Lingering East-West division in Germany highlighted by economic issues

This August marked 60 years since the Berlin Wall first went up, creating a physical barrier between East and West Germany. Despite the wall coming down nearly three decades later, a lagging economy in parts of the former East are creating new divisions. Wages, unemployment, and GDP are lower in the former communist East Germany,…

Inside German broadcaster Welt’s new Berlin headquarters

It’s all hands on deck for election week at the Welt TV network, which is owned by German media giant Axel Springer. The Bundestag elections in September are the first major parliamentary election broadcast from Welt’s studio inside the new Axel Springer Building. The facility, along Zimmerstrasse in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood, opened in April. The…

Texas weathers historic winter storm

The effects of a week below freezing and record-setting winter weather will certainly be felt long after East Texas begins to thaw. Starting Sunday, February 14, much of Texas faced a period of historic cold. Snow, freezing rain, and ice triggered the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning lasting several days. In…

Hemphill museum to commemorate 18th anniversary of Shuttle Columbia tragedy

The Hemphill museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Space Shuttle Columbia will host its annual memorial service on Monday, the 18th anniversary of the tragedy that trust East Texas into international headlines. On the morning of February 1, 2003, the orbiter broke apart in the skies over East Texas, just minutes before Columbia’s…

Talking Politics: Analyzing Texas election outcomes with international journalists

With a historic voter turnout in Texas during an unprecedented pandemic, the 2020 general election will likely be studied for years. President Donald Trump garnered roughly 600 thousand more votes in the Lone Star State than Democratic challenger Joe Biden, upending pundits’ predictions that Texas would turn “blue.” Democrats did make in-roads, expanding their reach…

Astronauts emerge from shelter after ‘avoidance maneuver’ successful

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have emerged from their ‘safe haven’ after taking shelter inside their Soyuz spacecraft as an unknown piece of space debris approached the orbiting outpost. According to NASA, the object was expected to pass within .8 of a mile of the space station Tuesday afternoon. Around 4:19 p.m., the Russian…

Spacecraft to be named for astronaut who died in 2003 space shuttle tragedy

A spacecraft set to launch later this month will be named for a pioneer astronaut who died in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy in East Texas. Northrop Grumman announced its un-crewed NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft will be named for Kalpana Chawla, a NASA astronaut assigned to Shuttle Columbia’s ill-fated final mission. “It is the company’s…

Hitting close to home: Riding out Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles

Learning my Dad was okay after riding out Hurricane Laura in my hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana was an answered prayer. Cell service is nearly non-existing in some places right now, so he was able to turn on the mobile wifi hotspot in his truck long enough to share why he’ll never do this again….

Remembering General Erbon Wise, an extraordinary life of service

I was so very sad to hear of the passing of General Erbon Wise this week, just two days shy of his 100th birthday. I always looked forward to visiting with him every Fall in Natchitoches during our NSU Alumni Association/Foundation board luncheon. My college career was possible, in large part due to his generosity,…

Big Bend Ranch: Where solitude meets adventure

Spectacular scenery and unmatched adventure await visitors to Big Bend Ranch State Park. The 300,000-plus-acre park in Presidio and Brewster counties is the largest in Texas. The West Texas desert landscape’s geological features and recreational opportunities draw outdoors enthusiasts from around the country. One of the easiest ways to take-in the vastness of the state…