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WHAT’S THE HOTTEST SPOT IN HOUSTON TONIGHT?

WE’RE COMPILING THE BIG PARTY LIST!

Have you been invited to one of the hottest New Years Eve parties? Well, The Insite would like to hear about it. In the comments section below tell your fellow readers where the hottest party is and all the details including cost. Also, if you have some alternative celebrations make sure you include that on the list!

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THIS NEW YEARS EVE?

THE LAST DAY OF 2008!

Are you staying in, going to church, hitting a house party, shooting fireworks or letting it all hangout for the last night of 2008? The Insite would love to hear your big plans for the evening!

NEIMAN MARCUS TO THE INSITE: WE DON’T TAKE YOUR KIND OF MONEY!

I’M TAKING MY BROKE BUSINESS BACK TO WALMART!

All you Insite readers know I’m a Walmart / Macy’s type of guy. Anything beyond that is way out of my league. So here goes. I had a little extra time on my hand Tuesday when I drove to Houston. I decided to stop in the Galleria Mall. That was mistake number 1. I hate the Galleria because I always get lost. I don’t know one end from the other. And let’s be honest, a local yocal little tv reporter can’t really afford some of those stores so why fool myself. Imagine me trying to buy a suit in Armani. The police would arrest me for wasting the time of a sales rep. Anyway, I ventured in to the Galleria just to waste some time. I stopped in Neiman Marcus. Why? Who knows. But I saw a belt, shirt, sweater, and tie I liked so I decided to buy the items. I get up to the clerk and pull out the Visa. She looked at me like I had boo boo on my face. She said sir we don’t take Visa. I thought it was a bit odd so I went for the Mastercard. They don’t take that along with my Discover. I wondered to myself what is going on here. Sears loves these cards in my wallet. Do I need to pull out a pot of gold or some confederate money for this snobbish store. By the way, do you ever notice the people who work as clerks at high end stores try to act like they’re rich snobs knowing full well they can’t shop there? These people are a trip. I hate to go there but they’re making just above minimum wage and they try to treat you like you’re wasting their time. Did I tell you how a clerk at Macy’s (the Walmart of the Galleria) called me cheap behind my back at the store in the Woodlands. Another clerk who calls me about specials told me. But his insult was a compliment to the Insite. But back to the subject at hand. The clerk at Neiman’s told me they only accepted Neiman’s credit card and American Express. I said well that’s okay because I don’t have those and started to put my stuff back but then she noticed my checkbook in my wallet. She said we’ll take a check. Notice how she didn’t want to lose that sell. So feeling very strange because I haven’t wrote a check to a department store in years I filled out the bank draft. I had my stuff and was on my way. But what kind of store only takes two forms of plastic. That’s crazy. One clerk standing nearby told me that has long been a pet peeve for them. She said that causes the store to lose a lot of customers. I know exactly what she means because I was out of there until she spotted that checkbook. I kind of wish it would bounce. Just a slice of life from the Insite!

HPD COPS ACCUSED OF BRUTALLY BEATING DRIVER CLEARED!

ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THIS VERDICT?

An internal investigation has cleared three officers of any wrongdoing in connection to the alleged November beating of a NFL player’s father.

HPD Officers B. Guzman, G. Cruz and M. Marin and a third officer are expected to return to their regular patrol duties immediately, according to an official Houston Police Department statement.

The three officers were placed under administrative leave after Marvin Driver, father of Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Donald Driver, accused them of beating him during a traffic stop Nov. 17. As the officers escorted Driver to the jail, he became unresponsive and was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

While he was at the hospital, Driver accused the officers of beating him.

However, the internal investigation could not disprove nor verify the allegations placed against the officers, and two independent witnesses gave detectives stories similar to that of the officers, according to the statement.

The investigation states witnesses said Marin, who was accused of beating Driver, remained inside his patrol vehicle, and there was no indication an assault or altercation took place.

“We take allegations such as these very seriously and conduct thorough investigations into such cases to make sure we are transparent and maintain the confidence and trust of the citizens we proudly serve,” the statement from the Houston Police Department said

THE MACY’S GLITCH THAT MAY HIT US ALL!

CHECK YOUR BANK STATEMENTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

If you shopped at Macy’s on the Saturday before Christmas – one of the season’s busiest shopping days – and paid with a debit card, carefully check your bank statement because a computer glitch may have caused your account to be debited twice.

Macy’s Inc. spokesman Ed Smith said a “very small number” of customers were affected, but he didn’t know exact figures.

“Macy’s had a system issue on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 1 to 2:45 p.m. at stores in Macy’s Central and East divisions, which may have caused multiple debits to some customers’ checking accounts,” he said. “The problem has been identified and corrected.”

Macy’s Central division, which includes Texas, has 236 stores in 18 states in the South and Midwest. The East division operates 253 stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Smith said Macy’s “has communicated with customers’ banks. The banks will credit customers’ checking accounts.”

The glitch affected only debit cards and not credit cards, Mr. Smith said.

A Highland Village woman said her son bought her a set of knives for Christmas at Macy’s at Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville. She said he spent $78 for the gift, then later discovered that another $78 had been debited from his checking account.

He was eventually charged $50 in bounced-check fees, said the woman, who didn’t want to be identified.

While she understood that mistakes happen, she wasn’t too happy about being told to fax her son’s checking account statements.

“It’s going to take them up to 10 days to refund everybody’s money,” the woman said.

Mr. Smith said Macy’s needs the bank statements to verify that the computer system glitch caused the bank accounts to be overdrawn.

“We will have the charges removed,” he said.

Consumers affected by the glitch should send a fax of their bank statements to 513-573-2433 and label it “Attention: Third Party Credit.”

Consumers should closely monitor their bank accounts to ensure that other checks they’ve written didn’t bounce, said attorney Mary Spector, who teaches consumer law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.

“Monitor the checks and recipients of any checks or other payments that they might have paid in the interim to make sure that there are no problems caused by checks and debits attempted to be made in the period before Macy’s discovered the problem,” she said.

FACIAL RECONSTRUCTION FOR HOUSTON MAN!

CONGRESSMAN AL GREEN STEPS IN TO CHANGE A LIFE!

By: Duarte Geraldino –

He was exonerated and released from prison, and now, one Texas lawmaker is helping him reconstruct his face.

“He fought a good fight. He never gave up,” says he cousin Anthony Sims.

Ricki Rachell suffered almost unreal physical and psychological pain, but when you look at his face you can see his pain was very real. In 1992 he was shot in the face. Missing bones and mangled tissue left him disfigured.

“He only has half a tongue so it is hard to understand him,” explained Sims.

Click here to see the full video story by FOX 26’s Duarte Geraldino.

Years later he was accused of sexually assaulting a young boy, tried and sent to prison as “child molester.” It was all a mistake.

Rachell says he pleaded with authorities, warning them “the real rapist was still praying on children.”

DNA evidence from a rape kit –which would later prove him innocent — was never analyzed. It was never considered by the court that sentenced him to 40 years in prison. He wrote to his mother telling her its going to be okay. He insisted he didn’t do it.

“I said I was innocent but I didn’t think it would work out,” said Rachell as he thought back on his time in prison.

His cousin says it was all too much for Rachell’s mother.

“She drunk a lot. She drunk herself to death,” said Sims.

Finally, weeks after being released, a second prayer is answered

“Reconstruction surgery for you,” Congressman Al Green told Rachell Monday morning. “Is that something that appeals to you? Reconstruction surgery for your face?”

Rep. Green has arranged for world-renowned Texas surgeon. Dr. Joseph Agris to rebuild Rachell’s face for free. It could takes years and many surgeries to reconstruct Rachel’s face. He says experience has shown him his prayer will be fulfilled.

“I didn’t think I would make it, but at the last minute it happened,” said Rachell.

His family just prays Rachell’s psychological pain can one day be soothed.

RESULTS OF RED LIGHT CAMERA STUDY RELEASED!

DO YOU BUY THIS PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CITY?

Researchers today released a final study of the City of Houston’s red light camera program concluding that the cameras are “mitigating a general, more severe increase in collisions,” at intersection approaches without cameras. The study also concludes that, “the proportion of collisions occurring at monitored approaches [with cameras] decreased significantly relative to the non-monitored [without cameras] approaches,” after the program began.

“The program is proving successful in improving public safety, which has been the goal since the beginning,” said Mayor Bill White. “We believe the findings and conclusions provide sound evidence of that.”

The study, conducted by researchers for the Center for Civic Engagement at Rice University in collaboration with the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, compares data between intersection approaches with cameras and those without cameras, both before and after the program was initiated.

Between September 2006 and August 2008 cameras were installed at 50 intersections and 70 approaches in five groups of 10 approaches and one group of 20.

“As the study points out, when we compared non-monitored to monitored approaches before and after the cameras, we see that non-monitored approaches have observed an increase in collisions that is not observed at the monitored approaches,” said Tim Lomax, research engineer and mobility analyst with the Texas Transportation Institute.

A NEW STUDY SHOWS BLACK MALES ARE KILLING AND BEING KILLED!

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THIS ALARMING TREND?

As violent crime nationally slows in growth or declines, the United States is facing a dramatic — but hardly noticed — increase in murders by and of young African-American men, a Northeastern University study released today reports.

Between 2002 and 2007, the number of black male juveniles murdered nationally increased by 31 percent and the number of black perpetrators by 43 percent. The increases were even greater, the report said, when guns were used as weapons.

Focusing on the period between 2000-01 and 2006-07, the study found Houston at the top of a list of 28 U.S. cities, with a 139 percent increase in the number of young African-Americans suspected in killings.

In 2006-07, 129 young black men were murdered in the city, up from 42 in 2000-01.

Those increases came as homicides by and of young white men slowed or declined. In Houston, the number of white offenders dropped by 10 percent. Nationally, FBI statistics showed murder decreased 1.3 percent in 2007 from the previous year.

“I don’t want to suggest that this is an epidemic, a crisis situation,” said study co-author James Fox, professor of criminal justice and law, policy and society at the university in Boston. “But it’s absolutely a growing concern, not a one-year blip.”

Fox and his associate, criminologist Marc Swatt, argued in the report that the increases occurred as the federal government cut support for community policing and intervention programs put in place to combat a rise in gang violence in the 1990s.

Though current violence falls short of levels in the ’90s, the report’s authors called for renewal of government support for intervention. “Let this small upturn serve as a thunderous wake-up call that crime prevention needs to be a priority again,” they wrote.

“Kids can’t wait, and crime doesn’t wait,” Fox said. “There is a significant need here — a large group of kids with inadequate, inferior education and a ready access to guns. A teenager with a gun in his hand is a dangerous individual.”

Houston community activist Quanell X called the study a “blanket indictment of the city and government officials in the city and a greater indictment of ministers and political leaders of the African-American community.”

He called for a citywide black leadership summit to find ways to end the violence.

“Until African-American leaders, both spiritual and political, male and female, can get into that room and check their egos at the door and say, ‘To hell with party politics,’ and walk out of that room with a plan all of us can have a part in,” the killings will continue, he said.

Shape Community Center’s Deloyd Parker questioned the way the study was conducted. “When they say ‘offender,’ does that mean someone who’s charged with a crime or been convicted?” he said. “Sometimes even being convicted doesn’t mean you’re actually guilty.”

Fox responded that the number of young offenders was calculated from instances in which “police knew who did the crime” and through a statistical process called “imputation.”

Imputation, used when crimes have not been solved, essentially intuits the offender’s race from location of the killing and other circumstances of the crime.

“The whole foundation of the study is in question,” Parker charged. ” … He’s going to have to do a little better homework for me to even mess with this.”

WWW.CHRON.COM

BUN B RELEASES NEW T-SHIRT TO DOZENS OF FANS!

PARTY KING ON THE SCENE AGAIN!










By: Kalele ‘Party King’ Thumbutu - Lovers of all things sneaker came to Premium Goods sneaker shop in Rice Village Saturday morning and the crowd stretched the length of the sidewalk. The group came out and stood in line for one thing, and that was the Bun B shirt released exclusively at Premium Goods. Bun B collaborated with Los Angeles based clothing line The Hundreds for the creation of this exclusive shirt. Bun personally autographed each and every limited edition shirt that was purchased and even gave the first customer in line the hat off his own head. Customers came from as far away as Japan for this special release and those that stood in line were truly the chosen ones as the limited edition shirts sold out within 2 hours of their release. It was perfect timing for the release of the shirts which coincided with the H- Town Sneaker Summit which was also being held this weekend!

HOUSTON RAPPER WILLIE D LAUNCHES SKATEBOARD COMPANY!

THE LATEST BUSINESS VENTURE!

Geto Boys member and businessman Willie D has taken a huge step forward in becoming a major player in the skateboard community. Earlier this month he announced plans to manufacture and distribute Relentless Skateboards which will role out in early March, 2009 and feature board designs endorsed by Willie D, his new rap group Huntzville, pro skateboarders and a host of interesting pop culture figures.

The company’s mission is to expand the infectious relationship that the music world shares with the skateboarder world by offering top quality boards and apparel and holding skate competitions featuring Hip Hop concerts to promote the Relentless brand and give back to the skate community.

Willie D, given name Willie Dennis has big plans for Relentless Boardz, the parent company of Relentless Skateboards which will also boast an impressive line of surfboards and snowboards. Says Willie D, “my goal is to be a servant to the skateboard community just as I am to the Hip Hop community. I respect the sacrifices that people like Steve Rocco, Rodney Mullen, Jessie Martinez, Mark Gonzales and countless other pioneers made to take skateboarding to the next level. But I also appreciate the more recent cats like Rune Glifberg, Jussi Korhonen, Greg Lutzka,Tony Hawk, Chris Gentry, Darrell Stanton, Neal Hendrix and so many more, including the distributors, magazine people, videographers, skateboard parks and fans who are dedicated to taking it even further. Besides the obvious entertainment benefits I like the passion that skateboarders have for their craft.”

Riders and spectators will get a chance to see and test ride the inaugural Relentless Skateboards line in March, 2009 at the official launch celebration to be held at Southside Skate Park in Houston, Texas U.S.A.. Riders are encouraged to sign up to compete for cash and prizes. There will also be a performance by Huntzville.

If you want to get your feet on a Relentless Skateboard and can’t wait till March, you can advance order your limited edition Relentless Skateboard by logging onto Huntzville.com

WHO KILLED RICKIE COLEMAN?

HPD WANTS TO FIND THE KILLER IN THIS CASE!

Houston police are investigating the death of a man found at 3822 Ajax #5 about 10 p.m. last Monday (Dec. 22). The victim, Rickie Leon Coleman, 51, of Houston, suffered a contusion to the back of the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. HPD Homicide Division Sergeant J. H. Roberts and Senior Police Officer R. Cervantes reported:

According to family members, Mr. Coleman had not been seen for several days. They stopped by to check on him and were unable to get him to come to the door. Family members also noticed Coleman’s car missing and a foul smell was coming from his apartment. Patrol officers were called to the scene, entered the apartment, and found Coleman deceased. Coleman’s car appeared to have been stolen during the incident and later that afternoon, the vehicle was recovered. The motive for the incident is believed to be robbery. There are no known witnesses or suspect(s) in this case.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

AT MACY’S EVERYONE IS A SUSPECTED SHOPLIFTER!

WHY IS THIS STUPID ALARM GOING OFF?

I made a stop at Macy’s on 1960 last week where it was a packed house. A lot of people were looking for those After-Christmas sales. I was there to return two items when I decided to buy something. As I was looking around I heard the door alarm go off several times. I thought to myself there certainly are a lot of people trying to steal today. Then after I checked out I was leaving the store and the alarm went off. There was no one there to check my bag so I looked myself and the security device was still on my merchandise. So I went back to the attendant where I checked out to get it removed. The young lady told me sorry she couldn’t do it because she didn’t have the equipment to remove any of the security device. She was one of about three temporary registers that checked people out but couldn’t remove the security devices. So there was a steady stream of people who would check out then as they tried to leave the alarm would go off. Macy’s really should’ve thought this checkout process through a little better. Once we set off the alarm we had to go back into the store and wait in the longer lines to get the devices removed. One clerk told me I should’ve just left and cut the device off at home. I thought that was a dumb idea. How about they take it off since I paid for my merchandise!