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Happy Birthday to the City of Houston’s First Daughter.
Mayor Sylvester Turner’s daughter, Ashley, turns 30-years-old today.
Friends celebrated Ashley’s big day with a fun lunch at El Real Restaurant in the Montrose area.
The crowd included luncheon hosts Cindy Clifford and Elizabeth Gonzalez Brock. Guests included Erica Davis, Janice Weaver, Wayne Klotz, Bill Baldwin, Scott Doyle, Susan Christian, Miya Ford, David MInceberg, Jason Fuller and many other movers and shakers, and of course, Mayor Turner and Ashley’s mother, Cheryl Turner.
Since her father’s election, Ashley Turner has taken on the unique role as the city’s First Daughter, a position she has handled with style, grace and humility.
A popular and frequently requested speaker, Ashley passionately supports charitable causes and represents the mayor at official events.
It’s not uncommon to see her standing by his side.
On December 10, 1980 the body of a young African American Female was discovered in the 3600 block of Stokes. The semi-nude female was lying on the ground under interstate 45 Freeway located about six miles from downtown along side a railroad track.
The body was discovered by employees working on an outdoor advertisement billboard. The unidentified female was wearing two thin gold bracelets, and one orange bracelet found on her left wrist. She also had two necklaces around her neck.
On October 15, 2008 the information on this unknown female was entered into The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. However, she is still unidentified.
In 2016, The Houston Police Department Sketch Aritist, Lois Gibson, completed a depiction from a morgue photo of the unidentified female.
The Houston Police Department Homicide Division Cold Case Squad is requesting anyone who may know this victim to please contact the Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or the Cold Case Hotline at 713-308-2653.
Upset Hindus are urging New Braunfels (Texas) based New Braunfels Brewing Company (NBBC) to withdraw three beers named after Hindu deity Lord Shiva, calling these highly inappropriate.
These are: “Shiva’s Tears”, “Shiva’s Wrath” and “Cosmic Dancer”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Lord Shiva was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.
According to NBBC website, which describes Shiva as “the god of destruction and rebirth” in Hindu faith: Shiva’s Tears (Weizenbock Of The Destroyer), which it terms as “a study in sinful grace and ultimate power”, “is our pathway to beer truth. Meditate on a few of them and you may just cry a few tears of your own.” Shiva’s Wrath (Eisbock-condensed version of Shiva’s Tears) “is cosmic destruction in a glass. Take heart. For even in destruction there is rebirth.” Why the name “Cosmic Dancer”? …“When Shiva destroys the universe (and subsequently creates a big bang) he does a dance in the heavens. And because of it, he is also called The Cosmic Dancer”. Images of both Shiva’s Tears and Shiva’s Wrath show picture of Lord Shiva’s trishul (trident).
Founded in early 2011 by Lindsey and Kelly Meyer, NBBC, whose tagline seems to be “Here’s to Life”, claims to brew “hand-crafted beer inspired by old-world German recipes with a Texan disregard for the rules” and their “base beers are a hefeweizen, dunkelweizen weizenbock and Oktoberfest”.
In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
City of New Braunfels, founded in 1845 under German charter, is a home-rule city under Texas State Law. Comal River, known as one of the shortest rivers in the world, runs through it. Every November, it holds a German-style sausage festival “Wurstfest”. Prominent people associated with it include baseball player Lance Berkman, astronaut Charlie Duke and singer-songwriter Leigh Nash. Barron Casteel and Robert Camareno are Mayor and City Manager respectively.
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Senator Borris L. Miles announced that he has filed Senate Bill 482 to assist youth in the foster care system with access to higher education and career assistance.
“We need to ensure that we give foster youth and former foster youth the ability to complete their education and receive the tools to find a good-paying job,” says Senator Miles. “I’m proud to file a bill that was a result of Governor Greg Abbott’s Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative to ensure our foster youth will be successful.”
Governor Abbott established the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative in March 2016 and charged commissioners from the Texas Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission to find solutions that would prepare the future workforce. In November 2016, the group released a report offering recommendations addressing the state’s needs and opportunities to grow and prepare our workforce and economy.
“This bill would not only give foster youth and former foster youth the ability to complete their high school education, but to seek higher education, whether that be a university, community college or technical school. Jobs in fields like technology, engineering and information systems have an immediate need in Texas. This legislation will build our workforce for the future” said Senator Miles.
This is Senator Miles’ first piece of legislation as a state senator. He is excited to join Governor Abbott to assist those in the foster care system to complete their education, receive the proper training and assistance to find a good-paying job.
The North Houston Frontiers Club, Inc., under the leadership of president Donnell Cooper, hosted the 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Breakfast earlier today.
Nearly two-thousand people attended the inspirational event to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader.
“Celebrate the Dream Through Scholarship” was the theme of the breakfast which featured Mayor Sylvester Turner as the keynote speaker. Mayor Turner gave a rousing speech about the need to expand opportunities in housing, employment and education to fulfill Dr. King’s dream.
Houston entertainment attorney, Ricky Anderson is this year’s recipient of the “Drum Major” Award.
Anderson’s law firm represents celebrities including comedian-actor Steve Harvey and gospel singer Yolanda Adams.
The breakfast drew a who’s who of Houston’s political, community and law enforcement leadership, including Houston City Council members Dwight Boykins, Larry Green, Dave Martin and Micheal Kubosh.
Also spotted in the crowd; Police Chief Art Acevedo, HISD Trustee Rhonda Skillern Jones, Dallas Jones, HEB’s Winell Herron, Genora Boykins, Levi Benton, Keith Davis, Vernita Davis, Jeff Mosley and Burt Levin, and many other members of the community.
Houston Defender Network CEO Sonny Messiah Jiles and her husband, Jodie Jiles, were the honorary chairs of the breakfast.
Shout out to my boys Billy Sorrells and Ali Siddiq… They have a big comedy show coming to H-town… I don’t usually sit still for comedy but for this one I will… Check it out people! @billysorrells @alisiddiq Wednesday February 1st just in time for Super Bowl!
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Public Library (HPL) Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson announce that the City of Houston is seeking its next Poet Laureate. The Houston Poet Laureate Program celebrates Houston’s rich culture and diversity by creating excitement about poetry through outreach, programs, teaching and written work.
“The Poet Laureate program is one way we demonstrate in a very authentic way the impact of the arts in people’s lives” said Mayor Turner. “This will be the third year of the program, and I encourage anyone who has a passion for poetry and the ability to ignite that passion in others to submit an application.”
The Houston Poet Laureate Program is coordinated by the Houston Public Library and Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The new Poet Laureate will serve for two years starting in April 2017. There is an annual honorarium of $5,000 provided through the City’s Arts Initiative Grant Program. Submissions are welcome from individual poets, authors, writers and spoken word artists. The guidelines and term requirements can be found at http://www.houstontx.gov/poetlaureate.html. Complete applications and documents need to be submitted online by midnight on February 5th, 2017, at www.houstontx.gov/PoetLaureateApplication.html.
“Poetry is an important and enjoyable community engagement activity for all Houstonians. It reveals diverse points of view and exposes the writer’s emotions and imagination,” said Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, director of Houston Public Library. “Houston’s new Poet Laureate will continue the tradition of representing the city through the written word in all its forms and making poetry more accessible to our diverse communities. The Library and the Poet Laureate will work collaboratively to utilize poetry programs as a literacy tool to engage children, teens and adults.”
Mayor Turner has appointed the Houston Poet Laureate Selection Committee – a diverse group of poets, scholars and literary experts – to assist in the nomination and selection process. The group includes: Ashley Turner, First Daughter of Houston; Robin Davidson, current Houston Poet Laureate; Marina Tristan, Arte Publico Press; Reyes Ramirez, DiverseWorks; Jack McBride, Writers in the Schools; Sally Connoll, UH Director of Graduate Studies, and Martha Serpas, UH Professor and Author. Non-voting members include: Jennifer Schwartz, Houston Public Library, and Radu Barbuceanu, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.
Finalists will be interviewed in person by the selection committee in March, and the final selection will be made by the Mayor. The Poet Laureate will be announced in April 2017 in celebration of National Poetry Month.
Leaders at the Houston Forensic Science Center are coming clean about three mistakes made by their employees at the lab.
The city agency issued a press release Wednesday detailing the problems and the corrective action that’s been taken.
Those issues involved an analyst indicating there was DNA on evidence when there was not.
In another instance an employee in the Toxicology section said there was one of more drugs present in blood evidence when it was actually negative.
Finally, an analyst made a mistake involving finger prints.
Here’s the officially release from HFSC:
The Houston Forensic Science Center has disclosed to the state’s forensic oversight commission three incidents in which analysts made errors when reporting results from preliminary analysis conducted on evidence.
These disclosures are in accordance with procedures recommended by the Texas Forensic Science Commission (TFSC).
HFSC believes the incidents do not involve negligence or professional misconduct on the part of the analysts. HFSC’s disclosures are meant to proactively address draft language issued by TFSC that requires crime laboratories to disclose instances in which a case report has been amended due to an error in the analysis and reporting process.
“HFSC has conducted a root-cause analysis into the three incidents and believes that any issues that may have existed have been corrected and action has been taken to avoid similar errors in the future,” said Dr. Peter Stout, HFSC’s interim CEO and president.
Each incident occurred in a different forensic discipline. The first occurred when a latent print examiner confused two piles of folders and incorrectly reported two cases as having no preliminary association recorded in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) when the report should have stated preliminary associations had been made. The analyst immediately caught the error, verified the initial finding and issued corrected reports. To prevent similar incidents going forward, all latent print examiners will reread HFSC’s written protocols. Additionally, a latent print supervisor reviewed all cases completed by the examiner over a five-month period to ensure no similar mistakes had been made. The supervisor did not find any errors.
In the Toxicology Section, an analyst reported that a screening chemistry indicated the presence of one or more drugs in blood evidence when in fact the result was negative. HFSC’s Quality Division reviewed more than 480 reports issued by the analyst and about 270 cases approved by the technical reviewer to ensure no similar mistakes had occurred. No additional errors were found, but written instructions have been amended to require the administrative reviewer to document that screening data is consistent with results reported in the final laboratory report.
In the final incident, in a presumptive serology test done in the Forensic Biology Section an analyst reported positive semen results. However, when confirmatory testing was done, no DNA could be obtained from the evidence. When the analyst redid the initial screening test, the positive result could not be replicated. As a result, the final report stated the presumptive identification of semen was inconclusive. To avoid similar problems going forward, the analyst has been temporarily removed from casework and is being retrained while the HFSC investigates the incident.
“Although we believe these errors were not the result of any misconduct on the part of our staff, HFSC is committed to fully investigating any incidents that could impact the quality and credibility of our science,” Dr. Stout said. ”We will continue to take similar steps going forward when questions arise and look forward to working with TFSC to further explore any issues.”
HFSC is a local government corporation that provides forensic services to the City of Houston and other local agencies. HFSC is overseen by a Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor of Houston and confirmed by the Houston City Council. Its management structure is designed to be responsive to a 2009 recommendation by the National Academy of Sciences that called for crime laboratories to be independent of law enforcement and prosecutorial branches of government.