Monthly Archives: January 2013

HISD-school-bus

Union officials who represent Houston Independent School District bus drivers say they have been disturbed by recent events in Alabama.  It’s where a gunman shot and killed a school bus driver and took a child hostage.  That standoff has HISD drivers wondering what they would do if that happens here.  Wretha Thomas with HESP says she performed an informal poll with 60 of her drivers.  She asked what would they do if a gunman attempted to take over their bus with children aboard.  I was shocked at the answer Thomas said she received from 56 of her 60 drivers. Thomas says, “the rest of them said if push came to shove they would get off the bus and give them the bus with the kids on it.”  Thomas says that’s why it’s important all HISD bus drivers are given some type of training to deal with a scenario that involves a crazed gunman taking over a bus.  Officials with HISD immediately responded to my calls for a comment saying they are working on a plan to address this issue. In fact, Erica Hilliard with HISD tells the Factor there are refresher courses planned next week for bus drivers who have already had counter-terrorism training last year.  Here’s the district’s statement:

 

Hi Isiah,  Here is a brief outline of some of the steps HISD has taken to ensure bus driver safety.  

In August, all school bus drivers and attendants received both classroom and hands-on training in counterterrorism and weapons on buses.

1.       The mock disaster involved an overturned bus.

2.       The drill allowed staff to incorporate previous trainings such as student management, emergency evacuation, and counter-terrorism.

3.       The drill also involved staged injuries which allowed the drivers and attendants to utilize the first-aid training they received last May.

4.       In addition to safety skills the drivers were also reminded of:a.       The importance of performing pre-trip and post-trip inspections of the busb.      Looking for suspicious items such as canisters, metal boxes, or containersc.       Immediately reporting suspicious items

5.       I believe your folks at KRIV covered the drill as well.  So you should have video of it in house if you need it.

·         The training program was developed through concepts learned from the ‘Crisis Prevention Institute’ which is a national organization that prepares organizations to deal effectively with crisis situations.

·         All bus drivers and attendants are certified in American Red Cross first aid training.·        

NEXT WEEK, the terminals will be holding a counterterrorism refresher class next week for the drivers and attendants.

·         Additional cameras have been added installed on the buses to record not only activity that occurs on the inside of the bus also to record activity that occurs on the outside of the bus.

Erica E. Hilliard

Senior Media Relations Specialist

Houston Independent School District

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For Immediate Release January 30, 2013 – (HOUSTON, TX)

Business and community leader Dwight Boykins officially resigned from his position on the Oversight Committee of Rebuild Houston today. The resignation comes after a long tenure helping to oversee the improvement and renewal of some of Houston’s most vital infrastructure. “I’m very grateful for my time on the [Oversight] Committee,” said Boykins. “The lessons I’ve learned and experience I’ve gained from my time on the Committee will be an invaluable asset that I will always carry with me going forward.” ReBuild Houston is a direct result of City of Houston voters approving Proposition 1 on November 2nd, 2010. The proposition directed the City’s Charter to be amended to provide for the enhancement, improvement, and ongoing renewal of the city’s drainage and streets by creating a dedicated fund aimed at avoiding incurring new debt. As a member of the Oversight Committee for more than two years, Boykins helped advise the City on project priorities and performance, as well as helped to create a forum to keep the community informed on these priorities. “I’ve been able to gain an in-depth insight into the city’s infrastructure development and have a much better understanding of the need for continued infrastructure development in this city. While I am resigning from the Committee, I will always be a fervent supporter of the work both ReBuild Houston and the Oversight Committee continue to do for the betterment of our great city.

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS SUSPECTED THIEF?

Investigators in the Houston Police Department Robbery Division have released surveillance video of a suspect wanted in at least five robberies of convenience stores in northwest Houston since November. 

The suspect is described only as a black male between 18 and 45 years of age. 

The incidents occurred on the following dates and locations: 

Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:50 p.m. – M & M Food Mart – 8788 Hammerly (surveillance video)
Nov. 27, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. – 99 and More Store – 8788 Hammerly#G
Nov. 29, 2012 at 8:15 p.m. – M & M Convenience Store – 8788 Hammerly (surveillance video)
Dec. 3, 2012 at 12:35 p.m. – Blalock Food Mart – 3102 Blalock (surveillance video)
Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:05 a.m. – Blalock Food Mart – 3102 Blalock
In each incident, the suspect entered the convenience store and, at gunpoint, demanded money from a store employee.  The suspect then took the money from the register and fled the scene on foot. 

Anyone with information in these cases or on the identity of the wanted suspect is urged to contact the HPD Robbery Division at 713-308-0700 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. 

ARRESTED FOR STEALING SEWER LIDS?

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Three East Montgomery County men are facing felony charges after the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office ended their four-day, two-county crime spree. 

On Monday, a Pct. 4 Deputy Constable took a theft report from Richard McDonald, New Caney Municipal Utility District General Manager, who said nine cast iron sewer lids were stolen from multiple locations on Baptist Encampment Road off of FM 1485 and several nearby roads over the weekend. Those lids were replaced early Monday.  Within hours, three of the replacement lids and an additional lid had been stolen for a total of stolen 13 lids, valued at $2,405 not including the cost of labor.

 The Pct. 4 Deputy Constable began his investigation at recycling business located on US 59 in New Caney, and immediately hit pay dirt. An employee showed the deputy a spot where he said some white males in a blue Toyota sedan dropped several lids matching the deputy’s description. The deputy found four lids, later positively identified by McDonald as property of New Caney MUD and believed to be the four lids stolen earlier on Monday. On the far side of the scrap pile, the deputy found six more lids that also belonged to New Caney MUD.

The deputy returned to the recycling business office to review records. While inside, an employee told him the same vehicle returned to the business and the men unloaded several storm grates, but then noticed the Precinct 4 patrol vehicle on location and fled without waiting for payment. The alert employee noted the vehicle’s license plate, which the deputy was able to match with transaction records and identify suspects by Tuesday.

The deputy then tracked the suspects to a residence on Village Drive, where two of them, Jonathan Davis and Scott McAndrews, were in the blue Toyota and in the process of leaving. After they were detained and advised of their rights, both suspects admitted stealing the New Caney MUD property and named an accomplice. While booking Davis and McAndrews, the deputy learned the third suspect, Caloway, was in custody at the Adult Probation Office. Caloway was then transported to the Precinct 4 office for booking.

All three suspects admitted stealing the New Caney MUD property as well as the rectangular grates abandoned at the recycling business when they saw the deputy’s vehicle parked there. The grates were stolen in Harris County.

Jonathan C. Davis, 24 of Porter; Jeffery A. Caloway, 24, of New Caney; and 50-year-old Scott A. McAndrews of Kingwood are charged with third-degree felony Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.

McDonald said he never expected to see the lids again, much less have ten of them returned within 24 hours. 

“I was so impressed with the Constable’s Office,” McDonald said. “I filed a complaint around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and had 10 of the 13 lids back that same afternoon. By 1 p.m. the next day, they had two of the three suspects in custody!”

The recycling center told McDonald the remaining three lids are likely buried beneath other scrap right now and they will be returned when they are unearthed, but McDonald said he is already extremely pleased the progress of the case.

“We have 10 lids back and the bad guys are behind bars,” he said.

Pct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden said he was proud of the deputy’s handling of the case and glad to see the thieves behind bars and property returned.

“We appreciate the cooperation we received from the recycling business,” Constable Hayden said. “They helped to expedite this investigation so that justice was quickly served.” 

IS IT AN ATTEMPT TO AVOID A DATE WITH DEATH?

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Prosecutors and defense attorneys were squared off Wednesday in a Montgomery County courtroom. 

The battle is over convicted killer Larry Swearingen. 

Swearingen is attempting to get new DNA tests done and a delay in his execution date set for February.

Swearingen was convicted of killing Montgomery College student Melissa Trotter back in 2000.

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Swearingen defense attorneys say their client deserves new DNA tests but they don’t want the results rushed and compromised by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office.

Phil Hilder, who represents Swearingen,  says they want the tests done properly without any questions.

However, assistant Montgomery County District Attorney Warren Diepraam says it’s a delay tactic for Swearingen to avoid another date with death for the murder of Trotter.

A judge is expected to make a ruling on the two issues!

Update from District Attorney: Judge Kelly Case of the 9th District Court today heard arguments from the Innocence Project and prosecutors for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office in the State of Texas vs. Larry Swearingen. Swearingen was found guilty of Capital Murder in 2000 for the rape and kidnapping murder of Melissa Trotter, a college student. Swearingen’s previous appeals including requests for DNA testing, numbering more than ten, have all been denied. Swearingen’s Innocence Project lawyers recently filed a fourth motion for DNA testing of selected evidence. The previous three were rejected by the courts due to the overwhelming evidence of guilt in the case. Montgomery County District Attorney, Brett Ligon, however agreed to the request for DNA testing stating that he wanted to look into all evidence in the case whether the defendant was entitled to it or not. Ligon further agreed to pay for the testing and offered to send the evidence to the lab of the defense’s choosing to be tested immediately by the defense’s scientists. In an unprecedented move, the Innocence Project lawyers objected to Ligon’s offer agreeing to their testing and sought to have the items released for delayed testing under the statute that the courts have previously ruled they were not entitled to. The defense also sought a stay of the execution in order to accommodate the delayed testing. Judge Case heard arguments today from Montgomery County prosecutor Warren Diepraam. Diepraam asked the judge to authorize the release of the evidence to the defendant’s lab for testing and asked the court to allow independent scientists to determine what tests to run on the evidence. He further asked the judge to deny the stay of execution because if the scientists found Swearingen’s DNA on an item of evidence, the case will have been reset for nothing and the Trotter family will have to suffer another unnecessary delay. Judge Case denied the prosecution’s request for immediate DNA testing and stayed the execution. This ruling has no effect on the jury’s death sentence and may ironically prevent Swearingen from getting any DNA testing since the appellate courts have ruled he is not entitled to delayed testing. Ligon indicated that he will keep his offer open for a limited time. The prosecutors now have 60 days to file a response to the defense’s request for delayed testing. Diepraam stated that he accepts the judge’s ruling and believes the judge who replaced judge Edwards on January 1st needs more time to review the case and the evidence. Bill Delmore acted as co-counsel on the case and is Ligon’s appellate chief who indicated that he will most likely not appeal this ruling by the judge because it may cause further unnecessary delay.

THE END OF AN ERA AT KCOH RADIO!

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After more than 40 years on the air at KCOH radio beloved personality Wash Allen is hanging up his microphone.  This comes just months after it was announced the radio station was sold to a Christian broadcasting company. Allen chose not to stick with the old KCOH crew that’s moving to a new number on the dial. Allen says he will continue to have a presence in broadcasting but not on the AM dial. His last day on the air with his popular call in show Confessions will be this Thursday.

More About Allen:

Wash Allen Air and Television Personality Wash Allen Has Over Forty-Five Years Of Outstanding Success In Broadcasting.  From Broadcaster To Program Director To Operations Manager At Radio Stations Across The Country.  Wash Allen Has Been Vice-President Of Production And Operations With Foston International For More Than Sixteen Years.Wash Allen Is The Host Of The Popular “Confessions” Daily Radio Talk Show On Kcoh Radio.  A Recognized Radio Personality.  Billboard Magazine Named Him As One Of The Top Three Broadcasters’ In The United States And He Was Awarded Billboard’s Annual Radio Programming Forum Award.35 Years Ago, Wash Created An Annual  Dance Extravaganza Called Wash Allen’s Happy Feet Dance For His Fans And Advertisement  Sponsors, Which Still Brings In Thousands Of His Fans And Is As Popular As When He Started Doing Them.Started As A 15 Year Old Teenage Broadcaster At Wdia Radio In Memphis, He Went On To Major In Speech And Drama At Tennessee State University.  He Moved Easily Into Radio Broadcasting With Stations In Nashville, Tennessee; Cleveland, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Detroit, Michigan And Houston Texas.  He Has Been With Kcoh Radio In Houston, Since 19971. Wash Had A National Radio Show, Syndicated Through Abc Radio Network For Over Twelve Years.Presently, Wash Has A Weekly Tv Show On Abc 13 Called “Wash Allen In The Heart Of Houston”, Which Is A Show Spotlighting Houston’s Social Scene.   

SUSPECTED MONTGOMERY COUNTY HOME INVADER ARRESTED AT HOSPITAL!

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Press Release: On January 28, 2013, at approximately 6:00 PM, Detectives with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit arrested one person that was involved in the January 25, 2013, home robbery on Mink Lake Drive in Magnolia, Texas.   Twenty-seven (27) year old Adrian Granados-Yepez of Tomball was arrested at the Memorial Hospital in Houston where he was being treated for a gunshot wound.   Detectives continue to investigate the incident and are working to identify other suspects. Anyone with information in this case is urged to call the Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 800-392-STOP (7867), the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 936-760-5800 (24 hrs) or Detectives S. Mullis or P. Hahs at 936-760-5876, (M-F 8:00AM – 5:00 PM

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The book ‘The Vow’ is written by a woman who has quite the story to tell.

Helen Kreutzer Elliott says she met the perfect God fearing man a year ago this week at church in The Woodlands.

Elliott says a month after meeting they were married but there was no honeymoon for the Montgomery County couple.

Why?

Helen says after 3 to 5 days of marriage the man of her dreams just disappeared.
She says her husband would only return text messages saying he wasn’t ready.

But what Helen didn’t know was the man was living multiple lives.

She tells the Factor she learned the man she fell for was in a relationship with 5 other women at the same time.

Women he targeted at various churches from College Station to Houston.

Helen also says the man was engaged to at least one of the six including their marriage.

If you want to read more about this fascinating journey you may want to pick up the book The Vow.

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Here’s More About the author:

Helen Kreutzer Elliott is the proud mother of two daughters, Jessica and Kelly; son-in-law, Jacob; and the proud Mimi of four grandchildren, namely: Avery, Taylor, Braydon, and Rylie Dawn.Helen loves to write, read, travel, dance and loves being outdoors. She loves music and working out. Helen also loves spending time with family and friends. Most of all, she loves the Lord with all her heart.Helen’s career has spanned working with the elderly, the sick, the handicapped and the dying through her assisted living cottages along with her invaluable staff.Helen was born in an Iowa farming community and now lives in Panorama Village in Texas.

Read More About The Book: http://www.thevowbook.com/default.htmlhttp://www.thevowbook.com/default.html

THE GREAT CHICKEN WING CAPER!

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A pair of workers at a frozen food distribution center outside of Atlanta, Ga., made off with $65,000 worth of frozen chicken wings earlier this month, according to cops in Gwinnet County.Dewayne Patterson and Renaldo Jackson, who both worked at the Nordic Distribution Center, allegedly backed a rental truck up to the back of the loading area at the center and loaded 10 pallets of Tyson frozen chicken wings onto the truck. The pair then made off with the poultry, but were seen by management, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.Investigators at the Gwinnet County police department arrested Patterson, 35, and Jackson, 26, a week later, on Jan. 23.They each face felony theft charges.Police did not yet know the status of the wings.