Harris County's years-long legal battle to wring billions of dollars out of companies the county says are responsible for the San Jacinto River's toxic legacy ended with whimper Thursday. Following a four-week trial, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan's office settled with two of three defendants jus ... More >>
After a series of storms in March 2012, John Bonta is sorting through the wreckage on his Highlands ranch, 20 miles west of Houston. He's just gotten home from work when his wife, Pam, asks him to help her pick up a portion of the fence that had fallen during the night. He doesn't wait for her, thin ... More >>
On Thursday Harris County attorneys went head-to-head with Fortune 500 companies they blame for polluting the San Jacinto River nearly 50 years ago. With $3.7 billion worth in penalties and attorneys' fees on the line, the county's opening statements in the long-awaited environmental enforcement t ... More >>
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 >>
As Houston corporate lobbyists fight a county lawsuit seeking to penalize companies for carcinogens plaguing the San Jacinto River, environmental groups have pledged to keep hounding their headquarters with angry rhymes. In 2011, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan sued Waste Management, Internatio ... More >>
We're not out of the wet weather just yet. The threat of more flash flooding could creep up on us this weekend, according to weather forecasters. One to two inches could come down before next week. Houston has easily measured more than a half-foot of rain since Monday, and our rivers and bayous ar ... More >>
Just a few days before an east Texas man died from flesh eating bacteria following a fishing trip on Lake Conroe, a water study showed high levels of bacteria in watersheds connected to Lake Houston. The bacteria study conducted by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Commission on Env ... More >>
Will the Next Hurricane Unleash the Dioxin-filled San Jacinto Superfund Site?
Houston wasn't hit by a hurricane this season, but there are questions about what will happen to the San Jacinto Waste Pit superfund site the next time a hurricane roars through town. The highly toxic Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site has been sitting in the middle of the San Jacinto R ... More >>
When looking through old books, it is a good idea to pay attention and know something of cartography. In the case of Daniel Crouch, a book dealer in England, he was both attentive and knowledgeable when he found a handful of rare maps of Texas drawn by scientist Jean Louis Berlandier in the early 18 ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is asking for a quick trial date in the San Jacinto River Waste Pits case because people are still fishing the San Jacinto River and may be eating dioxin-contaminated fish. Ryan announced his action today saying that somehow, people haven't gotten the word about th ... More >>
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 >>
And so, after all these years of condofication, it has come to this: one last row of shotgun houses in the Fourth Ward. The transformation from funky and proud Freedmen's Town to go-go, oontz-oontz Midtown is almost complete. Gone or boarded up are several historic churches, the Fa Real bar, King ... More >>
A federal grand jury has indicted four men in the beating of a black man at a Houston bus stop in August. Charles Cannon, 26; Michael McLaughlin, 40; Brian Kerstetter, 32; and Joseph Staggs, 49, were indicted on one charge each of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevent ... More >>
Harris County attorney Vince Ryan announced he's suing a collection of companies for 45 years' worth of pollution in the San Jacinto River, and he's asking for up to $25,000 a day in penalties. Ryan is suing International Paper Company, Waste Management, Inc., Waste Management of Texas, Inc. and Mc ... More >>
FacebookCharles Cannon won't face hate-crime charges.In a crime that hearkened back to the skinhead days of the early '90s, or modern-day Dallas, four white men remain behind bars today charged with assaulting a black man at a downtown bus stop early Sunday morning. Police want the incident c ... More >>
Readers recount problems with DFPS
Happy San Jacinto Day, fellow Texans and people who wish they were; i.e. everyone else. If you don't know why today is special, shame on you. But since us Texans are a friendly sort, allow Rocks Off to fill you in. On April 21, 1836, Texian forces under Gen. Sam Houston (aka "Big Drunk") lau ... More >>
Weather about to go all Van Winkle on your assLet the fear begin! The Ice Monster that will likely put a deep freeze on Dallas's Super Bowl festivities is also headed our way, as anyone who watched television news today or tomorrow will learn (Here are five tips on surriving the unsurvivable ... More >>
It may not look like much today, but back in the '50s and '60s, Magnolia Gardens was the place to be if you liked country music and rockabilly. The open-air dance hall/bandstand on the banks of the San Jacinto River was in a resort-like setting, with a restaurant or two and a few boat ramps scatter ... More >>
Some may never be found.
It took three years and officers from at least five different law enforcement agencies, but it looks like they finally nabbed the ATM crooks who used and then left fork-lifts behind as an odd sort of a calling card.The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced today that three brothers - Mark, Melvin ... More >>
Galveston escapes with a close call
PCBs may prompt a first-ever warning against bay speckled trout fishing
Spring Creek stands poised to ride into history, one way or another
Allison arrived in a flood of thoughts -- mattress rafts, murky thigh-deep water and the sudden flotsam of family life rushing out the back door
The evidence points away from Roy Criner's guilt in a savage crime. But the state still has what counts most -- a conviction.
Barnett Garrison had a way with women. And women had their way with Barnett Garrison.
Joni Teal and her boyfriend claim that she, not he, should be in prison for the death of Evelyn Pritchard. But authorities don't seem to believe them. Maybe it's their seven DWIs.
Are We Having Fun Yet? Or is it just the jangly buzz of advanced urban stress syndrome?