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Conventions, Forensic Botany, and Painkiller Addiction: Monday’s Show (May 9, 2016)

Houston, like any big city, seeks to draw tourists to town by hosting conventions and trade shows. The bigger the convention, the more people may visit the region, shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants and stay in our hotels, supporting local businesses and boosting tax revenue along the way. But attracting really big conventions […]

Houston, like any big city, seeks to draw tourists to town by hosting conventions and trade shows. The bigger the convention, the more people may visit the region, shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants and stay in our hotels, supporting local businesses and boosting tax revenue along the way.

But attracting really big conventions is a challenge. So, in recent years, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau has turned its attention to homegrown events, going so far as to create its own conventions, or investing in existing ones in return for long-term commitments. Which all sounds well and good — unless you’re seeking support from the bureau for a competing convention.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss how this scenario’s playing out among rival comic conventions in the region and consider potential implications of employing this strategy to drum up convention business, as we welcome your questions for Houston Chronicle business writer L.M. Sixel.

Also this hour:

How Plant DNA Can Provide Clues for Law Enforcement

Two recent studies conducted at Sam Houston State University highlight developments in the field of forensic botany. One uses marijuana DNA to link drug supplies; another uses pollen DNA to aid in forensic investigations. Paige Phelps talks with forensic geneticist Dr. David Gangitano about forensic botany and how the study of plant DNA can be used to assist law enforcement.

Treating Painkiller Addiction in Greater Houston

When Prince died last month and his autopsy indicated Percocet in his system, it triggered dialogue about growing concerns over painkiller addition in America. The Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center works with addicts and trains doctors about proper prescription of pain medication. We talk with the center’s CEO. And Edel Howlin talks with a recovering addict who describes how easy it is to get hooked on pain meds.

Sports Monday

After a disastrous start, the Houston Astros had a winning week last week, earning a series win over the Twins, and a split with the Mariners. We talk with Jeff Balke about what led to a more successful week for the ballclub, among other developments in Houston sports.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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