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Houston’s Theater District Opens Its Doors Collectively for First Time since Harvey, Harris County Has 2.6 Million Potential Jurors, And More

What we’re following at Houston Public Media today


Monday, August 20, 2018

Top afternoon stories:

A free Performance at the Alley Theatre during the 2016 Theater District Open House

Houston's Theater District Opens Its Doors Collectively for First Time since Harvey

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez speaks during a presentation of the new jury wheel organized by County District Clerk Chris Daniel. In the background (left to right): Darlene Johnson (DCO Director of Jury), Kevin Mauzy (DCO Chief Deputy), Robert Nolen (DCO Director of Compliance), Debbie Bucko (DCO Director of the Civil Bureau), Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel, Mark Combs (DCO Assistant Director of Technical Services), Araceli Carrizales (DCO Director of Financial Services) and Tracy Hopper (DCO Director of Technical Services.)

Harris County Has 2.6 Million Potential Jurors

Harris County currently has an estimated 2.6 million potential jurors, Chris Daniel, the county's District Clerk, said Monday.

The exact number is 2,671,596 and Daniel held a presentation of the county's new so-called jury wheel, which is the database from which prospective jurors are called for jury duty.

The new wheel affects every registered voter in the county and all persons with either a Texas Driver's License or State of Texas identification card with the exclusion of convicted felons and persons either legally prohibited or exempt from jury service.

The previous Jury Wheel, which contained 2.5 million names, was launched in February 2015. On average, the resetting of the jury wheel is done every three years.


Houston Woman Hurt When Men Try to Steal Purse Containing $75K

Two men have been arrested after a woman was attacked after withdrawing $75,000 from a Houston-area bank.

Video surveillance captured the violent episode Friday as the woman parked at a gas station after making the withdrawal. A man ran up to the woman, believed to be an owner of the station, and tried to grab the purse containing the money.

She held onto the purse as she fell to the ground and a man ran from the station to fight off the assailant.

A car driven by an accomplice then backs into the woman, injuring her. The attackers made off with some of the money.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman says one suspect was caught later Friday and a second man, the suspected driver, was captured Monday.


Top morning stories:

Police: Two dead after woman opens fire at Missouri City food distribution center

A fatal workplace shooting overnight at Ben E. Keith Foods, a food distribution warehouse in Missouri City, has left two people dead. Police said one victim died on the scene, another was transported to the hospital.

Multiple media outlets are reporting the alleged shooter, a female employee, was pronounced dead at the hospital. There are also reports the deceased victim was the overnight manager.

The shooting happened before 3 a.m., according to the Missouri City Police Department.


Multiple local, state and federal enforcement agencies process active crime scene following a shooting at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018.

Santa Fe High School students return to school with Heightened Security

Back-to-school shopping has been different this year, as Annette Holder helped her son Clayton get ready for freshman year at Santa Fe High.

The school's new metal detectors mean more composition books, fewer three-ring binders, or really anything with metal.

It's just one-way heightened security is shaping school in the Santa Fe Independent School District, in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 10 people and wounded 13 others last May. More than 4,000 students in the rural district start class Monday.

The Santa Fe school district also plans to have mental health teams on campus throughout the year. They're supposed to assess threats and work with police to prevent any incidents.


Houston ISD Removes Controversial Mural

The Houston Independent School District (HISD) has removed a mural with a quote that was written on the wall of the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center and that had gone viral on social media, with parents and teachers outraged about the message.

The Gregory-Lincoln Education Center enrolls students from kindergarten through 8th grade and, according to the snapshot making the rounds on social media, the mural read: "The more you act like a lady, the more he'll act like a gentleman."

Before the quote was removed, Houston Public Media contacted HISD and the district said it didn't "align with HISD values" and would be taken down.


Alvaro Ortiz | Houston Public Media

Early voting in Harris County's $2.5 billion flood bond election ends tomorrow

Tomorrow marks the last day of early voting in Harris County's flood control bond referendum. Election Day is this Saturday. The county government is seeking to raise $2.5 billion to beef up flood infrastructure.

Last fall, the Greater Houston Partnership set up a task force to determine what the region needed to do to protect itself against another Harvey.

If the bond passes, homeowners will see their property tax bills go up by roughly 3 cents per $100 of assessed value.

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