Forget what you know about who invented the telephone. It is far more nuanced than Alexander Graham Bell calling for Dr. Watson. What got Bell into the history books was as much about his intellect as his and his lawyers driving out competitors through an unprecedented crusade using the U.S. patent sytsem.

The battles are detailed in the book Invented by Law: Alexander Graham Bell and the Patent that Changed America.

State of Texas

A new investigative series by the Austin-American Statesman out this week said the state's agency charged with protecting vulnerable kids has been underreporting the number of abuse-related deaths, has failed to analyze its own numbers. The publication, in a scathing indictment of Child Protective Services, said and in many ways it had been operating with blinders on regarding child deaths. 

Drawing on data from Experian, the global information services company's fifth annual State of Credit report, released late last year, the subprime focused website has just released a list of the 15 most financially irresponsible cities in the United States. Six Texas cities make this dubious roll of honor. While Waco, Houston, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas are the other five, San Antonio seems to have the residents with the worst financial planning in the state. It comes in at No. 3 overall, only behind the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and Anchorage. According to the list, its residents have an average credit score of 649, average debt of $31,053, and an average credit card balance of $4,880. A 2011 Experian study had San Antonio as the No. 1 city in the country for per-person credit card debt, at $5,177.

Ryan E. Poppe

On Day One of the new session of the Texas legislature, members of the House reelected Rep. Joe Straus as the Speaker of the House. Straus had no problem overcoming the challenge of the Tea Party’s Rep. Scott Turner, a Frisco Republican who captured just 19 votes compared to the 127 from the San Antonio-based Speaker.

During his 18 years in the Texas Legislature, Sen. Carlos Uresti has wrangled many issues, but he’s devoted special attention to the dangers children too often encounter in their own homes.

He rattles off the grim statistics that keep him focused.