Category Archives: State News

Ralph Hall, Texan who was oldest congressman in U.S. House history, dies at 95

By Emily Langer

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Mr. Hall smiles during a tour of his home in Rockwall, Texas, in 2014. (LM Otero/AP)

Ralph M. Hall, a Texas Democrat-turned-Republican who was elected 17 times to Congress, where he became dean of his state’s delegation, one of the last veterans of World War II on Capitol Hill and the oldest person in history to serve in the House, died March 7 at his home in Rockwall, Texas. He was 95.

His longtime political strategist, Ed Valentine, confirmed the death and said he did not know the cause.

A former Navy pilot and Texas state senator, Mr. Hall was elected to the House in 1980 as a Democrat and for the next 34 years — the final decade as a Republican — represented a swath of the Red River Valley in eastern Texas. He announced that his 2014 campaign would be his last and was defeated in the Republican primary by John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney who pledged to serve no more than eight years.

Read more from the Washington Post…

Texas Troopers Ramp Up Enforcement Against Passing Stopped Police Cars

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The Texas Highway Patrol is increasing enforcement of a state law about passing stopped police cars and other special vehicles. (Photo: Texas Department of Public Safety)

Texas Troopers are increasing enforcement of a state law about passing stopped police cars and other special vehicles in Harris and other counties.

The law, commonly known as Move Over/Slow Down, was passed in 2003 and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) periodically focuses on its enforcement in different parts of the state.

The law requires motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles – including police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks – are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.

Specifically, the law states that a driver must vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road if the roadway has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction.

The other option is to slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit. If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph.

Read more from Houston Public Media…

Girl with terminal cancer made honorary Texas Ranger

By KXAN Staff

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Rangers have a new recruit in six-year-old, Abigail Arias. On Monday, she became an honorary Texas Ranger and took a tour around the Texas State Capitol. Arias has a rare childhood kidney cancer that is terminal.

Several weeks ago, she became an honorary Freeport police officer which is the area Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen represents.

When Bonnen learned about her dream of being in law enforcement, he decided he wanted to do something extra special for the little girl. 

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Never in my 20+ years as a Rep have I experienced a day as rewarding as today. Cancer is no match for 6 year-old Abigail Arias. She was doing such an outstanding job fighting bad guys as a @FreeportPD officer that today she got a new title. Say hello to our newest Texas Ranger. – D. Bonnen on Twitter [@RepDennisBonnen]

Read more from KXAN…

Should Texas require hands-free cell phone use while driving? Time to tell your lawmakers

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Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. At 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field.

Have you noticed how many drivers around you are buried in cell phone use? Now imagine if they were all intoxicated. How safe would you feel?

It’s not a stretch. Motorists on cell phones can mimic drunks with their weaving, unusual and varying speeds, and slow reaction times. The distracted can even be worse than the inebriated: Editors at Car and Driver magazine once tested reaction times and found that they actually braked more quickly while having consumed the legal limit of alcohol than while they were texting.

Worse yet, in a test of over-the-road truckers, a 2009 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found the risk of collisions went up 23 times when the drivers were texting as opposed to not.

That’s one of many reasons Texas followed many other states in outlawing texting and driving in 2017. And while we will never know the extent of any correlation, road fatalities dropped 4 percent in Texas to 3,567 last year.

Read more from the Star-Telegram…

Tyler teen known for nationwide law enforcement appreciation campaign surprised by ‘blue family’

By Alex Leroux and Jeff Wright 

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – A Tyler teenager who has spent years thanking police officers and first responders with her nationwide ‘Savannah Says Thank You’ campaign has received her own gesture of appreciation.

Members of Tyler Police Department surprised the family of Savannah Solis outside of their Tyler home Thursday morning. Savannah, her mother, and brother have recently been facing serious medical issues, and police officers wanted to show their support to the family. Officers collected donations throughout the week and offered them to the family to help relieve some burden of medical bills. The family also has a GoFundMe page set up to accept donations as well.

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Savannah, her blood family and her blue family

Read more from KLTV…

You Can Now Take A ‘Rage Yoga’ Class That Comes With Beer Breaks And Lots Of Swearing

For many, yoga has been a way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. For others, having to breathe, inhale, smell lavender, and keep silent can be even more stress-inducing than calming. So, instead of having a regular ol’ “namaste” yoga class, there’s a brand new kind of yoga class on the market catered to those who need to scream it out.

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Rage Yoga, according to CBS News, originated in Texas by yoga instructor Ashley Duzich.

Read more from Mommy Needs Vodka…

Texas Horned Lizard Making a Comeback From the Brink

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Texas-Horned-Lizard-660x390Texas named the Texas horned lizard, also known as the Texas horned frog or even the “horny toad,” as the state reptile. Due to its low numbers across the state, conservation groups consider it a threatened species. In recent years, though, the Texas horned lizard seems to be surging back, thanks to the efforts of some dedicated individuals.

Read more from Texas Hill Country…

The 2019 Texas Wildflower Season Could Be the Best One in 10 Years

BY SHANNON RATLIFF

Texas-Wildflower-Report-2019-793x526If you live in Texas and, like us, wait with bated breath for those first few wildflowers to start popping up in the open fields, then this might be the best single piece of news you read today. The Texas Bluebonnet and Wildflower Report for the 2019 Spring Wildflower Season Outlook was recently released by Wildflower Haven and there is good news all around. The report found that wildflowers and the famous bluebonnets of the Texas Hill Country could bloom earlier than usual this year because we saw above-average rainfall across the state this fall and winter.

Read more from Wide Open Country…

City, school officials respond to Texas leaders’ united front on a proposal to cap property tax revenues

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Texas-Legislature-1State lawmakers are proposing a 2.5 percent cap on property tax revenue growth with identical bills filed in both legislative chambers.

Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2 would require local governments to obtain voter approval in order to collect more than 2.5 percent in additional revenue on existing property compared with the previous year, according to The Texas Tribune, Community Impact Newspaper‘s reporting partner.

The proposed revenue cap would affect cities, counties and school districts. Currently, the law allows them to collect up to 8 percent in additional tax revenue without voter approval.

Read more from Community Impact…

H-E-B was just named the 4th best grocery store in the U.S., according to a survey

By Dom DiFurio, Breaking Business News Reporter

imagesBeloved Texas grocery chain H-E-B was named the fourth best grocery store in the nation, according to an annual survey by dunnhumby.com.

The grocery chain, which has yet to establish itself in Dallas outside of specialty Central Market locations, came in just behind Trader Joe’s, Costco and Amazon.

H-E-B scored relatively high on the list of grocers which were ranked by price, quality and the emotional appeal they carry with their brand – something any Texan can attest to.

Read more from the Dallas Morning News…