Columns/Opinions

Wed
22
Nov
Edgar's picture

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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Wed
22
Nov
Edgar's picture

FEMA briefs governor, vice president on hurricane efforts

By Ed Sterling

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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Wed
15
Nov
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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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Wed
15
Nov
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Hurrican Harvey debris removal funds approved

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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Wed
08
Nov
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Houston’s “hard to get” strategy works in D.C.

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. How the tables had turned in five years! Led by cantankerous ex-president John Quincy Adams, the abolitionists had poisoned public opinion against the Texas Revolution and made annexation a taboo topic. Infuriated by such shabby treatment, Houston broke off negotiations and swore the next move was up to the Potomac politicians.

 

Wed
08
Nov
Edgar's picture

Proclamation honors World Series champion 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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Wed
01
Nov
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Paxton asks high court to approve court-drawn 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.

“We’re eager for the Supreme Court to review all the facts in this case, which are clearly on our side,” Paxton said. “The portion of the House redistricting map invalidated by the lower court is the map the same court drew and approved in 2012 before the Legislature adopted it in 2013. It’s been used in the last three election cycles in Texas, and there is no sound reason for that to change.”

 

Wed
01
Nov
Edgar's picture

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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Wed
25
Oct
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Two Texas quarterbacks share NFL record

By Bartee Haile

On Oct. 28, 1962, New York Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle equaled the National Football League (NFL) record for touchdown passes in a single game by throwing seven against the Washington Redskins.

But “The Bald Eagle,” as Tittle was fondly known, was not the first Texan to join one of pro football’s most exclusive fraternities. Ten years earlier, Adrian Burk had also pulled off the same amazing feat.

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Wed
25
Oct
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Portal enables donors to help Harvey-stricken schools

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas Education Commissioner Morath on Oct. 17 announced that school systems needing instructional materials — either because of enrollment of students displaced by Hurricane Harvey or from property damage caused by the hurricane — can create an online list for donors to access.

Potential donors can find the lists through the Texas Education Agency’s Instructional Materials Assistance web page:https://tea.texas. gov/Academics/Hurricane_ Harvey_Instructional_Materials_ Assistance/.

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