Columns/Opinions

Wed
13
Dec
Edgar's picture

One disappointment after another for Lamar

By Bartee Haile

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, second president of the Texas Republic, dropped dead of a heart attack at his Richmond home on Dec. 18, 1859.

When he stepped down as the Lone Star chief executive in December 1842, Lamar was a physical and emotional wreck. Not only had his grand plan of setting the new nation on an irreversibly independent course gone wrong, the voters had picked archenemy Sam Houston over soul mate David G. Burnet as his successor.

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Wed
13
Dec
Edgar's picture

Abbott picks TCEQ to manage Clean Air settlement funds

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 4 announced his selection of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as the lead agency for Texas’ participation in the Environmental Mitigation Trust.

The trust was established in 2016 and early 2017 by the settlement of certain federal Clean Air Act claims against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche related to the car companies’ use of “defeat devices” to pass emission standard tests.

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Wed
06
Dec
Edgar's picture

Highway fund, Rainy Day fund receive infusions

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — State Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Nov. 29 announced the transfer of $1.47 billion into the State Highway Fund and the Economic Stabilization Fund, with $734 million going into each fund.

The transfer was enabled by Texas voters, who in the November 2014 constitutional amendment election passed a measure allocating at least half of the state’s oil and gas production severance taxes to the “Rainy Day Fund” and the remainder to the State Highway Fund for use on non-toll highway construction, maintenance and right-of-way acquisitions.

 

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Wed
06
Dec
Edgar's picture

Where’s the color?

By Genie Ellis Zacharias

 

Zack laments periodically that the cars of today lack the color of those of the past. Think about it. Now I’ll admit that Zack lives in the past as much as anyone of a certain mature age with fond memories of his or her youth. And like most “boys”, he was very involved with his vehicles and still takes pride in what he drives.

What bothers Zack is the unending plethora of white, black, gray and champagne-colored vehicles on the roads. There are admittedly some dark blue, forest green or deep maroon cars and trucks around. Now and then, a streak of red, yellow, orange or other more colorful variety may whiz by. But for the most part, the cars are all pretty blah, the same few colors repeating over and over. This makes Zack appreciate the lovingly restored cars and trucks we see in town.

 

Wed
29
Nov
Edgar's picture

Cop killer faces execution with a smile on his face

By Bartee Haile

A minute before midnight on Nov. 29, 1930, the condemned cop killer finished a letter to his widow-to-be, glanced at the nervous chaplain and asked with a wry smile, “What return address shall I put on this?”

Jess J. Maple was not a career criminal. In fact, the 36 year old Indiana native had a clean record until the summer of 1930, when he suddenly went on a stick-up spree.

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Wed
29
Nov
Edgar's picture

Hurricane recovery continues with extension declaration

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Nov. 20 extended the disaster declaration for counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Some 60 counties are included and they will continue to be eligible for assistance as they recover and rebuild.

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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
Edgar's picture

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
Edgar's picture

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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