Monthly Archives: April 2009

SUPPORT MELISSA WILSON AS SHE TRIES TO HELP THE CHILDREN!

THE BIG GOLF TOURNAMENT IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

The 8th Annual Golf Tournament is just around the corner. We hope you’ll join us for a great day of golf, to help Houston area children!

It’s Monday, May 4 at the Woolands Country Club.

Lunch begins at noon and golfers will tee off at 1pm. Dinner and Awards will follow. It’s going to be such a fun day out on the course. We’ll have surprises scattered out all over the course for golfers. We’re so happy to have sponsors like Toyotoa and GoPicnic. GoPicnic is donating pre-packaged meals on the course, that don’t require refrigeration or preparation.

Since Melissa is Fox 26’s Health Reporter, she searched everywhere looking for healthy snacks. She’s excited these snacks don’t contain artificial flavors, colors, or trans fats and are free of high-fructose corn syrup or MSG. For more information, go to www.gopicnic.com.

Golfers will also be able to drink their fruits & veggies out on the course! Amerisciences is donating AS10 – Super Food Drinks for everyone! It’s made from a super fruit from the rainforests in Brazil.
www.drink-cupuacu.com has more info about it.

Melissa has been supporting the group, Children at Risk for 9 years.

Here are the group’s goals:

*Education
CHILDREN AT RISK is working for comprehensive education reform that includes improving school structure, exploring alternative accountability models, expanding services to “at risk” students, and strengthening access to early education programs.
*Human Trafficking
CHILDREN AT RISK supports strengthening and expanding existing legislative language to remove loopholes which prevent the effective human trafficking prevention and prosecution.
*Child Welfare
CHILDREN AT RISK is seeking to strengthen child welfare services, with particular emphasis on transitional programs, retaining effective personnel, and promoting healthy families.
*Children’s Health
CHILDREN AT RISK advocates for increasing access to children’s health and mental health programs. Emphasis should be placed on barriers to service within the criminal justice system, regulatory structures, and insurance coverage.
*Juvenile Justice
CHILDREN AT RISK endorses reform of the Texas Youth Commission, improving oversight mechanisms, and enhancing alternatives to incarceration for juveniles.

For more info about the golf tournament, you can go to: www.childrenatrisk.org or call 713-869-7740.

A FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER!

THANK YOU LORD, THANK YOU LORD!

They were loud, bold and speaking in Spanish. The only thing I understood they were saying was thank you lord. They repeated it over and over again.
It was a family standing in a circle while holding hands outside of the Harris County courthouse. One woman had what appeared to tears of joy rolling down her face. I’m nosy and curious. So when they were done I approached a man who was carrying a leather bible in his hand. I asked him what they were praying about. The man said the woman had lost custody of three children after someone made allegations against her. The man went on to say the woman got her children back after a judge ruled in her favor. Then the man said God is good, smiled at me and walked away. The end!

THE MIDDLE AGED MAN WHO LIVED IN A SHOE!

YOU THINK HE GETS ANY REST?

We all know the nursery rhyme about the old lady who lived in a shoe. Well, on Thursday I think I ran into the old woman’s counterpart – the middle aged man.

I met him while I was covering another story in downtown Houston. He said he had been trying to contact me for a story he wanted to do. He felt as if he was being harassed by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. He says every time there is a crime on his street the neighbors blame his children and deputies show up at his house.

Just how man children does this man have? Not 2 or 5 or 7 or even 10 but 16. That’s right, 16 children. When he told me that my jaw dropped. I asked him, “you have 16 children on your own.” He said no I had some help from my wife.

With 16 kids this guy must have quite a financial burden. But he says his biggest problem is being harassed by law enforcement about his children. His downtown visit wasn’t about a stroll in the park. He was visiting one son in the Harris County Jail while checking on another one of his kids at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center. I wonder if he ever gets a peaceful night’s rest!

RACE DOES MATTER!

WOMAN: WHAT COLOR WAS THE GIRL WHO ALLEGEDLY SHOT AND KILLED HER FATHER?

It’s something most people won’t admit but they’re always curious about. The race of a person in the news.

I was at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center on Thursday. A woman who works in the building began chatting with my photographer and I. She asked a question that sparked a dialogue long after she was gone. That question: What color was she?

That’s what the woman asked when she questioned us about a 12 year old little girl who allegedly shot and killed her father in Katy. The woman was honest and blunt. She felt if the juvenile was a white girl she would likely get special treatment because of her race. She was honest but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

But the woman’s bold question is a query a lot of people in the African American community make when there is a crime where the race of the suspect is unknown especially a juvenile. My photographer, who’s white, reluctantly admitted he frequently wonders the race of a person when they’re in the news. I admit I wonder what race a person is when it’s not clear what group that person represents.

I think it’s part of human nature so we can put that situation in a box in our minds. That lead me to another issue. Do we expect certain races to do certain things? It’s a running joke with comedians who say if there is a serial killer they have to be white. Or if it was a shooting over drugs they have to be black.

What do you think? Do you ever secretly and quietly wonder the race of a person when it’s unclear. The Insite would like to hear your honest opinion!

A CONFIRMED CASE OF SWINE FLU IN HISD!

THE LATEST INFORMATION IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

This is a notice from the Houston Independent School District:

The city has informed HISD of a confirmed case at Lyons Elementary School. We are in the process of closing down the school and are sending an automated phone message to parents. We are asking parents to pick up their children as soon as possible. Our staff will stay with the students until all the parents arrive. We are calling parents of special education students by telephone.

GET A BREAK ON THOSE OLD TRAFFIC TICKETS AND COURT CASES!

HAVE YOU OR WILL YOU USE THIS AMNESTY PROGRAM!


Effective FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2009 through SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2009, the City of Houston Municipal Courts will conduct an AMNESTY PROGRAM for qualifying defendants who have outstanding warrants and/or delinquent parking citations.

I.          WHO MAY PARTICIPATE

All delinquent cases issued prior to and including February 28, 2009, qualify to be resolved under Amnesty guidelines and procedures.

Only the defendant named in the citation or their attorney can participate in the amnesty period.  Bonding companies, friends, relatives, and spouses cannot make the request on behalf of someone else, except when paying a Capias Pro Fine, which is a previously adjudicated case.

The Amnesty guidelines do not apply to previously adjudicated cases where the defendant failed to pay the fine, failed to take defensive driving, or failed to complete community service, and are now in Capias Pro Fine status.

The Amnesty guidelines do not apply to a defendant that is in custody.

All minors under the age of seventeen (17) are considered “Juveniles”, and must appear in Court with a parent, guardian, or managing conservator to handle their cases including defendants charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Minor in Possession of Tobacco cases.  Defendants (17) and older are considered “Adults: (even if their citation was issued when they were a Juvenile) and their case(s) may be addressed and resolved as an Adult.


II.         CRIMINAL CASES

 Ø  Defendants/attorneys who voluntarily pay the standard fine in full on all of their outstanding delinquent (warrant status) citations will not be assessed additional warrant fees or arrest fees.

Ø  Defendants who voluntarily pay the standard fines in full on all outstanding delinquent (warrant status) citations, will not be assessed an additional “Failure to Appear” (FTA) charge.  Additional violations of a FTA will be assessed at 50% of the standard fine.

Ø  Defendants with one or more charges of FTA with no associated underlying cases(s) may pay a reduced fine of 50% of the standard fine.

 CONDITIONS:

Any defendant who voluntarily appears in the Municipal Court during amnesty will be permitted to pay all outstanding unadjudicated delinquent cases with assessment of FTA fine and warrant fees and will not be subject to arrest and incarceration.

BREAKING NEWS: TWO HISD SCHOOLS TO CLOSE BECAUSE OF SUSPECTED CASES OF SWINE FLU!

KEEP YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME IF THEY ATTEND THESE HOUSTON SCHOOLS!

Harvard Elementary School and Hamilton Middle School are closed until further notice. Late last night the City of Houston Health Department informed HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra of two probable, but not confirmed, cases of swine flu and advised the district to immediately close both schools as a precaution.

          The principals of both schools sent out automated phone messages shortly after midnight to parents and staff in order to give them as much notice as possible.

Parents and staff were advised that if anyone in their household develops any flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue that they should seek medical treatment. Swine flu can be effectively treated by doctors.

HISD and the City Health Department will hold a joint news conference at 9:00 a.m. at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th, 77092).

DO YOU WANT YOUR OWN ETHNIC WALMART?

WELCOME TO THE SUPERMERCADO!

I was kind of surprised when Walmart opened a store here in Houston that caters specifically to one ethnic group.  I was shocked more people weren’t up in arms or demanding their own specialized Walmart.  On Wednesday the retail giant opened a store that’s designed for those in the Hispanic community.  Is this a good or dangerous trend the Arkansas based company is undertaking?  The Insite would like hear what you think about Mercado!
More about the Walmart venture: With an estimated 14 percent of its U.S. shoppers being Latino, Wal-Mart in recent years has been tailoring stores, such as its I-30 and Cockrell Hill location in Dallas, to meet the needs of Hispanic families. It has added specialty bakery items, expanded varieties of chile peppers, printed store signs and advertising circulars in Spanish and last year stocked baby Abuelita dolls for Three Kings Day celebrations.

But the new Garland store at 1801 Marketplace Drive is the first designed from the ground up to meet the needs of Hispanic shoppers, said Daniel Morales, regional spokesman for Wal-Mart.

POOR TIMING WITH AN EFFORT TO FEED THE POOR!

SWINE IN EVERY TEAXAS POT!

It was probably a publicity nightmare if you ask me. Just as the swine flu scare was really gaining momentum in Houston on Monday a national public relations firm sent out a press release.  That release indicated a local food pantry/bank was handing hundreds of pounds of pork meat to those in need. Now that the swine flu is a big concern as well as pork consumption, I’m sure the p-r firm would likely re-think their big Houston pork giveaway.  Do you think it was poor time or does it matter?

I KNOW YOUR FRIEND WAS JUST KILLED BUT DO YOU WANT TO BUY AN ICE CREAM?

APPROPRIATE OR NOT: YOU DECIDE ON THE INSITE!

Capitalism rules no matter what.  That may just be the attitude of some northeast Harris County neighborhood ice cream men.  
I was on the scene of a very tragic death Wednesday.  Dozens of people were standing outside near the remains of a 15 year old female student.  She was run over by a school bus. Many of the victim’s classmates were crying and breaking down.  Then out of the blue comes what?  A man pushing an ice cream cart.  He started asking distraught people if they wanted to buy an ice cream as they wait for their friends body to be peeled off the street.  Come on dude, now is not the time for you to try and make a buck.  What do you think?

WHY DO FAST FOOD JOINTS EVEN HAVE THAT FIRST WINDOW!

SHOULD THERE BE ONLY 1 WINDOW?

If you’ve pulled into a fast food drive thru it’s likely you’ve noticed it.  That useless first window tends to be nothing but decoration for the business.  There’s always some sign indicating we should drive to window #2.  Why even create window #1 if you’re never going to use it.  There are some rare occasions when there is a lunch rush and that dormant first window is used.  Do you think all restaurants should just get rid of that irritating and useless window #1.  The Insite would like to hear what you have to say about this!