Columns/Opinions

Thu
15
Mar

Greenback Party makes big splash in Texas politics

By Bartee Haile

 

Disgruntled Democrats, rural rebels and a handful of breakaway Republicans cast their lot with the Greenbacks on Mar. 14, 1876 at the organizing convention of the Texas branch of the new third party. The devastating depression triggered by the Panic of 1873 shook

 

American society to its core. Out of this crisis arose the Greenback Labor Party with its catchy slogan “More Money, Cheaper Money.” Nothing ailed the crippled economy, the Greenbacks argued, that a massive influx of paper currency could not cure.

 

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Thu
08
Mar

Abbott orders action to ensure safety on juco campuses

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott is calling for immediate action to ensure the safety of Texas’ junior college campuses following a Feb. 14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

 

Abbott’s order came in a Feb. 28 letter to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes. He issued a similar order addressing the safety of all Texas schoolchildren a week earlier.

 

Abbott outlined steps to be taken by the Higher Education Coordinating Board.

 

 

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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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