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Early cave where outlaws hid became state park

September 10, 2014
Early cave where outlaws hid became state park

While returning from a recent trip to Arkansas, I saw a sign near McAlester, Oklahoma that said “Robbers Cave State Park.” I vaguely remembered reading about the James boys, the Youngers and a lady friend of one of them called Belle Starr hiding out from the law in Oklahoma. Stories say the Dalton and Doolin gangs hid there too.
“Aha! That must have been the place,” I realized. Indeed, following the Civil War some of the young men in Missouri who had fought guerilla-type warfare on either side of the conflict (but mostly for the South), didn’t quite stop the raiding when the war ended.… Read the rest

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Judge: Revisions to abortion law unconstitutional

September 10, 2014
Judge: Revisions to abortion law unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Aug. 29 struck down two provisions in House Bill 2, legislation passed by the Texas Legislature in the second special session of 2013, amending the state Health and Safety Code to restrict access to abortion services.
Yeakel wrote, “A state’s legislature cannot purport to act to abrogate the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” and concluded the following provisions in the law put an unconstitutional burden on women:… Read the rest

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Don’t you be gettin’ nekkid in Azle

September 3, 2014
Don’t you be gettin’ nekkid in Azle

This column is rated a hard PG-13 for all you prudes out there (you know who you are).
Beware of droppin’ trou in Azle.
On Aug. 26, the city council “passed and approved on First and Final reading” paperwork to “clarify state of nudity in Section 3 of the Zoning Ordinance.”
It’s not everyday that you see words like “genitals,” “pubic region,” and “human buttock” in council communiques.… Read the rest

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Phillips brothers began small, created worldwide Phillips 66

September 3, 2014
Phillips brothers began small, created worldwide Phillips 66

A couple of weeks ago I drove with my brother and his daughter to northern Arkansas about some land. My niece purchased some souvenirs, and we noticed a lot of Route 66 items. (I-40 takes over much of what once was the famous cross-country, east-west Route 66.) When I saw a Phillips 66 gasoline sign– one of the credit cards in my purse – I wondered aloud if the “66” had anything to do with the old Route 66.… Read the rest

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Crafting your powerful ‘Yes’

September 3, 2014
Crafting your powerful ‘Yes’

It really is an epidemic! I got a lot of response from last week’s Life Matters, in which I talked about protocols for helping those with Hand Raising Syndrome (HRS) and No-No-itis (NNI) learn to say “No” without regret. One reader even made a point of calling me to thank me.
I announced then that this week’s edition would be addressing protocols for those suffering from AGD (Ain’t Gonna Do it) or HOS (Happy On the Sidelines), both of which result in a perpetual “no.”… Read the rest

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School finance system ruled unconstitutional

September 3, 2014
School finance system ruled unconstitutional

When the Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 13, 2015, lawmakers will have the job of revising the state’s school finance system, again.
This task was made necessary on Aug. 28, when state District Judge John Dietz ruled the current finance system violates these four state constitutional standards: the state property tax prohibition and the education clause requirements of adequacy, suitability, and financial efficiency.… Read the rest

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Azle school year off to a solid start

September 3, 2014

Dr. Ray Lea AISD SUPERINTENDENT

Azle ISD is off to a great start to the 2014-2015 school  year.  Our enrollment is growing.  Azle ISD is currently up over 100 students from this time last year. The district will need to hire additional teachers in order to keep class sizes manageable.
The faculty and staff at Azle ISD are committed to providing the best possible education for every student who attends our schools. Teachers are utilizing technology to create highly engaging work for students so that they will all choose to be lifelong learners.… Read the rest

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My groovy shoes and Frank Zappa

August 27, 2014
My groovy shoes and Frank Zappa

D’oh! There’s nothing like the truth to mess up a good story.
Forever, I have told people that I have a pair of shoes that I purchased back in the late 1970’s, when disco reigned.
(We rockers used to highly disdain disco, much like we did the Carpenters and, later, Hall and Oates. Today, I know all the words to all of the former’s tunes and one of the first songs I ever bought on an iDealie was Hall and Oates’ “Sara Smile.” And, about disco…well, my ringtone is “Stayin’ Alive.” Someday, even the hair bands of the 1980’s – so highly reviled today by music snobs – will come back into vogue.… Read the rest

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Talking about Dole pineapple from Hawaii

August 27, 2014
Talking about Dole pineapple from Hawaii

Last week’s column ended with the term “Dole pineapple” in the sentence that stressed Hawaii’s booming economy and trade with the U.S. and others.  From my teaching of U.S. history I already knew that a man named Sanford Dole became president of a Republic of Hawaii in the late 19th century. A connection to Dole pineapple had to be there somewhere.… Read the rest

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Saying “No” without regret

August 27, 2014
Saying “No” without regret

My friends, I am aware of a worldwide epidemic. I’ve seen it for years, as one who works primarily with volunteers. It has no official name, but I suggest a couple: (1) Hand Raising Syndrome or (2) No-No-Itis.
HRS manifests when leaders are looking for volunteers for projects or initiatives. Afflicted persons immediately raise their hands to volunteer without considering all that is involved. They are enthusiastic team players, the kind of people that leaders love to have around because they help get new things off the ground quickly.… Read the rest

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