Please Stop Packing Your Guns in Your Carry-On at Bush Intercontinental Airport

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Not that we needed any further proof that Texans love guns, but here it is anyway, courtesy of the TSA.

As of last week, the TSA had discovered a record-breaking 1,855 firearms in carry-on bags at airports across the nation, and two of the top five airports for those discoveries were -- surprise-- in Texas, including Bush Intercontinental Airport.

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UPDATED Lyft Threatens to Leave Houston, Because $62 Is Just Way Too Steep to Make Sure Its Drivers Aren't Criminals

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Alfredo Mendez
Your commute's about to get a little less mustache-y.

See below for comments from Chelsea Wilson, Lyft's public policy communications manager.

Citing "expensive" new citywide regulations that mandate drug testing, fingerprinting and background checks for drivers, Lyft, one of the two app-based companies operating in Houston, says it would rather close up shop than comply.

The city's new requirements, set to take effect November 4, will require Houston applicants to use a state fingerprint-based background check company, rather than the online background check system that Lyft currently uses. Drivers must also submit to a warrant check, be drug-tested and give the city their personal information.


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Shrapnel-Shooting Airbag Recall Now Focused on Gulf Coast

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Takata Website Screenshot
A nationwide recall of defective, shrapnel-shooting airbags may affect more than 7 million vehicles in the U.S. from nearly two dozen brands, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now saying owners of the cars in extremely humid areas like the Gulf Coast are most at risk.

The airbags in question were supplied by Takata, a Japanese manufacturer and supplier of automotive safety parts, and have reportedly been documented as exploding under force, with the inflator parts spraying shrapnel made of tiny bits of plastic and metal at drivers and passengers during a crash. The problem has reportedly caused four deaths and several injuries in the U.S.

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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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Houston Auto Lender Fined $2.75 Million for Screwing With Customers' Credit

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First Investors Financial Services

If you happened to need a sub-prime auto loan sometime in the past few years, and you happened to get said sub-prime loan from Houston's First Investors Financial Services Group, you may want to check your credit score.

Seriously. These guys might have screwed you over. Last week, First Investors was fined about $2.75 million by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over allegations that they botched the credit reports of thousands of car buyers. Knowingly. For years.

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Woman, 60, Recovering After Being Struck by Downtown Light Rail

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Wikipedia Commons
Another one for the accident files.
A 60-year-old woman is in stable condition after being struck by a Metro light rail train early this morning.

The woman, whose name hasn't been released, is recovering at Memorial Hermann Hospital. Reports said she was unconscious and breathing at the time of the incident.

The crash occurred early this morning just after 6 a.m. near Main Street and Lamar Street, according to a Metro spokesperson.

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Don't Sweat Your Commute: H-GAC Asks Houstonians To Consider Alternatives

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Flickr user MichaelB
Consider the light rail.
You might think you spend a lot of time sitting in traffic, but did you know that the average Houstonian also spends $6,000 a year on commuting? That's not just gas. That includes everything from new tires, wear and tear on your car, and wasted productivity.

That's why this month the Houston-Galveston Area Council is trying to encourage Houstonians to consider alternative means of transport as part of something they're calling "Commute Solution Months."

Yes, months, plural. Commute Solution Month (singular) is a nation-wide effort in August to get people to drive less. But due to Houston's heat, H-GAC extends the program into fall to make it a little more effective. After all, no one wants to bike to work in the dead of summer.

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Car and Light Rail Collide at Jefferson and Main (PHOTOS)...Again

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Steve Jansen
Sometime after 2:30 p.m., a Dodge Charger tried to take on a Metro light-rail train.

The light rail won.

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Downtown Light Rail Closed This Weekend

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Not this weekend
If your weekend plans including tooling around downtown on the light rail, get ready to make some adjustments.

Businesses and residences will be open as usual, but construction between the Downtown Transit Center and UH-Downtown stations will be suspended and buses will be used instead.

The shuttle buses will operate every 10 minutes, Metro says.

Why the shutdown? " Systems ductbank work and demolition preparing for new track for METRORail expansion," says the agency.

Regular rail service will continue between the DTC and Fannin South.

The shutdown will take effect from 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 to midnight, Sunday, Sept. 16, with regular service back up Monday morning.

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Free Wi-Fi at Houston's Airports But Grab It Quick, Ends Soon

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Take it all -- while you can get it.

Both George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports will have free wi-fi thanks to Google Play (yay!), but only through the end of September (boo).

As we reported in July, Houston airports don't have the extended free wi-fi amenities that many others in the country do. As part of a multimillion deal brokered in 2007, George Bush Intercontinental sticks to a 45-minute limit.

As our writer Mitchell Slapik wrote: "Once your time runs out, they don't have hourly rates, so you have to pay $7.95 for a full day or $9.95 for a month to stay online. Fortunately, you can use some of that extra time at any of Boingo's 500,000 hotspots around the world."

Well, as part of a promotion generous offer by Google Play, free Boingo wi-fi will be available "at more than 4,000 hotspots nationwide. Sponsored wi-fi locations include 15 airports as well as Boingo-enabled Manhattan subway stations, and thousands of hotels, shopping malls and cafes," Boingo says.


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