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If Scotland can secede, so can Texas

Global markets are suddenly jittery about the prospect that Scotland, after 307 years as part of the United Kingdom, could become its own country if Scots vote for independence in a Sept. 18 referendum. If proud but tiny Scotland can do it — which polls suggest is a distinct possibility — then America’s 28th state, Texas, will certainly take notice.

If any state is fed up with the rest of America, it’s Texas. Republican Gov. Rick Perry floated the idea of seceding from the United States in 2009, though he later backpedaled. A petition for Texas to “withdraw” from the United States, lodged on the White House’s “We the People” Web page, gathered 125,000 signatures before voting closed in 2013. A group called the Texas Nationalist Movement has nearly 190,000 likes on Facebook.

Even as a state, Texas has strong anti-federal leanings. It’s a hotbed of Tea Party activity and has declined, so far, to participate in the Affordable Care Act. Perry has called Social Security, the cherished American retirement program, a Ponzi scheme. Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, also a Republican, wants to abolish the IRS. In lieu of a strong federal overlord, secessionists want to form — or rather, recreate — the Republic of Texas, which was an independent nation for a decade before Texas joined the union in 1845. More here.

Is there any state you'd like to see secede?

Abortion bill passes in Texas House

Supporters of House Bill 2, an abortion bill, react in the gallery of the Texas House after the bill passed Tuesday in Austin, Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas House on Tuesday night provisionally approved tough new abortion restrictions, making good on a third attempt to pass the measure this year.

Activists on both sides of the issue from across the state and nation descended on the Capitol building, and the demonstrators erupted into screams, cheers and chants immediately following the vote.

Lawmakers debated for more than 10 hours Tuesday, before voting on the Republicans’ signature legislation. They approved the bill mainly along party lines. More here.

Did you ever doubt this bill would ultimately pass?

Travel: Starting the New Year with Edible Souvenirs

We were fortunate again this year, the whole family was together for Christmas. We gathered, exchanged gifts, caught up on one another’s lives and enjoyed one another’s company. And we ate. We ate a lot.

When we weren’t sitting down to our traditional Christmas dinner, we were snacking on things I’d gathered on my travels and brought home to share with my family. That’s come to be one of my travel traditions and now wherever I go I spend time looking for goodies to bring home with me.

This year, while playing board games or working on a jigsaw puzzle we opened a can of Virginia peanuts that traveled back from Roanoke tucked into a corner of my suitcase.

We made pots of good Door County Coffee & Tea Company coffee and nibbled peanut brittle from Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri.

I passed around a can of delicate and delicious Clear River pecan pralines I bought in Fredericksburg, Texas and hand-carried home. And we cracked pecans I gathered from where they’d fallen from the trees around the same city.

I spread tart cherry jam from, also from Door County, Wisconsin, on our toast at breakfast. In the afternoon I sliced a block of Wisconsin's Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese to go with the bottle of crisp white wine I brought back from Rhine River valley in Germany.

One night I made a big pot of chili and seasoned it with heritage chili pepper powder I bought at the Chili Pepper Institute in Los Cruces, New Mexico. I made a batch of brownies with brownie mix spiced with the same chilis.

We warmed up with mugs of hot buttered rum, savoring the bottle of Koloa rum I picked up in Kauai and saved especially for this holiday season.

This is the time of my life when I can travel freely and I don’t take it for granted because I know that could change at any time. My children are mostly grown and my work takes me around the world. I can’t always take them with me, but I can bring the world back to the ones I love and share it with them one delicious bite at a time.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

Travel: Carol Hicks Bolton ‘Antiquities’ in Fredericksburg, TX

The first time I read about Carol Hicks Bolton, in a magazine in the late 1980s, was the first time I’d really heard anything about Fredericksburg, Texas. The description of the German heritage of the historic small town, and the photos of the architecture of the soft, white, limestone buildings of the area, intrigued me. And Carol’s work, her flair for creating personal, elegant interiors with what was, at the time, an almost unheard of combination of fine antiques and rustic and tattered objects and materials, was unique. 

I put Fredericksburg, and Carol’s store on my list of places to visit and finally made the trip to the Texas Hill Country in early December of this year. The first stop I made as I pulled into town was at Carol Hicks Bolton’s Antiquities, her newest retail venture. I’d just read about the new store in Jo Packham’s Where Women Create magazine and that had once again piqued my interest.

Antiquities is big. The 15,000 square-foot interior is spare and elegant, filled with an eclectic collection of antiques and linens, with furnishings, books, ephemera, natural objects like bones and rocks and antlers all beautifully displayed. Sunlight streams through the windows and the open door.

I could have happily spent the rest of the day looking at every little thing in the store but unfortunately I was on a schedule, with more stops to make before checking into my guest house.

Since Carol home-schools her children, she wasn’t there. But I was able to talk to her husband Tim, who’s been by her side as she built the business. He gave me plenty of room to explore and shop, but any time I had a question he was there with an answer.

Since time, and space in my suitcase, were limited, I decided to focus on the rows of iron shelves filled with old books. And almost immediately I found my prize: a 1929 'Les Guides Bleu' guidebook to Paris. The small book is filled with maps, delicate little works of art all on their own, and when I opened it the pages fell almost immediately to a map of the neighborhood where my favorite hotel, also built in 1929, still sits.  I’ll be at that hotel in a few weeks, celebrating the new year in Paris with my youngest daughter.

I closed the book already knowing it was mine.

Treasure hunting, when done right, is like eating dessert. It’s sweetest when you have only enough to leave you wanting just a bit more. That’s just how I felt when I walked out, the vintage book in my hand.

Just as I suspected I would when I first read about it, I loved everything about Fredericksburg and the surrounding Texas Hill Country. And the time I spent exploring the objects Carol Hicks Bolton and Tim Bolton have gathered and brought back to Texas was memorable, as well.

I have the feeling this was only the first trip. I’d like a little more, please.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance travel journalist based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com


  

Shopping: Catching Sunlight in an Old Jar

One recent afternoon in Chappell Hill, Texas, touring the area around that antiques Holy Ground, Round Top, I stopped by Heritage Garden and Mercantile on the town's main street, looked around for a few minutes and was on my way back out the door when a display of lids meant to fit old canning jars caught my eye. The neat thing about the lids was that each one held a tiny solar light. They could turn any jar into a lantern.

I loved the idea and bought two, dropping them in my suitcase. Later, when I got home I put the lids in the big English armoire I use as a china closet, filling it with linens, dishes, serving pieces and candles.

When I pulled out candles for the Thanksgiving table, I saw the lids and a few days later I put one on a jar from the pantry. I left it on the table to charge and then forgot about it again. Very early in the morning, when I got up to get ready to catch an early flight, I walked into the dark kitchen and the room was lit by the glowing jar.

I went online and discovered there are several brands of solar jar lid lights at various price points. And, if you're particularly crafty, I found instructions for making your own. I used the solar lid on a clear Kerr jar but it would be just as pretty with a vintage blue Mason jar.

I may be late to the party, but I'm happy to have found the little lights. They give new purpose to empty, unused jars and bring a beautiful new glow to lovely old glass. And, it's a good reminder that we never know what we'll find as we travel.

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Travel: Exploring Round Top, Brenham and Washington County, Texas

    Too often, when we travel to big events, the only thing we see of a town while we’re there is the crowd and the attraction. There’s no time to take the side roads and explore. But as a traveler I’ve learned it pays to make another trip when the crowd is gone, to see a town or city or part of the country when it’s not on show. When the roads are clear, the diners and cafes are more relaxed and rooms are not scarce.

    Anyone who’s ever been to one of the Round Top, Texas, antique shows knows what it feels like to roll right into a big raucous party. Acres of antiques, miles of traffic, parties and people everywhere. It’s all great fun but if you make the trip between shows, you get a different view.

    I’ve spent hours treasure hunting, moving from one vendor to another in search of the perfect antique, but this time I was looking for more than that so I spent an off-season week exploring the small towns in and around Washington County, Texas, including Round Top. There was still a trace of autumn color on the big oak and pecan trees and although the temperature dipped at night, the days were warm and golden. But this time, instead of antiques, music and food, history took center stage.

    I stood in the reconstructed Independence Hall at the Washington-on-the-Brazos historic site at the edge of the Brazos River and listened to the story of the fierce struggle to gain independence that happened at that site. A town was born, transformed and then faded away but the legacy of fiery confidence and determination still remains in the pride of native Texans.

    At the same park I strolled through the home of Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic before Texas gained statehood and I traced the timeline of events that led to the creation of contemporary Texas at the Star of the Republic Museum.

    I spent time in Brenham, one of the state’s oldest settlements and toured the Simon Theater, a 1925 movie palace and show hall that is undergoing a complete restoration. I explored Chappell Hill, an old stage coach stop that has a rich history of cotton farming and was home to Polish immigrants who traveled to the United States in search of a better life.

    And the day I stopped by the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum just happened to be election day. I traced the story of the man who became the nation’s 41st president while at that moment, across the country, men and women were casting ballots to elect the 45th president. One of the rights that was fought for by men and women who built the simple Independence Hall I’d toured the day before.

    Nothing beats the fun when the tents are up and the antiques are everywhere, but that’s only half the story around Round Top and Washington County. The beautiful rolling Texas countryside is rich with history and the stories of ordinary people who did and continue to do extraordinary things.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Naked unicyclist arrested in Texas

KEMAH, Texas (AP) — Police say a man arrested in a Southeast Texas city for riding his unicycle in the nude was distracting drivers and creating a hazard.

Kemah police Chief Greg Rikard says 45-year-old Joseph Glynn Farley was not intoxicated or impaired when he was arrested Wednesday on a bridge in the city 20 miles southeast of Houston.

Rikard says Farley had been falling off the unicycle and into traffic.

Farley told officers that he liked the feeling of riding without his clothes, which were found at the base of the bridge.

Police charged Farley, of Clear Lake, with misdemeanor indecent exposure. Bond is set at $1,500.

Online jail records did not list an attorney for Farley.

Citing his experience, Texas politician promises to avoid peeing on electric fences

The Inland Northwest has seen its share of off-beat, low-budget political TV ads, and anyone who's looked at the calendar lately should realize the new season of silliness is about to begin.

But it would be tough to top the campy, folksiness of Texas railroad politics, where candidate Roland Sledge has devised a rather memorable campaign theme: “Isn't it about time we elected political leaders that have sense enough not to pee on electric fences?”

Here, in all its shockingly plainspoken glory, is Sledge's latest TV spot:

Candidate filing opens later this month in Washington.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. keeps Roush streak alive with Nationwide win at Texas

The victory was Stenhouse's second in six starts this season and the fourth of his career. It was also the fourth straight Nationwide win at Texas for Roush Fenway Racing,

Torture dungeon trucker pleads guilty

By MICHAEL GRACZYK,Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas trucker who kept a torture dungeon in the cab of his long-haul rig has avoided the death penalty by accepting life prison sentences for murdering a hitchhiking couple two decades ago.

 Robert Ben Rhoades, who already is serving a life sentence for killing a 14-year-old girl in Illinois, pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder when he appeared before a West Texas judge this week. He has no chance of parole.

Described by authorities as a sadistic killer, Rhoades was charged with the 1990 abductions and slayings of newlyweds Douglas Scott Zyskowski, 28, and Patricia Walsh, 24. Authorities said the couple left Seattle in November 1989, and were hitchhiking to Georgia to preach the Christian gospel when they accepted a ride from Rhoades near El Paso.

Zyskowski's body was found in January 1990 along Interstate 10 east of Ozona, about 320 miles east of El Paso. He'd been shot, and his body wasn't identified until 1992. The remains of his wife were found in October 1990 by deer hunters in central Utah, but they weren't identified until 13 years later by dental records.

Police believe Rhoades held the woman captive for about a week, systematically torturing and assaulting her before shooting her several times.

Rhoades was initially charged in Utah with her death, but he was later extradited to Texas where authorities said the kidnappings took place. Prosecutors in Ozona said they would seek the death penalty, but his trial was repeatedly delayed since 2009.

Under the plea agreement accepted Monday, the life prison sentences in Texas would keep him behind bars if he somehow gets out of prison in Illinois. The 66-year-old also agreed to waive any rights to appeals and parole. It's unclear whether he'll stay in a Texas prison or be returned to Illinois.

FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap in Houston said agents couldn't comment on the case because investigations involving Rhoades are continuing. District Attorney Laurie English was not available Thursday, and messages left with Rhoades' lawyers were not immediately returned.

Rhoades' Illinois conviction stems from the abduction and slaying of Regina Walters, a 14-year-old runaway from Pasadena, Texas. She disappeared in February 1990 with an 18-year-old boyfriend who told friends they planned to hitchhike to Mexico.

Her body was found months later at an abandoned farm near Greenville, Ill. Her companion has never been located.

By the time Walters' remains were found, Rhoades was in custody — after authorities discovered what was inside his truck.

A state trooper near Casa Grande, Ariz., stopped on I-10 to check on a tractor-trailer with blinking lights in April 1990. He discovered Rhoades inside the cab with a hysterical naked woman who had been chained and shackled to a wall.

She later told investigators that she'd been tortured and whipped, that Rhoades told her he was known as “Whips and Chains” and had been involved in such activity for years.

Houston police found another woman who'd managed to escape from Rhoades and told a similar story of torture. FBI agents called into the case searched his Houston apartment and found torture devices and photos of a teenage girl handcuffed and shackled and in various poses at a barn. The girl subsequently was identified as Walters, who had been strangled with bailing wire attached to a piece of lumber.

Rhoades was convicted and sentenced in Arizona on aggravated assault, sexual assault and unlawful imprisonment charges stemming from the woman being held in his truck, then was charged with the Illinois slaying. He pleaded guilty.

Court To Hear Affirmative Action Case

The Supreme Court cast doubt Tuesday on the future of affirmative action at the nation’s colleges and universities, agreeing to hear an appeal from a white student in Texas who seeks an end to “racial preferences” in college admissions. The decision could either limit the use of affirmative action or broadly forbid using race as an admissions factor. However, because the court’s calendar is filled through the spring, the court will not hear arguments in the case until October, weeks before the presidential election. The Obama administration could choose to weigh in on the issue, but it need not do so. The court’s intervention nonetheless is an ominous sign for defenders of affirmative action/Los Angeles Times. More here.

Question: Is it time to end “racial preferences” in college admissions?

Anti-hunters would love species to death

ENDANGERED SPECIES — On Sunday, the CBS news program 60 Minutes highlighted the killer instinct within animal rights/anti-hunting organizations.

Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral was allowed to explain how she's worked to help enact rules requiring a federal permit to hunt the endangered scimitar-horned oryx in the United States.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted an explanation of the new rule  — including a list of myths and explanation of the new red tape the rule requires — after the 60 Minutes report aired.

At face value, this appears to be a noble cause to Feral's financial supporters. After all, why would anyone want to hunt an endangered antelope species that's on the brink of extinction?

In the 60 Minutes segment, reporter Lara Logan asks that question repeatedly to the Texas game ranchers who have used high-fence ranches and hunting to help save three antelope species that have essentially gone extinct in Africa.

“If the species is endangered, why do you hunt them?” she asked.

The answer:  We hunt a few for the survival of the species.

The ranchers clearly explained they have imported antelopes such as the beautiful scimitar-horned oryx to huge fenced preserves where the species has been nourished and allowed to prosper and maintain a gene pool for reintroductions into their native Africa.

Meantime, in order to pay for maintaining these herds in Texas, sportsmen pay a hefty fee to hunt and harvest a few of the oryx that have lived well into maturity and spread their genetics to numerous offspring.

Without hunting to pay the bills, U.S. game ranchers won't be able to afford to maintain oryx herds.

Simple as that, the species could go poof.  

Pricilla Feral said she'd rather see extinction that hunting.

That's sick.  But it's a well-funded position.

Feds To Review Judge Lashing Teen

Federal prosecutors agreed Friday to look into a video that shows a Texas judge lashing his teenage daughter with a belt, a police chief said a day after authorities said too much time had passed to consider state charges. Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe said he discussed the 2004 video of Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams beating his then 16-year-old daughter with a prosecutor from the U.S. attorney's Corpus Christi office. … Hillary Adams (pictured), now 23, posted the 8-minute clip on YouTube last week that shows her father viciously lashing her with a belt and trying to force her to bend over her bed to be beaten despite her pleas to stop. The clip had received more than 4 million views by Friday/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Did Hillary Adams do the right thing by posting the video on YouTube?

Texas Cuts Execution Last Meals

Texas inmates who are set to be executed will no longer get their choice of last meals, a change prison officials made Thursday after a prominent state senator became miffed over an expansive request from a man condemned for a notorious dragging death. Lawrence Russell Brewer (pictured), who was executed Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer (pictured) didn't eat any of it/AP via Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Do you agree w/the move by Texas to eliminate last meals for condemned prisoners?

Texas ends special meals in executions

By MICHAEL GRACZYK,Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas inmates who are set to be executed will no longer get their choice of last meals, a change prison officials made Thursday after a prominent state senator became miffed over an expansive request from a man condemned for a notorious dragging death.

Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts.

Prison officials said Brewer (pictured) didn't eat any of it.

“It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege,” Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, wrote in a letter Thursday to Brad Livingston, the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Within hours, Livingston said the senator's concerns were valid and the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their final meal was history.

“Effective immediately, no such accommodations will be made,” Livingston said. “They will receive the same meal served to other offenders on the unit.”

That had been the suggestion from Whitmire, who called the traditional request “ridiculous.”

“It's long overdue,” the Houston Democrat told The Associated Press. “This old boy last night, enough is enough. We're fixing to execute the guy and maybe it makes the system feel good about what they're fixing to do. Kind of hypocritical, you reckon?

“Mr. Byrd didn't get to choose his last meal. The whole deal is so illogical.”

Brewer, a white supremacist gang member, was convicted of chaining Byrd, 49, to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him to his death along a bumpy road in a case shocked the nation for its brutality.

Whitmire warned in his letter that if the “last meal of choice” practice wasn't stopped immediately, he'd seek a state statute to end it when lawmakers convene in the next legislative session.

It was not immediately clear whether other states have made similar moves. Some limit the final meal cost — Florida's ceiling is $40, according to the Department of Corrections website, with food to be purchased locally. Others, like Texas, which never had a designated dollar limit, mandate meals be prison-made. Some states don't acknowledge final meals, and others will disclose the information only if the inmate agrees, said K. William Hayes, a Florida-based death penalty historian.

Some states require the meal within a specific time period, allow multiple “final” meals, restrict it to one or impose “a vast number of conditions,” he said.

Historical references to a condemned person's last meal go as far back as ancient Greece, China and Rome, Hayes said. Some of it is apparently rooted in superstition about meals warding off possible haunting by condemned people once they are put to death.

The Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based anti-capital punishment organization that collects execution statistics, said it had no data on final meals.

Since Texas resumed carrying out executions in 1982, the state correction agency's practice has been to fill a condemned inmate's request as long as the items, or food similar to what was requested, were readily available from the prison kitchen supplies.

While extensive, Brewer's request was far from the largest or most bizarre among the 475 Texas inmates put to death.

On Tuesday, prisoner Cleve Foster's request included two fried chickens, French fries and a five-gallon bucket of peaches. He received a reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court but none of his requested meal. He was on his way back to death row, at a prison about 45 miles east of Huntsville, at the time when his feast would have been served.

Last week, inmate Steven Woods' request included two pounds of bacon, a large four-meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two drinks each of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea, two pints of ice cream, five chicken fried steaks, two hamburgers with bacon, fries and a dozen garlic bread sticks with marinara on the side. Two hours later, he was executed.

Years ago, a Texas inmate even requested dirt for his final meal.

Until 2003, the Texas prison system listed final meals of each prisoner as part of its death row website. That stopped at 313 final meals after officials said they received complaints from people who found it offensive.

A former inmate cook who made the last meals for prisoners at the Huntsville Unit, where Texas executions are carried out, wrote a cookbook several years ago after he was released. Among his recipes were Gallows Gravy, Rice Rigor Mortis and Old Sparky's Genuine Convict Chili, a nod to the electric chair that once served as the execution method. The book was called “Meals to Die For.”

APhoto Of The Day — 3.16.11

Texas forward Gary Johnson dives into a row of photographers as he tries to keep a ball in-bounds during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas for the championship of the Big 12 men's basketball tournament on Saturday in Kansas City, Mo. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Head’s up, fellas, I’m ready for my close up! — JeanieS.
  • 2. Angry at taunts from the crowd, the Texax forward presses his case up close and personal: “You can call me G.J. You can call me Gary. But, you doesn’t have to call me ‘Johnson’” — JohnA.
  • 3. Nikon releases its new ad campaign….Can you see me now; how ‘bout now; a little closer, can you see me now? — Formerly Sandpoint.
  • HM: Charlie.

History asks one thing: Remember

(photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)  

 

 

 

    The first thing you notice about the Alamo is that it stands right in the center of San Antonio. The small, sand-colored building, surrounded by trees and a lawn of green grass, ringed by tall buildings, sits like an antique, rough-cut stone, in a modern setting.


    Of course, the Alamo was there first. Everything else came along later.


    I visited the Alamo for the first time late in the afternoon two days before the 175th anniversary of the battle that shaped both the legend and the aura of the Alamo, as well as the state of Texas.


    I watched as people walked the grounds, stopping to read the names on the tall memorial. Some were in costume. Members of the Texas Living History Association were there to reenact the event. Horses, tied to lines strung between trees, dozed, lifting one foot and then another. Men strolled around in buckskin and homespun, some in the uniform of Mexican soldiers. The women were in bonnets and calico.


      Finally, I opened the heavy wood doors and stepped inside.  I am always struck by the power of a place with a past. The way inanimate buildings can breathe with life and echo silently with the sound of all they have witnessed.


    In the wide central hall, visitors moved from one display to another, their voices hushed as though they were in a sacred place. The people of Texas would say they were.The air was perfumed with the  cool, dry, mineral smell of stone and time.


    As I stood there, listening to our guide speak of the battle, the deaths and indignities, I noticed a man walk through the door. Tall, lanky, wearing jeans and a wide cowboy hat - the quintessential Texan - he stopped and looked around him.


Then, slowly, he reached up and removed his Stetson and, with his big, rough hand cupped over the crown, held it over his heart.


    I came back for the ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the battle. Standing in the crowd, shivering in the dark, I listened to the speakers and felt the concussion from the musket volleys fired at dawn. I wondered if the man who’d stood so respectfully a few days before was there, lost in the crowd.


    History is such a personal thing.  But it is a collective experience, as well. 


I hadn’t expected to be moved by the Alamo. That is their history, after all.  Not mine.  But I was moved. I was deeply moved by words and faces of the people who stood there with me as the sky lightened into a deep violet over the rough stone walls of the old mission.    

I came away with the lesson we so often forget in a world that moves too fast to do much more than hold on to where we are at the moment.
    

Ultimately, history asks only one thing of us: Remember.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

Child prostitution concerns at Super Bowl

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — As thousands of football fans descend on Texas for Sunday's Super Bowl, law enforcement agencies are keeping watch for a different kind of out-of-town visitor: pimps selling children for sex.

Cities that host the big game often attract a bustling sex trade. This year, Texas authorities and advocacy groups are stepping up their anti-prostitution efforts, especially where young girls are concerned.

“Most people don't know that our children are being brutalized this way, and we have to stop it,” said Deena Graves, founder of Traffick911, a Texas organization that launched the “I'm Not Buying It” campaign for Super Bowl XLV. “We need to get mad. We need to get angry about what's happening to our kids right here.”

For weeks, volunteers have been canvassing neighborhoods in Dallas and other cities, distributing door hangars and posters with information. Others have placed coasters in restaurants and bars. Traffick911 has also made public-service announcements, some featuring current and former NFL players.

“As a man and as a father of two beautiful girls, I'm not buying it — and neither should you,” Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff says in one television ad. “If you're one of these men buying these young girls, I'm telling you that real men don't buy children. They don't buy sex.”

Pimps hawking young girls see the thousands of men who travel to the Super Bowl each year as a gold mine of potential clients. Police in and around host cities have tried for years to crack down on prostitution by conducting stings or increasing patrols during Super Bowl week. Only in recent years have underage girls come to light in increasing numbers.

“This is a very large issue. We want people to know what human trafficking looks like,” said Thomas Lawrence, an assistant Dallas police chief. Last year's Super Bowl in Miami drew as many as 10,000 prostitutes, including children and human trafficking victims, police said.

Read the rest of the story by Associated Press writer Angela K. Brown by clicking the link below.

EWU 20, Delaware 19 (Final)

Delaware running back Andrew Pierce (30) jumps over Eastern Washington cornerback Jesse Hoffman (21) during the first half of the FCS Championship football game tonight in Frisco, Texas. After trailing 19-0 in the third quarter, EWU scored 20 straight points to win 20-19. ESPN game activity & score here (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Bo Levi Mitchell led three straight late touchdown drives, the finale coming with 2:47 left, leading Eastern Washington a 20-19 victory over Delaware and its first FCS championship. The Eagles (13-2) trailed 19-0 and had gained only 92 yards midway through the third quarter Saturday night. Facing the defense that gave up the fewest points per game in the FCS, their title hopes looked shot. But Mitchell took them on drives of 80, 89 and 69 yards. He converted a fourth-and-8 on the second of those series and needed two video replays to uphold a fourth-and-1 conversion a few plays before the winning touchdown. Delaware (12-3) — with Vice President Joe Biden, an alum, watching five rows behind the team’s bench — had one last try, but turned the ball over on downs with 47 seconds left/Steve Bergum, SR.

Reaction?

Are You Ready For Some Football?

EWU fans cheer the arrival of the team at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco Texas for the National Championship game against Delaware in Frisco Texas this afternoon. Eastern Washington and Delaware will kick off at 4 o'clock today. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)

Question: Who wins?

Idaho Leading USA Out Of Recession

Texas, North Carolina, Idaho and a handful of other states are leading the nation’s crawl out of the worst recession since the 1930s, a USA TODAY analysis finds. Since the recession officially ended in June 2009, a group of about 10 states that have outperformed the nation almost continuously for 25 or more years again is generating new income at a faster pace than the rest of the nation. … Idaho ranked 10th in personal income growth in the year since the recession’s end, up from 50th among states and Washington, D.C., during the recession. That’s the USA’s biggest rebound/Dennis Cauchon, USA Today. More here.

Question: Surprised?

Texas holding Tuesday meeting

Associated Press

AUSTIN, TexasUniversity of Texas regents will meet next week to decide whether the Longhorns will remain in the Big 12 or switch to another conference.

Who is Major Nidal Malik Hasan?

Good evening, Netizens…

Who is this man? Obviously he is Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who went on a shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding countless others. However that nor any of the other facts surrounding Hasan’s life can explain why he acted as he did.

Yet this afternoon, reading in various places on the Internet I have heard him called a recent recruit to Muslim faith, a “sleeper” terrorist, perhaps part of a covert terrorist group intent upon more crimes, and the list of possibilities goes on and on. At least based upon what few facts we have about Hasan, perhaps none of the allegations are true. The FBI, Army military authorities and local and state police are still attempting to put together a cogent picture of what motivated Hasan, a psychiatrist, to “come unglued” and start killing people.

At present, on Friday evening, he is in a coma at the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio in critical condition.


What little we know is Hasan is an American born in Virginia of Palestinian parents. Hasan graduated from medical school at the Uniformed Services University in 2003, said Sharon K. Willis, speaking for the school.

He then entered a psychiatry residency program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which he completed in 2007. He returned to the university for the disaster and military psychiatry fellowship in 2007. The first phase of that fellowship is earning a master of public health degree, which he completed in 2008. He completed the fellowship program in June. A month later, Hasan reported for duty at Fort Hood.

There is a considerable amount of evidence, mostly from his neighbors in the apartment complex in which he lived, that he was a gentle, caring and kindly person who most viewed as a decent man.

If Hasan lives we may actually get some answers about what motivated the man. If he dies of his wounds we may never know what motivated him to kill some of the people he was sworn to help.

 

Dave

Texas Two-Step: Saldana Wins Texas Shootout at Houston Raceway Park

Saldana sweeps Texas stops on the World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series. Brings car owner Kasey Kahne victories in back-to-back events as the series heads to Kentucky.

A welcome return: Saldana wins at Lone Star Speedway in Texas

Joey Saldana picked up a birthday gift for himself last month by winning on the opening night of the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in California and he followed that up by scoring a victory at Lone Star Speedway in Texas for his car owner Kasey Kahne who celebrated his 29th birthday on Friday.

Dollansky looks for first win at Houston Raceway Park

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series heads into Texas this weekend for two races over the next two nights. Craig Dollansky returns to Texas as one of just three drivers to have run the previous 13 stops at Houston’s Raceway Park.

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Heads To Texas

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series At a Glance: Lone Star Speedway & Houston Raceway
Park highlight weekend stops.

World Of Outlaws Houston Race Preview

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series heads into the heart of Texas with two shows in as many nights. Check out this weekend’s preview for Houston Raceway Park located in Baytown, Texas.