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The five benefits of thankfulness

June 17, 2015
The five benefits of thankfulness

Happy Thanksgiving!
I know what you’re thinking. The boy has lost his mind. Maybe the sudden change from all that cool, wet weather to upper 90’s has boiled his brain. It’s the middle of June, for crying out loud! Turkey, pumpkin pie, and football are five months away!
Well, my friends, when I say “Happy Thanksgiving,” I’m talking about choosing an attitude, not celebrating a day. This attitude that can result in a lifestyle. One of my friends greets people every day with, “Happy Tuesday,” (or whatever day it is). That greeting always lifts my spirits.
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College of the Ozarks: More should be like this one!

June 17, 2015
College of the Ozarks: More should be like this one!

I try not to give opinions, but I can’t help saying: “I wish more colleges were like this one.”
Also, I’m stretching this as “western” history; however, it all takes place west of the Mississippi!
A recent trip to Branson, Missouri with friends opened my eyes to a unique treasure that I did not realize existed. Some readers may know of it, but I didn’t. Just a few miles from Branson is College of the Ozarks, which requires 15 hours of work a week from each student, even day commuters, to help pay for  tuition.
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Federal court of appeals rules on abortion law

June 17, 2015
Federal court of appeals rules on abortion law

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on June 9 upheld the constitutionality of House Bill 2, the state abortion law revised by the Texas Legislature in a July 2013 special session.
HB 2 and its provisions may be applied throughout Texas, the panel stated in a 56-page ruling, but drew two narrow exceptions: (1) a health clinic that performs abortions in McAllen may continue to function without upgrading its facilities to comply with standards set for ambulatory surgical centers; and (2) the law’s admitting privileges requirement does not apply to a certain medical doctor when he is working at the McAllen facility.… Read the rest

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Sympathy for the aging concert-goer – the Stones

June 10, 2015
Sympathy for the aging concert-goer – the Stones

When you’re almost 59, you can look back and see that you were actually positioned to do some cool stuff, but you didn’t.
I was in film school at UT-Austin in the 1970’s – America’s greatest movie decade – but changed my major to journalism.
I saw the rise of computers but invested most of my cash in Whataburgers and softball gloves.
And I was young – 20’s/30’s – during a dynamic time of popular music on the planet.
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Huge Texas JA Ranch still owned by same family

June 10, 2015
Huge Texas JA Ranch still owned by same family

Pioneers, ranchers, and cattlemen often are remembered long after their death by the land or business they developed. Sometimes, though, the lasting result may have been due to the abilities of the widow they left behind.
A fixture of West Texas success is the JA Ranch in the Texas Panhandle in Palo Duro Canyon. In 1883 when the ranch was at its largest, it covered 1,335,000 acres in six counties and ran a herd of 100,000 cattle. Is that Texas-big enough?
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Abbott decides bills’ fates passed by Legislature

June 10, 2015
Abbott decides bills’ fates passed by Legislature

Governor Greg Abbott has until June 21 to give bills recently passed by the Texas Legislature his final consideration before signing them, letting them take effect without his signature or vetoing them.
By June 1, the last day of the Legislature’s 84th regular session, some 819 House bills and 504 Senate bills earned final passage, plus two House Joint Resolutions and five Senate Joint Resolutions. Unlike bills, which are subject to gubernatorial veto, the voters of Texas will find the seven joint resolutions appearing as proposed constitutional amendments on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot.
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Becoming part of the IN crowd

June 10, 2015
Becoming part of the IN crowd

I wish I had paid better attention growing up. There are a lot of things I had to learn by trial and error as a grown-up that happened right in front of me as a youth, but I wasn’t interested.
I expressed that thought to my step-father in a recent conversation. One of those handy guys that can figure out how to fix just about anything, he could have taught me a lot in those early years. But I was too busy and didn’t see the relevance of all that stuff, so it was faster and more efficient to do it himself.… Read the rest

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Freak flag flyin’: I feel like I owe it to someone

June 3, 2015
Freak flag flyin’: I feel like I owe it to someone

ON YOUR MARK
Mark K. Campbell

It’s been eight months since I’ve had a haircut.
I’m not trying to prove anything. At least initially. I just haven’t ventured to my stylist (which is what you have when your hair grows beyond the collar – you have a barber [or spouse], otherwise).
So, since my hair is almost as long as it ever has been – back when I was in college in the mid-1970’s – I’m having hair issues that haven’t cropped up in decades.
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Local history-making WWI pilot training fields: Part 3, where major celebrity Vernon Castle is killed in a crash

June 3, 2015
Local history-making WWI pilot training fields: Part 3, where major celebrity Vernon Castle is killed in a crash

This column is the third in a series about the three pilot training fields in Tarrant County in World War I. The fields originally created jointly by the Canadians and Americans called Taliaferro No. 1, Taliaferro No. 2, and Taliaferro No. 3 became under the Americans, Taliaferro Field, Barron Field and Carruthers Field.
Named after Cadet W. K. Carruthers who died in an airplane accident at Mineola June 18, 1917, some locals called it Camp Benbrook after the James M. Benbrook family who owned land as early as 1876 when Benbrook petitioned the Texas and Pacific Railroad to place a station along Mary’s Creek.… Read the rest

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Legislature passes budget as session ends

June 3, 2015
Legislature passes budget as session ends

Four days before the June 1 end of the 84th regular session of the Texas Legislature, both houses finally agreed after months of deliberation on a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
A 10-member conference committee worked out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget. The House vote on final adoption of House Bill 1 was 115 ayes to 33 nays; the Senate vote was 30-1. HB 1 awaits approval by Gov. Greg Abbott.
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