John Kanelis

Judge Randy Moore expressed optimism that the exterior of the courthouse will be completed “a year from now.”
John Kanelis

Fannin County Judge Randy Moore is what one might call a pragmatic idealist.

Farmersville posts a "notice of potential quorum" in advance of any event that might draw more than a majority of City Council members into the same room.
provided image

Farmersville City Council gets an earful on occasion from residents who contend they don’t always know all there is to know about what the council is doing on residents’ behalf.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen in the House on March 27, 2019.
Emree Weaver / The Texas Tribune

When you ascend to the role of speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, you preside over a body of disparate political views. Republicans and Democrats seek to work together -- most of the time -- for the common good. They need a speaker they can trust to say and do the right thing at all times, in public and in private.

“I said terrible things that are embarrassing to the members, to the House, and to me personally," Bonnen said.
Gabriel C. Perez / KUT

Dennis Bonnen is toast as speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

If not, though, the Angleton Republican should be toast. As in, he appears to be losing favor with Republicans who comprise most of the lawmakers in the Texas House. Pressure is building for Bonnen to resign his speakership; I won’t endorse a notion that he quit the House, given that his role in the Legislature is up to the voters who sent him there.

The speakership is another matter. He became speaker at the start of the 2019 Legislature because a majority of House members voted him in.

New homebuilding in progress near Lowe Elementary School in Princeton.
John Kanelis

Imagine that you’re running a public educational system. Parents with school-age children are moving into your community in a steady, almost breakneck pace. Where do you put those children? How do you accommodate your school system’s new neighbors?

Members of the Rockwall County Commisioners Court awarded themselves a hefty raise.
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I stumbled upon an item in the Dallas Morning News online edition that, to be honest, made my jaw drop damn near into my lap.

Does an unblemished record expunge Briles from the scandal that took him away from a winning Division I college football program?

Here it comes, sports fans.

Piece of Mind: Stand Tall Against NRA, Dan Patrick

Sep 22, 2019
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, listens as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, right, gives his State of the State Address in the House Chamber, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

Hell must have frozen over during the night. Or … the sun rose in the west. Or …  something else totally out of the ordinary occurred.

Piece of Mind: Cokie Roberts: A Giant Has Passed On

Sep 18, 2019
Due to NPR salaries being so low, few men were willing to take jobs there. This resulted in a roster of young female talent now considered among the most respected names in radio: Nina Totenberg, Cokie Roberts, Linda Wertheimer, and Susan Stamberg.

Cokie Roberts was born to do what she did.

After a month of allegations and denials about a political meeting between a conservative activist, the speaker of the Texas House and a committee chairman, there's still a missing link: proof.

Ross Ramsey, one of the top guns at the Texas Tribune, has it exactly right. Empower Texans main man, Michael Quinn Sullivan, needs to release the full recording of a meeting he allegedly had with two key Texas legislative Republicans.

Piece of Mind: Mr. Sam Knew His Place

Aug 21, 2019
Sam Rayburn worked with eight different presidents: four Democrats, four Republicans.
John Kanelis / KETR

The plaque pictured below offers an important civics lesson. It tells of the late Sam Rayburn's role as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and also as a rank-and-file member of the legislative branch of the federal government.

Princeton’s 2010 census total stood at 6,708 residents, but that number is expected to more than double in the 2020 census.
John Kanelis

Princeton City Hall is a non-descript structure on U.S. 380. The City Council meets there. The city administrative offices are located inside the structure the city leases from the building owner.

In interviews with the Wall Street Journal, Baylor University regents shared previously undisclosed details of an investigation into the "horrifying" sexual assault allegations against football players at the school.
Pixabay / public domain

School is about to begin in Texas, which means that football season also is nearly upon us. I don’t know about you, but I might be looking with just a little bit more interest than usual at Mount Vernon High School, waiting to see how the team performs in its first season under the coaching leadership of a guy who – although he is a brilliant coach – shouldn’t have this job.

The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site is one of Fannin County's attractions.
John Kanelis

Sam Rayburn might well have been the greatest Texas politician of the 20th century. Greater than Lyndon Johnson, or John Connally, or Ma Ferguson, or Ralph Yarbrough, or Ann Richards.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp
provided image

The media and the University of Texas-Austin might have gotten a bit ahead of themselves in praising the flagship UT System campus officials’ decision to waive college tuition for students who come from families that fall under a certain income level.

Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot laughs after saying, "Watch my lips," in response to reporters asking when he plans to formally enter the presidential race. Questions came May 5, 1992, in New York City.

H. Ross Perot was your garden-variety self-made business tycoon … more or less.

He came from humble beginnings in Northeast Texas. Born in Texarkana, the young man enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated and earned his commission as an officer. He served his country, then came home and got to work.

Dorothy Lowe Elementary School is being built with money generated by a bond issue that Princeton voters approved in 2017.
John Kanelis

When you are an educator in a rapidly growing school district, you resort at times to relying on your best guess for what the future holds. It’s difficult, for example, to predict how many students will be under your care when you ring the school bell for the first time at the start of a new academic year.

Princeton has conducted four municipal elections that sought to form a city charter, making Princeton a “home rule city.” It has failed all four times.
John Kanelis

City governments make rules and regulations that have the most immediate impact on the lives of those who reside within a city’s corporate limits. Thus, it usually is imperative that they be able to exert maximum local influence and control.

Piece of Mind: Impeachment Is All About Politics

Jun 7, 2019
The Texas Tribune asked the state's congressmen and senators about the Mueller Report.
John Kanelis

Whether the president of the United States is impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives is going to rely solely on a grim political calculation.

Baylor's regents described the football program under Briles as "a black hole into which reports of misconduct such as drug use, physical assault, domestic violence, brandishing of guns, indecent exposure and academic fraud disappeared."
Pixabay (public domain)

Somewhere an iconic figure in East Texas sports history is spinning in his grave.

Or . . . he might be high-fiving someone over the decision by the Mount Vernon Independent School District to hire a disgraced college football coach as the head coach of a high school football team.

Legislators in Texas receive a modest stipend.

I actually have wrestled with this issue on occasion, but I cannot shake my belief in my original thought about it.

There won't be any "time change" item on Texas ballots in November. Maybe in 2021.
Katherine Streeter / NPR

This isn’t the biggest bill ever to die a quiet death in the Texas Legislature, but it might be one of the more talked-about once lawmakers decide to pack it in for this session and head home to their respective districts.

A new pavilion stands where the camp's community hall once stood.
John Kanelis

Who knew that German soldiers who fought against our guys during World War II would play a part in building a North Texas community?

"Red-light cameras" are a common feature at many Texas intersections.
John Kanelis

The Texas Legislature is inching toward undoing what I consider to be one of the more worthwhile decisions it made in recent years.

Democrats have a steep hill to climb in Northeast Texas if they are going to join much of the rest of the state as a place where Democrats and Republicans duke it out for voters’ affection.
John Kanelis

You’ve probably heard the news: We’re having a presidential election next year. It’s been in all the papers.

Princeton has conducted four municipal elections that sought to form a city charter, making Princeton a “home rule city.” It has failed all four times.
John Kanelis

We live in a town that I am having trouble defining.

Beto O'Rourke addressed an audience of about 100 people in Greenville in 2018.
Mark Haslett

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has done what political pundits from coast to coast to coast have speculated he would do. He has declared he is a candidate for president of the United States of America.

Kanelis: Texas Is Big Enough For Two Vet Schools

Mar 8, 2019
Texas Tech University is looking to add a veterinary medicine program to its graduate campus in Amarillo.
Texas Tech University

Texas is a big state, covering more than 268,000 square miles. It has 28 million residents and that number is skyrocketing.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has supported Senate Bill 3, which would give Texas public school teachers a $5,000 raise.
Christopher Connelly / KERA

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has established himself as a tepid supporter of public education.