DPS Tells Mayor Parker's Daughter She Can't Have Two Moms

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We already know that Texas' bullheaded stance on gay marriage -- that it won't in any way recognize it, even if couples were married in other states -- trickles down to individual Texas Department of Public Safety clerks. Same-sex couples in Texas have to navigate roadblocks that can royally screw with your day, even if you're the mayor of the 4th largest city in the country.

A tweet from Mayor Annise Parker caught some of that frustration with DPS Thursday, after one of the Houston offices barred her daughter from taking a driving test because, well, her daughter has two moms.

Parker, who is the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, wed her longtime partner in January, but the two women jointly adopted this child and her older sister in 2003. Both women are legally her parents.


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Sex Offender Charged With Raping Toddler, Teen Was "Low" Risk

Categories: Crime

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Facebook screenshot.
Wilson commented on his Facebook profile in June that "i just had something...on my mind and couldn't think straight."
The Houston man charged with raping a toddler and teenager and infecting both with HIV was listed as a low-risk sex offender in the state's database, despite two previous violations of court orders -- and a Facebook profile pic showing him cradling a toddler.

David Richard Wilson, 33, also gave his son's mother HIV after he knew he was already infected, according to the woman, who asked not to be named. The 30-year-old said she was diagnosed in 2013, and Wilson denied having HIV when she notified him.

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College and Pro Football: This Weekend's Best Bets

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Parker Anderson
Before we get to the Best Bets for the week, I'll use this space (and perhaps a lengthier column in the future) to salute the recently laid off employees at the soon-to-be-sold-and-renamed-and-lobotomized Comcast Sports Net Houston.

As you all are probably aware, painfully so if you're a non-Comcast subscriber, the fledgling Astros- and Rockets-owned network was never able to get distribution traction in Houston but, after a lengthy bankruptcy proceeding, is on the verge of being sold to AT&T/DirecTV fans rebranded as Root Sports Houston.

If you had a chance to watch the CSN product, then you know what I'm about to say -- the product itself was amazingly well done, as the slew of Emmy nominations for the network indicate. The crew there, on air and behind the scenes, are some of the best, most creative people I've worked with since getting into radio. I was fortunate to be a panelist several times on Sports Talk Live, and the place always had an air of fun and teamwork.

The issues that led to the network's demise were certainly not content-based; they were the product of a muddled distribution strategy and ownership partners with drastically divergent agendas. Again, the "why" of all this is another column for another time.

I just wanted to use a few paragraphs here to wish the best to all of those folks leaving CSN (and, many of them, likely leaving Houston), and thank them for making me better at what I do.

I think this seven minutes of video, a farewell between Bill Doleman and Calvin Murphy, perfectly sums up the culture of a network and a crew that deserved so much better than what they got...

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Lotto Shuts Down 'Fun 5' Game Because People Got Upset When They Found Out They Lost

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Fun 5 tickets are still floating around Houston...and we found some.
A batch of Texas Lotto scratch-offs have become a major source of contention for frustrated lotto players, who say the language on Fun 5 is misleading. And for that confusion, they say they're owed millions.

The controversy revolving around Fun 5 is limited to one specific game on the card -- Game 5 -- which gives players the following instructions for identifying a winning ticket:

Reveal three "5" symbols in any one row, column or diagonal, win PRIZE in PRIZE box. Reveal a Money Bag symbol in the 5X BOX, win 5 times that PRIZE.

Most people would think these two-sentence instructions are pretty darn simple and should be interpreted as scratch Game 5, reveal three fives in a row and win a prize. Scratch Game 5, reveal three fives in a row and a money bag, and well, you're rolling in five times the cash.

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Kelvin Sampson Takes Over the Coogs (Just Don't Expect a Tourney Visit This Year)

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The Cougars try to rebuild once again.
The Houston Cougars come into this basketball season with a new coach. They have new players, and supposedly a new culture. But some things never change, and just as with last season, the Cougars are going to lose a lot of games.

Kelvin Sampson's the new guy in charge. The former assistant coach for the Houston Rockets, Sampson's had numerous NCAA stops, getting Oklahoma and Indiana into the NCAA tourney on multiple occasions. But he lost two of the team's best players shortly after he was hired when TaShawn Thomas transferred to Oklahoma and Danuel House transferred to Texas A&M. Another key player, L.J. Rose, has a broken foot and is out for the foreseeable future. And if the season started today, walk-on Wes VanBeck would be seeing major minutes at point guard.

"We're building this program," Sampson said Tuesday. "This year is what it is. We're establishing culture and getting these guys to play the way we want to play. When people see our style of play, they're going to be excited to watch us. This is going to be a fun team to watch. I'm excited about it."

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TEA Investigating More Shady Student-Teacher Relationships

Categories: Bad Teachers

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Ashley Zehnder
The Texas Education Agency is reporting a rise in the number of investigations opened on allegations of inappropriate student-teacher relationships over the past three years, according to newly released numbers by the agency.

The number of investigations into student-teacher relationships has risen from 141 in 2009-10 to 179 in 2013-14, according to the agency. Under the state penal code, a school district employee who engages in sexual contact with a student is committing a second-degree felony, even if the student is 18 years of age or older.

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Texans-Titans Preview: 2014 Season on the Brink

Categories: Football, Sports

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Photo by Groovehouse
Three weeks ago the Texans sat at two games over .500, ready to attack a difficult upcoming three-game stretch that would define the first half of the season.

All three games would be against playoff contenders and/or played in a tough environment in prime time. Despite showing some fight in each of the three games, the Texans were unable to get a win in any of the three -- a 20-17 overtime loss in Dallas, a 33-28 Thursday night home loss to the Colts and a 30-23 mistake-fest Monday night in Pittsburgh.

So after a three-game losing streak, the Texans sit at a game under .500 now with a game this weekend against a team that will give them an opportunity to "get well," the Tennessee Titans.

If this entire arc of a scenario looks familiar, it should.

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Last-Minute Shit-Slinging in District Attorney's Race

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As the race for District Attorney continues to heat up, Democratic challenger Kim Ogg is talking weed policy again -- and this time, she's questioning the low number of burglary cases Devon Anderson, the incumbent DA, has prosecuted compared to misdemeanor pot charges pursued by the office.

Citing the 10,903 marijuana cases she says were prosecuted by Anderson's office in 2013 -- all but 261 of which were for amounts under 2 ounces -- Ogg at a press conference outside the Harris County courthouse Wednesday questioned why the DA's office is prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases at five times the rate of burglary cases.

Ogg's new(ish) talking point comes as the DA candidates are locked in a dead heat less than two weeks before election. On Wednesday, the Houston Police Officer's Union held a press conference with Anderson, announcing their endorsement, which comes on the heels of a scathing radio ad claiming Ogg, while in her position leading Crime Stoppers years ago, sent the identity of a juvenile sexual assault victim to a TV station. Ogg called the ad misleading and "offensive," saying that a victim's name was inadvertently included in a draft script for a TV program called "Predator Check"; the error was caught before the program ever went live, and the victim's name wasn't aired.

Ogg Wednesday focused on the number of marijuana prosecutions compared to burglary cases brought by Anderson in 2013. And while the numbers Ogg cites might at first glance look impressively bad for Anderson, there's a bit more to this equation. The DA's office may be prosecuting upward of 10,000 marijuana cases, but they can only really prosecute what cops send them.

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Here's What the Houston-Dallas Bullet Train Routes Might Look Like

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Photos of the N700 used under permission of JR Central

A more concrete picture of the high-speed bullet train from Dallas to Houston is emerging now that Texas Central Railway, the private company behind the multibillion dollar project, has revealed the two routes the line may take.

The bullet train, meant to rival air travel between the two cities, will reportedly be built with an estimated $10 billion in private funding and will -- in theory -- travel at speeds of about 200 miles per hour, connecting travelers between the two cities in 90 minutes flat.

In order to move forward, the company is federally required to study the environmental impact of the proposed project. Of the nine route options that were proposed initially, two have been chosen for further evaluation.

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Judge in Adrian Peterson Case Will Not Be Recused

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Mike Morbeck
If you're somebody who wants the child abuse trial of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to begin as quickly as possible (a subset of people that happens to include one Mr. Adrian Peterson), then you received the news you wanted to hear on Wednesday in the decision whether or not to recuse the judge initially assigned to the case.

In a Conroe courtroom yesterday, it was announced that the district attorney's request to have Montgomery County state District Judge Kelly Case removed from overseeing the Peterson trial would be denied.

Any trial (or in this case, the process leading up to the trial) is a series of wins and losses, so who won and who lost this round? More important (to most casual followers of the case), what does this mean to Adrian Peterson?

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