Monthly Archives: August 2016




The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal have announced that Attica Locke, author of “Pleasantville,” will receive the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.
Attica Locke

Attica Locke

Locke is the sixth winner of the prize. The prize, authorized by Lee, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

“I clearly recall the summer I read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and wrote my first stories on the back of my dad’s legal stationery,” Locke said. “There could be no higher praise for me than winning this prize. I am deeply moved.”

“Pleasantville” was chosen by a distinguished panel of writers. They are: Dr. Philip Beidler, author and professor of English, University of Alabama; Helen Ellis, author of“American Housewife”; Homer Hickam, author of “Rocket Boys”; Rheta Grimsley Johnson, author, journalist and syndicated columnist; and Angela Johnson, author of “Wind Flyers” and “Heaven.”

The Selection Committee said “Pleasantville” has beautiful prose and strong characters, much like “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“In “Pleasantville,” Attica Locke takes us out of a courtroom and into a lawyer’s home and heart,” Ellis said.

Locke will be honored with a signed special edition of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a $3,000 cash award and a feature article in the ABA Journal.

“I think the finalists this year were, collectively, the best in the history of the Harper Lee Prize,” said Allen Pusey, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal, a co-sponsor of the prize. “’Pleasantville’ is a richly constructed narrative truly worthy of this recognition.”


Locke’s novel will be honored during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the National Book Festival. Following the award presentation, the Selection Committee will convene a panel discussion of “Pleasantville” in relationship to Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

About Attica Locke

Attica Locke’s first novel, “Black Water Rising,” was nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the United Kingdom (now the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction). Her second book, “The Cutting Season,” published by Dennis Lehane Books, is a national bestseller and is a winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. A graduate of Northwestern University, Locke was a fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmakers Lab. She’s written scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and HBO and is a writer and producer of the Fox drama “Empire.” A native of Houston, Attica lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

A Harris County Sheriff‘s Office Detention Officer is being credited with saving the life of an emotionally distraught woman who attempted suicide by jumping from the San Jacinto street bridge.

On Saturday, August 6, 2016 at around 4:00pm, detention officer T. Sanders assigned to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office 701 N San Jacinto detention facility was on a break in front of the building when he noticed the 22 year old female crying and distraught on her cell phone.

He walked towards the woman to ask if she was ok, when the woman jumped on the ledge of the bridge and stated she wanted to kill herself.

D.O. sanders grabbed the woman and pulled her off the ledge and attempted to hold her so she would not follow through with her threat.

She managed to break free and climb on the ledge again stating she wanted to kill herself.

D.O. Sanders again grabbed her and pulled her to safety, instructing other citizens to run inside the detention building and summon help.

Other HCSO personnel responded and the woman was subdued for her own safety.

A Harris County Sheriff’s Office Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) deputy and clinician were called for the woman and a mental evaluation was done.

She was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital for a mental wellness exam.

Detention Officer T. Sanders showed courage and compassion, his conduct continues to exemplify the core values of our organization, specifically, “Protect our citizens with honor and courage”…

Thank You Detention Officer T. Sanders


Hobgood Booking

On Monday, August 08, 2016, in the 410th District Court of Montgomery County, Texas (Judge Michael Mayes presiding), Defendant Ronnie Paul Hobgood Jr., 45, pled guilty to Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More, a third degree felony, on the morning of trial. As part of a plea bargain agreement, Hobgood was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Brittany Litaker prosecuted the case.

On February 7, 2016, Hobgood was leaving a bar when a bartender noticed that Hobgood was highly intoxicated. The bartender approached Hobgood and attempted to prevent Hobgood from driving. Instead, witnesses reported that Hobgood started his truck, put it in reverse, and crashed into a parked car. He then attempted to flee the scene while the bartender called the police. After being blocked in the parking lot by concerned citizens, Hobgood drove over a curb and onto the feeder road of I45 North where he collided with another vehicle before driving off at a high
rate of speed.

A local wrecker driver located Hobgood and called the police. Trooper Matthew Cline with the Texas Department of Public Safety responded and began his investigation. Hobgood was very unsteady on his feet, smelled strongly of alcohol, and failed field sobriety tests. A search warrant was executed for a sample of Hobgood’s blood which revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .272, over three times the legal limit.

Hobgood has a long history of DWI related offenses dating back to 1990. He also has two prior prison trips for DWI type offenses.

Because Hobgood has two prison trips, he is a habitual offender, making his minimum punishment in this case 25 years in prison.

Prosecutor Brittany Litaker:

“This Defendant is clearly a danger to the public and this sentence will ensure that he never has the opportunity to hurt anybody else again. Thanks to the efforts of Trooper Matthew Cline with the Department of Public Safety and the concerned citizens of Montgomery County, another habitual offender is out of our community. We would like to commend the other officers who investigated his previous cases for their willingness to testify in this case and for their continued dedication to ensuring the safety of the people who live in and travel through this community. This result once again demonstrates that such conduct will not be tolerated in Montgomery County.



In honor of National Frozen Custard Day on Monday, August 8, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers will sell $1 single scoop cake cones and dishes of its chocolate and vanilla frozen custard. Fifty cents of every $1 single scoop sold will be donated to charity. Guests of Freddy’s are asked to vote for their favorite of two, national charities, Kids In Need Foundation and Playworks, by texting to 72727 either the word ‘KIDS’ for Kids In Need Foundation or the word ‘RECESS’ for Playworks.

“We are excited to partner with Freddy’s, a company that values family, friends and community, for National Frozen Custard Day,” says Jill Vialet, founder and CEO of Playworks. “With your vote, Playworks will be able to help even more kids across the U.S. experience safe and healthy play. No matter who wins though, the Playworks way is to always high five at the end of the game!”

“We are so pleased to be partners with Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers,” said Dave Smith, executive director of the Kids In Need Foundation. “This organization understands the immediate impact school supplies have on the lives of children, nationwide. With supplies, students’ classroom behavior improves and grades go up, because kids feel they have a better chance of achieving. We are so thankful to be considered for this generous donation.”

Monday, August 8, is the final day to cast a vote. To learn more about National Frozen Custard Day at Freddy’s, visit