Rodeo By The Numbers: Cowboy Boots, Turkey Legs, and Truckloads of Twinkies

Categories: Rodeo

Courtesy Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Every year this city throw a huge boot-stompin' party called the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. To get a better understanding of what it takes to put on one of Houston's biggest annual events, we asked the rodeo folks for some stats. From truckloads of Twinkies to a veritable army of baby chicks, here's what we found (mostly based on last year's numbers):

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D.J. Swearinger Under Investigation For Running Out On Truck Customizing Tab

Categories: Football, Sports

Photo by Aaron M Sprecher
Athletes like to trick out their cars. It's what they do. Well, many of them, at least. And if you're making that sweet second-round-pick cheddar, you want the world to know it.

Spinning rims, bass booming speakers, tinted windows, that's what's up, man! You don't want to be driving around in a Nissan Altima with no tint listening to AM radio (unless you're tuned into Sports Radio 610).

So with that in mind, we interrupt the mild depression and coping of the last two days (Andre Day and Myers Day) to bring you a little comic relief. Well, we hope it's comic relief. If it winds up with D.J. Swearinger getting arrested, we won't be laughing (that hard).

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Advocacy Group: Stop Charging Truant Students in Adult Court

Categories: Education

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When it comes to truancy, kids are treated like adults.
"Texas currently prosecutes more than twice the number of truancy cases prosecuted in all other states combined," with cases filed in adult criminal courts -- uncommon among other states -- according to a report released Thursday by the non-profit advocacy group Texas Appleseed. More than 115,000 students were charged with truancy in adult court in 2013.

The Houston Independent School District, with an enrollment of 203,354, filed 20,715 truancy criminal cases against students and/or their parents in the 2012-2013 school year -- the third-highest rate in the state, according to the report. (San Antonio and Dallas ranked first and second, respectively.)

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USW and Shell Talked. Briefly.

Photo by Max burkhalter
Lee Medley and the USW District 13-1 union members outside of the USW Hall in Pasadena.

Representatives from United Steelworkers International and Royal Dutch Shell were back at the bargaining table Wednesday and it seems they talked just long enough to decide they'll try this whole talking thing again next week.

That means the strike is definitely going on for another week, at least, which is rough news for those hoping it would be over by now.

The USW oil refinery strike, the first major oil refinery strike in 35 years, started February 1 and the USW members at Shell Deer Park, LyondellBasell and Marathon Texas City were some of the first called to walk out on strike by the national arm of USW. Since then USW has pulled out more than 6,000 workers at 15 plants across the country, including 12 refineries.

USW has been negotiating a national contract that the local union groups will use as guidelines for their contracts with the company. Shell is negotiating on behalf of the oil industry. They've been trying to hammer out a deal since January 21. So far, things haven't gone well.

Meanwhile, the tensions between the strikers and management have been ratcheting up. People have been crossing the picket line at Shell Deer Park since the second week of the strike. Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh says that 20 percent of the 800 union members have come back to work at Shell Deer Park. Lee Medley, president of USW District 13-1 that represents Shell workers, says that the number is closer to around 100. Either way, strikes depend on union members not crossing picket lines, as we've already noted, so this is a pretty big deal to the local union.

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Houston Will Miss Chris Myers

Categories: Football, Sports

Photo by Max Burkhalter
For years, Texan fans seethed over the perception that Gary Kubiak was overly loyal to players. He was afraid to cut "his guys," many of whom he'd happily doled out extensions for sometime in the recent past.

Real or imagined (and honestly, like most things in life, the truth was probably somewhere in between), Texan fans believed this dynamic existed, so when they had to endure more bad seasons than good, there was a frustration level over why the Texans weren't conducting business like a "real NFL team."

Why can't they be more like the Patriots??? That was the lament. Well, you're getting your wish now, Texan fan. It's clear who's running the show at NRG Stadium, and there are no scraps in Bill O'Brien's scrapbook.

To wit, 24 hours after telling Andre Johnson he can seek a trade, now center Chris Myers is gone, released on Wednesday afternoon after his seventh season with the Texans.

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Could ExxonMobil Buy BP?

Categories: Spaced City


Imagine a world where the largest energy company in the world becomes even more massive by gobbling up one of the most notorious energy companies around. Got it? Okay, now prepare yourself because the rumors are swirling that such a thing could actually happen. Bloomberg is reporting that ExxonMobil, the largest energy company in the world, has plans to issue an $8 billion bond offering, the largest it has ever put out. Why? Well, that's where things get really interesting, because the Houston Business Journal is reporting that Irving-based Exxon could have plans to buy London-based British Petroleum.

Yeah. BP, the one with the oil spill.

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Thursday Weather Proof God is Mad About Andre Johnson Situation, Too

Categories: Weather

A constant gripe Houstonians, and Texans in general, have is the bi-polar nature of the weather here in the Lone Star State. If you've grown weary of these endless conversations about winter storms and weird (cue spooky sound effects) weather, you may want to avoid Twitter, Facebook and the water cooler at work tomorrow morning.

After waking up to a placid, mid-70s Wednesday, commuters can expect a near-freezing morning on Thursday as temps are expected to drop about 40 degrees overnight, with wind speeds expected to gust 35 mph.

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Steve Francis Gets Choked With His Gold Chain At Local Rap Show (w/ VIDEO)

Jeff Balke
Rare is the athlete (especially an NBA player, let alone an NBA player who was selected to multiple All-Star Games) that people are able to enjoy more in retirement than they did during his playing days.

I think it's safe to say that, for me, Steve Francis has cracked that elusive list.

When you consider how unwatchable the Stevie Franchise Rockets were back in the early 2000's, how mind numbing it was to watch him pound the ball into the floor for 22 seconds before chucking up some ill advised heave, and how bizarre the whole Stevie-Cuttino experience was, "playing career Franchise" is not really all that tough a bar for "retirement Franchise" to clear.

And rest assured "retirement Franchise" is clearing that bar by a solid few feet.

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Woo-Hoo! Houston Getting Another Low-Cost Spay-Neuter Clinic

Categories: Spaced City

Photo by OakleyOriginals/Flickr
"They'll have treats, too, right? RIGHT?"
Awesome news: Houston will be getting another low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the spring. City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to give Austin-based Emancipet $260,000 for the clinic, which will be located at 4410 Navigation Blvd.

"The clinic will be able to spay/neuter 7,000-8,000 animals per year and provide approximately 10,000 preventive care visits" for things like microchipping and vaccinations, according to an Emancipet press release. This is definitely a huge step toward tackling Houston's homeless animal population, which is estimated at between 800,000-1.2 million.

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Andre Johnson Odds Board: Where Will He Play Next?

Photo by Groovehouse
Well, Texan fan, hopefully you've put your grief behind you. Yeah, I know it hasn't even been 48 hours since you were forced to digest the news that Andre Johnson's Texan career will be coming to a close imminently.

But this is 2015. It's the age of short attention spans, and by definition, if you're only capable of paying attention to news items for 24 hours, then you're only allowed to grieve over news items for 24 hours. These are my rules.

By the way, yesterday's au revoir to Andre Johnson wasn't something that should've sideswiped you. We all knew this day would come eventually. (I'm mildly surprised it didn't happen a year ago.) Frankly, go look at the list of the top receivers of all-time, and most of them had cameos in a uniform-not-normally-associated-with-them at the end of their careers.

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