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Gun Incident at Galveston High School, Rice’s Free Tuition for Middle-Class Students, Frustration in Santa Fe, And More

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Top afternoon stories:

Ball High School.
Ball High School.

Gun incident at Galveston high school

A Galveston high school student was placed in custody Tuesday morning for taking a handgun to school, officials reported.

Ball High School said in a statement sent to parents and staff that the Police for the Galveston Independent School District retrieved a 25-caliber handgun without ammunition.

A concerned student had reported knowledge of an alleged weapon on campus.

The school was placed on lock down. It was lifted at 10:01 a.m. and an investigation is underway.

Rice University.
Rice University.

Rice’s free tuition for middle-class students

Rice University announced Tuesday that it will give full tuition scholarships to middle-class undergraduates, following the likes of Stanford, Princeton and other elite higher education institutions trying to make college more affordable for more families.

It costs just over $46,000 in annual tuition to attend Rice University.

That may be a bargain compared to other private institutions. But starting in the fall of 2019, Rice will give free tuition to students whose families earn between $65,000 and $130,000 a year.

“Talent deserves opportunity,” Rice President David Leebron said in a statement. “We’ve built on our already generous financial aid to provide more support to lower-income and middle-class families and ensure that these students have access to the best in private higher education.”

Parent Kenzie Conway blasted the Santa Fe School Board for how the district handled a recent security scare.
Parent Kenzie Conway blasted the Santa Fe School Board for how the district handled a recent security scare.

Frustration with Santa Fe school board

Families of victims from the Santa Fe High School shooting are demanding new leadership in their school district, saying they’re not doing enough on academics or safety.

At the monthly school board meeting Monday night, the families rang a bell for loved ones killed in the shooting in May.

“This district is a failure. Academically, they’re a failure, safety’s a failure and our board’s a failure and we want them gone,” said Scot Rice, whose wife Flo, a substitute teacher, was injured in the shooting.

In terms of academics, Rice and others pointed to the recent state accountability ratings. Because of a waiver for Harvey, Santa Fe schools didn’t get an official rating from the Texas Education Agency. But if they had been graded on the new A-F reports cards like most other Texas school districts, Santa Fe would have earned a “D” on student progress and “F” on closing performance gaps.

Several speakers protested how the district handled the most recent security scare, when two students were disciplined for allegedly threatening text messages.

This file photo shows personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aboard the USS Sturgis.

Army Corps of Engineers dismantles former floating nuclear plant

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that a former floating nuclear plant in Galveston has been dismantled.

More than 1.5 million pounds of radioactive waste have been safely removed from the USS Sturgis’ nuclear reactor. Additionally, more than 600,000 pounds of lead from the vessel have been recycled.

The removal process has taken three years and the Corps said decommissioning the Army’s first and only floating nuclear reactor prototype is now complete.

The World War II vessel was converted into a barge-mounted nuclear reactor in the 1960s.

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