For those of us who pass by it in the months and years to come, the abandoned, 14-acre Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center campus in North Waco will stand as an enduring monument to cheap talk by state leaders when it comes to mental health. Every time a tragedy erupts involving someone who obviously has mental-health issues — mass shootings are common examples these days — a hue and cry goes up among lawmakers that government and society must aggressively expand access to improved mental-health treatment. And some of us take them seriously.

June is high season for weddings and Supreme Court opinions. The former are invariably memorable for a lifetime, whereas the latter may quickly be consigned to perpetual obscurity. This term’s blockbuster decision about wedding celebrations — vindicating the claim of Jack Phillips, the Colorado-based wedding cake artist — is now being dismissed in various quarters as a jurisprudential nothing-burger. All the Colorado Civil Rights Commission needed to do, it is said, was be nicer and more civil in rendering its “thou must serve all customers” mandate. By in effect vehemently condemning Phillips’ faith journey, the court concluded, the state agency had transgressed the bounds of tolerant discourse in a pluralistic society.

Republican leaders seem to be looking the other way as children are separated from their asylum-seeking parents at the U.S.-Mexico border — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Vice President Mike Pence and, till recently, House Speaker Paul Ryan, all of whom boldly declare their allegiance to President Donald Trump’s immigration reforms and to cracking down on those crossing our borders illegally.


What were we talking about one year ago? Take a look back.

Saturday’s county-wide election will decide whether local officials pursue a plan to significantly and strategically expand and improve Extraco Events Center facilities as well as city of Waco and Waco Independent School District facilities contiguous to them, all in the name of bolstering economic impact. The proposed $34.4 million expansion focuses on repositioning Extraco Events Center to more aggressively pursue events and shows, including highly competitive, high-dollar equine events as well as new trends in athletics, including basketball and volleyball.

Former Baylor University President Ken Starr recently sat down with the Tribune-Herald to discuss his time at Baylor, which he writes about in a new book, "Bear Country: The Baylor Story." Starr also discusses the school's ongoing sexual assault scandal, which saw him removed as president by the Baylor Board of Regents before he resigned from his other roles as chancellor and law professor.