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Former Humble ISD officer presses sexual discrimination suit
houstonchronicle.com / Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:59:17 UT
A former Humble ISD police officer on Friday launched a sexual discrimination suit against the district, claiming supervisors in the small department harassed her from day one, telling her she "looked gay" and making explicit comments about women's bodies. Robin Carr is now asking for up to $1 million in a sweeping lawsuit that accuses the department of everything from fostering a hostile work environment to invasion of privacy to slander. The training officer Carr was belatedly assigned first gave her a silent treatment for days and then started asking "clearly inappropriate personal questions about Ms. Carr's sexual orientation and lifestyle," according to the suit. Another training officer quizzed Carr about her dating life and whether she went to strip clubs - and even launched into discussions about his own sexual conquests, the suit alleges.

Burger war: Ruth’s Chris accused of denying service to African-American in federal lawsuit
houstonchronicle.com / Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:08:35 UT

 A dispute that started over a top-shelf hamburger has landed in federal court, with a Houston man accusing Ruth's Chris Steak House of denying him service and treating him rudely because he is African-American.

Bill would create ‘Amber Alerts’ for chemical emergencies
houstonchronicle.com / Tue, 21 Feb 2017 02:26:06 UT
Chemical fires and releases across Houston in the last year, and the Houston Chronicle's Chemical Breakdown series, have shed light on problems with toxic stockpiles and emergency response. The bill would create a statewide "opt-out" system, meaning phone users would get the alerts unless they deliberately choose not to, just as some Amber Alerts and weather warnings are pushed to mobile phones automatically. Initial reports linked the smell to a chemical refinery, but officials later walked back that assessment, and the incident remains under investigation. [...] there was no air monitoring, and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board later determined that the gas could have ignited and exploded. Federal investigators deemed it an unsolved arson, but they also pointed to problems with the way the explosive fertilizer was stored, and with the emergency response, which put firefighters and residents in unnecessary danger.

Flight returns to IAH, passengers evacuated after smoke reported in cockpit
houstonchronicle.com / Tue, 14 Feb 2017 21:12:48 UT

A United Airlines flight headed from Houston to Florida was forced to return to the runway after reports of smoke in the cockpit, according to an airport spokesman.

Gunman kills girl, 8, after car accident
houstonchronicle.com / Sun, 26 Feb 2017 03:48:01 UT
Authorities unsure if victim caught in crossfire or fit of rage After a long day, she was eager to make it home around 2 a.m. with her 8-year-old daughter, DeMaree Atkins, who was sound asleep in the backseat. After shots were fired, Thomas didn't even realize her daughter was injured until she tried to take her out of the car. Houston police are seeking answers in the deadly shooting. The grief-stricken mother said she'd do anything for more time with her daughter, who was an honor roll student at Houston ISD's MacGregor Elementary and who had just begun learning to play the violin. Thomas, who also has a 17-year-old son, said she is still trying to make sense of why someone would shoot at people they didn't know. Houston Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information leading to an arrest and filing of charges.

DA’s new plan would keep low-level pot smokers out of jail, save officers time
houstonchronicle.com / Fri, 17 Feb 2017 01:05:22 UT

Thousands of casual pot smokers will keep clean records and Harris County will save more than $25 million a year under the district attorney's new "pre-charge diversion" program for those caught with small amounts of marijuana.

SPLC report finds hate groups rapidly rising in numbers in America
houstonchronicle.com / Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:46:06 UT

The last two years have heightened the divisions of race, religion and belief around America. It's no surprise that the hate groups who take these ideas to the extreme have also grown, capitalizing on the fear and anger that has come with the election.

Houston pimp sentenced to 18 years for trafficking minor
houstonchronicle.com / Fri, 17 Feb 2017 18:48:42 UT

A Houston man arrested for the sex trafficking of 17-year-old girl was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison Friday, according to federal U.S. attorneys.

Houston man in custody after video shows him beating a child
houstonchronicle.com / Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:39:11 UT

A Houston man has been charged with injury to a child after cameras designed to capture illegal dumping instead caught him beating a 7-year-old.

Brief, heavy rain possible in Houston area Friday afternoon
houstonchronicle.com / Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:25:44 UT

The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather alert for the Houston region early Friday morning.

Judge denies bail for Chad Holley, victim in 2010 police beating now charged with murder
houstonchronicle.com / Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:30:54 UT

A state district judge on Monday denied bail for Chad Holley, the man whose beating by several Houston police officers was captured on videotape in 2010 and who now faces an unrelated charge of capital murder.

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