Shipher Wu (photograph), Gee-way Lin (aphid provision), National Taiwan University / CC

HARLINGEN, Texas — Researchers suspect steady rains and other factors may be responsible for a drop in a tiny bug’s infestation of a grain crop so far this year.

Farmers in the Rio Grande Valley had feared the sugarcane aphid would again invade their sorghum crop following experts’ predictions they would come back in full force after an increase in population across the region last year, the Valley Morning Star reported.

The pests had swarmed the Valley’s sorghum fields, gnawing away at the plants in 2014.

The bugs also infested crops from Mississippi to southern Oklahoma while devastating Mexico’s sorghum crop, according to researchers.

After Fracking Ban, Denton Residents Ponder Next Steps

Jun 3, 2015
Courtesy: Brandi Korte / Frack Free Denton

DENTON – Frustrated and grasping for options that weren’t apparent, Denton residents flooded a city council meeting Tuesday night to assess where things stand after state lawmakers smacked down an ordinance voters passed last fall to ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits. 

The key question before the council: Should it remove the now-toothless ordinance from its books to stave off further legal trouble, or keep it to strike a symbolic blow for local control on the off chance that the law will prove useful again some day? 

“We find ourselves today at a melancholy crossroads,” said Adam Briggle, a North Texas University philosophy professor and one of six advocates arrested since Monday for trying to prevent a gas company from resuming fracking operations. “It is certainly disheartening, and it’s confusing.” 

Ryan E. Poppe

The 84th Texas legislative session wrapped up this week.  It was hit and miss for some Republicans promising to crack down on border security and immigration.  

On the campaign trail and at the start of the session, statewide elected officials like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick spoke passionately about plans to crack down on border security

And border security is one of the many things Patrick listed as an accomplishment this session.

AUSTIN — At 5 feet 5 inches tall, Kenneth Sheets is one of the smallest members of the Texas Legislature.

But he’s managed to break six solid, walnut gavels this session on days he’s been called upon to preside over the House.

None of the chamber’s other 149 member broke any gavels — even House Speaker Joe Straus, who wields them far more than Sheets.

Explains Sheets, “I’m just passionate.”

HOUSTON — A mentally ill inmate left unattended for weeks in his filthy Harris County jail cell will receive a $400,000 settlement. Harris County Commissioners on Tuesday approved paying Terry Goodwin, over his physical and emotional suffering.

County Judge Ed Emmett says it’s important to make sure this never happens again. Federal authorities are also investigating. Goodwin was jailed in 2013 on a marijuana charge while on probation when he was found in his shredded uniform amid trash and feces.