Hurricane season is the time of year when all the local weathermen and -women (and, ahem, dogs) tell you, time and time again, that you are about to die!!! All of them, that is, except for Channel 2's Frank Billingsley, who prides himself on not giving in to the hype. He was the first guy, after all, to make the call in 2005 that Rita was going to miss Houston. He never freaks out when a storm is barely within 1,000 miles of Texas, and he never delays the moment to tell folks when they're safe. He just gives the goods the way they are and the way they hopefully will be. Of course, by the time you read this, a hurricane could've blown Houston off the map and, thanks to Frank Billingsley, you might've stayed in town, but we're pretty sure that didn't happen.

La Luz Del Mundo

It took what seemed like years to build, and then, voilà, there it was. But what is it? There amid many a gun shop, porn emporium and used-tire barn, rising out of the pine-tree-lined concrete gash that is the Eastex Freeway, now stands this vast apparition, looking like nothing so much as a giant, golden-domed slab of Greek Revival wedding cake. The Internet is rife with guesses about its purpose: Is it the residence of a Scarface-like drug kingpin with a Parthenon fixation? A Jain temple? A Mexican mosque? No, it's Iglesia La Luz Del Mundo, the regional church for the Luz del Mundo religious movement, a Protestant Christian sect based in Guada­lajara. It's also the only cool thing on the Eastex Freeway between the North Loop and the airport.

YES College Preparatory School

One day, if we're lucky, YES College Preparatory School will have dozens of campuses across Houston. So far there are four. Well, five, actually, if you count the one about to go inside Houston Independent School District's long-struggling Lee High School. YES, which stands for Youths Engaged in Service, is the only charter school system in the state to earn an Exemplary or Recognized rating by the Texas Education Agency for every year of operation. About 80 percent of the kids are poor, 95 percent are African-American or Hispanic and 100 percent of its graduates gain admission to a four-year university — a requirement written into the school's charter. Students attend classes for nine hours each weekday, four hours on Saturdays and one month during the summer. Expectations are high. And, amazingly, they are met.

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