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Upgrading Cullen Boulevard To Make It More Accessible, Security Measures For World Series In Houston, And Speaker Bonnen Won’t Seek Reelection After Recording Scandal

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Early road construction efforts within the University of Houston.
Chris Paul/Houston Public Media
Construction on Cullen Boulevard at the University of Houston.

Upgrading Cullen Boulevard To Make It More Accessible

Cullen Boulevard is getting a major upgrade to make it more accessible for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.

Extending from North MacGregor Way to I-45, the Cullen Boulevard improvement project includes new drainage, lighting and landscaping. The project will also feature shared-use paths for walkers and cyclists.

The work is funded in part through $30 million pledged by Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis — the money is earmarked for street improvements near the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. The City of Houston and UH are also contributing funds.

Phase One of the project is already underway between North MacGregor and Wheeler Street.

A Houston Police patrol car is parked next to Minute Maid Park on Oct. 22, 2019. HPD is conducting an extensive deployment in and around the baseball stadium as part of the security plan for the 2019 MLB World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals.
Shannon Harrison/Houston Public Media
The Houston Police Department is implementing an extensive deployment in and around Minute Maid Park for the 2019 MLB World Series.

Security Measures For MLB World Series In Houston

Houston is once again hosting a major sports event with the 2019 MLB World Series between the Astros and the Washington Nationals starting Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. The city is implementing top security measures including street closures and an extensive police deployment.

"The security will be at maximum. We are treating this as a major event, as a Super Bowl event," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday at a news conference.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said all streets surrounding Minute Maid will be closed within a one block radius from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m. on game days, including away games. As part of the security plan, no firearms will be allowed inside Minute Maid.

Click here to read a longer version of this story, including a map that shows the street closures.

Texas Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, talks to the media at the Texas Capitol, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Austin, Texas.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
This May 12, 2015, file photo shows Texas Rep. Dennis Bonnen, talks to the media at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

Speaker Bonnen Won't Seek Reelection After Recording Scandal

First-term Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on Tuesday announced he will not seek re-election to the lower chamber in 2020, The Texas Tribune reported.

The announcement marked an end to the Republican lawmaker’s months-long political fallout that has roiled the Texas House.

"After much prayer, consultation, and thoughtful consideration with my family, it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election as State Representative of District 25, and subsequently, as Speaker of the House," Bonnen, who is from Angleton, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, a secret recording between Bonnen and Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan was made public. It appeared to back up claims that the speaker offered press credentials for Sullivan's group and asked for political support for challengers of some Republican lawmakers in the 2020 primaries.