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Dad says he was so much more than a memory...

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'HE WAS MY HERO' Abel Moreno left out early Sunday, Oct. 3, from his Billings, Mont., home so that he’d have plenty of time to cover the many long miles ahead. He needed to make Moulton by Tuesday afternoon, where Abel said he’d promised the local police chief he’d lead up the evenings special National Night Out parade with a showpiece car he’s spent the last few months working on in tribute to his son, Lavaca County Sheriff’s Deputy Dakota Moreno, who was killed in an off-duty traffic accident last year, just three days before Christmas. He was just 24. “I’d love to wake up one day and realize that all this was just some bad dream,” Abel told us Tuesday, hanging back from the crowd seemed to form wherever he parked that car. But some nightmares just stick with you, it seems, no matter how many times you wake. It seems like only moments ago, his dad said, that Dakota was right here, just as healthy, happy and full of life as anyone. “And It feels like about a million years have

Shiner Market Days keep getting bigger and better

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You won’t have to be the new kid in town, some outlaw man desperado or the girl from yesterday to notice that there’s a lot going on in Shiner this weekend, not least of which is  Shiner Downtown Market Days , now held every third Saturday each month. First off, for those who realized I just incorporated four song titles by the Eagles into that opening sentence, thank you, my man, because it’s nice to know such efforts truly aren’t wasted time. I send you all the best of my love. No doubt, too, you’re probably wondering why, exactly, I might do such a thing. (That's three more, for those keeping count.) Before we deal with that, however, I need to say a few words to—well, you know—that "other" crowd, those who have no notion of what I speak: Take it easy. It'll be OK. But move on along, if you don't mind. Nothing to see here, folks. It’s already gone. Takes a certain kind of fool, I guess. (Thrice more. YES!) And in answer to the big WHY , here goes: When the orga

Texas Sheriffs show strong support at townhall with Trump in Edinburg

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County sheriffs from across the Lone Star State descended on the Texas border town Edinburg last week to hear from a definite favorite among the law enforcement community, especially when it came to handling the situation down at our southern border into Mexico, a situation that those same lawmen will tell you has gotten completely out of hand under the leadership—or lack thereof—of the current presidential administration. More than 1,000 supporters from across the Texas Valley region were already gathering along the expressway near the South Texas International Airport at Edinburg on Tuesday, June 29, where former President Donald Trump was set to conclude his tour of the region with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.  "It is a crisis of a monumental scale. Border Patrol agents - I spent a lot of time with them today - they are overwhelmed, overworked. Dangerous cartels, they are making millions in human trafficking and taking advantage of the fact that all resources are being used to bas

Shiner church celebrates centennial Sunday

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 Aging Beautifull y  If there's one thing the Rev. Bryan Heyer says he knows to be true, it's that members of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner know a thing or two about community service. They always have, and most likely, always will. “Our church was literally built by the service of its members,” Father Bryan said. “In fact, even the building itself is a testament to that service. And it’s tradition of serving that continues on strong still today.” Anyone who might question that fact only need lay eyes on their beautiful landmark red brick church building in Shiner, each stone of it built from the ground up by the hands and backs of local parishioners, who spent the better part of two entire years, from 1920-1921, making sure every element of it was simply perfect. And this coming Sunday, July 11, parishioners from all over, both past and present, will have the opportunity celebrate those many years of service, when Father Bryan and Victoria Diocese Bishop B

Whole load of (not so much) fun arrives on opening night of Luling's Watermelon Thump...

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While many enjoyed the much anticipated opening night of Luling’s Watermelon Thump after its coronavirus-inspired hiatus in 2020, several young men were hard at work well into the night proving that watermelons aren't always fun and games in their hometown. Fact is, if you ventured past Mikesh Produce Thursday evening at Luling’s Original Farmer’s Market, just a couple of blocks from the Thump festival grounds off North Magnolia Avenue, you could've seen firsthand that watermelons can be lots of terribly back breaking work. Especially when a load of about a thousand arrives right at sunset, filling the entire length of an 18-wheeler flatbed, and the only way you have to get them off involves you and about a dozen of your closest friends and relatives forming a man chain to pitch the big devils off the truck one by one, pass them along hand-by-hand, and then stack them layer by layer in massive piles on every available tabletop. Just watching them made my back hurt. Fortunately,

‘Kids’ invade local coffee house

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You just know that somebody, somewhere, had to be thinking it real hard if not actually saying those precise words when it all went down.  “Honey, have you seen the kids?” To which, a usually reasonable response might be, “Oh, they’ll be back shortly. They ran down to the coffeeshop to grab a bite.” Still, things were anything but “usual” last Wednesday, June 23. “We have kids around our shop almost all the time,” says Amy Bishop, proprietor of the Shinerville Coffee House. “But these weren’t your average, run-of-the-mill kids. In fact, they made for some rather unusual visitors at our shop that day.” Unusual, indeed, for in the middle of town, the middle of the afternoon, the middle of the workweek, a pair goats came wandering up to her coffeeshop door, nibbling on her potted plants as they peered in the windows with curious goat eyes to see what they could see. She had no idea where they came from. Or, more importantly, where they needed to get back to before they became a

Just added today as a new selection on iBooks app

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I just got word from my publisher that my 2020 story collection,  Long Gone & Lost: Tru e   Fictions and Other Lies , was just added today as a new selection now available on the iBooks app. Do check it out when you have the chance:  ‎Long Gone & Lost on Apple Books Recently picked as a Finalist for the 2021 Sergio Troncoso Best First Book of Fiction Award presented by the Texas Institute of Letters, Long Gone & Lost touches on several stories/events from my own life, often blurring that oft fine line that can sometimes exist between fact and fiction. Most of the stories it contains were written in 2017/2018 as part of my thesis/final writing project to complete the requirements of my MFA creative writing program at the University of Houston-Victoria, in Victoria, Texas.  Copies of the originally submitted book manuscript, which includes three more stories in the manuscript version than we used in the final published version of the book, are on file as part of the UHV Libra