Columns/Opinions

Thu
27
Sep

What’s happening around our state

By Sen. Robert Nichols, Senate District 3 

 

Don't forget the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming November election is October 9th. Early voting will be from October 22nd through November 6th. If you have not registered to vote or have questions about your registration, Please visit www.votetexas.gov or call 1.800.252.VOTE (8683). Here are five things happening around your state this month: 1. Teacher Retirement System In August, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees considered raising the premiums by $50 a month for TRS-Care, which is the health insurance program provided to retired teachers in the state.

Thu
20
Sep

Weather system prompts Texas to prepare as hurricane season continues

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Before Hurricane Florence reached the shores of the Carolinas last week, Gov. Greg Abbott focused on the Gulf of Mexico, where an inbound tropical disturbance threatened the southern region of Texas.

Proactively, Abbott on Sept. 14 issued a disaster declaration for 78 counties stretching from the Texas Gulf Coast to deep into the interior of the Lone Star State.

 

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Thu
20
Sep

Irish colonizers end up on opposing sides

By Bartee Haile

A pair of ambitious Irishmen applied for a giant land grant in sparsely settled Texas on Sep. 20, 1826. They did not want much, just the entire coastal plain between the Sabine and the Nueces!

James Power was 21 years old, when he left the Emerald Isle for the New World in 1809. The shrewd merchant landed in New Orleans and over the next dozen years carved out a comfortable niche for himself.

 

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Thu
13
Sep

Texans confront the horrors of “The Great War”

By Bartee Haile

The “Tough ’Ombres” of the Ninetieth Infantry Division saw action for the first time on the bloody battlefields of France on Sep. 12, 1918.

The Great War (no one imagined there might be a second) has all but faded from the national memory. Ask most Americans what they know about World War I, and they may mumble something about trench warfare, the Lusitania and the Treaty of Versailles.

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Thu
13
Sep

Governor points out actions taken to make schools safer

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Just before Labor Day weekend, Gov. Greg Abbott released a School Safety Action Plan Summary that lists actions taken by school districts to harden campuses in the wake of the deadly Santa Fe Independent School District shooting in May.

“Elected leaders, community members, students, teachers, parents and everyday Texans all share the common goal of making schools a safe place for our children,” Abbott said. “Our goal is being realized as school districts across the state continue to put immediate and long term plans aimed at prevention and protection in place. While progress is being made, there is still much work to be done and I encourage everyone in Texas to continue the discussion surrounding school safety to ensure that we put in place measures that will benefit the safety and well-being of our state’s greatest resource — our children.”

Thu
06
Sep

Texas leaders call for new trade agreement to include Canada

By Ed Starling

AUSTIN — The White House last week announced a preliminary new trade agreement had been secured between the United States and Mexico.

While details of the pact are forthcoming, the White House said the agreement would “create more reciprocal trade that grows the economy, supports high-paying jobs for American workers, protects American intellectual property” and “is a mutually beneficial win for North American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses.”

 

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Thu
06
Sep

Houston locks Navy Secretary out of office

By Bartee Haile

Returning to work on Sep. 5, 1837, Samuel Rhoads Fisher, secretary of the Texas Navy, was stunned to discover that President Sam Houston had changed the locks on him.

When the Independence appeared off the port of Velasco in the spring of 1837, the whole town went down to the docks. No one wanted to miss the triumphant return of William H. Wharton, who singlehandedly had talked the United States into recognizing the new nation of Texas.

 

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Thu
30
Aug

A double life ends in double murder

By Bartee Haile

 

The afternoon editions of Houston newspapers sold out in minutes on Aug. 31, 1931 as readers hungry for the facts behind the whispered rumors of a shocking double murder bought up every copy. Early that morning, frightened tenants in an upscale apartment building reported hearing the sound of gunshots to the landlord. He in turn called police, who rushed to the Montrose address southwest of downtown. With a pass key provided by the property owner, officers gained access to the blood stained premises. Chester Jones, 35, and his 25 year old wife Jane were still in their pajamas, when unknown intruders surprised them at the breakfast table.

The husband was shot where he sat – once in the head, four times in the chest and once in the hip. The missus must have tried to run but was knocked to the floor by a second shooter, who finished the helpless woman off with four bullets from a pistol of a different caliber.

 

Thu
23
Aug

Famous Ranger gets into big trouble in Brownsville

By Bartee Haile

 

A Congressman, the political boss of the Rio Grande Valley and the mayor of Brownsville all told Capt. Bill McDonald of the Texas Rangers on Aug. 24, 1906 that he had made a big mistake by arresting military personnel on federal property. After losing his father to a Yankee sniper and the family plantation to carpetbaggers, the young Mississippian and his mother took refuge with relatives in East Texas. Handicapped by a poor education, a lack of wage-earning skills and a giant chip on his shoulder, the newcomer faced a bleak future. Then in 1876 Bill McDonald fearlessly disarmed and dragged to jail a drunken bully, who was the terror of Mineola. Grateful citizens rewarded the young hero with a job as deputy sheriff and a career in law enforcement.

 

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Thu
16
Aug

TEA releases preliminary financial accountability ratings

By Ed Starling

AUSTIN — Some 80 percent of public school districts and charters earned the highest-possible preliminary financial accountability rating, according to figures released by the Texas Education Agency on Aug. 8.

The "superior" ratings were calculated using 15 financial indicators, such as administrative cost expenditures, the accuracy of a district or charter’s financial information submitted to TEA and any financial vulnerabilities or material weaknesses in internal controls, as determined by an external auditor.

 

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