Columns/Opinions

Thu
08
Mar

Only Medal of Honor winner taken prisoner

By Bartee Haile

 

Two months after surviving a mid-air ordeal that earned him the Medal of Honor, Lt. “Red” Morgan flew the lead B-17 in the first bombing raid on Berlin on Mar. 7, 1944.

 

Born in 1914 at Vernon a stone’s throw south of the Red River, John Cary Morgan did most of his growing up in Amarillo. But he finished finish high school at New Mexico Military Institute at the insistence of his father, a prominent attorney.

 

Late in life after his hair had turned white, Morgan remembered it had been “flaming red during my flaming youth.” This reference to his wild and wooly days was supported by his poor performance in the classroom. He changed colleges at least once a year attending Amarillo College, Schreiner Institute in Kerrville, West Texas State Teachers College in Canyon and the University of Texas all by the age of 20.

 

 

Thu
01
Mar

Governor orders action to address safety at schools

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 21 sent a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath ordering immediate action to ensure the safety of children in Texas schools following the multi-fatality shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school on Feb. 14.

Abbott listed steps for Morath and other state education leaders to take to respond to and prevent such tragedies, including:

— Catalog and share all available information from the Texas School Safety Center on school safety programs and distribute this information to all school districts, charter schools and education service centers across the state;

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Thu
01
Mar

Unpopular vote costs Houston Senate seat

By Bartee Haile

In the eyes of Texas and the whole South, the Hero of San Jacinto failed a loyalty test on Feb. 28, 1854 by voting against passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.

Negotiations with the Plains tribes, which concluded in the summer of 1853, opened 13 million acres north and south of the Kansas River to immediate settlement. When Congress convened in December, legislation was introduced for organizing the vast new region.

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Thu
22
Feb

What’s happening around our sta

By Senator Robert Nicho

 

Soon we will celebrate Texas' Independence Day. Set on the anniversary of the signing of Texas’ Declaration of Independence from Mexico, it is a reminder of our state’s rich history. After the declaration of independence was signed, Texas operated as a stand-alone Republic for 10 years, before joining the United States.

While Texans are proud Americans, we hold on to much of the individual spirit from our time as a separate nation. The bravery and courage of our Texas' founders continues to inspire our state today through their legacy of freedom, self-reliance and ingenuity.

 

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Thu
22
Feb

Glamorous actress had more than mere “oomph”

By Bartee Haile

 

The Sheridans of Denton, Texas brought their fifth and final child into their modest home on Feb. 21, 1915 and gave the baby girl the name

 

Clara Lou. Looking back on her formative years in the North Texas town, the self-described “tomboy” once recalled with unmistakable pride, “I can whistle through my fingers, bulldog a steer, light a fire with two sticks and shoot a pistol with fair accuracy.” She also played basketball well enough to make the women’s team at the local college. Not the usual skill set for one of the most glamorous actresses of Hollywood’s “golden age.”

 

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Thu
15
Feb

Legislation passed by Congress includes hurricane relief funds

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 9 lauded Congress’ passage of budget legislation that contains nearly $90 billion in hurricane and wildfire disaster relief funding for Texas, Florida, California and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Harvey pounded Texas from Aug. 25-31, resulting in disaster status for some 60 counties. The federal Office of Coastal Management has estimated the total cost of Harvey at $125 billion. Cost estimates by various other organizations have reached as high as $200 billion.

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Thu
15
Feb

Fightin’est Texan fights his last battle

By Bartee Haile

When the news of Tom Green’s pending promotion to major general trickled down through the ranks on Feb. 18, 1864, the men of the Texas Cavalry Brigade gave their popular leader three rousing, heartfelt cheers.

Born in Virginia and raised in Tennessee, Green had every reason to stick close to home. But he could not sit idly by while fellow Americans took on a tyrant in Mexico.

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Thu
08
Feb

Straus: Audit reveals need for stronger oversight at state agency

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — House Speaker Joe Straus on Jan. 31 said a new state audit raises questions about the management of the state Health and Human Services Commission and illustrates the need for legislative hearings.

 

A report released last week by the State Auditor’s Office found that HHSC allowed Superior Health Plan Inc. to report approximately $29.6 million in bonus and incentive payments paid to affiliates’ employees, even though those payments were not allowed under the state’s contract with Superior. The state agency also approved Superior’s request to report affiliate profits as costs without following the approval process contained in the state’s contract with Superior.

 

 

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Thu
08
Feb

Three tragedies in single decade for Baylor

By Bartee Haile

 

On the afternoon of Feb. 11, 1922, a fire on the Baylor campus filled the clear skies over Waco with thick black smoke drawing students and townspeople to the site of the conflagration.

 

Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, Baylor University celebrated its diamond anniversary and thirty-fifth year in Waco as the Twenties began to roar. But the decade that started with so much hope for the post-World War I future would be remembered for three different tragedies.

 

 

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Thu
01
Feb

Governors urge congressional leaders to pass disaster aid funding

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and the governors of California, Puerto Rico and Florida on Jan. 24 asked U.S. House and Senate leaders to hurry up and pass supplemental disaster funding, and to send the legislation to President Trump.

 

“Over the past several months, we have received numerous assurances that adequate disaster funding was imminent,” the governors wrote in a joint letter. “Its continued delay only exacerbates ongoing uncertainty in devastated areas. Simply put, the communities devastated by these storms cannot be completely put back together until the federal government makes good on its promise to our citizens. If ever there was a time and role for the federal government to urgently help its citizens rebuild communities damaged by epochal disasters, now is the time to step up and fill that role.”

 

 

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