Top Stories

Beto O’Rourke Visits Houston Matters, Police Had Lupe Valdez’s Missing Gun All Along, And More

What we’re following at Houston Public Media today

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Top afternoon stories:

Beto O’Rourke Visits Houston Matters

As part of its series of interviews with candidates running in major political races, Houston Matters interviewed U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), who is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Senator Ted Cruz. O'Rourke talked about a myriad of issues ranging from President Donald Trump to voting rights and the Texas economy.

O'Rourke (D-TX) said he wants to work with Trump on topics such as increasing mental health care to veterans and expanding protected public lands in Texas. "Where I can find a partner in the White House or across the aisle, I'll be there, with anyone, any place, any time."

"But we also have to be able to stand up against this President and his worst impulses where we must," the Congressman added in reference to the critical comments the President has made about Mexican immigrants and asylum seekers, and his defense of some people who participated in the white supremacist rally that was held in Charlottesville last year.

Click HERE to listen to the interview.

 

Lupe Valdez gives her victory speech after defeating Andrew White in the Democratic runoff for governor on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Police Had Lupe Valdez's Missing Gun All Along

Dallas County authorities say a new inventory search has turned up former Sheriff Lupe Valdez's gun that was reported missing after she stepped down to run for Texas governor.

The Dallas County sheriff's department Tuesday apologized to Valdez for "any distress and hardship" after the Democratic nominee for governor faced questions surrounding the whereabouts of her on-duty weapon.

The 9mm Berretta was found in the department's property room. Spokesman Raul Reyna says Valdez "did what she was supposed to do" in returning the gun.

Valdez was sheriff for 13 years. She resigned in December to mount a longshot challenge against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott's campaign had attacked Valdez over reports of the missing firearm, tweeting that Valdez wants to run Texas "but can't even keep track of her gun."

 

Stephanie Rice - Playing Guitar
Musician Stephanie Rice performs at Houston Public Media. Rice appeared in the 12th season of NBC’s The Voice.

Stephanie Rice: ‘If I Didn't Perform I Would Die'

When Stephanie Rice came out to her parents ten years ago at age 18, she received the one response she was most afraid of: rejection. They told her "they couldn't choose their daughter over God," and they're estranged to this day.

And, as she later recounted on her blind audition for season 12 of The Voice, she finds music is the best way for her to channel her emotions over that painful moment in her life.

Rice graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in biology and worked for a time as a researcher at Baylor College of Medicine. She would often work 50-60 hours a week and then play a couple gigs each week.

"It was a really crazy time in my life where I would go into work with a lab coat on and be running out and changing into my leather pants and going to a gig," she said.

 

piles of coal
The Big Brown power plant in Freestone County burns coal mined nearby.

Texas Could Soon Have More Authority to Regulate Coal Plant Emissions

Texas could have more authority to regulate coal plant emissions under a new proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency, which would formally replace the Clean Power Plan.

In the audio above, Houston Matters learns what the new rules could mean for Texas industries and the environment from Victor Flatt, director of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center, and Felix Mormann, professor of law at the Texas A&M School of Law.

_____________________

Top morning stories:

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston responds to Pope Francis

In this March 30, 2017 image taken from video, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo of the Archdiocese of the Houston-Galveston, speaks during an interview in Houston.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, is adding his voice to calls against alleged sexual abuse within the Catholic church.

Cardinal DiNardo was responding to Pope's Francis' letter. It addressed suffering caused by alleged abuse within the Catholic Church and failure to respond.

 

Texas A&M adopts new sexual-assault policies

Students on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

Texas A&M University officials say the school is creating tougher sanctions for students found responsible for sexual assault.

The school was criticized over the summer for how it handles cases of sexual assault, with multiple women sharing their stories online. The scrutiny prompted an internal review of university policies.

Officials say the changes include a streamlined reporting process, a predetermined range of sanctions and more investigators. Students found responsible for sexually-based violence or rape will have to serve a minimum one-year suspension, and if they return to campus, they would also be barred from receiving scholarships or representing the school.

 

Federal disaster assistance appears to widen the racial wealth gap

Whites who live in counties badly damaged by natural disasters on average gain nearly $126,000 in wealth. Minorities, on the other hand, lose tens of thousands of dollars.

This happens even when you control for income, education and a range of other factors, according to a study from Rice University and the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Attorney General moves to limit abilities of immigration judges

A decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is making it harder for immigration judges to postpone hearings for immigrants while they wait for special petitions that would allow them to stay in the country legally.

Lawyers say they expect, as a result, some immigrants will be deported while they wait on petitions that would have allowed them to stay in the country.

 

Post Oak Little League team eliminated from World Series

Houston's Post Oak Little League baseball team is returning home from Pennsylvania after a stretch of games in the Little League World Series. The team lost 7-6 to a team from Peachtree, Georgia.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Share