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Hidalgo Recuses Herself From Two Lawsuits, Rodeo 2019 Concert Lineup, Garcia Discusses Priorities As Congresswoman, And More

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo (center) speaks to officials on December 20, 2018.

Hidalgo Recuses Herself From Two Lawsuits Involving Harris County Jail

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Friday she is recusing herself from two lawsuits involving the county jail. She argues the decision is part of her ethics statement, which will entail she will recuse herself "in matters before the county where a conflict of interest may exist."

One of the lawsuits, Salcido, et al. v. Harris County, et al, was filed because a man suffering from withdrawal died in the Harris County jail after being restrained face down on a gurney.

Hidalgo says she is recusing herself from "consideration, decisions and updates" regarding the Salcido lawsuit because she has a "close, personal relationship" with David James, an attorney with an Austin-based law firm that is counsel to some of the plaintiffs.

The other lawsuit, Smith v. Harris County, was filed because a young man with a diagnosis of depression and symptoms of schizophrenia, as well as a history of suicide attempts, was held in the county jail and committed suicide.

In that case, Hidalgo says she is recusing herself because she was a volunteer at the Texas Civil Rights Project while the litigation was developed and filed.

Houston Rodeo 2019 Concert Lineup

Following a leaked schedule last week, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has officially released the entertainment lineup for the 2019 Rodeo season, featuring a mix of country, rock, pop, hip-hop and EDM artists.

Among those performing are Cardi B, Prince Royce, Camila Cabello, Kings of Leon, Panic! At The Disco, Tim McGraw and George Strait. Of the 21 artists, 12 will be making their HoustonRodeo debut.

he 2019 Rodeo will take place from February 25 – March 17. Tickets go on sale January 10 at 10 am on and via the AXS mobile app.

The "online waiting room" will open at 9:30 am, and customers in the waiting room will be randomly selected at 10 am to purchase their tickets. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the NRG box office starting on Friday, January 11 at 10 am.

Sylvia Garcia Discusses Priorities As Congresswoman

Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, (first from right) during ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill.

Sylvia Garcia has started her term as a member of Congress this week and told Houston Matters Friday that two of her priorities will be protecting Houston from the negative economic repercussions of a potential shutdown of the southern border by President Donald Trump and accelerating the use of federal funds for the Harvey recovery.

Trump tweeted on December 28 it's possible he will order closing the southern border if the Democrats in Congress don't agree on funding the wall he wants for the border and also change immigration laws, which the President categorized as "ridiculous."

Garcia said closing the southern border would have "a huge negative impact on the Port (of Houston), it will have a huge negative impact on the (Texas) Medical Center."


UH Ranked One Of Most ‘Underrated' Colleges

The University of Houston is the second most underrated college in the U.S., according to a new ranking by college admissions consulting company CollegeVine.

The analysis was based on factors often overlooked by traditional rankings, such as cost of attendance, generosity of financial aid and scholarships, return on investment after both one and five years, and data on job placements.

Another element the ranking took into account was job growth and opportunities in the metropolitan area where the school is located – a factor that aided in UH's high ranking.

Though US News ranks UH as the #171 college in the US, the analysis points to its strong STEM programs, like petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, and other "physical-world" sciences.

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