Lead Stories

Transportation
4:39 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Wacoans Sound Off On Transportation Priorities

flickr.com/nofailsafe

With Congress moving a step closer passing a bill that funds transportation projects across the country, the Texas Department of Transportation was in Waco to get public comment on projects. McLennan County is expected to have about 50,000 more people living in the area in 25 years. But TxDOT says it doesn’t have enough money to keep up with population growth.


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Art and Culture
4:37 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Tomlinson Hill: Book Explores a Family History of Slaves and Slaveholders

Chris Tomlinson in the KUT studios.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:56 am

Chris Tomlinson spent most of his life comfortable that he knew who he was and where he came from. After all, a small part of Texas was named after his ancestors. Tomlinson Hill is a small town community in Falls County. It's a place where generations of his family carved out a comfortable living from the land.

Before the Civil War, they also owned slaves. But Chris grew up believing what he'd been told: that the slaves his family owned were happy – so happy they took the family name and settled the land after they were free.

It was not until after he returned from 11 years in Africa as the Nairobi Bureau Chief for the Associated Press that Tomlinson decided to delve into his family history. What he learned not only changed his sense of family, it changed his sense of history as well. The result of his search is the book, "Tomlinson Hill."

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Texas News
4:37 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Could Medicaid Expansion Boost the Texas Economy?

A new study from Families USA suggests taxi drivers are among the 1.5 million Texans who would get health insurance if Texas expanded Medicaid eligibility.
flickr.com/bionicteaching

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 1:14 pm

If Texas accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid, roughly 1.5 million more people would have health insurance. Now a new study suggests more than half of them are people who work in service industries that help fuel the state’s economy.

The report by Families USA says the people in Texas who’d benefit most from closing the coverage gap are cashiers, drivers, cooks and servers, hotel clerks and construction workers, for example.

Many of them don’t earn enough to qualify for a tax subsidy under the Affordable Care Act, Dee Mahon with Families USA says.

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Health
4:37 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Report: New Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions

A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.
Callie Richmond/Texas Tribune

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 2:38 pm

The number of abortions in Texas decreased by about 13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley following the passage of strict abortion regulations that went into effect last November, according to a report that academic researchers released Wednesday. 

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Education
4:29 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Texas Wants to Push New Teacher Evaluation Program Back Another Year

Commissioner Michael Williams on a tour of Eastside Memorial High School in 2013. He sent a letter to federal education leaders Wednesday asking for another year to monitor a new teacher evaluation system and a No Child Left Behind waiver.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:32 pm

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams wants an additional year to study a new state teacher evaluation system. The additional period would delay the official roll out for two years.

Commissioner Williams wrote a letter to federal education officials Wednesday, where he also requested the federal government extend a waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements.

In a statement, Williams said:

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