Columns

Thu
15
Aug

Officials meet to discuss public safety following deadly shooting

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CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

Following the Aug. 3 shooting that claimed the lives of 22 people and injured 24 others at a popular El Paso shopping venue, Gov. Greg Abbott and a group of officials met in the border city to discuss ways to address violence.

Joined by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, state Sen. Jose Rodriguez, and area state Reps. Cesar Blanco, Art Fierro, Mary Gonzales, Joe Moody and Lina Ortega, Abbott and the group talked about how to improve public safety.

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Thu
08
Aug

Abbott, Patrick react after 20 die in deadly shooting

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After a gunman was arrested in the killing of 20 people and wounding 26 others at a popular shopping venue in El Paso on Aug. 3, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offered thoughts and prayers.

Abbott ordered flags lowered in memory of those who lost their lives and said flags should remain at half-staff through sunset on Aug. 8.

The suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, surrendered after waves of first responders arrived on scene.

Crusius was charged with capital murder. He remains in custody in El Paso.

 

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Thu
08
Aug

Stopping drug cartels and human smugglers

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By WILL HURD

There’s no question that our South and West Texas communities are bearing the brunt of the immigration crisis. When crisscrossing the 23rd District of Texas I consistently hear that folks I represent are concerned about the influx of migrants and subsequent releases by the Customs and Border Protection.

It doesn’t help that while the hardworking men and women of our Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Health and Human Services and others on the front lines of the border crisis are working overtime to do their jobs, dangerous drug cartels and human smugglers are benefiting from the crisis. They operate vast networks that transcend our nation, Mexico and Central America and bring in $29 billion each year – more than Starbucks ($24.71 billion) and McDonalds ($22.9 billion). All while innocent lives suffer.

 

Thu
08
Aug

KING FOR THE KIDS

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District 80 State Representative Tracy O. King recently made a donation to the city of Dilley’s Back to School Bash. Donations will be used to purchase backpacks for students at the Dilley Elementary School. Pictured (L-R) are City Secretary Juanita Fonseca, Human Resources Manager Raquel Yanez, City Administrator Juan Estrada, State Rep. King and Finance Director Irma Rodriguez.

 

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Thu
01
Aug

Paxton lauds ruling against preclearance for redistricting maps

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CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded a federal court ruling allowing the state to proceed with redistricting legislation without asking the federal government’s permission.

The July 24 ruling by a three-judge federal court rejected plaintiffs’ petition to require the state to obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court before redistricting legislation could take effect.

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Thu
01
Aug

Weather Whys

You hear about thunderstorms, severe storms and supercells. What’s the difference?

A thunderstorm by definition is a storm accompanied by lightning and thunder, while severe storms and supercells are the most intense types of thunderstorms, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University.

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Thu
25
Jul

Top officials attempt to clarify new hemp law for prosecutors

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CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

By ED STERLING

Some district and county attorneys reportedly have begun to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana possession cases following the Texas Legislature’s passage of House Bill 1325, a law creating a legal path for the cultivation and marketing of hemp and hemp products.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Attorney General Ken Paxton on July 18 sent a letter informing prosecutors that the Texas law, which takes effect Sept. 1, adopts the definition that differentiates between hemp and marijuana in the 2018 Farm Bill passed by Congress last year.

The farm bill, which delegates authority over the regulation, production and sale of hemp to the states, differentiates hemp from marijuana by setting a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold concentration of 0.3 percent for hemp and anything above 0.3 percent for marijuana.

 

Thu
18
Jul

Remember the last sentence too

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By WILL HURD

Each year as July 4th approaches it is so easy to get caught up in the fireworks, barbecues and parades around us. There’s no shame in doing so – as a nation we have a lot to celebrate as we reflect on the founding of our great nation 243 years ago. As you sing along with your friends and family about how the stars and stripes remained gallantly streaming through the perilous fight, I encourage you to also think about the values that this great nation was founded on.

“We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This was the second sentence of our Declaration that 243 years ago launched an experiment called America, where the circumstance of our birth doesn’t determine the outcome of our life. It’s a sentence that all of us remember and none of us forget.

 

Thu
18
Jul

Texas receives infusion of funding for border region law enforcement

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By ED STERLING

CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 9 announced the receipt of $15 million in federal funding meant to increase operational capabilities of federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.

The Operation Stonegarden Grant Program allocation is part of $30 million approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The funds are meant to equip law enforcement “to confront the complex and dynamic challenges that exist along the Texas border,” according to the governor’s office news release.

Local jurisdictions to receive the grant funding include 50 law enforcement agencies operating in these 18 counties: Bee, Calhoun, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, El Paso, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Kleberg, Nueces, Presidio, Refugio, Val Verde, Victoria, Webb, Willacy and Zapata.

 

Thu
11
Jul

Lieutenant governor names members to redistricting panel

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CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on June 28 released the names of his appointees to the Texas Legislature’s 2021 Redistricting Committee.

Patrick named Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, as chair of the committee, and Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, as vice chair. He also named 13 more Senate members to the committee, including Sens. Carol Alvarado, DHouston; Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston; Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway; Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels; Pete Flores, R-Pleasanton; Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills; Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola; Eddie Lucio Jr., DBrownsville; Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio; Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville; Angela Paxton, R-McKinney; Charles Perry, R-Lubbock; Kirk Watson, D-Austin; Royce West, D-Dallas; and John Whitmire, D-Houston.

 

 

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