Houston

Before a new federal eviction ban went into effect recently, Alice and Jeremy Bumpus were on the verge of getting evicted. They live in a house outside Houston with their three kids, and they both lost their jobs after the pandemic hit. Alice worked at an airport fast food restaurant; Jeremy worked at a warehouse.

"We explained to the judge that due to everything that was going on, we just fell behind on just our one month's rent," Alice says.

Water rushes out of the Addicks Reservoir in Houston.
Craig LeMoult for Houston Public Media

Like many of her neighbors in the Nottingham Forest VIII subdivision in Houston's Energy Corridor, Katie Mehnert was convinced her home would never flood.

The National Hurricane Center's update from Sunday morning on Tropical Storm Marco.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

State and local officials are urging Texans to prepare for a major emergency as the potential for back-to-back hurricanes threatens the Gulf Coast and the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Ahead of the storms, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday declared a disaster and requested a federal emergency for 23 Texas counties.

The National Hurricane Center's update from Sunday morning on Tropical Storm Marco.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Updated 12:45 p.m. CDT Sunday

The National Hurricane Center has updated the projected path of Tropical Storm Marco to show the storm hitting the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane Monday evening before heading into Texas by Wednesday.

"In my hospital, last week was the deadliest week I've ever had in my life."

The words of a Houston doctor treating COVID-19 patients illustrate the brutal reality facing many in the U.S. medical system now.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

A Houston federal judge ruled Friday that the Republican Party of Texas may proceed with its in-person convention, a striking last-minute development as party officials have struggled to get a virtual gathering underway. But soon after the ruling, party Chair James Dickey said the party will continue with its plans for a virtual convention, saying it would provide the best opportunity for delegates to participate.

Macie Kelly/Houston Public Media

From Texas Standard:

Houston is going the way of New York when it comes to rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations – that's according to New York Times correspondent Dr. Sheri Fink.

The Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth in 2012.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the Republican Party of Texas seeking to host its in-person convention this week in Houston. Justices also denied a similar petition spearheaded by other party officials and Houston activist Steve Hotze.

More Houston-Area Residents Dying At Home

Jul 10, 2020
Brad.K/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

An increase in the number of Houston-area residents dying at home suggests more people may be affected by the coronavirus than previously known, a new report by NBC News and ProPublica reveals. 

The two news organizations analyzed Houston Fire Department data and found that in June, the number of times paramedics responded to a home where someone died of a heart attack had jumped about 50%.

Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth in 2014.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Republican Party of Texas is suing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and others involved with the canceling of the party's in-person convention, which was scheduled to happen next week.

Telemundo/Pool footage

After weeks of political posturing between state Republicans and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the mayor on Wednesday said he’s canceling the Texas Republican Party’s in-person convention, an event that was scheduled to be held at downtown Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center beginning on July 16.

Attendees of theTexas Republican Convention stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in San Antonio in 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas GOP's executive committee voted Thursday night to proceed with plans to hold the party’s in-person convention in Houston later this month.

Houston Independent School District

For 40 years, Robin Stauffer has taught high school English in seven different school districts in three different states. Most recently, Advanced Placement English in Katy, where she says working with kids has kept her young and lighthearted.

Philonise Floyd breaks down at a news conference outside a memorial for his brother, George, in Houston on Monday.
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

Hundreds of mourners grew to thousands lined up outside a Houston church Monday to honor George Floyd, a former Houston resident who was killed by police in Minneapolis two weeks ago.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during a news conference last month.
Mayor's office via Twitter

The courts are no longer blocking landlords from evicting Texans struggling to pay rent amid the economic instability of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, eviction proceedings are moving forward in Houston-area courts, weeks ahead of many other cities.

Houston VA Medical Center/Flickr

An employee at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, according to the center. 

In response, the Houston VA says it will conduct most of its non-urgent care virtually over the next several days, through telephone, email or its online VA Video Connect app. 

The hospital has also postponed all elective surgeries and procedures, though it remains open for care. 

To date, the hospital says no veterans have tested positive for COVID-19.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The state's first coronavirus case identified outside of a Texas quarantine site is a man in his 70s who lives in the Houston area, Fort Bend County health officials said Wednesday.

The man recently traveled abroad, county officials said. He has been hospitalized and is in stable condition.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

For some, Austin doesn’t feel like the relaxed, artsy city they knew a couple decades ago. The city’s population has exploded in recent years, and with that has come big-city problems.

Gabriel Cristover Perez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

With six major flooding events and disaster declarations in each of the past five years, Houston is facing a new normal when it comes to risk from a changing environment. Now, the city is looking to create what Mayor Sylvester Turner calls a "resilient city" with a new, 186-page master plan.

Courtesy of Ron Reynolds

Two state lawmakers plan to file a bill during the next legislative session to ban discrimination against black hair in Texas, after a black Houston-area student said he was singled out by school officials over his dreadlocks.

Lucio Vasquez/Houston Public Media

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich came to Houston's Fifth Ward last week to raise awareness and demand solutions to the cancer cluster killing people in that neighborhood.

Courtesy of KHOU

Two people have died following a large explosion at a manufacturing facility in northwest Houston early Friday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed Friday morning. 

The explosion, which occurred at the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing facility, heavily damaged nearby buildings and homes, left rubble scattered in the area and was felt miles away.

A Tale Of Land Development In Two Texas Cities

Jan 9, 2020
Renee Dominguez/KUT and Gabriel C. Pérez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Texas cities often make it onto those "Best Places to Live" lists. But with that popularity comes population growth, and no two cities handle it the same way. That's especially true when it comes to Austin and 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.

Pages