News

Media groups fight gag order in Waco biker shootout case | Dallas Morning News

FORT WORTH (AP)— A gag order in a criminal case arising from a shootout at a biker gathering in Waco is unconstitutional, overly broad and should be lifted, attorneys for 16 media organizations argued in a brief filed Friday with a Texas appeals court. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 15 other organizations, including The Associated Press, filed the “friend of the court” brief in support of a motion by an attorney for one of 177 people arrested after the shooting.

Upcoming award deadlines

Texas Gavel Awards
Deadline: April 3
The State Bar of Texas Gavel Awards recognize excellence in journalism that educates the public about the rule of law, the legal profession and the judicial branch of government and discloses legal system practices or procedures needing correction.
Entries published or broadcast during the 2016 calendar year will be accepted for print, broadcast and online categories until 5 p.m. April 3. There is no entry fee.

Caller-Times President Libby Averyt retires

Libby Averyt

CORPUS CHRISTI  – Caller-Times president Libby Averyt retired Feb. 17 from a 30-plus year career at the newspaper.

Averyt, 53, said retirement was a personal decision. What she will miss most, she added, are those who she worked with side-by-side, who have shown a steadfast commitment to the Caller-Times and the community. 

Leadership changes

Dannie Oliveaux, The Pittsburg Gazette and The Steel Country Bee
PITTSBURG –Dannie Oliveaux has assumed the role of editor and publisher of The Pittsburg Gazette and The Steel Country Bee in Daingerfield. 
Oliveaux replaces Debbie Knox, who retired. 
“I’m excited about my new position as editor and publisher of both newspapers and returning closer to home,” Oliveaux said. 

Newsmakers

Juan Castillo
AUSTIN – Juan Castillo, a veteran newsman who has reported and edited at the Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle and McAllen Monitor, is returning to the Statesman to lead editorial and commentary efforts, Editor Debbie Hiott announced in a commentary. 

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KATHY LU COOKE MARTIN
ROCKDALE – Kathy Lu Cooke Martin, 57, a lifetime resident of Rockdale and fourth-generation publisher of the Rockdale Reporter, died Feb. 8.
She was born Oct. 28, 1959, in Rockdale, where she grew up, married the love of her life and worked for the newspaper her family has owned and operated since her great grandfather purchased it in 1911.

‘The Litigation Exception:’ A strange creature of darkness in government

Section 552.103 of the Texas Public Information Act—the “litigation exception”—is a uniquely strange exception to “prompt” disclosure of public information. Generally, it permits a governmental body to withhold information “relating to litigation of a civil or criminal nature” in which the government is, or may become, a party, viewed as of the date a requestor asks for the information.