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Protective Orders, Road Project Funding, and Driver’s Ed: Houston Matters for Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Six members of a family in suburban Spring who were shot to death last week will be laid to rest today in a private ceremony. Katie and Stephen Stay, and their four youngest children died in the attack. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter Cassidy survived, called police, and identified her uncle, Ronald Lee Haskell, as the […]

Six members of a family in suburban Spring who were shot to death last week will be laid to rest today in a private ceremony. Katie and Stephen Stay, and their four youngest children died in the attack. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter Cassidy survived, called police, and identified her uncle, Ronald Lee Haskell, as the gunman.

Haskell had been divorced from Katie Stay’s sister. Records show he had a history of domestic violence, and a protective order had been taken out against him.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office says protective orders offer one tool for domestic violence victims to seek to keep themselves and their families safe. On this edition of Houston Matters, we learn more about protective orders, what they’re meant to do, what effect they have, how far they extend, and what misconceptions may exist about them. We also discuss other steps that someone trying to get out of an abusive relationship can take.

We welcome your questions for Jennifer Varela, Director of Family Violence Services for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, and Leticia Manzano, Manager of Counseling Services at the Houston Area Women’s Center.

Also this hour: We talk with Houston Public Media’s Gail DeLaughter about how all types of road projects across Texas are funded, from how federal transportation funding finds its way to Texas, how the city of Houston funds its ReBuild Houston program, and how a city council move last week allows Council members to earmark ReBuild funds for special projects.

Then: We’ve discussed on this program some of the challenges associated with driving in Houston – the traffic, distracted drivers, rude drivers, stress-inducing highway merges, aging infrastructure, construction zones. Even the most seasoned driver can find it all a bit overwhelming, at times. Imagine what it’s like for a driver-to-be – or, better yet, for the driver’s ed instructor who’s sitting next to that driver-in-training! We’ll discuss what makes Greater Houston a unique community in which to learn to drive – and to teach driving – as we talk with Houston-area driving instructor Jessica Lopez.

Plus: Our summer reading series continues today. We talk with ReShonda Tate Billingsley. She’s the author of more than 35 books. (Yes, you read that number right. 35). Many of them are young adult fiction. Her latest is entitled What’s Done In the Dark. 

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