Columns/Opinions

Tue
07
Mar
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House, Senate approves bills to protect children in foster system

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Both houses of the Texas Legislature last week passed bills to improve the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for emergency action to improve child protection programs.

Tasked with protecting children, elders and people with disabilities from abuse, neglect and exploitation, the DFPS, part of the Texas Health and Human Commission, has attracted attention in recent years for inadequate funding and staffing to meet obligations.

 

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Tue
28
Feb
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Federal judge sides with plantiffs on Planned Parenthood

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texans who rely on Planned Parenthood as a medical care provider won’t have to seek those services elsewhere, pending an upcoming trial. In the lawsuit titled Planned Parenthood et al. v. Texas Health and Human Services Commission, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin on Feb. 21 granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the Texas Department of Health and Human Services from eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in the state’s 2017-18 budget.

 

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Tue
28
Feb
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Comanches not easy pickings for buffalo hunters

By Bartee Haile

Acting like the Paul Revere of the Texas Panhandle, Pat Garrett rode from camp to camp on Feb. 22, 1877 warning fellow buffalo hunters, “The Comanches are coming! The Comanches are coming!” That, of course, was not altogether true. The Indians had been in the vicinity for weeks but posed no real danger to white hunters with sense enough to keep their distance. The Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 set aside the socalled “Staked Plains,” much of western Oklahoma and all of the Texas Panhandle, as a buffalo preserve for the tribes whose very existence depended upon the shaggy herds. But the pact proved impossible to enforce, and the federal government, which wanted the Indians penned up instead of running free, only went through the motions.

 

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Tue
21
Feb
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Triple outlaw lynching touches off nasty feud

By Bartee Haile

A masked mob dragged five suspected cattle thieves kicking and screaming from the Mason County jail on Feb. 18, 1875, lynched three of the terrified outlaws and touched off a nasty feud forever known as the Hoodoo War.

In the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War, Texans often took the law into their own hands. Desperate characters, who mistook common folk for easy pickings, were routinely dispatched without benefit of judge, jury or clergy. 

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Tue
21
Feb
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Paxton files brief in support of president’s immigration order

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a legal brief supporting President Trump’s executive order for an immigration crackdown.

In his Feb. 15 brief with a San Francisco federal appeals court, Paxton defends President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

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Tue
14
Feb
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SMU Mustangs ride All-American to final tour

By Bartee Haile

Jim Krebs scored a Southwest Conference record 50 points on Feb. 8, 1956 to power the SMU Mustangs past the Texas Longhorns 109-96.

Elmore “Doc” Hayes was hired in 1947 to breathe new life into the listless basketball program at Southern Methodist University. The pitiful Ponies had won a grand total of two SWC titles in 28 seasons, the last exactly a decade earlier.

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Tue
14
Feb
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Legislation banning sanctuary city policies clears hurdles

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 8 praised the Texas Senate’s approval of legislation to ban sanctuary cities, an item on his priority list for the current legislative session.

Senate Bill 4 by Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, passed after 16 hours of floor debate on a 20-10 party-line vote, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats in opposition.

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Tue
07
Feb
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Governor raises four issues to emergency status

by Ed Sterling 

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his second biennial “State of the State” address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 31. In exercising his prerogative as governor, Abbott presented a short list of emergency items for lawmakers to enact during the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature: - Improvements to Child Protective Services; - A ban on sanctuary cities; - Ethics reforms; and - Approve a resolution calling for a convention of states.

 

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Tue
07
Feb
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Farewell speech everyone should read

by Lee Hamilton 

The responsibility for making this a better country lies with each of us.

As a country, we make a habit of looking forward, not backward. But I’m going to ask you to turn your attention back a few weeks, to Barack Obama’s January 10 farewell address to the American people.

I’ve been reading presidential farewell speeches for many years. Most of them give good advice. This speech, however, was exceptional. It can be read with benefit by Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals — because it says a lot of things that we need to hear about our system and our country.

 

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Tue
31
Jan
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Abbott tells sheriff to reverse santuary policy or lose funds

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott has stepped up the pressure on Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez to participate in immigration enforcement, warning that she could lose state funding if she refuses.

In a Jan. 23 letter, Abbott urged the sheriff to reverse her policy directive “forbidding Travis County Sheriff’s Office employees from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.”

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