Columns/Opinions

Thu
06
Oct

State opts out of federal refugee resettlement program

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Texas has acted on its threat to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, Gov. Greg Abbott said on Sept. 30. Texas had demanded enhanced FBI screening of individuals “from terroristbased nations” and expressed resistance to the federal government’s request that the Lone Star State increase by 25 percent the number of refugees to be resettled. An estimated 7,000 refugees have taken up residence in Texas in the past year. 

 

 

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Thu
06
Oct

Normal colleges where Texans learned to teach

By Bartee Haile

 

Oct. 10, 1879 was the first day of classes at Sam Houston Normal Institute, Texas’ third tax-supported college and the first devoted to training teachers. With the end of the post-Civil War occupation and the restoration of popular rule in 1874, Texans finally turned their attention to the long neglected issue of education. Gov. Richard Coke cited the lack of “a sufficient number of educated and trained teachers,” a void the handful of small private institutions of higher learning could not be expected to fill.  

 

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Thu
29
Sep

Surgeon’s son chooses acting over medicine

By Bartee Haile

 

The life and career of actor Zachary Scott, handsome star of stage and screen, were cut short by cancer on Oct. 3, 1965. Zachary Thomson Scott, Jr. was born in Austin in 1914. The son of a surgeon was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps but never showed the slightest interest in medicine. He was drawn instead to drama and began appearing in plays while still in high school.  

 

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Thu
29
Sep

State of Texas may withdraw from federal resettlement program

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Texas officials said the state will withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program if the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement does not approve the Lone Star State’s refugee plan by Sept. 30. In a Sept. 21 letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, State Refugee Coordinator Kara Crawford gave official notice of Texas’ intention to withdraw from the program.

 

Thu
22
Sep

Defense secretary promotes new hub to partner with tech startups

By Ed Sterling
 
Thu
22
Sep

Santa Fe pioneers tricked into surrendering

By Bartee Haile
 
Just as the Mexican officer repeated his request on Sep. 24, 1841 that the 97 Texans lay down their guns, a missing comrade mysteriously appeared and insisted the wild goose chase into New Mexico was not worth the loss of a single life. The blood had hardly dried on the battlefield at San Jacinto, when the new Republic declared the Rio Grande to be its western boundary.   
 

 

Thu
15
Sep

Paxton says subpoena violated First Amendment

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sept. 9 announced he had filed a friend-of-the-court brief “in defense of the First Amendment.” The brief, he said, explains that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Tracy Healey “exceeded her constitutional authority by attempting to shut down a viewpoint on an issue of scientific debate — climate change.”
 
 
Thu
15
Sep

Record casualties for Texas Rebs at Antietam

By Bartee Haile
 
Texans died in record numbers on Sep. 17, 1862 at the Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg, bloodiest of the Civil War. Never one to rest on his laurels, Gen. Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland six days after winning the rematch at Bull Run. His objectives, endorsed by President Jefferson Davis, were to bring the border state into the Confederacy and the enemy, whose morale was at an alltime low, to the bargaining table.
 
 
Thu
08
Sep

Education chief announces fines assessed to testing service

By Ed Esterling
 
AUSTIN — Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Aug. 23 announced the Texas Education Agency will fine the company that delivers and administers STAAR® — the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness — with $5.7 million in liquidated damages. Morath also directed the company, Austin-based Educational Testing Services, to invest $15 million for a total of $20.7 million. The $20.7 million, according to the TEA, “addresses various logistical issues encountered by students and school systems during statewide STAAR administration in the 2015-2016 school year.”
 
Thu
08
Sep

Texans survive first U-boat sinking of WWII

By Bartee Haile
 
A Houston judge learned on Sep. 8, 1939 that his daughter not only had survived the U-boat sinking of the British passenger ship Athenia but also had been hailed as a heroine by the American ambassador. In her last letter before leaving Europe, Helen Hannay told her parents not to worry. “There may be a delay, but we will get out all right. We aren’t in the least afraid.” The teenaged traveler closed on a prophetic note: “I am certainly glad to have had this lovely trip and to have seen all the beautiful things before they are blown up.”
 

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