Houston, TX

Welcome To Houston

Known as one of the largest citites in the state of Texas, Houston is home to many things. Such as the visitor center of NASA’s astronaut training and flight control complex. Texas Medical Center; the world’s largest amalgamation of research and healthcare institutions is also part of Houston, Texas. The city is home to many great dining and shopping establishements, along with a great nightlife to keep you going all hours of the day. Some of the notable annual events include the famous Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest.


The world famous annual 20 day Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, WorldFest: Houston International Film Festival, and Comicpalooza the largest pop culture convention in the state of Texas, you'll never have a dull moment in the great city of Houston. Search for top events in Houston

Districts of Houston Downtown - Home to the Skyline District, Theater District, Historic District, and Warehouse District. High finance, big business, and many other headquarters of Fortune 500 companies are home to Downtown Houston. The Houston Symphony, Alley Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars and Houston Ballet area all part of one of the largest theater districts in the U.S. Neartown (Montrose, Midtown, EaDo-East End) - Neartown offers many resale fashion shops, eclectic shopping as well as antique stores and is a large area of the LGBT population. North Loop (The Heights, Washington Corridor) - A large population to wealthy artists, musicians, and other professionals. The Heights still being a dry area brought on the opportuinity for a large number of BYOB restaurants. South Loop (South Main, Museum District, Med Center) - To the south and east of downtown you'll find Rice University and many other attractions the South Loop has to offer. Such as, Hermann Park, Reliant Stadium, and the Texas Medical Center. West Loop (Uptown, River Oaks, Upper Kirby & Greenway, West U) - On this side of the loop you will find the Galleria, a high-end shopping complex along with the tallest building (the Williams Tower) outside of a dowtown area. Nearby River Oaks is home to Houston's most exclusive neighborhoods containing unbelievable mansions and businesses. Outside 610 (West Houston, East Houston, North Houston) - Many travels find their way to these as they contain the NASA/Space Center Houston, nature centers and other interesting day trips.


Weather Forecast for Houston


Sunny, with a high near 81. East wind 5 to 15 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.


Mostly clear, with a low around 65. East wind 5 to 10 mph.


A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 81. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night

Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1am. Low around 62. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%.


Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday Night

A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 53.


A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Sunny, with a high near 69.

Saturday Night

A 20 percent chance of showers before 1am. Mostly clear, with a low around 56.


Sunny, with a high near 74.

Sunday Night

Clear, with a low around 58.


A 20 percent chance of showers. Sunny, with a high near 75.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 58.


A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75.

Locals Tips

Figure out how to navigate Houston like a local - how to get around Houston, find top events like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and where to find the best TexMex in town (DDUX CEO vote is anything on the lunch menu at Irma's Original or the Queso appetizer and steak fajitas at Escalante's, but hey, there are plenty of other great to choose from!), navigate the Downtown Tunnels, and the best place to spot alligators near Houston. Read more to get all the best tips for enjoying the Houston area like a local.

Houston News and Events

6-year-old cancer patient meets her hero, Jose Altuve, before Game 1 of World Series

Abigail Arias, a 6-year-old girl battling cancer, was invited to meet her hero, Astros star Jose Altuve, ahead of the World Series Game 1 on Tuesday.

The Freeport Police Department had already granted her first wish, being sworn in as an honorary officer. In February, Abigail was flown by helicopter with Freeport Police Chief Ray Garivey to the police station.

The police department announced the invite on Facebook, saying: "The Freeport Police Department wishing our Astros good luck as they go after the World Series title. Our Officer Abigail has been invited to meet her hero Jose Altuve before the game tonight. Yay Abigail and Go 'Stros!"

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Abigail is battling Wilms tumor, a cancer for which her doctors said there is no cure, according to police.

Her parents posted photos and videos of Altuve meeting Abigail where she gifted him with her Relentless Shirt and bracelet.

Ruben Arias posted the following: "Thank you to Jose Altuve for taking the time to meet with Abigail. Abigail gifted him with her Relentless Shirt and he immediately put it on as well as her bracelet. He said he would wear it during the game. A very emotional time and amazing fellowship. Thank you to Twila Carter with the Astros organization that also had a hand in making this happen. Most of all to Octavio Tijerina Jr., because of his Relentlessness to continue to reach to the Astros. Abigail was so excited to have been given this opportunity to. She even asked him if he could hit a home run for her. God bless."

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Armed man barricaded inside Spring home, people urged to avoid area, authorities say

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is urging people to avoid an area in Spring due to a SWAT scene where a man is barricaded inside a home.

The incident started around 2 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Hamilton Falls Lane near Spring Cypress Road, authorities said.

According to the Sheriff's Office, an armed man -- who is a suspect in an aggravated assault -- barricaded himself inside his home.

Deputies did not say why the man has barricaded himself in his home, but they said they are working to "resolve the situation peacefully."

Authorities are urging people to avoid the area.

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This is a developing story.

3 things we learned following the Astros Game 1 loss

In 2017, the Astros lost Game 1 to the Dodgers on their way to winning the World Series. In the 2019 ALCS, the Astros lost Game 1 to the Yankees on their way to winning the pennant. Losing game 1 isn't new, and losing game 1 does not mean there is a reason to panic.

That being said, the Nationals were impressive in the 5-4 win and now clearly have an advantage as they've flipped home field.

Here are three things we learned from Game 1.


The Astros ace and likely Cy Young winner got tagged for five runs in seven innings. It's a testament to Cole's efficiency that he was able to go seven innings, but his stuff was not sharp. According to his catcher, Martin Maldonado, Cole's fastball command looked great in the first inning, then less so. Cole said he didn't have his curveball Tuesday night, and kept putting himself in tough fastball counts.


Juan Soto is basically the left-handed Nationals version of Alex Bregman, except he's 20. Soto finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2018 and broke out again in 2019. His plate discipline is going to turn him into one of the best players in the MLB, if he already isn't. Soto punishes misses and waits out even the best pitchers and did exactly that against the likely AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole. Anthony Rendon was supposed to be the engine powering the Nationals, but it looks like Juan Soto could be an even tougher out. Soto won't turn 21 for a few days, but he's already in the lineup to protect Rendon.


The Nationals are willing to pitch anyone at any time. Likely Game 3 starter Patrick Corbin pitched the sixth inning for Washington, and did what he was supposed to do: get lefties out, and out of the game. The Nationals aren't opposed to bringing Scherzer out of the bullpen in any game, and it looks to be the same with Corbin and presumably Anibal Sanchez. The Nats had the worst bullpen in all of baseball in the regular season (5.66 ERA) and it hasn't been much better in the playoffs (4.76 ERA), but their willingness to get creative and burn their starters reminds me of the Rays, a team the Astros struggled to put away.

KPRC has a ton of Astros content. You can find more coverage of all things Astros here. #TakeItBack

Explore the 5 most popular spots in Houston's Willowbrook neighborhood

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Visiting Willowbrook, or just looking to better appreciate what it has to offer? Get to know this Houston neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from a Caribbean spot to a barber shop.

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit in Willowbrook, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.

1. Punta Cana Caribbean Restaurant Photo: fallon ellender c. /Yelp Topping the list is Latin American and Dominican spot Punta Cana Caribbean Restaurant. Located at 17776 Tomball Parkway, Suite 21, it's the highest-rated business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 509 reviews on Yelp.

The family-run restaurant serves up soup, sandwiches and fries, as well as rice dishes with fish, chicken, pork and steak. (Explore the entire menu here.)

2. Jose's Roasted Corn Photo:daneille/Yelp Next up is food stand Jose's Roasted Corn, situated at 8320 W. FM 1960. With five stars out of 109 reviews on Yelp, it's proven to be a local favorite.

The food truck serves up cups of roasted corn with toppings like cheese, butter and spices. Other menu items include nachos and snow cones with eight different flavors.

3. Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet Photo: davion b./Yelp
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and buffet spot Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet is another top choice. Yelpers give the business, located at 17695 249th, four stars out of 123 reviews.

This chain has locations across Texas. The spot offers buffet-style dining, with set prices for lunch, dinner and weekends. The spread includes soup, salad and appetizers like falafel and spinach pie. Main course options include kafta kabob skewers, baked fish and house specialties like Makloube. (Find all the buffet choices here. )

4. REI Photo: liz f./Yelp REI, a bike shop and outdoor gear and sports wear spot, is another much-loved neighborhood go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 31 Yelp reviews. Head over to 17717 Tomball Parkway to see for yourself.

This large retail chain has outposts in 39 states. The store offers camping, hiking and other outdoor gear, and the bike section includes a repair shop. REI also offers classes, outings, workshops and events for the entire family. (Check out all the events at the Willowbrook location here.)

5. Barber Social Club Photo: Guillermo v./Yelp
Check out Barber Social Club, which has earned four stars out of 67 reviews on Yelp. You can find the barber shop at 16929 C Tomball Parkway.

The barber shop offers children's and men's haircuts, shaves, beard and mustache trims as well as specialty designs.

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.

Astros fans taunted at Yankee Stadium attend World Series at Lance McCullers' request

What a difference a series makes.

Cruz Arcia and his friends were having a blast Tuesday, cheering on their Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park during Game 1 of the World Series.

Their experience in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series in New York was a much different one.

Video of the group's treatment in Yankee Stadium by New York's fans went viral. They endured verbal assaults and had beer and food thrown on them. They eventually had to be escorted out of the stadium. The whole ordeal caught the attention of injured Astros pitcher Lance McCullers, who gave the group tickets to Tuesday night's World Series game.

"I just thank Lance McCullers for giving us the free tickets for all of my friends to enjoy this wonderful game," said Nathan Rocha. "Thank you, Lance. I appreciate all the love."

Arcia added his sentiments.

"Lance, thank you so much for having me here," said Arcia.

Arcia has become an instant celebrity among Astros and Nationals fans, with people recognizing him and stopping him for selfies.

"Easily, I would say about 100 to 150 pictures since I got here," he said. "Just people posting them everywhere. So you know, it feels great."

And the group has learned an important lesson from the whole ordeal.

"He appreciated the way that we represented Houston, Texas," Rocha said, speaking of McCullers. "The way we represented the Astros."

Arcia said he learned an important lesson.

"Stay calm, rep your city, and you'll get rewarded for that."

Nationals top Astros 5-4 in World Series opener

Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals quickly derailed the Cole Express.

A 20-year-old prodigy with a passion for the big moment, Soto homered onto the train tracks high above the left field wall and hit a two-run double as the Nationals tagged Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros 5-4 Tuesday night in the World Series opener.

Not even a history-making home run by postseason star George Springer -- and another drive that nearly tied it in the eighth inning -- could deter Washington.

Ryan Zimmerman, still full of sock at 35, also homered to back a resourceful Max Scherzer and boost the wild-card Nationals in their first World Series appearance -- tres bien for a franchise that began as the Montreal Expos in 1969.

Otherworldly almost all season, Cole looked downright ordinary. Trea Turner singled on the second pitch of the game and the Nationals were off and running, ending Cole's 19-game winning streak that stretched back 25 starts to May.

Not what Cole or anyone at Minute Maid Park expected, especially after he led the majors in strikeouts, topped the AL in ERA and finished second in the big leagues in wins to teammate Justin Verlander.

Cole had dominated in the AL playoffs, too.

Yet it was a further testament to an eternal truth about baseball: It doesn't matter what you do the whole season if you don't get it done in October.

Soto finished with three hits and a stolen base. Three days shy of his 21st birthday, the wunderkind left fielder also snared Michael Brantley's try for late, tying hit.

The MVP when Houston won its first crown in 2017, Springer set a record by connecting in his fifth straight Series game to make it 5-3 in the seventh. But reliever Daniel Hudson threw a fastball past rookie Yordan Alvarez with the bases loaded to end the inning.

In the eighth, Springer put a charge into a drive to deep right-center field, and it appeared as though he might've hit a tying, two-run homer. Springer took a couple hops out of the batter's box to watch, and had to settle for an RBI double when the ball hit off the glove of a leaping Adam Eaton.

PHOTOS: World Series Game 1

Heavily favored at the start, the 107-win Astros will try to get even Wednesday night when Verlander faces Stephen Strasburg in another matchup of aces.

Scherzer slipped in and out of trouble for five innings. But every time the stadium got rollicking, he found a way to get out of trouble. There's a reason ol' Max has won three Cy Young Awards.

Projected Game 4 starter Patrick Corbin threw a scoreless sixth for the Nationals. Springer connected off Tanner Rainey for his 14th career postseason home run before Hudson fanned Alvarez on three pitches.

Sean Doolittle retired Jose Altuve and Brantley to strand Springer at second in the eighth, then closed to give the Nationals their seventh straight victory and 17th in 19 games dating to their September playoff run.

The Nats had a week off after sweeping St. Louis in the NL Championship Series, and easily answered any worries about whether the layoff would result in rest or rust.

Leading the way was Soto, whose eighth-inning hit in the wild-card win over Milwaukee sent the Nationals on their path.

Fearless at the plate, he's already become one of those rare players -- like Springer -- who seems to turn pressure into production.

Soto seemed overmatched when he fanned on Cole's 99 mph heater in the first inning. Turned out Soto -- the third-youngest player to bat cleanup in a World Series game after Ty Cobb (1907) and Miguel Cabrera (2003) -- was just getting warmed up.

Soto justified his place in the 4-spot, launching a leadoff drive in the fourth onto the train tracks to make it 2-all.

A while later, the ball was still resting there when the Nationals rallied. Eaton hit a tiebreaking double in the fifth and one batter later, Soto doubled with two outs for a 5-2 lead.

Zimmerman's long wait in Washington paid off when he hit the first World Series homer in Nationals history, connecting in the second. He was the first player drafted by the team, shortly after it moved from Montreal for the 2005 season.

Cole instantly tossed his right arm in the air as the ball took off, knowing he wanted that pitch back.

Early on, something else stopped Cole: the big World Series logo painted on the field in foul territory. He steadfastly refused to step on it, taking a detour each time he traveled between the dugout and mound.

Yuli Gurriel ended a string of narrow escapes for Scherzer this month. Opponents had been 0 for 17 against him with runners in scoring position in the postseason before Gurriel's two-run double in the first.

Up next

Nationals: Strasburg was 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in the NL playoffs. He went 18-6 and set a career high for wins during the regular season. He's pitched once in Houston, throwing six scoreless innings in 2017.

Astros: Verlander is 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA in five World Series starts. He got this far with Detroit in 2006 and 2012 and the Astros in 2017. Verlander led the majors with 21 wins this year and struck out 300.

Recap of live coverage

Read a recap of KPRC 2's live coverage of the game by contributor Rich Zwelling below.

App users, click here.

1 killed in fiery southwest Houston crash

One person was killed Tuesday in a fiery crash in southwest Houston.

The crash was reported about 7 p.m. on Hillcroft Avenue near Bellfort Avenue.

According to Houston firefighters, they received a call about a car on fire with people trapped in the vehicle.

Houston police said that one person was found dead in the vehicle.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but police said witnesses reported two vehicles may have been chasing or racing each other when one of them lost control and hit a tree.

Police said the second vehicle believed to be involved did not stop at the scene.

This story is developing.

$80,000 in music equipment stolen from Cypress storage unit

Investigators are looking into the theft of tens of thousands of dollars' worth of musical equipment from Lakewood Mini Stroage in Cypress.

"What I have is almost irreplaceable," equipment owner Michael Deluco said. "For me to start over again is almost near impossible."

Deluco, who has played in thousands of shows over his nearly 50-year music career, has built up an impressive collection of drums and other equipment.

Over the weekend, Deluco said, he did not recognize the lock on his storage unit and knew something was wrong.

"As soon as he opened the door, I was shocked," Deluco said. "It was a disaster. All my guitars, amps, drums, PAs, speaker cabinets, wiring -- it's all gone."

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office investigators are looking into the theft. Deluco said the stolen equipment is worth more than $80,000.

"To be perfectly honest, I'm crushed," Deluco said. "I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what just happened to me."

Deluco said whoever stole his equipment can give it back right now and, "I won't ask any questions. I just want my stuff back."

"But if they don't," he added, "there's going to be ramifications."

Deluco has hired a private investigator to help him track down his equipment.

Lakewood Mini Storage has surveillance cameras but, so far, Deluco said, the company has refused to provide him any images of the perpetrators.

Late Tuesday, the chief operating officer of the company that manages the Lakewood storage facility called Deluco and told him he would "make it right," Deluco said.

'It's like him being killed all over again': Mother of slaying victim says son's killers given bail

It has been a tough week for one Houston mother.

Ursula McGee's son was killed two years ago. This week, she learned one of the three suspects charged in connection with her son's death was granted multiple bonds.

"It's just been hard since 2017 on that day," McGee said as tears fell from her eyes. "From there forward, it's just been hard, every time I talk about it."

McGee's then 21-year-old son, Melton, was shot and killed Oct. 23, 2017, while sitting in his SUV at an Atascocita apartment complex. Since then, two of the three suspects charged with capital murder have been granted bail.

"It's like him being killed all over again," McGee said. "Nothing's happened. So, each time they get out it's like they're killing him again."

Horace Harris, one of the suspects, was charged with another felony on July 3 in connection with a violent carjacking, according to court records.

"He got his bond on Thanksgiving Day," McGee said. "I had a breakdown -- Thanksgiving Day! My son's not even here, and he gets to go home and eat turkey."

On Saturday, a second capital murder suspect was granted two additional bonds. Blaise Vega was charged with evading arrest and unauthorized use of a vehicle, which is a felony. Houston police said he stole a truck from a Walmart parking lot and ran from officers as they were trying to conduct a traffic stop.

Despite his capital murder case, Vega was granted a collective $15,100 bail, which he has posted.

"We want to know how many offenders are on multiple bonds," said Andy Kahan, of Crime Stoppers of Houston.

Kahan said he understands the frustration of families such as the McGees. There are about 3,000 defendants currently out on bail for either capital murder, murder or aggravated assault, according to Kahan.

"It's an obvious violation of your bond when you're charged with another felony, especially if you're on bond for capital murder," he said. "That pretty much sends a clue you're not going to abide by the rules and conditions. So, what makes you think they're gonna abide by the laws of society?"

McGee said the justice system needs to stop giving dangerous, repeat criminals room to commit more crimes.

"Hold these people accountable and stop giving them a slap on the wrist," she said. "Stop thinking about money or politics or whatever it is. It seems to be about the money, 'cause bond is money."

School bus driver gets 2 life sentences for sexually abusing 2 children

A school bus driver received two life sentences after pleading guilty to sexually abusing two children.

Prosecutors said Matthew Curry pleaded guilty Monday to five charges, including aggravated sexual assault of a child and possession of child pornography.

According to investigators, a 6-year-old girl came forward in December and told authorities that she had been inappropriately touched by a man. An investigation of that case led them to Curry, who was found to have photographs and videos of himself sexually assaulting a 4-year-old special-needs child who was on his school bus, investigators said. Curry later shared those images online, investigators said.

"This defendant not only victimized a 4-year-old child in our community, he memorialized it by recording it and sharing it with likeminded people on the internet," Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Brittney Aaron said in a written statement. "After today, this defendant will never have an opportunity to spread his filth again, but our local law enforcement agencies will not stop with just him."

Curry was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on the child pornography charge.

Each of the sentences will be served consecutively.

Crime Stoppers, HPD address safety issue on push for bail reform in Houston area

Law enforcement officials say there is an ongoing public safety issue in Harris County due to a broken bond system that allows for violent offenders to be easily released back on the street.

Here is what crime stoppers are saying

Crime Stoppers of Houston victim advocate Andy Kahn said there is a staggeringly high number of violent offenders on the street.

"There are roughly around 3,000 defendants currently out on bond for aggravated offenses included capital murder, murder aggravated robbery and aggravated assault," Kahn said.

He said many of the violent offenders have committed more crimes while out on bond. Kahn said the recent murder of taco truck owner Enrique Ayala was at the hands of 21-year-old Anthony Conway who was out on bond for assault.

Harris County District Attorney's Office view on Bond Reform

District Attorney Kim Ogg is pushing for change amid a federal lawsuit calling for bond reform that doesn't address the issue of violent offenders released on low cash bonds or PR bonds.

"We need a legislative fix -- to remove cash bail from constitution to allow preventive detention," Ogg said.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo is calling for a change in the bond system to prevent dangerous and violent offenders from being released.

"We see judges behind closed doors at these courtrooms letting repeat violent offenders off on low bond or on PR bond or what they think is a magic pill that's an ankle monitor because somehow they think an ankle monitor prevents you from pulling a trigger," Acevedo said.

Mattress Mack treats 100 veterans to Game 1 of World Series

Jim McIngvale, also known as "Mattress Mack," is treating 100 veterans to Game 1 of the World Series.

McIngvale first met the veterans at Camp Hope in northwest Houston.

"These are great veterans who have given their all for us. I went out the other day to give a speech there and was totally inspired," said Mack.

Camp Hope provides interim housing for wounded warriors and their families suffering from combat-related PTSD.

"They have 83 vets that live on the site full time. They have depression issues, PTSD Issues, and Camp Hope helps them get back into normal life, helps them find jobs, find careers," Mack said.

Mack is also providing the 100 veterans with a free meal at Pappas BBQ before the game.

He said it was the least he could do for those who have sacrificed so much.

"I never served but I've seen the trauma that these guys have been through," Mack said. "Camp Hope is one of many places in Houston that takes care of our veterans with PTSD and it just gives all of us at Gallery Furniture great joy to help these veterans who have done so much while I did so little."

Conviction of man arrested by ex-officer charged in deadly Harding Street raid being reexamined

The conviction of a man who was arrested by one of two former Houston police officers charged in the deadly Harding Street raid is being reexamined by prosecutors.

Former narcotics Officer Gerald Goines has been charged with murder and tampering in connection with the Jan. 28 raid that ended in the deaths of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas.

Since Goines' arrest, prosecutors in the Harris County District Attorney's Office have been reviewing hundreds of his cases to determine if the convictions were legitimate.

"It's unusual to be investigating a law enforcement officer who may be a criminal, and that is exactly what this investigation is," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.

Ogg said her team recently looked into the case of another man, Frederick Jermain Jeffrey, whose conviction raised questions.

Jeffrey was sent to prison for 25 years in 2018. He contended that he was framed.

Now, Ogg said her office is requesting an attorney for Jeffrey as a result of the "presentation of false evidence and testimony."

Ogg said what raised flags in Jeffrey's case were commonalities, specifically: "Search warrants based on information that may or may not be true."

"We defend lawful actions and we prosecute them, but where we suspect even a cop may be a criminal, then commonalities in their past cases matter, and that is exactly why we ask for lawyers in these cases," Ogg said.

All of this is the result of Goines' past being scrutinized after KPRC 2 Investigates exposed an affidavit showing that Goines allegedly lied to secure the search warrant used during the Harding Street raid.

KPRC 2 Investigates has also learned there are two other incarcerated men for whom the DA's office is attempting to secure legal assistance.

Prosecutors have said they are in the process of reviewing about 14,000 cases as a result of the Harding Street raid.

Judge issues gag order in Santa Fe High case

Channel 2 Investigates has learned a gag order was issued in the case involving charged Santa Fe High gunman, Dimitrios Pagourtzis.

This development comes as the court consider the issue of Pagourtzis' competency.

In August, Pagourtzis' defense team asked the court to have their client's competency evaluated by an independent expert. In that motion, defense attorney Nicholas Poehl stated he does not believe Pagourtzis is competent to stand trial. Earlier in the year, court documents stated the defense will also likely employ an insanity defense at trial.

Prosecutors confirmed to KPRC the independent evaluation is complete, but could not comment on the results because of the impending gag order. Poehl said the gag order also prevents him from commenting.

Prosecutors will now have their experts conduct their own evaluation of Pagourtzis' competency, which is expected to take 30 days to complete. After that evaluation is complete it is unknown how the case will move forward. Poehl has previously said there is the possibility a competency trial will be needed to determine whether Pagourtzis is competent to stand trial on capital murder charges.

The case is scheduled to go to trial after the first of the year in Fort Bend County. It is not yet known whether the issue of Pagourtzis' competency will impact that timetable.

"Both the defense expert and a neutral court-appointed expert have submitted competency reports to the court," Poehl said. "Now the State is seeking to have their own expert examine Dimitrios and evaluate his competency. The Court today issued a gag order as to the results of the competency examinations, so we will have no further comment at this time."

Pagourtzis is also facing federal charges relating to the May 2018 murders of eight students and two educators. In federal court Pagourtzis is still considered a minor, therefore any information regarding those cases remains under seal.

Harris County grand jury declines to indict Houston-area monsignor in consent case

A Texas grand jury has declined to indict the onetime deputy to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo on charges he sexually assaulted a married woman in a case that raised questions about consent in the #MeToo era.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office had presented the case against Monsignor Frank Rossi on Monday, more than a year after Laura Pontikes filed a criminal complaint with Houston police.

"A grand jury was presented all the evidence and determined that no criminal charges are warranted," said Dane Schiller, spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office. "If new evidence is discovered at a later date, prosecutors have the option of presenting that evidence to another grand jury for consideration."

EXCLUSIVE: 'I'm sorry': Cardinal DiNardo talks about abuse cases in Catholic Church

Rossi was for years the vicar-general to DiNardo, the Catholic archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. bishops conference who has been leading the U.S. hierarchy's response to the sexual abuse scandal.

The Associated Press in June reported that Pontikes, a Houston business executive, had alleged that Rossi manipulated her into a sexual relationship, all while acting as her spiritual adviser, hearing her confessions, soliciting six-figure donations and counseling her husband on their troubled marriage.

The archdiocese said at the time that Rossi's relationship with Pontikes was inappropriate but consensual.

READ ALSO: Group holds protest, calls for Cardinal DiNardo to step down

Under Texas law, it's not a consensual relationship if a clergyman exploits the victim's emotional dependency on him as a spiritual adviser.

Pontikes' attorney didn't immediately return calls Monday seeking comment.

Dan Cogdell, the attorney for Rossi, said he was pleased for Rossi "and for those legions of people that supported him that the inquiry is over and he can get on with his life."

"There was never a crime," Cogdell said. "I'm glad the right thing happened for a person who I believe to be a terrific person."

The AP doesn't usually identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault. Pontikes came forward publicly and provided AP with years of emails with Rossi in which she lamented her emotional dependency on him, and Rossi assured her that God had brought them together and that their "holy touches" were sanctioned.

The archdiocese of Galveston-Houston had defended DiNardo's handling of the case and decision to let Rossi transfer to another diocese, in Beaumont, Texas, after undergoing counseling.

The diocese of Beaumont placed Rossi on temporary administrative leave in June pending the outcome of the police investigation. Neither the Galveston-Houston nor the Beaumont diocese responded to questions Monday about Rossi's future status.

Texas is one of 13 U.S. states that criminalizes sex between clergy and parishioners, and researchers have published a wealth of academic literature on why such relationships aren't necessarily consensual. Criminal indictments, however, are rare.

David Pooler, associate professor of social work at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, who has studied clergy sexual abuse of adults, said he considered Pontikes' case a "slam dunk" instance of nonconsent.

He questioned whether the prosecutor was unpersuasive, whether the defense was spectacular, or whether the jury didn't understand "that what happened was abuse and (was) not able to name it as abuse."

"I think it is a sad day because if what happened there didn't bring an indictment, I don't know what would," Pooler said in an email.

In a 2000 online article, "Why it's not an affair," another expert on abuse, the Rev. Patricia Liberty, said "authentic consent" to sex must involve equal power.

She noted that clergy have more power because of the "moral and spiritual authority of the office of pastor," as well as a psychological upper hand if the parishioner has sought counseling in a moment of distress.

"This precludes the possibility of meaningful consent between a congregant and their pastor," she wrote.

The Catholic hierarchy which is already trying to stem the loss of credibility over the scandal of priests raping children has long sought to paint priest-parishioner relationships as consensual and blamed the woman for tempting the priest.

Recent scandals involving priests and bishops sexually abusing adult seminarians and nuns, however, have underscored that such cases often involve abuses of power and conscience, as well as sexual abuse.


Winfield reported from Rome.

'They were just surrounding us': Klein High School basketball player attacked

The family of a Klein High School varsity basketball player, who was attacked on school property after a football game last week, said his attackers have not been disciplined.

The victim, who prefers not to be identified, suffered a fractured jaw and other injuries. His brother helped fight off his attackers.

"They were just surrounding us," said the older brother, who also didn't want to be identified. "Dudes just come from out of nowhere and hit my little brother."

The brothers left the Klein Forest vs. Klein Cain football game Friday night just before it ended. They said they were attacked while walking to their car.

Witnesses said there were as many as 10 attackers, who were all either current Klein Forest High School students or recent graduates of the school.

"I didn't even see them kick my little brother while they were jumping me," the older brother said. "I'm trying to protect him while he's on the ground."

Richard Smiley was at the game with his sons but did not leave with them. He got a call from his older son and ran to the parking lot.

"The hardest part about it is Klein is trying to sweep this under the rug," Smiley said. "The kid, after assaulting not only my kid but several kids, was back in school."

Klein Independent School District told KPRC 2 that it is looking into the incident .

"(I'm) just traumatized right now," the older brother said. "I'm hurt, emotionally and physically, (and my brother's) hurt, emotionally, but especially physically."

The varsity basketball coach said the victim will have to sit out the upcoming season because of his injuries.

How you can buy bricks from Habitat For Humanity ReStore with Gerrit Cole's name on them

A local store is selling bricks with Gerrit Cole's name on them for every strikeout the Houston baseball star makes in a game.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore - located in northwest Houston celebrated Cole's seven strikeouts in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Yankees.

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"The 'Cole' stamped antique bricks are a rare item here and we were using them to celebrate our enthusiasm and support for the Astros in their playoff run," Reps for ReStore commented in response to one user.

ReStore is selling approximately 100 bricks for $7 each at their store in northwest Houston.

"These are most often sought after in quantities of one by people looking to have a brick with that name stamp," Reps for ReStore commented. "Sometimes they are used as an individual piece of decor or featured in the center of an accent wall or column made of brick."

KPRC has a ton of Astros content. You can find more coverage of all things Astros here. #TakeItBack

Here's what you need to know about security, road closures, detours ahead of World Series game

Security will be a top priority for city officials and emergency responders as the Astros get ready to take on the Washington Nationals in Game 1 of the World Series.

Here are a few things you need to know about security during the World Series.

1.) The Houston Police department will be out in full force.

Chief Art Acevedo said his department will have uniformed officers, crime-fighting units, the SWAT team, the bomb squad and plainclothes officers patrolling the area around Minute Maid Park.

"You will not know that there's a police officer right by you but rest assured that even when you don't see us we're going to be there, not to mention that we are using public safety cameras and other technologies to monitor the situation," Acevedo said.

2,) There will be road closures and detours near the stadium.

The closures will start at 3 p.m. and last until 1 a.m. on game days.

Here's a look at closure and detours:

View an interactive map of the closures here.

3.) Emergency responders are asking the public to stay vigilant.

They are asking the public to report suspicious activity to the nearest officer or call 911 for assistance.

4.) Fans to being asked to avoid drinking and driving by make arrangements to have a sober ride.

The HPD will be patrolling the streets to make sure no one is being unsafe.

New Houston crime lab opens in downtown Tuesday

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and other city leaders will celebrate the opening of Houston's new crime lab Tuesday morning.

The crime lab will be operated by the Houston Forensic Science Center and will provide forensic services to the City of Houston and other local agencies.

The new facility is located on the 18th floor of 500 Jefferson in downtown Houston and will process firearms, controlled substances, forensic biology, latent prints, digital forensics, crime scene, forensic audio /video and toxicology.

In an HFSC newsletter, the agency wrote that until now, "Houston's forensic laboratory has been housed in an improvised office space in the Houston Police Department's downtown headquarters."

It describes the new facility as having features "like specialized plumbing, air flow to limit contamination, durable flooring, medical grade ceiling panels, increased electrical capacity and more will accommodate growing operations over the next 30 plus years."

How to claim your free Astros World Series Watch Party voucher at Minute Maid Park

Here's how you can cheer on the Astros without having to travel to Washington D.C.

Fans can now claim their free general admission vouchers for the official Astros World Series Watch Party at Minute Maid Park.

Here are the event dates you can claim for the free vouchers:

Game 3: Friday, Oct. 25; game time: 7:07 p.m.; watch party begins at 5 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 26; game time: 7:07 p.m.; watch party begins at 5 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary): Sunday, Oct. 27; game time: 7:07 p.m; watch party begins at 5 p.m.

According to the website, all the online vouchers for games 3 and 4 have been claimed, but there will be vouchers available at Minute Maid Park when gates open for those days.

Click here to claim your free voucher.

For more information, click the link here.