Houston may not be widely known as an arts and entertainment destination on a global scale quite yet, but its residents are certainly making a case to grow its reputation in Texas as a place to experience fine art and culture.\n\nAnd there is an old neighborhood that is re-emerging as a creative hub for the city. Tucked in a corner of the historic First Ward is a compound of art studios, creative spaces, galleries and shops bordered by railroad tracks along Sawyer Street and Washington Avenue.\n\n\"When I first viewed (the area), I was really intrigued by the lack of redevelopment in the First Ward,\" said John Deal, a developer who invested in the area in 2004. \" I think there was -- I counted a single new townhome.\" \n\nDeal bought his first piece of property and then went on to create the Silos and Winter Street Studios, a space to house dozens of working artists and creative types.\n\n\"There are 400, plus or minus, artists, which is second only to a community that\'s in Los Angeles,\" Deal said.\n\nIn fact, since 2004, a variety of shops and studios have grown up around the space, including Sawyer Yards, a stretch of retail spaces. ...
The City of Houston moved a step closer to resolving the long-running employee pension deficit Monday with the introduction of a bill in the Texas House Pensions Committee.About 100 current and retired firefighters were on hand to comment on the House plan, filling three overflow rooms and providing the majority of the 66 witnesses who signed up for public comment.Last week, firefighters refused to support a Senate version that they said cut too deeply into retiree benefits.Speaking of the Senate bill, Capt. Craig Moreau said Monday, \"If this plan goes through, I\'ll lose half my pension.\"Mayor Sylvester Turner fashioned the pension reform plan earlier this year to shrink the city\'s $8.1 million pension deficit. It calls for issuing bonds and cutting benefits to police, firefighters and municipal workers to reduce the shortfall by more than $3 billion immediately, and to allow the city to pay down the rest over 30 years.Firefighters objected to the benefit cuts approved by the Senate bill, and police said a provision tacked on by Sen. Joan Huffman requiring Houston voters to approve selling $1 billion in pension obligation bonds was a deal-breaker. The city is not required to hold a referendum to sell the bonds, ...
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg will be in Austin on Tuesday testifying in support of a bill that would change an aspect of how witnesses can be handled during a trial. This piece of legislation was filed after Channel 2 Investigates exposed how a rape victim was put in jail for more than a month to ensure her testimony.\"The rapist got more due process protection under our constitution than she was given as a crime victim. That\'s just wrong,\" said Ogg.In 2016, KPRC uncovered the case of a woman identified as Jenny, a mentally ill rape victim who was placed in the Harris County Jail to make sure she would show up for court to testify against a serial rapist. When Jenny broke down on the stand, she was first placed in a mental hospital, and then put in the jail\'s general population on something referred to as a \"witness bond.\"\"It\'s not that what the state did that was necessarily illegal, but it was so unfair,\" said Ogg.The bill was filed by State Sen. John Whitmire and calls for a hearing in open court before one of these bonds is granted. If a witness bond is granted, the proposed ...
Texas Education Agency officials say revamped efforts and nearly $20 million in improvements should help avoid glitches as standardized testing begins this week.The Dallas Morning News reports the upgrades are meant to avoid online problems with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR. The exams help determine whether students get promoted or graduate.Glitches happened last March during the first year that New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service administered the Texas exams.The problems affected more than 14,000 students who had answers erased or who were given the wrong test versions. Other issues included delivery mix-ups and scoring problems.TEA official Penny Schwinn says more safeguards are in place, such as redesigned delivery and tracking systems, plus the testing company significantly boosted its server capabilities.
A day care worker is in jail, accused of slamming a child to the ground.The alleged incident happened at the Children\'s Lighthouse Daycare on Waterbend Cove in Spring.A video recovered shows Gregory Diglin grabbing a 4-year-old girl by the arm and slamming her to the ground, the Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constable\'s Office said.The child\'s face hit the floor, causing her to scream in pain, the Constable\'s Office also said.Surveillance video released in day care abuse case\"The child has sustained injuries to the face and mouth area, busted lips, damage to the gums, featured dental damage as well,\" Chief Matt Rodrigue with Montgomery County Constables Office, Precinct 3.\"There were other staff within the child care center on duty at the time but there were no others in the room when this occurred,\" Rodrigue said.In what appears to be an attempt to disguise his assault, officers said Diglin then took the girl across the room and tried to clean up her blood.When her parents came to pick her up, officers said this is the story they got:\"When the parents picked up the child from the day care center, they were provided a form from the daycare center saying the child had ...
Former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman walked out of federal court Friday confident of his road ahead.\"I think ultimately we will be vindicated,\" said Stockman, who served two stints in the U.S. House of Representatives.Stockman is accused of conspiring to violate federal election laws during his last term in office. It\'s a felony that could send him to federal prison if he\'s convicted.[Details: Former Texas Congressman Steve Stockman accused of violating federal election law]Friday was not Stockman\'s first day in court on the matter, but it was the first time he appeared with an attorney to represent him.\"Steve has said that he\'s going to fight to clear his name and we\'re going to be there right with him fighting to do it also,\" said Shaun Clarke, Stockman\'s attorney.Federal prosecutors said that the former congressman had conspired with two former employees to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to his personal use.According to the complaint, in 2011 Stockman set up a nonprofit called Life Without Limits in Las Vegas. Prosecutors said a single contributor donated $350,000 to the charity, which Stockman funneled back to himself through donations made by his employees.Stockman kept his comments to reporters brief following Friday\'s determination hearing. However ...
One of the state\'s most wanted fugitives was captured in Dallas on March 22.Jahmar Nykel Young, 37, is a Bloods gang member and convicted sex offender who was wanted on charges which include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements, parole violation and larceny.The arrest was made as a result of a tip and a reward of up to $7,500 will be paid.Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agents coordinated with Dallas Police Department officers who conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Young.He was taken into custody without incident.In 2001, Young was convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to authorities.He was paroled from prison in 2014 and had been wanted for nearly a year.His criminal history also includes aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and burglary.
Police say an 18-year-old woman who burst into a church in northeast Texas and claimed she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by three black males in ski masks has admitted she lied.Denison Police Chief Jay Burch says on Facebook that Breana Harmon Talbott was undressed and bleeding on March 8 when she claimed she had been sexually assaulted in woods behind the church in Denison, 75 miles northeast of Dallas.Burch says investigators searched the area and \"almost immediately, Talbott\'s story and allegations began to unravel.\"Authorities say the crime scene was staged and Talbott\'s injuries were self-inflicted.Burch says Talbott \"confessed to the hoax\" Tuesday and faces a misdemeanor charge of false report to a peace officer.Burch says it\'s \"insulting to our community and especially offensive to the African-American community.\"Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you\'re on the go.Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.
A man is accused of robbing a McDonald\'s in Groves using a hairbrush while wearing a leopard-print robe.Gevondis Desmond Joseph, 29, of Port Arthur, is charged with aggravated robbery.Groves police posted the story on their Facebook page. Officers said they got a call Thursday morning about a robbery at a McDonald\'s restaurant on Twin City Highway near Texas State Highway 73.Officers said they saw a man running from the scene, and arrested him in a nearby store.Police said Joseph hid the hairbrush under his leopard-print robe during the robbery, making witnesses believe that he had a gun.Joseph was taken to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.
At just 20 years old, Binja Chuma, a college student from Houston studying to be a doctor, learned a painful lesson this year about income-tax scam artists.\"He took my entire tax refund -- $6,205,\" Chuma said. \"He\'s a crook, a thief (and) a liar.\"\n\nNot only did Chuma pay the man to whom she\'s referring $600, she said, he then stole her entire refund by arranging to have the entire amount deposited into his bank account.The man, who claimed to be a licensed tax preparer, quickly withdrew every penny.\"I work hard the whole year and I pay my taxes and now all of my effort is gone,\" Chuma said. \"It just hurts so bad. I feel like crying.\"\n\nThe IRS reports income-tax scams are exploding.\n\nIn 2014, scammers made off with more than $3 billion stolen from taxpayers.Last year, the IRS reported a 400 percent surge in phishing and computer malware scams used to bilk taxpayers.\n\n\"What\'s frightening now is that there are scams out there that are even fooling tax preparers,\" said Robert Martin, a CPA.\n\nMartin has been doing taxes for people for more than 25 years and said the latest tax scam involves fake phone calls claiming that you owe the IRS ...