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Sugar Land Bishop Excommunicated, Cities Increase Mosquito Spraying, And More

What we’re following today at Houston Public Media

Monday, September 17, 2018

‘Serial killer’ Border Patrol agent arrested

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz, left, and Sheriff Martin Cuellar at a news conference Saturday.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent has been arrested on the suspicion he murdered four people and kidnapped a fifth person. Juan David Ortiz, 35, was arrested in Laredo and faces charges of murder and aggravated kidnapping.

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said authorities were dealing with a "serial killer" because the manner in which the four victims were killed was very similar. Authorities did not provide details on any of the victims.

Ortiz was arrested early Saturday morning at a hotel. A kidnapping victim had escaped and alerted police.


Sugar Land bishop excommunicated

Sam Young speaks during a press conference Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Salt Lake City.

A former bishop from Sugar Land has been excommunicated from the Mormon church. Sam Young and his supporters say church interviews where youth are asked if they’re following the church's law of chastity led to inappropriate conversations and shaming.

Young led a campaign to bring a second adult into those interviews, calling the questions unnecessary.


Heavy rains prompt mosquito spraying

A truck sprays for mosquitoes in a Missouri City neighborhood.

Authorities are increasing anti-mosquito spraying in response to last week's heavy rains.

Missouri City officials say the rain led to a citywide increase in the mosquito population.

The City of Seabrook says it is also seeing a major increase in mosquitoes and is spraying every night, until further notice.

Late last week, the City of Sugar Land said one of its residents tested positive for the West Nile Virus at a local hospital and the city is increasing spraying to twice a week.


Will banning red light cameras make Texas roads safer?

In his call to ban red light cameras, Governor Greg Abbott points to a study that says they actually make the roads less safe, because drivers try to brake too fast and cause rear-end collisions.

However, in Sugar Land, officials are crediting the cameras with a drop in crashes.


When the rain comes so does anxiety

More than a year out from Hurricane Harvey, Houston's mental health care providers continue to see spikes in anxiety among residents when the area receives heavy rains.

As a potential tropical storm threatened South Texas last week and Hurricane Florence approached the coast of the eastern United States, those anxieties spiked again.


Houston Symphony pushes for more female conductors

Jessica Cottis conducts at the City of London Sinfonia on November 22, 2017.

The push for women to have equal opportunities in historically male-dominated jobs has affected a spectrum of industries: the symphony is one of them.

Male and female musicians in orchestras have almost equal representation, according to a 2016 survey by the League of American Orchestras. But, only about 20 percent of conductors in America are women.


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