Seminole Sentinel (Seminole, Tex.), Vol. 104, No. 93, Ed. 1 Wednesday, August 21, 2013 Page: 4 of 12
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Page 4A Seminole (Texas) Sentinel • Wednesday August 21, 2013
Mailing Address: P.O. Drawer 1200, Seminole, IX 79360 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Web Site: www.seminolesentinel.com • Phone: (432) 758-3667 • Fax: (432) 758-2136
D-DW oH OBAMAC.WRE. BEACV\
Compiled by Ed Sterling, Texas Press Association
Abbott explains opposi-
tion to proposed merger...
AUSTIN — Attorneys gen-
eral of Texas, Arizona, Tennes-
see, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylva-
nia and the District of Columbia
joined in the U.S. Justice De-
partment’s Aug. 13 anti-trust
lawsuit intended to block the
merger of Fort Worth-head-
quartered American Airlines and
Tempe, Ariz., headquartered US
Texas Attorney General
Greg Abbott, in an Aug. 16 opin-
ion piece first published by the
Dallas Morning News, explained
why he opposes the merger
of the two carriers. Here's an
“Why in the world would
Texas file a legal action challeng-
ing the merger of American Air-
lines with US Airways?” Abbott
asked in his opinion piece. He
answered his own question this
way: “We believe that actions
by the airlines and their officials
violate antitrust laws. In fact, the
legal violations appear so overt
that it would offend my oath of
office not to take action.
“The legal action is based
on evidence such as internal
emails, investor presentations
and other comments by top
executives of the airlines. Those
documents reveal their thinking
about how shrinking competi-
tion in the airline industry —
and, hence the merger — will
allow the airlines to pile even
more bag fees, ticket change fees
and increased fares on custom-
ers. American and US Airways
compete directly on thousands
of heavily traveled routes. The
merger would allow the new
company to shed that competi-
tion and distort the marketplace
— while harming competition
for nearly 200 Texas routes.”
American Airlines, in an
Aug. 13 statement, announced
plans “to mount a vigorous
and strong defense to the U.S.
Department of Justice’s effort to
block their proposed merger."
“We believe that the De-
partment of Justice is wrong in
its assessment of our merger.
Integrating the complementary
networks of American and US
Airways to benefit passengers
is the motivation for bringing
these airlines together. Block-
ing this pro-competitive merger
will deny customers access
to a broader airline network
that gives them more choices,”
American Airlines stated.
Combs files lizard motion
Comptroller Susan Combs
last week announced she filed a
motion to intervene in an endan-
gered species lawsuit brought by
environmental groups against
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser-
The lawsuit by Defenders
of Wildlife and the Center for
Biological Diversity asks Fish &
Wildlife to reconsider its June
2012 decision not to list the
dunes sagebrush lizard as an
In an Aug. 16 agency news
release, Combs said the lawsuit
“could have damaging effects
on private property owners, oil
and gas producers and agricul-
ture producers, as well as the
broader state economy” and
that her motion, if accepted,
would “ensure that no ruling is
made without input from those
who would be directly affected
by a dunes sagebrush lizard
listing under the Endangered
Species Act. ”
The lizard’s range includes
parts of the Permian Basin, a re-
gion that accounts for 57 percent
of Texas’ total crude oil produc-
tion and supports 47,000 oil and
gas-related jobs, according to
the Texas Railroad Commission.
Fish & Wildlife, in a June 13
statement, said, “After a careful
analysis of the scientific data
and the protections provided
by the voluntary conservation
efforts, Service biologists deter-
mined the lizard is no longer in
danger of extinction, nor likely
to become endangered in the
Feral hog grants Awarded
Todd Staples on Aug. 15 an-
nounced the award of two feral
hog abatement grants totaling
$55,000 to certain Texas coun-
ties in an effort to enhance
statewide feral hog abatement.
Bell County, in partner-
ship with Coryell, Falls, Ham-
ilton and Milam counties, was
awarded $25,000 to support
abatement efforts and $30,000
was awarded to a partnership
between Caldwell and Hays
counties, the agriculture depart-
“The feral hog population
has exploded in the last 20
years, costing Texans untold
millions of dollars,” Staples said.
According to the agency, Texas
is home to the largest feral hog
population in the United States
with nearly 2.6 million of the
wild pigs. These voracious,
intelligent, wide-ranging mam-
mals cause about $500 million
in damage in rural and urban
Texas each year, the agency
New laws to take effect
Some 659 pieces of leg-
islation passed in the 140-day
regular session of the 83rd Texas
Legislature, Jan. 8 through May
27, 2013, will take effect as new
laws in a few days, on Sept. 1.
Paper 'n Ink...
By Lynn Brisendine
The world of communications is changing
on what seems a monthly basis these heady
days of electronic messaging.
Some of these new ways of connecting
and providing information are both wonder-
ful and interesting. While advantages can be
perceived, many disadvantages and some real
problems also enter the picture.
A lot, some think way too much, of the
information being exchanged is an amalgama-
tion of fact, fiction and outright disinformation.
Everyone has the option of reaching others in
so many ways and from so many platforms that
blurring facts, or telling it like the author wishes
the info to be, offers dangers.
A confession here. I have not participated
in a lot of these opportunities. Principle among
the new ways of connecting which I have been
lax in understanding is Twitter. This technol-
ogy depends on smart phones mostly. The
messages are relegated to 140 characters. This
makes sending them on the small keyboards
Limiting the characters has seen the inven-
tion of code where both spelling and grammar
are no longer important. This new form of
language is also unfiltered, and too many times
facts are mistreated as badly as proper gram-
Tweeting has been around for a couple
years now and some individuals have thou-
sands, if not millions of followers. Using these
shortened messages has become an art form.
Celebrities, athletes, and a myriad of witty
people pass along their opinions on any subject
I have friends who enjoy these abbreviated
snippets of humor, wisdom and opinion. Our
Sentinel staff offers some tweets, our News staff
is looking into the possibility of adding another
way to reach our readership.
As I penned earlier in the piece, the
technology has been around for a few years, a
short time for many platforms, but as the days
go by it becomes old hat.
Last week a significant tweet turned heads
as an investor with his brief announcement
turned a company's worth around, adding bil-
lions of dollars of instant wealth.
Investor Carl Ichan is a man whose invest-
ments can turn a loser stock into a winner in
the blink of an eye, or in this case in the sum
of 140 characters. He announced over this
huge network that he had bought a large block
of Apple stock, and with these few words, the
stock increased by percentage points. Billions
By Dustin Wright
Sentinel Managing Editor
At the time of writing this column
bright and early Tuesday morning,
(Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013), I have
been on staff here at the Seminole
Sentinel for 11 years and one day.
Eleven years, and one day.
Kind of hard to wrap my head
around, thinking of the hours of
meetings covered, spent on the
telephone and computer, and cover-
ing events from Presidential visits to
ballgames under the "Friday Night
lights," and everything in between.
My work anniversary has always
been an easy one for me to remem-
ber, since it falls on Aug. 19. August
being the start of the high school
football season, and 19, because it
has always been my lucky number.
For grins, I thought I would re-
search my personal memory, as
well as some "true" factual data of
the past 11 years.
For example, 11 years and one
day results in 4,019 individual days
from my official start date to the time
of writing this column.
Broken down even further, that
amounts to 574 weeks, 96,456
hours, over 5.78 million minutes
and a whopping 347.2-plus million
For those readers who know
me on a more personal level, that
amounts to me being at the Sentinel
for just over one-third of my life.
Yeah, you're welcome for your
friendly reminder that you're get-
During that time, I have roughly
figured I've covered over 800 en-
tity board meetings and about that
many sporting events, give or take
It'd be a hard stretch to figure out
how many phone calls or e-mails
were made during that time frame
in quest for information for the
countless stories produced during
that time frame.
All the while, it's been a fun and
So, as I leave you with some
trivia focusing in on the time period
of dollars are involved in this deal.
But, it wasn't just the amount of money
which was included in this historic tweet, but the
sudden change of where many got this financial
Experts in communications think this one
tweet could sink some long established econom-
ic news sources, which are pretty large compa-
nies all on their own.
The idea that one person can type a few
well chosen letters in a brief statement to sway
such huge companies and their values is impres-
I must become more Twitter literate, but I
can also see that when I do begin to understand
and use this format, it will likely be replaced
by the next big deal developed by some bored
teenager in a coffee shop playing on the inter-
net. And suddenly the next billionaire is made.
At least a couple of things spring immedi-
ately to mind considering tweeting.
In my world of newspapers, we pride our-
selves in checking facts, and rechecking what
is real and then preparing stories which make
those facts relevant to our readers. In this new
world of instant publishing, those editing options
are no longer a prerequisite. The results can
be destructive on a societal and, worse in some
cases, an individual basis.
Fighting rumors is a tough deal. Overcom-
ing outright lies can be even harder. It seems
only reasonable that the readers of this informa-
tion should keep the realization of incomplete
data in mind. Reading the latest dirt on strang-
ers is fun, until those incorrect details are expos-
ing your lives.
Technology is a wonderful accomplish-
ment of the human brain. So many new ways
of doing things in every area of our lives spring
into existence on an almost daily timeline. But,
regrettably, some established norms are also be-
ing piled up on the trash-heaps of time.
Individual privacy is one of the real victims
of these instant postings. Incredibly, too many
voluntarily air everything to a world made up of
strangers. These private thoughts, actions, even
photos which show too much, are out in the
ether of this growing information net forever.
In these times, things change, both quickly
and radically. The only person who can control
much of this are the people who use these
In the not too far future, the idea of pri-
vacy is a fading precept. Everyone needs to be
careful in thumbing those little snippets of your
between 2002 and present, I look
forward to another 11 years and
one day (and many, many more)
serving our community with the best
in local news coverage. Thanks for
supporting our product in the past
and continued support in the future.
2002 U.S. Economics
Federal spending: $2,011 billion
Federal debt: $6,228 billion
Consumer Price Index: 179.9
Unemployment: 5.8 %
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.37
2002 Newsworthy Events
• U.S. and Afghan troops launch
Operation Anaconda against re-
maining al-Qaeda and Taliban
fighters in Afghanistan (March 2).
Background: Taliban Timeline and
• UN arms inspectors return to Iraq
• President George W. Bush’s first
State of the Union address vows to
expand the fight on terrorism and
labels Iran, Iraq, and North Korea
"an axis of evil" (Jan. 29).
• Snipers prey upon DC suburbs,
killing ten and wounding others (Oct.
2-24). Police arrest two sniper sus-
pects, John Allen Muhammad and
John Lee Malvo (Oct 24).
2011 U.S. Economics
(most recent I could find)
US GDP (1998dollars): $15,100
Federal spending: $3,360 billion
Federal debt: $15,222 billion
Cost of a first-class stamp: 44
2012 Newsworthy Events
(I opted for this since we still have
a few more months left in the 2013
• Armed with a high-powered rifle,
20-year-old Adam Lanza forced his
way into Sandy Hook Elementary
School in Newtown, Conn., and
shot dead 20 children — all ages 6
and 7 — and six staff members in
the second-worst school massacre in
U.S. history. Sadly, it was only one
of several mass shootings, including
the killing of 12 people at a movie
theater in Aurora, Colo. After the
Newtown tragedy, President Barack
Obama and many others, including
some staunch gun-rights supporters,
said it was time to find ways to rein
in gun violence.
• As a prelude, the storm named
Sandy killed more than 70 people in
the Caribbean. Then its high winds
and high waters slammed into more
than 800 miles of the eastern U.S.
seaboard, killing at least 125 more
people, and causing damage calcu-
lated at well over $60 billion — the
second-costliest storm in U.S. history
after2005s Hurricane Katrina. New
York and New Jersey were the worst
hit, with several hundred thousand
homes and businesses damaged or
• By a 5-4 margin, the Su-
preme Court upheld the core ele-
ments of Obama's much-debated
health care overhaul, which even
he embraced as "Obamacare.'' To
widespread surprise, the decisive
vote came from John Roberts, the
generally conservative-leaning chief
justice appointed by Republican
George W. Bush. Romney, as GOP
presidential nominee, vowed to re-
peal the law if he won, but Obamas
victory ensured the plan would
proceed, with complex ramifications
for insurers, employers, health-care
providers and state governments.
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Wright, Dustin. Seminole Sentinel (Seminole, Tex.), Vol. 104, No. 93, Ed. 1 Wednesday, August 21, 2013, newspaper, August 21, 2013; Seminole, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth787440/m1/4/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Gaines County Library.