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Fallen soldiers

On May 23, the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate met jointly to hold a memorial ceremony to honor Texan soldiers who lost their lives in the global war against terrorism. The ceremony began with the presentation of the colors by the Texas National Guard, the singing of the national anthem, and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The governor spoke about the sacrifices made by the service members and their loved ones before the families were presented with state flags. The families of each fallen Texan were invited to the ceremony, which closed with a 19-gun cannon salute and the playing of “Taps.”

GOOD MORNING:Curtains for Draper

We here at the Herald Democrat’s one-man “International Center for the Study of Pop Culture” would be remiss if we didn’t close-out the week with a short eulogy for one of the best television shows of the last decade. AMC’s “Mad Men” wrapped its eight-year, seven-season run a week ago, finally locking the doors, once and for all, at Sterling Cooper.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Bills face House deadlines

Thursday marked the last day that most House bills could be debated on the House floor, and Friday was the last day that House bills could pass the House. House bills that did not pass by midnight Friday are considered dead. There were over 200 bills that did not get heard before time expired. Next week the House will take up and consider Senate bills. The last day for the House to consider Senate bills is May 26.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: ‘I have called you friends’

Friends. There are lots of different kinds of friends. There are the people you’re happy to sit down with over lunch and enjoy some good company. There are the people with whom you’re glad to have connections who may help you along your way, introduce you to other people, present you with opportunities. Hopefully, you’re able to do the same.

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Krantz-Dimayuga says she wants to improve career-readiness in HISD

HOWE — Lifelong Howe resident Amber Krantz-Dimayuga said she is running for the Howe Independent School District Board of Trustees to make sure her daughters and all the other children in the community are receiving a great education. Krantz-Dimayuga is one of five candidates who filed for three at-large positions in the May 9 election.

JOHN RATCLIFFE: Floodplain executive order could cost taxpayers millions in Grayson County

It turns out that 1977 and 2015 have more in common than we previously believed. In 1977, President Carter established the definition of a “floodplain” as an area that is subject to a 1 percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. Fast forward to January of this year when President Obama used Executive Order 13690 to arbitrarily changed this definition so that it would better align with his administration’s climate agenda with flexibility for bureaucrats in Washington rather than American families.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Funding for state parks, transportation passes the Texas House

Currently, a portion of the sales tax revenue generated by sporting goods-related transactions is allocated to the Parks and Wildlife Department and to the Texas Historical Commission. This revenue is required to be appropriated to the agencies by the legislature, however portions of it have been either unappropriated or used for other purposes.

REMINISCENT: A Shaggy Dog story

I grew up in Brinker, Texas, U.S.A., the Hub of the Universe, east of Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County, a community that had more characters per square mile than any other place in the world. Practical jokes abounded, and my dad’s stories of his growing up in Brinker kept us in tears of laughter. It was only after I was grown that I realized he was probably chief among the characters when he was at his prime. This is the story of one of his best pranks.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Grad requirements, fee changes among bills passed by Texas House

It has been reported that tens of thousands of students will not graduate from high school this year because of the failure to pass an end-of-course test, including many cases in which a student has completed all other required coursework. A high school diploma makes it much easier for a student to attend college, join the military, and qualify for jobs.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: God versus man

In the book of Acts (in chapters 3 and 4) there is a story about how Peter and John healed a lame beggar at the gate of the temple. He was sitting there, and asked for some spare change from Peter and John. Peter told him, “I don’t have any money, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus – walk!” Now there was no small fuss made when the man actually could get up and walk. The people around began to get excited, a crowd began to form, and this gave Peter the opportunity to preach Christ to the people. Instead of taking the glory for himself, he preached that they had crucified the Messiah, and that God wanted them to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Lord over everyone.