Columns

Thu
06
Sep

Texas leaders call for new trade agreement to include Canada

By ED STERLING

The White House last week announced a preliminary new trade agreement had been secured between the United States and Mexico.

While details of the pact are forthcoming, the White House said the agreement would “create more reciprocal trade that grows the economy, supports high-paying jobs for American workers, protects American intellectual property” and “is a mutually beneficial win for North American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses.”

 

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Thu
06
Sep

Fighting for rural communities

By WILL HURD

Do you ever need to make a phone call, but can’t get cell service? Or need to see a doctor, but the closest physician who can provide the care you need is over a hundred miles away?

Unfortunately, these are real burdens that hundreds of thousands of folks I represent in rural South and West Texas experience each day and the reason why I continue to fight for increased access to vital services for all constituents, no matter where they live.

 

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Thu
30
Aug

Letter from the Editor

What can we do?

Dear Editor,

Almost everyone I talk to has an opinion about city roads. Most are negative. But like any other city, Pearsall has a road issues and not enough money to fix them.

Patching roads is temporary. It seems most roads need to be redone. This bill is in the millions and Pearsall does not have the tax money to fix them.

 

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Thu
30
Aug

Officials observe anniversary of Hurricane Harvey at Rockport church

By ED STERLING

August 25 marked one year since Hurricane Harvey’s battering winds and torrential rains brought death and destruction to coastal and inland counties of Texas.

Repairs and rebuilding in the region continue to this day, and the U.S. Office of Coastal Management has estimated the cost of the storm at $125 billion.

 

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Thu
23
Aug

Restoring our parks

By WILL HURD

You may have heard that there’s a place in far West Texas where the night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. This isn’t simply folklore and is actually located right here in the 23rd District of Texas. I have the distinct honor of representing in Congress a total of eight national parks and historic sites, including Big Bend National Park described above, and our San Antonio Missions. It is a top priority of mine to make sure our parks remain beautiful and accessible for South and West Texas families to enjoy for generations to come.

Thu
23
Aug

Texas Education Agency releases two sets of ratings

By ED STERLING

The Texas Education Agency on Aug. 15 released 2018 campus accountability ratings and, for the first time ever, A-F district accountability ratings.

More than 8,700 independent school campuses received a rating of Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard or Improvement Required. Some 7,260 public school campuses and 558 charters were rated Met Standard or Met Alternative Standard, while 293 public school campuses and 56 charters were rated Improvement Required. Some 86 campuses would have received an Improvement Required rating but were affected by Hurricane Harvey to an extent that they were labeled Not Rated: Harvey Provision. Also, 506 campuses received a Not Rated label for reasons other than Hurricane Harvey.

 

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Thu
16
Aug

Why vote? Social Security, that’s why

By Rob Schneider

The next Congress may determine the long-term fate of Social Security. Social Security is a compact between generations that has worked remarkably well for 83 years. Current workers contribute payroll taxes into the system, and retirees, who paid in throughout their working lives, collect benefits.

Unfortunately, today too many younger workers believe that Social Security won’t be there for them. Why do they think that? Because when some members of Congress talk about the budget deficit, they talk about Social Security even though Social Security has never contributed one cent to the federal deficit. Social Security pays for itself, and it has enough money to pay full benefits until 2034. After that, with no changes, Social Security will pay 77 percent of benefits.

 

Thu
16
Aug

TEA releases preliminary financial accountability ratings

By ED STERLING

Some 80 percent of public school districts and charters earned the highest-possible preliminary financial accountability rating, according to figures released by the Texas Education Agency on August 8.

The “superior” ratings were calculated using 15 financial indicators, such as administrative cost expenditures, the accuracy of a district or charter’s financial information submitted to TEA and any financial vulnerabilities or material weaknesses in internal controls, as determined by an external auditor.

 

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Thu
09
Aug

Hurricane Harvey-affected campuses receive special evaluations

By ED STERLING

 

Some 109 independent school districts and charters directly affected by Hurricane Harvey are eligible for special evaluation in this year’s state accountability system, the Texas Education Agency announced Aug. 1. Based on data reported to the agency during the past school year, the affected districts and charters encompass some 1,188 eligible campuses. Among the submitted data are the numbers of displaced students and teachers and the impact on local school facilities and instructional time.

Thu
02
Aug

Tips to keep your home stable in dry weather

According to the US Drought Monitor, over 75 percent of Texas is experiencing a drought.

The state of Texas has been under these conditions for the past three years, according to a State Impact report.

When soil becomes too dry, foundations can expand and then shrink, leaving cracks in the soil.

The Better Business Bureau is encouraging consumers looking for foundation repair services to take the time to find a professional to avoid a major shift in their finances.

According to the Foundation Repair Network, July, August and September mark the periods when cracks in the soil often appear.

 

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