Houston

TEA Commissioner Mike Morath
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

In a move that is unprecedented in scope, Texas state officials announced Wednesday they plan on taking over the state’s largest school district, yanking power from Houston Independent School District’s elected school board members to “prevent imminent and substantial harm to the welfare of the district’s students.”

Photo courtesy Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle

From Texas Standard:

Many Texas cities have neighborhoods that have been changed by gentrification: Bishop Arts District in Dallas and East Austin are just some examples. And now, Houston’s Independence Heights – considered Texas’ first black city – could face a similar fate.

Like Harvey, Imelda's Torrential Rains Render Southeast Texas Roads Impassable

Sep 20, 2019
Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Tropical Depression Imelda dumped as much as 43 inches of rain in parts of Southeast Texas over the past few days. Weather experts rank Imelda as the seventh-wettest tropical storm in U.S. history, but the extent of the damage is unclear.

Speaker John Boehner/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making his first visit to the U.S. since he won a landslide reelection victory in May. The centerpiece of his U.S. tour is a visit to Houston on Sunday. 

The event is billed as "Howdy, Modi!" and the 50,000 tickets were snapped up within minutes of their release.

Florian Martin/Houston Public Media

From Texas Standard:

Is Houston one of the most dangerous cities in America? Some of the city's mayoral candidates say so, claiming on the campaign trail that the city is getting even more dangerous.

Kenneth Leverier
Jen Rice / Houston Public Media

It's been two years since Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, and some residents are still struggling to fix their homes and navigate a complex maze to get help. Kenneth Leverier has owned his house in Trinity Gardens for 15 years and says it never flooded until Harvey. 

The location of a botched drug raid in Houston
Florian Martin / Houston Public Media

A former Houston police officer has been charged with felony murder in connection with a deadly January drug raid that killed a couple and injured several officers, prosecutors announced Friday.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson of Houston
The Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee met with faith leaders in Houston on Saturday to invite undocumented immigrants to seek refuge in churches, mosques and synagogues and call on religious organizations to open their doors ahead of Sunday’s anticipated deportation roundup by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The third debate in the Democratic presidential primary will be in Houston, party officials announced late Tuesday.

The event, sponsored by ABC News and Univision, is scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13.

Houston rapper Bushwick Bill, a founding member of the pioneering rap crew Geto Boys, died on Sunday evening in Colorado, his publicist, Dawn P., confirmed with NPR. A cause was not given pending a medical examination; the rapper was diagnosed earlier this year with pancreatic cancer. He was 52 years old.

Florian Martin / Houston Public Media

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is using mobile units to monitor air quality in Deer Park and its vicinity.

Terry McCombs/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

After over a year without a superintendent, Houston ISD seemed ready to name a finalist in their search on Monday. However, a state-appointed overseer called a halt to the process, and now the district is back to square one.

The Houston Sheriff's Office has released a composite sketch of the man wanted in the killing of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.

In a press conference Thursday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales said the suspect is described as a thin white man in his 30s or 40s, wearing a black hoodie, with pale skin and blue eyes. What police originally described as a beard "looks more like a 5-o'clock shadow," he said.

Michael Duke/Jewish Herald-Voice

From Texas Standard:

The largest Conservative Jewish synagogue in the U.S. is not on the East Coast – it's in Houston. Congregation Beth Yeshurun is made up of 2,300 families and was founded in 1891. Now, Rice University aims to shine a light on it and the rest of South Texas's Jewish community and history through its new Houston Jewish History Archive.

Director Josh Furman acknowledges that Houston is not the first place that comes to mind when people think of Judaism in the United States. But he wants to change that. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

After years of rampant expansion, Houston-based Mattress Firm filed for bankruptcy protection Friday in an effort to get out from under $3.2 billion in debt. The retailer will likely close 700 of its 3,355 stores, 200 of which will likely close in the next few days.

Photo credit: NASA

From Texas Standard.

The first words uttered from the surface of the moon were “Houston, tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.” More than 50 years ago, part of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s legacy was making the biggest city in his home state a center of space exploration. Fast forward to today, you’d think that excitement about projects aimed at Mars and beyond would be reason for ‘Space City’ to celebrate a coming renaissance – but there may be problems on the relaunching pad.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reveals something about Hurricane Harvey recovery that officials aren’t talking about – massive petrochemical contamination, a toxic impact of the storm that’s far more widespread than previously suspected.

The Story Of Houston Is The Story Of Its Highways

Jan 31, 2018
Joe Wolf/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The story of Houston is more than the history of a shipping channel, oil and gas, or the space program. It's also the story of the highways that link these industries with the people and resources that created growth. Houston highways also changed the layout of communities – relocating some neighborhoods and hemming in others.

Craig LeMoult

From Texas Standard.

Last week at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat, addressed the need for more federal aid after Hurricane Harvey.

“We do not have the adequate resources, and this is going to be on the verge of a government shutdown if Texas and all the other victims of these hurricanes do not have a compromise where we can work together. I would encourage you to tell the president that it is not enough,” Jackson Lee told Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security.

Investigators Say Harvey Chemical Plant Fires Should Be Wake-Up Call For Industry

Nov 15, 2017
U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Investigators say chemical plant fires during Hurricane Harvey should be a warning to other industrial facilities ahead of the next hurricane season.

Hurricane Harvey was the worst flood in Houston's history. Scientists and citizens are still piecing together why it was so bad, but it's becoming clear that a lot of the damage comes down to how people have built America's fourth-largest city.

You can see the problem from your car. Houston is a sprawling web of strip malls and 10-lane freeways.

Pie4all88/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Attorney General’s office and the Harris County Attorney’s Office are going after shops selling the synthetic cannabinoid Kush. Instead of prosecuting users, the offices have jointly filed 10 lawsuits against Houston-area novelty stores, where up to 40 percent of sales come from the drug. One novelty store has agreed to a nearly $1.2 million settlement after an undercover sting operation.


Eric Kayne/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Delivering a hit to the Texas gay rights movement, Houston voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected an ordinance that would have established protections from discrimination for gay and transgender residents and several other classes.

With 95 percent of votes counted, 61 percent of voters opposed the measure. The embattled ordinance, better known as HERO, would have made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on 15 different “protected characteristics,” including sex, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

See Rothko's Roots in a New Houston Retrospective

Oct 1, 2015
Flickr/Stefan Klocek (CC)

From Texas StandardIf you want to understand American art, there are a handful of names you have to know. Nearly everyone would agree that one of them is Mark Rothko.


facebook.com/texascentral

This story comes from Texas Standard.

Do anti high-speed rail efforts in the Texas legislature and in DC mean it’s an idea that’s going nowhere fast?

Aman Batheja is following the issue for the Texas Tribune.

On Who is Opposed to High-Speed Rail:

“The issue here is the rural communities between Dallas and Houston … The mayors of Dallas and Houston and a majority of the elected officials there strongly support the train project – they’re very strongly behind it. It’s the rural communities that are trying to figure out what’s in it for them.”

flickr.com/taylor90

Is a Texan truly Texan without a propensity for hunting and fishing – or even speaking with a Texas twang?

Scott Vogel, editor in chief of Houstonia magazine, ponders his decidedly un-Texan upbringing by a New York father with a disdain for Lone Star culture. 

Have you seen the dramatic video that shows Houston firefighters rescuing a construction worker from an apartment complex that caught on fire?

The video, which was posted on YouTube, shows a construction worker stuck on a fourth-floor balcony. Heavy flames approached. The worker dropped down to the balcony below. Firefighters arrived on a long ladder -- and they rescued the worker just as a wall on the roof was engulfed in flames and fell down.

This post was updated at 4:47 p.m. ET.

The cleanup of an oil spill near the Houston Ship Channel is continuing today, and authorities say they have opened one of the country's biggest ports in a limited capacity this afternoon.

As the Coast Guard prepares to open the Houston Ship Channel after an oil spill over the weekend, environmentalists were trying assess the damage to a sensitive ecological system.

The Associated Press reports the Coast Guard is hoping to reopen "one of the nation's busiest seaports Monday."

The AP adds:

Photo courtesy Hereford Cathedral

This Friday, a rare copy of the Magna Carta and an accompanying King's Writ will go on display in Houston at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Known as one of the most important documents in history, the Magna Carta was written and signed by King John and England's feudal barons in 1215. It directly inspired international constitutional law and the tenets upon which the U.S. Constitution is based.

So why has this rare copy — one of only four in existence — traveled from its home at Hereford Cathedral in England to Houston of all places?

Pages