Houston Matters

Colleges look to contain COVID as classes resume (Jan. 11, 2022)

On Tuesday’s show: How local colleges and universities are dealing with the omicron surge, and a conversation with Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee about a new hiring policy and several lawsuits the county is involved in.

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On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: Colleges around the area are starting their spring semesters amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, a surge serious enough for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to raise the county's COVID alert level to red – it's highest level. We learn how some area colleges and universities are handling the return to campus.

And the Houston area is set to get another round of federal rent relief funding this year. But it’s not nearly as much as local officials hoped to receive. Why?

Also this hour: Last week, Harris County leaders adopted a policy that will ban most county departments from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history. County Attorney Christian Menefee proposed the program, and he joins us to discuss it and other issues facing the county.

Then, we reflect on an especially divisive political environment — but not our current one. Something called the Jaybird-Woodpecker War in the late 1800s in Fort Bend County.

And how writer J.Elle’s homesickness for Houston's Third Ward turned into a fantasy novel for young adults called Wings of Ebony, which has a new sequel out today called Ashes of Gold.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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