ITT Tech Suddenly Closes, Leaves Thousands of Texas Students in Limbo

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Michael MarksSeptember 7, 2016 12:06 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

There was a time when ITT Technical Institute promised a path to a cutting-edge career. Just take this commercial from 1994:

“The jobs of tomorrow are here. Thousands of them, waiting to be filled. But you have to know the fields they’re in. And you have to have what it takes to master those fields. Because you can’t get the jobs of tomorrow until you get the skills of today.”

But those days are gone. ITT Tech abruptly ceased operations yesterday – it collapsed under financial strain it claims was largely caused by the federal government.

The for-profit college had 10 campuses in Texas and over 3,200 students.

Abandoned oil wells worry lawmakers and regular folks alike. If they leak, that could cause environmental and health damage. Dave Fehling has been reporting since March on the concerns of Texas lawmakers over leaving these wells unplugged.

“A legislative committee found that one problem was that the state wasn’t requiring drillers to put up enough money to cover proper plugging in case they went bankrupt,” Fehling said. “Then, last month, homeowners from the Chasewood subdivision in Fort Bend County told lawmakers they feared inaction by the state was putting their health at risk from abandoned oil and gas wells near a well they use for drinking water.”

The Railroad Commission regulates oil and gas, but a spokesperson for the commission said it’s up to the legislature to deal with abandoned wells. There are over 9,700 such wells statewide.

Concentrations of red tide are showing up along the Padre Island National Seashore. Red tide is an algae bloom that can kill fish and cause issues like itchiness and breathing problems for humans.

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials took water samples after dead fish washed up on the shore and found the algae in three separate spots. Red tide is common around this time of year, and should eventually dissipate on its own.