Columns/Opinions

Thu
01
Nov

American volunteers fight to liberate Texas

By Bartee Haile

 

The Republican Army of the North, a motley crew of American adventurers and Mexican rebels, reached La Bahia on Nov. 1, 1812 and made themselves right at home in the empty fortress.

 

When Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara hurried off to Washington, D.C. in March 1811, the Mexican revolt against the Spaniards was treading water. As he begged the U.S. government for desperately needed aid, his compatriots went down for the final time.

 

But Don Bernardo refused to call it quits and resolved to foment another rebellion. Learning from the fatal mistakes of his dead predecessors, he chose a more favorable site, the poorly guarded province of Texas, and more experienced fighters, the outcasts and outlaws of the Neutral Ground.

 

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Thu
25
Oct

Cooking chili in Terlingua, a Texas tradition

By Bartee Haile

It took three days to clean the pots, haul away the mountain of beer cans and sober up the last of the revelers, but by Oct. 24, 1967 everything was back to normal in the Big Bend ghost town.

The Terlingua Chili Cook-Off had been a rousing success, but no one thought at the time that they had started an annual shindig that would become a Texas tradition.

 

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Thu
25
Oct

Disaster declaration affects counties hit by heavy rains and flooding

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state disaster declaration for 18 Texas counties recently impacted by deadly weather that claimed at least four lives and caused extensive flooding.

On Oct. 16 Abbott authorized the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions to aid in response efforts.

 

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Thu
18
Oct

Panel hears about what’s being done to ‘harden’ school campuses

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — The Texas House Committee on Appropriations met Oct. 9 to hear ideas on improving school safety in the aftermath of the May 18 Santa Fe High School shooting that left eight students and two teachers dead and 13 injured.

 

“It’s an unbelievable reality that shootings in schools are occurring more frequently,” said state Rep. John Zerwas, chairman of the powerful, state budget-writing committee. “As a Legislature we must do what we can to ensure our schools are places of learning and not places of fear.”

 

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Thu
18
Oct

Texans elect “sick man of senate” to fourth term

By Bartee Haile

 

With Election Day just two weeks away, Sen. Charles Culberson spent Oct. 21, 1916 doing what he did best -- nothing. Why bother campaigning when a fourth term was already in the bag?

 

Looking for an appealing replacement for Gov. Jim Hogg in 1895, power broker E.M. House picked the handsome attorney general. Although his glaring lack of principles moved one politician to observe that 40 year old Charlie Culberson “would be all right if he had a little more iron down his backbone,” Colonel House considered the shortcoming an asset rather than a liability.

 

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Thu
11
Oct

Gambler gives Texans tour of Kansas cowtown

By Randall Luker

The Lady Pirate varsity volleyball team swept the Lady Bulldogs of Nederland 3- 0 at Pirate Gym Tuesday. Scores were 25- 21, 25-18, 25-23 for a 3-0 victory over their district rival. Leading the Lady Pirates to victory were Reagan Castilaw with 12 kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks and10 digs; Brooklyn Healy with 11 kills, 2 assists and 20 digs; Mallory Chilton with 10 kills, 3 blocks and 13 digs; Shalyn Bobbitt with 9 kills, 1 assist, 1 block and 3 digs; Julian Sanford with 2 kills, 30 assists, 2 aces and 19 digs; Kiley Brown with 3 assists, 2 aces, 13 digs and Jaci Mathews with 3 aces

 

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Thu
11
Oct

Gambler gives Texans tour of Kansas cowtown

By Bartee  Haile

 

Always willing to oblige fellow Texans, Phil Coe agreed on Oct. 10, 1871 to give four dozen cowboys a guided tour of Abilene when they arrived the next day in the Kansas cowtown. As adept at making friends as filling an inside straight, Philip Haddox Coe was so popular that a company of Confederates elected him their lieutenant. However, as soon as the sixfoot- four civilian learned a uniform went with the rank, he skedaddled to Mexico.

 

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Thu
04
Oct

Railroad builder heeded advice of unseen spirits

By Bartee Haile

 

On Oct. 9, 1928, thirteen days after burying her husband of half a century, Arthur Stilwell’s widow plunged to her death from the couple’s high-rise New York City apartment. The easiest explanation was that Jennie Stilwell could not go on living without the man who had been the center of her existence for so long. But another less romantic reason for her suicide was that the railroad builder and founder of as many as 40 towns, most notably Port Arthur, Texas, had left her practically penniless

 

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Thu
04
Oct

FEMA Public Assistance awards top $1 billion

AUSTIN – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $1 billion to Texas cities, counties and certain nonprofits affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Public Assistance grant program has reimbursed eligible applicants for more than 2,100 projects since Hurricane Harvey made landfall last year.

A recent grant of more than $45 million to the Humble Independent School District pushed the obligations over the $1 billion mark. The grant to Humble ISD paid for mold remediation, contaminated water removal and repairs to the Kingwood High School campus. The main building of the high school took in more than 5 feet of water while the gymnasium and auditorium withstood up to 8 feet of water. Water damaged the first and second floors of the main building and the third and fourth floors received damage due to high humidity created by the floodwater.

 

Thu
27
Sep

Indian fighter awarded two Medals of Honor

By Bartee Haile

 

On Sep. 29, 1872, Sgt. William Wilson won his second Medal of Honor in six months of combat against the Comanches. One of less than two dozen fighting men to receive a pair of American’s highest military decoration, the obscure cavalryman earned both on the battlefields of Texas. In its 157-year history, the coveted citation had been bestowed upon better than 5,000 servicemen, but only 19 had been so honored on two different occasions. Seven marines, seven sailors and five soldiers comprise that elite club.

The name of the first double recipient was Custer -- not George Armstrong Custer, the vainglorious general with the golden locks, but his younger brother Tom, who earned his pair three days apart in the last month of the Civil War. Tom Custer died alongside his famous sibling in 1876 at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

 

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