Congressman Gene Green Checked Out the USW Picket Lines This Weekend

Categories: Sole of Houston

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Dianna Wray
Congressman Gene Green (center) and USW District 13-1 local president Lee Medley (left) walked the picket line outside of the main gate of Shell Deer Park on Saturday morning while security guards looked on from behind the fence

Shell and USW representatives may be starting another round of negotiations soon, but things are getting more tense on the picket line as the strike drags on. Congressman Gene Green came out on Saturday morning to meet with USW District 13-1 local president Lee Medley and to talk with the people on the picket lines.

So far, USW reps have rejected at least seven contract offers from Shell, and pulled more than 6,500 workers at 15 plants -- with about 5,000 coming from 12 oil refineries -- since the strike started on February 1. Locally, the strike started by pulling union workers out of LyondellBasell, Marathon's Texas City Refinery and Shell Deer Park. The two sides are reportedly butting heads over safety issues, rules that make sure fatigued workers aren't stuck on the job, and contractors. Talks haven't exactly been going well.


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NFL Fantasy Crime League Update: Ravens DB Gets a DWI Going 100 in a 55

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Twitter
It's been a quiet NFL Fantasy Crime season so far in 2015. After the initial flurry a few weeks ago -- the infamous Randle-Guion-Jackson triangle of transgression -- there's really been nothing to speak of.

Ahmad Bradshaw getting popped for weed on February 5, but other than that, the offseason has been one big popcorn fart crime-wise. Don't tell Roger Goodell, please. He may actually take credit for this.

However, the champion in any sport being woken up (the "sleeping giant" phenomenon) can really get things kick-started. That's why, for crime enthusiasts like myself, it's nice to see the 2014 FCL champion Baltimore Ravens get on the scoreboard!

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller Voted to Cut Ag Funding But Now He Wants it Back

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Photo from the Texas Agriculture Commission
Texas Ag Commissioner thought cutting funding to the Texas Agriculture Commission was a good idea until he actually became head of it.
The Cupcake Crusader has a new cause! And surprisingly it has nothing to do with cupcakes!

That's right, Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, easily won his office last November, and now it looks like he's actually trying to improve the agriculture department. There's just one tiny problem: funding.

"I need a little help. I sure do," Miller said on Friday. "We had some deep cuts in 2011 and I'm simply asking the legislature to restore those cuts."

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Sure, the Astros Are Run by Geniuses (But How Do We Really Know?)

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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This is great publicity, but how do we know the Astros are really getting better?
Time and time again Houston Astros fans are told not to worry about the state of the franchise. The team's run by geniuses, by literal rocket scientists. The smartest men in the room who can outthink every other team in MLB, and in doing so, are turning the Astros into a state-of-the art franchise that is the envy of the majors.

General manager Jeff Luhnow wins every trade, signs only players who fit in with the team's analytic plans -- why, Luhnow's so smart that MLB is considering outlawing infield shifts because of the Astros' outstanding success in employing the defensive tactic. Luhnow and his staff are so smart that they resurrected the career of starting pitcher Collin McHugh by showing him how to pitch. And without a doubt, the downfall of Lucas Harrell's career has to be traced by his ignorant denial of everything Luhnow.

But here's the thing: How does anybody really know if the genius of Luhnow is working? The Astros have been one of the worst teams in baseball during his entire tenure at the helm. For the most part, he and his regime had zero to do with acquiring the players on the Major League roster who are succeeding. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Dallas Keuchel were all brought to the Astros while Ed Wade was the general manager. And while the Astros didn't lose 100-plus games last season and didn't finish in last place in the AL West, a lot of that can only be traced to the epic implosion of the Texas Rangers.

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The Trail Rides Head Into Downtown Houston

Categories: Rodeo

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Photo by Sarah Tucker
Members of the Southwestern Trail Ride make it into Rodeo Houston on a very cold day

It's Go Texan Day, and that means one thing for Houstonians: trail rides.

Thirteen trail rides from across Texas will set up camp in Memorial Park today. Tomorrow morning, they'll head downtown for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's annual Parade.

One group, the Southwestern Trail Ride, travels in 100 miles from West Columbia, Texas. Riding six miles per hour with 250 riders and nine wagons, it takes the group seven days to reach their campground.


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Hey, NFL, You Can Keep Your Super Bowl and We'll Hang Onto Our $50M, Deal?

Categories: Football, Sports

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Photo by dskillzhtown
Not good enough, apparently.
According to a report from Chron.com, the NFL, after touring NRG Stadium this week, says the stadium needs up to $50 million in upgrades in anticipation of Super Bowl LI, to be held in Houston in 2017. While the upgrades include the installation of Wi-Fi (a requirement for all NFL stadiums that NRG has yet to add) as one component, the bulk of the modifications -- some $45 million worth -- are said to be primarily for the club and suite levels.

They're kidding, right? Apparently not.

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USW and Shell Are Talking About Talking

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Photo by Max Burkhalter
USW protestors rally at the Shell building in downtown Houston on February 6. They've been on strike since February 1.

Representatives from the United Steelworkers and Royal Dutch Shell have been arguing over a new national contract for the oil refinery workers with no success, but now it looks like the two sides are gearing up to sit down and try once again to work out a new national contract. Or at least they're talking about talking, which seems something like progress at this point.

So far, USW reps have rejected at least seven contract offers from Shell, and pulled more than 6,500 workers at 15 plants -- with about 5,000 coming from 12 oil refineries -- since the strike started on February 1. Locally, the strike started by pulling union workers out of LyondellBasell, Marathon's Texas City Refinery and Shell Deer Park. The two sides are reportedly butting heads over safety issues, rules that make sure fatigued workers aren't stuck on the job, and contractors. Things haven't exactly been going well.


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HPD: Help Us Help You Not Get Shot by HPD

Categories: Whatever

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HPD
HPD offers a lesson in "hands up, don't shoot"
HPD has released a handy YouTube video that offers a basic rundown of how not to spook a cop that's decided to pull you over or detain you.

HPD Chief Charles McClelland says the department made the video after receiving numerous questions from citizens on "how best to interact with officers in the safest way possible for all."

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Mother Charged With Brutally Stabbing 4-Year-Old Son

Categories: Crime

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Google streetview
Authorities responded to James River Lane in northwest Harris County Thursday to reports a mother was brutally stabbing and beating her son.
Sheriff's deputies were called out to a northwest Harris County neighborhood yesterday after a passing driver saw a mother dragging her young son out of a house and throwing him onto the pavement. When police finally got there, they encountered a disturbing scene.

The mother, police say, had badly mutilated her son with a knife, stabbing the four-year-old boy all over his body, before dragging him out of the house to continue assaulting him in the driveway. The mother, 23-year-old Jenea Mungia, was topless when deputies arrived, according to KTRK. Medical responders airlifted the boy to Memorial Herman, taking him straight to surgery.

"Evidently she was in some kind of state," Harris County sheriff's deputy Thomas Gilliland told the Chron. "The scene itself was a terrible one for deputies to arrive to."


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The Houston Cougars Are One of the Best College Baseball Teams in the Country

Categories: Baseball, Sports

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John Royal
The Cougar Red infield dirt at Cougar Field
The Cougar Red infield dirt at Cougar FieldThe University of Houston is a baseball school. There might be a nice shiny new football stadium, but the football team doesn't sell it out. The men's basketball program has a new, big name head coach. But the facility sucks, the team's awful, and nobody comes to the games.

But fans are packing Cougar Field to watch the nation's third-ranked baseball team play some of the best college baseball in the country. The Cougars made the Super Regionals last season, making the team one of the best 16 squads in the nation. It's ranked this season, and this past weekend it took two of three games from one of the country's other nationally ranked programs, Alabama.

The Cougars are 6-2 so far this season, and this weekend the team hosts Columbia for a four game series that promises to offer up some exciting baseball. And that's the thing about the Houston Cougars, it is an exciting baseball team. There are UH players who can slug massive home runs, and there are players who can steal bases, and will, in the blink of an eye. There's good pitching, good defense.

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