Listen 00:00 /02:07 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share Lower oil prices and layoffs have driven down the demand for commercial office space in Houston. But construction has been quite healthy in healthcare, and it’s fueled by the need for both more, and newer, hospitals.At last week’s groundbreaking ceremony for a new CHI St. Luke’s hospital, the climactic moment came when a priest, a congressman, a businessman and two doctor walked up to a pile of dirt. After grabbing their silver shovels, they shouted, “One, two, three!”Carrie Feibel(From left): Father Michael Barrosa, Congressman Al Green, Dr. Paul Klotman, Dr. C. Kent Osborne and Scotty Arnoldy, chairman of the executive building committee.“Let’s spill some dirt!” Added Congressman Al Green, D-Houston. But for all the lightheartedness, this project is serious business.“This is the largest project of its kind for Catholic Health Initiatives that they’ve ever done, a billion-dollar project,” said Scott Arnoldy, the businessman who served as chairman of the executive building committee.“So to put that kind of money it, there is great expectations of what we will produce,” he added.Two firms, Tellepsen and Hunt, were chosen to build the new tower for CHI.“The commercial [sector] is having its challenges right now, because there is a lot of office space available because of the layoffs,” said Howard Tellepsen, chairman and CEO of Tellepsen. “But healthcare right now is as strong as it’s been in years, it is booming.”Tellepsen said the CHI St. Luke’s project is especially meaningful for him, because his grandfather built the original St. Luke’s tower. “I remember he was so excited when he came and told the family, how proud he was to be involved, because it was one of the early hospitals in the Texas Medical Center,” Tellepsen recalled. He said his grandfather broke the news over Sunday lunch, after church, when he was ten years old.Kathleen Margolis handles healthcare clients at Gensler, an architecture and planning firm. She says healthcare projects are more than just a bright spot in Houston construction.“It’s an absolute shining star, and it’s not because it’s suddenly grown so much. It’s because others have stepped back,” she said.The hospitals have stepped up, especially in the suburbs.Memorial Hermann is building new hospitals in Pearland and Cypress. Methodist and Texas Children’s are building in the Woodlands.“You’ve seen a significant growth in the suburbs with population and density, and medical service providers are coming to their customers,” said Mark Sikes, a partner with Deal Sikes & Associates.And the construction includes more than just acute-care hospitals. In the healthcare business, insurers want to pay to keep people out of the hospital, to keep them well. So administrators are building a range of facilities, from primary-care clinics to rehab facilities to urgent care centers.Margolis noted that much of the construction going on inside the Texas Medical Center itself is not about population growth per se. Instead, those hospital executives are updating and modernizing their facilities.“You see these cranes going up and you think, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re building more hospitals!’ when actually what we’re doing is replacing,” Margolis said.It’s not that the old buildings were falling apart, she explained, it’s that they have become functionally obsolescent as medical treatments and technology have raced ahead.St. Luke’s, for example, opened in 1954, long before there were C-T scans or electronic health records. That kind of technology all had to be shoved in later. Patients need more room, too.“You have more acute cases, patients are sicker that are going in to hospitals now,” Margolis explained. “These 40 year-old-plus hospitals aren’t able to accommodate them.”The building boom isn’t just about patients either. MD Anderson dedicated a new building on Friday – a 12-story center entirely for cancer research.
Share Creative Commons licenseGun in holsterA federal judge has denied a last-minute attempt by professors to block a new Texas law that allows concealed handguns in college classrooms, buildings and dorms.The decision Monday came two days before the fall semester began at the University of Texas at Austin. The 50,000-student campus has led opposition to the law since it was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last year.Three professors claimed in a lawsuit that guns in classrooms could be dangerous when discussions wade into politically charged topics. But U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that neither lawmakers nor university regents overstepped their power in choosing where concealed firearms could be allowed on campus.Texas has allowed licensed concealed handguns in public since 1995. But colleges until now had been off limits.
– / 2Hillary Clinton has opened a double-digit lead over Donald Trump among registered voters in Harris County. That’s the finding of a poll by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs.The poll shows Clinton leading Trump in Harris County by 42 percent to 32 percent. Fifteen percent of respondents are undecided. The remainder split between Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein.Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016“White men definitely favor Donald Trump. Women favor Hillary Clinton. But for Clinton to get the level of support she’s getting in this poll, she must be getting some Republican women as well,” says Renée Cross, associate director of the Hobby School.Clinton leads by just four points among voters who describe themselves as “extremely likely” to cast a ballot.The presidential contest is having little impact on down-ballot races in Harris County. Republican District Attorney Devon Anderson holds a one-point edge over Democratic challenger Kim Ogg. Sheriff Ron Hickman, the GOP incumbent, holds a six-point lead over Democrat Ed Gonzalez.“This leads us to think that the concern nationwide over the ‘Trump effect’ may not be as big a problem [for down-ballot Republicans] as it’s being made out to be in the media,” Cross says.But Cross adds voters are still paying relatively little attention to local races. More respondents poll undecided in the district attorney’s race than support either candidate. In the sheriff’s contest, Hickman and “undecided” are tied. Listen 00:00 /01:29 Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X
Share Von Diaz/StoryCorpsGeorge Rincon and Yolanda Reyes stand with a portrait of their son Diego Rincon. The family immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia in 1989. Diego served in the Army and was killed in Iraq in 2003.Memorial Day weekend is a time when a lot of Americans remember those who have served and lost their lives during war — and not all of those individuals were U.S. citizens.When the Iraq war started, nearly 40,000 members of the military were not U.S. citizens. Army Pfc. Diego Rincon was one of them.In 1989, his family immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia. In 2003, he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. He died for his country even though he wasn’t a citizen.His parents, George Rincon and Yolanda Reyes still remember their son and how quickly he adapted to his home in the U.S.“We came here when he was 5-years-old,” Reyes says. “Diego started speaking English faster than we did. He was often letting me know, ‘When I finish high school, I’m going to join the Army.’ “Diego did go on to join the Army and he was on his way to becoming a citizen, along with his parents.“Before he went to Iraq, he got the green card,” George says. “But he said to me, ‘Dad, don’t do the citizenship until I return. We’ll do it together.’ “Reyes says the last time she spoke to Diego, he told her he had written her a letter, but instructed her not to open it until she was ready.Courtesy of the Rincon FamilyArmy Pfc. Diego Rincon during his time in Iraq in 2003.“A week later I got the letter, and it was different from the rest,” Reyes says. “He was talking about this feeling that he had that he was going to die. He asked for forgiveness for anything wrong that he had done, and he said that he loves me. This letter was like a bucket of icy water.”Diego died on March 29, 2003.While his mother was sitting on the steps of the family’s home, a chaplain walked into the house.“He said, ‘Mr. Rincon, I’m sorry. Your son is dead,’ ” George says.Reyes says she didn’t believe the news at first.“I called the Army and asked for pictures of his body,” she says. “I looked at the pictures and I destroyed them.”It is still hard for the couple to believe that their son is gone.“Sometimes I wake up in the morning thinking that this is a nightmare and he’s coming back,” George says. “But I had my baby for 19 years and it was a blessing.”Reyes says they also wonder what might have happened if the family hadn’t left Colombia.“At least he was doing something with honor, with pride,” she says. “He was doing something for America.”In the end, Diego did get citizenship. It came the day of the his funeral.His death also helped get a bill passed that grants immediate citizenship to immigrant soldiers who die in combat.“It’s a piece of paper, but it means a lot for us,” George says. “He will always be our hero.”Audio produced for Morning Edition by Liyna Anwar and Jud Esty-Kendall.StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Share 9 p.m.When you add up the numbers, about one in eight NFL players did not stand for the national anthem this weekend.AP reporters and photographers counted the players kneeling or sitting at every NFL game Sunday. With one more game to go Monday night, already more than 200 players chose to protest. A handful of others raised their fists.The league has 1,696 players on active rosters.Last week, only six NFL players protested, continuing the movement started last year by former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.But President Donald Trump’s comments and tweets saying protesting players should be fired sparked a massive show of defiance. Three teams stayed off the field for the anthems entirely. Other teams locked arms, with some players standing, some kneeling and some sitting.___5:20 p.m.President Donald Trump has continued to express his displeasure on Twitter about how NFL players are choosing to kneel or sit for the national anthem before games.In one tweet, Trump said that “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad Ratings!” In another tweet, he says people “MUST honor and respect” the American flag.About 150 players around the NFL sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the league’s early games.In another tweet, Trump said the NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be going to the White House f or a ceremony. Trump recently rescinded a White House invitation for Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.__4 p.m.Meghan Linsey finished singing the national anthem before the Seattle Seahawks game at the Tennessee Titans, and then the runner-up in “The Voice” took a knee as she finished. So did the guitarist accompanying her.At least 130 players around the NFL sat or knelt during the anthems in the early games. The Seahawks and Titans didn’t come on the field until after Linsey finished singing. A handful of players stood outside the tunnel.Earlier in Detroit, singer Rico Lavelle dropped to his right knee, bowed his head and raised his right fist wrapped around the microphone while finishing up his rendition of the national anthem before the Lions-Falcons game.— AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker reported from Nashville, Tennessee___4:01 p.m.President Donald Trump has continued to express his displeasure on Twitter about how NFL players are choosing to kneel or sit for the national anthem before games.In one tweet, Trump said that “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad Ratings!” In another tweet, he says people “MUST honor and respect” the American flag.More than 130 players around the NFL sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the league’s early games.In another tweet, Trump said the NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be going to the White House for a ceremony. Trump recently rescinded a White House invitation for Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.___3:50 p.m.The Tennessee Titans are joining the Seattle Seahawks in deciding not to come out for the national anthem.The Seahawks announced nearly 30 minutes before kickoff that they would not stand for the national anthem because they “will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.”The Titans followed 10 minutes later by saying they will remain in the locker room during the national anthem. They posted a statement on their website noting they want to be unified as a team with the players deciding jointly that staying inside was the best course of action.The team also said their commitment to the military and community is “resolute” and that “the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”Seattle has been one of the more outspoken teams in professional sports on social issues, led by Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin.— AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker reported from Nashville, Tennessee___3:40 p.m.The Los Angeles Sparks did not participate in the national anthem before Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, joining a long list of protests being conducted on football fields across the NFL.Moments before the Sparks and Minnesota Lynx were scheduled to line up for the national anthem, the Sparks left the floor. The Lynx stood arm-in-arm with each other while the anthem was performed. As soon as it was finished, the Sparks re-entered Williams Arena to a chorus of boos.The gesture comes in solidarity with NFL players who either sat, took a knee or did not take the field for the anthem after President Donald Trump criticized football players for enacting such protests. At least 130 players were kneeling or sitting during the first NFL games.— AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski reported from Minneapolis___2:55 p.m.It appeared no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday in Loudon, New Hampshire. Several team owners and executives had said they wouldn’t want anyone in their organizations to protest.Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s longtime team owner, said of protesting, “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.” Childress says he told his team that “anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty’s sentiments took it a step further, saying: “Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”When asked if a protester at Richard Petty Motorsports would be fired, he said, “You’re right.”Another team owner Chip Ganassi says he supports Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s comments. Tomlin said before the Steelers played on Sunday that players would remain in the locker room and that “we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”___1 p.m.NFL players used the national anthem to show their defiance to President Donald Trump’s criticism, with at least 100 players kneeling or sitting in protest and one team staying in the locker room.Most teams in the early afternoon games locked arms in solidarity. At least three team owners joined their players.More than 100 players sat or knelt, the form of protest started last season by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is now a free agent, and supporters believe teams have avoided signing him because of his protest.The Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room as the national anthem played before their game with the Chicago Bears. Coach Mike Tomlin stood by himself on the sideline.How each team would observe the national anthem emerged as the center of attention on this NFL Sunday in the wake of Trump’s critical remarks toward players who don’t stand for the anthem.Tomlin had said before the game that Pittsburgh’s players would remain in the locker room and that “we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.” Tomlin added that the Steelers made this choice “not to be disrespectful to the anthem but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose.”___12:12 p.m.The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to stay in their locker room for the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears, coach Mike Tomlin has told CBS.The move was apparently in reaction to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire players who kneel for the national anthem.Several players from the Jaguars and Ravens decided to kneel in the first NFL game of the day in London. Then Tomlin said his players would not be on the sideline at Soldier Field in Chicago for the anthem.— AP Sports Writer Jay Cohen reported from Chicago___12:13 p.m.Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagilabue called President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players “insulting and disgraceful.”Tagliabue, who was in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a guest of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, spoke to the media before Carolina’s game against the New Orleans Saints.“For me to single out any particular group of players and call them SOB’s, to me, that is insulting and disgraceful,” Tagliabue said. “So I think the players deserve credit for what they do. And when it comes to speech they are entitled to speak. And we are entitled to listen. We are entitled to agree or disagree. But we’re not entitled to shut anybody’s speech down. Sometimes you don’t like what you hear and that is true in life in lots of contexts, but you can’t shut people down and be disgraceful when you are doing it.”Richardson is not making a statement on the Trump’s remarks, per team spokesman Steven Drummond.— AP Sports Writer Steve Reed reported from Charlotte, North Carolina___11:45 a.m.A handful of Miami Dolphins players are wearing black T-shirts supporting free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick during pregame warm-ups.The shirts have “#IMWITHKAP” written in bold white lettering on the front.Kaepernick was the first athlete to refuse to stand during the national anthem as a protest. This season, no team has signed him, and some supporters believe NFL owners are avoiding him because of the controversy.Among the players sporting the shirts before their game against the New York Jets are wide receiver Kenny Stills, running back Jay Ajayi and offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James. Stills, also a team captain, posted a photo on Twitter of himself wearing the shirt , along with the post: “In case you didn’t know!”— AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey___11:02 a.m.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is defending President Donald Trump’s attacks on football players who kneel during the national anthem.Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, Mnuchin says the National Football League enforces other types of rules and Trump thinks “owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem.”Mnuchin adds that “they can do free speech on their own time.”Trump suggested during a speech Friday night that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. A handful of NFL players have refused to stand to protest several issues, including police brutality.___11:01 a.m.The Pittsburgh Penguins say they’ve accepted an invitation from President Donald Trump to go to the White House after winning the Stanley Cup.The Penguins released a statement Sunday saying they respect the office of the president and “the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House.” The Penguins were honored by Barack Obama after winning the Stanley Cup in 2016 and previously by George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.“Any agreement or disagreement with a president’s politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways. However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit.”Trump revoked the White House invitation to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors Saturday, after the team had said they might not accept.—Stephen Whyno reporting from Washington___10:15 a.m.Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti says he “100 percent” supports his players’ decision to kneel during the national anthem ahead of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley.At least seven Ravens players and more than a dozen Jaguars players took a knee during the anthem while the rest of the players stood locked arm-in-arm in an apparent response to President Donald Trump, who said this week that NFL owners should fire those who disrespected the American flag.But the Ravens issued a statement from Bisciotti minutes after kickoff, saying: “We recognize our players’ influence. We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That’s democracy in its highest form.”Jaguars owner Shad Khan stood arm-in-arm with his players during the anthem.___9:30 a.m.About two dozen players, including Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the start of the teams’ game at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.Other players on one knee during the performance included Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley, wide receiver Mike Wallace and safety Lardarius Webb as well as Jaguars linebacker Dante Fowler, defensive tackle Calais Campbell, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.Players on both teams and Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who were not kneeling, remained locked arm-in-arm throughout the playing of the national anthem and “God Save The Queen,” the national anthem of Britain.No players were kneeling during the playing of the British national anthem.President Donald Trump had a suggestion on Saturday for National Football League owners whose players decide to take a knee during the national anthem: fire them. The Latest on the sports world reacting to President Donald Trump’s remarks about pro football (all times Eastern):Twitter User @BasePoliticJJ Watt and the Texans link arms in solidarity against Trump’s criticisms of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem.In response to President Trump’s tweets this weekend, all 14-NFL games on Sunday featured some form of protest.Texans defensive end J.J. Watt never doubted the team would unite following the President’s comments.“We’re a team. We all stand together, we’re all uh, we all care about each other in this locker room.”Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson joined his teammates in a show of solidarity prior to the team’s game against the Patriots. While supporting players who have demonstrated against racism and police violence by kneeling during anthem, Watson had no interest in providing an opinion on the matter postgame.“I’m going to pass on that question. I’m going to stay away from all that.”Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who reportedly donated one-million-dollars to Trump’s Presidential campaign, said he’s deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments.Through a statement released by the team, Texans owner Bob McNair called Trump’s tweets divisive and counterproductive. He added that following their efforts after Hurricane Harvey, he’s never been more proud of his players and coaches and hopes their reaction results in positive difference in our society.
Share Five months after Hurricane Harvey tore through Houston with record rainfall and 130 mph winds, 33,000 Texans are still displaced and living in temporary federal housing. Meanwhile, 80 percent of hurricane victims did not have flood insurance, and for many, help is not coming fast enough. Produced in partnership with the Texas Tribune, Hari Sreenivasan looks at what keeps them from returning home.
X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:49 Listen Photo: Florian Martin | Houston Public MediaHouston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo addresses the audience during an event held on March 22, 2018, at the University of St. Thomas to launch a partnership between HPD, the university and the Taipei Economic and Cultural that will provide training in Mandarin Chinese to local police officers.The Houston Police Department, the University of St. Thomas and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston have launched a partnership that will provide training in Mandarin Chinese to local police officers.The training will be provided by an adjunct faculty member of the University of St. Thomas – through its Center for International Studies (CIS) – and offered as an elective course for two 10-week sessions at HPD’s West Side Station.The first class will have 25 students who will start their training on March 28.Additionally, the CIS will offer elective training in multicultural and situational awareness for HPD officers at the department’s academy throughout 2018-19. Both training courses are offered as professional credit programs.Chief Art Acevedo often emphasizes that one of his goals is to keep developing the practice of community policing within HPD by strengthening the relationships that the department’s officers create and cultivate with Houstonians.Therefore, as Acevedo said at the launching event held Thursday at the University of St. Thomas, one of the things HPD wants to do is to be able to communicate with the “very quickly growing Asian community.” “This is a first step to doing even better,” the chief added in reference to the new training.Captain Kristine Anthony, of HPD’s Training Division, explained the language lessons the officers will learn will have the goal of mostly allowing them to develop such community policing with Houston’s Mandarin Chinese-speaking residents, not necessarily through a great level of fluency but, rather, through a more pragmatic approach.For example, the training will teach them how to ask about physical descriptions of suspects and give instructions or warnings during their interactions with the public.“Even if it simply is ‘Hello,’ ‘How are you?’, ‘My name is officer so and so’ and ‘Thank you.’ If you say that in the native language and you took the opportunity and the initiative to learn that, it means so much to that individual,” Anthony underlined.Hans Stockton, associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and director of the University of St. Thomas’ CIS, noted that in the area served by HPD’s West Side Station – where the training will be provided —”one of the most common encounters that officers have are with speakers of Mandarin language or related languages.” Share
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, FileThis March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. Military officials want to limit congressional efforts to address sexual assaults among service members’ children, even as new data show the problem is larger than previously acknowledged.The U.S. Army is scouting large cities to find a home for a new command headquarters so it’ll be close to academia and industry, a first for the service.The Army typically likes to put its facilities away from population centers.The new command will focus on what the Army of the future should look like. The Army wants to be near experts in technology and innovation.Houston and Austin are two Texas cities in contention along with 13 other cities across the country including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York and LA.Army officials are close to picking the site – which is expected to be announced by the end of June. Share
Listen 00:00 /00:50 Share Public domain To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Houston is seeing more and more companies that take the shopping and service experience online. Last month, Joydrive entered the Houston market. It’s a website that connects customers with auto dealerships and lets them buy their next car on the internet. Around the same time, C² promised to be a cross between Uber and Airbnb for Houston’s apartment market.It’s an indicator of more industries going online.Scott Sonenshein, a management professor at Rice University, said more customers expect the convenience of online shopping. “When Amazon first started, the narrative was, well, I really like browsing books. How am I ever going to browse online and discover something new?” he said. “And as you’ve seen with brick-and-mortar bookstores, that has turned out to be something that consumers generally get over.” But does that mean we’ll get everything on the web in the future? Sonenshein said it’s hard to say, but he pointed out that while other companies are entering the online marketplace, Amazon is also investing in brick-and-mortar with Whole Foods and physical bookstores.