An explosion leveled a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on Wednesday. The blast killed 14 people, injured more than 200 others and damaged or completely destroyed at least 80 homes. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charlie Riedel/AP

Marchers at the state capitol building in Austin, Texas, in February protest working conditions in the state's construction sector. Jason Cato/Courtesy of Workers Defense Project hide caption

itoggle caption Jason Cato/Courtesy of Workers Defense Project

Crime scene tape is seen outside the home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. McLelland and his wife Cynthia were murdered at their home Saturday. Tony Gutierrez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Tony Gutierrez/AP

A natural gas drilling rig just east of downtown Fort Worth, Texas. A new decade-long study finds the region's Barnett Shale formation has sufficient gas reserves to last another 25 years. David Kent/MCT/Landov/Fort Worth Star Telegram hide caption

itoggle caption David Kent/MCT/Landov/Fort Worth Star Telegram

George P. Bush speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas answers a question from a television reporter on Nov. 6 in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP hide caption

itoggle caption David J. Phillip/AP

David Thweatt, the school superintendent in Harrold, Texas, is seen in 2008. Troubled by school shootings around the country, Thweatt decided to arm school staff. Tony Gutierrez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Tony Gutierrez/AP

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (left), Indiana Gov.-Elect Mike Pence (center) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, participate in a panel discussion during the 2012 RGA Annual Conference on Thursday in Las Vegas. Ronda Churchill/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ronda Churchill/AP

American Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport this month. Reports indicate that American Airlines has canceled somewhere between 2 and 5 percent of flights in recent days, reportedly blaming a surge in pilot sick days and maintenance write-ups by pilots. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Volunteers check in a voter in Palo Pinto, Texas, in November 2008. The state is using a list from the Social Security Administration to purge dead voters from its election rolls. Tom Pennington/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Abortion-rights opponents outside a Planned Parenthood of North Texas event in Fort Worth in February. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Texas can defund Planned Parenthood clinics because the organization provides abortions. David Kent/MCT/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption David Kent/MCT/Landov

A ship cutter helps dismantle a ship at the Bay Bridge Texas recycling yard. Michelle Lopez for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Michelle Lopez for NPR

Pedestrians stand along the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, in May. The state has gotten a reprieve from more than a year of drought. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Gay/AP

Will American emerge from bankruptcy as a stand-alone airline, or will it merge with US Airways? An American spokesman says it's considering all options. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Rourke/AP