In June 2008, Marine Cpl. Anthony Villarreal was driving back from a mission in Afghanistan when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb. He was 22 at the time and recently married to Jessica, who was just 21.
Villarreal suffered third-degree burns over most of his face and body and was very severely disfigured. His right arm and the fingers on his left hand eventually had to be amputated.
In friendlier times, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in a 2011 panel discussion in Washington, D.C. At the time, O'Malley was chairman of the Democratic Governors Association; Perry was chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Now they're in a spat over Perry's efforts to lure Maryland businesses to Texas.
The Republican governor has been turning up in other states, touting the wonders of Texas and promising business owners they'll find lower taxes and more manageable regulation there.
"It does help get the word out to business leaders that may be frustrated," says David Carney, a longtime consultant to Perry. "Going in person can get literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of free media coverage."
Despite a Supreme Court ruling that gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Eric Holder wants a court to use another section of the 1965 law to require Texas to get the federal government's approval before changing its voting laws.
In the war over the right to vote in the U.S., the Justice Department's choice of Texas as the battleground for its first legal action following the Supreme Court's weakening of the Voting Rights Act has a feeling of inevitability.
In this country we could see some changes in a government housing program known as Section 8. Critics have complained that this subsidized rent program gives recipients enough money to live in poor, minority neighborhoods, but not enough money to live anywhere else. Now the Department of Housing and Urban Development is rethinking the way it calculates rent payments.
The city of Dallas has been testing these changes and Jeff Cohen from member station WNPR has this report.