The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
A letter from bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, filled with vengeance and vitriol, will be up for auction in Boston this September. The Dallas Morning News reports that Bonnie Parker penned the letter on behalf of Clyde Barrow.
The target of Clyde’s ire was Raymond Hamilton.
Hamilton defected from the Dallas-affiliated Barrow gang after an issue with his girlfriend. He also made the case that he had nothing to do with the havoc the infamous couple wreaked. So Clyde hit Hamilton with some tough talk in a letter:
“I know that some day they will get me but it won’t be without resistance. Maybe you can talk yourself out of the ‘chair.’ Or maybe you write a few more letters – try one to the governor – at least it will gain you some publicity.”
Clyde was right – Hamilton wasn’t able to talk his way off death row. He was executed in 1935.
It’s been a little over a year since Houston Metro overhauled its bus system. Kyle Shelton, a program manager and fellow at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, says it happened literally overnight – on August 16 last year.
“They transformed all of the bus stops from the old network to the new network,” Shelton says. “And the whole goal was to improve [the] frequency of bus routes and to rationalize the system.”
Since the changes were made, ridership on the city’s buses and light-rail system are up 6.8 percent. And Shelton says that’s because it’s a lot easier to use now. Before the new plan was in place, buses ran on something called a hub-and-spoke system.
“There is usually a central station – in Houston, it’s the downtown transit station – and what typical networks do, is that it’s sort of the centroid, and then routes feed into that,” he says.
So basically, no matter where you were going you had to go through downtown. The new system is a grid that tries to avoid that when possible.
“The grid allows for not only much more simplified routes but a lot more easier connections,” Shelton says. “And the agency really focused on providing the most frequent service possible to the most riders possible.”
METRO’s focus on reaching as many riders as possible meant some areas lost their bus routes altogether. But at least one community on Houston’s east side actually got METRO to route back through their neighborhood, as part of a pilot program last month.
It always seems like Texas and California are vying for some kind of title – and when it comes to exports, Texas takes the cake. In 2015, the Lone Star State exported over $250 billion worth of merchandise. California lagged behind, with about $165 billion.
The Dallas Business Journal reports that Texas sent goods to more than 200 markets around the world.