Adrian Peterson Child Abuse Case Is Latest NFL Crisis

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Mike Morbeck
All last week, we were worn down to a nub by the Ray Rice domestic assault case.

Elevator security videos, indefinite suspensions, and allegations that the commissioner of the NFL may be lying about what he knew, didn't know, or at the very least efforted during the due diligence process. By the end of the week, the "Ray Rice story" had become the "Roger Goodell story" with the possibility of Goodell being relieved of his duties on the board.

It was not a fun week. And the whole time we were discussing and dissecting the story, we knew it would take a bombshell to somehow trump the interest in Roger Goodell's handling of Ray Rice's transgressions.

It took exactly three days to get that bombshell.

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5 More Crazy Things in Texas' New Textbooks: Climate Change Edition

Categories: Education

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See, once the planet starts cooling, it will be exactly like this. Maybe.

If you were already disturbed by what we've already told you is in the proposed social studies textbooks soon to (most likely) be in a Texas classroom near you, you probably don't want to know what the books say about climate change, since a lot of it is about as accurate as The Day After Tomorrow. (Spoiler alert: the people writing these textbooks seem to have some problems with things like "fairness" and "facts".)

However, the folks over at the National Center for Science Education got curious enough to take a look at these textbooks, written according to the guidelines provided by the State Board of Education a few years back. The NCSE just published a report on their findings -- likely after they all got done dry-heaving and breathing into paper bags to adjust to what could be entering Texas classrooms come 2015. Here's a few of our, for want of a better word, favorites:

5. The text is fuzzy on what is causing global warming, even though scientists are, well, not. "Is global warming a result of human activity?" The Macgraw-Hill textbook, World Cultures and Geography, a sixth grade textbook, presents the whole global warming thing as a question. "Scientists agree that Earth's climate is changing. They do not agree on what is causing the change," according to the text. We know it's a shocker, but NCSE had some issues with that statement, which is addressed in the report with about as much subtlety as a sledgehammer. "This entire section is misleading. Scientists do not disagree about what is causing climate change, the vast majority (97 percent) of climate papers and actively publishing climatologists (again 97 percent) agree that human activity is responsible."


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Houston Texans Don't Get Arrested That Often, Compared to Other NFL Teams

Categories: Football, NIMBY

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Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has not been arrested since signing with Houston. You go Fitzpatrick.

The outing of Ray Rice, whose stunning knockout of his fiance (now wife) was caught on elevator cameras and viewed more than 8.6 million times on YouTube, has caused football fans around the country to take a second look at the NFL stars they thought they knew. Good news for Houston -- the Texans are relatively well behaved.

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That Stinky Seaweed in Galveston Could Soon Be Edible

Categories: Environment

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Jerald Jackson
Unless you're without a sense of smell (and thus lucky in this case) you've probably noticed that Galveston kind of smells like it's on the edge of the bowels of something unspeakably nasty these days because of the many tons of seaweed that have washed up on our hallowed shores.

Scientists have been working on a plan to deal with all of this disgusting seaweed -- it's actually called sargassum and the folks on Texas and Louisiana shores have been wrangling with it for months. You might have looked at all this seaweed and wondered what in the world would be done with it. Well, Tom Linton and Robert Webster, researchers at Texas A&M-Galveston, are working on a plan.

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Harris County Treasurer Candidate Brings His Moms Into Politics

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YouTube
Rick Perry does it; Ted Cruz does it; Harris County treasurer nominee David Rosen doesn't see why he can't run on a family values platform too just because he has two moms.

In a bid to redefine the tired jargon of political ads, Rosen released a video starring his mothers, retired HISD teachers who have been married for only two years out of a decades-long relationship. Despite having that certificate, Rosen's moms are still unable to share health insurance because the state doesn't recognize their marriage. One of Rosen's top priorities is to extend equal rights to gay county employees if he is elected.

Rosen's other dreams include creating an online portal for anyone with an internet connection to see money going in and out of government coffers in real time, and to partner with local nonprofits to teach basic personal finance to at-risk kids. His third goal, to give health benefits to gay employees, is personal.


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Texans 30, Raiders 14: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Groovehouse
Fitz, making sure the trains run on time.
After a methodical 30-14 choking out of the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon, the Texans moved to 2-0 on the season, Bill O'Brien becoming the first of the Texans' three head coaches in their short history to win his first two games.

The Texans have been here, at 2-0, before, though. More precisely, they've been here, at 2-0, for five straight seasons now.

But 2-0 guarantees a team nothing. The Texans are proof of this.

Two of the 2-0 finishes ended in AFC South championships and double digit wins (2011, 2012). The other two ended in disaster, with the 2010 season cratering under the weight of a wretched Frank Bush-coordinated defense to finish 6-10. The 2013 season imploded much faster, with a 14 game losing streak that just ended eight days ago.

So which 2-0 start does 2014's most closely resemble?

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Juvenile Probation Takes On Child Trafficking in Houston

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Imagens Evangélicas
On September 4th, the Harris County Sheriff's Office gave the Juvenile Probation Department a check for $300,000 in an effort to help victims of child trafficking. Houston is often called a hub for trafficking victims, both domestic and international, but to no one's surprise, these numbers are far more complicated, and so are the victims' experiences.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 20% of nationwide child trafficking victims come through Houston alone and consistently, year after year, more than 30% of the calls received by the National Trafficking Resource Center hotline come from Texas. But according to Edward Chapuseaux, an investigator for and founder of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (sheriff's office) task force, these statistics aren't an incredibly accurate assessment of the trafficking problem here.

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Aggies (And Kyle Field) Take Out Owls

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John Royal
One of the many divots in the Kyle Field turf on Saturday night
The story should be the Texas Aggies (3-0) defeating the Rice Owls (0-2) by a 38-10 score. It should be about the thrilling play of A&M quarterback Kenny Hill. The story could have been about the Owls trying for their first win against Texas A&M since 1980, or the first time ever that the Owls opened the season with two consecutive road games against ranked teams. Instead the focus is three things: field conditions so bad that the NRG Stadium field looks good in comparison, a bizarre series of plays at the end of the first half that cost Rice a field goal and A&M a touchdown, and the same old thing of Rice beating Rice.

DIVOT AFTER DIVOT AFTER DIVOT

The grass field at Kyle Field is brand new. Brand new as in planted this summer. Brand new as in it had more divots than a golf course being pounded by a bunch of first time amateurs trying to figure out how to drive off of the tee. Members of the grounds crew constantly trotted out on the field between plays attempting to fill in divots and replace dirt, and conditions were so bad that Rice head coach David Bailiff had to receive assurances at the half from the A&M athletic director that steps would be taken to insure the safety of the players in the second half.

"They told us what they were going to do, and I was comfortable with that," Bailiff said of the A&M assurances.

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Sheriff Unwittingly Rehires Investigator Forced Out by DA's Office

Categories: Courts, Crime

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Failure to communicate, indeed...
The curious case of Ruben Carrizal -- the investigator forced out of the Harris County District Attorney's Affice for misconduct only to be rehired by the sheriff's office three days later -- just didn't seem right to us when we first saw KPRC's report earlier this week. We just didn't understand how failing to get a judge's signature on a search warrant on a murder case, executing that search warrant, and then tampering with the search warrant to make it look legit wasn't enough to keep Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia from re-hiring someone as a homicide investigator.

Turns out what we've got here is a failure to communicate. According to sheriff's officials, the Harris County District Attorney's Office never told them about allegations against Carrizal before they re-hired him days after the DA's office let him resign in lieu of firing him over him backdating a search warrant.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Don't Believe the Hype of the Latest Tropical Disturbance

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
Invest 97L, currently dropping rain on Florida.
You are likely going to hear quite a bit about a tropical disturbance designated 92L by the National Hurricane Center that is currently dropping a bunch of rain on the Florida peninsula. The reason there will be news about this rainmaker is because forecast models have 92L making its way into the Gulf of Mexico and heading towards Texas sometime middle of next week. Don't believe the hype.

I'm not saying those models are inaccurate. They may very well be. But, there are not any really good reasons at the moment to be overly concerned about 92L. That doesn't mean local weather won't try to scare you into thinking you should be, however.

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