The city of Houston is by design a driving city. Traveling from one section of the city to another is near impossible without putting yourself behind the wheel of a car. One aspect of driving that should stand out is the greatly reduced cost drivers are paying at the pump. There are obvious benefits to lower gas prices, such as the affordability to drive more frequently or spend your now available money on goods and services. This in return gives a boost to the economy. However, the current gasoline price decline is not necessarily all positive.
The financial crisis of 2008, widely considered the worst since the Great Depression, stemmed from the securitization of risky mortgage loans sold to investors at wildly inflated prices. In essence, mortgage companies eager for even more business began encouraging borrowers to take out mortgages on homes they could not afford. These subprime mortgages - called "liar loans" by some because they were often based on falsified paperwork and inflated incomes - were then bought by investment banks that bundled them up and sold to big investors at prices that did not reflect the creditworthiness of the borrowers. When the housing bubble burst and borrowers began defaulting on their mortgage payments, the value of those investments declined, throwing the entire financial system into chaos and millions out of their homes.
A young man who endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of his elementary school principal has been awarded a multimillion dollar verdict from a federal jury last week. In 2011, former elementary school Principal, Michael Alcoser, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child and possession of child pornography. Alcoser's abuse of the unnamed student began in 2004, when the student was only 8 years old. Now an adult, the victim filed a lawsuit against the South San Antonio Independent School District for its failure to prevent this tragedy under Title IX of the Federal Civil Rights Act.
Residents and their families sued Wedgwood Senior Living Apartments this week after a fire killed six residents and caused injuries to many others.
A former Kappa Alpha Psi member at Stevenson University in Baltimore County has filed a $4 million hazing lawsuit stating that he was beaten so severely that he was hospitalized for a week. The lawsuit alleges that between January and March of 2013, Johnny Powell II suffered through weeks of hazing, beating, and false imprisonment. Powell looked forward to joining the fraternity's charter class of Stevenson and never imagined that joining meant he would be put through weeks of trauma.
The victims and their families are suing the organizers of the South by Southwest festival claiming that the deadly accident in 2014 could have been prevented. Four people (Jamie West, De 'Andre Tatum, Steven Craenmehr and Sandy Le) died. The suits were filed by four firms on behalf of eight victims.
For the fifth straight legislative session, Texas lawmakers will consider bills proposing a state wide ban on texting while driving. At least that is what is being reported across the state in the local and regional publications. There is more momentum than ever to get it passed, but a difference of opinion among the state's new leadership regarding how to get this done may stand in its way.
Two people are in critical condition, and a passenger was killed, in yet another "wrong way" collision on area highways. This is the third in a week.
Houston is not known to be a bike-friendly town, a problem that has continued to grow along with the city's population as the roads get more crowded. Despite increased attention to the issue, reports of cyclists being killed and seriously injured by reckless drivers have become all too frequent in recent years.
According to a recent report by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Harris County roadways accounted for 394 roadway fatalities in 2014, with 169 believed to be alcohol related. Both of those numbers outpaced all other Texas counties by a wide margin. By comparison, roadways in Dallas County, with 2.4 million residents, saw 223 total fatalities with 71 believed to be related to alcohol.