Columns/Opinions

Fri
17
Jun

Cliff Hopcus handiwork on display last weekend plus Rose Marie fence

By Kent Brunette

 Cliff Hopcus, his wife Veronica, and several of his family members attended this past weekend’s Camp Hearne and Municipal Airport events. At both venues, the talented Cliff’s handiwork was prominently on display. Several years ago, Camp Hearne’s rectangular brick building was hidden from view in a snarl of underbrush, trees, weeds, vines, and other vegetation. As Camp Hearne was being reclaimed, Cliff painstakingly cleared a path to the building and ultimately made.

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Fri
17
Jun

Governors confer about containing spread of Zika

By Ed Sterling

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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Fri
10
Jun

Austin gives in to larger than-life folk hero

By Bartee Haile

Stephen F. Austin finally blinked in a tense standoff 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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Fri
10
Jun

Governor declares state of disaster in long list of counties

By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 1 declared a state of disaster in 31 counties that have been hit repeatedly with severe weather and flooding in recent days. The counties named in the declaration include: Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Coleman, Colorado, Erath, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Kleberg, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lubbock, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton.

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Fri
03
Jun

Trails far from happy for B-Western Cowboy

By Bartee Haile

The matinee feature at Waco’s Fox Theater on Jun. 4, 1948 was “Chicago Kid” starring Don “Red” Barry, the well-known cowboy actor, in a crime drama for a change. The future rider of the B-western range was born Donald Barry de Acosta in Houston in January 1912. Despite his small stature – five feet four and a half inches – he was good enough at football, presumably as a running back, to win a college scholarship.

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Fri
03
Jun

10 states join Texas AG in lawsuit over school bathrooms

By Ed Sterling

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 25 filed a lawsuit against the heads of the federal Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Equal Opportunity Commission and other entities for issuing directives that would require public schools to open up restrooms and locker rooms to both sexes. Joining Texas in the lawsuit are the states of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Plaintiffs also include a diverse coalition of top state officials and local school districts, including the Harrold (Texas) Independent School District.

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Fri
27
May

World famous naturalist visits Texas Republic

By Bartee Haile

A resolution was introduced in the senate of the Lone Star Republic on May 25, 1837 to make a world famous naturalist and wildlife painter an “honorary Texan.” John James Audubon was born Jean Rabin on a Caribbean island in 1785 to parents from two very different worlds. His father was a rich French seafarer, merchant, planter and slave trader, while his mother was a Creole servant who died less than a year after giving birth.

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Fri
27
May

3 states seek clarity on federal transgender guidelines

By Ed Sterling

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;

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Fri
20
May

Economic development update

By Kent Brunette

Hearne Economic Development recently provided the city council with the following update. $1.5 million in funding for Hearne’s new $2 million meetings, events, and training centre funding has been secured. Hearne still needs to apply for a $500,000 USDA loan for the balance that will be secured by local hotel/ motel tax revenues. Also needed is a 50/50 USDA loan/grant for electronics and audio/visual equipment.

 

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Fri
20
May

High court rules school finance method is constitutional

By Ed Sterling

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. Lawyers for the coalition argued that the state falls short of the constitution’s imperative of equitable funding.

 

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