News Roundup: Houston Rejects Settlement Offer From Child-Migrant Shelter Nonprofit

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra Hart & Michael MarksOctober 25, 2018 1:55 pm

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

The city of Houston has rejected a settlement offer from Southwest Key – that’s the Texas-based nonprofit vying to open a child-immigrant shelter on the city’s northeast side.

KTRK in Houston reports Southwest Key sued the city in September, saying officials are illegally blocking the shelter for political reasons.

The lawsuit alleges the city took a “meticulous effort” to block Southwest Key’s plans, and that doing so is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The company is seeking an injunction and at least $8 million in damages.

The shelter would be used to house minors who have been separated from their parents at the border under President Donald Trump’s so-called zero-tolerance immigration policy.

In a previous interview with KTRK, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner voiced concern about the city housing separated children.

“I don’t want, in the city of Houston, for us to be participating in a policy that I think is morally bankrupt. This is not about party, this is not about Democrat/Republican – nothing about that; it’s about valuing children,” Turner said.

The city says Southwest Key has failed to go through the proper permitting processes for the planned facility.

Southwest Key currently operates three other immigrant-children’s shelters in Houston.

Famed Houston poet Tony Hoagland has died following a battle with cancer. He was 64.

Hoagland was known for poems that commented on contemporary American life with wit and poignancy. Houston Public Media’s Catherine Lu has more:

The University of Houston, where Tony Hoagland taught creative writing, confirmed he died on Tuesday. Hoagland published several collections of poetry, including “What Narcissism Means to Me,” which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was known for a straightforward style of writing and his witty take on modern life, as in this piece titled “Romantic Moment”:

 “It is just our second date, and we sit down on a bench, holding hands, not looking at each other … and if I were a bull penguin right now, I would lean over and vomit softly into the mouth of my beloved.”

 Hoagland also published two essay collections about poetry, and received the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Award. He was 64.


State Representative Dawnna Dukes is suing the Austin American-Statesman, the Travis County District Attorney and others, saying she was the victim of an attack on her reputation.

The Statesman reports the Austin Democrat filed the suit late Wednesday without the help of a lawyer.

She’s seeking $7.8 million in damages for defamation and malicious prosecution.

Dukes was the subject of an investigation by the newspaper, looking at her questionable spending habits.

In 2017, a Travis County grand jury indicted Dukes on 13 felony charges of tampering with public records, and two misdemeanor accounts of abuse of official capacity. All charges were eventually dismissed.

Note: A previous headline for this story incorrectly stated that the City of Houston rejected an offer to settle a lawsuit with Southwest Key in the amount of $8 million. The offer did not address a financial settlement.