Columns/Opinions

Thu
22
Aug

Texas’ future chief justice fought a duel

Bartee Haile

Texas History

An angry John Hemphill demanded satisfaction in an Aug. 27, 1832 letter to the editor of his hometown newspaper.

Dueling was a rite of passage for male South Carolinians, and at age 28 the future chief justice of justice of Texas qualified as a late bloomer.

His quarrel with the local newspaperman grew out of the violent debate over “nullification,” the eyeball-toeyeball confrontation between the Palmetto State and the national government. European trade was the lifeblood of the South Carolina economy, which had been hemorrhaging badly under the commercial restraints of the federal tariff of 1828.

 

 

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Thu
22
Aug

Governor takes action to prevent acts of terrorism

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August 22, 1974

AUSTIN — Texas now boasts its own Domestic Terrorism Task Force, established by order of the governor in the wake of the deadly Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso.

Twenty-two people were killed and 24 injured by a suspect firing a militarystyle assault rifle in a popular shopping venue.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Aug. 14 said the task force’s job will be to analyze and provide advice on strategies to maximize law enforcement’s ability to protect against acts of domestic terrorism. The first meeting is set for Aug. 30.

 

 

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Fri
16
Aug

Governor’s goon squad terrorized Texas

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Texas History

The trigger-happy state police opened fire without warning on a crowd of Saturday shoppers in Brownwood on Aug. 19, 1871.

In his inaugural address in April 1870, Republican Edmund J. Davis asked fellow Radicals for a new law-enforcement legion to bring Reconstruction order to the chaotic countryside. Two months later, the governor got his wish – hired guns who answered only to him.

The state police was made up of quasi-autonomous companies that often acted as judge, jury and executioner. The worst of the bunch was the roving band of cutthroats under the command of Capt. Jack Helm.

 

 

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Fri
16
Aug

Officials meet to discuss public safety following deadly shooting

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August 13, 2009

AUSTIN — Following the Aug. 3 shooting that claimed the lives of 22 people and injured 24 others at a popular El Paso shopping venue, Gov. Greg Abbott and a group of officials met in the border city to discuss ways to address violence.

Joined by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, state Sen. Jose Rodriguez, and area state Reps. Cesar Blanco, Art Fierro, Mary Gonzales, Joe Moody and Lina Ortega, Abbott and the group talked about how to improve public safety.

“The entire state of Texas continues to grieve the tragedy in El Paso,” Abbott said. “While our hearts remain broken, it is our responsibility to show the resolve that is needed to address this shooting and begin the process of working together to lay a groundwork of how we are going to respond. The people of Texas — including the people of El Paso — deserve to be safe and it is our responsibility to ensure that safety,” he added.

 

 

Thu
08
Aug

Covert mission payback for Mexican raids

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Texas History

At Bird’s Fort north of present-day Arlington, the Snively Expedition officially disbanded on Aug. 7, 1843 and the dispirited members went their separate ways.

Seven tense years after San Jacinto, a state of war still existed between the independent province and its estranged mother country. On the diplomatic front, Mexico refused to recognize Texas sovereignty and periodically threatened full-scale retaliation. And it was not empty talk, as hardly a calendar went by without rifles replacing rhetoric in brief but bloody conflicts.

In June 1841, President Mirabeau Lamar tried to put teeth in the Lone Star claim to New Mexico, but the Santa Fe excursion was fatally flawed by poor preparation. The 300 Pioneers were taken prisoner without a shot being fired, and they languished in Mexican dungeons until their release the following spring.

 

 

Thu
08
Aug

Abbott, Patrick react after 20 die in deadly shooting

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AUSTIN — After a gunman was arrested in the killing of 20 people and wounding 26 others at a popular shopping venue in El Paso on Aug. 3, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt.Gov. Dan Patrick offered thoughts and prayers.

Abbott ordered flags lowered in memory of those who lost their lives and said flags should remain at half-staff through sunset on Aug. 8.

The suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, surrendered after waves of first responders arrived on scene.

Crusius was charged with capital murder. He remains in custody in El Paso.

 

 

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Thu
01
Aug

Blind orphan whistled through life

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Texas History

With the encouragement of his piano teacher at the Texas School for the Blind, Fred Lowery got up the nerve to audition for a radio program on July 31, 1929.

A few days later, the station manager phoned the 19 year old blind orphan to tell him he had the job. For the first time in his life, he would be paid for what he loved most to do – whistle.

In reality Fred Lowery was neither an orphan nor completely sightless. His mother had died soon after his birth in 1909 at Palestine, but his no-account father was very much alive when he abandoned the boy and his three older sisters.

 

 

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Thu
01
Aug

Paxton lauds ruling against pre-clearance for redistricting maps

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AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded a federal court ruling allowing the state to proceed with redistricting legislation without asking the federal government’s permission.

The July 24 ruling by a three-judge federal court rejected plaintiffs’ petition to require the state to obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court before redistricting legislation could take effect.

After the San Antoniobased panel ruled on the ongoing voting rights case, Perez v. Abbott, Paxton said, “This court ruling is a win for our Constitution and the right of Texans to govern themselves.”

 

 

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Thu
25
Jul

Saloon shooting changed young Texan’s life

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By Jul. 26, 1881, the desperate young cowboy had put a hundred miles between him and a blood-splattered barroom in Bryan.

Three days of hard riding in the broiling summer heat must have seemed like an eternity to Reuben Stillwell. But with the Brazos County sheriff breathing down his neck, the 21 year old cowpoke dared not stop.

Never in his worst nightmare could he have imagined Saturday would be the fateful day that changed his life forever. After taking in the horse races with his best buddy Lucien Reed, the two adjourned to their favorite watering hole to get out of the sun and to quench their thirst.

 

 

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Thu
25
Jul

Top officials attempt to clarify new hemp law for prosecutors

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AUSTIN — Some district and county attorneys reportedly have begun to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana possession cases following the Texas Legislature’s passage of House Bill 1325, a law creating a legal path for the cultivation and marketing of hemp and hemp products.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt.Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Attorney General Ken Paxton on July 18 sent a letter informing prosecutors that the Texas law, which takes effect Sept. 1, adopts the definition that differentiates between hemp and marijuana in the 2018 Farm Bill passed by Congress last year.

The farm bill, which delegates authority over the regulation, production and sale of hemp to the states, differentiates hemp from marijuana by setting a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold concentration of 0.3 percent for hemp and anything above 0.3 percent for marijuana.

 

 

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