Columns

Thu
21
Jun

Fighting for Texas Seniors

By WILL HURD

Summer has officially arrived in the 23rd District of Texas, and with a Texas summer, we can all expect some pretty hot temperatures from San Antonio to El Paso. The summer months tend to come with thoughts of school out, family vacations, relaxing by the water with friends and family. And while schools work hard to ensure our kids are well-fed during and in-between the school year, one thing we might forget about in the summer months is making sure our parents and grandparents have access to meals as well.

Thu
21
Jun

Senate panel conducts hearings on school violence, safety

By ED STERLING 

A panel of Texas Senate members on June 11 and 12 received input about ways to improve security on public school campuses.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, formed the legislative body’s Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Safety following the May shooting at Santa Fe High School in which a student shot and killed 10 people and injured 10 others.

The Senate district of Committee Chair Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, includes Santa Fe Independent School District. Taylor underlined the complexity of the problem, saying, “This is a multi-faceted deal. There is no one solution. A metal detector is not the end-all.”

The committee heard ideas regarding enhanced control of campus access and improved safety measures such as security cameras.

 

Thu
14
Jun

Top officials join in briefing about hurricane preparedness

By ED STERLING

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 joined President Donald Trump, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FEMA Administrator Brock Long, White House cabinet members and governors from across the country for a video teleconference briefing on hurricane preparedness.

Along with Abbott in Austin were officials from various state agencies that oversee emergency response. The briefing was held to review lessons learned after the 2017 hurricane season. FEMA provided an overview of evacuation zones, clearance times, decision timelines, forecast uncertainty, responsible decision makers and public messaging.

 

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Thu
07
Jun

Weather Whys

What's a dry line?

Simply put, a dry line is very much like a cold front, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University.

“It’s sort of a boundary between very humid air and air that is dry,” McRoberts explains. “The difference between a cold front and a dry line is that the temperature on either side of a dry line doesn’t vary much, as opposed to a cold front, where the temperatures can vary a great deal. The advances of dry lines can adversely affect the weather in your area as they pass through.”

 

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Thu
07
Jun

Governor offers safety plan designed to prevent school shootings

By ED STERLING

Gov. Greg Abbott on May 30 joined state and local leaders in Dallas and San Marcos to unveil his School and Firearm Safety Action Plan.

The governor’s plan came 12 days after the Santa Fe High School shooting in which 10 people were killed and 10 people were injured. It contains 40 recommendations, including proposals that call for:

— Increasing law enforcement presence at schools;

— Strengthening existing campus security programs;

— Enhancing firearm safety;

— Requiring that gun owners report to law enforcement within 10 days if their firearms are lost or stolen;

— Providing mental health evaluations that identify students at risk of harming others, and much more.

 

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Thu
31
May

Gearing our Students up for Success

By WILL HURD

When you hear the phrase “national security,” what comes to mind? The goals of protecting our homeland from intruders, cultivating a strong military and encouraging thoughtful foreign policy certainly are important pieces of the puzzle. However, ensuring a quality education for today’s students is also a vital component. Americans simply cannot be protected for generations to come without a well-educated workforce. That’s why in Congress I strive to be an advocate for educational opportunities for our South and West Texas students.

Ensuring access to educational opportunities for all Texans, regardless of their backgrounds, strengthens our economy, drives technological advancement across every industry and allows folks to overcome socioeconomic challenges that are influenced by education inequality.

 

Thu
31
May

Valdez wins race to face Abbott in November gubernatorial election

By ED STERLING

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez defeated Houston businessman Andrew White, the son of the late former governor, Mark White, in the May 22 Texas Democratic Party primary runoff.

Valdez, the first Latina to win a gubernatorial primary in Texas, will run against incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who is seeking a second four-year term, in the November 6 general election.

Valdez garnered 230,467 votes, or 53.32 percent of the total vote, to White’s 201,713 votes, which came to 46.67 percent. Historically, this was the lowest recorded turnout for a Texas Democratic Party gubernatorial runoff. Only 2.83 percent of the state’s 15,249,541 registered voters cast a ballot.

 

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Thu
24
May

Showing appreciation for law enforcement

By WILL HURD

During the nine-and-a-half years I spent as an undercover officer in the CIA, I worked alongside my colleagues in the intelligence community, the diplomatic corps, and the military to prevent another terrorist attack like our nation experienced on September 11, 2001. While we were fighting this battle on the international stage, the brave men and women at police departments across the country were working hard to detect and prevent terrorist activities at home. Their job has become even more difficult and important as the threat has shifted from large-scale assaults perpetrated by international terrorist organizations to “lone wolf” attacks in crowded venues or on city streets.

Thu
24
May

Governor speaks about issues related to shooting at high school

By ED STERLING

Local, state and federal law enforcement on May 18 responded to a shooting that left 10 people dead and 10 others injured at Santa Fe High School near Galveston.

One of the school’s 1,400 students was taken into custody, authorities said.

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered flags to halfstaff until May 22 in memory of those who lost their lives in what he called “probably the worst disaster to strike this community.”

During a news conference at the high school, Abbott said he plans to work with members of the Texas Legislature and with educators, parents and students across Texas “on swift solutions to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again.” He mentioned background checks and “strategies to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose an immediate danger to others.” He also suggested more safety personnel and mental health intervention capabilities on school campuses.

 

Thu
17
May

Paxton requests federal funding for women’s health program

By ED STERLING

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week asked two federal agencies to move quickly to fund the state’s Healthy Texas Women program.

The program was cut off from Medicaid funding by the Obama administration in 2012 after the Texas Legislature enacted a law preventing taxpayer money from going to abortion providers.

 

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