Sanctions on Cuba Could Be Boon for Texas

texastribune.org — The White House's decision to ease sanctions on Cuba and improve America's relationship with the Castro regime could reignite Texas' once flourishing economic ties with the island nation, foreign-policy experts say. Texas was once a leading exporter to Cuba in a quiet partnership that helped produce hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue for the Lone Star State.
Dec 19, 2014

RT @lmcgaughy: Texas was once a leading exporter to Cuba, a relationship that could now be re-sparked, by @nachoaguilar texastribune.org/2014/12/18/eas…

Dec 19, 2014

Texas was once a leading exporter to Cuba, a relationship that could now be re-sparked, by @nachoaguilar texastribune.org/2014/12/18/eas…

Dec 18, 2014

"Texas was once a leading exporter to Cuba in a quiet partnership" via @nachoaguilar #txlege texastribune.org/2014/12/18/eas…

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T-Squared: A New Partnership With The Washington Post

texastribune.org — When we checked in a few weeks ago to let you know that the Tribune's relationship with The New York Times was coming to a close, we told you to stay tuned - that another major national partnership was in the works. We're pleased to announce today that The Texas Tribune and are joining forces effective Jan.
Dec 18, 2014

Texas Tribune announces partnership with Washington Post trib.it/1sxKV4X

Dec 18, 2014

Howdy, WaPo! MT Editor @eramshaw on our new partnership with The @WashingtonPost: trib.it/1sxKV4X pic.twitter.com/PFBM3FBv0k

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As Oil Prices Plunge, Texas Eyes Are on Hegar

texastribune.org — In December of 1982, just one month after Billy Hamilton stepped into his position as Texas' chief revenue estimator, the state was wading in a flood of red ink that no one had seen coming. Plummeting oil prices had pushed state tax collections $100 million below the previous January, sending bureaucrats literally scurrying across the revenue-processing floor in search of forgotten mailbags of cash.

A Push to Award a Degree to a Symbol of Injustice

texastribune.org — Less than two months before Election Day, the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor sat together in a Lubbock park, speaking without any partisan bickering. There was only agreement that Timothy Brian Cole was worth remembering.

Dan Patrick Fills Out Staff Roster

texastribune.org — Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick on Friday released the names of more members of his new administration, including his new general counsel (Darrell Davila) and policy director (Kate McGrath). He previously announced members of his senior staff. Here's his press release: AUSTIN - Lt. Governor-elect Dan Patrick announced several additional new members of his leadership staff today.

Texas Supreme Court: Acquitted Educator Can Teach For Now

texastribune.org — A Rio Grande City teacher acquitted on charges of having an improper relationship with a student may remain in the classroom as he continues to appeal the revocation of his teacher certificate, the Texas Supreme Court ruled on Friday. Erasmo Montalvo, 46, teaches elementary school in the Rio Grande City Independent School District.
Dec 19, 2014

.@evaruth: Texas Supreme Court says teacher acquitted on improper relationship charges can stay in classroom for now. trib.it/1APdIX2

The Slow Death of the Death Penalty

texastribune.org — Just before sunrise on a spring morning last year, Larry Maples shot and killed his wife, Heather. He had tracked her to the home of a former boyfriend, a ranch hand named Moses Clemente. Maples shot and wounded him. He then called 911, handed his Colt .45 revolver over to the sheriff's deputies and confessed.

Disappearing Rio Grande

riogrande.texastribune.org — It is about 125 miles from the reservation of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, where we stayed Monday night, to Laredo, where we needed to be as soon as possible. It’s a long enough stretch that anything could happen. Mike had a deadline fast approaching.

At Alma Mater, Perry Hints at 2016

texastribune.org — COLLEGE STATION - Like many college graduates, outgoing Gov. Rick Perry is looking for a job, and he allowed on Thursday that he's willing to travel, specifically to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina - three states crucial in the presidential primaries.
Dec 18, 2014

RT @TexasTribune: .@GovernorPerry plays a friendly house at @tamu convocation. Many jokes, no announcement. @bobbycblanchard reports trib.it/1AxzcYz

Whitmire Seeks Inquiry Into HHSC-21CT Contracts

texastribune.org — As questions continue to surround agreements made between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and a contractor, a legislator is calling for investigators to get involved. State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, on Thursday asked the state's public integrity unit to look into agreements between the commission and 21 Century Technologies.

Perry Declines Texas A&M Building Honor

texastribune.org — Updated, Dec. 18: The Academic Building at Texas A&M University will not have its name changed to the Governor Rick Perry '72 Building after all. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents was scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon to approve renaming the building, but Perry has declined the honor, his office confirmed.
Dec 18, 2014

Many people have thoughts on A&M considering naming building after Gov. Perry (he declined). 265 comments on story: texastribune.org/2014/12/18/tex…

Second HHSC Contract Scrapped Amid Bidding Questions

texastribune.org — Editor's Note: This story has been updated to show when the Department of Family and Protective Services Contract was canceled. Nine months before Jack Stick resigned as the top lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission amid concerns over a $110 million no-bid contract awarded on his watch, he urged the same vendor to contact a sister agency - the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services - for related work.
Dec 18, 2014

RT @TexasTribune: Second HHSC contract scrapped amid bidding questions. @tlangford & @bobbycblanchard: trib.it/1C1iSjX http://t.co/o…

Dec 18, 2014

RT @JohnBridges: From @TexasTribune: 21CT also had contract with DFPS, and it too has raised questions and been cancelled. bit.ly/1v32quN

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For Public Schools, What to Watch in Next Session

texastribune.org — When Texas lawmakers come back to Austin in January, there willbe a new governor who touts public schools as a top priority, and plenty of money in the state bank account. But that doesn't mean everything will go smoothly as the 84th Legislature navigates public education policy.
Dec 18, 2014

Five things to watch in public education during the next legislative session: trib.it/1r0TLwA #txlege #txed

Dec 18, 2014

@eramshaw: .@morgansmith with the 5 public ed issues to watch for in the 84th #txlege trib.it/1r0TLwA via @TexasTribune

Dec 18, 2014

.@morgansmith with the 5 public ed issues to watch for in the 84th #txlege trib.it/1r0TLwA via @TexasTribune

Farenthold's Challenges May Go Beyond Lawsuit

texastribune.org — Editor's note: This story has been updated. A Capitol Hill staffer's sexual harassment lawsuit against the office of U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, is not just a legal problem for the second-term congressman - it's shaping up to be a serious political problem as well.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @evanasmith: First @texastribabby story as D.C. bureau chief for @texastribune! On the matter of @farentholdtexastribune.org/2014/12/17/far…

Dec 17, 2014

RT @alexazura: For U.S. Rep @farenthold, challenges may go beyond sexual harassment lawsuit: trib.it/1sAvFUU via @TexasTribAbby

Dec 17, 2014

RT @MorganSmith: Does @farenthold sexual harassment lawsuit open the door for a @debmedina congressional run? trib.it/1sAvFUU

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Second HHSC Contract Scrapped Amid Bidding Questions

texastribune.org — Editor's Note: This story has been updated to show when the Department of Family and Protective Services Contract was canceled. Nine months before Jack Stick resigned as the top lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission amid concerns over a $110 million no-bid contract awarded on his watch, he urged the same vendor to contact a sister agency - the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services - for related work.

Video: Hurd on the CIA and Torture

texastribune.org — At our 12/18 conversation, U.S. Rep.-elect Will Hurd, R-San Antonio - a former undercover CIA officer - talked about the recently released report on the agency's interrogation techniques.

Video: Hurd on Aggie Bonfire

texastribune.org — At our 12/18 conversation, U.S. Rep.-elect Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, a former student body president at Texas A&M, weighed in on Aggie Bonfire, the UT-A&M game and the renaming of a campus building for Gov. Rick Perry.
Dec 18, 2014

RT @TexasTribune: VIDEO: @willhurd on #Aggie Bonfire, the UT-A&M game, and the @governorperry building trib.it/1wIcOfP http://t.co/8…

Amid Tension, Texas Mulls Oversight of Urban Drilling

texastribune.org — Turns out, oil and gas drilling makes some city slickers cranky. The Railroad Commission of Texas is mulling how to beef up oversight of oil and gas operations in cities, aiming to ease tension between the industry and growing numbers of urban Texans who find themselves living next to well pads, compressor stations and disposal wells.