Rio Grande Valley Restaurant Workers Win $100,000 in Back Wages

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Michael MarksSeptember 6, 2016 3:18 pm

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

Restaurant workers in the Rio Grande Valley recently won over $100,000 in an unpaid wages case. The Texas Civil Rights Project helped organize workers at a local restaurant chain who weren’t being paid. In a press release, organizer Hector Guzmán López called the problem of unpaid wages in the Valley “an epidemic.”

Many chronically absent students in Texas concentrate in just a few of the state’s school districts. The concentration generally mirrors national patterns, but to a greater extent than the normal trend, Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media reports.

“Almost all school districts have some students who are chronically absent, and a few school districts have a lot of kids missing a lot of school,” Isensee says. “In fact, just 16 districts in Texas, or one percent, accounted for a quarter of all the children chronically absent in the state.”

The students mostly attend school in large inner-city and suburban districts. Dallas ISD had more than 18,000 chronically absent students – the most in Texas.

The Texas Department of Transportation is expanding efforts to quiet down the state’s highways. The Houston Chronicle reports that the department will cut shallow grooves a stretch of Loop 610. The grooves, only one-eighth of in an inch, cut down on traffic noise and improve traction. But they won’t be cheap. Cutting just five miles of grooves will cost more than $12 million. A spokesperson for TxDOT said grooves won’t be cut into every new stretch of pavement, but the agency will look to incorporate them into other projects.