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Why the Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger Failed: Tuesday’s show (May 10, 2016)

Last week (May 2, 2016), Halliburton and Baker Hughes — two of the world’s biggest oilfield services companies, headquartered in Houston — called off an estimated $28 billion merger. On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss why the deal ultimately fell through — and what the impact may be on Houston. We welcome your questions […]

Houston Matters LogoLast week (May 2, 2016), Halliburton and Baker Hughes — two of the world’s biggest oilfield services companies, headquartered in Houston — called off an estimated $28 billion merger.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss why the deal ultimately fell through — and what the impact may be on Houston. We welcome your questions for Loren Steffy, managing director for 30 Point Strategies, a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and a columnist for EnergyVoice.com.

Also this hour:

Legal Protections for Underage Witnesses 

It’s not uncommon for kids to take the stand to testify in criminal, civil or juvenile courts. But legal protections for underage witnesses (victims included) vary greatly from state to state, according to research from Sam Houston State University. To tell us more, we talk with Ashley Fansher, a doctoral teaching and a research assistant at Sam Houston State and the lead author of the study.

Tax Exemptions for Churches

Since 1894, churches have been exempt from paying federal income taxes. They’re also exempt from paying property taxes in all 50 states. But how far should that exemption extend? Recently in Friendswood, a church bought 135 acres of land and applied for a tax exemption on the entire property, with an intent only use 40 acres – or less than a third of the land – for the church itself.

That led the Friendswood City Council to file a lawsuit against Clear Creek Community Church. The city has since called off that lawsuit. Edel Howlin learns more from Stephen Garcia, editor of the Friendswood-Pearland edition of Community Impact Newspapers. Then we discuss how tax laws apply to churches with Dru Stevenson of South Texas College of Law, who specializes in nonprofit law.

100 Things Astros Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die

Last season’s surprising playoff run is but one of many compelling moments from the more than 50 year history of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros, as MLB.com Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart shares in his new book 100 Things Astros Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. He tells Michael Hagerty about some of them.

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

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