Columns/Opinions

Thu
12
Oct

Austin spends many months in Mexican dungeon

Arriving in Mexico City on Oct. 15, 1834, attorneys Peter W. Grayson and Spencer H. Jack went right to work to finally end Stephen F. Austin’s nine-month nightmare.

The cause of the confinement was a letter Austin wrote in the heat of the moment the previous October. Exasperated by the refusal of the central government to grant Texas statehood, the empressario encouraged the San Antonio ayuntamiento or city council to lay the groundwork for the forbidden regime in open defiance of the shortsighted policy.

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Thu
12
Oct

Abbott, Texas delegation ask Congress for hurricane relief funds

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and members of Lone Star State’s congressional delegation last week signed a letter seeking $18.7 billion in Texasspecific Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery funding in the next federal supplemental appropriations bill.

Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Emergency Management Commission is working with county judges and mayors to secure funding and resources requested by those local officials.

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Tue
10
Oct

Baby brother added to gunfighter’s troubles

When a drinking buddy tried to throw him out in the street in his birthday suit on the night of Sep. 6, 1868, hot-tempered Billy Thompson plugged the prankster and headed for the hills.

A famous gunfighter with a reputation matched only by John Wesley Hardin and Bill Longley, Ben Thompson was a walking bull’s-eye for every barroom braggart out to make a name for himself. Staying alive was tough enough without having to look out for his baby brother.

Inseparable since childhood, the Thompson boys did not let a little thing like the Civil War come between them. Billy enlisted in the Confederate Army at 16 in order to stick close to his protective sibling, and they spent the conflict far from the front fleecing fellow soldiers in crooked card games.

 

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Thu
05
Oct

Rep. Brian Babin: Together, we will rebuild and come back stronger

Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36)

A month has now passed since Hurricane Harvey began wreaking havoc on Southeast Texas. For six days, the storm dumped record amounts of rainfall across our region. Thousands of homes were swallowed up by floodwaters – upending the lives of families, businesses, and communities.

The impact was devastating and widespread, but in the midst of this devastation, we have seen incredible stories of bravery, compassion and resiliency. One man, with his own home flooding, took his boat and rescued everyone in his entire community. The people there call him the savior of Rose City.

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Thu
05
Oct

Governor applauds TxDOT efforts in removal of hurricane debris

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 27 announced the Texas Department of Transportation had collected more than 2.4 million cubic feet of debris left behind by Hurricane Harvey in roadways across the four districts hardest hit by the storm.

TxDOT is continuing to assist in the removal of debris from roadsides in Corpus Christi, Houston, Beaumont and a number of areas along the Gulf Coast region, Abbott said in a news release.

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Thu
28
Sep

What’s happening in the state capitol

By Senator Robert Nichols

 

About a month ago, many parts of our state were devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Since that time, my staff and I have been working hard to ensure that those in Senate District 3 are receiving the help and services they need. If you require assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact any of my offices.

 

You can also visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 to check your eligibility, register for assistance and check your application status. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who survived the disaster and those who continue to be affected.

 

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Thu
28
Sep

Ambitious adventurer with a head for business

By Bartee Haile

 

James Wiley Magoffin and four traveling companions were arrested as spies in New Mexico on Sep. 27, 1846 and detained for the duration of the Mexican War. Why the oldest of ten children left Kentucky in the early 1820’s is unclear.

 

The most logical explanation is that he wanted to make his own way in the world without having to answer to a rich and overbearing father. Instead of heading west into the American wilderness, Magoffin chose a different land of opportunity – Mexico, which was celebrating its recent independence from Spain. In 1824 or 1825, he boarded a ship for Tampico that was blown ashore by a Gulf storm. He might not have lived through the Texas layover had not a schooner captain spotted him and his fellow survivors and provided them with a ride to Matamoros.

 

Tue
26
Sep

Texas Rangers send mobster back to “La La Land”

By Bartee Haile 

 

At an hour past midnight on Aug. 31, 1950, two Texas Rangers woke the boss of the Los Angeles underworld from a deep sleep to give him a simple choice: go home or go to jail. Mickey Cohen had hoped to slip into the Lone Star State, conduct a little business and slip back out unnoticed.

 

But the trip did not go according to plan for the West Coast mobster. Meyer Harris Cohen was born in 1913 into an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn. Looking for a way to keep Mickey and his brothers out of trouble, their widowed mother moved the brood to the “City of Angels” in 1922.

 

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Thu
21
Sep

Hurricane Harvey help available

By Senator Robert Nichols

Hurricane Harvey brought unfathomable destruction to coastal and southeast Texas. I want to use this column to describe how you or your loved ones can get help or volunteer. To volunteer, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, https://www.nvoad.org/hurricaneharvey/volunteer/, and they will pair you with an organization that will use you to do the most good for the hurricane victims. National VOAD members will be providing relief and recovery for years to come, and they will need your assistance.

Thu
21
Sep

Citizens, government agencies continue hurricane recovery work

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Help-is-on-the-way announcements from the governor’s office came last week as residents of hard-hit counties of the state labored to pull themselves out the watery mire and windblown nightmare of Hurricane Harvey.

On Sept. 14, Gov. Greg Abbott spotlighted Texas Department of Transportation contractors’ efforts to remove debris along state roadways in the Coastal Bend, the area that took a full frontal assault from the deadly storm that plowed ashore and battered Texas in late August and early September.

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