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Report Analyzes Automation And Impact On Local Jobs, City Crews Repaired 100 Percent Of Potholes Reported In 2018, And Activists Want HPD To End No-Knock Search Warrants

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Report Analyzes Automation And Impact On Local Jobs

About one in four jobs in Houston are at high risk of being displaced by automation in years to come, according to a recent report by the Brookings Institution.

The study looked at how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning will transform the American workforce.

The researchers classified a job as high-risk if 70 percent or more of the tasks involved have the potential to be automated.

With 25.5 percent of its jobs at high risk of being automated, Houston was slightly higher than the national average of 25 percent, and ranked 29 out of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

Across Houston’s labor market as a whole, 46.3 percent of the job tasks currently performed by workers will likely be automatable in the future. Some of the industries most likely to be impacted – both nationwide and in Houston – include food service, administrative roles and transportation.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (second from right) watches Public Works employees demonstrating the process to repair potholes.

City Crews Repaired 100 Percent Of Potholes Reported In Houston In 2018

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says city crews repaired 100 percent of the potholes that were reported in 2018 by the next business day and he is encouraging Houstonians to keep reporting them.

Next-day pothole repairs were one of the promises Turner campaigned on back in 2015.

When Turner took office, the City redefined potholes as any area of missing or severely deteriorated pavement up to 5 feet by 5 feet, while the previous definition was up to 2 feet by 2 feet. The mayor said the goal is “to take on the more serious problems with our pavement facing our streets.”

Turner provided a breakdown of the repairs done in the last three years. In 2016, 5,600 reported potholes met the definition and city officials say 98 percent were repaired by the next business day.

In 2017, 4,961 potholes were reported and 96 percent were repaired by the next business day. Last year, 5,509 potholes were reported and 100 percent were repaired by the next business day, according to the mayor.

The Pecan Park house where four Houston police officers were shot and two people died on January 28, 2019, while serving a no-knock search warrant.

Activists Want HPD To End No-Knock Search Warrants

A local civil rights and criminal justice reform group says the Houston Police Department should stop conducting no-knock search warrants after the January 28 deadly drug raid that resulted in two people dead and five officers wounded.

The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice will hold a town hall meeting on Monday evening at Talento Bilingüe, near downtown Houston, to discuss the raid and ask questions of HPD Chief Art Acevedo. The coalition has also invited Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Bui said his group’s ultimate goal is for HPD to stop conducting no-knock search warrants. But he also talked about other possibilities for search protocols and procedure changes.

One suggestion he made was for officers to only use no-knock search warrants at night, when there could be less risk of hurting civilians. “Maybe arrest the people outside of a house, just wait for them to leave when they go get gas or whatever, just wait,” he added.

HPD’s Internal Affairs division and Special Investigations Unit are conducting an investigation about the raid.