For fifth time, lawmakers to decide ban on texting while driving

By Nicole Cobler | Nov. 25, 2016 James Shaffer used to be guilty of looking down at his phone while driving. He thinks about that now, just months after a distracted driver unlocked her phone and swerved into oncoming traffic, killing his wife and 12-year-old daughter. "It's just that you become more aware of it when it … Continue reading For fifth time, lawmakers to decide ban on texting while driving

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Texas county where Sandra Bland died may elect first black sheriff

By Nicole Cobler and Neena Satija | Nov. 9, 2016 PRAIRIE VIEW — More than a year after Sandra Bland’s death put this little Texas town in the national spotlight, Democrats here hope to put it back there by electing the area's first black sheriff. It won’t be easy. Waller County, a mostly rural county just west … Continue reading Texas county where Sandra Bland died may elect first black sheriff

Democrats hope Trump effect aids long-shot bids for Texas Supreme Court

By Nicole Cobler | Oct. 20, 2016 Three Republican members of the Texas Supreme Court running for re-election are facing Democratic challengers who say they may have a chance in the solid-red state with Donald Trump at the top of the ballot. Democrats point to recent polls that show Trump beating Hillary Clinton by just four points in Texas to … Continue reading Democrats hope Trump effect aids long-shot bids for Texas Supreme Court

Texas Workers Comp System Questioned After Oklahoma Ruling

By Nicole Cobler | Sept. 20, 2016 In the wake of an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision striking down part of that state's workers' compensation law, Texas is now the only state that lets private companies opt out of a state-run system and draw up their own plans to compensate injured workers. Before the ruling, Oklahoma had been the only … Continue reading Texas Workers Comp System Questioned After Oklahoma Ruling

African-American Monument Being Installed at Texas Capitol

by Nicole Cobler | Sept. 27, 2016 After more than two decades of effort by lawmakers to install a monument at the Capitol celebrating African-Americans, the main components of a bronze and granite memorial were quietly lowered onto the south lawn on Tuesday. Denver-based sculptor Ed Dwight proposed the Texas African-American History Memorial to celebrate … Continue reading African-American Monument Being Installed at Texas Capitol

Lawmaker Pledges Bill to Protect Texas Fantasy Sports Betting

by Nicole Cobler | Sept. 8, 2016 A state lawmaker says he'll file legislation to make sure Texans can play fantasy sports online without repercussions — following an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton that equates placing bets on gaming websites to illegal gambling. Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, has drafted a bill for the upcoming legislative session … Continue reading Lawmaker Pledges Bill to Protect Texas Fantasy Sports Betting

Texans’ McNair Leads NFL Owners in Political Contributions

By Nicole Cobler | Sept. 29, 2016 One million dollars is just half what the average NFL player makes in a year, but it's a hefty political donation nonetheless. So far only one NFL team owner has anted up that much during the 2016 campaign cycle according to a report by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics … Continue reading Texans’ McNair Leads NFL Owners in Political Contributions

Reveal: Bordering on Insecurity

July 9, 2016 LISTEN: Former Border Patrol agent David Cruz on the latest episode of Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Read my earlier reporting on Cruz and the family ties among corruption cases here. From Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting: One border official did it for sex. Another blamed depression and financial trouble. Yet … Continue reading Reveal: Bordering on Insecurity

Border Corruption Often Has Family Roots

July 8, 2016 The Texas Tribune David Cruz was not from the border. He arrived in 2002, a brand spanking new U.S. Border Patrol agent sent to Laredo. The Navy veteran who'd done a stint with an Ohio sheriff's department felt he'd joined one of the nation's premier law enforcement agencies. "I wanted to be … Continue reading Border Corruption Often Has Family Roots

Agent, Smuggler Joined Together for Love and Money

July 6, 2016 The Texas Tribune It started when a lemon hit Raquel Esquivel on the head. Looking around the HEB in Del Rio, she spotted two old friends from high school – Diego Esquivel and Ramon Patuel – goofing around in the produce aisle. "I said, 'Hey, y'all just hit me with a lemon,' … Continue reading Agent, Smuggler Joined Together for Love and Money