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Refugees, Rockets on the Brink, and Pest Control: Houston Matters for Monday, April 28, 2014

According to the Refugee Resettlement Program of Texas, last year the Lone Star state took in more than seven thousand refugees; more than two thousand found their way to Houston. Such refugees, persecuted in their homeland, have been given legal entrance to the United States. They come from homes they didn’t really want to leave, […]

According to the Refugee Resettlement Program of Texas, last year the Lone Star state took in more than seven thousand refugees; more than two thousand found their way to Houston. Such refugees, persecuted in their homeland, have been given legal entrance to the United States. They come from homes they didn’t really want to leave, but had to due to increasing threats or acts of violence against them.

Sources vary on how many refugees, in total, have come to Houston; estimates range from 50,000 to 70,000 since the late 1970s. But the organizers of World Refugee Day Houston, an annual event in June, characterize H-town as a “number one destination” for refugees to re-settle in the United States. According to that organization’s website, for the past two years, Houston has received “more refugees than any other city in the United States.” Once here, refugees add to Houston’s noted cultural diversity.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss who these refugees are that call Houston home, why they come here to “The Big Heart” specifically, and what challenges, opportunities, and services await them in Houston when they do. We also draw a distinction between political refugees, and immigrants who enter the country illegally.

Also this hour: The Houston Rockets are on the brink of elimination in just the first round of the NBA playoffs. Sunday night, the Rockets fell in overtime 123-120 to the Portland Trailblazers. The Blazers now own a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. This is not what the Rockets had in mind when they brought in Dwight Howard to join James Harden as leaders of a franchise on the rise. We discuss the Rockets playoff troubles with CultureMap Houston sports columnist MK Bower.

And: A while back, we explored the wonderful world of insects. That world is fascinating, but not always so wonderful. Especially when we’re talking about pests who invade your garden or home. Sometimes, you just need to eliminate such pests. We welcome your questions for a Houston area exterminator who noted an invasive species of ant from South America had made inroads into Texas back in 2002. The tawny crazy ant or Nylanderia fulva today is better known as the Rasberry crazy ant. We learn more from Tom Rasberry from Rasberry Pest Professionals in Pearland, as he fields any and all questions you may have about pest control.

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