Jay R. Jordan
Mar 24, 2023 - News

Biden briefed on Texas takeover of Houston ISD

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, wearing a red jacket and black scarf, looks up toward President Joe Biden as the two speak with one another.

Photo courtesy of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's office

The Texas Education Agency's takeover of Houston ISD now has the attention of the White House.

Driving the news: Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee briefly spoke with President Joe Biden on Wednesday about the takeover.

Jay R. Jordan
Mar 23, 2023 - News

Downtown Houston's street dining is now permanent

A photo of Main Street in downtown Houston, with a barricade reading "MORE SPACE" and a train in the background

Finn Hall's outdoor dining includes greenery. Photo: Jay R. Jordan/Axios

Houston's program allowing bars and restaurants to take over street space considered lightly used is here to stay.

What's happening: The More Space: Main Street program allows bars and restaurants along a seven-block stretch of Main Street between Commerce and Rusk streets to permanently expand their seating capacity into the road between the sidewalk and the Metro's Red Line.

Shafaq Patel
Mar 23, 2023 - News

Whole Woman's Health opens New Mexico abortion clinic

Illustration of a pill with an unlocked padlock top

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Nine months after Roe v. Wade was overturned and abortion clinics were shuttered in Texas, Whole Woman's Health opened its long-awaited abortion clinic in New Mexico on Thursday.

Why it matters: After abortion clinics in Texas had to close last summer — including the Whole Woman's Health clinics in Austin, McAllen, Fort Worth and McKinney — pregnant Texans seeking abortions had to travel hundreds of miles for the procedure.

Maternal mortality rate spike, disparities continue

Data: CDC. Chart: Nicki Camberg/Axios

The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. spiked in 2021, with deaths disproportionately impacting Black women.

Why it matters: The U.S. still has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, and previous research has largely attributed that to an outsized prevalence among Black mothers, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

Texas' surplus money could preserve parks

A photo of a lake and a tree

Martin Dies Jr. State Park outside Jasper. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

A proposed state bill calls for the creation of a Texas Land and Water Conservation Fund, which would use surplus money to expand public parks and preserve water resources.

Driving the news: Republican state Rep. Justin Holland of Rockwall filed House Bill 3165 this month to take $2 billion from Texas' rainy-day fund, which is expected to reach $27.1 billion in the next two-year budget, to create the fund.

Evictions rising in Houston, new data shows

Reproduced from Eviction Lab; Chart: Axios Visuals

Eviction filings in Houston have exceeded early pandemic levels, according to data compiled by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University.

Driving the news: Sweeping local and national eviction moratoriums helped keep many families in their homes through the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since those moratoriums have ended, many Americans are once again exposed to the threat of displacement.

Shafaq Patel
Mar 20, 2023 - News

Endangered tortoises have three hatchlings at Houston Zoo

Photo of three baby tortoises

The baby tortoises. Photo: Jackelin Reyna/Houston Zoo

The oldest animal at the Houston Zoo just became a father to three baby tortoises.

Driving the cuteness: Mr. Pickles, a 90-year-old radiated tortoise, and his partner, Mrs. Pickles, 53, are now the parents of Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeño.

Texas bills would ban schools from serving as polling sites

Illustration of a felt pennant with a checkmark on it being covered in a felt no-sign.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A Texas representative is proposing to ban voting on school campuses statewide.

Why it matters: Texas regularly has lower voter turnout than the rest of the country, and the state has repeatedly added new restrictions tied to voting.


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