News Roundup: Whitey Shafer, Who Wrote ‘All My Exes Live In Texas,’ Dies At 84

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJanuary 15, 2019 1:28 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas native and member of the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, Sanger “Whitey” Shafer, died this past weekend. He was 84 years old.

Shafer didn’t write his first song until he was 30. But he penned country classics such as “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” and “All My Exes Live in Texas,” performed by the so-called king of country himself, George Strait. Here’s Shafer performing his hit tune, “All My Exes Live in Texas” on Country Road TV.

Shafer also wrote songs for the likes of Merle Haggard, Kenny Chesney and Lee Ann Womack.

The Texas House wants the state to bump up its education funding.

Budget documents released Monday propose increasing state funds for public schools by 17 percent, amounting to $7 billion.

This proposal comes less than a week after a joint press conference with the so-called “big three” of the Texas legislature. At that event, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen voiced their commitment to school finance reform. Here’s Abbott:

“This session, we’re going to solve intractable issues that have been plaguing the state of Texas for decades going back to last century, that including reforming our school finance system here in Texas.”

Reforming the current school finance system is a key part of the House proposal to pump billions more into K-12 public education. These lawmakers want to increase funding only if they reduce the state’s reliance on property taxes and the unpopular Robin Hood system.

It’s inauguration day for Gov. Greg Abbot and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who each won reelection to a second term in November.

Steve Short, with Texas Public Radio, explains the Department of Public Safety is taking steps to ensure the security of all those attending today’s events.

DPS will leverage multiple department resources to boost the safety for everybody attending. Those resources will include state troopers, the Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Mounted Horse Patrol Unit, and canine teams.  There’s also new technology, including the department’s unmanned aerial systems or drones. The department says that drones may not be operated by the public in or over state property, including land and buildings in the Capitol Complex, which includes the Texas State Capitol.

Texas airlines and airports are feeling the effects of the partial federal government shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history.

The security checkpoint and ticketing counter in a Terminal at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport has been closed since Sunday and remains closed Tuesday.

That’s due to a shortage of TSA workers. Bill Begley is the public information officer for the Houston Airport System.

“We’re going to have to do some adjusting until TSA is able to fully staff the security lanes at Terminal B and once that happens we’ll reopen it, and we’ll reopen the ticket counter at B, and we’ll be back to normal operations,” Begley says.

TSA employees have been working without pay during the shutdown, which is now in its 25th day. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines plans to start providing service to Hawaii have also been delayed due to the partial government shutdown, since federal aviation inspectors have been furloughed.