City Attorney David Feldman Announces Resignation

Categories: Breaking News

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City of Houston
David Feldman
Sticking to the long-held practice of politicians releasing uncomfortable news on a Friday evening, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced today that her top legal brain has tendered his resignation.

City Attorney David Feldman, who joined the Parker administration in 2010, will resign effective January 16, 2015, according to a release from Parker's office. "Dave has provided great legal counsel for me and the entire City of Houston since his arrival nearly five years ago," Parker said in a statement. "His legal acumen is unmatched. Without his assistance, we would not have been able to accomplish many of my administration's priorities. I wish him the best of luck as he begins this new phase of his professional life. He will be missed at my executive staff table."

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Fifth Circuit Issues a Stay of Execution: Scott Panetti Won't Be Executed Tonight

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The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the execution of Scott Panetti, who had been scheduled for execution in Texas tonight at 6 p.m.

The order, issued by Chief Justice Carl Stewart, Judge Patrick Higginbotham and Judge Priscilla Owen reads as follows:

We STAY the execution pending further order of the court to allow us to fully consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter.1 An order setting a briefing schedule and oral argument will follow.

In 1995 Panetti was convicted of the murders of Joe Alvarado and Amanda Alvarado, his parents-in-law on September 8, 1992 in Gillespie County. The thing is Panetti has suffered from mental illness for more than 30 years. He was diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1978 and was in and out of mental hospitals years before he committed the murders, and he didn't exactly get less erratic after.

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Police Say Two Dead in Murder-Suicide at Ben Taub Hospital

Categories: Breaking News

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Two employees at Ben Taub Hospital were shot and killed during an apparent murder-suicide, according to HPD.

The shooting took place Wednesday around 2:15 p.m. at the hospital's outpatient pharmacy, which is attached to the hospital and accessible through the main building. Police say a pharmacist and a pharmacy tech were shot during an altercation. Both employees were behind the glass during the incident.

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Dominic Kinnear Leaves the Dynamo for San Jose

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Photo by Marco Torres
Dominic Kinnear during the Dynamo's home opener on March 8, 2014.
Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear, who's led the franchise since its move to Houston in 2006, is heading home to San Jose.

The Chron reports today that Kinnear told his coaching staff this past Sunday that he'll resign at the end of the season and take over as head coach for the San Jose Earthquakes next year. Kinnear is reportedly keeping quiet out of respect for current Earthquakes coach Mark Watson, who hasn't even yet finished his first full year with the team (ouch).


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UPDATED Driver Arrested in Hit-and-Run Death of Northwest Side Bicyclist

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Photo from Houston Police Department
Eduardo Torres, 30, turned himself in to police days after bicyclist Jose Mendez-Manzano was killed in a traffic accident.

A 30-year-old Houston man was arrested in the hit-and-run accident that killed Jose Mendez-Manzano on Saturday. Eduardo Torres was charged with failure to stop and render aid, which as of September 2013 is considered a second-degree felony.

The victim, Mendez-Manzano, was a 63-year-old grandfather who sold fresh produce from a grocery cart tethered to the bicycle he used to get around town. He was struck near Link and Airline, along a two-way road without sidewalks. A white memorial bike marks the site of the accident, only a few blocks away from Mendez-Manzano's home.

Houston police say Torres turned himself in days after the accident.

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UPDATED Houston's Pride Parade Moving Out of Montrose to Downtown

Categories: Breaking News

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Photo by Julian Bajsel
Coming to a downtown near you

Update 5:57 p.m. October 1. AbOUT Magazine has sent out an email blast calling for a meeting at Westheimer and Montrose at 9 p.m. today in support of the parade remaining in Montrose.

Well, there's been a lot of talk and reports (the Houston Press included) about the changing Montrose as well as attitudes about the LGBT community in Houston, and now there's one more thing to point to.

Today, Pride Houston®, Inc. announced that the annual Houston LGBT Pride Celebration® will take place in downtown Houston rather than in Montrose next June. Its president noted that it's past time for "a segregated community" or event.

The press announcement acknowledged that: "For 36 years, the Houston LGBT Pride Celebration has been held along Westheimer near the Montrose neighborhood, considered to be the neighborhood for the LGBT community," but its organizers felt a change was needed -- because it was so successful.


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World's First Commercial Launchpad Coming to Texas

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Photo from SpaceX.com
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft is super cute in orbit.

It's been a months-long courting process complete with millions of dollars in offered incentives, but private rocket company SpaceX finally gave in to Texas' incessant beckoning to establish the world's first commercial spaceport in Brownsville.

The San Francisco headquartered company has toyed with the idea of planting a launchpad in Texas, and CEO Elon Musk's decision leaves broken hearts in runner-up Cape Canaveral, home of Space Florida.

"We appreciate the support of Gov. Perry and numerous other federal, state and local officials who have partnered with us to make this vision a reality," Musk said in a news release. "In addition to creating hundreds of high tech jobs for the Texas workforce, this site will inspire students, expand the supplier base and attract tourists to the South Texas area."


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Houston Chronicle Saying Bye to Downtown, Heading for Just Inside the 610 Loop

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Photo by Ed Uthman
The old Houston Post building inside the 610 Loop near the Southwest Freeway will become the new home for most all of the Houston Chronicle's operations, it was announced today.

Promising to develop a "state of the art" facility, the Houston Chronicle Media Group, publisher of the Houston Chronicle, La Voz, Chron.com and HoustonChronicle.com, is going to start the bid process for renovations of the new/old campus. It already runs its press operations, circulation, and sales out of that office.

A press release says " it will be exploring alternatives for its downtown facility" and whether that means sale or something else, we don't know. Some of the newsroom will stay downtown to cover business and government, Chron officials said.


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UPDATED: 4 Children Among Those Killed in Spring Shooting That Leads to Tense Standoff

Categories: Breaking News

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Screengrab from KTRK
A shooting has reportedly claimed the lives of six people, and led to standoff.

Update: 8:33p.m.: This story has been updated with information about the standoff and the deceased.

In a Wednesday afternoon shooting in the Spring area, seven people have been shot, including six who died, according to TV station KTRK. Among the dead, according to KTRK, are four children and two adults. The station reports that five of the bodies were discovered at a home, while two other victims, a child and an adult, were taken to the hospital. That child was later reported dead.

Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Deputies responded to the late afternoon shooting. According to reports the shooting may have stemmed from a domestic dispute.

A KRTK live feed shows a police stand-off in a cul-de-sac where around a dozen police cruisers are blocking in a silver Honda. It's unclear how the vehicle is connected with the shooting, but reports say police chased the vehicle into the area. Officers in tactical gear are positioned behind an SUV. Authorities currently have the vehicle pinned between two larger vehicles including a SWAT van. The driver, reportedly in his 40s, is said to have a gun to his head.


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Mayor Annise Parker Looks Forward to Tossing Out Anti-HERO Petition

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Photo by Susan Du
Mayor Annise Parker greets fellow HERO supporters at City Hall on Thursday before her address responding to a petition submitted for repeal of the anti-discrimination law.

Mayor Annise Parker's seen some shit, least of which are sloppy petitions.

Opponents of Houston's newly passed anti-discrimination law submitted a petition to repeal it in the 11th hour today, boasting 50,000 signatures for a measure that only required about 17,000. The mayor responded in an announcement at City Hall that she's looking forward to throwing out a high number of them in the counting process.

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