Monthly Archives: June 2008

WHO KNEW THEY COULD GO SO FAST!

WOULD YOU RIDE ONE TO SAVE ON GAS?

Torrey ‘T-Dub’ Walker and I were headed out on a story Monday when a small object caught his eye. It was a lady on a moped. I don’t even know if you still call them that but it was fast. Both Walker and I was shocked because the woman was doing at least 65 mph. She passed us up and it appeared she could go even faster. I was under the impression those alternatives to a car could only go about 35 mph. I was dead wrong. I think Walker is ready to hop on one to cut down the high cost of gas. I’m not quite there yet. But I have started riding without my air conditioning to save gas. And please don’t tell me that doesn’t work because it does for me. Would you ride one of these moped scooters instead of a car?

JOE HORN’S ATTORNEY ALSO FEELING THE HEAT!

DEATH THREATS AND THE WINDOW OF HIS OFFICE BROKEN!

The Insite had a chance to speak with the attorney of Joe Horn. As many of you know Horn was no billed by a Harris Country Grand jury Monday in the 2007 shooting that left two suspected burglars dead in Pasadena. Anyway, I had a chance to chat with Horn’s attorney Tom Lambright. He was physically shaken at a press conference Monday to address the case. But he tells me he has also faced a lot of pressure representing his friend Joe. He says he’s known Horn for 40 years and Lambright also tells me he has received at least two death threats since taking the controversial case. That’s not all. The attorney says he’s had a bottle thrown through the window of his office. He wasn’t hurt. But Lambright says he can take it and he’s more concerned about his friend Mr. Horn who has been in the eye of the storm!

NO, I DON’T NEED ANY TANNING LOTION EVEN IF IT’S $3.00 OFF!

I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO WALK INTO DARQUE TAN AND ASK FOR THE CALIFORNIA BRONZE!

I was at the HEB in my area Monday night when a very enthusiastic teenager working at the store asked me if I wanted to take advantage of a special. That special was $3.00 off some tanning lotion. I think he knew I wasn’t a candidate but he reluctantly asked anyway. I turned him down and told him I’m not the one you should be selling tanning lotion to. He laughed because he knew it. He told me he was required to offer the special to everyone. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to just walk into the chain store Darque Tan and ask for their California Bronze special just to see their reaction. Haven’t had time just yet….But one day I will and it will be posted here on The Insite!

I’M ALWAYS TEMPTED TO CROSS JUST TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS!

WOULD YOU EVER DO IT FOR CURIOSITY?

Whenever I see this no trespassing sign at the Harris County Jail downtown I’m always tempted to cross it just to see if a deputy and assistant district attorney will pop up and charge me. It’s very tempting because it’s a red line that separates the sidewalk from a sally port at the sheriff’s office. However, I maintain my cool and resist the temptation to cross over the red line. The border separates the area where most inmates are dropped off by law enforcement agencies to the county jail. Would you hopscotch over it just once for curiosity?

SHERIFF TOMMY THOMAS APOLOGIZES FOR DEROGATORY EMAILS!

PLUS THE SHERIFF SUSPENDS HIS TOP GUY FOR 5 DAYS!

Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas today apologized to a Muslim group for e-mails containing derogatory jokes about Muslims.

The e-mails were circulated by members of the sheriff’s staff. The Houston Chronicle reports Thomas plans to suspend Chief Deputy Mike Smith.

The appearance by Thomas at the Islamic Society of Greater Houston marks his second apology regarding the e-mails. Thomas has been the center of recent controversies, including a
civil rights lawsuit alleging unlawful surveillance.

Questions were raised about his decision to delete 750,000 e-mails around the time ex-District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal faced scrutiny over his own electronic messages.

The sheriff’s department e-mails were revealed after KTRK-TV in Houston sued to stop their deletion. The station reported several e-mails could be considered racist, insensitive or off-color.

THE HARRIS COUNTY GRAND JURY REFUSES TO INDICT JOE HORN!

THE LATEST IN THE 7 MONTH OLD CASE!

A Houston community activist said he was appalled by a grand jury’s decision not to indict the Pasadena homeowner who admitted shooting two men because he believed they were burglarizing his neighbor’s house.

Joe Horn, 61, shot Hernando Riascos Torres, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30, in the back last November after he saw them crawling out the windows of a neighbor’s house in Pasadena, a Houston suburb.

“The message we’re trying to send today is the criminal justice system works,” Harris County District Attorney Kenneth Magidson told reporters at the courthouse.

Community Activist Quannel X said he plans to hold a news conference on Tuesday with the fiancee and widow of the two men Horn shot and killed.

“We are not shocked by the grand jury’s decision– we are appalled,” Quannel X told FOX 26. “The message they sent says to the world that Harris County is Dodge City. There is not a snowflake’s chance in hell an African American man could do the same thing Joe Horn did and not be locked up in jail.”

The city of Pasadena passed an ordinance forbidding protests on neighborhood streets because the incident has sparked interest among many Houston-area residents.

However, the city issued a prepared statement, saying the incident has been a “tragedy for all those involved, changing lives forever. The obvious lessons that can be drawn from it are that criminal activities are inherently a dangerous lifestyle, and the prevention and pursuit of those involved in criminal actions are best left to the police.”

Horn confronted the men with a 12-gauge shotgun after a 911 dispatcher pleaded with him not to go outside his house.

Torres and Ortiz were unemployed illegal immigrants from Colombia. Torres was deported to Colombia in 1999 after a 1994 cocaine-related conviction.

On a 911 tape of the call, Horn can be heard threatening the two men, who were both shot in the back.

In the 911 call, a dispatcher urges Horn to stay inside his house and not risk lives.

“Don’t go outside the house,” the 911 operator pleaded. “You’re gonna get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun. I don’t care what you think.”

“You wanna make a bet?” Horn answered. “I’m gonna kill ’em.”

After the shooting, he redialed 911.

“I had no choice,” he said, his voice shaking. “They came in the front yard with me, man. I had no choice. Get somebody over here quick.”

The incident touched off protests from civil rights activists who said the shooting was racially motivated and that Horn took the law into his own hands. Horn’s supporters defended his actions, saying he was protecting himself and being a good neighbor to a homeowner who was out of town.

Horn’s attorney, Tom Lambright, has said his client believed the two men had broken into his neighbor’s home and that he shot them only when they came into his yard and threatened him.

“I understand the concerns of some in the community regarding Mr. Horn’s conduct,” Magidson said. “The use of deadly force is carefully limited in Texas law to certain circumstances … In this case, however, the grand jury concluded that Mr. Horn use of deadly force did not rise to a criminal offense.”

Magidson said nine of the 12 grand jurors would have had to vote in favor of an indictment in order for Horn to be charged.

Lambright said this week that his client regrets the shooting and would stay inside if he had it to do over again.

Lambright did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment from The Associated Press.

Texas law allows people to use deadly force to protect themselves if it is reasonable to believe they are in mortal danger. In limited circumstances, people also can use deadly force to protect their neighbor’s property; for example, if a homeowner asks a neighbor to watch over his property while he’s out of town.

It’s not clear whether the neighbor whose home was burglarized asked Horn to watch over his house.

POLICE OFFICER KILLED AND THE SUSPECT WAS ALLEGEDLY LAUGHING!

THE OFFICER WAS STRUCK BY ANOTHER DRIVER!

A Houston police officer is killed after he is struck by a driver who police say was acting in a bizarre manner at the accident site.

Police report that the suspect, Hung Dasion Truong, 24, was laughing when they questioned him.

Based on the odd behavior, police claim Truong may have been under the influence of some substance.

Three officers were working at a construction site to block traffic at the intersection of Interstate 10, Katy Freeway, and State Highway 6, when the suspect barreled his vehicle into two police officers.

Truong was traveling eastbound on the Katy Freeway frontage road at approximately 5 a.m. and failed to stop at several construction barrels before striking two of the three officers.

Officer Gary Gryder, a 25-year veteran with the Houston Police Department who worked on the southeast Patrol, was pronounced dead Sunday morning.

Gryder, who was a graduate of Jersey Village High School, was married with one son and had spent 25 years as an officer, according to the Houston Police Officer’s Union Web site.

Fellow officer Joe Pyland, who works with the HPD traffic and mobility unit, is in critical but stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Pyland, who graduated from the Houston police academy in 1980, is married.

A third officer, identified as Officer Milton Sallee of the HPD traffic and mobility unit, was able to jump out of the way when the driver plowed into the construction area.

Truong was taken into police custody with a change of criminally negligent homicide pending against him. He could face charges of intoxication manslaughter pending the result of a blood toxicology report.

TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY IS PUTTING FOX 26’S OLD NEWS SET TO USE!

THEIR TELEVISION STATION COULD BE ON THE AIR AS SOON AS NOVEMBER!




I had a chance to tour the television department at Texas Southern University Saturday and I was really impressed with the operation. I also spotted FOX 26’s old news set. It will be used by the students once the department gets its television station off the ground. Dr. James Ward at TSU tells The Insite the anticipated launch is November. Dr. Ward says he’s working on a deal with Comcast to get the department a place on the cable dial. Also attending the walk through was FOX 26 Vice President of News Kathy Williams and our new 5pm anchor Melinda Spaulding. It was more than a year ago when KRIV’s Vice President and General Manager D’artagnan Bebel gifted the school the news set. Here are some of the pictures I snapped of the high tech department!

FOX WEB PRODUCER ALEX SUPGUL CELEBRATES HIS BIRTHDAY!

BLOW OUT THE CANDLE ON THE CAKE!










Call him considerate and smart – FOX 26 web producer Alex Supgul delayed his big birthday celebration for two weeks to avoid the very busy Father’s Day weekend. He realized many of his friends would be busy celebrating the holiday so he had his special day a couple of weeks later. Alex partied Saturday night with what he called family, friends and co-workers. The bash was held at Spotlight Karaoke and as usual the owner, Mr. Lee, rolled out the red carpet for all of his customers. Alex’s event was held in private room #3. It’s where you witnessed the true talent of the Insite and several others on the microphone. Some attending the event: Rhoda Chanette, Andrea Mooney, Doug Delony, Lynn Morrow, Alex Supgul, Duarte Geraldino, and the entire Supgul family. Here are some of the candid shots I and others were able to snap with The Insite cam!

NO YOU DIDN’T JUST PUT $5 WORTH OF GAS IN THAT RANGE ROVER!

SPOTTING ODDITIES A MILE AWAY!

As many of you know The Insite likes to observe the oddities in life. I was in the Phillips 66 gas station at Weslayan Friday evening when I noticed a man buying $5 worth of gas. I wondered to myself who spends $5 dollars on gas these days unless it’s for your lawn mower. Well, what was more surprising is the man walked out to his vehicle and it was a Range Rover. Was he topping it off or what? Just something that concerns The Insite!

THE HOUSTON ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS HOSTS MAKING THE MEDIA WORK FOR YOU!

HERE’S HOW YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR 15 MINUTES OF FAME!







There was a major seminar held on the campus of Texas Southern University this past Saturday by HABJ. The program was called ‘Making the Media Work for You’ and it was free and open to the community. The purpose was to give some insight into how individuals can best take advantage of the local news media. The focus included radio, television, print and the internet. Several sessions were held where panelists from the broadcasting and print communities answered questions and gave advice on how to best use those 15 minutes of fame. The event is held annually by HABJ. Some of those attending were: Mary Benton, Kathy Williams, Jerome Gray, David Ellison, Cindy George, Melinda Spaulding, Isiah Carey, Travis Sattiewhite, Serbino Sandifer Walker, Shaunda Betts, Deborah Duncan, Kim Davis, Sedrick Bass, Dr. James Ward and a host of others!

TV REPORTERS BORN IN THE MONTH OF JUNE CELEBRATE THEIR BIRTHDAYS!

THE BIG FRIDAY NIGHT BIRTHDAY BASH!










It wasn’t about deadlines or beating the competition Friday night in Houston as several local tv reporters celebrated their birthdays together. On that list of celebrants were Kristine Galvan, Eric James, Duarte Geraldino, Sally MacDonald and Mariza Reyes. The joint party was held at Absinthe Restaurant and Lounge on Richmond Avenue. The Insite was invited and showed up with camera in hand to capture the spirit of the event on film. Also attending: Phil Archer, Melinda Spaulding, Robert Arnold, Sibila Vargas, Carolyn Mungo, Larence Snowden, Brian Wice, and a host of others!