Columns/Opinions

Thu
23
Nov

Actor’s hit-man father murdered federal judge

By Bartee Haile

Minutes after the fatal shooting of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas police found a trio of unusually well-dressed tramps in a boxcar behind the “grassy knoll” and marched them single-file through Dealey Plaza.

Photographers snapped several pictures of the passing parade. In the ensuing years, the youngest and tallest of the three was identified by assorted laymen and at least one forensic expert as Charles Voyde Harrelson, a notorious killer-for-hire and father of popular actor Woody Harrelson.

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Thu
23
Nov

FEMA briefs governor, vice president on hurricane recovery efforts

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Vice President Mike Pence on Nov. 15 received a briefing on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Joint Field Office in the capital city.

Pence, in town for the Republican Governors Association conference, joined Abbott, FEMA Administrator Brock Long, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and state and local officials to discuss ways to improve federal and state coordination of resources. Abbott thanked Pence for “his commitment to the people of Texas” in the aftermath of the hurricane that struck the Texas coast in late August, bringing historically heavy rains, flooding and destructive winds.

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Tue
21
Nov

Actor’s hit-man father murdered federal judge

By Bartee Haile

 

Minutes after the fatal shooting of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, Dallas police found a trio of unusually well-dressed tramps in a boxcar behind the “grassy knoll” and marched them single-file through Dealey Plaza.

 

Photographers snapped several pictures of the passing parade. In the ensuing years, the youngest and tallest of the three was identified by assorted laymen and at least one forensic expert as Charles Voyde Harrelson, a notorious killer-for-hire and father of popular actor Woody Harrelson.

 

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Tue
21
Nov

Cmr. George P. Bush commends HUD Secretary Ben Carson on allocating more than $5 billion in long-term recovery funds

AUSTIN — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush joined Governor Greg Abbott and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude for a press conference regarding long-term hurricane housing recovery at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas.

 

Commissioner Bush commended Secretary Ben Carson and his U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) team for allocating a total of $5.024 billion to Texas through the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBGDR) Program to help Texas with the long-term housing and infrastructure recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

 

 

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Thu
16
Nov

Bowie goes looking for silver, finds Indians

By Bartee Haile

Jim Bowie went looking for underground riches in 1831 but found instead a bunch of belligerent Indians on Nov. 20.

“ The Lost Bowie Mine” was not always lost nor was it always named after the famous frontiersman. In 1753 Spaniards searching for a place to put a mission in present-day Llano County learned of a cedro de almagre or hill of red ocher. Several explorers were shown the mineral-rich mound by obliging Apaches.

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Thu
16
Nov

Hurricane Harvey debris removal funding gains approval

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and leaders of the Texas Legislature on Nov. 9 announced the approval of $90 million in emergency state funding to help Hurricane Harvey disaster-declared counties pay for the removal of debris.

Cities and counties in impacted areas are responsible for 10 percent of costs associated with debris removal. The funding, to be administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is intended to help alleviate that burden as the rebuilding process continues, the Governor’s Office said.

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Thu
09
Nov

Houston’s “hard to get” strategy works with Washington

By Bartee Haile

Concerned over Texas’ increasingly cozy relationship with the British, the U.S. Secretary of State informed the Lone Star minister on Nov. 10, 1843 that Washington was ready to reopen annexation talks.

Instead of telling Abel P. Upshur that it was about time, Isaac Van Zandt played it cool by simply saying he would see if his president was interested. Reading over the diplomat’s report a few days later, Sam Houston smiled at his success in shaking up his complacent former countrymen.

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Thu
09
Nov

Proclamation honors World Series winning Houston Astros

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott proclaimed Nov. 3 as Houston Astros Day, honoring the American League champions for winning the 2017 Major League Baseball World Series.

The Astros won their fourth game in the best-of-seven Series against the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Nov. 1. It’s the first World Series championship for the Houston Astros in the 55-year history of the franchise and the first for a Texas team. Players wore “Houston Strong” patches on their uniforms in honor of those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s widespread devastation. More than one million fans lined the streets of downtown Houston Nov. 3 to see the players hoist the championship trophy during a victory parade.

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Thu
02
Nov

Paxton asks high court to approve court-drawn House maps

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Oct. 27 filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that required nine of the state’s 150 House districts to be redrawn.

 

In September, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily stayed the federal district court’s ruling. That allowed Texas to continue to use the existing maps while the redistricting case remains pending.

 

Candidate filings for the 2018 elections begin next month. Early primary voting begins in February.

 

 

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Thu
02
Nov

Lt. Governor not much of a shortcut

By Bartee Haile

 

T. Whitfield Davidson was elected lieutenant governor on Nov. 7, 1922, but the second highest office in the Lone Star State turned out not to be a short-cut to the top rung on the political ladder.

 

The twenty-eighth lieutenant governor of Texas has a lot of company in the history books. Of the 44 men who have held the Number Two job in the state government, only a baker’s dozen spent even a day as governor.

 

In the beginning, the junior governorship looked like a sure-fire steppingstone. Although all did not follow the same path, five of the first seven lieutenants reached the summit.

 

 

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