Top Stories

Governor Abbott Issues Disaster Declaration, Interview with Victim of Alleged Abuse by Conroe Priest, Fracking in Texas, And More

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering

Friday, September 14, 2018

Top afternoon stories:

Governor Greg Abbott.

Abbott issues disaster declaration

Governor Greg Abbott issued Friday a State Disaster Declaration for Texas counties impacted by severe weather and flooding as a tropical system approaches the state.

The Governor had already ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to increase its readiness level to level II (escalated response conditions) in response to the storm.

“The tropical disturbance impacting the Texas coast poses a threat of imminent disaster, including severe flooding, property damage and potential loss of life,” said Governor Abbott. “While we stand ready to deploy state resources to assist local officials in their response efforts, it is critical that all Texans in the storm’s path are prepared to ensure their own safety.”

In addition to Harris County, surrounding counties located around the Houston region that are included in the disaster declaration are: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller.

Cardinal Daniel Dinardo.

News 88.7 interviews victim of alleged abuse by Conroe priest

News 88.7 has interviewed one of the victims of alleged abuse by a Conroe priest. He requested not to be identified but told us he met with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo last month and felt disappointed.

“The response at the end of the interview and everything from the Cardinal was that, ‘Well, you should’ve told us earlier, or you should’ve told us sooner.’ And I was like… are you kidding me? You have no idea what my life has been,” the victim said.

Houston Matters’ interviewed Nomaan Merchant, the AP reporter who broke the story. Merchant thinks the story could continue unfolding because “there could be other people that come forward.”

Water gushes out of a drill pipe as it is pulled up to be replaced with a fresh pipe at a hydraulic fracturing site in Midland, Texas, Sept. 24, 2013. The drilling method known as fracking uses huge amounts of high-pressure, chemical-laced water to free oil and natural gas trapped deep in underground rocks. With fresh water not as plentiful companies have been looking for ways to recycle their waste. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Hydraulic fracturing site in Midland, Texas.

Fracking made America the world’s largest oil producer

For the first time since the 1970s, the United States is the world’s largest producer of crude oil, according to preliminary estimates published by the Department of Energy.

The boom in shale oil production – or fracking – over the last decade is responsible for the surge.

Journalist Bethany McLean has authored the book “Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World” and talked to Houston Matters about how the global oil landscape has shifted and how it’s affecting Houston and Texas.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings this week for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh denies sexual misconduct allegation

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh denied Friday a sexual misconduct allegation from when he was in high school.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said Thursday she notified federal investigators about information she received —which she didn’t disclose publicly— concerning Kavanaugh. Feinstein added the person who provided the information “strongly requested confidentiality.”

A Senate Democratic aide and another person familiar with the matter said it referred to an incident that occurred while Kavanaugh was high-school age.

The FBI included the information in Kavanaugh’s background file, which is maintained as part of his nomination. The agency says that’s standard process.

In a statement issued Friday, Kavanaugh said the following: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”