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Indonesian festival highlights culture, Houston ties at Jones Plaza

Best friends Devin Neugebauer and Nyson Rizqi have attended the annual Houston Indonesian Festival with their parents since they were pint-size. Now in middle school and high school, the two volunteered at the festival’s first year at Jones Plaza on Saturday. Previously called the Indonesian Culinary Festival, the event started in 2014 to showcase Houston’s various diverse communities. “I feel like the most important thing is learning about where you come from,” said Neugebauer, who attends Th

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Houston streets ‘chalk’-full of art to support hearing loss center

Colombian artist Camilo González uses chalk to sketch a taco truck driving by an urban shopping center. González’s emerging artwork — one of hundreds of Texas-themed chalk murals lining the streets surrounding City Hall on Saturday — is part of the Via Colori street painting festival, featuring 200 artists raising money for children with hearing loss and The Center for Hearing and Speech. “I’ve always been interested in activating art and doing something else with it and not just art by itself

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Vandalized Pride Wall to be removed

The BeVisible Pride Wall at Jenni's Noodle House in the Heights will be removed after being vandalized, the restaurant's co-owner said. Scott Tranweaver said the wall will be painted white on Wednesday, covering a colorful rainbow and the words that vandals scrawled over it. He said that the landlord does not want the wall to be a target for future vandalism that encourages hate. "I have now been limited to what I am allowed to put up because I do not own the building," Jenni's Noodle House sa

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New mural represents pioneering African American activists

Dozens gathered on Monday to celebrate a new mural that depicts pictures of eight African American activists in tile mosaics with a colorful background that was inspired by church stain glass windows. “We’re hoping that this will inspire others,” Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis said. “Whether they are in visual businesses, homes or other churches, and to also take an interest in art that has a social justice purpose.” The artwork, Sacred Struggles/Vibrant Justice Mural, is painted alon

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Nutcracker Market a favorite tradition for Houston families

Coming to the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is the Laqua family’s favorite part of the Christmas season. Bellaire-area residents Sarah Laqua and her husband Travis Laqua shopped for hand-crafted food and boutique clothing Saturday with their two 7-month old twins Griffin and Everett. Sarah said she is an avid Nutcracker Market fan and has gone every year since 2004. “The Christmas spirit makes me feel happy, despite a lot of things that are happening at work and life,” Sarah Laqua said. “I

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Program aims to sharpen driving skills of Houston teens

Andrea Coughlin-Rowley and Gary Coleman watched their youngest son on Saturday practice how to regain control of his car if it skids or if he is forced to abruptly turn and brake. Preston Rowley, 16, is the last of their children to attend the Tire Rack Street Survival driving school at the Houston Police Academy. The national non-profit program teaches 15- to 21-year-olds through hands-on experience how to avoid driving hazards that are all-too frequent on Houston roads. “Basically, (we’re) t

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Korean Fest serves up sampling of music, food and culture

For the new K-pop boy band Baikal, headlining the 10th annual Houston Korean Festival was their first opportunity to perform in the United States since their debut in September. The South Korean music group rehearsed on stage at Discovery Green Saturday morning to prepare for it evening show, one of more than a dozen performances at this weekend’s Korean Festival. To celebrate its 10-year mark, the Korean American Society of Houston booked more international acts, including five from South Kore

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Armenian festival honors refugees, survivors

As the parish council treasurer of the St. Kevork Armenian Church, Ani Frankian serves as an informal ambassador for both her church and homeland at events like Saturday’s 2018 Houston Armenian Festival. She explains how her church send funds to the Armenian-Syrians, and to their sister church on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan. “To continue doing the festival is important because we want people to know who Armenians are and what the Armenian community does, and we also want to give back

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After Harvey, UH athletes pay it forward to Florence victims

A plea from University of Houston’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampon last year after Hurricane Harvey battered the community was met with a resounding response _ thousands of boxes of T-shirts and shoes came from athletic departments from across the nation. Now, as East Coast residents prepare to begin recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence drenched the Carolinas, killing at least 17 people, Cougars and the UH athletics department are ready to give back. “I know a lot of people came out to he

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Hundreds gather for Fiestas Patrias Parade

Gloria Gonzalez arrived in downtown Houston early Saturday to watch her first-ever Fiestas Patrias Parade, the 50th annual one thrown in Houston to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. “It’s something you teach your family members,” she said. “Just like how the U.S. fought for independence here, we also fought for freedom too.” Sept. 16, 1810 is the day Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest and leader of the Mexican War of Independence, called for Mexicans to rebel against the mon

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Aldine residents still recovering after Harvey

Aldine resident Juan Cazares lived with his aunt and two dog in a house on Halls Bayous that took on a foot-and-a-half of water during Hurricane Harvey. The family remains displaced, living in a small garage nearby. “The house is still a mess,” he said. “Nothing has been repaired.” He admits it can be frustrating, mostly for his aunt who loves cooking. “She gets depressed,” he said. “She loves cooking for people.” Cazares is one of the many people visited Saturday by staff and volunteers from

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Harris County health program to focus on reducing childhood lead poisoning

Harris County Public Health officials are targeting childhood lead poisoning, creating a program they hope will prevent further cases, agency officials said this week. The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is already working with 40 children with elevated blood lead levels and expect more, the agency said in an email Wednesday. They plan to create a database to track and monitor cases throughout the county. The announcement of the new program comes as cities across the country are de

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4 linked to dozens of aggravated robberies, sex assaults in Houston area

Spring A Spring-area man was accused in late August 2018 of attacking a man, then punching the man in the face because the victim would not use an illegal substance. A witness to that attack reported that the suspect then went to the witness' house and slashed that person's car tires. When deputies arrived to arrest the suspect, he allegedly attacked the arresting officer, the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office reports.

Houston dad charged after son's death, apparently at daughter's hands

The strangulation death of a 1-year-old boy apparently at the hands of his 6-year-old sister has led to a criminal charge against the father who left them alone in his vehicle during a shopping spree. Adrian Middleton, 26, told authorities he left his two young children in the back seat of his car on May 20 while he went inside a thrift store for nearly two hours near Jacinto City. When he returned to the car, his son was unconscious with a seat belt wrapped around his neck. Middleton’s daught

Man arrested in 13 robbery, burglary cases targeting Houston-area Asian community

The attacker had a specific type of victim: Asians, primarily women, many who lived in a community west of Houston's Chinatown. For more than a year, he stalked them, sometimes for days, before stealing their jewelry, high-end purses, and large amounts of money, according to the Houston Police Department. Some of the incidents were violent, as when he allegedly bound a victim and threatened her with a gun at her home. On Tuesday, police said a man,  who was already in jail on an unrelated char

Houston teen dies in car crash near Bryan

An 18-year-old from Houston died in a car crash Friday north of Bryan after losing control of her car and drifting into the opposite lane, a spokesman with the Texas Department of Public Safety said. Chelsea Spratlin was driving southbound on Highway 6 just south of Calvert around 5:30 p.m. when her 2009 Toyota drifted into the path of a 2013 Ford, the DPS spokesman said. Spratlin's car was hit on the passenger side. Spratlin was pronounced dead at the site of the crash in Robertson County. T

Pasadena ISD investigating report of teacher misconduct

Pasadena ISD police are investigating a report of misconduct by a substitute teacher that involved a student at Jessup Elementary School, a spokesman for the school district said. The investigation began after "a report of inappropriate conduct" was reported by a student to the school principal around 4 p.m. on Friday. The school district is working to interview all the children in the classroom, said Art Del Barrio, the district spokesman. The name of the teacher is not being released at this

Man charged in neighbor's stabbing at Greenspoint apartment complex

A 22-year-old man has been charged in the stabbing of his 51-year-old neighbor at a Greenspoint area apartment complex on Sunday, police said. Police said the victim, Daniel Paniagua, was stabbed multiple times with a knife at the complex on the 13000 block of Northborough around 1 a.m. Paniagua was in stable condition when he arrived at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital. The suspect, Travis Lynch, was arrested at the scene on Sunday, police said. He has been charged with aggravated assault.

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