Top Stories

Police Officers Wounded Monday Are Stable, Harris County’s Skepticism On State’s Potential Non-Citizen Voter List, And Election To Replace Former State Representatives

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Dr. Michelle McNutt, chief of trauma at Memorial Hermann's Red Duke Trauma Institute (fourth from left) and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo held a media briefing on January 29, 2019, to provide an update on the five police officers who were injured.

Police Officers Wounded Monday Are Stable

HPD Chief Art Acevedo released the names of the two persons involved in a Monday shooting with police officers in Southeast Houston and Memorial Hermann Hospital provided an update on their condition.

One of the officers suffered a gunshot wound to the face. He was operated on Monday night and will have to undergo additional operations by the hospital's facial trauma. Another officer who also suffered a face wound and who, according to Acevedo is a 50-year-old sergeant and a 25 year veteran with HPD, won't require surgery and will likely be discharged Tuesday.

A third officer who sustained a knee injury has already undergone surgery by the orthopedic trauma team and will likely be discharged later this week. The HPD chief said he is a 50-year-old sergeant and a 27 year veteran. Another wounded officer is a 33-year-old who, according to Acevedo, sustained a sustained a shoulder gunshot wound and was released from the hospital Monday night.

The fifth officer who was wounded in the shooting, specifically on his neck, is still in the hospital and, according to HPD, is in serious but stable condition.

Acevedo said the male suspect was 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and the female suspect was 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas. The HPD chief detailed they were both white.

Election signs at an early voting location at Spring First Church, in Spring –a suburb north of Houston– on October 28, 2018.

Harris County’s Skepticism On State's Potential Non-Citizen Voter List

Civil rights groups are urging Texas counties not to take action on a state-circulated list of potential non-citizen voters. In Harris County, the state's most populated county, officials say they'll further investigate the list before sending out citizenship checks.

The state wants local election officials to check the citizenship of about 95,000 registered voters who were not citizens when they obtained their driver's license or state ID.

Douglas Ray, with the Harris County Attorney's Office, said he's "very skeptical" about the validity of the list.

"We think that there's probably a lot of people, a lot of people, who got their driver's license when they weren't citizens, but who subsequently became citizens and registered to vote," he said.

Ray also pointed to a situation years ago where the state believed tens of thousands of registered voters were dead. Many turned out to be very much alive. He said the county is also worried about citizens not responding in time to the citizenship checks requests — they have 30 days, by law — and then losing their right to vote.

Election To Replace Former State Reps. Carol Alvarado, Joe Pickett

Voters are heading to the polls Tuesday to fill state House vacancies in Houston and El Paso in the latest special elections since the midterms.

In House District 79, there is a three-way race to replace former Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, who resigned effective this month, citing issues related to a cancer diagnosis. And in House District 145, eight candidates are competing for the seat left open by ex-Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, who won a promotion to the upper chamber last month.

The races are unlikely to change control of either Democratic-friendly district, and the contests have been marked by low drama and low turnout in the shadow of the legislative session's opening in Austin. Both contests have potential to go to a runoff, which would happen if no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote.



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