Columns

Thu
12
Jul

Paxton sends letters to cities that passed bag ban ordinances

By ED STERLING

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on July 2 notified 11 Texas cities that their ordinances against plastic shopping bags had been knocked down by the Texas Supreme Court.

Paxton said he issued letters to the cities of Austin, Sunset Valley, Port Aransas, Laguna Vista, Fort Stockton, Eagle Pass, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Kermit, Freer and South Padre Island “to ensure awareness of the recent ruling and waste management responsibilities Texas law places on municipalities.”

 

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Thu
05
Jul

Providing certainty and stability for farmers

By WILL HURD

Did you eat today? Did you put on clothes?

If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, you have a farmer or a rancher to thank.

We often forget that the everyday goods we rely on to survive exist because of the hours of hard work put in each day by the men and women of our nation’s agriculture industry.

 

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Thu
05
Jul

US Supreme Court rules in favor of Texas redistricting maps

By ED STERLING

The United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 on June 25 to approve 10 of 11 disputed Texas House and congressional redistricting maps used in the state’s 2014 and 2016 elections.

The court ruled that only Texas House District 90 in Fort Worth was gerrymandered along racial lines and therefore must be redrawn.

 

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Thu
28
Jun

Parents, children separated at border gain widespread attention

Although border-crossing issues are largely federal matters, the Lone Star State has been a center of news reports about authorities separating children from their parents at detention centers along the Rio Grande. President Trump on June 20 ordered a cease in the forced separation of family members who are in detention, but the fate of more than 2,000 minors who were taken away from their parents remained unresolved. On June 21, a contingency of the nonpartisan United States Conference of Mayors, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, gathered at a border detention center in Tornillo, near El Paso. The mayors were not allowed to enter the facility where children reportedly were being held. “Using children in order to deter or dissuade folks from coming to our border and seeking asylum is unjust. It is wrong. It is immoral and it is un-American. We are better than that,” Adler said at the beginning of a longer, widely disseminated video statement.

 

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.

 

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