High school students in Texas can take, and get credit toward, electives like floral arrangement, team sport officiating, and turf-grass management. But not for Mexican-American studies, something activists, education groups, and several dozen state lawmakers are pushing to change. They came out in ... More >>
Even after a wave of exonerations have confirmed the fallibility of the criminal justice system, even after the state's supply of lethal-injection drugs has been all but cut off by squeamish pharmaceutical companies, even as national support for capital punishment steadily declines, Texas remains en ... More >>
The debate about voting in Texas over the past several years has focused on the controversial voter ID law that passed in 2011 and finally took effect over the summer. It was a necessary step to prevent voter fraud, supporters said, while opponents countered that it erected illegal hurdles to voting ... More >>
Last August, a couple of years removed from a two-year stint in the Texas prison system, John David Waguepack sat down for a thoroughly fascinating Reddit "Ask Me Anything," or AMA in which he offered a highly detailed, unvarnished glimpse of life behind bars. Among the subjects he touches on are s ... More >>
Yesterday when he told the Urban league he was going after Texas on voting rights, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder quoted a federal court decision last year in which the court said Hispanic plaintiffs in Texas had "provided more evidence of discriminatory intent than we have space, or need, to ad ... More >>
The Parker County district attorney is keeping an eye on the Legislature's special session. Next month, Jake Evans' case is scheduled to go to trial. The 17-year-old kid from a gated community in Aledo is accused of methodically gunning down his mother and his little sister then calmly phoning 911. ... More >>
There's a bit of bad news for raw milk drinkers. You'll have to continue the trips out to the farm for your creamy elixir fix. Currently Texas law stipulates that raw milk can only be purchased on the farms where it is produced. A bill introduced this legislative session, HB 46, would have changed ... More >>
The Wire, David Simon's epic examination of power, corruption and narcotics in a major American city, was not set in Texas. It couldn't have been. Not because cities here don't have those things (they do) but because local police departments aren't allowed to go around wiretapping drug dealers. Und ... More >>
The murder this weekend of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, two months after assistant DA Mark Hasse was gunned down in broad daylight, has Texas prosecutors on high alert. The Associated Press reports today that district attorneys throughout the state are taking extra ... More >>
With the shiny new session of the Texas Legislature a mere six days away, your lawmakers are gearing up to debate some important issues, like handsy TSA agents and whether we should drug-test people who have the audacity to file for emergency welfare relief. But, as ever, some legislators are most ... More >>
Last week, Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos asked Attorney General Greg Abbott for some advice. County law enforcement has dutifully taken blood samples from suspects in certain intoxication-related offenses (driving drunk with a child in the car, for one) as required by state law. No ... More >>
There was a lot of buzz back in May when a group led by the Central Japan Railway Co. and former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels announced plans to raise $10 billion in private funds to establish a bullet train linking Dallas and Houston. TxDOT, too, has been looking at high-speed rail, and is in ... More >>
Turns out, the people of Dallas don't care much for voting -- Dallas County ranked fourth in the state (out of 254 counties) for the fewest ballots cast among voting-age people. Even Harris County had a slightly better turnout, which unfortunately means the Asshole of the Universe, has us beat at so ... More >>
Texas has become the top destination for refugee resettlement, with Dallas the second largest hub, according to recent statistics. It became the main destination for resettlement as of last year, rising from number five in 2001. In an article earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle reported that T ... More >>
Overnight, several Friends of Unfair Park sent different versions of the same story, which says: The state quite deliberately submitted to the Department of Justice new election maps that discriminate against the Hispanic voter -- especially in Dallas-Fort Worth. As in: "There is direct and circu ... More >>
Pledge took beating, not oath, to become Omega Psi Phi.
On Monday we told you the story of Jason Clay Kennedy and the Brothers O'Brien, who, on February 5, disabled a Houston jewelry store's alarm and video surveillance system and sawed through six inches of steel and concrete and made off with $6 million in 22-carat gold, Rolex watches and precious ston ... More >>
Dallas County Sheriff's DepartmentKelvin O'BrienMoments ago, Dallas Police spokesman Senior Corporal Kevin Janse sent out a handful of over-the-weekend updates. Among them was this brief concerning an arrest made early Sunday morning:On 9/25/2011 at 1:45 a.m., Dallas Police Officers received info ... More >>
Tuesday night, the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council's Task Force on Secure Communities (hold on, gotta catch my breath after that pithy title) held a pilot meeting at the Dallas County Community College's Bill J. Priest Campus to discuss ICE's controversial fingerprint screeni ... More >>
From the presentation given yesterday to Harris County officials concerning a Dallas-Houston-etc. high-speed rail lineBack to that Houston-to-Dallas bullet train for a second ...Erik Noriega, manager of communications for the Greater Houston Partnership, was kind enough to send me Central Japan R ... More >>
Perhaps you've seen the promotional materials -- they've been everywhere during the past five years, as the Dallas Independent School District (and superintendent Michael Hinojosa, especially) eased on down that Road to Broad, so named for the $2 million award given to urban school districts who ... More >>
Last spring, The Lodge made a big show of presenting the state with a big check that's been sitting in escrow ever since.As you no doubt recall, the state of Texas has been trying for years to find a way to make its so-called "pole tax" stick. The first time around, a judge slapped down the $5-pe ... More >>
Sam MertenFormer Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill outside the Earle Cabell, moments after the guilty verdicts were handed downSchutze and Merten are off in darkened corners finishing their City Hall corruption trial wrap-up (as in, What does it all mean?), so I'll refer you to KXAS-Channel 5's piece ... More >>
Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle tells Unfair Park he expects to launch the so-called no-refusal program full-time in September after key legislation passed Sunday that makes obtaining a blood search warrant easier."That was the hold up," says Kunkle, who explains that the old law stipulated that on ... More >>
In Texas, shoot as many feral pigs as you like. Just don't let your dog bite them.
Being sick in Dallas County's troubled jail can be a death sentence
DCAD spends $5.5 million developing its own computer program. Why?
Inmates on Texas' Death Row leave behind immeasurable pain and countless victims--including their own families
Itinerant pro-pot candidate Steven Hale is down again, but not out
The untold story of why Lenell Geter was freed
For a growing number of Texas kids with mental illnesses, the only place to get help is behind bars.
What makes Bobby run?
Spurred by a horrifying wave of teen violence in the '90s, Texas today spends more money than ever to lock up young criminals. Are we getting our money's worth?
The InnerChange Freedom Initiative says it can rehabilitate Texas prison inmates through God--a conservative evangelical Christian God, to be more precise
A triple murderer freed from prison runs into his old nemeses on the way back to the pen
Less than two years after Billie Bob Harrell Jr. took the $31 million lottery jackpot, he took his own life
A notorious murder-for-hire ex-con may have reached the end of his road in Dallas