This post was contributed by a community member.
Wake up, Space City! It’s me, Chris, your faithful keeper of the Houston newsletter – coming right back to you with the plug on what’s going on. Today you will find news about…
- Harris County greenhouse gas emissions.
- Gun background checks for the mentally retarded.
- Quotes for handing out free food.
But first, today’s weather:
A morning shower in places. High: 82 Low: 69.
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Here are the top stories in Houston today:
- Although traffic may appear to be the dominant source of greenhouse gases in Harris County, emissions from refineries are much higher when properly compared. The Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown produces nearly 12 million tons of CO2e annually. By comparison, 17 million tons of greenhouse gas are produced by Harris County traffic each year. However, this is only one refinery in the Houston area. Galveston Bay Refinery and Exxon Mobil Beaumont Refinery produce 7 million and 6 million tons of CO2e each year, respectively. In addition, Harris County has 102 facilities that are required to report emissions data to the EPA, with 14 of these facilities producing over 1 million tons of CO2e annually. Texas as a whole houses more than three times as many of these types of facilities as any other state with a total of 1,862. (Houston Chronicle)
- Texas lawmakers are receiving bipartisan support to strengthen background checks for those with a history of mental illness who purchase firearms. Specifically, lawmakers want courts to share involuntary mental health hospitalizations for youth 16 and older. This information will be registered with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and prevent those with a history of mental health problems from purchasing guns. Despite Congress passing gun legislation back in June enforcing this law, it has failed to make a difference in Texas due to state courts refusing to report mental health commitments for youth. However, the Texas Judicial Council determined that the failure to report this information was an honest mistake, and urged lawmakers to make the reporting requirements clear. (Chronic)
- A volunteer organization known as “Food not Bombs” was cited by police for the second time this week for feeding homeless people outside the Houston Public Library. The city ordinance being enforced has been nicknamed the “Anti-Food Sharing Law” and requires organizations to get permission from the city before feeding groups of five or more people. Civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen said, “Even though I’m a lawyer, and this is a technical thing, it’s personal because they’re simply prohibiting the feeding of people.” A federal lawsuit has been filed against the city ordinance that prevents the distribution of food. Meanwhile, Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement saying members of the Houston community have felt the Houston Public Library is unsafe recently. He believes that the library should be a welcoming, inclusive place where everyone who visits can find comfort. (FOX 26 Houston)
- Two men were shot and hospitalized around 3 a.m. after a horse competition at Rancho El Dorado. The contest was not affiliated with the Houston Rodeo in any way. The police involved reported that the two men were shot in a grassy area outside the venue. Both of those shot are expected to survive. The police do not yet have a motive for the shooting and the investigation is continuing. HPD Sgt. Rossow said, “The only information we have on the suspects is a dark sedan fleeing the scene heading toward S. Post Oak in an unknown direction.” (KHOU.com)
- Cowboy Bob is a musical about breaking out of life’s ruts and runs at the Alley Theater through March 26. The musical features a historical figure from Dallas who robbed banks unarmed for many years. The character in question was a woman who would dress up as a male cowboy and give bills to bank tellers to fill a bag with money. The musical follows a waiter at a restaurant who takes inspiration from this cowboy to get the courage to move on from his job. Another important character for the musical is manager Bill, who struggles to form meaningful relationships with his employees while keeping the company’s overlords happy. The show has many time jumps and includes a variety of music from indie rock to folk to country. (Houston Press)
Headlines you need to see:
- University of Houston removes diversity and inclusion statements from hiring practices (FOX 26 Houston)
- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s First Drone Show WOWS Guests This Weekend (KPRC Click2Houston)
- Bun B offers $1,000 for his missing Houston Rodeo UGK poncho (Houston Chronicle)
- Houston gator sighting: Video shows alligator soaking up the sun in Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park (KTRK-TV)
- TxDOT’s ‘Drive Sober. No regrets.’ campaign goes through Houston before spring break (FOX 26 Houston)
Today in Houston:
- Roller Rink at Discovery Green (5pm)
- Dungeons and dragons with Circle of Barhaven at Brass Tap (6pm)
- Moulin Rouge: The Musical at the Hobby Center for Performing Arts (7:30 p.m.)
- Geeks drinking trivia night at Pimlico (8pm)
- Concert: Jason Aldean at the Houston Rodeo (9 p.m.)
From my notebook:
- Gary Rossington, guitarist in the American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Sunday aged 71. Rossington survived a plane crash in 1977 that killed two other band members, a backup singer and a road manager. (ABC13 Houston via Facebook)
- Natural Pawz avoided bankruptcy thanks to its founders coming out of retirement and saving the brand’s 24 locations and 140 employees. The founders of Natural Pawz said: “Our legacy, and the hard work of 15 years, we didn’t want it to just fade away as an afterthought.” (FOX 26 Houston via Facebook)
- The Hindu celebration known as the Festival of Colors is celebrated in several places in Houston. The festival involves wearing white clothes and spraying yourself and others with colored powder. For information on where to celebrate the holiday, check the link. (FOX 26 Houston via Facebook)
Nova is a 4-year-old German Shepherd available for adoption at the Houston SPCA.
He is a little shy, so he is looking for an owner with a lot of patience and love.
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That’s it for today. I’ll be in your inbox tomorrow with your next update!