Weekly News Digest – Top Stories Affecting Texans

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Problems Mount For Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Following Decision to Drop Charges Against Jussie Smollett

  Fox News reports that three ranking staff members in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office have resigned in the wake of the decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett. This includes “Chief Ethics Officer April Perry; the director of the conviction integrity unit, Mark Rotart; and the director of external affairs, Kiera Ellis.” According to Fox News, two petitions were recently filed in Cook County Criminal Court requesting an investigation into the case. In ...
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/ Red News, Texas Red News

Analysis: Making friends and influencing people in the Texas Legislature

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks from the dais in the Senate chamber. Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune Editor's note: If you'd like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey's column, click here. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the lieutenant governor is losing allies, but it wouldn’t be accurate to say he’s gaining any. The running narratives in the Senate since the November elections have been more about who’s out than about who’s in ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

From "baseless" to "damning portrait": Texans in Congress react to the Mueller Report along party lines

Republicans were quick to declare President Donald Trump exonerated. Democrats disagreed. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts WASHINGTON — Judging by their reactions, it was as if Texas members of Congress read two wholly different versions of the much-anticipated Mueller report. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr released Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Mueller report stated that the two-year "investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

Temporary immigration detention facilities to open in El Paso, Rio Grande Valley

Land is being cleared outside the Border Patrol station headquarters in El Paso. Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley are less than two weeks away from the scheduled opening of temporary detention centers that will each house up to 500 migrants who have crossed the border to seek asylum. The facilities, commonly referred to as a “tent cities,” are the federal government's response to the ongoing crush ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

Real Life: The Library Journal Decries Library Collections As “Proliferating Whiteness”

Just when I think inter-sectionalists can’t get any more insane, they say, “Hold my beer!” and do something like this. Library collections continue to promote and proliferate whiteness with their very existence and the fact that they are physically taking up space in our libraries. Via @sofiayleung https://t.co/iKEk0462Mh pic.twitter.com/ov8hZ5Zt2J — Library Journal (@LibraryJournal) April 16, 2019 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Here are some excerpts from the article, written by a self-proclaimed supporter of “critical race theory.” If you ...
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/ Red News, Texas Red News

Point of Order: Crude awakening

(Audio unavailable. Click here to listen on texastribune.org.) In the latest episode of our podcast about the 86th Legislature, Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Chris Paddie, who chairs the House Energy Resources Committee, about the impact of oil and gas activity on the Texas economy, the downside of the upside, and what the future holds. Read related Tribune coverage Point of Order: The Rollback Pushback Point of Order: The news about the news Point ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

Hurricane Harvey destroyed every apartment in Rockport, Texas. Some residents are still waiting for help from lawmakers.

Hurricane Harvey, which caused more than $125 billion in damage, is the most expensive storm in Texas history. It wreaked havoc on nearly every Gulf Coast community when it came ashore Aug. 25, 2017. The devastating winds and rain destroyed every multifamily development in Rockport. And without affordable housing, the town has struggled to find contract labor to rebuild. The people there are hoping the state helps by providing the matching dollars needed to pull ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

T-Squared: Meet our new Dallas-based urban affairs reporter

Juan Pablo Garnham. Journalist Juan Pablo Garnham is obsessed with cities. He is an optimist who believes that by living in close proximity, people can solve problems that would otherwise be more difficult. He also loves the thrill of discovering new corners of a city. He has lived in New York City — his current home — plus Miami, Milwaukee and London, as well as several parts of his native Chile: Santiago, Concepción, Viña del ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

Dallas-Fort Worth metro area saw biggest population growth in Texas in 2018

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area added 131,767 residents from 2017 to 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Michael Zanussi/Flickr In a state where the population continues to rapidly swell, the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth region remains a fundamental source for those gains. Adding 131,767 residents from 2017 to 2018, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area gained more residents than any other metropolitan area in the country and was behind more than a third of Texas' population growth in ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

West unveils memorial six years after fertilizer plant explosion killed 15

A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco, in 2013.  Mike Stone / Bay Area News The Texas town of West is known as a Czech cultural hub across the state. It’s a town famous for its local bakeries, which serve up scores of kolaches every day. But six years ago the tiny town, about 20 miles north of Waco just off Interstate 35, was ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

TribCast: Property tax wars and Speaker Bonnen's rough run-in

House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.  Emree Weaver/The Texas Tribune (Audio unavailable. Click here to listen on texastribune.org.) On this week’s TribCast, Emily talks to Evan, Patrick and Shannon about the fight over property taxes at the Texas Lege and the House Speaker’s fiery exchange with a gun rights activist at a GOP fundraiser. Read related Tribune coverage TribCast: Are Texas Republicans ready to back a sales tax hike? TribCast: Crisis mode at the Texas-Mexico border TribCast: ...
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/ Texas Blue News, Texas Tribune

Live episode: Plugging Into Rural Healthcare Solutions

Lindsey Hendrix: Thanks for joining us for this special episode of Texas A&M Health Talk. At South by Southwest this year, Dr. Carrie Byington, vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, senior vice president of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine moderated a panel about health challenges facing rural communities. If you haven’t listened to our episode on right-sized healthcare for ...
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/ Health, Health