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Judge reaffirms, expands reach of injunction against fed’s bathroom directive

October 26, 2016
Judge reaffirms, expands reach of injunction against fed’s bathroom directive

Fort Worth-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor has reaffirmed his Aug. 21 injunction placing a temporary hold on federal guidelines for accommodating transgender students in the use of public school bathrooms and locker rooms.
In his order last week, O’Connor also denied a request by the Obama administration to limit the injunction to Texas and 12 other states that signed on as plaintiffs. The administration asked that the injunction not apply to states that did not sue for relief. In his order, O’Connor wrote, “A nationwide injunction is necessary because the alleged violation extends nationwide. Defendants are a group of agencies and administrators capable of enforcing their Guidelines nationwide, affecting numerous state and school district facilities across the country.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in an Oct.… Read the rest

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Trying to figure out what’s the deal with Dylan; the answer must be blowin’ in the idiot wind

October 19, 2016
Trying to figure out what’s the deal with Dylan; the answer must be blowin’ in the idiot wind

This must be one of those “you had to be there” situations.
Bob Dylan just won the Nobel Prize for Literature and there’s some debate as to whether song lyrics are actually literature.
Most people agree that “Surfin Bird” might not be Nobel worthy, but what about “Blowin’ in the Wind” or “Masters of War” – filled with words that spurred a generation?
Dylan came around when things were getting wonky in America. The guy-with-a-guitar (plus Joan Baez) genre was filled with wanderers who sang about how America was on the precipice of turmoil; indeed, “the times they were a-changin’.”
The 60s generation pegged Dylan as their mouthpiece.… Read the rest

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Hey, now! Let’s get to work!

October 19, 2016
Hey, now! Let’s get to work!

There once was a little boy at my house. Now he’s 25 years old and 6’5” and is only at my house occasionally, but there really was a time when he was a little dude. Way back then, his grandparents gave him this really cool toy John Deere tractor. When you pushed down on top of the cab, it made a noise like a tractor engine starting up and this little mechanical voice said, “Let’s get to work!” I think I actually had more fun playing with it than he did, but we won’t go into that.
“Let’s get to work!” How compelling is that phrase?… Read the rest

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Local historic Agnes school hosting ‘Music Jam’

October 19, 2016
Local historic Agnes school hosting ‘Music Jam’

This is my second new column since I re-married and moved away last spring. What inspired my efforts this time was learning of a bit of neat local history in the Azle-Springtown area.
An Agnes Community Association is hosting a “Music Jam” at the Old Agnes School on Hwy. 199 on Saturday, October 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. The public is welcome.
Fortunately, before I left Azle I became acquainted with the administrators of the Agnes Community Association, Christina and Chris Adcock.
Working with a board of directors – Bobby Harris, pres., Gloria Elam, vice-pres., and other board members, Steve Harris, Paul Gregory, Doug Harris and Joe Elam – they are seeking to restore the old Agnes school building.… Read the rest

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Straight scoop on the school bond proposal

October 19, 2016
Straight scoop on the school bond proposal

Editor’s note: For years, the News has had a policy of not endorsing political candidates; however, it has addressed political issues in the past. This is an endorsement of the upcoming Azle ISD bond election.  Submitted columns with an opposing view will certainly be considered.                       MKC

The election season that ends, blessedly, on Nov. 8 has been a real beating for most of us. Dueling lies, accusations, lewdness, exposures and threats have made most of us long for it to simply be over.
But for voters in the Azle school district, there’s a measure on the ballot that will have a much greater impact on your lives than whoever occupies the White House.… Read the rest

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Abbott, Patrick, Straus call for action by Child Protective Services

October 19, 2016
Abbott, Patrick, Straus call for action by Child Protective Services

Texas’ top three officeholders on Oct. 12 instructed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to improve the protection of children at risk of abuse.
With recent data showing the agency is struggling to see children in a timely manner, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus sent a letter to Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman, calling for immediate action to more quickly help vulnerable children.
“Protecting children from abuse is going to be a top priority in next year’s legislative session, but there is a need for action right now,” Straus said.… Read the rest

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People watching: Tens of thousands of them

October 12, 2016
People watching: Tens of thousands of them

It’s not every day that you get to see 40,000 people march by you.
You might be a zillionaire or lucky in radio contests and possess a ticket to a Cowboys game with 100,000 others or perhaps you wedge yourself in with 50,000 into a rock festival like Texxas Jam. (Why, yes, I am 60 years old; I could’ve said Coachella but compare the group lists for each – any year – and you’ll see why I chose the Jam.)
Anyway, those massive gatherings have a common theme and most people are dressed alike, either with Dak football jerseys or black sleeveless Van Halen t-shirts.… Read the rest

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High court refuses to rehear immigration case

October 12, 2016
High court refuses to rehear immigration case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 denied the Obama administration’s petition for a rehearing of United States v. Texas, a high-profile immigration case.
Heard by the eight-member high court in April, the case ended in a 4-4 deadlock in a late-June ruling. The deadlock left in place a Texas federal district court’s temporary injunction freezing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s November 2014 policies known as “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” and “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.” The policies are aimed at forestalling the deportation of an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants and providing a conditional path to citizenship.… Read the rest

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I have an answer

October 12, 2016
I have an answer

I have a question.”
It is not at all uncommon for my conversations to begin that way. Someone says to me, “I have a question.” Since that, in itself, is not a question, but a statement that a question exists in the mind of the speaker, what should my response be?
“Good for you! Questions are an important part of learning.” Probably not, though I might try it sometime.
“OK…” That seems a little tentative.
“So, ask it already!” That seems a little pushy.
Here’s my standard, go-to response: “I have an answer.” It may not be the right one, but I’ll give it my best shot.… Read the rest

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The history of the Stetson cowboy hat

October 12, 2016
The history of the Stetson cowboy hat

This column first appeared February 28, 1980.

The Stetson cowboy hat is almost as much a trademark of Texans even today as boots and Levis.
Of the three essential items of Western dress, two are men’s names that have come to identify the item that the trade name alone is sufficient.
Levi Straus successfully attached his name to thick, durable denim jeans.
John B. Stetson did the same thing for hats.
Stetson was the son of a hat maker in Philadelphia. In the 1860s, John went West to try to cure his tuberculosis. Unlike a doctor named Holliday who went West for the same reason and teamed up with Wyatt Earp, Stetson followed less violent means of livelihood and recuperation.… Read the rest

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