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About the big comma debate

February 26, 2014
About the big comma debate

It’s ironic to me that a punctuation mark that requires little more ink than a period can bring out the most defensive behavior in journalists.
I worked at The Azle News for six years – back in the late ’90s and early 2000s – and came back almost three years ago. During most of that time, Mark Campbell was the sports guy, and I paid him little attention.… Read the rest

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Law clarifies electioneering

February 26, 2014
Law clarifies electioneering

Questions over where you may stand, what you can say and when you can say it arise here and there around Texas at election time. A new law to solve such issues is on the books.
House Bill 259, which took effect when Gov. Rick Perry signed it into law on June 14, 2013, allows political speech outside of the 100-foot zone at public buildings where election polls are located.… Read the rest

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It helps to be a little psycho around here

February 19, 2014
It helps to be a little psycho around here

There’s a new book out detailing the positive aspects of being a psychopath.
It also contains a master list of the professions where you’re likely to run into a psycho and those least likely.
Not surprisingly, journalist was No. 6 on the Top Psycho Job List.
This was one of those well, duh announcements because you have to be crazy to work at a newspaper these days.… Read the rest

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How deep is your love?

February 19, 2014
How deep is your love?

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. No, I’m not referencing Charles Dickens’ 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities. I’m referencing the music of the 1970’s, my formative teenage years. Ask almost any adult about their favorite music and the most likely answer will be whatever was popular during the decade between their 15th and 25th birthdays.  For me that was 1976-1986. Best. Music. Ever.… Read the rest

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John Paul Jones has tiny connection to Western history

February 19, 2014
John Paul Jones has tiny connection to Western history

There are consequence to actions, good or bad. I found a story in which a brief courtesy of one of our famous American heroes may have influenced great good. This was in addition to his heroic actions that made the history books.
John Paul Jones is that person, but that was not his original last name.  Born in the parish of Kirkbean, Scotland (yes, another Scot) on July 6, 1747, at age twelve he became a ship boy on a British merchant vessel sailing for Virginia.… Read the rest

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Candidates show differences as primaries approach

February 19, 2014
Candidates show differences as primaries approach

Counting down to Primary Election Day on March 4, Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis remain the presumptive frontrunners for governor in their respective party races.
For lieutenant governor, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio stands alone as the Democrat vying for that powerful office, while Republican primary voters will have a field of four candidates to choose from in that race: incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; Jerry Patterson, land commissioner; Todd Staples, agriculture commissioner; or Dan Patrick, chair of the state Senate Committee on Education.… Read the rest

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The best 75 cents I ever spent or You never know

February 12, 2014
The best 75 cents I ever spent or You never know

A million years ago – Valentine’s Day 1974 – I spent 75 cents very wisely.
But first: Valentine’s Day has changed a bit since those days of Nixon and 55-cent gas and Blazing Saddles.
As a child, we had Valentine’s Day parties at school where you had to give everyone a valentine. These were deposited into boxes we had worked on in art class for many days. (You could always tell – even at that age – which kids had artistic skills.… Read the rest

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Early Spanish explorer fails to find gold in southeast

February 12, 2014
Early Spanish explorer fails to find gold in southeast

After Christopher Columbus sailed west to reach the east in 1492 and found an island in the Bahamas, Spain gained the head start for an empire in the New World. Balboa conquered what is now Panama and discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513. A teenager whose family was a neighbor of Balboa in Spain at the time was Hernando de Soto.… Read the rest

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Can’t wait to get on the road again

February 12, 2014
Can’t wait to get on the road again

Mrs. Sweetie and I love to travel. One of the things we like most is the ability to stop at interesting places we see along the road. I described our vacation a couple of years ago as our “Texas Tour of Diners, Thrift Stores, and Pawn Shops.” For us, the trip matters as much as the destination.
For me, writing a weekly blog/newspaper column is much the same.  I am often asked how I manage to find something to write about every week.  The people who ask this usually ask because they can’t imagine coming up with new content that frequently.… Read the rest

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State’s Permanent School Fund reaches new high

February 12, 2014
State’s Permanent School Fund reaches new high

Texas’ 160-year-old Permanent School Fund had grown to $29 billion, a record high value, in December 2013, the Texas Education Agency reported Feb. 6.
The fund was created by the state in 1854 with a $2 million investment. Last year was a good one. In fiscal year 2013, which ended Aug. 31, the fund earned a return of 10.16 percent — the highest return earned by any major state of Texas investment fund. Recent strong returns also made the Permanent School Fund the best performing major state fund over a three-year period ending on Aug.… Read the rest

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