Columns/Opinions

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.

 

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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