Columns/Opinions

Thu
07
Dec

Highway fund, Rainy Day fund receive hefty infusions

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — State Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Nov. 29 announced the transfer of $1.47 billion into the State Highway Fund and the Economic Stabilization Fund, with $734 million going into each fund.

The transfer was enabled by Texas voters, who in the November 2014 constitutional amendment election passed a measure allocating at least half of the state’s oil and gas production severance taxes to the “Rainy Day Fund” and the remainder to the State Highway Fund for use on non-toll highway construction, maintenance and right-of-way acquisitions.

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Thu
07
Dec

Colonizer takes slum refugees to hell on earth

By Bartee Haile

Five dozen Europeans from the slums of New York City set foot in Texas on Dec. 12, 1833 on their way to a promised paradise on the Rio Grande.

John Charles Beales was an English expatriate, who moved to Mexico in 1804. A physician by profession, he was a late entrant in the race for Texas real estate. By the time he filed his application, the choice sites had long since been handed out.

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Thu
30
Nov

Cop killer faces execution with a smile

By Bartee  Haile

 

A minute before midnight on Nov. 29, 1930, the condemned cop killer finished a letter to his widow-to-be, glanced at the nervous chaplain and asked with a wry smile, “What return address shall I put on this?” Jess J. Maple was not a career criminal. In fact, the 36 year old Indiana native had a clean record until the summer of 1930, when he suddenly went on a stick-up spree.

 

The World War I veteran and his sidekick entered a furniture store in downtown Houston at closing time on Saturday night, September 20. They cleaned out the cash register and two employees’ pockets of $300 and forced one of the victims to take a ride.

 

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Thu
30
Nov

What’s happening in our state capitol

By Senator Robert Nichols

 

As we head into the holiday season and you gather with friends and family, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours. Here are five things happening around your state this month:.

 

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Thu
23
Nov

Actor’s hit-man father murdered federal judge

By Bartee Haile

Minutes after the fatal shooting of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas police found a trio of unusually well-dressed tramps in a boxcar behind the “grassy knoll” and marched them single-file through Dealey Plaza.

Photographers snapped several pictures of the passing parade. In the ensuing years, the youngest and tallest of the three was identified by assorted laymen and at least one forensic expert as Charles Voyde Harrelson, a notorious killer-for-hire and father of popular actor Woody Harrelson.

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Thu
23
Nov

FEMA briefs governor, vice president on hurricane recovery efforts

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Vice President Mike Pence on Nov. 15 received a briefing on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Joint Field Office in the capital city.

Pence, in town for the Republican Governors Association conference, joined Abbott, FEMA Administrator Brock Long, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and state and local officials to discuss ways to improve federal and state coordination of resources. Abbott thanked Pence for “his commitment to the people of Texas” in the aftermath of the hurricane that struck the Texas coast in late August, bringing historically heavy rains, flooding and destructive winds.

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Tue
21
Nov

Actor’s hit-man father murdered federal judge

By Bartee Haile

 

Minutes after the fatal shooting of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas police found a trio of unusually well-dressed tramps in a boxcar behind the “grassy knoll” and marched them single-file through Dealey Plaza.

 

Photographers snapped several pictures of the passing parade. In the ensuing years, the youngest and tallest of the three was identified by assorted laymen and at least one forensic expert as Charles Voyde Harrelson, a notorious killer-for-hire and father of popular actor Woody Harrelson.

 

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Tue
21
Nov

Cmr. George P. Bush commends HUD Secretary Ben Carson on allocating more than $5 billion in long-term recovery funds

AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush joined Governor Greg Abbott and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude for a press conference regarding long-term hurricane housing recovery at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas.

 

Commissioner Bush commended Secretary Ben Carson and his U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) team for allocating a total of $5.024 billion to Texas through the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBGDR) Program to help Texas with the long-term housing and infrastructure recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

 

 

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Thu
16
Nov

Bowie goes looking for silver, finds Indians

By Bartee Haile

Jim Bowie went looking for underground riches in 1831 but found instead a bunch of belligerent Indians on Nov. 20.

“ The Lost Bowie Mine” was not always lost nor was it always named after the famous frontiersman. In 1753 Spaniards searching for a place to put a mission in present-day Llano County learned of a cedro de almagre or hill of red ocher. Several explorers were shown the mineral-rich mound by obliging Apaches.

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Thu
16
Nov

Hurricane Harvey debris removal funding gains approval

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and leaders of the Texas Legislature on Nov. 9 announced the approval of $90 million in emergency state funding to help Hurricane Harvey disaster-declared counties pay for the removal of debris.

Cities and counties in impacted areas are responsible for 10 percent of costs associated with debris removal. The funding, to be administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is intended to help alleviate that burden as the rebuilding process continues, the Governor’s Office said.

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