texas

The self-declared Islamic State is taking credit for a thwarted attack on a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas.

Environmental Protection Agency

AUSTIN — Cities and counties statewide could no longer prohibit hydraulic fracturing under a sweeping, oil and gas industry-backed bill that has cleared the Texas Legislature.

The proposal was easily approved by the Senate on Monday after passing the House last month. It now heads to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signature into law.

Legislators moved quickly after Denton, a university town near Dallas, voted in November to impose a local fracking ban amid environmental and safety concerns. That ordinance is now being challenged in court. Conservatives say the new restrictions are needed to prevent a patchwork of drilling laws across Texas.

But the issue has been among the most contentious in Abbott’s first legislative session.

Least Hot Summer In 7 Years Ahead For Texas?

May 1, 2015

LUBBOCK — Texas lakes are the big beneficiaries of good rains across the state the past two months and forecasters say a continuing El Nino weather pattern will linger through next winter.

That’s good news for a state four years removed from its driest-ever year in 2011.

Forecasters also say this summer in Texas could be the least hot in seven years

Texas received 200 percent of its normal rainfall in March and April. That boosted lake levels from 65 percent full three months ago to 74 percent as of Friday.

Gov. Abbott’s Letter Elevates Jade Helm 15 Concerns

May 1, 2015
US Army Special Operations Command

In recent days, Pat Calhoun has found himself reassuring jittery residents of Goliad County that there is nothing to fear about Jade Helm 15, a planned military training exercise that has become a fascination of conspiracy theorists. A retired Marine, the county judge has taken part in similar operations and knows the drill — literally.

“I know what's going on with this,” Calhoun said Thursday. “You don’t have anything to be afraid of in our military.”

The two-month simulation, slated to begin in July in states throughout the Southwest, has nonetheless spooked some Texans, leaving local officials scrambling to assuage constituent anxieties about an operation even the military characterizes as unusual in its “size and scope.”

Ryan E. Poppe / Texas Public Radio

AUSTIN — The Texas House has preliminarily passed a plan revamping the state’s economic incentive programs, including dissolving a pet fund of Rick Perry that funneled $200 million in taxpayer dollars to startups.

Lawmakers used a simple voice vote Thursday to advance the measure, which Perry’s successor, Gov. Greg Abbott, has prioritized. It eliminates the Emerging Technology Fund. Perry said the fund had spurred Texas’ economy, but critics note it funded some firms that didn’t create jobs or went bankrupt.

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