Columns/Opinions

Wed
13
Jul

Governor Abbott reacts to downtown Dallas ambush

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — A “Black Lives Matter” protest turned tragic when a sniper fired into a crowd estimated at 1,000 people in downtown Dallas at about 9 p.m. on July 7. Dozens of shots were fired, reportedly from an assault rifle, leaving five police officers dead and seven police officers and two civilians wounded. Police pursued a suspect identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, a former U.S. Army reservist, and killed him in a parking garage using a robot-propelled explosive device early on July 8.

 

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Wed
13
Jul

Accident-prone pilot lives after two dozen missions

By Bartee Haile

At funeral services in Mission on Jul. 8, 1956, friends and family of “Slats” Rodgers paid their last respects to the accident-prone pioneer aviator while marveling at the fact he died in bed of natural causes. Texas’ first licensed pilot was born Floyd H. Rodgers in rural Georgia in 1889. His thin-as-a-rail appearance inspired someone to call him “Slats,” a nickname that stuck for the rest of life.

 

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Wed
06
Jul

Future Admiral ever heard of U.S. Naval Academy

By Bartee Haile

Six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Chester William Nimitz barely survived the crash of a seaplane in San Francisco Bay on Jun. 30, 1942. If an ancestor had mended his free-spending ways, the future architect of the American victory in the Pacific might well have served with distinction in a European navy. But great-grandfather Karl Heinrich Nimitz spent money like there was no tomorrow and ended up a destitute aristocrat. Opting to put an ocean between himself and his creditors, the high-born German emigrated to South Carolina. 

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Wed
06
Jul

Supreme Court strikes down major abortion law changes

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 struck down parts of the state abortion law that Texas lawmakers revised and passed in 2013. The law’s provision that physicians providing abortions must have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital and the provision that abortion facilities must meet minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers are in violation of the Constitution, the court said in a 5-3 ruling. 

 

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Thu
30
Jun

Tennis star demonstrated the heart of a champion

By Bartee Haile

Twenty-four year old Wilmer Allison stunned the tennis world on Jun. 28, 1930 by beating the defending singles title-holder in straight sets in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. An outstanding high school athlete in Fort Worth, Wilmer was thrilled to death when a Texas League team offered him a professional contract. But his father would not give his consent for his son to play any sport for money, and that was the end of a promising baseball career. 

 

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Thu
30
Jun

Supreme Court affirms 5th Circuit in immigration case

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court on June 23 in effect affirmed a judgment that the Obama administration’s use of deferred action in implementing immigration policy violates the United States Constitution. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier ruled it was a presidential overreach to implement an immigration policy not approved by Congress. The Supreme Court’s 4-4 tie vote leaves that ruling in effect. 

 

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Wed
22
Jun

Texas DPS urges citizens to report suspicious acts

by Ed Sterling
Political Columnist

AUSTIN — In the wake of the widely reported June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the Texas Department of Public Safety called on Texans to pay close attention to what’s happening in their own communities. DPS Director Steven McCraw on June 17 said, “Amid today’s ever-present threat of terrorism and crime, we are reminded that members of the public can be law enforcement’s greatest resource.”

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Wed
22
Jun

Safe oil & gas nothing to complain about

by Jeff Stier

Geologists at the University of Cincinnati just wrapped up a three-year investigation of hydraulic fracturing and its impact on local water supplies. The result? There’s no evidence -- zero, zilch, nada -- that fracking contaminates drinking water. Researchers hoped to keep these findings secret.

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Wed
15
Jun

Austin gives in to larger-than-life folk hero

By Bartee Haile

Stephen F. Austin finally blinked in a tense stand-off with Strap Buckner and signaled on Jun. 10, 1831 that he would meet his stubborn adversary more than halfway. No one was more determined to take Texas away from Spain than the pugnacious son of a Virginia judge, who did not know the meaning of the word “quit.” Aylett C. “Strap” Buckner survived not one, not two but three doomed attempts to liberate the province.

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Wed
15
Jun

Governors confer about containing spread of Zika

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 9 participated in a White House-hosted conference call for governors to discuss the Zika virus threat and what to do about it. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden led the call.

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