DALLAS, Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Greyhound, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in North America, announced the return of service to Canada following the reopening of the United States–Canada border. Starting today, customers can officially book tickets for trips taking place on November 8 and beyond. The current travel destinations in Canada being offered are Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.
“Greyhound is just as excited as our customers to resume cross-border travel to Canada,” said Rob Friedman, Chief Commercial Officer, Greyhound Lines, Inc. “Our goal is to provide our passengers with affordable fares and stress-free transportation as they return to normal travel, especially around the holidays.”
Canadian passengers looking to book their travel with Greyhound can do so with a new, dedicated site that provides schedules and all the information they will need. U.S. travelers can book online or through the Greyhound app. For those planning on making the trip north, Canada is currently requiring all visitors to be fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival at the border. Lastly, travelers must register with ArriveCAN online or through the app to provide mandatory travel information. U.S. Travelers are recommended to visit Canada’stravel site to learn more about Canada’s travel requirements.
When ready to travel, customers can enjoy easy hassle-free boarding at our dedicated terminals, and simply show-and-go by using the e-Ticketing option. From there, customers can then enjoy a safe, comfortable ride, as well as modern amenities, such as onboard entertainment options, free onboard Wi-Fi, power outlets, reclining leather seats and extra legroom.
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Oct. 17-18 / 54 Holes / San Marcos, Texas / Kissing Tree Golf Club / Live Scoring
NORMAN – The Oklahoma women’s golf team travels to Texas for the second time during their fall campaign to compete in the annual Jim West Challenge Oct. 17-18 at the Kissing Tree Golf Club – a par-72, 6,287-yard course. Competition will begin Sunday with 36 holes and conclude Monday with the final 18 holes. Both days will feature an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start and be broadcast on ESPN+.
The Sooners last competed at the Illini Invitational at Medinah Golf Club. OU was led by Meagan and Libby Winans, who each finished tied for 27th with a pair of even-par 216s. It marked the second tournament of the fall slate that M. Winans led the OU contingent.
L. Winans is at stage-2 of LPGA Q-school and will be absent in the lineup for the first time this fall.
Screen finished third in the lineup at the Illini Invite, and tallied a 2-over 218 (T37th). She has been in the lineup for all three fall states with Fortuna and M.Winans.
Fernanda Martinez returns to the lineup after not competing last weekend, while Lang competes in back-to-back tournaments for the Sooners after playing in the Schooner Fall Classic as an individual.
Meagan Winans, Fr., Richardson, Texas: Made first career appearance in the Crimson and Cream at the Sam Golden Invitational … Finished tied with Screen at the Sam Golden with a 1-under 216 … Led the OU lineup at the Schooner Fall Classic, finishing with a 4-over 214 to finish tied for 22nd … Tied with sister, Libby Winans, for the team lead at the Illini Invitational … Sister, Libby, is a senior on the OU women’s golf team.
Hannah Screen, Sr., London, U.K.: Two NCAA Regional appearances (2021 at Columba, 2019 at Auburn) … In second season with the Sooner after transferring from Houston where she was All-AAC and led the Cougars to an AAC title … 71.70 scoring average would be lowest in program history … Led Sooners at five tournaments in 2020-21, including T4 at Big 12 Championship … 2021 All-Big 12 honoree … 2021 All-American honorable mention.
Mikhaela Fortuna, Sr., Manila,Philippines: Two NCAA Regional appearances (2021 at Columbus, 2019 in Norman) … Second-lowest scoring average (72.85) in OU history … Played in four events for the Sooners in the spring of 2021 after sitting out fall season … Posted T12 finish at the Big 12 Championship and was in second after the first round … Six of her nine rounds in 2021 are par or better … Career-best finish is T7, accomplished three times … 3-0 at Big 12 match play in 2021 … Second-lowest single-season scoring average (71.90) in OU history as a sophomore … Led OU at the 2021 Sam Golden Invitational, firing off rounds of 70-68-69 for a 9-under 207.
Maria Fernanda Martinez, R-Jr., Veracruz, Mexico: First appearance at an NCAA Regional in 2021 in Columbus, Ohio … Career scoring average of 74.34 is 12th-lowest in OU history … Tied career-best finish of T19 at the Big 12 Championship, posting back-to-back 70s to close the tournament … Advanced to round of 32 at the USGA Women’s Am Four Ball with sister Maria Jose, who plays at Houston … Made two appearances in the OU lineup this season … Tallied a career-low 68 at the Sam Golden Invitational.
Nina Lang, So., Ingoldtadt, Germany: Competed at Baylor in 2020-21 .. Finished inside the top-20 in three of her four events with the Lady Bears … First appearance in the OU lineup was at the Illini Invitational … Competed as an individual at Schooner Fall Classic, finishing tied for 27th.
No. 2 Oklahoma State
No. 14 Texas A&M
No. 16 Florida State
No. 22 TCU
No. 24 Texas Tech
No. 30 (RV) Oklahoma
No. 34 (RV) Miami
All three rounds will be played at Kissing Tree Golf Club (par-72, 6,287 yard course).
Fifty-four holes will be played over two days with 36 holes being played Sunday, Oct. 17 and the final 18 on Monday, Oct. 18. Both rounds are an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.
The tournament will be streamed on ESPN+ with Sunday’s broadcast starting at 11 a.m. and Monday’s beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Live scoring and final results will be posted on GolfStat.com. A full recap will be posted on SoonerSports.com following the completion of rounds each day.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.
The move comes as the Texas clinics are running out of avenues to stop the GOP-engineered law that bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks. It amounts to the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years and makes no exception for cases of rape or incest.
“People are scared, confused, and other than very early abortion, have nowhere to turn to access safe, legal abortion unless they are able to travel hundreds of miles to another state,” said Jeffrey Hons, president of Planned Parenthood South Texas, whose clinics have stopped offering all abortion services since the law took effect Sept. 1.
The latest defeat for clinics came Thursday night when a federal appeals panel in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, allowed the restrictions to remain in place for a third time in the last several weeks alone. Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the federal government will now ask the Supreme Court to reverse that decision but did not say how quickly.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office called Thursday night’s decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a “testament that we are on the right side of the law and life.”
A 1992 decision by the Supreme Court prevented states from banning abortion before viability, the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb, around 24 weeks of pregnancy. But Texas’ law has outmaneuvered courts so far because it offloads enforcement to private citizens. Anyone who brings a successful lawsuit against an abortion provider for violating the law is entitled to claim at least $10,000 in damages, which the Biden administration says amounts to a bounty.
During that brief window, some Texas clinics rushed to perform abortions on patients past six weeks, but many more appointments were canceled after the 5th Circuit moved to swiftly reinstate the restrictions last week.
Texas had roughly two dozen abortion clinics before the law took effect, and operators have said some may be forced to close if the restrictions stay in place for much longer.
Texas Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, set up a tip line to receive allegations against abortion providers but has not filed any lawsuits. Kimberlyn Schwartz, a spokeswoman, said Thursday the group expected the Biden administration to go to the Supreme Court next and was “confident Texas will ultimately defeat these attacks on our life-saving efforts.”
Already the stakes are high in the coming months over the future of abortion rights in the U.S. In December, the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court will hear Mississippi’s bid to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion.
On Wednesday, 18 state attorneys generals from mostly GOP-controlled states threw new support behind the Texas law, urging the court to let the restrictions stand while accusing the federal government of overstepping in bringing the challenge in the first place. Last month, more than 20 other states, mostly run by Democrats, had urged the lower court to throw out the law.
It was right around the turn of the twentieth century that Texas discovered oil—and golf. The gushing wealth created by the former helped spread the “Royal and Ancient Game,” as the state’s golf association described it in its founding 1906 mission statement. What began in the private, linen-suited confines of country clubs in Beaumont, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Waco, has since grown to more than nine hundred courses, many of them open to the public, and many of those regarded among the best in the country. This list of nine (which will, of course, be updated by next month to include eighteen) represent the best of public golf across Texas. These courses are beautiful representatives of their respective regions, challenging for experienced players, not too daunting for beginners, and all at a great value. For new arrivals to Texas or to golf, and for experienced golfers seeking a fresh adventure, allow us to suggest some of our favorite courses around the state.
BlackHorse Golf Club
This 36-hole course is wedged inside the BlackHorse Ranch community, about 35 minutes northwest of downtown Houston. The ample homes that occasionally appear along the fairways give it a country-club feel, as do the steep greens fees for prime tee times. But you get your money’s worth at this beautiful Jacobsen-and-Hardy-designed course that’s an homage to the region’s wetlands. Even better, the choice of six tee boxes makes it accessible to even the humblest duffer.
Start with the more-forgiving North Course. Most of the holes are fairly straightforward. The course opens and closes with broad, rippling fairways that are forgiving, but only up to a point: the long, wispy rough can devour wayward balls.
The South Course makes up for its shorter length—7,191 yards from the tips compared to the North’s 7,301—with a more-demanding layout. Water is a constant companion: seven holes include water features running along most or all of their respective fairways, and a winding creek occasionally comes into play. The sixteenth and seventeenth holes are especially memorable. The former, a short par four, dares big hitters to drive over a beautiful marsh, and the following par three is effectively an island—a wooden bridge just above the waterline takes you from tee box to green. The spectacular wetland landscape provides more than enough consolation for any splashed shots.
The pro shop is well stocked, and Roper’s Grill offers comfortable indoor and outdoor seating where you can enjoy the Big Jake cheeseburger (named after the course designer), or a variety of sandwiches and generously portioned salads, along with beer, cocktails, or wine. —Josh Alvarez
Greens fees: $49 to $145. Fees include practice balls and golf cart.
Memorial Park Golf Course
Bayou City golfers should count themselves lucky, if not spoiled. It’s rare to have a municipal course that’s fun, meticulously maintained, conveniently located—fewer than six miles west of downtown—and affordable. (Non-Houston residents, by comparison, must surrender their wallets to play.) Don’t bother with the $16 cart fee; this course offers an easy, enjoyable walk, and regular rainfall often means you would have to confine the cart to the paths.
Renowned designer Tom Doak teamed up with four-time major-tournament winner Brooks Koepka to renovate the 85-year-old course, which reopened in 2019. It’s now one of the country’s few PGA-certified munis, and hosts the Houston Open. Mere mortals need not fear: while playing from the tips stretches the course to a whopping 7,432 yards, one tee box down reduces it to a manageable 6,553 yards that are appealing to both scratch golfer and hack alike.
Those who fear the sand will rejoice at seeing fewer than twenty bunkers during the round, but in exchange, players must carefully navigate grass hollows, deep ravines, and thick Bermuda grass that clutches balls when they miss the fairway. Make use of the double-decker driving range to get your iron distances nailed down, because the greens can be unkind to shots that might be serviceable elsewhere. A prime example is the par three number seven, which slopes right to left toward a bunker and front to back toward a ravine. A precise, soft shot to the front allows the ball to release and stop before trouble. After the round, head over to the Becks Prime located on-site and treat yourself to the Bill’s Burger or the bacon cheeseburger, which Texas Monthlyranked a top-ten burger in the state. —Josh Alvarez
Greens fees: $15 to $140.
“Brack,” as it’s lovingly known to locals, is regularly listed among the best public courses in the U.S., and for good reason. It’s a treasure, both for its rich history and the challenge it offers at an attractive price. Host of the Texas Open for many decades, the course was designed by the famed architect A. W. Tillinghast, whose resume includes such U.S. Open venues as Baltusrol and Winged Foot. Located just two miles north of the Alamo, Brackenridge opened in 1916 in a sparsely inhabited area where, according to a plaque, construction workers were menaced by “wolves, bears and other critters then native to the area.”
Measuring just 6,200 yards, the course plays longer, thanks to strategic placement of bunkers, trees, doglegs, ponds, and creeks. Many of the greens are narrow, elevated, and guarded by traps, including at the signature eighth, a lovely and wicked 188-yard par three. The greens sometimes suffer from extensive traffic, especially during dry periods. They’re best in the fall, when many San Antonians are drawn away from the links by football and hunting.
The pro shop offers a full range of ammo and armor, plus sandwiches and beer. Golfers can warm up at the Polo Field Golf Center’s driving range just a mile to the north. Many local golfers buy a membership that offers discounts on the city’s eight courses, including Brack. —Dan Goodgame
Greens fees: $24.50 to $62.
The Palmer Course at La Cantera
One of the most challenging and scenic golf properties in the San Antonio area, the Palmer is consistently ranked as one of the best resort courses in the U.S. Located twenty miles northwest of downtown, it sprawls along a hilly rim that overlooks much of the city. The course features dramatic elevation changes, which pose a special challenge when the wind is up. There are admirably few blind shots—at least if you stay in the fairway, which you need to do here. The rough can be punitive during wet spells or when it’s mowed taller before tournaments. On one such day, my foursome lost a half dozen balls on shots just a couple of yards off the fairway. The greens here are consistently true and are faster than most in the area.
Opened in 2001, the course was designed by the late, great Arnold Palmer, and measures about 6,900 yards from the tips. Beneath its many hills are streams and ponds, some fed by handsome man-made waterfalls, including on the signature fourth and eighteenth holes.
A driving range is available on site, as is a well-stocked pro shop and a handsome full-service restaurant and bar with commanding views of the course. Two great times to visit are in late October and early March, when pulses of monarch butterflies often migrate through the Palmer course on their way to and from their wintering grounds in Mexico. —Dan Goodgame
Greens fees: $59 to $159.
Grapevine Golf Course
In a state with so many fine, and even historic, parkland municipal courses, Grapevine stands out. One reason is that the great Byron Nelson influenced its design. Another is that the 27-hole property sits astride Grapevine Lake, giving the place an aura of intimacy and tranquility, most notably on the Pecan nine, where some holes play under and along the lake’s dam. Grapevine’s holes wander in every direction, and each is unique. A round here is a pleasant expedition, full of surprises and delight.
Grapevine represents, for the most part, a gentle test. That is not to say it’s easy. But it is, in the best sense, simple and sensible. Everything fits. Take the par-four fifth hole on the Pecan nine: 405 yards from an elevated tee, moving right to left toward a vaguely reverse-Redan green. It’s scenic, strategic, and, if you fancy, heroic. And, as on a handful of other holes on the Pecan and Mockingbird nines, you feel that you’re all alone with an alley of oaks. The affordability of the course is a bonus. —Kevin D. Robbins
Greens fees: $19 to $43.
The Rawls Course
If a mark of an outstanding golf course is its relationship and fidelity to its elements, The Rawls Course on the Llano Estacado just might be the most Texan course in the state. Designed by Tom Doak and opened in 2003, the acclaimed home course of the Texas Tech golf teams confronts players with two prominent features of northwest Texas: level land and a firing wind.
Doak rearranged more than 1.3 million cubic yards of topsoil to dimple the space with endless bumps and ripples. Tall, wispy grasses thrive in the rough between generous fairways, helping to define them amid the flat landscape. The result is a vexing and invigorating golf experience that summons the seaside links of Scotland. The wind that typically scrapes the High Plains can ratchet up the difficulty of keeping balls in position at Rawls. Low, running shots are the ticket here. The few Afghan pines on the course provide little shade or protection from the wind. There are just enough of them to serve as shot targets. Use them prudently to avoid the course’s rough and its 97 craggy bunkers.
The fourteenth hole, a 506-yard par-four, features a yawning fairway with a deep bunker standing sentry inside the left-to-right bend in the landing zone for tee shots. The approach plays slightly uphill to the most compelling green on Rawls (which is saying something, because they’re all inspiring). The front of the putting surface falls left into a hollow. A modest saddleback in the middle rises to a narrow plateau at the back, with two gaping bunkers on the left, and a generous bailout area on the right. Setting up a birdie putt here of any length is an achievement. And for most golfers, so is a bogey. —Kevin D. Robbins
Greens fees: $39 to $91.
Rockwood Golf Course
In 1933, John Bredemus, the mystical, Princeton-educated math professor turned course architect credited with the creation of Fort Worth’s Colonial Country Club, also fashioned eighteen holes along the West Fork of the Trinity River. That course, Rockwood, just five miles north of Colonial, served for decades as a decent municipal for those without the wherewithal to join a private club.
Then, in 2015, the city of Fort Worth paid Colligan Golf Design, which had restored the Brackenridge Park course in San Antonio, more than $5 million to revive Rockwood. Better money was never spent. Rockwood reopened in 2017. Everything was new: tees, greens, fairways, bunkers, and drainage. Yet the new design felt respectful of the old one.
A walk on Rockwood reminds us that an American municipal golf course from the 1930s can use modern technology—improved irrigation, better agronomy, finer sand—and still pay proper homage to its roots. While the bones of the original Rockwood remain strong, the Colligan restoration sharpened subtle play angles, whittled interesting landforms into the broad Rockwood fairways and planted new bunkers in strategic locations.
The tee of the lovely par-three eighth hole takes you to one of the highest points on the property. From there, you see downtown Fort Worth—and the 142 yards from the back tee to a massive green in the shape of an amorphous arrowhead, with a spacious false front just beyond a bunker that looks a lot closer to the green than it really is. The shortest hole at Rockwood, framed beautifully by its three balanced bunkers and two lone trees, is an ode to a time when length wasn’t all that mattered. (Pro tip: don’t leave it short.)
Rockwood is exactly what a classic municipal golf course should be: engaging, modest, seductive, and just plain fun. —Kevin D. Robbins
Greens fees: $11 to $45.
Falconhead Golf Club
Located on Austin’s fast-growing western edge, just half an hour from downtown, this course offers a challenging but fair Hill Country golf experience. Designed by architects at the PGA Tour Design Center, it takes advantage of the varying elevations found across the area’s natural rolling landscape. Note that there are five sets of tees that can stretch the course to 7,181 yards or shrink it to 5,170, affording a fun experience for players of most all levels.
The second hole, a par four, is ranked the toughest on the course, with its downhill/uphill layout. The front nine closes with a trio of fine holes: a par four that is drivable for those who can hit it long and straight, a scenic par three that features a tee shot to a cantilevered green that is slightly elevated and protected by a creek on its right side (pro tip: err to the left), and a long par five that climbs (and climbs and climbs), requiring a blind approach shot to a green that runs away from the fairway. The fun continues on the back nine.
Arrive early to take advantage of Falconhead’s practice facility, which includes a driving range, pitching area, and putting green. One row of practice mats is set beneath a shady canopy, and the range offers Toptracer mobile capabilities, so be sure to download the app. After your round, take advantage of Talon’s Bar and Grill, which features a lovely covered patio exposed to refreshing Hill Country breezes. —David Courtney
Greens fees: $39 to $89.
Vaaler Creek Golf Club
With beautiful vistas; meandering creeks; and winding fairways lined with plentiful live oak, cedar, and mesquite trees, Vaaler Creek epitomizes the best of Hill Country golf. The full eighteen-hole course opened in 2009, just six miles southeast of Blanco and about an hour’s drive from Austin and San Antonio. It serves as the centerpiece of the 1,100-acre Rockin’ J Ranch residential development, but much of the course rests amid secluded natural beauty with nary a home in sight—or in danger of errant shots.
Named for Jack Vaaler (an Army buddy of the development’s owner and a recognizable name in the San Antonio golf community), the course features well-kept MiniVerde greens, with Bermuda 419 and TifSport grasses throughout. The two nines form a figure eight laid out over gently rolling terrain that formerly served as ranchland. The clubhouse, small but functional, is located in a renovated 1860s ranch house—with a large added deck that is shaded by ancient oaks.
Vaaler presents just enough bunkering and water to keep any player’s attention, but even from the back tees, which stretch the course to 6,864 yards, Vaaler offers a pleasant round for most skill levels. The signature eighteenth is a par four featuring a severe dogleg that descends leftward down to a large pond. It leaves the golfer with a demanding shot over the water to a green that is protected on the backside by a large bunker. Here and on others of the greens, distance control is key. —David Courtney
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) – The nation’s most restrictive abortion law is driving many women from Texas to seek services as far away as Oklahoma and Kansas.
The Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport is among the clinics seeing a major arrival of Texas patients. On a recent Saturday, more than a dozen women arrived at the single-story brick building while some came alone.
Others brought their children because they were unable to get child care, but all were seeking to end pregnancies. One of the patients was a 33-year-old woman who already has three kids. She said adding a baby to the family would take time and resources away from her other children.
Hundreds of tips poured in through social media — few readers stopped at one suggestion. One single reader shared 31 ideas.
Although I will not be able to make all these cool stops on this particular road trip, I was determined to share a healthy sampling of your travel advice.
I’ve divided the tips into four categories:
I will do this in West Texas
Several readers suggested that I add two 19th century military bases en route to Fort Concho in San Angelo: The very well preserved Fort McKavett, a state historic sitein Menard County, and Fort Chadbourne, located on a private ranch but open to the public in Coke County.
Author Stephen Harrigan reminded me that the grave of Texas great writer Katherine Anne Porter can be found at Indian Creek Cemetery south of Brownwood. No way I’d miss that.
John F. Henley thinks that the nearby hamlet of Indian Creek is worth a stop: “Look for images of it. If the old school and church still stand — and they were very solid — then it’s a very ‘Last Picture Show’ kind of experience.”
Maline McCalla suggested St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in San Angelo: “Years ago the church was able to undergo a renovation. I was hired to repair — not feasible — or re-create — which I did — the large ceramic tile mural — 8 feet by 10 feet as I can best recall — on the outside of the church on 17th Street side.”
Among other gems, Bobby Earl Smith convincingly urged an extra San Angelo stop: “Though it may seem like an odd recommendation, the Calvary Cemetery at 1501 W. Avenue N is fascinating to me. My friend Albert Tijerina is buried there. He was the drum major and I was band president our senior years. He got shot down in Laos at a time when our government was denying our presence there. San Angelo integrated its school in 1955, but the cemetery is testament to folks in one part of town buried in one place and folks in another, another. It is a colorful funeral garden contrasted with the old staid cemetery immediately adjacent, separated by a fence.”
Rosemary Moore recommended some San Angelo attractions already in our sights: Fort Concho, Hattie’s Bordello, Cactus Hotel, Tom Green Country Courthouse and Chicken Farm Art Center. She insisted, too, that I eat at Twin Mountains Steakhouse, “probably the best steakhouse in Texas — maybe the world. Be sure to order ‘Scraps.'”
Lisa Harris, who visited San Angelo not long ago, hoped that I would take in the Danner Museum of Telephony and International Waterlily Collection: “Early April turned out to be too early in the year to see a full waterlily display; now would be a much better time to see that.” Ellen Jeschke agreed that this flowery attraction was a must-go: “People come from all over the world to see it.”
Laure McLaughlin was among readers who recommended a special exhibit at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts: “Asked my father, Mark McLaughlin, if he had anything to add — he’s lived in San Angelo 50+ years and is 90 now. He suggested an exhibit put together by Howard Taylor at Fort Concho, ‘Caseta,’ that is now housed at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts (as part of) the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Arts. Paintings from the early 1900s are collected and displayed.”
Jackie Martin, who has served on several community boards in San Angelo, sent in more than 10 sterling tips.
My favorite: “At the risk of shameful self-promotion, I will introduce our company, Anodyne Wool. Our four-generation, family-owned business sources and processes 100% of the wool used in all U.S. military dress uniforms, as well as providing wool to companies worldwide. You would be welcomed to tour our warehouse for a sense of how wool is processed and shipped.”
I am so there.
Sam Young had a similar suggestion: “You might be interested in visiting the Aermotor factory at 4277 Dan Hanks Lane. The history of Aermotor windmills is quite a story. If you go there, they will give you a tour and if you mention my father’s name, Peck Young, they will know who you are talking about.”
Multiple readers, including Micky Dorsey, Harry Olmsted, Bobby Earl Smith and John T. Wende, recommended the Cactus Book Shop in San Angelo. Dorsey: “Great collection of Texana and Western history.”
If there’s a bookstore anywhere — I found three in tiny Glen Rose on an earlier road trip — I’ll be there.
I hope to do this in West Texas
Clearly, there is no way to take up all the marvelous tips. If convenient, however, I’d add these:
Fred Fuchs advised three food and drink stops: The town of Eola, which beckons with a brewpub in an old schoolhouse; Wines of Dotson-Cervantes located in Pontotoc, a stop that comes with the life story of an African American football player named Alphonse Dotson; and chicken fried steak at Henry’s in San Angelo. “May be the best in Texas.”
Many steakhouses made our readers’ lists. Gene Bates, who attended college at what is now Angelo State University sent me an enthusiastic endorsement along with football lore: Western Sky Steakhouse “is the place to chow down, at as well as the Angry Cactus.”
Mel Daniels shared a very particular tip: “I never go through Brownwood near meal time without eating at Underwood’s Cafeteria. My wife and I order one meat, and then put on several vegetables — at no extra cost — and have more than enough for a 90 year-old-man and his wife. Clearly the best bargain and best tasting food in Texas.”
Jack London has a special reason to send me to the Dove Creek Battlefield, located near the village of Knickerbocker southwest of San Angelo, where Confederates fought Kickapoos: “An ancestor of one of my high school classmates named Keahey was killed in the battle.”
Pamala Mathison efficiently sent me a spreadsheet on San Angelo-area attractions, including “Hummer House in Christoval is special, too … the hummingbirds migrate through in May, but I’m not sure when they migrate back.” In fact, the hummers are in full migration right now!
Walt Wilkins intuited that I’d need to take a break from history, nature and art: “There is a completely unique bar and live music venue in downtown San Angelo called House of FiFi Dubois. Cool hang, and surprising maybe. There is a boot company based downtown, too, called Ranch Road Boots. Cool owner with a cool story. I’ve bought two pair so far.”
Similarly, Teresa Drisdale recommended refreshments in Brownwood, along with means to find out more: Teddy’s Brewhaus (on Facebook), Tr3s Leches bakery (on Facebook), Baked Artisan Goods (on Facebook), and the Turtle Restaurant (on Facebook).
Brownwood native Patti Halladay also focused on Brownwood hotspots, including: Steves’ Market and Deli, located at 110 E. Chandler St., is owned by two delightful guys, both named Steve, and provides amazing healthy, tasty food. They are only open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., so plan accordingly. Phone number is 325-646-6676.”
Alice Adams sent me scintillating stories about football legends, polio patients and World War II prisoners of war in San Angelo and Brownwood. Had to share this one, which relates tangentially to Hattie’s Bordello: “When a tent city sprung up on the river bank, opposite Fort Concho, one of the most popular and frequent guests of this pop-up ‘Sin City’ was Lottie Deno, a humdinger of a poker player, who began her legendary journey from Fort Worth to San Antonio to Fort Concho and up to Albany — north of Abilene — before marrying her long-time boyfriend and went with him to New Mexico, where they became respectable citizens of the town.
“Lottie could beat the hound outta Doc Holliday at the poker table, but remained friends with Doc’s gal, ‘Big Nose Sally.’ Lottie may have worked for the local madam in St. Angelus — before it became San Angelo — when card tables were slow.”
Mrs. Lou Dove Wirht provided me with a tantalizing prospect: “My uncle was one who helped build Camp Bowie in Brownwood. He then became a member of the 36th Division, serving in the European theater of World War II. I must say I have not visited the site of Camp Bowie and understand that not much is left to remind one of World War II days. It does hold an important place in our history, however.”
Wayne Walther of Lockhart had several tips ready for Runnels County, located in the middle of our planned itinerary: Rowena for the ToOur Liberty monument, the Horny Toad Brewing Co., and the latest iteration of the Lowake Steak House. Also Ballinger for Pompeo Coppini’s statute of cowboy Charles H. Noyes: “The young man pictured was killed when his horse stumbled — on a prairie dog hole? — and his parents commissioned the statue as a memorial.”
I likely won’t get to these West Texas spots this time
Several readers suggested their favorite haunts in Alpine, Marfa, Big Bend National Park, Fort Davis, Balmorhea, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, McKittrick Canyon (for fall colors) and Big Spring. Alas, these top attractions lie far out of the range for this particular trip’s itinerary.
Since we are visiting historic hotels in Brownwood and San Angelo, readers such as Mary Paige Huey urged me to head further up the road to Big Spring to see the beautifully restored Hotel Settles: “It was quite a place back in the day. My father, Paige Benbow, was the general manager in 1931, and it was a hub for special area events. I have a lot of memorabilia from his days there; my sister, Ann Benbow, was born there in 1933 where the family resided in the penthouse.”
Huey passed along some charming pictures of the Settles Hotel, always appreciated.
I probably won’t make it up to Cross Plains on this trip, but have noted what Jeb Boyt said about the author of the “Conan the Barbarian” series and that whole fantasy subgenre: “Visit the Robert E. HowardMuseum. … REH’s grave is in Brownwood. On Main Street, the library has some of REH’s manuscripts and correspondence. Across from the library is mercantile with some great early 20th century architecture.”
On the other hand, a side trip to Cross Plains is starting to sound pretty attractive.
Jay Simpson recommended the Regency Bridge, a one-lane suspension bridge over the Colorado River in San Saba County. I once tried to find this “swing bridge” while tracing 50 Texas rivers, and could never pinpoint its location. Maybe now with better maps loaded onto mobile devices the magic will happen.
Not actually in West Texas, but super tips for road trips down the line
Just the term “road trip” excited some readers, who kindly sent me toward points that are actually north or east of Austin. You can bet that I will spend more time in these spots, and I hope you do, too.
John Bernadoni, for instance, is a big promoter of his ancestral Galveston. He sent in no fewer than 31 tips for time spent there: “I can think of no other city in Texas with a richer history than this extraordinarily unique island. … Would be happy to expand on these elements and more should you need my help. Tally ho!”
Suzanne Madley told me about the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church’s Barbecue in Huntsville. Wish I’d known about that joint this June, when I visited the unsettling Texas Prison Museum in that East Texas city. (My Instagram joke attached to a picture of my sainted mother smiling below a barbed wire fence: “I put my mom through the Scared Straight program at the Texas Prison Museum.”)
Advertising wizard Tim McClure urged a detour northward to Corsicana: “Site of the first oil well west of the Mississippi and Fruitcake Capital of Texas, thanks to the Collin Street Bakery’s legendary deluxe fruitcake — I know, I know, fruitcake? Need more? I’m from there, a.k.a the Adman Who Coined the Legendary Anti-Litter Battle Cry, ‘Don’t Mess With Texas!’”
Michael Barnes writes about the people, places, culture and history of Austin and Texas. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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I have always had a fascination with fairytale castles, and Texas has plenty of them. Whether exploring museums, wedding venues, Galveston estates, Hill Country castles, old land offices, jailhouses, or private homes that are dreams come true, the castles across Texas are regal classics. We don’t have to travel across the pond to Bavaria or Germany to visit them. Here are some of my favorite castles right here in Texas.
1. Bishop’s Palace In Galveston
Located on Broadway at 14th Street in the East End Historic District of Galveston, my favorite, Bishop’s Palace, is also known as Gresham’s Castle, owned by Walter Gresham, his wife Josephine, and their nine children. Constructed between 1887 and 1893 by Galveston architect Nicholas J. Clayton, the sturdy stone building with 13 fireplaces withstood the 1900 hurricane. In 1923, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston purchased the house, and it served as the residence for Bishop Christopher E. Byrne. When the diocese moved to Houston in 1963, the mansion opened to the public with tour proceeds funding the UT Medical School’s Newman Center. The 20,000-square-foot home cost $250,000 to build, and today the value is over $6.9 million. Self-guided tours help fund the property’s preservation and restoration.
Pro Tip:Stay at 7 Seaside Sisters at the Gaido’s Seaside Inn, on the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast with Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant and Nick’s Kitchen and Beach Bar next door.
2. The Old Red Museum Castle In Dallas
Lovingly known as Old Red, the 1892 Romanesque Dallas County Courthouse is scheduled to return to its original use, becoming the new home of the Texas Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Once again, court proceedings and justice will fill the old courthouse, with renovations beginning in early 2022. The current Dallas County History and Culture Museum, opened in the courthouse in 2007, will be redesigned and displayed in three County buildings in the West End: Old Red, the Schoolbook Depository, the Criminal Courts/Records Complex, and four satellite county structures.
Pro Tip: Don’t miss the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, just a couple of blocks away, that chronicles the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the aftermath.
3. Falkenstein Castle, Burnet
Available for daily private rental, weddings, galas, and special events, Falkenstein Castle in Burnet became a dream come true. The owners visited the original King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein castle in Germany, the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyland Castle. They brought home copies of the artist’s renderings of a second castle called Falkenstein and other minor sketches and built their chateau in the Texas Hill Country.
The Elisabet Ney Museum celebrates her legacy, art, and history with exhibitions and events for the whole family. The historic home and studio of Elisabet Ney, a German sculptor who moved to Austin in 1882, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places based on its significance as the former American studio of Elisabet. The Formosa Studio is home to sculptured Texas legends Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin. King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Jacob Grimm are some of the European notables she sculpted. The Capital Improvement Project undergoing significant site upgrades will begin in 2022.
Pro Tip: Dine at Lutie’s Garden Restaurant in the Commodore Perry Estate, led by executive chef Bradley Nicholson and executive pastry chef Susana Querejazu.
5. Shelby County Courthouse Castle In Center
The 1885 Shelby County Courthouse in Center is the only remaining Irish castle-style courthouse in the United States. Architect J. J. E. Gibson of Ireland designed 12 chimneys encompassing the brick structure, like the castles he had seen while growing up in his native land. Gibson made more than two million bricks for the 2-story Romanesque brick building with sand for the mortar carried by oxcart from Louisiana, 40 miles away. The high ceilings and shuttered windows helped keep the courthouse cool. The first-floor rooms serve as a museum with Gibson’s portrait and various construction tools.
6. Old General Land Office Castle In Austin
The oldest surviving state government office building in Austin, designed by German architect Christoph Conrad Stremme, the Old General Land Office Building was completed in 1857. The castle-like parapets have a Norman-style influence, while rounded arches around the windows and doors feature a dramatic medieval castle-style known as Rundbogenstil. Located on the southeast corner of the Texas State Capitol grounds, the building functioned as the state’s land office building until 1917. Today it serves as the Capitol Visitors Center, offering tours and exhibits.
7. Brown County Museum Castle In Brownwood
Constructed between 1902 and 1903 by William Hood, a local architect and contractor, the Brown County Jail served as the region’s jail until 1981, one of the most impressive structures conveying romantic medieval military tradition and fortress-like power. It was bestowed a Texas Historical Marker in 1963. The Texas Historical Commission issued a grant for renovation and repair, and the Brown County Historical Commission preserved the building for a museum of local history.
8. Austin County Jail Castle In Bellville
The Romanesque Revival-style 4-story Jail House, constructed in 1896, has notched parapets, overhanging corner turrets, and stone window arches. See the gallows, used in 1901, the jailor’s quarters, and the jail cells all still the same. Arrange for a personal tour on Saturday, from 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., with many personal stories that bring the old jail to life. The consensus is that it is creepy but exciting. Don’t miss the gun display, law enforcement guns, and criminal, bad guys’ guns.
9. Newman’s Castle In Bellville
Newman’s Castle outside Bellville is a one-of-a-kind custom-built castle in the country that you must see to believe. Call the bakery for reservations since the castle hosts weddings, birthday parties, wine tastings, and other special events. Call again a day or 2 before the trip to confirm a final count since the tour includes lunch. Check-in at Newman’s Bakery on Main Street, and you will be given directions to the castle, about 5 miles out in the country. Allow 1.5–2 hours for the tour and lunch. You won’t believe the moat (gators?), a 3,000-pound drawbridge with a portcullis, chapel, five round-corner turrets, a courtyard, and central keep with a dramatic view of the surrounding countryside. The perimeter wall encompasses the castle, ensuring your safety from marauders.
Pro Tip: After lunch, head back to the bakery for sweets to take home.
10. Captain Charles Schreiner Mansion In Kerrville
Constructed in 1879, The 21,780-square-foot Captain Charles Schreiner Mansion is home to the Hill Country Museum. Architect Alfred Giles incorporated Renaissance Revival and Romanesque Revival architecture overlooking the expansive Peterson Plaza, available for special event rentals, including the VIP Suite and Events at Water Street space in the historic building. See the Schreiner Mansion’s website for dates and times for guided tours.
11. Trube Castle In Galveston
The Trube Castle is a Danish-inspired home designed by architect Alfred Muller and constructed in 1890 by John Clement Trube from Kiel Denmark. Trube married Veronica Durst, an early Texas Peter Durst heir, and the family had nine children. The castle is still owned and occupied by the Trube family. Constructed of solid brick with a Belgian cement finish, the castle withstood many gulf storms. The Texas Historical Commission added a historical marker in 1965.
12. The Lambermont Events In San Antonio
The Lambermont, the residence of Edwin Holland Terrell and his family, was built in 1894. While serving as Ambassador to Belgium in the early 1890s, Terrell fell in love with the castles and chateaus in Belgium and France. He commissioned architect Alfred Giles to design his home after the European courts. Today the estate is an ideal location for intimate dinners, weddings, and grand events. Four bedrooms and a carriage house apartment, all with private bathrooms, are available for overnight stays.
13. Façade Norde On Eagle Mountain Lake, Fort Worth
The Scottish-French castle called Façade Nord or North Face pays homage to his family, a replica of deBullet’s grandmother’s family castle in Scotland. His father’s family is French, siding with Napoleon. The 6,570-square-foot home has five bedrooms and five bathrooms, with 60 arches and multiple turrets. The castle stands on a bluff overlooking Eagle Mountain Lake.
The award-winning Castle at Rockwall, on 10 acres, is the perfect place for a wedding, quinceanera, or special event, with 8,000 square feet of medieval architecture and creative landscaping. Towering beamed ceilings and architectural fireplaces, large areas for ceremonies and receptions are dreamy.
Parsons Castle is a unique, one-of-a-kind venue for a wedding, meeting, or special event, which opened in 2018 on beautiful Lake Whitney. The castle has 5 stories with balconies and crystal chandeliers on each floor. Host the perfect event in the 3,000-square-foot ballroom. The castle grounds offer a large front lawn, moat, drawbridge, multiple pavilions, private pool, and beautiful landscaping.
Missing Texas toddler found alive after three days in the woods
After a three-day search, Christopher Ramirez, 3, has been reunited with his family.
Fox – 26 Houston, Fox – 26 Houston
A 3-year-old Texas boy was found safe in a wooded area Saturday, roughly three days after he went missing from his family’s home.
Christopher Ramirez was found after a civilian called in a tip to authorities, bringing a swift resolution to a search that had little facts to go off of, according to Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell.
Ramirez appeared to be in good health when he was found and was reunited with his mother as he was evaluated by medical professionals, Sowell said.
“He was smiling, drinking water, and he’s in good shape,” the sheriff said.
The boy was found roughly five miles from his family’s home.
The child disappeared Wednesday afternoon while playing a family dog from his yard near Plantersville, about 60 miles northwest of Houston. He was found not far from where authorities had been searching, Sowell said.
Sowell said there were no indications of foul play in the disappearance.
The breakthrough came less than a day after the search for Ramirez hit a “standstill,” according to Sowell.
“Hardly no clues to go on, we were running on prayers, four-wheel drive and overdrive to be honest with you because we had nothing else,” Sowell said. “We had nothing else.”
Portland will be voting on an emergency resolution Wednesday that would ban trading with Texas and bar city employees from traveling to the state as a direct response to the state’s new abortion law.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made the announcement on Friday, stating, “The Portland City Council stands unified in its belief that all people should have the right to choose if and when they carry a pregnancy and that the decisions they make are complex, difficult, and unique to their circumstances.”
“We urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government,” Wheeler added.
Texas’ new law has made it illegal to access or provide an abortion in the state after the sixth week of pregnancy.
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Everyday citizens and as well as government officials have spoken out and taken steps to combat the law.
TikTokers protested an online tip line that was created by the anti-abortion rights group Texas Right to Life, aiming to enforce the law by encouraging people to report violators, by inundating the tip line with memes, fake reports and porn.
On Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he and the Justice Department would protect the reproductive rights of citizens by enforcing the FACE Act, which “prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services.”
“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion,” Garland said in a statement, “we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act … We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage.”
McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Despite Title 42 travel restrictions still in effect on the Southwest border, sales tax revenue figures for border cities and counties within Texas increased in August almost border-wide and that means more money for border communities this month, according to new data released by the Texas Comptroller’s office.
Sales tax allocations for October, which are based on sales tax revenue from August, show cities and counties statewide will get a revenue increase of about 20%. But on the border, most cities will receive an even bigger increase because of a bump in sales taxes during August.
That’s encouraging news for border communities that have suffered under travel restrictions — imposed in March 2020 under the Trump administration and extended through the Biden administration to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
From El Paso, in West Texas, to the Gulf Coast city of Brownsville, border cities, on average had a 23% increase in sales tax revenues in August, the Texas Comptroller reported this week. Some border sales tax allocations include:
McAllen is getting a 23% increase from August 2020 and will receive $6.3 million, up from $5.2 million.
Laredo: A 23.4% increase and getting $3.9 million, up from $3.2 million.
Brownsville: A 23% increase and getting $3.95 million, up from $3.2 million.
Presidio: A 36% increase and getting 41,066, up from $30,111.
Eagle Pass: A 22.8% increase and getting $445,291, up from $362,445.
El Paso: A 16.5% bump and receive $9 million, up from $7.7.
Roma, in Starr County: A 3.7% increase and getting $114,134, up from $110,056.
There were some exceptions, however.
The South Texas city of Del Rio had only a 1% increase in sales tax revenue in August. However, that number is expected to greatly increase for September sales tax figures because that is when thousands of law enforcement and federal agents, journalists and volunteers descended upon the remote border town as a caravan of mostly Haitian migrants camped under the international bridge and brought worldwide attention to the city with a population of just 35,000.
ABOVE LEFT: An estimated 15,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, camped under the Del Rio International Bridge, as seen from atop the bridge on Sept. 17, 2021. RIGHT: A National Guardsman patrols the entrance to the bridge on Sept. 17, 2021. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photos)
Rio Grande City in Starr County saw a decrease of 5% in sales tax figures, which some attribute to Operation Lone Star, a program in which Gov. Greg Abbott has surged hundreds of Texas troopers to border communities to combat a surge in migrants.
Starr County Judge Eloy Vera earlier told Border Report that the presence of added troopers deters some residents from venturing to shop because many are low-income and have older vehicles, some not in compliance with state laws, and they don’t want to risk getting a ticket.
An examination by Border Report of tickets issued by Department of Public Safety troopers and other law enforcement found a disproportionate number of citations issued in Starr and Hidalgo Counties due to the increase in state troopers.
On Sept. 20, Abbott announced a $100 million grant program affiliated with Operation Lone Star to border communities to help enhance security as well as funds to border communities.
“This program will strengthen our response to the crisis at the border and help keep our communities safe,” Abbott said in a statement.
During a visit to the Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday, along with nine other governors from across the nation, Abbott reiterated his support for Operation Lone Star and said Texas communities are bearing the fiscal brunt of border security, which he calls a federal responsibility.
“Texas and other states are taking action to do the federal government’s job,” Abbott said.