Texas News

LUBBOCK — Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan is creating a legislative committee to investigate the Texas Panhandle wildfires to ensure the state is prepared for future disasters. His Tuesday announcement comes more than two weeks after the deadly infernos first started burning more than 1 million acres in the region.

A wildfire in the Texas Panhandle had consumed more than 1 million acres and as of Sunday was just 15% contained, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. It is the largest wildfire in Texas history.

Early voting in the March 5 primary election ends Friday with a host of candidates on the ballot in both parties, including president, U.S. Senate, all 38 Texas U.S. representatives, all 150 Texas House representatives, and down to local races for district attorney, sheriff and other positions.

Agricultural producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2024 crop year have until March 15, 2024, to revise elections and sign contracts.

Texas farmland decreased by over 1.6 million acres, losing more than 17,700 farms, according to the latest Agriculture Census. As of 2022, Texas had 125,417,325 acres dedicated to farming and ranching, down from 127,036,184 acres five years prior.

The famed Buffalo Soldiers, the vast majority of whom were former slaves, wasted no time proving their mettle in dozens of battles on the American frontier, beginning in Central and West Texas where they fought Comanche, Kiowa and Northern Cheyenne warriors in the Red River War. That war ended, for the most part, with the defeat of the Kiowa and Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s warriors at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon on September 28, 1874.

A federal judge is expected to rule quickly on the constitutionality of a Texas law about to go into effect that institutes new state penalties for illegal border crossings. During a hearing last week, U.S. District Judge David Ezra said he had concerns that other states would follow Texas’ lead in creating their own immigration laws – a power given exclusively to the federal government under the U.S. Constitution.

Five Buffalo Soldiers earned the Medal of Honor in Texas for valor shown in battle. Included among them was Sergeant Emauel Stance of the 9th Cavalry at Fort McKavett.

As the American Civil War ended, the United States faced the task of rebuilding the war-torn country. Jobs were hard to find, food was scarce and thousands were homeless. People traveled west to start a new life on the frontier. Conflicts between American Indians and ever-increasing numbers of settlers were inevitable. New settlers repeatedly petitioned Congress for an increased military force to protect them from marauding bands of American Indians.

Lt. Gov Dan Patrick joined with the world’s largest investment firm to pitch investors on building natural gas power plants in Texas at a summit held last week in Houston.

Two of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted are back in custody following their recent arrests. Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Steven Leifeste was arrested Jan. 26. Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender Kenneth Dove Jr. was arrested Feb. 2. A Crime Stoppers reward will not be paid in either arrest.

The Texas Education Agency’s annual report was released last week. It indicates per-student funding in the 2021-2022 school year averaged $14,928 per student, up 42% since 2011. However, state funding has only risen slightly in the past decade, while local funding has increased substantially.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is pleased to announce that the Violent Offender Database is now available. This new database launched on December 29, 2023 – officially going live ahead of its required Jan. 1, 2024, deadline.

A state law that would increase the minimum sentence from two years to 10 years for people convicted of smuggling immigrants or operating a stash house went into effect Tuesday.

While winter is the ideal time to prune trees, pruning after recent droughts and freezes may cause more damage than good this year.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar joining other unclaimed property administrators to celebrate the fourth annual national Unclaimed Property Day on Thursday, February 1st.

A standoff at an Eagle Pass park continues as the Department of Homeland Security has sent a second letter to Gov. Greg Abbott demanding access to the Rio Grande park that is now under state control.

Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson reminds Texans that the deadline to register or update your registration in time for the primary election is Monday, February 5.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol Troopers rescued their 600th child during traffic stops since the implementation of specialized training through the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) Program.

Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard continue to work together to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into Texas; and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal activity between ports of entry, according to a statement issued by the governor’s office last Friday.

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