Columns/Opinions

Thu
26
Apr

“Von Ryan Express” author a POW for 869 days

By Bartee Haile 

 

U.S troops liberated a German prisoner-of-war camp on Apr. 29, 1945 bringing to an end the 28-month ordeal of a Houston newspaperman turned bomber navigator. Anyone, who has driven the streets of Texas’ largest city, has at one time or another ridden down Westheimer Road. Few realize, however, that the urban thoroughfare named for a nineteenth- century German immigrant is the longest in the entire Lone Star State. Mitchell Louis Westheimer came to

 

Texas in the 1850’s. A huge success at every enterprise he tried, the businessman, who spoke seven languages, and his wife raised a houseful of children – eight of their own, three orphans and five more belonging to struggling relatives.

 

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Thu
19
Apr

Opioid prevention, treatment and recovery: What’s working in your town?

TEMPLE – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett unveiled a new interactive feature on the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural opioid misuse webpage. Now, webpage visitors can tell USDA what prevention, treatment and recovery actions have been effective in addressing the opioid epidemic in their rural communities. USDA is collecting this information as part of an ongoing effort to identify best practices and effective strategies for addressing rural opioid misuse.

 

Thu
19
Apr

Rangers and Indians unite to fight Comanches

By Bartee Haile

 

Texas Rangers and Indian allies in war paint crossed the Red River on Apr. 24, 1858 in search of a common enemy -- the Comanches. The key to Hardin Runnels’ surprising upset of Sam Houston in the election of 1857 was his belligerent attitude toward the North and the Indians. While the new governor could not declare war on the Yankees, he was free to turn Rip Ford loose on the Comanches. Ranger, soldier, newspaperman and politician, John Salmon Ford was also Texas’ foremost Indian fighter. Eight years after ridding the Rio Grande of red raiders, he was asked to perform the same chore along the Red River.

 

Putting Old Rip in charge of the state militia, Runnels empowered him to pick a hundred experienced hands. His mission was to “follow any and all trails of hostile or suspected hostile Indians you may discover, and if possible, overtake and chastise them.”

 

 

Thu
12
Apr

Decision to send troops to border draws mixed reactions

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on April 4 welcomed the announcement by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen that the federal government would deploy some 4,000 National Guard personnel to the U.S.- Mexico border to assist in stemming the flow of illegal immigration.

 

“Today’s action by the Trump Administration reinforces Texas’ longstanding commitment to secure our southern border and uphold the rule of law and I welcome the support,” the governor said. “Going forward, Texas will continue to implement robust border security efforts and this partnership will help ensure we are doing everything we can to stem the flow of illegal immigration.”

 

Thu
12
Apr

Mutiny on the road to San Jacinto

By Bartee Haile

 

Hearing his commander-in-chief had decided to stand and fight, an insubordinate captain rejoined the Texas Army on Apr. 14, 1836 in time for the Battle of San Jacinto.

 

When Travis’ final appeal reached the independence convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos on Mar. 5, 1836, Sam Houston quickly excused himself. He headed for Gonzales “to collect all the armed forces that could be found” and to march to the Alamo according to his “Review of the San Jacinto Campaign” written in 1845.

 

It must have been slow going because Houston did not arrive at Gonzales until Mar. 11. Told the Alamo had fallen on the sixth, he took command of the motley crew calling themselves an army and tried to figure out how to stay one step ahead of Santa Anna.

 

 

Thu
05
Apr

Cliff and Nancy Richey, tennis’ shining sibling stars

By Bartee Haile

A single point away from losing a Madison Square Garden grudge match on Apr. 5, 1968, the female half of tennis’ best ever sister-brother team mounted one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport.

The story of Nancy and Cliff Richey starts with their father George. Growing up in San Angelo during the Depression, his own dad groomed him for the boxing ring until his mother put her foot down. The athletic boy next showed promise on the baseball diamond before hurting his pitching arm.

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Thu
05
Apr

Question to appear on upcoming census stirs opposing viewpoints

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Ted Cruz of Texas was one of three United States senators who requested that respondents to the 2020 decennial census be asked if they are citizens of the United States.

When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross responded in the affirmative last week, Cruz said, “I applaud Secretary Ross for honoring this request by my colleagues and me. It is imperative that the data gathered in the census is reliable, given the wide-ranging impacts it will have on U.S. policy. A question on citizenship is a reasonable, commonsense addition to the census.”

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Thu
29
Mar

Fitting end for West Texas Gunfighter

 

By Bartee  Haile

 

The surprising thing about the Apr. 3, 1902 death of Barney Riggs was not the violent nature of his demise but that the West Texas gunfighter managed to live so long.

 

There is no telling how many notches Riggs had on his six-gun before moving to Arizona in the early 1880’s. Not that he was a professional killer, but just an amateur with a fast draw and a very bad temper. The fact that Riggs somehow seemed to have “reasonable doubt” on his side kept him out of jail until Sep. 29, 1886. That was the day he shot a friend in the head for fooling around with his unfaithful wife

 

 

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Thu
29
Mar

What’s happening in our state capital

 

By Sen. Robert Nichols, Senate District 3 

 

On April 21, 1836, Texans fought and won the Battle of San Jacinto to defend Texas independence. After this victory, Texas became fully independent from Mexico. While the battle only lasted 18 minutes, hundreds of Mexicans were killed, injured or captured while only nine

 

Texan soldiers were killed and 26 were wounded. This month, let us not forget the brave men and women we have to thank for our beautiful state, as we celebrate the 182nd anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.

 

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Thu
22
Mar

Appellate court’s ruling on immigration law draws reactions

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on March 13 praised a ruling by a panel of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholding a new state law that bans sanctuary cities.

 

The Legislature enacted Senate Bill 4 in 2017 to set a statewide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities’ enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.

 

“I’m pleased the 5th Circuit recognized that Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and protects the safety of law enforcement officers and all Texans,” Paxton said. “Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes. Dangerous criminals shouldn’t be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes.”

 

 

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