State Representative Says Improving Sex Education Should Be Top Priority for Legislature

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Michael MarksFebruary 15, 2017 12:07 pm

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

A new report finds more than 80% percent of school districts in Texas teach either abstinence-only or no sex education at all – one state lawmaker wants to change that. State Rep. Mary Gonzalez says that improving sex education should be a priority for everyone in the legislature.

“I believe all issues are bipartisan, but what I think makes this unique is that it’s an education conversation, which- a lot of education conversations can be bipartisan,” she said. “It also has an angle where if people who are truly trying to address abortion and limiting abortion or having less abortions in Texas, then we can use that as a beginning of a conversation. If you’re truly for limiting abortions, here’s one way to do it.”

Gonzalez has filed a bill that would require sex education classes in public schools to include information on birth control as well as abstinence.

In West Houston, the Addicks and Barker Dams are considered “extremely high risk” by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

That doesn’t mean a failure is eminent, but the dams protect thousands of people, and the corps has committed $75 million to repair their gates. However, rainy Houston weather has slowed progress on the project. Eddie Robinson of Houston Public Media has more:

“The Army Corps of Engineers says the efforts to build new gates at the Atticks and Barker reservoir dams off I-10 are about 11 percent complete. That’s work that’s been delayed by the weather 10 times over the past year, one time for over three months. Project Manager Rick Villagomez says there’s been an upside to the rain. It’s allowed the corps to test our some measures put in place to make the dam safer while the work continues.

‘The report was that the dams were in good condition, they had survived the record pools, and that the interim risk reduction measures had performed as expected to ensure their integrity,” he says. 

Workers are hoping for a drier season ahead but the corps says the dams are prepared to withstand a repeat of last year’s Tax Day floods. That’s when the Atticks and Barker reservoirs filled to record levels.

The Atticks and Barker dams are among the seven-thousand hazardous dams in Texas, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

A natural gas pipeline exploded in southeast Texas early Wednesday morning. The blast took place in Refugio, on property owned by energy company Kinder Morgan, according to ABC13 in HoustonAn enormous fireball shot into the air during the explosion, which people felt over 50 miles away.

No one was seriously hurt during the incident.