Columns/Opinions

Wed
25
May

Life of pioneer family on West Texas frontier

By Bartee Haile

Richard Franklin Tankersley enlisted in an all-volunteer company of “minutemen” on May 24, 1858 and spent the next 60 days combing the West Texas countryside for hostiles. While he was making the frontier safe for neighbors and perfect strangers, his wife and six children - alone and unprotected - faced the constant threat of attack from the same Indians. Either the head of the household minimized the danger or never gave his loved ones’ predicament a second thought. 

 

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Wed
25
May

Three states seek clarity on federal transgender issues

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas, Patrick Morrissey of West Virginia and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma are seeking clarification of the federal government’s guidelines regarding bathroom access and other issues involving transgender students. On May 13, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education sent a nine-page letter to schools nationwide establishing guidelines for bathroom accessibility and other issues related to the treatment of transgender students, including: - A safe and nondiscriminatory environment; - Identification documents, names and pronouns; - Sex-segregated activities and facilities; and - Privacy and education records.

 

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Wed
18
May

Flour salesman rises to pinnacle of Texas politics

By Bartee Haile

An entertaining and unquestionably eccentric era in Texas politics came to an end on May 11, 1969 with the death of former governor and U.S. Senator “Pappy” O’Daniel. A job offer from a Fort Worth milling company brought the 35 year old salesman to Texas in 1925. Three years later, a deal with a group of unemployed musicians put Wilbert Lee O’Daniel on the road to fame and fortune.

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Wed
18
May

High court rules school finance method constitutional

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The current method devised by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to fund public education does not violate the state constitution, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 13. The lawsuit challenging the state’s education-funding method originally was brought in 2011 by more than 600 school districts identifying themselves collectively as the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition.

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Wed
11
May

Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump for president

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suspended his presidential campaign May 3 after losing Indiana’s GOP presidential primary to frontrunner Donald Trump of New York. The Indiana loss mathematically eliminated Cruz from achieving the necessary delegate count to gain the nomination at the Republican Party National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21.

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Wed
11
May

My light show

By Dr. Genie Ellis

I was at Waco Eye Associates bright and early again this morning. Déjà vu - like two months ago when flashing lights and floaters earned me an emergency appointment. That culminated with laser eye surgery. I’d been told not to be surprised if it happened again in the same or other eye. I was instructed to call right away if that occurred. Well, it started rather subtly in the other eye yesterday. Didn’t see this coming. Pun intended. At first I thought I was being paranoid, but should have trusted my instincts. By bedtime I was certain something was up. Again.

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Wed
04
May

Beyond transparency, we need accountability

By Lee Hamilton

Over more than three decades in Congress, I had the chance to question a lot of federal officials. Most of the time I wasn’t after anything dramatic — I just wanted to understand who was responsible for certain decisions. Want to know how often I got a straight answer? Almost never. It was easily one of the most frustrating aspects of trying to ensure robust oversight of the government. Our representatives’ job, after all, is to help make government work better. And you can’t do that if you don’t know whom to hold accountable for important decisions.

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Wed
04
May

Supreme Court sends voter ID case back to Fifth Circuit

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas’ voter identification law will remain in effect for now, but the U.S. Supreme Court has instructed a lower court to rule on its constitutionality before November’s election. On April 29 the Supreme Court temporarily upheld a stay granted by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 14. The stay has allowed the Texas law to remain in effect.

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Wed
27
Apr

Guilty pleasure

By Dr. Genie Ellis

I was feeling a little guilty chasing after the County Wide Yard Sales when I should have been preparing for company. I didn’t let it stop me. As usual, I got lost way out in the country trying to find one of the sales. Actually came to a sign on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere - where it dead-ended - that stated, “You are now leaving Bosque County”!!!! Not a house or landmark in sight. I finally arrived at the sale and found nothing I wanted but one S-hook.

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Wed
27
Apr

Abbott proclaims flooding disaster, adds more counties

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on April 18 declared a state of disaster for Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton counties. Those counties were hit with severe storms and flooding beginning April 17, requiring the aid of emergency responders over many days.

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