Harris County

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2014

    Vote on Buffalo Bayou Takes Place Behind Closed Doors

    A handful of people clustered in the dim hallway outside room 100 in the building that houses the Harris County Flood Control District. The clock nosed to 2 p.m. and everyone allowed in the meeting -- the members of the Harris County Flood Control District Task Force, each of whom are allowed one ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2014

    San Jacinto Dioxin Case Kicks Off

    The trifecta of lawsuits filed against companies for allegedly dumping toxic paper waste into the San Jacinto River finally came to trial on Monday. Waste Management, International Paper and McGinnis Industrial Maintenance Corporation are accused of allowing dioxin, a "cancer-enhancer" chemical, to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2014

    Houston's Surviving Landmarks

    The planned demolition of former Wheatley High School in the Fifth Ward started in September was stalled yet again on Monday, this time after a resident sued Houston ISD over concerns about asbestos. Previously, preservationists had fought the district's plans to replace the historically black, 1929 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2014

    Chikungunya-Positive Mosquito Confirmed in Harris County

    The Houston area has always been impressively swampy, so of course the first Texas mosquito carrying chikungunya, a disease that causes high fever and severe joint pain, has been found right here in our very own mosquito-plagued backyard. There have been rumblings about chikungunya in recent months ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2014

    Harris County Boy Hospitalized From Latest Internet Trend, the Fire Challenge

    You've probably seen it on at some point on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Vine feeds: people, particularly teenagers, participating in video "challenges" that usually involve doing something pretty stupid. Say, for instance, swallowing a spoonful of cinnamon under 60 seconds, or dumping an e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    Suspected Spring Shooter Collapses in Court [UPDATED]

    Updated: This story was updated to include a statement from one of the victim's father. It can be tough to face reality. The man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family collapsed in court Friday morning upon hearing the allegations against him, according to reports. The Associated P ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2014

    Harris County "Doing Well," But Some Surrounding Counties Are Doing Better

    Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston and Chambers counties make up a little East Texas pocket of "doing better." That's according to a New York Times graphic released last week. The Times ranked every county in the United States by median household income, unemployment rate, disabili ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2014

    Article Says More White People Are Moving to Houston Area Thanks to Jobs

    While fewer and fewer white people are being born nationally, compared with say Latinos, a recent article in the Houston Chronicle (which prefers the word "Anglo"), shows that statewide and locally the white population has grown. As the Chronicle reports: Texas, on the other hand, saw the largest ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2014

    Gang Injunction Becomes Permanent in Harris County District's Safety Zone

    As a rule, nearly 50 gang members are personae non gratae in an area now known as the East Aldine Safety Zone in north Harris County. Most gang members might bristle at the Latinate for "we don't want you 'round here," or the sketchy legality (First Amendement right, hear me?) that is the recent emb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2014

    Man Shot Making Amateur Video in Harris County

    The bonus for today's wannabe music stars or video directors is that the equipment is so accessible. Sure, that means there's more flotsam, and you have to look hard for the quality, but it gives kids a chance to experiment. Just leave the guns alone. The Harris County Sheriff's Office responded to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2014

    Turn-Around-Don't-Drown Weather We're Having Today

    Update: We've added a screencap of road closures from Houston Transtar on the next page. A flood warning was issued this morning for Harris County, an upgrade from a flash flood watch overnight. Houston has received around 2 to 4 inches of rain so far since getting hit by rainfall last night, with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2014

    Kinky Friedman Campaign Make One Last Play For Houston Voters

    With the state primary runoff election only a month away, Cleve Hattersley, who is steering Richard "Kinky" Friedman's run for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, says the big push is on in Harris County, where Friedman did poorly in the March primary. "Harris is the only major county we got whupped i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2014

    Robber Brought a Gun to a Lawnmower Fight

    When your life is on the line, at the wrong end of a pistol, you really have to do whatever you can to ensure you survive. Case in point: The north Harris County man who last week used his own lawnmower after being attacked for his wallet. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, there are ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2014

    Crotch Shot Gives Routine Houston Break-In Story Some Legs

    In some ways it's a bit of a surprise that a routine burglary story from Monday continues to be the most-watched video on KPRC-TV's website. If not for the spectacle of that female fashion faux pas known at the camel toe, the video ( you can watch it below) would have hit the bottom of the list by ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2014

    Suspected Burglar Can't Get Away from Flying Deputies

    Not only did an alleged burglar fail to escape with the goods on Monday, but his buddies left him, he was wrestled to the ground by his victims, and Harris County sheriff's deputies came swooping out of the sky. Talk about bad timing. The sheriff's department has been conducting routine air patrols ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2014

    Deputy and Canine Partner Injured in Major Accident on Beltway 8

    A Harris County deputy is in critical condition after an accident on Beltway 8, the North Sam Houston Parkway, Tuesday morning. Deputy Jason Denham was flown by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann. He was in the vehicle with his canine partner, Sjors, who, after being checked by a vet, was determined to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2014

    County Attorney Wants to Ban Bloods and Crips From Neighborhood -- Nothing Scares Those Dudes Like A Court Order!

    Gang members make bad neighbors -- Bloods are notorious violators of homeowner association driveway maintenance rules, and Crips have been known to not mow their lawns for weeks at a time -- which is why Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan wants to ban those gangs from a north Harris County community. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2013

    Texas, Harris County Still No. 1 in Executions, but Numbers Down Sharply Nationwide

    According to a report from the Death Penalty Information Center, there have been only 39 executions in the United States this year, only the second time that number has been below 40 since 1994 and down 4 from last year's 43. This is additionally a decline of 60 percent since 1999 and the number of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2013

    Harris County GOP Sues to End Same-Sex Benefits for Legally Married Couples

    On Tuesday, the Harris County Republican Party decided to give an early Christmas gift to a bunch of attorneys and drop a giant lump of coal into the stockings of legally married same-sex couples by suing the city to prevent the enacting of a policy that would extend health and live insurance benefi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2013

    Bid To Renovate Astrodome Fails

    Harris County voters rejected a $217 million plan to renovate the aged Astrodome into a convention center, a step that might lead to transforming the "Eighth Wonder of the World" into a parking lot. With two-thirds of 1,064 precincts counted, 53 percent of the voters opposed the project. Harris Cou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2013

    County Attorney Vince Ryan's Dioxin Case is Back in State Court

    Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has made another bit of progress in the suit against a slew of companies who allegedly dumped a whole bunch of dioxin into the San Jacinto River back in the 1960s. Federal District Judge Lee Rosenthal sent the case back to state court for a jury trial. The jury wil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2013

    Nine Arrested for Allegedly Running an Illegal Horse Racing Track

    Breaking the law is one thing, but breaking the law when you're in law enforcement is knocks it up to a whole other level. Add horses into the mix and crikey have you got a problem. Nine people had the first court appearance Monday morning after being arrested last week for allegedly running an ill ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2013

    Report: Only 2 Percent of U.S. Counties Behind Most Executions

    Harris County is responsible for 115 executions since 1976 -- by far the highest driver of capital punishment -- but taxpayers statewide have to bear the burden of the costly appeals process, according to a new study by an anti-death penalty group. The Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Informati ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2013

    Brutal Mosquito Season Yet Another Fabulous Part of Houston Summer

    The heat. The humidity. The giant roaches. And, yes, the mosquitoes. If you haven't been outside (hey, good for you), it might be a good idea to consider covering yourself in a thin layer of repellent when and if you do. Last night, sitting in my backyard, it was as if an army of tiny assassins was ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2013

    A Faster HIV Test May Be Coming To Harris County Health (And That's Really Cool For All Kinds Of Reasons.)

    We've come along way from the plague years when HIV was a death sentence. We're living in the days when some believe a cure is on the horizon and when the tests to find out if you've contracted the disease are getting faster and more precise. It's becoming ever more clear that the key to dealing wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2013

    Weed Farm Discovered Thanks to Tip from Smartphone App

    Harris County Sheriff's deputies discovered a marijuana field in southern Harris County with plants worth $125,000, thanks to a tip from from a user of the iWatchHarrisCounty smartphone app. All the plants were destroyed according to a release from the department. I wrote about this app back in 201 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2013

    Court Says County Attorney Vince Ryan Can Sue For San Jacinto River Dioxin Pollution

    Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has got the go-ahead to continue his suit against a slew of companies for all the dioxin they allegedly dumped in the San Jacinto River back in the 1960s. Ryan's office called in outside counsel when they decided to sue International Paper Company, Waste Management ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    Head for the Hills -- West Nile Virus Found in Harris County!

    You can commence panicking: The West Nile Virus has been detected in a mosquito trapping site in northeast Harris County (ZIP Code 77346), according to Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services Mosquito Control.

  • Blogs

    May 17, 2013

    Three Men Accused of Beating Pregnant Woman; Newborn in Critical Condition

    Harris County Sheriff's Department announced Thursday they had arrested two men and one juvenile accused of beating a pregnant woman after breaking into her home in northwest Harris County. The woman was tied up with tape and beaten. She was taken to the hospital and an emergency C-section was perfo ... More >>

  • News

    April 18, 2013

    Shakedown: The HCAD Appraisal Game

    HCAD fights owners of moderate housing for every single assessment penny. So why is it routinely handing out tax breaks worth several millions to big corporations?

  • Blogs

    February 5, 2013

    Denise Pratt: Family Court Judge Issues Blanket Gag Order, Because it Sucks When the Public Knows What's Going On

    We've heard of judges issuing gag orders in especially sensitive cases, but until now, we've never heard of a judge issuing a blanket gag order: Harris County Family Court Judge Denise Pratt on January 23 sent a motion to attorneys in her court involved with SAPCR cases -- suits affecting parent-chi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2013

    Harris County Seeking Relatives for Unclaimed Bodies

    In the Fox show Bones, unreasonably attractive forensic experts spend countless hours identifying murder victims in a high-tech facility for the FBI. Harris County may not boast the kind of facilities or model-like attractiveness (though they may have a hot lab tech lurking somewhere over there) the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2012

    County Attorney Sues David J. Hester & His "Illegal Game Room"

    Saying that owner David J. Hester is operating an illegal game room at 7304 East Freeway in Baytown, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has filed a lawsuit asking for a temporary injunction to shut down this "common nuisance." According to the lawsuit, "Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia's office h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2012

    Unidentified Robbery Suspect Shot By Homeowner, Bayou Body Count No. 168

    A southside homeowner broke up a robbery attempt by fatally shooting one of the suspects, and a Harris County grand jury will examine the case, Houston police say. The homeowner, 58, had arrived at his home in the 5800 block of Glenhurst about 10 p.m. Tuesday night when two armed suspects came up t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2012

    Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia Intensifies The SOBER Program

    There's a better chance these days a deputy of Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia will come knocking on the front door of your home demanding proof that your once-drunk self is remaining clean and sober. The Harris County Sheriff's Office is in the middle of an increased push in its SOBER program ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2012

    It's Labor Day Weekend! Time For More DWI No-Refusal Programs!

    A long weekend that semi-officially marks the end of summer is a god cause to celebrate, but unfortunately too often that celebrating can get dangerous. In an effort to crack down on the danger, local law-enforcement agencies are making sure the public is aware that there will be increased emphasis ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2012

    Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan: Don't Let That San Jac River Dioxin Be Part Of Your Holiday Meal

    The Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate than taking the family out fishing for some good ol' Texas seafood fresh from the water? Especially if it's fresh from dioxin-laden water, like the stuff down by the San Jacinto Rover Waste Pits. Frankly, any family outing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2012

    UPDATED: Harris County Needs Help Identifying This Woman

    Update: According to the Harris County officials, the woman in the photo has been identified. Score one for the good guys! Original Entry:Local officials are seeking assistance finding the home of the woman pictured above. According to a press release, she was found constables of Harris County Prec ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2012

    Le Promenade Gang Condos to Clean Up Act, According to Temporary Injunction Signed This Week

    Harris County's and the State of Texas's beef with the Le Promenade condominium complex and its individual owners was temporarily settled in Harris County civil court on Monday morning. A few weeks back, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan filed suit against the complex at 7400 Bissonnet, its homeown ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2012

    The New Astrodome, Ladies and Gentlemen

    Something had to be done. After today's Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation board meeting -- and pending acceptance from Harris County Commissioners Court -- the Reliant Astrodome will become a multipurpose spot with the potential for hosting concerts and, yes, football. Now, don't ge ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 3, 2012

    The Healthiest County in Texas Definitely Isn't Around Here

    The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have put together a list of health by county across the nation, looking at births, deaths and various measures of the quality of life. You can get a statewide ranking of the counties in your state, and if ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2012

    Ed Emmett Says Harris Is "a County of Substance" with Some, Umm, Ethical Problems

    Harris County Judge Ed Emmett gave his State of the County speech today and, as expected, he announced things were going pretty good. He said the state of Harris County is "far better than most governmental entities" and that it remains a "County of Substance," in case you were wondering. Not all ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2011

    Comment of the Day: We Spread the Anal Joy (Say What?)

    We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involving wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2011

    Harris County Keeps Burn Ban In Effect

    No park barbecues yet​Yeah, we've had some rain lately, but that doesn't mean the burn ban is going to be lifted. At least not for two weeks. Harris County was thinking of lifting it, but the proposal was pulled. "Even though the passage of cold fronts has brought needed rainfall and the num ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2011

    It's Election Day!! Go Out & Vote!!

    Today's the day​You probably don't realize it, but today is election day. Mayor Annise Parker is running for another term, there's a crowded and interesting race to represent the new Montrose-Heights council district, and an HISD board member is trying to keep his job via anti-gay mailings. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Rush Limbaugh Violates the Constitution

    We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involving wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2011

    No More Juveniles Isolated In Harris County Jail?

    Problem may be solved​Two years ago we wrote about how Harris County incarcerates juveniles who have been certified as adults for trial while they are waiting their day in court. It wasn't pretty -- they were kept in the county jail, but left in isolation for 23 hours a day. Legislators, par ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2011

    Wolfgang Fisher: Tries to Reverse Chimp-Abuse Conviction Because Wrong County Was on the Search Warrant

    Nice try, chimp abuser.​Acting on a tip, Harris County Deputy Constable Christine Kendrick went to a garage in Crosby in 2008 to check on a chimpanzee housed there. She heard the chimp screaming and found: a chimpanzee in a metal enclosure inside a garage. No water was available. The enclosu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2011

    I-45 in Harris County: Most Teen Car Crashes in Texas

    Road higher insurance rates.​There's nothing like being a teen behind the wheel in summer. You've got your music blasting, you at least imagine the top's down, and the world is yours. Plus, if you're in Harris County, you have the added excitement of crashing at almost any moment. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Sheriff's Office: No Bomb, Just World's Oldest Practical Joke

    ​Here's an official police statement you don't get every day. To get the full flavor, just read it verbatim: This morning at 6:30 a.m., HCSO deputies responded to an alarm call at 13600 Treebank in northwest Harris County. Upon arrival, deputies observed the front door ajar. As deputies made ... More >>

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