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HOUSTON — Officials from Homeland Security’s Houston investigation unit say the city has become a focal point for illegal imports, including millions of dollars’ worth of honey from China that has been seized over the last two years.

The Houston Chronicle reports that since October, U.S. Customs and Homeland Security has seized more than 900 drums of Chinese honey that was smuggled through Latvia. That brings the value of illegal Chinese honey seized in Houston over the last two years to nearly $8 million. China is the world’s leading producer of honey.

According to court documents, the honey was routed through Latvia to avoid U.S. duties. Officials were suspicious about the honey because the northern European country produces very little honey.

While parts of the nation saw serious failures in public transit in the last few weeks, Houston was busy approving a new transit project that would overhaul the entire METRO bus network without increasing operating costs.

The plan seeks to broaden the system, allowing riders to get to most areas of the city without relying on infrequent buses. But that comes with a trade-off: by cutting low-rider routes, some may be left without public transportation.

A distraught parent, who had barricaded himself with his ill son in the critical care unit of the Tomball Regional Medical Center, in Harris County, Texas, has surrendered after negotiators talked him out of it. The hospital in the Houston metropolitan area was in lockdown for several hours Saturday night and there were partial evacuations. The county’s High Risk Operation Unit and SWAT teams were present. It was earlier thought to be a hostage situation and reports indicated that the man had taken two people hostage, but the sheriff’s office later clarified that it was a distraught parent and the matter was resolved without injury.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced on Friday that the city would narrow the scope of a controversial subpoena that asked five local pastors for copies of some of their sermons and communications.

The subpoena — which sits at the uncomfortable intersection of church and state — drew immediate ire from conservatives across the country.

Jim Tuttle / News21

Fronteras: One of the busiest areas for the U.S. Border Patrol is the Rio Grande Valley sector. We speak to a border patrol agent from there about everything from Central American migrants, border security to armed militias complicating things on the Texas border. Also, we hear about a summer camp in Texas near College Station, where children learn how to hunt. Campers learn about safety and hunt animals on private exotic game ranches.

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