Columns/Opinions

Thu
18
Jan

DPS acts to prevent violent confrontations at capitol

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Enhanced security measures have been implemented at the state capitol complex and grounds, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced Jan. 11.

According to the DPS announcement, “It has been observed that some individuals or groups seek violent confrontations during protests and equip themselves for physical combat. To ensure the safety and security of the general public and those who seek to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and protest, effective immediately, certain items may be prohibited from the capitol grounds unless worn or carried by a licensed peace officer.”

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Thu
18
Jan

Radio quack made millions off his listeners

By Bartee Haile

Dr. John R. Brinkley, the most notorious quack in America, filed for bankruptcy in a Texas court on Jan. 17, 1941 in a last-ditch attempt to fend off creditors and lawsuits.

Traditionally susceptible to health-care charlatans, Americans between the World Wars seemed especially vulnerable to con men in white coats. But no one came close to Dr. Brinkley, who in less than 20 years fleeced the faithful for $20 million.

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Thu
11
Jan

Time to focus on school choice in Vidor and across America

By Andrew R. Campanella, NSCW President

 

Held every January, National School Choice Week is an independent public awareness effort designed to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options for children, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling. Information for reporters and producers, such as backgrounders, B-roll, and photographs available for use: is located at: schoolchoiceweek.com/news

 

Later this month, schools, homeschool groups, organizations, and individuals in Texas and across America will work together to raise awareness about the importance of opportunity in K-12 education.

 

National School Choice Week begins on January 21 and celebrates all types of schools and education environments for children.

 

 

Thu
11
Jan

FEMA clears way for public assistance to churches that aid in disasters

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Jan. 3 announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s approval of their request to allow churches and religious organizations to receive the same public assistance available to other nonprofits aiding in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

 

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide previously offered assistance to private non-profit organizations, including zoos, performing arts centers and museums, and excluded facilities established or primarily used for religious activities. The revised policy is in force for any major disaster declared on or after Aug. 23, 2017.

 

Abbott and Paxton sent a letter to President Donald Trump in September urging him to authorize this assistance.

 

 

Thu
04
Jan

Texas waits for Senate agreement on disaster aid funding

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 21 released a statement applauding the U.S. House of Representatives’ preliminary passage of $81 billion in disaster aid to Texas, several other states and Puerto Rico.

Abbott called the House’s 251-169 vote in favor of the aid package “a step in the right direction” but added that “more needs to be done to ensure the funds Congress provides address the critical needs Texans are enduring from the largest natural disaster in our state’s history. We look forward to working with the Senate to improve the disaster funding to ensure it addresses the acute needs of Texans.”

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Thu
04
Jan

West Texas ranchers defy future governor

By Bartee Haile

Panhandle cattlemen called the attorney general’s bluff on Jan. 9, 1886 by indicting themselves on charges of “illegal fencing” on public land. Fifty-two ranchers, including the majority of the grand jurors, defiantly thumbed their noses at state authorities.

By the 1880’s, most people in the eastern half of Texas believed beef barons in the distant Panhandle were exploiting the public domain for their own private gain. Pressure mounted on the legislature to curtail the custom of letting the cowmen graze their herds for free on government land.

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Thu
28
Dec

Officials name members to school finance commission

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Top state officials last week named members to the Texas Public School Finance Commission, an agency created by legislation passed last summer during a special session of the 85th Texas Legislature.

Gov. Greg Abbott named Scott Brister of Waco, a former justice of the Texas Supreme Court, as chair of the commission.

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Thu
28
Dec

Cowardly cousin embarrassed “Father of Texas”

By Bartee Haile

Limping up Buffalo Bayou in a leaky ship, Henry Austin landed at Harrisburg on Dec. 29, 1830.

No one hates poverty quite as much as the miserable soul, who once had money but let it slip through his fingers. Stephen F. Austin’s first cousin was just such an unhappy has-been, a pitiful prisoner of his wealthy past that spent his last 40 years searching for a paradise lost.

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Thu
21
Dec

Babin votes to advance historic tax relief bill for American people

 

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) joined his House colleagues today in passing the House-Senate conference report for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), landmark legislation that overhauls America’s tax code to deliver historic tax relief for American workers, families and job creators.

 

The legislation now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass and be sent to the President’s desk for his signature. “We are now on the verge of delivering a historic and muchdeserved win for the American people right before Christmas,” said Rep. Babin. “By cutting taxes for all Americans, eliminating special interest loopholes, doubling the child tax credit and lowering the tax burden on businesses, our bill will increase paychecks, create more jobs and make the tax code simpler and fairer for hardworking Middle-Class Americans

 

Thu
21
Dec

How did “Three Stooges” creator die?

By Bartee Haile

 

Ted Healy, the comic genius behind “The Three Stooges,” kissed his wife and three-day old baby good-night on Dec. 20, 1937 and headed for his favorite Hollywood haunts to celebrate the birth of his first child.

 

The name on the future comedian’s birth certificate was “Ernest Lea Nash” or “Clarence Lee Nash.” No one seems to know for sure. But there is no doubt that it was issued in 1896 in the town of Kaufman east of Dallas.

 

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