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Latest from Julie Chang

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Cole, Goodwin, Zwiener win Democratic runoffs in Texas House races
 Former Austin City Council member Sheryl Cole narrowly defeated immigration attorney Jose “Chito” Vela in the Democratic runoff to replace embattled state Rep. Dawnna Dukes Tuesday night. With all precincts reporting, Cole pulled in 4,967 votes, or 50.9 percent, and Vela, earned 4,794 votes, or 49.1 percent. Cole will oppose Republican...

Posted: 9 hours ago

Former Austin City Council member Sheryl Cole narrowly defeated immigration attorney Jose “Chito” Vela in the Democratic runoff to replace embattled state Rep. Dawnna Dukes Tuesday night. With all precincts reporting, Cole pulled in 4,967 votes, or 50.9 percent, and Vela, earned 4,794 votes, or 49.1 percent. Cole will oppose Republican...
Erin Zwiener defeats Rebecca Bell-Metereau in House District 45 runoff
 9:30 p.m. update: Writer Erin Zwiener garnered enough election day results Tuesday to defeat Texas State University professor Rebecca Bell-Metereau in the Texas House District 45 Democratic runoff. Bell-Metereau had 2,783 votes, or 48.6 percent, while Zwiener had 2,946, or 51.4 percent of votes. Zwiener’s narrow win means she will face...

Posted: 11 hours ago

9:30 p.m. update: Writer Erin Zwiener garnered enough election day results Tuesday to defeat Texas State University professor Rebecca Bell-Metereau in the Texas House District 45 Democratic runoff. Bell-Metereau had 2,783 votes, or 48.6 percent, while Zwiener had 2,946, or 51.4 percent of votes. Zwiener’s narrow win means she will face...
Vikki Goodwin wins Democratic nod in Travis County legislative race
 10:22 p.m. update: With all precincts counted Tuesday night, real estate broker Vikki Goodwin easily defeated retiree association leader Elaina Fowler in the Democratic race in Texas House District 47. Goodwin earned 4,638 votes, or 58 percent, and Fowler got 3,359 votes, or 42 percent. Goodwin will face state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin...

Posted: 11 hours ago

10:22 p.m. update: With all precincts counted Tuesday night, real estate broker Vikki Goodwin easily defeated retiree association leader Elaina Fowler in the Democratic race in Texas House District 47. Goodwin earned 4,638 votes, or 58 percent, and Fowler got 3,359 votes, or 42 percent. Goodwin will face state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin...
Sheryl Cole defeats Chito Vela in HD 46 runoff
 10:28 p.m. update: With all precincts reporting, Sheryl Cole has narrowly clinched the Democratic nomination in Texas House District 46 against Jose “Chito” Vela. Cole, a former Austin City Council member, won 4,967 votes, or 50.9 percent, and Vela, an immigration attorney, garnered 4,794 votes, or 49.1 percent. The overall voter...

Posted: 11 hours ago

10:28 p.m. update: With all precincts reporting, Sheryl Cole has narrowly clinched the Democratic nomination in Texas House District 46 against Jose “Chito” Vela. Cole, a former Austin City Council member, won 4,967 votes, or 50.9 percent, and Vela, an immigration attorney, garnered 4,794 votes, or 49.1 percent. The overall voter...
Central Texas schools look to beef up security after Santa Fe shooting
 In the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting last week, Central Texas school officials are reviewing safety plans and working to tighten security, including for upcoming graduation ceremonies. Officials with several area school districts said this week they will continue to conduct drills, including for lockdown, lockout and evacuations...

Posted: 15 hours ago

In the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting last week, Central Texas school officials are reviewing safety plans and working to tighten security, including for upcoming graduation ceremonies. Officials with several area school districts said this week they will continue to conduct drills, including for lockdown, lockout and evacuations...
Expert: Fire alarm at Santa Fe High proves schools need more drills
 Early reports that a student or faculty member pulled a fire alarm to warn people about the shooter at Santa Fe High School drew a quick response on Friday from a national school security expert. It would have been better if the school had followed standard lockdown procedures, said Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland based National School...

Posted: 4 days ago

Early reports that a student or faculty member pulled a fire alarm to warn people about the shooter at Santa Fe High School drew a quick response on Friday from a national school security expert. It would have been better if the school had followed standard lockdown procedures, said Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland based National School...
Austin students show improvement on 2018 STAAR exams
 Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary results from the annual STAAR tests. Statewide, students also improved in both fifth- and eighth-grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results were from the first administration...

Posted: 12 days ago

Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary results from the annual STAAR tests. Statewide, students also improved in both fifth- and eighth-grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results were from the first administration...
After 7 years, Hays Democrats seek to recapture Texas House seat
 Blanco and Hays counties haven’t seen a Democratic state representative in seven years since state lawmakers redrew House District 45 to favor Republicans. But with state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, relinquishing his seat, Erin Zwiener, a children’s book author who lives in Driftwood, and Rebecca Bell-Metereau, a Texas...

Posted: 12 days ago

Blanco and Hays counties haven’t seen a Democratic state representative in seven years since state lawmakers redrew House District 45 to favor Republicans. But with state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, relinquishing his seat, Erin Zwiener, a children’s book author who lives in Driftwood, and Rebecca Bell-Metereau, a Texas...
Austin’s 5th and 8th graders improve in this year’s STAAR tests
 Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary STAAR results. Statewide, students also improved in both 5th and 8th grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results, released by the Texas Education Agency, were from the first...

Posted: 12 days ago

Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary STAAR results. Statewide, students also improved in both 5th and 8th grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results, released by the Texas Education Agency, were from the first...
Two Democrats looking to flip Travis County state legislative seat
 Retiree association director Elaina Fowler and real estate business owner Vikki Goodwin are headed to the May 22 Democratic runoff for a chance to flip the only Republican-held Texas House seat in Travis County. House District 47, which encompasses western Travis County, including parts of West Austin, Bee Cave, Lakeway and Lago Vista, is...

Posted: 15 days ago

Retiree association director Elaina Fowler and real estate business owner Vikki Goodwin are headed to the May 22 Democratic runoff for a chance to flip the only Republican-held Texas House seat in Travis County. House District 47, which encompasses western Travis County, including parts of West Austin, Bee Cave, Lakeway and Lago Vista, is...
Abbott at NRA meeting: Strengthen 2nd Amendment to combat gun violence
 Gov. Greg Abbott seized the opportunity at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Dallas on Friday to highlight a slew of conservative legislation enacted in the state in recent years, including to expand gun rights and crack down on illegal immigration. In his 10-minute speech, Abbott touted bills he signed into law that allow...

Posted: 18 days ago

Gov. Greg Abbott seized the opportunity at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Dallas on Friday to highlight a slew of conservative legislation enacted in the state in recent years, including to expand gun rights and crack down on illegal immigration. In his 10-minute speech, Abbott touted bills he signed into law that allow...
Top Texas health official to step down amid contracting missteps
 Charles Smith, executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, will retire May 31 in what will be the sixth and most high-profile departure from the troubled agency since major contracting errors were revealed last month. Smith has come under fire over the last several weeks from lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott over...

Posted: 19 days ago

Charles Smith, executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, will retire May 31 in what will be the sixth and most high-profile departure from the troubled agency since major contracting errors were revealed last month. Smith has come under fire over the last several weeks from lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott over...
Head of Texas health agency retires amid contracting flap
 The head of Texas Health and Human Services Commission Charles Smith has announced he is retiring effective May 31, according to a news release by Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. Smith’s retirement comes after two major contracting issues at the agency were made public last month. Smith did not say why he was retiring other than to...

Posted: 19 days ago

The head of Texas Health and Human Services Commission Charles Smith has announced he is retiring effective May 31, according to a news release by Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. Smith’s retirement comes after two major contracting issues at the agency were made public last month. Smith did not say why he was retiring other than to...
Dallas Democrat launches unlikely bid for Texas House speaker
 State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, launched a long shot bid for Texas House speaker Wednesday. “What Texas needs is a strong, pro-growth, progressive leader presiding over the Texas House to act as a counterbalance to a far-right governor and lieutenant governor. I am running for speaker to help restore normalcy to Texas state politics...

Posted: 20 days ago

State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, launched a long shot bid for Texas House speaker Wednesday. “What Texas needs is a strong, pro-growth, progressive leader presiding over the Texas House to act as a counterbalance to a far-right governor and lieutenant governor. I am running for speaker to help restore normalcy to Texas state politics...
Dallas Democrat enters Texas House speaker’s race
 State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, announced Wednesday he is running for speaker of the Texas House. Johnson, who was elected to the Legislature in 2010, serves on House committees on ways and means; investments and financial services; and redistricting. He is running unopposed in his district in the November general election. “What...

Posted: 20 days ago

State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, announced Wednesday he is running for speaker of the Texas House. Johnson, who was elected to the Legislature in 2010, serves on House committees on ways and means; investments and financial services; and redistricting. He is running unopposed in his district in the November general election. “What...
Hurricane-damaged Texas schools will receive $89 million from feds
 The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that it has granted $89.4 million to Texas public and private schools ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Education Agency will disburse the money to help schools recover from the storm’s damage. The money comes from Congress’ $2.5 billion appropriation to help students affected...

Posted: 22 days ago

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that it has granted $89.4 million to Texas public and private schools ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Education Agency will disburse the money to help schools recover from the storm’s damage. The money comes from Congress’ $2.5 billion appropriation to help students affected...
Campaign tactic, ideology in question in Central Texas runoff
 In the Democratic race to challenge U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, Central Health board member Julie Oliver has accused her opponent, Austin defense attorney Chris Perri, of club stacking, an ethically murky but legal practice by candidates who fill political clubs with their supporters to win endorsements. Sometimes, candidates will even pay...

Posted: 22 days ago

In the Democratic race to challenge U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, Central Health board member Julie Oliver has accused her opponent, Austin defense attorney Chris Perri, of club stacking, an ethically murky but legal practice by candidates who fill political clubs with their supporters to win endorsements. Sometimes, candidates will even pay...
Federal government grants Harvey-affected Texas schools $89.4 million
 The U.S. Department of Education will give Texas school districts and private schools ravaged by Hurricane Harvey $89.4 million. The Texas Education Agency will disburse the money to help schools recover from the storm’s damage. The money comes from Congress’ $2.5 billion appropriation to help students affected by various natural...

Posted: 22 days ago

The U.S. Department of Education will give Texas school districts and private schools ravaged by Hurricane Harvey $89.4 million. The Texas Education Agency will disburse the money to help schools recover from the storm’s damage. The money comes from Congress’ $2.5 billion appropriation to help students affected by various natural...
Texas Supreme Court upholds decision to close Austin charter school
 The Texas Supreme Court on Friday let stand a 4-year-old state decision to shutter a former Southeast Austin charter school. The state revoked the charter of American YouthWorks in 2014 after it had failed to meet academic or financial standards three years in a row. The Legislature in 2013 passed a law granting the state education commissioner...

Posted: 25 days ago

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday let stand a 4-year-old state decision to shutter a former Southeast Austin charter school. The state revoked the charter of American YouthWorks in 2014 after it had failed to meet academic or financial standards three years in a row. The Legislature in 2013 passed a law granting the state education commissioner...
Texas women’s health program makes gains amid declining participation
 A state health program for low-income women served more patients, attracted more providers and put more women on long-acting reversible contraception last year than in prior years, according to a report released Thursday. Even with the improvements, it’s unclear whether the program, Healthy Texas Women, is serving more women than a...

Posted: 25 days ago

A state health program for low-income women served more patients, attracted more providers and put more women on long-acting reversible contraception last year than in prior years, according to a report released Thursday. Even with the improvements, it’s unclear whether the program, Healthy Texas Women, is serving more women than a...
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