in Houston, Texas
Texas trooper pay lags that of local police, auditor finds; $51.5 million price tag to bring salaries in line
Tuesday, Oct 09, 2012, 12:11PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
Texas state trooper

Your state Auditor has a plan to pay a competitive wage to state law enforcement officers, and all it is going to cost taxpayers is an extra $51.5 million a year.

That is, if the next Legislature likes the idea. Past experience suggests taxpayers might be less receptive.

The maximum base pay for the 4,428 officers in the Department of Public Safety, Department of Criminal Justice, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Parks and Wildlife Department lags by as much as nearly 25 percent, on average, compared to the seven largest municipal law enforcement departments in Texas, according to the Auditor’s report, released today.

They are the police departments of Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

The average maximum base pay for officers, corporals and detectives in those departments is $74,543 or 20.6 percent more than the $61,793 average maximum for those ranks in the state Department of Public Safety.

DPS sergeants make 18.6 percent and lieutenants 20.2 percent less than their urban counterparts. The maximum base pay of $84,427 for captains is 24.3 percent less than the  $104,971 for the police and sheriff’s department captains.

The Austin Police Department offers, by far, the highest maximum base pay for each rank, followed by Fort Worth and Dallas. (Please see the chart on page 9 of the report.).

To bring those state salaries in line with the metropolitan average could be accomplished by paying out an additional $51.5 million annually, according to the Auditor’s report.

The Department of Public Safety has asked the Legislature to approve a plan that would involve a change of job classifications and pay increases at an annual cost of $41.5 million, the report says.

If the Legislature were to consider increasing state pay based on mid-range rather than maximum base pay, taxpayers would have to spend $33.7 million a year, the report says.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of a Texas state trooper writing a ticket by flickr user rschroed, used via a Creative Commons license.

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CPS Energy awards CEO Doyle Beneby a $410k bonus equal to his annual salary
Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012, 04:07PM CST
By Curt Olson
money

CPS Energy board members must have forgotten about the bar tabs, expensive parties, lavish hotel rooms and first-class flights when they effectively doubled the compensation of public utility chief Doyle Beneby this week.

CPS trustees in San Antonio gave their chief executive officer a $410,000 bonus Monday, the San Antonio Express-News reports. He will receive $205,000 now, with the other half payable at the end of his contract a year from now.

Board Chairman Derrick Howard said Beneby improved CPS Energy’s standing with customers and brought in new energy partners, with nearly $1 billion that will be added to the economy, the Express-News reports.

However, WOAI TV reporter Brian Collister earlier this year uncovered shocking spending subsidized by CPS ratepayers. Digging into public records, Collister found a gold mine of public-employee excess.

His first report in February blew the lid off a $43,000 party for 25-year veterans of CPS Energy and a $7,000 going-away party for a CPS board member. That report forced Beneby to apologize and dip into his pocket to refund $5,000 to CPS.

Two years ago, Beneby pledged that CPS would be more transparent.

For the purpose of transparency, here’s a list of some of what Collister uncovered at CPS Energy for trustee Steve Hennigan’s going away party at Bohanan’s restaurant in February 2011:

  • $ 991 for snapper
  • $ 743 for ribeye steaks
  • $ 2,000 bar tab 
  • $ 160 for valet parking

A retirement party for a CPS Energy vice president that included five other CPS executives and their wives at Bistro Vatel in Olmos Park included steak and duck and $540 for four bottles of wine — and a final tab of $1,659.

An affair in June 2011, held annually for those who have worked at CPS 25 years, generated a tab for food, beer and wine of $43,593. The total tab over four years was $162,000.

The extravagance didn’t stop in San Antonio. Beneby takes it on the road, too. Collister reported in April that Beneby had one-night stays in hotels in Austin, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. that ranged between $454 to $558.

Collister also found first-class flights, many for more than $1,000.

Collister’s investigation discovered the hiring of a Fleming’s steak house waitress — yes, she served at several of the parties — for $60,000 a year to prepare Beneby for meetings and schedule speaking engagements. With multiple emails from sources, Collister learned CPS never posted the new position.

The spending on meals and the assistant makes the $5,000 CPS Energy gave to the Texas Republican Party seem downright cheap. After WOAI reported on the donation, the party refunded it.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Illustration of money by flickr user Tax Credits, used via a Creative Commons license.

Austin ISD approves 3 percent raises, may look to voters to make them permanent
Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012, 10:29AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
bus

A year after doomsday predictions of thousands of teacher layoffs across Texas, the Austin Independent School District is going to give its more than 5,700 teachers and district employees 3 percent pay increases.

The raises are part of a $724.2 million budget for 2012-13 that includes a new charter school and charter school and dual language programs and overcrowding reduction, the Austin American-Statesman reports today.

Among the beneficiaries of the pay increase vote are the seven employees in the new Department of Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach. The district created the department with $192,000 in federal taxpayers’ money usually used for academic improvement programs.

Like most of the largest school districts, AISD did not have to lay off teachers. The district reduced the number of teaching positions through attrition, by 6.37 percent, to 5,705 this past school year from 6,093 the year before.

The Austin School Board plan calls for spending $14.2 million from the district’s reserve to pay for the raises in the first year. The board is expected to consider calling for a tax rate election in November to ask taxpayers to decide whether to make the salary increases permanent.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of school bus by flickr user Joffley, used via a Creative Commons license.

Raises for top officials leads to public shaming in McAllen; most give up salary increases
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012, 01:22PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
money

Note to very important City of Keller officials from very important City of McAllen officials: shame should count for something when your raises are made public.

McAllen’s public utility manager, government affairs director and deputy and assistant city managers relinquished raises totalling $26,000 a year just days after the local newspaper, the McAllen Monitor, wrote about them.

It seems the raises didn’t go over well at City Hall, where lower-ranking municipal employees got their 1 percent pay increase in October of 2009.

City Manager Mike Perez said he gave three of the four employees, who make $150,000, $125,000  and $120,000, raises after they agreed to take on some of the duties of an assistant city manager who left the city’s employ.

The fourth, who makes $84,000, got a raise to bring his salary into line with directors of government affairs in other cities, Perez said.

Perez told the City Commission, some of whom said the raises surprised them, he hadn’t thought through how the rest of the city staff might react to the salary increases.

He might have gotten a pretty good idea talking to the city employees in Keller. Back in May, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram disclosed that the city manager there used much of the salary of a departing city manager to dole out $75,000 in raises to four top managers and hire a $55,000-a-year management assistant.

And this after the former city manager told the world he was leaving because, frankly, there wasn’t enough work to go around.

No similar self-flagellation and salary surrender has so far been reported in Keller. Which should come as a relief to Rigo Villarreal, who earns almost $115,000 as McAllen’s superintendent of bridges.

As of Monday, Villarreal was alone among managers, saying nothing about the $12,000 raise he got last September.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of money by flickr user Unhindered by Talent, used via a Creative Commons license.

Fort Worth employees boost pay - and possibly future pension earnings - with OT
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10:16AM CST
By Steve Miller
time clock

Sixty-five Fort Worth city employees earned at least $20,000 in overtime last year, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The top 10 earners of the extra pay were police department employees, including an officer who kicked his pay up 68 percent with the extra shifts.

Here’s the list of those picking up the extra public pay.

As the story wisely points out, a city employee's pension pay is based on his or her largest three years of pay. Often, employees will juice their hours as they head toward retirement and are usually at their highest pay level.

The 68 percenter is officer Howard A. Tokheim, who pulled in more than $52,000 in OT last year on top of his annual salary of  $77,292.80. Well, at least we can be sure he earned it on the mean streets of the city. What’s that? Howard actually works in the commercial vehicle unit of Fort Worth’s finest.

That’s explained by Fort Worth police Maj. Paul Henderson, who first told the S-T that paring back the overtime for cops is tough because "the majority of the officers on the top-earners list are assigned to various task forces and traffic enforcement units that utilize grant or federal funds to pay for overtime. These assignments require specialized certifications and special federal task force agent designations, which limit the pool of personnel capable to work these special enforcement details."

But for commercial vehicle enforcement?

"It is a challenging task attempting to provide safety on our roadways with limited enforcement experts while being awarded grant funding to pay for overtime to do just that, provide safe roadways," Henderson told the S-T. Actually, though, the police do a good job of keeping the city safe; it was declared among the safest in the U.S. in an annual ranking a few years back.

And it’s easy to consider Fort Worth as doing some paltry padding of the pension; according to a 2010 report in Houston, 714 police officers and fire department employees received over $20 Gs in OT.  According to records obtained by Texas Watchdog, Houston PD officers received overtime for work in some tough spots last year, including River Oaks and assignments for Halliburton and Akin Gump.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of time clock by flickr user Providence Public Library, used via a Creative Commons license.

More on the city manager who walked away with $750,000 severance from taxpayers of Killeen
Thursday, Jan 05, 2012, 12:52PM CST
By Steve Miller
jackpot

A former Killeen City Council member says she was blindsided by the former city manager's demand for a six-figure severance, but that she knows of no policy to prevent a repeat of such a large payout.

In March, Killeen City Manager Connie Green announced that he could no longer work with the city council and demanded accrued comp time, salary, health benefits, car allowance and retirement benefits --- equal to more than four times his reported $195,000 annual salary.

"He felt this was owed, and we said this compromise is the best way to avoid a lawsuit. He was shouting, ‘I am going to sue the city if you don’t pay me $890,000,'" former council member JoAnn Purser said in an interview with Texas Watchdog this week.

Two weeks and three executive sessions later, the council met with Green one last time, and all parties walked away with a compromise settlement of $750,000, agreed to by a 4-3 council vote.

Green told the local press that he had been fired after accusing some council members of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.

"I got fired for bringing to their attention, the fact that I believe they had done something which could have broken the law, and also there are some personnel matters that I have discussed with them that are the prerogative of the city staff,” Green told the local CBS affiliate.

“Council members by charter are not to intervene in personnel matters. ...These things were going on, they were making it impossible for me to do my job as the Killeen city manager. I brought that with good intentions to the council, and as a result of it I lost my job. ... We had been warned repeatedly by the county attorney's office about conducting illegal walking quorums. Council members brought these to my attention and then expected me to say nothing about.”

In the months that followed the council would be disparaged and threatened by residents for handing over the lucrative settlement.

There was talk of a 2006 sexual harassment suit involving Green and more involving an outside investigation into Green’s departure. Green has said he did nothing wrong in the 2006 case.

In November, five of the seven city council were ousted in a recall vote, leaving the city without its primary form of governance.

Among those removed form office was Purser, a local real estate developer and graduate of Killeen High School who was elected to council in May 2009.

Purser remains stung by her removal from office, primarily because she isn’t sure anyone understood what actually happened in those closed sessions. She has been told that the vote taking her out was part of the "throw the bums out" movement that has become popular in the U.S.

“People keep saying that to me and telling me not to be disheartened, but my city is on hold,” Purser said. “It hasn’t been able to do anything since November. We can’t rezone property, we can’t fix roads, and who knows what kind of opportunities we are missing as a result of not having a city council.”

Purser wanted to provide her version of how the Green fiasco went down, and how a city ended up handing over three-quarters of a million dollars in severance to a city employee as the council considered a $2.6 million budget deficit.

Texas Watchdog: Did Connie Green step down or was he fired?
JoAnn Purser: We came into a closed session, and he said, ‘I can no longer work with this city council,' and we just didn’t believe it. We were completely blindsided. He had claimed that council members were meeting behind closed doors, but no proof was ever offered. We just didn’t know what to think of all this. Then he said we owed him $890,000 and he was going to sue us if we didn’t pay him. We were never aware of this buyout clause, it was done by a previous city council, in 2007. They should have had a line item in the budget for it, as to what the potential was. He told us he had 2,000 hours of comp time on top of everything.

TW: Had he documented this? What rate was he being paid at for this comp time?
Purser: Yes, because he kept his payroll log going back, he told us. And it was 2,000 hours. At one point, the council told him he could no longer accrue that kind of backlog of comp time. So he stopped in 2007. So all of this was pre-2007 comp time. Remember, he had been finance director before he was city manager. He was already our city manager for three years when they gave him this new contract. And he had six months of severance initially. Then it was increased to two years?

I was very abrasive with him about this pay, and he wanted to be paid for his comp time at the $98 an hour he was making as city manager, even though some of it had been earned at the $50 an hour he was making when he was finance director. All of this came about from that new contract he signed with the previous council, a deal we knew nothing about. And we did his evaluation in the fall before all of this, and it never came up then. He never said a word about it.

TW: So the council had to deal with this in terms of negotiation on the amount. Was he willing to budge?
Purser: [Council member] Billy Workman wanted to give him $1 million, even more than he was asking for. He said that Connie had been a hard worker and earned it.  And he mentioned that a few months earlier, we had given him a stellar review. But, I mean, even Connie only wanted $890,000, and we were happy to get him down to $750,000. And then Billy didn’t even vote to approve that. I don’t regret my vote.

TW: So there was never a question as the legal righteousness of his claim for $890,000?
Purser: I don’t think we could have fought this and won. As a business person, I could say, you know, he’s liable to win this, it’s not worth putting the city and the city employees through an issue that would divide the city. The leadership that we were tasked with is what is fair for the taxpayer, and interpreting this contract, he felt this was owed, and we said this compromise is the best way to avoid a lawsuit. He was shouting, ‘I am going to sue the city if you don’t pay me $890,000.’

TW: Is there anything in place to prevent this kind of thing from happening again?
Purser: No, this kind of policy could still be existing, depending on what human resources or the city is doing. The council is the only body that agrees on a city manager package. When they hire a new city manager, it is going to have to be a pretty attractive package because who is going to want to come to Killeen after this?

This is what’s so painful for me, this is my home. We give financial awards and philanthropically to the community, and for me to be raked over the coals for this, for a city manager I didn’t even know that well. But he was a good city employee.
 
***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Graphic 'Jackpot' by flickr user Max Sparber, used via a Creative Commons license.
School salaries data pulled from newspaper's website
Friday, May 13, 2011, 02:48PM CST
By Steve Miller
school supplies

It's the thought that counts only sometimes.

When the Monitor newspaper in McAllen on Tuesday published the salaries of local school district employees, the outcry came loud and fast. Some threatened to cancel their subscriptions, while others claimed the public outing of taxpayer-funded expenditures threatened the safety of those named.

The newspaper, in a rather abashed mea culpa, removed the offending data from its website and on Thursday published an apology

Now it's not known whether those very public records will ever show up again on the Monitor's site. From the apology:

Once we have compiled the salary information for all districts, we will perform due diligence and report, in the best interests of all taxpayers, where there might be anomalies that call for further explanation from elected officials and, where appropriate, administrators. We plan to provide you the key information that will help you be better informed and make those decisions for yourself.

 

That does not mean we plan on “exposing” every single public school employee salary in every district in Hidalgo County.

The comments on the "I'm sorry" posting from the paper are a good place to read various views of openness. 

 

"Teachers are people too, and have every right to privacy," one person writes. Another fires off, "All educators should cancel their subscription, individual and for the classroom."

 

Another astute poster sends readers to the Rand site, where one can access overall and average school salaries, though not individuals', for a fee. Still one more directs readers to the treasure trove that is the Texas Tribune's database, where you can look up salaries, by name, of teachers in a number of districts --  but not for the districts first published by the Monitor.

 

Then there's the local CBS affiliate, which broadcast the story of an angered school district employee.

 

As a postscript, we note that it was employee salary information --- and the act of shining a light on it --- that sparked an investigation last year into misappropriation of public funds in tiny Bell, Calif., where the city manager was making almost $800,000 a year. The public information has led to the arrest of that official and others.


***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

 

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Photo of school supplies by flickr user stevendepolo, used via a Creative Commons license.

UT faculty complain that data tracking their workload, salaries is not accurate
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 03:34PM CST
By Steve Miller
UT longhorn

When the University of Texas rightly complied with the “promptly” element of the state’s Public Information Act, there was a cost: Some of the records provided to the querying party were not accurate.

 

As outlined in a story by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the university handed over a spreadsheet tracking workload and faculty salaries at the school early this month in response to a request from the Austin American-StatesmanThe data was compiled and available at the behest of a newly formed task force at the university, seeking to gauge productivity on the staffs of nine UT campuses.

 

Although the records were not complete, they were readily available and required to be released under state law.

 

From the story:

Thomas Kelley, a spokesman for the Texas attorney general's office, said in an e-mail that the state's Public Information Act "applies to records available on the date of request," even if the university system thought the records being requested were incomplete.

Professors and staffers complain now that the figures are incorrect and in many cases overstate their pay. Titles and location of employees are also mistaken in some instances.

 

One commenter at the Chronicle site complained that it was "very dangerous to release the data too quickly." Messy as it may be, it's the public's mess. A spokesman for the university explained that the data had not been fully verified, and citizens are discerning enough to understand there are sometimes inaccuracies in complex information.

 

The greater danger would be to hide or shield the information, or violate the Public Information Act's provision for prompt release, like the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and Eanes ISD have done.

 

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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Photo of Bevo, the UT longhorn mascot, by flickr user ilovemypit, used via a Creative Commons license.

Killeen City Council approves $750,000 buyout for City Manager Connie Green - $350,000 more than severance agreement stipulated
Friday, Apr 08, 2011, 01:24PM CST
By Steve Miller
cash

The city manager in Killeen got the boot last week but took home a nice consolation prize: $750,000 for his trouble, about $350,000 more than his severance agreement called for.
 
Connie Green was shown the door during a March 29 meeting after the city council voted 4-3 to hand over three-quarters of a million to Green, whose annual salary was $195,000.
 
According to a story in the Killeen Daily Herald, “Green's contract requires the city pay Green two years of salary and benefits, which would be at least $400,000.”

Killeen Mayor Tim Hancock said the payment “was in the best interest of the future of the organization and the community.”
 
Not all the community believes the spin. A cadre of outraged locals want to recall the City Council, an uphill effort that will require organizer Jonathan Okray to collect within a month 1,050 signatures on seven petitions, one for every member.
 
From the Daily Herald:
Okray said he called all seven council members…seeking explanation for the buyout.
 
"The resounding thing I heard was 'we were not on the council at the time Mr. Green's contract was drafted'; however, there is no responsibility or accountability to the citizens of Killeen," Okray said.
The situation surrounding the Green firing and his payment is blurry. He either resigned or was placed on leave earlier in March. The city has been secretive about the circumstances, leaving the public in the dark.
Green's buyout agreement stipulates that neither side shall seek litigation against the other, making finding the truth in allegations that much harder.

Green has accused (Councilman Larry Cole) of violating the Open Meetings Act by sending secretive e-mails, while Cole says this whole thing began because of dirt that resurfaced about Green.
Cole was talking about a recent public records request filed by city employees for documents pertaining to a 2006 sexual harassment lawsuit against the city.

“She filed charges against the city of Killeen,” Green has said of the suit. “I did absolutely nothing wrong, and the City Council reviewed it. They voted such.”

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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Photo of money by flickr user stevelyon, used via a Creative Commons license.

UT's Francisco Cigarroa and William Powers Jr. among nation's highest-paid public college executives
Monday, Apr 04, 2011, 06:29PM CST
By Steve Miller

Two Texas university presidents are among the nation’s top paid public college execs, according to this item in the Chron. But neither University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa or UT President William Powers Jr. can top the salary of fellow UT "educator" Mack Brown.

 

The annual Chronicle of Higher Education survey of university salaries reports that Cigarroa made $750,000 in academic year 2009-2010, while Powers was paid $746,738. They came in a distant second and third to the president of Ohio State University, who made $1.3 million.

 

With perks such as deferred compensation, Cigarroa’s total pay was $813,892.

 

But Brown last year made an estimated $5.1 million. So esteemed is the head football coach that dialing up the Longhorns Web site includes his name in the URL. As long as they have their priorities straight over at UT.

 

Referring to the Chronicle for Higher Education study, the Wall Street Journal reports that top-tier public university presidents received average raises of 1 percent last year. The article also points out:

In Austin, for instance, University of Texas Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa is asking lawmakers to limit proposed reductions in the state's funding of higher education, even as his compensation was third highest, by total cost of employment, among public-university leaders in America.

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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Photo of UT band by flickr user ilovemypit, used via a Creative Commons license.

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Rice U. to Menil, Tin House Fans: Here’s That Art Barn We’ve Been Carefully Dismantling for You A funny thing happened on the way to carefully disassembling the former Menil Museum on the campus of Rice University so that it could be...
Update:1 day 14 hours
Swamplot
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: Stage Left 3301 Proswimmer St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:1 day 15 hours
Swamplot
What Lurks Beneath the Gargoyles of a Randall Davis Condo? Could Be You, for $5.5K a Month Do people in buildings Downtown spy on the Gargoyle-capped midrise on West Gray St. — or vice versa?...
Update:1 day 16 hours
Swamplot
Comment of the Day: Where History Was “. . . The loss of historic architecture does not mean that the area is no longer historic; however, signs could be posted that say...
Update:1 day 17 hours
Swamplot
Wendy Davis recovering from surgery The neck surgery went well, and the Fort Worth Democratic gubernatorial candidate is recuperating, according to her...
Update:1 day 17 hours
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
McCutcheon and the Gender Divide, Pt. II A deeper dive into the data as we try to predict how the Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision might affect the share of contributions coming...
Update:1 day 17 hours
Open Secrets
Republican RRC candidate to put oil and gas firm in blind trust Ryan Sitton, GOP candidate for railroad commissioner, heads oil and gas firm PinnacleAIS. AUSTIN — A Republican candidate for railroad...
Update:1 day 18 hours
San Antonio Express-News
Randall Davis Trying To Buy an Entire Westhaven Estates Townhome Complex, in One Fell Swoop Developer Randall Davis has been trying to buy an entire 16-unit townhome complex at the corner of San Felipe Dr. and Nantucket Ln....
Update:1 day 18 hours
Swamplot
The NBA Playoffs As promised, here are my playoff picks for the Association:Round 1:Western Conference:San Antonio (1) vs. Dallas (8) - I haven't seen...
Update:1 day 18 hours
Cory Crow
The Stanley Cup Playoffs: Although few watch it, the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs are one of the most exciting events in professional sports.  In terms of sheer...
Update:1 day 18 hours
Cory Crow
A Look at Memorial Hermann’s New Parkside Trauma Building, Coming Soon to the TMC Included in the $650 million expansion and renovation of its Texas Medical Center campus approved by the Memorial Hermann Health System...
Update:1 day 20 hours
Swamplot
Dewhurst slings mud at Patrick Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at the RRRW forum 9-16-13. After finishing a disappointing second to Sen. Dan Patrick in the March 4th primary, Lt....
Update:1 day 21 hours
Big Jolly Politics
Daily Demolition Report: Colquitt Quitter Putting the “re” in redevelopment, today’s targets: Commercial Structures 2204 Lorraine St. 77026 Princeton Club...
Update:1 day 21 hours
Swamplot
Polling Center: Leaving Tests Behind Amid the monumental advancements celebrated during last week’s Civil Rights Summit at...
Update:1 day 22 hours
Texas Tribune
All Those Schools Near Chemical Plants; Midtown and Millennials City Council Votes To Expand Downtown Living Initiative, Area Where Developers Can Gain Tax Incentives for New...
Update:1 day 22 hours
Swamplot
Fed Up
Update:2 days 5 hours
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Fort Worth City Council candidates differ little on issues The candidates have less than two weeks until early voting...
Update:2 days 11 hours
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Employees Are Moving into ExxonMobil’s New North Houston Campus Now Exxonmobil began moving the first workers into its new campus south of The Woodlands last Friday, a source tells Swamplot. Among the first...
Update:2 days 14 hours
Swamplot
Radio discussion of Texas' Driver Responsibility surcharge In the wake of Monday's public hearing on the topic, I was interviewed this afternoon on Texas Public Radio's KSTX out of San Antonio along...
Update:2 days 15 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Inside Intelligence: About That Surplus... Ask our insiders in government and politics about what will happen if there is a budget...
Update:2 days 16 hours
Texas Tribune
A Shy Briargrove Park 3-Bedroom with Plenty of Views Through and Out, But Not So Many In Lacking frills but with a bit of grille at the front, this 1973 home in Briargrove Park presents a curbside scene that appears a bit...
Update:2 days 16 hours
Swamplot
OpenSecrets Blog Receives Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award We are excited and grateful to have won a 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. ...
Update:2 days 17 hours
Open Secrets
Texas Lottery Commission delays decision on expanding bingo rules Commissioners will seek more public comment and revisit the issue. Proposal would allow slot-machine-like...
Update:2 days 18 hours
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Greg Abbott leading Wendy Davis by double digits
Update:2 days 19 hours
San Antonio Express-News
Developer Says Proposed Garage Wall Streetfront for 3615 Montrose Condo Tower Will Be Green or Arty, Not Blank A representative of Riverway Properties, the developer proposing a 7-story condo tower on the vacant former site of the River Cafe in...
Update:2 days 20 hours
Swamplot
Tweets
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TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
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Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 1 year 7 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
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Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
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Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
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Dallas Morning News | 1 year 7 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 1 year 7 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 1 year 7 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 1 year 7 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
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swamplot | 1 year 7 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 1 year 7 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
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Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
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