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Most Texas county voter websites are unsecured, study finds

HOUSTON – The voter websites maintained by Texas counties are not in great shape when it comes to security.

A recent survey/study by the League of Women Voters of Texas found distressing information about just how many of the sites are secure.

“It turns out that over 70% of them aren’t,” said Reda Hicks, a committee chair for the League of Women Voters of Houston. “Additionally, a lot of the particularly smaller counties have dot-net or dot-info websites, and they’re simply not as secure as dot-gov or dot-com websites that re-direct you to dot-gov like HarrisVotes.com does."

Hicks is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says there is an obvious need for everyone to know their county website is secure.

“If a site is vulnerable to hacking, you don’t know if it’s providing the right information as a voter or not, and officials also can’t be certain if the information they put in yesterday is still the same today if it’s not tamper-proof,” Hicks said.

H-E-B tackles food desert concerns

Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins and HEB Director of Public Affairs Discuss Third Ward Food Desert Crisis
Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins and HEB Director of Public Affairs Discuss Third Ward Food Desert Crisis (KPRC)

When a new H-E-B opened a few weeks ago in Houston’s Third ward, its 90,000 square feet of fresh food and groceries represented more than a new store. That area has been recognized as a food desert for years -- an area where it is difficult to purchase fresh food.

Lisa Helfman is the director of public affairs for the Houston region of the grocer and says when the analysis was done, it was an easy call when the location that became available was near MacGregor and Highway 288.

“The Med Center -- they need a grocery store,” Helfman said. “The Museum District and all the new high rises need a grocery store. The MacGregor Area, Third Ward, The University of Houston, TSU -- nobody had a grocery store."

District D Houston City Councilman Dwight Boykins, who represents the district in which the store is located, grew up experiencing only convenience store food. He says the new store is a hit on many levels.

“Not only is it a grocery store that will address health-care issues, food-desert issues, but it’s also bringing an economic impact where I think they hired up to 400, 420 employees," Boykins said.

Hear much more about what it took to get this new magnet of the community on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

KPRC 2′s Robert Arnold talks about covering the southern border

KPRC2 Investigates Reporter Robert Arnold Discusses Border Security
KPRC2 Investigates Reporter Robert Arnold Discusses Border Security (KPRC)

Robert Arnold is one of the KPRC 2 Investigates reporters and has done extensive coverage on the issues concerning the U.S. southern border. He will air a special report at 10 p.m. Monday with his latest observations and says there has been a very dramatic drop in the numbers of people trying to gain entry into the United States.

Those on the front lines said there is a big reason for that drop.

“Catch and release is over now," Arold was told by border officials. "We are not going to catch you and then release you while your case works its way through -- in most cases. There are going to be exceptions to every rule, but in most cases, people are going to be sent back to Mexico.”

What else is working and how will it impact our immigration policy? Watch Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and Monday night on KPRC 2 News at 10.

Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall airs at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

More information

Reda Hicks, Committee Chair, League of Women Voters’ of Houston

Dwight Boykins, Houston City Council, District D

Lisa Helfman, HEB Director of Public Affairs

Robert Arnold