Laura Bush in spotlight at SMU

Former first lady Laura Bush will take part in two programs this week at Southern Methodist University in connection with the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

On Monday, she and mother-in-law Barbara Bush, along with Cokie Roberts, Doris Kearns Goodwin and others, will participate in the conference "America's First Ladies: An Enduring Vision." On Thursday, she will give the keynote speech at an International Women's Day event and talk with Egyptian women from the Inaugural Women's Initiative Fellowship Program.

'Texas liberal'

Two North Texans sit near the ideological ends of the state Senate, according to a new study.

Mark P. Jones, chairman of Rice University's political science department, develops political rankings of Texas lawmakers based on their votes. In his latest analysis of the Texas Senate, published last week by The Texas Tribune, Jones found that Granbury Republican Brian Birdwell is the most conservative member, based on his voting record.

Houston Democrat Rodney Ellis is the most liberal senator, with Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis a close second.


State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was recently honored by the Brain Injury Association of Texas.

"We are truly grateful for Sen. Nelson's work on the Senate Committees on Finance and on Health and Human Services," said Erin Garrison, administrative director of the association. "Her efforts in these roles have been vital for Texans most in need, particularly those who have sustained a brain injury."