Share wikimedia commonsThe San Antonio-based company has announced it’s reached an agreement with creditors and investors to restructure more than 10 billion dollars in debt. That’s about half of what it currently owes.The agreement reflects a balance-sheet-restructuring… that will help reduce their debt. And to implement it, iHeartMedia filed voluntary petitions for relief, under Chapter 11 of the U-S Bankruptcy Code.In a statement, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said the agreement is a quote “significant accomplishment as it allows us to definitively address the more than 20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure.”iHeart Media’s filing is not expected to affect their radio operations, streaming service, or concerts. The company owns almost 850 radio stations across the United States.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUTTexas is back in federal court making the case before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals over the state’s foster care system.Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack ordered sweeping changes to Texas foster care, which at one time she declared to be unconstitutionally endangering young Texans. Since then, the judge has called state lawmakers’ efforts to improve foster care “admirable” but insufficient.Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quickly appealed that decision. “The judge and the special masters acted outside of their legal authority,” Paxton said, “and ordered a plan that is both incomplete and impractical.”Bob Garrett has been covering the case for The Dallas Morning News and was in the courtroom in New Orleans on Monday. Garrett says Texas leaders like Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott have argued that each state should be left alone to run its own child welfare system.“Moreover, Texas says that its system is not constitutionally horrible, the way the plaintiffs’ lawyers say,” Garrett says.The state is fighting dozens of requirements.“A whole bunch of things,” he says, “including hiring more CPS caseworkers. Also, hiring more of the investigators and inspectors who would keep tabs on and police the foster care private contractors. Also doing a lot more to improve the records that track these children. And just on and on it goes.”The state’s lawyers are arguing that Judge Jack wrongly applied the law. Garrett says the appeals court judges in New Orleans appear to be divided.“The whole mess is before them,” Garrett says. “Both the finding that Texas did bad, and Judge Jack’s remedies.”He says the case was filed seven years ago and it remains unclear what the outcome will be.Written by Jen Rice. Share
00:00 /08:29 Astros’ reliever Framber Valdez got his first career start on Sunday as the Astros finished a four-game sweep of the Angels over the weekend. That gave Houston a 1.5-game lead in the AL West over the Oakland Athletics, who are in town Monday through Wednesday. And the Astros are hopeful George Springer could return to Astros lineup Monday, after missing five straight games.Meanwhile, JJ Watt returned to action for the Texans in their preseason loss the Rams Saturday. And the Dynamo prepare to face the NY Red Bulls on Wednesday after a 1-1 draw against Dallas last week.We discuss those and other developments in Houston sports with Jeff Balke, who writes for Houston Press and Houstonia Magazine. Listen Marcio Jose Sanchez/APFramber Valdez made his first career start on Sunday in the Astros’ 3-1 defeat of the Angels. Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X
00:00 /09:19 Share X Photo/Brenda Ruiz/ Houston Public MediaThere are sports – baseball, football, basketball, soccer, hockey – and then there are extreme sports: rock climbing, parkour and surfing, for example.Then there’s a TV show you may have come across: American Ninja Warrior, which challenges contestants to beat a physically-grueling obstacle course that combines running, climbing and leaping, and recreates many of the challenges extreme sports enthusiasts face — all at once.In the audio above, Houston Matters’ Brenda Ruiz spoke with Daniel Gil, a local American Ninja Warrior, who’s appeared on the past five seasons of the show. He says though some of the obstacles can seem daunting, and nearly impossible, they’ve fascinated him since he was a child. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
Bobby Marvin Holmes has been a mentor and a father figure to dozens of young Black boys in Baltimore. But it has taken him decades to forgive his biological father and begin the process of healing from abandonment. He shares his story in hopes that more young men can begin the process of forgiveness and begin the process of repairing their relationships with their dads, as we celebrate Father’s Day.Bobby Marvin Holmes, Founder of Son of a Dream. (Courtesy Photo)I tried not to be like my father my whole life. I tried to avoid the pitfalls and traps that he succumbed to in his life. However, he disappointed me the most, not because he broke up with my mother, or because he went to prison. I was most angry because he wasn’t there for me.Shortly after my parents split, fast money lured Rob (my biological father) to the streets. For years, he wrestled with his own demons and incarceration. So to keep me safe, my mother kept him at a distance. I was around 4-years-old at the time of their separation and I wouldn’t see him again for another seven or eight years.I remember the night my aunt took me to visit him. I walked into a shabby row house in East Baltimore and he appeared from the shadows of a dark room. But, when he looked at me, he didn’t recognize me. He tried repeatedly to guess my identity until my aunt grew tired of him guessing and told him I was his son.I retreated upstairs to see my grandfather who was in poor health. When I was about to leave I walked passed Rob and noticed him slouched over with his head down crying. My aunt asked him what was wrong and all he could say was, “It wasn’t my fault.” My aunt quickly dismissed his display of guilt and we left.In the absence of Rob, my mother met and married Chris, a blue collar working man who took pride in hard work and family. He raised me with conviction and love. He taught me how to shave, shine my shoes, and modeled how a man was supposed to care for his family. However, I was never taught the importance of forgiveness.I spent years not knowing how to really forgive my biological father. But, a turning point occurred when we reunited again. This time I was an adult. I became more curious about where I came from and what Rob was like as a person. I began to spend time with him. Once I got to know him the anger subsided a little.We talked and hung out from time to time. Even though we shared a few laughs and watched football games together, we didn’t share our feelings. I guess I convinced myself that I didn’t need to and that things would work out. But I was wrong.I didn’t want to admit it but I hadn’t fully checked my anger or made peace with my father’s absence. I hadn’t forgiven him and I really didn’t know how. I had mixed emotions. Part of me wanted to know and connect with my father. But another part of me felt abandoned and couldn’t trust him.It’s hard to forgive, knowing he could leave again. I knew this to be true no matter how much time went by. He could disappear at any moment and once again the anger would resurface. My resentment toward him was the only certainty.However, to my surprise, when I took the first real step toward forgiveness and it started with a simple conversation. I reached out to my father to help me with a paper for a course I was taking in graduate school. This was really weird because he never helped me with my homework before and I didn’t always like talking to him because our conversations would sometimes end with an argument. I called and told him I needed help with writing a paper. He agreed to meet with me.That night we sat in my car and just talked. He shared what happened with my mother and reasons why he wasn’t present in my life. In return, I expressed my disappointment in him. It was a hurtful thing to hear but necessary for the both of us.He offered no excuses and we didn’t argue. He just listened, which was very important to me. Afterwards, our relationship was still uncertain. But that one conversation helped me understand that forgiveness is possible.Bobby Marvin Holmes is the founder of Son of a Dream, a consulting & multimedia firm committed to empowering youth, families and communities. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, 100! Real Talk for Our Boys due out in October 2017.
2315 Francis Street#isthisyourhouse#FightBlightBmore2315 Francis Street (Photo Credit: Sean Yoes)
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Hulu plans to launch another ad format tailored to the viewing habits of the streaming-video junkie.The company, controlled by Walt Disney and Comcast, said it plans to launch a new format that “will make it possible for marketers to target binge viewers with a creative that is situationally relevant to their viewing behavior. ” The company did not offer more detail, but is expected to make a presentation to advertisers Wednesday where it will unveil new programming and business initiatives.Hulu recently announced it would test a format known as “pause ads” that surface on screen whenever a subscriber chooses to take a break from a current streaming selection. It has been testing the concept with Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola. Hulu now intends to expand availability of that format starting in August. The video-streaming outlet has always offered new kinds of commercials geared to a viewers who has more control over their experience. A viewer of linear TV doesn’t always have the ability to stop a program, or to watch multiple episodes of a show in rapid-fire succession. But those behaviors are quickly emerging as widely-shared ones in the streaming arena, and Hulu executives have described a desire to ramp up use of “non-intrusive ad formats” over the next several months.
All hail Square Enix, bringer of awesome games and now, food and drink.This month, the official gigantic Square Enix Cafe opened in the geek paradise of Akihabara. Although they already have a smaller cafe called Artnia which is attached to their headquarters, this mecca for geeks is a much flashier version of that cafe, with themes that will change with Square Enix’s hottest game debuts.AdChoices广告Right now, Final Fantasy XV is the hot topic of the year, with the cafe adorned with images from the soon to be released game, and special menu items that feature food that appears in the game, anime, or movie, like the banana pound cake, which was featured in Ignis’ episode of the FFXV anime series.The regular food at the cafe features a large array of savory and sweet items, not necessarily themed from any game, but they look ridiculously delish. But don’t forget dessert! Check out this Gaia’s Wrath Mont Blanc, which can be yours for the low price of 900 yen (~$9USD).Hajime Tabata, the director of FFXV even got in on the fun at the cafe, appearing for photos and interviews last week.The restaurant is located directly across the street from the JR Akihabara train station, on the first floor of the Yodobashi Camera electronics department store, making it a holy pilgrimage for any gaming fan who is in the area.I’ll have the vodka martini Phoenix Down, please.The restaurant also features an electronic tablet ordering system, so if you’re fuzzy on your Japanese skills, you can avoid the awkwardness of ordering by just clicking on pictures and selecting their English language menu. Hooray!Anticipating hordes of geeks to descend upon them, the cafe has 90-minute seating slots that you can reserve in advance online, or go to the cafe in person to see if there are any left for the day. But if you’re not in town for long, we recommend you don’t roll those dice, since fans have been flocking to the cafe and filling up the time slots since its grand opening on October 1st.Inside the cafe, you can enjoy the sweet sounds of Final Fantasy background music while you dine, and of course, load up on swag at the two gift shops located inside. The shops feature merchandise from FFXV as well as Square Enix’s other beloved series.You can get news from the cafe via their official website, as well as their Twitter! ‘Final Fantasy XIV’ and ‘Masters of Doom’ Are Yo…’Final Fantasy VII’ Remake Is a Real Game Now, Coming Next March Stay on target
There’s never been a dearth of Pokemon merchandise in the world, and there’s plenty of weird stuff out there, too. There’s Pokemon curry, toothpaste, personal products and more out there. But could there really be a plushie out there that’s modeled after main character Ash Ketchum’s butt?The short answer is no. Japanese Twitter denizen @20o__omari18 stumbled upon a very peculiar plushie when visiting one of Japan’s Pokemon Centers, where you can find just about any Pokemon merchandise you want. It looks a whole lot like Ash is bending over to give you an eyeful of everything he’s got. It’s pretty lewd, especially considering it’s a kids’ show.一瞬サトシがケツ出してるんかと思って1人で笑ってしまった pic.twitter.com/QgKFvC5ScW— ケツ (@3o__omari18) September 20, 2017But as it turns out, of course, because who would actually put a bare ass on a kid’s toy, that it was actually a plushie that featured a Rowlett in a backpack, and the packaging looked as such like Ash was carrying the adorable owl Pokemon around in his backpack. You’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, however, as the owl’s color looks similar to flesh tones, and its head is particularly butt-shaped in the images we’ve seen of the product. It’s eerie, and pretty uncanny. If you came upon that in a toy store, you might actually think you were looking at a stuffed butt. Which would be pretty uncool.It’s pretty bad design when you look at it from across a room though, to be honest. Even Pokemon pros could look at that toy and have to do a double take like the eagle-eyed Twitter user did and posted to their social media profile. Either way, it’s still a pretty hilarious situation, no matter how you slice it. What are your favorite Pokemon plushes? Do they also resemble posteriors? We’re willing to bet that they don’t.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Mint-Condition Set of Pokemon Cards Sold For $107KNew Trailer ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ Reveals Team Yell Punks Stay on target
Buy This Comic: DEATH ORB #1Buy This Comic: MAN-EATERS #1 “Quicksilver’s super-speed and abrasive personality have always isolated him, but he’s never been truly alone…until now. Trapped beyond the perception of friends, family, and allies, Quicksilver wages a one-man guerilla war against a monster that he’s not even sure is real, to save a world that he may never be a part of again.”Quicksilver: No Surrender #1(W): Saladin Ahmed (A): Eric Nguyen (C): Rico Renzi (L): Clayton Cowles (CA): Martin SimmondsFor many of my friends in comics, they don’t think twice about Quicksilver. You either love him, or you hate him. There’s just something about him that you can relate to and almost try to shy away from. He either carries an absolute goofy attitude, a bitingly sharp and cutting attitude, or sheer ability to piss a lot of people off. There’s something about him that leaves you wanting to know more about him. In Quicksilver #1, we dive a little bit deeper into the characters psyche in a Twilight Zone-esque first issue made to run laps around you.via MarvelSaladin Ahmed is a marvel of a writer and easily a writer that you should be reading. He excels when it comes to character and expression within his book, which makes them rich and vibrant and with an energy that indescribable. He has a sheer talent for developing or flourishing characters often misunderstood or underused. He’s done this recently in his fantastic run of The Exiles, Black Bolt and Abbott (so great, please go pick it up), but for Quicksilver #1, he’s made Quicksilver a figure that needs our undivided attention.This first issue puts me in such a vibe of the Twilight Zone called “Elegy” (S1, E20). In this episode, three astronauts are stranded where time is suspended. No one is moving. No one is talking. Quicksilver #1 takes the vibe of being suspended in a world but understanding a character that runs past all of that, trying to catch up with himself.via MarvelSomething important that Ahmed allows Pietro to do is narrate his inner thoughts. Ahmed enables Pietro to describe the way he feels and why he continues to run. The issue comes from a personal place instead of being an all-out superhero issue. It also carries eerie loneliness that’s not only displayed through Quicksilver but with his surroundings. Ahmed presents and expands a side of Quicksilver that readers aren’t used to seeing with him: his loneliness. Ahmed shows a man whose incredibly lonely, even with “people” around. A man who is self-deprecating, trying to find his place as someone who is always on the run and feels so alone. It’s almost breathtaking to see this side of Quicksilver. This first issue is a character study for the character and who he is as a man and a hero.Remember that Twilight Zone vibe I got from Ahmed’s writing? That’s feeling is ten times more when it comes to Nguyen’s art. His pencils are stunning and echoes something classic. One thing that’s so incredible about Nguyen art is the things that he does with Quicksilver himself. Since Quicksilver’s so fast, Nguyen is constantly keeping him in motions, moving him one, twice, maybe even three times in the panel. The way that Nguyen positions his body and keeps it continually in action is awe-inspiring. He also creates such a creepy feeling when everything is standing still for Quicksilver. He leans into the Twilight Zone mannequin feel, creating a world that is straight up from your worst nightmare with blank expressions to match.via MarvelNguyen’s art also very much counters Ahmed’s script in displaying Quicksilver’s loneliness. However, this is enhanced by Rico Renzi’s colors which go from high-velocity technicolor like the speed of light to black and white. Renzi isolates Quicksilver from his surroundings, leaving him to stand out instead of blend in. It creates that kind of a mood too. Since he’s always running, he can never truly blend, but now that everything is at a standstill. He has no choice but to. The progress of scenery creates such an otherworldly and abnormal time.Clayton Cowles, yet again, absolutely dominates with his letters. Since Quicksilver #1 carries little dialogue and mostly with Pietro’s thoughts, he also tones into that feeling of being isolated and alone. Cowles places Pietro’s words in a way that you allow you to move from panel to panel with ease. He also places in a way where it also runs freely as Quicksilver does. Not fast, but just right that you can keep up with him and his thoughts. Cowles allows this entire comic to come together Ahmed’s script and Nguyen’s art to combine and let even more of Pietro’s personality shine through.via MarvelQuicksilver: No Surrender #1 was a moving yet wonderfully character driven story that I never want to end. It gives brilliant character study on a misunderstood. It also breathes new life into a new narrative for him and a hopefully a new look on life. Quicksilver: No Surrender #1 is now available on Comixology and your local comic shop.5/16/18 Releases – In addition to Quicksilver: No Surrender #1, here’s a list of other new titles that came out this week that you should be reading.Persephone by Loïs Locatelli-Kournwsky (A) BOOM! – ArchaiaLucy Dreaming #3 by Max Bemis (W), Michael Dialynas (A) BOOM! StudiosThe Dead Hand #2 by Kyle Higgins (W), Stephan Mooney (A), Jordie Bellaire (C), Clayton Cowles (L) Image ComicsEther: Copper Golems #1 by Matt Kindt (W), David Rubin (A) Dark HorseX-Men: The Wedding Special #1 by Kelly Thompson, Marc Guggenheim, Chris Claremont (W), Marika Cresta, Greg Land, Todd Nauck (A) MarvelLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target