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Wildlife Accidents, Health Insurance, and Driving to Panama: Houston Matters for Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

It’s an inevitable byproduct of suburban sprawl: the farther we spread out geographically into previously undeveloped areas of an ever-expanding Greater Houston region the more we’re likely to come into contact with — and encroach on — the natural environment that’s already there. The opposite is also true: suburban and rural populations will see wildlife […]

It’s an inevitable byproduct of suburban sprawl: the farther we spread out geographically into previously undeveloped areas of an ever-expanding Greater Houston region the more we’re likely to come into contact with — and encroach on — the natural environment that’s already there. The opposite is also true: suburban and rural populations will see wildlife where they might not expect — on roadways, for instance. And that can lead to accidents. Thousands of them, in fact, according to data collected from the Texas Department of Transportation by Houston Chronicle reporter John Harden.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Harden about his research and report examining accidents involving wildlife in Greater Houston and across Texas. And we welcome your examples of such incidents. Then, we welcome your questions and comments for Sharon Schmalz, Executive Director for the Wildlife Center of Texas, and Janette Winkelmann, President of Friends of Texas Wildlife, organizations which care for injured, displaced and orphaned wildlife in and around Houston.

Also this hour: Another enrollment period is nearly upon us in the health insurance marketplace, but will shifting political winds impact efforts to get more uninsured here in Houston to enroll? We talk it over with Houston Public Media health and science reporter Carrie Feibel.

And: Houstonians Harriet and John Halkyard describe their epic drive to and from the Panama Canal in their book 99 Days to Panama: An Exploration of Central America by Motorhome. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin talks with the couple about their journey.

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