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On Wednesday, Jan. 21, Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s blog entry, titled ‘21 Years of Living Dyingly,’ opens with these words from British philosopher and humanist Anthony Clifford Grayling:

Death has two faces: one’s own 

Death, and the death of those we

Love.  Wisdom looks into the eyes of

Each face and sees what it must.

Flickr user SalFalko / cc

The Texas Indigent Defense Commission issued new guidelines for the case-loads of public defenders last week. It was the first time the Commission has offered any such guidelines. Before this, many public defender's offices relied on the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice, which was proposed in 1973.

The differences between the two are dramatic, and if a county adopts the new guidelines, it may need to add staff and raise the amount they pay to private attorneys that do public defense work.

Magaret Malandruccolo/Deutsche Grammophon

The San Antonio Strauss Festival continues this week with something quite special — violinist Daniel Hope. His back story is nothing if not fascinating.

“My whole family has, in a sense, been touched by exile. My father, who was a writer, is very anti-apartheid, and we were forced to leave the country when I was a baby.”

That country was South Africa, and the family took root in London, where Hope began playing the violin as a young boy. But his interests didn’t stop with music.

AUSTIN — Republicans strengthened their grip on the Texas Senate on Wednesday, shrugging off nearly 70 years of tradition with a rules change that knocks out the Democrats' ability to block legislation on party-line votes.

AUSTIN — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin has announced the appointment of the Rev. Daniel E. Garcia as its first auxiliary bishop.

The diocese announced Wednesday that Pope Francis appointed Garcia to help serve its growing membership, which includes 127 parishes in 25 counties in Central Texas.

Garcia will perform some ceremonies that typically only a bishop is allowed to perform, such as confirmation masses. He will be ordained as auxiliary bishop in March.