From a record-setting drought and raging wildfires (that claimed much of Bastrop, whose water tower is pictured above) to the end of the space shuttle program and the UT-A&M football rivalry (well, maybe), 2011 was a memorable year for Texas. Here are ten photos of the moments and themes that defined the last twelve months.
From (HB) 1 to ($)15.2 billion, we revisit a few of the state's biggest stories in 2011 by examining the numbers.
Rick Perry's field-leading share of support for the Republican presidential nomination in an August 24 Gallup poll, twelve points ahead of Mitt Romney.
Forget Casey Anthony. Texas served up enough bizarre courtroom drama this year to keep Nancy Grace drooling. Here are the five cases from Texas courtrooms in 2011 that enthralled, amused, and horrified us.
1. Warren Jeffs
Whether you’re enjoying icy oysters on a cold, winter night or you’re sitting through another relative’s diatribe about the economy, we’ll give you something to talk about.
If you’re on the Internet and sentient, you probably know some people who would like to tell you about Ron Paul. And if it seems like more people talk about Paul than any other Republican presidential candidate, you’re right.
Back when Rick Perry first announced for president, the only people happier than his supporters may have been the Texas media. Campaign coverage is good for business, and in those heady days before Perry's candidacy became official, you couldn't turn on cable news without seeing one state capitol reporter or another (including, yes, our own staffers) sharing Texas expertise.
Five minutes away from 6:30 p.m., eastern standard time, three of the four seats in the CBS News control room are still empty. In the occupied seat, a tall, gaunt quiet man of about 50—the chief engineer, formerly known as the technical director—confronts a flashing yard-square panel of buttons, switches, and erratic meters. There seem to be over a hundred pulsing, mysterious buttons between his outstretched arms, and he appears very intent upon them.
Jacob Isom didn’t know he was about to be famous when he interrupted a protest by stealing a Quran and running away with it. Moments after the act, a reporter from the local CBS affiliate asked the unassuming skateboarder from Amarillo about his daring deed. His interview went viral, and Isom’s unintentionally humorous remark, “Dude, you have no Quran!,” is now a YouTube sensation. Katy Vine met with the 23 year old to find out what he thought about his newfound fame and to examine today’s instant celebrities.
I met Colby Donaldson for lunch recently at a Houston’s restaurant in North Dallas, where, after I’d ordered a glass of ice water, the waiter confessed that the cold water was filtered but the ice was not. He offered to bring my unfiltered ice in a separate glass.
As these photos taken by Lawrence Collins (In the Pink’s special correspondent covering the formerly-in-the-White-House beat) indicate, Midland, Texas on Inauguration Day was kind of a parallel universe to the rest of the country. The Age of Obama was being heralded live on national TV, but in their Centennial Plaza, 20- to 25,000 Midlanders, waving red, white, and blue W’s, spent a gorgeous West Texas January afternoon listening to their own parade of local and statewide Republican luminaries.