Newly Discovered Jonestown Remains Include Texas Women

Categories: Whatever

Officials are seeking relatives of two Texas women whose ashes were among cremains discovered in a Delaware funeral home last month and identified as victims of the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana, South America.

The victims were identified as Victoria native and former Houston resident Katherine Martha Domineck, who died at age 83; and Ruth Atkins, birth city unknown, who died at age 74.

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Meridian Sale Disrupts Houston Food Park

Thumbnail image for tirzomiguel.jpg
Photo by Susan Du
Miguel Villegas and Tirzo Ponce are looking beyond East Downtown to possibly relocate the Houston Food Park.

With the recent sale of the former Meridian nightclub - and by extension its parking lot - the Houston Food Park is prepared to pack up and roll out of East Downtown.

In 2013, the abandoned warehouse at 1503 Chartres St. seemed like the perfect place to open the city's first food truck park. The Meridian's last year in business was rife with management disputes, and owner Gary Katz couldn't find anyone to lease the 50,000 square feet property. Foodie partners Tirzo Ponce and Miguel Villegas offered to take the parking lot off his hands.

As trucks clustered outside, Ponce and Villegas cleaned up the Meridian. They rewired the electricity and fixed damaged water pipes, hoping to build an air-conditioned dining area on the first floor. In return for their investment on the building, Katz offered Ponce and Villegas below market-value rent on the parking lot.

So it came as a shock to the food park partners when Katz, who could no longer afford the building, gave it up in a bankruptcy sale. It went up for auction, top bidder Ecclesia church signed a contract to purchase it for $3.75 million, and by September the food park was sitting on some pretty shaky ground.

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Red Collar Dog Rescue Calls Out a Pair of Owners For Alleged Douchebaggery

Categories: Whatever

Facebook screenshot, Red Collar Rescue.
Victims of a cruel campaign?
Hell hath no fury like an animal rescue scorned. Such groups are unfortunately used to dealing with dogs mistreated by a-hole owners, but Red Collar Rescue recently took the unusual step of Facebook-shaming a Houston couple it says abandoned a dog they adopted seven years ago.

The couple, Gustaf and Jenny Johansson, were not thrilled to discover their photo and names on Red Collar's Facebook page, along with these allegations: the couple's husky, Arthur, was discovered roaming the streets of Magnolia in July, near-blind and riddled with infections and a tumor. The dog was micro-chipped, which led to Red Collar, which led to the Johanssons. But when a volunteer called the Johanssons, Red Collar claims, the couple said "it was not a good time for them to have a dog and they did not want him back. They also said they did not want their children to know he was found." Yikes.

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UPDATED Texas Oil and Gas Regulators Warn of Russian Conspiracy to Fund Anti-Frackers

Categories: Texas, Whatever

On repeat at the Texas Railroad Commission
We've updated the end of this post to include a statement from Gasland writer/director Josh Fox.

The drilling revolution brought on by hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" - the process of shooting millions of gallons of chemical- and sand-laden water underground to coax oil and gas out of massive shale formations - has led to a long, serious debate in Texas. What that debate has largely been about: faucets that catch fire; methods for disposing of drilling waste that seem to cause earthquakes; a process that sucks up vast amounts of water in drought-stricken areas; and air-fouling pollutants that have accompanied the drilling boom.

What that debate hasn't been about: Russia. That is, unless you're Texas Railroad commissioners David Porter and Barry Smitherman.

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Local PETA Ad Features Death Row Pigs Over "Death Penalty Capital"

Deathrow Pigs

In a fresh taunt to local drivers, animal rights group PETA is set to aim a two-pronged blow by billboard at Texan meat-eaters.

Capitalizing on the state's reputation as the "Death Penalty Capital of the World," PETA's newest billboard overlooking Interstate 45 near Hutchins Street and St. Joseph Parkway features a pair of pitiful pigs trapped behind bars in a slaughter pen, along with the slogan, "Not Everybody on Death Row Has Committed a Crime. Go Vegan."

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85-Year-Old Woman, a.k.a. "No Soul," Pleads Guilty to Ordering Hit on Prosecutors

Dorothy Clark Canfield might look like your grandmother, but in lockup she had an ominous nickname: "No Soul."

Canfield, 85, apparently picked up the moniker after being jailed in Montgomery County in 2012 on charges that she swindled undocumented immigrants out of $100,000 after posing as an immigration attorney. It was while she was in jail for that felony theft charge that she hatched a darker plan, according to authorities.

Two of Canfield's former cellmates testified Thursday in a Montgomery County court that Canfield asked them to help her "knock off" Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Rob Freyer, who was handling her theft case, according to a report in the Chron.

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Some Unusually Awesome Pups for National Dog Day

Categories: Whatever

Photo by Ed Schipul
We think he was expecting the whole steak, since it's his special day...
Today, we lift our leg in honor of dogs everywhere, as it's the tenth annual National Dog Day, a time to reflect on all our furry friends waiting on forever homes.

We'd also like to give a shout-out to the hard-working shelter staff and volunteers, as well as all the fantastic rescue groups in our area. Without their dedication, we wouldn't be able to highlight these pups available for adoption.

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Disgustingly Cute New Photos of Houston Zoo's Clouded Leopard Cubs

Courtesy Houston Zoo/Stephanie Adams

This month, the Houston Zoo posted update photos of resident two-month-old Clouded Leopard cubs being unbearably cute to their Facebook page. The cubs, named Senja and Koshi, were born in June to parents Suksn and Tarak, who have been at the Zoo since 2012.

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Let's Talk About Pakistan (and America, too)

Categories: Whatever

Kamran Khalid
I am Kamran Khalid, a Pakistani journalist visiting the United States under the U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership Program in Journalism, a cultural exchange program run by the International Center for Journalists and the U.S. State Department. While I'm here I hope to learn more about American culture and to share with people my experiences in Pakistan.

I will be working at the Houston Press for three weeks, covering a variety of stories. I also plan to write an article at the end of my time here that shares my experience visiting America. In the meantime, I would be happy to meet people from all walks of life in and around Houston.

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Jonestown Cremains Discovered in Funeral Home

Categories: Whatever

Now these nine can finally be laid to rest.
The ashes of nine people who perished in the 1978 Jonestown massacre that claimed the lives of more than 900 men, women, and children have been discovered in a Delaware funeral home.

The bodies from the mass-killing had been flown to a Delaware Air Force for identification and burial preparation, but authorities are unclear why these remains were never claimed.

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