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County Attorney Vince Ryan advises Hurricane Harvey Flood victims: Know your rights

The recent floods in the Harris County area have been a nightmare for many families struggling to clean up the mess and have repairs made.  The Office of Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan offers the following tips to flood victims who rent their apartments or homes: 

·       If your apartment is unlivable, you have the right to terminate your lease by giving your landlord written notice and obtain a refund of the unused portion of the rent you have paid plus any security deposit that is owed to you.  You cannot be charged a penalty for terminating the lease due to unlivable conditions.

·       If your landlord offers you another unit because yours is unlivable, you are not required to accept it.  If you do accept a new unit, you are not required to enter into a longer lease for the new unit.

·       If your apartment is partially damaged, first provide written notice to your landlord of the repairs needed.  Make sure you are current on your rent.  The landlord is not required to make repairs if you are not current on your rent.

·       If your apartment is partially damaged, you may be entitled to a reduction in your rent in proportion to the extent the apartment is unusable.  Talk to your landlord.   If you cannot reach an agreement, do not withhold any portion of your rent.  You may have to file suit seeking a rent reduction.  Withholding rent is almost always a bad idea.

·       Your landlord is not required to start making repairs to your unit until after the landlord’s insurance company pays him or her for the damage.  The bad news is that you must continue to pay rent while you wait for the repairs. 

·       If the landlord has had a reasonable amount of time but failed to complete repairs, send a second notice to the landlord with a request for an explanation of the delay and explain that you will terminate the lease unless repairs are made or repair the damage yourself and deduct the amount from your rent.  You should consult an attorney if you intend to repair the damage yourself.  

·       You may want to consult the “Tenants’ Rights Handbook” published by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the State Bar of Texas.

·       If you have any questions or need additional information please contact theOffice of the Harris County Attorney, 713-755-6065.

Houston police have arrested two suspects who fired shots at HPD officers at 7075 North Freeway at about 1:35 a.m. today (Sept. 8).

The suspects, Victor Antonio Sanchez (H/m, 29) and Jose Valentin Portillo (H/m, 20), are charged with aggravated assault on a police officer in the 263rd and 183rd State District Court respectively.  Photos of the suspects are attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division Special Investigations Unit Officers O. Garcia-Chavez and M. Carmichael reported:

Three HPD K-9 officers were stationed in a parking lot at the above address with their marked HPD patrol vehicles when they observed a blue Ford F-150 pickup truck traveling westbound in the 300 block of West Rittenhouse Street.  They then heard several consecutive gun shots and rounds buzzing over their heads.  The officers also saw muzzle flashes coming from inside of the F-150.  The officers activated their emergency equipment and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver (Portillo) refused to stop and a short pursuit ensued.  The officers followed the vehicle to the 600 block of Granville and initiated a felony traffic stop in the driveway of 615 Granville Rd.  The officers were able to take Portillo and Sanchez into custody.  After securing the two suspects, the officers observed  a pistol on the front dashboard, as well as a mini AK-47 between the front passenger seat and center console.  The officers located three fired cartridges in the 300 block of W. Rittenhouse Street where the shooting originally occurred.  

The suspects were interviewed and they both admitted to their roles in the shooting.  

About 200 people were evacuated from a group of Port Arthur nursing homes and flown to Conroe by military helicopters Wednesday night. 

Those senior citizens will be transported by buses and ambulances to various facilities including one in Lufkin and another in San Augustine.

 

The nursing homes affected are Cypress Glen and Lake Arthur. 

A full list is listed below.

Some of the seniors are Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. 

If any of the seniors are relatives you can contact CMOC for more information 713-884-4408!

Other locations where the seniors will be transported is listed below: 

FORT BEND COUNTY SUBDIVISIONS UNDER THREAT FROM BRAZOS FLOODING

 Projected 59-feet flood elevation at Richmond Will Affect Thousands of Homes

FORT BEND COUNTY, TX – The Office of Emergency Management has issued an advisory containing the list of subdivisions where residents should prepare to be affected by flood waters from the Brazos River. The Brazos River is projected to crest at a height of 59 feet Flood Elevation at the Richmond Gauge as monitored by the National Weather Service (NWS).

The list of affected neighborhoods are as follows:

ANDOVER FARMS (Street Flooding)
BELLA VISTA
BRAEBEND ESTATES ADDITION
BRAZOS LAKES (Partial)
BRAZOS VALLEY
BRYNMAWR LAKE
CANYON GATE AT THE BRAZOS
CANYON LAKES AT THE BRAZOS (MUD 116)
CHELSEA HARBOUR
CLAYHEAD MANOR
COLONY WEST
CRYSTAL LAKE ESTATES
CUMINGS ROAD AREA (C A DICKERSON)
CUMINGS ROAD AREA (DURAN SUBDIVISION)
CUMINGS ROAD AREA (TINSLEY ESTATES)
CUMINGS ROAD AREA (RIO BRAZOS)
EDGEWOOD ADDITION
ESTATES OF BRAZOSWOOD
ESTATES OF TEAL RUN (Street Flooding)
FOSTER CREEK ESTATES
FOSTER CROSSING
FOSTER ISLAND ESTATES
FRESNO GARDENS
FRESNO GARDENS DELUXE
GLENDALE LAKES
GLENWOOD (Partial)
GOLDENROD ESTATES
GRAND RESERVE
GRAND RIVER
GREATWOOD CROSSING (Partial)
GREATWOOD KNOLL
GULF VIEW ACRES
HERITAGE FARMS
HERITAGE HEIGHTS ACRES (Partial)
HUNTINGTON OAKS (Partial)
JONES CREEK ESTATES
KARAUGH II
LAKES OF MISSION GROVE (Partial)
LAKES OF WILLIAMS RANCH
LAKEWOOD ESTATES
LEXINGTON SETTLEMENT
LOMAS HILLS
LONG MEADOW FARMS (Partial)
MAGNOLIA PLACE (Partial)
MCCRARY MEADOWS
MP ESTATES
OYSTER CREEK COUNTRY
PECAN BEND
PECAN CHASE
PECAN CREEK
PECAN ESTATES
PECAN HILL
PECAN LAKE
PITTS SUBDIVISION
PLANTATION MEADOWS
RIDGEWOOD ESTATES (Partial)
RIO VISTA
RIVER FOREST
RIVERS EDGE
RIVERSIDE RANCH
ROLLING CREEK
ROLLING OAKS
ROSEDALE ADDITION
ROYAL ESTATES
ROYAL LAKES ESTATES
ROYAL LAKES MANOR
SHADOW GROVE ESTATES
SOVEREIGN SHORES ESTATES
SUN RANCH (Partial)
TARA
TEAL RUN (Partial)
TEAL RUN COURT (Street Flooding)
TEAL RUN MEADOWS (Street Flooding)
TELEVIEW TERRACE
TEXANA PLANTATION
THE RETREAT AT SOVEREIGN SHORES
WESTCREEK
WINDSOR ESTATES
WOODS EDGE

From HISD:

 We are closing our campuses immediately as a precautionary measure.  Central office staff at Hattie Mae White building will be dismissed at 11 a.m.   For all the latest information throughout Harvey, please monitor our Houston ISD Twitter handle.  Thank you.  And thanks for all you do to keep us all safe. 

 

On August 20, 2017 just after midnight, Deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office were 

dispatched to the Jack-N-Box located at, 6734 FM 1488 in reference to Forgery of a government document 

call. While enroute to the call, Deputies were advised that three males had attempted to pass a counterfeit

$100 bill at Jack-N-Box as well as the Denny’s located at 6111 Farm to Market Rd 1488, Magnolia, TX 

77354. The three suspects fled when they were confronted and went into the Westwood North subdivision

just north of FM 1488. Once in the subdivision, the suspects broke into numerous unlocked vehicles taking 

several personal items from the vehicles, including laptops, cellphones large bags. A victim observed the 

suspects breaking into his vehicle from his surveillance video and alerted the Montgomery County Sheriff’s 

Office. The victim provided responding Deputies with the information he witnessed which ultimately led 

the Deputies to apprehend the three suspects. Located on the suspects were numerous counterfeit $100 

bills as well as stolen property. 

We would also like to take a moment and remind all citizens the Sheriff’s Office Safety reminder of 

“T.L.C.”, T-take your keys, L-lock your car, C-conceal or hid valuables from sight. Montgomery County 

Sheriff Rand Henderson commends the outstanding teamwork demonstrated to take these burglars into 

custody.

If you know these suspects please contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office 936-760-5800 or Crime 

Stoppers at 1-800-392-7867 and refer to case# 17A248277.

Arrested:

Wesley Brasseaux W/M 017

Joshua Range B/M 017

Shannon Scott B/M 018

All three were charged: 

Forgery of a Government Document 1count and Burglary of a Motor Vehicle 2 counts. Additional charges 

could be forthcoming as this investigation is ongoing.

Houston police homicide investigators have released surveillance photos of three males wanted for questioning in the fatal shooting of a woman and wounding of a man at 17125 Tomball Parkway about 3:10 a.m. today (August 20).

The female victim, Aluxes Mares, 20, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.  The male victim, James Butanda, 26, is in critical condition at an area hospital.

Surveillance photos of the three wanted males are attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeants J. Horn, B. Olive and Detectives T. Jackson and S. Sylvester reported:

Ms. Mares, Mr. Butanda and other friends were at the Chulas restaurant at the above address.  As they exited the restaurant and walked toward the parking lot, multiple shots were fired in their direction.  Mares and Butanda were struck.  Both were transported to area hospitals.

Investigators are asking for assistance in identifying three males they would like to speak with and believe know further details in the shooting.

Anyone with information on the identities or whereabouts of the males is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-222-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

On August 17, 2017, in the 359th District Court of Montgomery County, Texas, with Judge Kathleen Hamilton presiding, a jury found Jeffrey Michael McDonough guilty of two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child.  On Friday, August 18, the same jury sentenced him to Life in prison for each case.  McDonough’s trial began Monday, August 14, 2017. Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child under the age of 14 is a first degree felony, carrying with it a punishment range of 5 years up to 99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.  

McDonough met the victim (who was then 12 years old) and her mother during the Summer of 2014, and McDonough began a dating relationship with the victim’s mother. McDonough eventually moved into the home with the Victim and her mother in February of 2015.  A teacher of the victim testified that she observed physical and emotional changes in the Victim during this time—going from a happy, giving, friendly girl in the Fall Semester of 2014 into an angry, reserved unfriendly person during the Spring Semester of 2015, and drastically cutting and changing the color of her hair. The victim’s mother testified that she also noticed a changes in the victim’s behavior, and that the victim was suddenly experiencing sleeplessness and nightmares. After requesting to go live with her father near Dallas in the summer of 2015, the victim finally broke her silence and told a family friend that she had been “raped” by the Defendant.

Subsequent outcries to Children’s Safe Harbor employees and law enforcement revealed a continued pattern of sexual abuse by the defendant lasting for approximately four months—all of the incidents occurring when the victim’s mother was at work, leaving the defendant and the victim alone in the home together. The victim was 13 years old at the time. Forensic Nurse Jamie Ferrell, who performed a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination on the victim, testified that in approximately 8,000 Sexual Assault Exams that she has performed, she had never seen a more severe case of self-mutilation. Examination of the victim revealed more than one hundred self-imposed cuts on the victim’s legs and arms, ranging from fresh wounds to healing scars. A school counselor for the victim explained to the jury that self-mutilation, or “cutting,” is a way for victims of trauma to control the pain they feel, and is an increasingly common coping mechanism for children and teenagers dealing with trauma such as sexual abuse.

After hearing emotional testimony by the victim, now 15 years old, the jury found McDonough Guilty on Thursday August 17, 2017, after almost three hours of deliberation.  In arguing for leniency for his client, McDonough’s defense attorney, David Stiller, reminded the jury that there was no evidence that the defendant forcibly raped the victim and urged the jury not to jump immediately to a Life sentence for the 46 year old man, but instead to consider perhaps 13 years because of the victim’s age at the time of the sexual assaults. In arguing for Life sentences in both counts, Assistant District Attorney George Napier informed the jury that he could have brought dozens of charges against this defendant and that every one of those times the defendant violated the victim sexually deserved a Life sentence. Finally, Napier told the jury that they should deliver a year for every cut on the victim’s body that represented what the defendant did to her, and that when they can no longer count the cuts, to stop counting and give him Life.

Under Texas law, McDonough will be eligible for parole in 30 years, or possibly less with good time credit.

Whitman Liu in a photo with HPD chief Art Acevedo

Whitman Liu is a veteran police officer at HPD but found himself dumping his entire Facebook page Sunday evening after he posted what some consider a racist and an offensive comment.

Liu chimed in on another person’s post where the issue of the Confederacy was the topic of discussion. 

When the HPD officer wrote his comment he made it clear he had some very negative opinions about African Americans. 

We’re talking about opinions that would leave anyone of color who is pulled over by the officer nervous because of his mind set.

Liu’s comment lingered on Facebook until I (The Factor) reached out to him to positively identify him as a Houston police officer. 

After that gesture and message to Liu he issued an apology and dumped his own Facebook page. 

Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officers’  Union tells The Factor Liu is very sorry about what he posted and he realized just how hurtful his comments were after reaching out to some of his friends of color. 

I have included his comments below as well as his apology. 

What do you think? 

Liu’s apology

J. Long on the red carpet

The cast of Evolved

J. Long interview with Isiah Carey before video

Houston rapper Alias Music aka Mr. Whatever

Red Carpet

Dozens of people showed up to District Theater in Webster Sunday afternoon to witness the debut of the new music video from R&B artist J. Long.

The former member of Pretty Ricky released the song ‘Evolved’ along with its companion video to the public at a an exclusive red carpet premiere.

J. Long says he was excited to show his family and fans his latest production which was shot in Arkansas and directed by Lazreal Lison.

It details the relationship between a married wealthy socialite and her butler.

The song Evolved can be purchased on all streaming platforms including as iTunes and Google Music. 

It was a special day for Fox 26 anchor Melinda Spaulding in Houston Friday night.

The veteran journalist is retiring from news and taking a position at Texas Southern University.

Spaulding wants to spend more time with her husband and children that’s why she vacated her anchor chair. 

Dozens of of her colleagues and friends showed up to wish her a fond farewell at the Buffalo Soldiers’ Museum.

Here are some of the pics I snapped at the event.