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The City of Houston Municipal Courts remains open today, Saturday, October 31, 2015; however, those individuals who are scheduled to appear in court and are unable to make a court appearance due to inclement weather will have the opportunity to reset their case(s).
If an individual is scheduled for arraignment (first appearance):
To reschedule a case(s) an individual must appear in person at any Municipal Court location by Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Visit the website at www.houstontx.gov/courts for hours of operation. *The Herbert W. Gee and Westside locations will accept resets until 9 p.m.
There are various options available online and by mail:
Request a trial setting.Request the Driving Safety Course (DSC) by mail.Submit proof of compliance by mail.Pay fine(s) online.
Visit the court’s website at www.houstontx.gov/courts/forms.html to download the forms needed for each option. We will accept mail postmarked through Tuesday, November 3, 2015, for these requests.
If an individual is scheduled for trial:
Resets will be given in person at all court locations through Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Visit the website at www.houstontx.gov/courts for hours of operation. *The Herbert W. Gee and Westside locations will accept resets until 9 p.m. Citizens are reminded that payments can be made as follows:
Online at www.houstontx.gov/courts/ticket_payments.htmlWestern Union By Mail (P.O. Box 4996, Houston, Texas 77210-4996)
If individuals fail to reset their case(s) or fail to resolve their case(s) by Tuesday, November 3, 2015, a warrant for their arrest may be issued.
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The City of Houston has preliminary reports of two weather-related fatalities overnight. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences is investigating and will confirm cause of death, after which details will be released.
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METRORail service has been suspended due to heavy rain overnight. We will resme service once water recedes in impacted areas. High water is also affecting METRO bus service in certain locations, causing delays and detours. We will update infornation on social media plaforms and patrons can also call Customer Service at 713-635-4000.
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The City of Houston has activated the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to assist City Departments and responding agencies as they coordinate the response to the heavy rain, flash flooding, and tornado threat occurring this morning. In addition, City response agencies are currently undertaking high-water rescues across the City.
Agencies represented in the EOC include: Houston Fire Department, Houston Police Department, Public Works & Engineering Department, Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and the Office of Emergency Management.
Actions to Take
The City is asking resident to avoid travel this evening into Saturday morning, as significant rainfall is causing flash flooding. Multiple Flash Flood Warnings and Flood Warnings have already been issued for Houston and the City remains under a Flash Flood Watch until 1pm Saturday and a Tornado Watch until 10am Saturday.
Residents who must travel are asked to plan extra time, and to not drive through areas of high water. If water is too deep to see the street, it is too deep for a vehicle. It takes only 12 inches of water to float a vehicle, and cause a very dangerous situation.
Residents should be prepared to shelter-in-place if a Tornado Warning is issued for their area. This means they should seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor possible of their home.
Residents are asked to report flooding in streets and structures to Houston 311 by calling 311 (713.837.0311), online at houston311.org and using the Houston 311 Mobile App.
The City will be communicating to the public via the City’s emergency alert system, AlertHouston. Residents can sign up at houstontx.gov/emergency or follow @AlertHouston on Twitter and on Facebook (facebook.com/alerthouston).
People praying outside of the new Greater Church of Lucifer in Spring…they’re protesting those who have attended the church….However, the memebers of the Church of Lucifer say this is not about the Devil or Devil worship. What do you think?
John Rotit is a happy, successful and content man with a loving wife. Hours later, he’s a rock star shooting up heroine. And after that…he’s something far more sinister. John unwillingly flashes between three alternate realities in which he knowingly exists in each. He has no clue how or why this phenomenon is occurring, only that he wants it to stop. John’s judgment becomes clouded as he’ll do anything he can to end his flashes and remain in the one life where he’s truly happy. NOTE: THIS MOVIE WAS DIRECTED BY HOUSTON’S OWN AMIR VALINIA
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 29 people in 13 cities and eight states Thursday on sex trafficking and related charges in a sweeping operation dubbed “Operation Safe Haven” targeting a network of illegal brothels trafficking Hispanic females. In addition to these arrests, HSI identified 15 potential human trafficking victims from brothels across the southeastern United States with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Joint Task Force – Investigations (JTF-I), ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Emergency Management Administration and multiple state/local law enforcement agencies.
Thursday’s arrests are the result of a 15-month investigation that began in July 2014 by HSI Savannah special agents in Moultrie, Georgia, who identified a loosely affiliated organization that coordinated the illegal movement of Hispanic females from Mexico and Central America across the southern border and then throughout the southeastern United States to brothels in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. The traffickers within this organization worked as independent operators to coordinate the movement and delivery of women for illegal sexual purposes.
“As previous investigations have shown, and Operation Safe Haven again confirms, the sex trafficking of foreign women in the United States is done by loosely organized criminal networks who have little, if any regard for the women they victimize,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI Atlanta Nick S. Annan. “This investigation identified women victimized through fraud, force and coercion, including underage teens. To the criminals behind these illegal enterprises, these women are just pieces of meat used to pull a quick profit and then discarded or passed on to the next trafficker down the line.”
According to a five-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, at least one victim identified during the investigation was a juvenile when she was trafficked. Six suspects are charged with conspiracy to participate in the sex trafficking of a minor and 38 suspects are charged with conspiracy to transport a person in interstate commerce for prostitution – nine suspects remain at large after 29 were arrested Thursday. Three of the network’s customers are also charged with promoting the prostitution.
Individuals charged with conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor face up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Individuals charged with conspiracy to transport a person in interstate commerce for purposes of prostitution and individuals charged with promoting prostitution face imprisonment up to five years and a $250,000 fine. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The potential victims’ identities are being protected while HSI ensures they receive emergency medical assistance, food and shelter. HSI is fully committed to victim-centered investigations in which the identification, rescue and needs of victims are treated with equal weight as the prosecution of traffickers.
HSI provides relief to victims of human trafficking by allowing for their continued presence in the United States during criminal proceedings and victims may also qualify for a T-visa, which is issued to victims of human trafficking who have complied with reasonable requests for assistance in investigations and prosecutions.
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore’s office for the Middle District of Georgia is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.
“Human sex trafficking is a cancer that we must cut out, and then aggressively fight with all of our resources. Sometimes the trafficking victims are kidnapped and forced into sexual servitude through violence. Other times the victims are lured with the promise of a better life, and then held hostage by predators who literally financially imprison them or intimidate them with threats of harm or shame to them or their families. No matter the circumstances that brought these women into sexual servitude, they are victims. And whether the weapons used by the traffickers cause physical, mental or emotional harm, they are predators, and we will track them down no matter the cost. This investigation has been an example of the outstanding cooperation between federal and state agencies. I applaud their efforts. I also want to thank my colleagues, U.S Attorneys George Beck, Joyce Vance and Chris Canova for their partnership and assistance,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.
Operation Safe Haven is the first major investigation supported by the JTF-I since it became fully operational in July 2015. The task force directed significant funding, intelligence, and analytical support from multiple DHS agencies to bolster the special agents investigating this criminal network.
“This operation highlights exactly what the Secretary charted us to do through these task forces,” said Dave Marwell, Director of JTF-I. “By strategically applying the broad resources of DHS against a priority investigation, criminal organizations don’t stand a chance. We will continue to focus our efforts to ensure we are dismantling criminal organizations that traffic women into the U.S. for the purposes of sexual slavery.”
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) crews from Miami, New Orleans and Houston flew more than 115 flight hours and launched 38 separate missions in support of the investigation using covert aerial surveillance to track suspects and identify multiple target locations. AMO’s presence greatly increased the situational awareness of agents on the ground.
“Collaboration is crucial in a mission of this caliber,” said Daniel Meagher, Director Air Operations at the Jacksonville, Florida, Air and Marine Branch. “I am proud to say that our unique capabilities contributed to both the success of this mission and to the safety of all those involved.”
Anyone who suspects instances of human trafficking is encouraged to call the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) or the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Online tips can be submitted at www.ice.gov/tipline. Anonymous calls and tips are welcome.