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Trial set in Astroworld lawsuit involving 9-year-old victim

Despite settlements in nine of the 10 wrongful death lawsuits filed after the deadly Astroworld festival in 2021, legal woes still aren't over for organizers of the concert.

In a conference on May 14, 11th District Court Judge Kristine Hawkins set a Sept. 10 start date for the final wrongful death lawsuit, according to the Associated Press. That lawsuit was filed by the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest of 10 victims in the fatal crowd crush.

The move comes less than a week after

Longtime Houston weatherman Frank Billingsley leaving KPRC 2

Frank Billingsley, the beloved ginger-haired meteorologist who has been bringing weather reports to Houstonians for more than three decades, will depart KPRC 2 on June 28, according to a new interview with Culturemap.

Billingsley, who joined Channel 2 as chief meteorologist in 1995, is the longest-running TV weather person in Houston, according to the publication. He previously spent six years as the weekend weather anchor at KTRK.

"I'm going to take a break and see what it's like not to wear

Live Nation announces settlements in 9 Astroworld lawsuits

Representatives for Live Nation Entertainment told the court during a pretrial hearing on May 8 that settlements have been reached in nine of the 10 lawsuits filed by families of the victims. Several of the lawsuits had been lumped together for pretrial hearings due to the huge nature of the proceedings, which included defendants Apple, Live Nation, rapper Travis Scott, and numerous subcontractors.

The terms of the settlements in the cases are confidential. Only one lawsuit, filed by the family

Houstonians will finally hear testimony on Astroworld tragedy

The first civil lawsuit in the 2021 Astroworld Festival disaster, in which 10 people were killed during a crowd crush, is set to begin as soon as May 6. The suit marks the first time a public jury will hear testimony in the case, brought to the court by the family of 23-year-old victim Madison Dubiski. Hundreds of suits have been brought against dozens of plaintiffs involved in planning the festival, including rapper Travis Scott, entertainment company Live Nation, tech giant Apple, and numerous

Appeals court blocks Texas' controversial book rating law

An appeals court has yet again dealt a blow to a controversial book-rating law that would have required Texas booksellers to individually rate books they sell based on whether the works contain depictions or references to sex.

The move came on April 16, when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-8 not to rehear the case after a three-judge panel ruled that the law, known as the Reader Act, was unconstitutional.

The law, previously known as HB 900, was passed during the 2023 Texas legis

Houston’s temporary tattoo shop lasted less time than its ink

Ephemeral, the company which opened a storefront in the bustling Montrose shopping district in September 2022, has already closed up shop. In true Houston fashion, it's in the process of being replaced by Bahama Mama, a popular local smoke shop chain. It's unclear exactly when the ink shop closed, but the storefront, at 1665 Westheimer Road, has been vacant for the past few months.

Ephemeral rose to fame in 2021 by offering "commitment free" tattoos—made with real ink and applied using a real t

Texas Eclipse Fest was canceled for weather—it was worse inside

The festival hosted at the sprawling Reveille Peak Ranch began on Friday, April 6, and was supposed to close on Tuesday, April 9. Instead, organizers announced around 10 a.m. on April 8 that the festival was shutting down early due to severe weather. At the time, many festival attendees were eagerly awaiting the start of the eclipse, set to begin around noon that same day, with totality occurring around 1:30 p.m.

"We regret to inform you of the severe weather forecast, including risks of high w

Drake dropped from huge Astroworld lawsuit

Drake has been dropped from at least one class action lawsuit filed in the wake of the 2021 Astroworld Festival crowd crush incident that left 10 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Thousands of lawsuits were filed in the aftermath of the concert. The Toronto-born rapper, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, was listed as one of dozens of defendants in a class-action lawsuit filed in Harris County alleging negligence in the planning and execution of the event. Other defendants include Travis Sc

Federal judge blocks Houston from ticketing Food Not Bombs volunteers

The order was handed down late Wednesday afternoon, just hours before Houston Food Not Bombs was set to commence its regular food-sharing service at Downtown's Central Library. Wednesday marked the first time in nearly a year that FNB volunteers were not ticketed for violating the law.

The loosely affiliated volunteer group sued the city in January, arguing that the decade-old anti-feeding ordinance was a violation of the group's First Amendment rights. The lawsuit claimed that FNB's four-times

VIDEO: Violent arrest, tasing mar Houston Food Not Bombs event

The incident happened outside the Central Library in Downtown Houston on Jan. 3 during one of FNB's regular outreach events for unhoused Houstonians. According to FNB volunteer Nick Cooper, a group of Harris County constables—"four cars worth"—showed up at the library to serve a warrant on an FNB volunteer. During the arrest, another volunteer was tased and also brought into custody. Cooper said Houston Police, who have been regularly ticketing FNB volunteers for violating Houston's decade-old f

Tilman Fertitta buys key property on Houston's Memorial Drive

Billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta has purchased a plot of land just outside Memorial Park in an apparent bid to expand his dining and entertainment empire, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The 1.63-acre site at 5757 Memorial Drive is mere meters away from the restaurant Brenner's on the Bayou and its event space White House, both of which are owned by Fertitta's hospitality company, Landry's. A Comerica Bank branch currently occupies the property, which is two stories high and 17,829 s

Pride Houston 365 to host fall festival in addition to summer parade

Pride Houston 365, which will host the 46th annual Houston Pride Celebration in summer 2024, has announced a new event to its lineup—a fall pride festival scheduled for next October.

The announcement comes after the group decided to cancel the 2023 Pride Festival this past June due to excessive heat and funding issues. According to Pride Houston 365, the 2022 festival, which typically takes place during the daytime, before the annual Pride Parade, was beset with heat injuries and other medical

Groom of $59M viral wedding faces prison for shooting at Texas police

The groom of a $59 million mega-wedding that went viral on social media last month is now facing charges that could put him in prison for life after pulling a gun on North Texas police officers earlier this year.

Jacob LaGrone, 29, who lives near Fort Worth in the small community of Westworth Village, made a court appearance in the case on Nov. 30, according to the Dallas Morning News. The incident happened in March, and LaGrone was indicted in August.

After the indictment, but before the Nov.

Grinch terrorizes Texas schoolchildren with ‘Santa is fake’ sign

A Texas man has drawn the ire of parents recently after dressing up as the Grinch and standing outside an Amarillo elementary school with a sign that read, "Santa is fake, Jesus is real."

David Harold Grisham, who refers to himself on Facebook as a "street preacher," was accosted by parents of Sleepy Hollow Elementary School in Amarillo on Nov. 27 after what he calls his "Grinch preach." Video filmed by Grisham and uploaded to YouTube shows at least two parents accosting the man during what app

Two Houston Pride groups come to agreement in trademark dispute

Pride Houston 365 originally sued New Faces of Pride on Oct. 23, accusing the newly formed non-profit of intentionally creating confusion among advertisers, vendors, sponsors and attendees by using a similar name and logo to Pride Houston 365 to promote its events. The lawsuit asked for an injunction preventing New Faces from marketing their events until the lawsuit was heard. New Faces of Pride Houston is also planning a pride parade for 2024.

During a hearing in district court on Nov. 3, Judg

Woman sues Toyota Center for injuries sustained during concert

A Texas woman is suing the owners of the Toyota Center after she says she was injured when an allegedly drunk concertgoer fell on her during a Karol G performance in September of last year.

The lawsuit, filed in Harris Count on Oct. 25, names Clutch City Sports & Entertainment, L.P.; Pritchard Sports & Entertainment Group Ltd., and Levy Premium Foodservice, L.L.C., and alleges that they failed to provide a safe environment, failed to warn of or eliminate dangerous conditions at the venue, and t

Houston teens perform plays bearing witness to gun violence

Cotey had already been inspired by the student movement that emerged after the Parkland, Florida, shooting, with survivors like David Hogg and Emma González becoming more politically active in the effort to prevent future mass shootings. Cotey decided to offer his own resources—knowledge of the theater, and a literal stage—to help amplify the voices of other student activists. Thus was born Enough! Plays to End Gun Violence, a reading series featuring short plays written by preteens and teens fr

Houston receives grant to address homelessness with art

This is the third time Bloomberg has offered the grants as part of its Public Art Challenge, which is meant to address important civic issues in cities across the country. In the previous round, in 2018, five cities were chosen, and the initiative generated more than $100 million in economic benefits for those cities' economies. Houston's project is the first proposal in three rounds to address the issue of homelessness.

Cynthia Alvarado, director of operations for the Midtown Management Distri

Pride v. Pride: Longtime Houston LGBTQ organization sues upstart

The suit, which was filed Oct. 25 in Harris County, accuses the newly formed nonprofit New Faces of Pride Houston of intentionally creating confusion among advertisers, vendors, sponsors and attendees by using a similar name and logo to Pride Houston 365 to promote its events. New Faces of Pride Houston is also planning a pride parade for 2024.

The suit requests a temporary restraining order and injunctions against New Faces of Pride, preventing them from marketing their events until the case i

Zach Bryan fans angry after 'poorly ran' College Station festival

"We understand attendees’ frustration concerning traffic flow in and out of the venue and acknowledge we have some work to do and have already started on new ways to alleviate traffic congestion," event organizers said in a statement, according to KBTX. "We take pride in delivering a great consumer experience and acknowledge we missed the mark in certain areas."

Organizers noted that parking lots opened two hours earlier than originally planned to alleviate traffic and that the venue had not ru

Two new Astroworld lawsuits filed against Travis Scott

Two new lawsuits have been filed against the organizers of the fatal 2021 Astroworld music festival, representing more than 40 plaintiffs combined.

The lawsuits, which were filed in Harris County on Oct 12. and Oct. 17, respectively, name a litany of defendants, including rappers Travis Scott and Drake, Live Nation Entertainment, Apple, and several of the agencies who provided security for the festival. Each lawsuit is asking for $1 million in damages.

Ten people died and hundreds more were in

Truck finally removed from Buffalo Bayou after 11 months

The truck has been stuck in the middle of Buffalo Bayou behind the mountain bike trails at the park for almost a year. The truck's owner, 29-year-old Alejandro Torres, was reported missing by his family in November after he was last seen at a bar on Washington Avenue on Nov. 27. On Nov. 29, a hiker in Memorial Park reported seeing the truck submerged in the water near the Aqua mountain bike trail on the south side of the park. On Dec. 3, Torres' body was recovered from the water by police divers

Lawsuits allege 'missing' West U man faked his disappearance

A West University developer and father of three who went missing over the summer is now being sued by investors and home buyers who claim he faked his own disappearance in order to hide financial malfeasance.

Two new lawsuits, which were filed in Harris County on Oct. 4, include allegations that Brett Detamore took cash advances that were meant to be used to purchase construction materials for new homes and instead used them to fund a "lavish lifestyle". The suit also alleges that Detamore crea

Texas ranks second in the country for successful book bans

The study, which was released Sept. 21 and compiled by free expression nonprofit PEN America, shows that over the 2022–23 school year, 625 titles were banned by public school districts in the state, including titles by Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and John Green. That's second in the country, behind only Florida, which banned a whopping 1,406 titles.

The study also shows that book bans are becoming more common throughout the country, with 33 percent more bans happening in the 22–23 academic
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