Category Archives: Houston News

What we know about the 4 Houston police officers shot and 1 injured

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Photo: The Daily Beast

Two police officers are in critical but stable condition after being shot in the neck.

Overnight, HPD Chief Art Acevedo tweeted that those officers were out of surgery. Police sources told ABC13 they face a potentially long and difficult recovery.

Two others will remain hospitalized for observation, according to Chief Acevedo.

The injured officer who was shot in the shoulder was released from the hospital late Monday evening.

According to the Houston Police Department, the injured officers were transported to Memorial Hermann Medical Center hospital.

Read more from KTRK 13…

By Steven Devadanam

282627_originalThe already much-heralded University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has just scored global bragging rights. Jim Allison, a scientist at the revered health institute in Houston, has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, it was announced on October 1.

Allison, who is the chair of Immunology and executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform, is the first MD Anderson scientist to receive the world’s most coveted award for discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine.

Read more from CultureMap Dallas…

Rescue Pets and a Glamorous Crowd: A Princess and the Twins Speak Up for Homeless Pups

By Chris Daigle

Two very special animals, and those who worked to save them, came together on September 7 for the 14th Annual Fierce and Fabulous Soiree at the new Post Oak Hotel in Houston’s Galleria area.

Hosted by Houston Petset, an umbrella organization that provides grants to other animal non-profits in the greater Houston area, it was two rescue dogs from K-9 Angels Rescue that garnered most of the attention at the glam-filled event.

Kourtey Kadrich with Esperanza

Kourtney Kadrich with K-9 Angels Rescue poses with Esperanza, a black and white pit bull hoping for a forever home (Photo: Chris Daigle)

The goal of Houston Petset is to help those who are “in the trenches” on a daily basis, rescuing, spaying, neutering, fostering, adopting and protecting Houston’s animals. Houston Petset believes that the animal homelessness problem in our community has a solution.

There to greet the 400 party goers was Kourtney Kadrich and Esperanza, a young black and white pit bull, adoptable through K-9 Angels in Houston. “She was found on the streets, and K-9 Angels took over her care,’ said Kadrich. “We rescue about 1,000 a year. She was brought back to health, and she needs a forever home. She loves to cuddle and loves to be the center of attention.”

Sherry Sara with K-9 Angels Rescue in the Heights came with a cute fluffball named Einstein, who is about one year old, and available for adoption. Einstein adored all the attention and became friends with every guest in the room.

The program was emceed by KHOU Channel 11 Morning Show host Deborah Duncan. Faces in the crowd included Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and wife Gwen, former Astro Jeff Bagwell and wife Rachel, Sue and Lester Smith, Courtney Hopson, Neal Hamill of Carnan Properties, Joanne King Herring, Courtney and Bill Toomey, Frances Moody, Vivian Wise, and KPRC weathercaster Frank Billingsley.

Idential twins Tama Lindquist and Tena Lindquist Faust

Identical twins Tama Lindquist and Tena Lindquist Faust discuss the mission and accomplishments of Houston Petset (Photo: Chris Daigle)

The high energy gala chairs this year were identical twins Tama Lindquist, and Tena Lindquist Faust. Co-Chairing this year was Princess Tatiana Sierra, whose father, Prince Piotr Galitzine, is from Russian aristocracy, and her mother, Princess Maria-Anna Habsburg, is the Belgian-born granddaughter of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita, the Austrian royal family deposed at the end of World War I.

Few are more dedicated to the welfare of animals that Susan and Dan Boggio, the event’s honorees. Susan is the current Board Chair for UNICEF-USA, and with Dan, were honored for their dedication to alleviate the homelessness and suffering of our community’s animals. They foster many animals at once, and Susan personally goes out on the streets to rescue animals she has seen or heard are in danger. They financially support animal welfare organizations as well. In accepting the award, Susan repeated her heartfelt motto, “There’s nothing more important in the world one can ever do than improve the quality of life and relieve the suffering of others, whether human or animal.”

Tama Lindquist, Tena Lindquist Faust, Susan and Dan Boggio, Princess Tatiana Sierra

The gala’s honorees, Susan and Dan Boggio (center) are congratulated by (L-R): Tena Lindquist Faust, Tama Lindquist, and Princess Tatiana Sierra (Photo: Chris Daigle)

The evening capped off with a live auction, where auctioneer Jeff Smith raised big bucks for the pups, with bids on a winter catamaran trip, a New York City Broadway Experience, a Palmetto Bluff, SC four-night getaway and a Pawve dogtag necklace curated by Itouch Diamonds Jewelers, to raise a total of $500,000 to help even more animals in danger.

Esperanza and Einstein gave the event 8 paws up!

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Chris Daigle is a Houston historian, photojournalist and a regular contributor to The Grapevine Source. To read more of his articles, click HERE.

Houston legends meet with famous photojournalist

[Editor’s Note: Yes, this is satire, though the photos aren’t! Enjoy!]

Famous Houston photojournalist Chris Daigle is seen out and about in Houston social life these days, never stopping his whirlwind tour of the famous and the influential.

The Source caught up to “Deadline Daigle,” as the New York Times put it, on a recent swing through the Bayou City for his stage play, “Where’s my Pulitzer?” Fans stood in line all day just to see him.

“Wow! He’s going to be right here!” said former Oiler quarterback Dan Pastorini. “I hope I get a picture with him!”  Dave Ward, a fixture of Houston news for five decades, said that he wouldn’t miss meeting Daigle for the world. “I just hope there’s donuts there, ’cause I’m camping out for this!” He also commented on his longevity on Houston’s ABC 13. “When I started in news, the Dead Sea wasn’t even sick yet.”

By special arrangement with his security detail, both Dave Ward and Dan Pastorini did indeed get a selfie with Chris Daigle. “Now I can die happy! My bucket list is complete,” said Dave Ward, now 79. 

Way to go Dan and Dave!

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Chris Daigle is a Houston Historian and a regular contributor to The Grapevine Source. He may be contacted at blue69@att.net.

The ‘Blobfish’ takes the trophy in Kimmel vs. Cruz Charity Basketball game

By Chris Daigle

The much anticipated charity basketball face-off between late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and Texas senator Ted Cruz has come and gone. Cruz was the victor with a score of 11 to 9.

Trash talk was thick between Kimmel and Cruz before their game in Houston on Saturday June 16 at Texas Southern University’s Athletic Education Arena.

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Blobfish

The idea for this charity game resulted from Houston-based senator Ted Cruz tweeting a picture of himself court side for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. His hometown Houston Rockets were trying to keep the Golden State Warriors from getting to the NBA Finals. The Rockets lost, which prompted talk show host Jimmy Kimmel to mock the senator on Twitter, saying he looked like, well, a Blobfish.

Cruz, a basketball benchwarmer in high school, was nonetheless swooshing the hoops playing Varsity about the same time Kimmel was tooting around on his clarinet. Cruz said in a recent interview that he wasn’t taking this insult lying down. “And so I sent a tweet,” Cruz said. “All right big guy, you talk a good game! You have besmirched my support for the Houston Rockets. Let’s settle this man-to-man, one-on-one hoops.”

During a broadcast of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel said he was in.

“I immediately went online and Googled how to guard a blobfish. I’ll accept on one condition: We both wear short shorts, right?” Kimmel asked.

Wrong, said Cruz.

So it was settled. The late night talk show host and the Texas senator squared off in the gym on the campus of Texas Southern University. The contest benefitted two charities: Generation One, based in the Third Ward in Houston (Cruz’s choice). Its mission is to, “Be a catalyst for systemic change in the education system, by creating an equitable educational landscape across the city.”  Kimmel chose Texas Children’s Hospital, because his one-year-old son Billy has had three heart surgeries, and is waiting on a fourth.

The choice of an arena was a little more challenging. The advance team first considered a middle school gymnasium, and they even looked at using the George R. Brown Convention Center. Texas Southern University stepped up and offered its Athletics Education Arena, which fit perfectly. There, the challenge would commence: The American versus the Canadian; the baller versus the blobfish. It would turn out to be the Blobfish Basketball Classic.

Cruz wasn’t guaranteeing victory going in, but he made one promise: “Under no circumstances will Kimmel dunk on me. I’ll pull his shorts down to the ground rather than let him get to the rim.”

Fanfare is something Kimmel knows about, and his arrival came amidst lights and smoke, and with him was, naturally, a mascot: A blobfish mascot named “Blobby.” Kimmel said he carbo-loaded to get ready for the game. He practiced a little last week, but after 25 years of not playing basketball regularly, “I decided to wing it,” he said.

During the game, Kimmel and Cruz had brief discussions about detention centers and Cruz’s support for President Donald Trump. “This won’t be the first time you lose to a TV host,” Kimmel said. He also asked Cruz why he didn’t support covering pre-existing conditions. Booing from the decidedly pro-Kimmel crowd drowned out the Senator’s answer.

Senator Cruz had his fan base out there, and they had their cut-outs of his face to wave. The Kimmel fans had theirs as well, and a noticeable mixture of boos from the Kimmel fans upon each Cruz basket was heard, but no boos from the Cruz camp were noticeable.

Cruz and Kimmel proved they should each keep their day jobs, missing more than 100 shots between the two of them during the game. Cruz joked that they also set the Guinness World Record for fouls.

The pace of the game, however, became a matter of Kimmel keeping up with Cruz. Lead scoring was by Cruz, then Kimmel would rally for a tie game three times. But he just couldn’t pass Cruz. The original plan was that the first 15 points would win on this half court, one basket, one-on-one challenge, but early on, both decided to shorten the game to an 11-point winner.

At half time, the score was Kimmel 6, Cruz 5, and the blobfish decided to hold a dance competition. Blobby showed his style by doing three backflips in a fish costume. That took some practice!

Cruz and Kimmel kept the defense tight, but both got lucky on long shot baskets. Kimmel had a better cheering section. Oddsmakers were watching the game too. The Texas senator was favored to beat Kimmel by sports book Bouada. And Las Vegas was begging fans to take the talk show host at 8/5 odds. Cruz was listed at -220 , or 5/11, which basically meant to win $100, fans had to plunk down $220, and hope that Cruz would prevail. At a height of 5’10” to Kimmel’s six feet, perhaps that is not a good enough payout for low stakes prop betting. Cruz, who is three years younger than Kimmel, appeared to have the girth advantage, which helped out in the paint. Plus, some high school basketball time came in very handy.

Things heated up as the score tied, then Cruz was ahead. It was 10 to 8, then 10 to 9 (Cruz). It was a cliffhanger, folks! The crowd was on its feet! Cruz needed one more basket! Kimmel pressed his defense, but Cruz broke to the outside and took a shot…IT’S GOOD!

Ted Cruz won the Blobfish Basketball Classic! No more boos were heard as the arena erupted, confetti was fired, and Kimmel looked astonished. It took almost two hours, but Ted Cruz made the oddsmakers drop their cigars.

“Is that the ugliest game winning shot you’ve ever seen?” Cruz asked. Kimmel said, “I know I’m not a great basketball player, but I’m at least as good at the game as Senator Cruz is at being a senator.”

The real winners in this tournament were the charities. Generation One in the Third Ward received $30,000 and Texas Children’s Hospital received $10,000.

When complimented on his winning shot from the outside, Cruz said, “Next time I’ll try to open my eyes.” Rematch, anyone?

***  

Chris Daigle is a Houston Historian and a regular contributor to The Grapevine Source. He may be contacted at blue69@att.net.

President Trump visits Houston, Dallas

President Trump visited Houston today (May 31, 2018) to speak to the families and community leaders affected by the shooting at Santa Fe High School on May 20, 2018. He also attended fundraisers and, as of this publishing, is en route to Dallas for a brief appearance at an undisclosed event.

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Videos courtesy of Chris Daigle, a regular contributor to The Grapevine Source. He may be contacted at blue69@att.net. Read his articles HERE.

Weekend total closure scheduled for Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge

HCN NEWS SERVICES

568eb27318a61.imageThe Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) plans a total closure of the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge the weekend of Friday, Jan.8 – Monday, Jan. 11 to convert the bridge to all-electronic tolling. When the bridge reopens, cash toll payment will no longer be accepted in the lanes. Drivers will need an EZ TAG or other type of interoperable toll tag on their vehicle to drive across the bridge and avoid a toll violation.

During the closure, construction crews will remove all toll booths, coin machines and demolish the plaza canopy. The changes will improve traffic flow by allowing drivers to cross the bridge without stopping to pay or having to merge with traffic that has stopped to pay at the toll booths.

Closure Details

8 p.m. Friday, January 8 – 5 a.m. Monday, January 11, 2016

Northbound traffic will be required to exit the Sam Houston Tollway at Pasadena/Red Bluff Road. As an alternate, northbound drivers can access SH-225 westbound to IH-610 and eastbound to SH 146.

Southbound traffic will be required to exit at Jacinto Port. Southbound traffic on the tollway will have access to the direct connectors to IH-10 westbound to IH-610 and to IH-10 eastbound through Channelview. All closures are subject to change due to inclement weather or emergencies.

Additionally, the IH 10 main lanes will be closed eastbound and westbound from Magnolia to Beltway 8 East beginning Friday, January 8 at 10 p.m. through Saturday, January 9 at noon. However, the IH 10 frontage road will remain open.

HCTRA has coordinated with Precinct 2 and other agencies to ensure that drivers will have alternate routes during the bridge closure.

The Lynchburg Ferry will operate extended hours from 9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 9 and Sunday, January 10. The Washburn Tunnel will maintain its normal hours of operation. Multi-axle vehicles, including 18 wheelers are prohibited from using the Washburn Tunnel.

Benefits of AET

EZ TAG-only tolling improves safety, reduces congestion and increases operational efficiency. Between 2011 and 2015, transactions at the Ship Channel Bridge increased by more than 40 percent. EZ TAG traffic at the toll plaza currently exceeds available capacity during peak travel times, and toll transactions are projected to grow another 15 percent by 2017. Cash users will save money by switching to EZ TAG. The current cash rate is $2.00 at the SCB plaza and $1.50 for customers will a toll tag.

Payment Options

Drivers without an EZ TAG can set up an account online using a major credit/debit card or a bank account or visit one of HCTRA’s EZ TAG stores.

Additionally, HCTRA has partnered with BancPass, an innovator in toll payment solutions, to develop a new, cash-reloadable type of EZ TAG account. For cash-preferred customers who don’t want to provide a credit card for automatic billing (required for a traditional EZ TAG account with HCTRA), the new EZ TAG powered by BancPass lets users pay cash, and pay-as-you-go.

Impact to Toll Collectors

Toll collectors currently assigned to the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge Plaza will be transferred to available jobs at other plazas. At this time, HCTRA does not foresee a need to eliminate employment positions.

About HCTRA

The Harris County Toll Road Authority does not receive local, state or federal tax money. HCTRA is an Enterprise Fund of Harris County and relies on revenue from users to fund operations, maintenance, debt service and future projects. HCTRA operates 126 miles including the Sam Houston Tollway, Tomball Tollway, Hardy Toll Road, Westpark Tollway, Katy Managed Lanes and the Ship Channel Bridge.

MAJOR DELAYS AHEAD AS TXDOT CLOSES HOUSTON FREEWAYS

423500_630x354This weekend, expect some major delays around town. It’s the first weekend many TxDOT crews are back on the roads after the holidays.

First, I-10 is going to be shut down in both directions at I-45 right in the heart of downtown Houston. The eastbound lanes from the Katy or Galleria area will be closed from 8pm this evening until 5am on Monday morning. If you’re heading westbound from Baytown, your lanes will be blocked on Saturday from 6am to 6pm.

Read more at KTRK…

Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton has passed away

Photo: Jason Fochtman

Photo: Jason Fochtman

Astros Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton passed away this morning in Houston. He was 88 years old.

Hamilton’s 60 seasons of broadcasting Major League Baseball are second all-time to Vin Scully’s record of 66 seasons. Although he broadcast for other clubs, Hamilton is best known for his long tenure as the radio voice of the Houston Astros. Hamilton joined the Astros radio broadcast team in 1985, and would remain as the primary, play-by-play voice until his retirement following the 2012 season. Following his retirement, Hamilton served as a guest radio commentator for select Astros home games from 2013-15, with his final stint in the booth coming this season on Sunday, June 28, during the Astros-Yankees game at Minute Maid Park.

Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan released the following statement regarding Hamilton’s passing:

“Today, the entire Astros family and many throughout the baseball world are mourning the loss of our friend, Milo Hamilton. For decades, Milo had a special connection with the Houston community, bringing Astros baseball to the cars and homes of fans throughout the great state of Texas and beyond. During his legendary career, we enjoyed the privilege of Milo calling some of the greatest moments in Astros history. In addition to his great work in the booth, Milo was also an outstanding ambassador for Astros baseball, a mantle he carried with a great deal of pride. While we mourn his sad passing, we should also celebrate Milo’s long, wonderful career. He was one of the all-time greats and a true icon whose contributions to the game and beyond will be remembered always.”

The Astros will announce plans to honor Hamilton’s legacy in the near future.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Milo Hamilton, the Frick Award-winning Houston Astros broadcaster and team advisor, who was 88:

“During his 60 years covering our game, Milo became one of the National Pastime’s most distinguished announcers, serving seven different Major League Clubs. He chronicled some of our game’s most historic moments during the era of Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Ernie Banks. As ‘The Voice of the Astros’ since 1985, he ushered into the homes of fans Houston’s first World Series appearance, the Hall of Fame careers of Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio, and countless other memories.

“I enjoyed spending time with Milo during my trip to Houston earlier in this resurgent season for the Astros, and it was a pleasure to correspond with him in recent months. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Milo’s family, friends, admirers throughout the game and to all Astros fans.”

Prior to arriving in Houston, Hamilton’s Major League broadcasting career included stints with St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

Globally, Hamilton is widely-known for his radio call of Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run on April 8, 1974, while serving as the Braves play-by-play announcer. Hamilton and Aaron had a special bond that remained intact long after he left the Braves organization. When the Astros honored Hamilton’s career with a special night in 2012, Aaron made the trip to Houston to speak at the event.

Other highlights from Hamilton’s illustrious career include calling 11 no-hitters and serving as the play-by-play announcer for the 1979 World Champion Pirates ballclub.

Calls from his Astros career that are immortalized in franchise history include Nolan Ryan’s 4,000th career strikeout, Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit, Chris Burke’s historic, 18th-inning walkoff home run in Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series and the Astros pennant -winning, Game 6 victory at St. Louis in the 2005 NLCS. Hamilton also called the Astros record-setting, six-pitcher no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 2003.

In 1992, Hamilton received the broadcasting industry’s highest honor, receiving the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Overall, he was inducted in to six Halls of Fame during his illustrious career. In 2009, in honor of his 25th season in Houston, a street outside Minute Maid Park was renamed Milo Hamilton Way by the City of Houston. Later that year, Hamilton was named “King of Baseball” by Minor League Baseball at the Annual MLB Winter Meetings.

Outside the broadcast booth, Hamilton became known for his fine work as a master of ceremonies at Astros-related events and celebrations, including several pregame, player retirement ceremonies. He also served as the host of the Astros Opening Day ceremonies each year, even taking part in the 2015 Opening Day festivities in a reduced role.

For many years, Hamilton also served as the host of the Astros long-running, offseason radio talk show, Astroline, which he hosted up until 2014. Hamilton was also a staple on the Astros Winter Caravan each season, entertaining fans at dozens of locations, with stops as far as Corpus Christi.

“We were extremely fortunate to have Milo as a part of our organization,” said Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane. “An entire generation of Astros fans grew up listening to Milo. He truly is an icon and was synonymous with Astros baseball for many years. Milo was a great asset not only for the Astros, but also for the City of Houston as well.”