Newsletter

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.

Who, Toto? Toto’s my dog!

Back in the “olden days” of my childhood I could never wait for “The Wizard of Oz” to come on television. It seems like it came on as a special every year or so in those days before DVR, DVD and VHS. And even on our black-and-white television, the colors of Munchkin City came to life in my childhood imagination.
The Wizard of Oz was a powerful, almost god-like manifestation when first seen in the 1939 classic. Of course, later, little Toto drew back the curtain to expose the man operating the controls.

Sunshine Week great time to show support for TPA legislative team

Sunshine Week, March 12-18, is the perfect time to show support for government transparency issues championed by the Texas Press Association in the 85th session of the Texas Legislature.
Members of the TPA Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC), along with TPA Executive Vice President Donnas Baggett and Member Services Director Ed Sterling, are monitoring bills and meeting with legislators promoting issues related to the three pillars of transparency: open records, open meetings and public notices in newspapers.