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Mueller Report Mentions Houston, Fight Over City Finances Threatens Proposition B Talks, And Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area Saw Biggest Population Growth In Texas In 2018

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


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller Report Mentions Houston

An Instagram post about a confederate rally in Houston is cited in special counsel Robert Mueller's report as the "earliest evidence" of Russian influence in political rallies that happened across the United States.

Page 29 of the Mueller investigation on Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election states: "The Office identified dozens of U.S. rallies organized by the IRA (St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency). The earliest evidence of a rally was a "confederate rally" in November 2015."

In a footnote, the report refers to an Instagram post about a Houston-area rally planned for November 14, 2015.

The report also says: "The IRA (Internet Research Agency) continued to organize rallies even after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The attendance at rallies varied. Some rallies appear to have drawn few (if any) participants, while others drew hundreds. The reach and success of these rallies was closely monitored."

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz / Houston Public Media
HPFFA president Patrick ‘Marty’ Lancton.

Fight Over Houston Finances Threatens Proposition B Talks

The Houston firefighters union says it's not satisfied with the financial information the mayor has provided as part of talks over phasing in voter-mandated raises for the fire department. The latest move could effectively torpedo a deal.

Patrick ‘Marty’ Lancton, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, wrote Mayor Sylvester Turner, demanding, "complete access to City financial and budget information." That means all records, whether or not they relate to Proposition B.

"If every department in the City audits the whole City to see how much money they can get, then the whole City's going to be bogged down in a way that's not helpful," said Steven Craig, who teaches public sector economics at the University of Houston.

Rice University political scientist Bob Stein said that's likely the point. "I think they have made a political calculation that this is not a mayor they can trust," he said. "And therefore they have to defeat this mayor at the ballot box the same way they won on the ballot box last November with Prop B."

Michael Zanussi/Flickr
The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area added 131,767 residents from 2017 to 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area Saw Biggest Population Growth In Texas In 2018

In a state where the population continues to rapidly swell, the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth region remains a fundamental source for those gains.

Adding 131,767 residents from 2017 to 2018, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area gained more residents than any other metropolitan area in the country and was behind more than a third of Texas' population growth in that period, according to population estimates the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

Following a years-long trend, the new estimates show that Texas dominated in population growth thanks to both growing families and migration to the state. The state took 4 of the nation's top 10 spots both for counties that gained the most residents in a year and those that grew the fastest.

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area came behind the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in annual gains of residents.

West Texas topped the list of rapidly growing metro areas, outpacing the Austin-Round Rock area, which ranked first in the state last year. The Midland metro area was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country from 2017-18, and the Odessa metro area ranked fifth.