This article is over 3 years old

Top Stories

Texas Still Has Highest Percentage Of Uninsured In US, Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens Dies At Age 91, And America Vows To ‘Never Forget’ 9/11

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Macie Kelly/Houston Public Media
Trauma center entrance of Ben Taub Hospital.

Texas Still Has Highest Percentage Of Uninsured In US

More than 5 million Texans didn't have health insurance in 2018, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The year before, about 4.8 million Texans lacked coverage.

The federal agency reports the state still has both the highest number of people without insurance and highest percentage of uninsured people in the country.

Under the Trump administration, Texas' uninsured rate has ticked up every year. This follows years of progress. After Obamacare went into effect, the rate had been slowly improving to a low of 16% in 2016.

In 2018, though, that rate jumped up slightly to 17.7%. The previous year, the rate was slightly smaller at 17.3%. According to the Census Bureau, about 186,000 fewer Texans had health insurance between those years.

Larry W. Smith/Getty Images/Via NPR
T. Boone Pickens founded the company that became Mesa Petroleum and later began a hedge fund focused on energy investments.

Oil Tycoon T. Boone Pickens Dies At Age 91

T. Boone Pickens, a brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, died Wednesday. He was 91.

Pickens was surrounded by friends and family when he died of natural causes under hospice care at his Dallas home, spokesman Jay Rosser said. Pickens suffered a series of strokes in 2017 and was hospitalized that July after what he called a "Texas-sized fall."

In the 1980s, Pickens switched from drilling for oil to plumbing for riches on Wall Street. He led bids to take over big oil companies including Gulf, Phillips and Unocal. In 2007, Forbes magazine estimated Pickens' net worth at $3 billion. He eventually slid below $1 billion and off the magazine's list of wealthiest Americans. In 2016, the magazine put his worth at $500 million.

Pickens' foundation gave $50 million each to the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Mark Lennihan/AP
A man holds a photo of a victim during a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, at the National September 11 Memorial, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in New York.

America Vows To ‘Never Forget' 9/11

Americans commemorated 9/11 with solemn ceremonies and vows Wednesday to "never forget" 18 years after the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

Victims' relatives assembled at ground zero, where the observance began with a moment of silence and the tolling of bells at 8:46 a.m. — the exact time a hijacked plane slammed into the World Trade Center's north tower.

Elsewhere around the country, President Donald Trump laid a wreath at the Pentagon, saying: "This is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss."

The nation is still grappling with the aftermath of 9/11. The effects are visible from airport security checkpoints to Afghanistan, where the post-9/11 U.S. invasion has become America's longest war.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.