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As part of National Poetry Month, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the selections of Deborah Mouton – an internationally-known poet, singer, actress, photographer, wife and mother – as Houston’s third Poet Laureate and Fareena Arefeen as the city’s second Youth Poet Laureate.

“Houston has so many talented page and performance poets and a strong literary arts community,” said Mayor Turner. “Deborah Mouton has the expertise and passion for poetry that will be invaluable in working with arts groups of all disciplines to take poetry to all of Houston’s neighborhoods. Likewise, Fareena is a tremendous choice for the Youth Poet Laureate, and I am impressed by her commitment to serving the community.”

“The Houston Public Library (HPL) congratulates Deborah and Fareena and joins the mayor in recognizing their invaluable talent,” said Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson. “We are excited about working with both of them and look forward to seeing them extend their passion for poetry around the city.”

Mouton was chosen from among Houston’s poetry community through a competitive application and interview process by a panel of local literary arts experts. Her two-year term begins in April 2017 and runs through April 2019. As Poet Laureate, she will work closely with the Houston Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs to implement her Community Outreach Project. She will also conduct eight workshops in Houston Public Libraries, create videos and poems to share on social media and mentor the Houston Youth Poet Laureate.

“It’s such an honor to be chosen to serve Houston as the Poet Laureate,” said Deborah Mouton. “I can’t wait to work with local artists and citizens to shine light on the unique voices and cultural experiences that this great city has to offer.”

Arefeen, a junior at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), succeeds Andrew White, a graduate of HSPVA and a freshman at New York University who now serves as U.S. Regional Youth Poet Laureate and is in the running to be the National Youth Poet Laureate. Arefeen’s one-year term includes a scholarship, a book publication and mentorship from Houston’s Poet Laureate.

The Youth Poet Laureate program is led by the Writers in the Schools with coordination from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Houston Public Library.

“Young people are capable of all the wisdom and insight of adults. They can develop words that are so powerful they could change the world,” says Robin Reagler, executive director of Writers in the Schools. “With the Youth Poet Laureate program, our wish is to amplify the voices of these young people so they can deliver a powerful message to our community.”

Arefeen draws inspiration from her mother, who works at a gas station and raised her daughter to love the poetry of the Bengali people, whom she regards as “poets at heart.” As Houston Youth Poet Laureate, Arefeen hopes to make the written word more accessible across communities and is especially interested in using public art as a vehicle for poetic expression and social change.

“There is space for everyone in writing,” says Arefeen. “I would like marginalized groups of people to recognize the validity of their work. I want people to share their words and hear the voices of others around them because poetry is a device of connection.”

Arefeen will participate in several community events throughout Houston, where she will lead youth in contributing to a visual art installation created out of their own poetry. Their poetry will be displayed and later photographed and archived for a gallery opening and reading at the end of her term.

The Houston Poet Laureate Selection Committee is comprised of a diverse group of poets, scholars and literary experts. 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. The final selection for the Poet Laureate was made by Mayor Turner. The Poet Laureate is awarded a $10,000 honorarium for the two-year term.

COUNCIL MEMBER KUBOSH TO CLEAR UP CONFUSION IN THE TESTIMONY OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY INVESTIGATOR IN THE MURDER FOR HIRE CASE.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

On March 29th Investigator Turpin testified, upon Cross-Examination of Defense Attorney George Parnaham,  that Council Member Michael Kubosh was an attorney.  Investigator Turpin’s testimony was widely reported and has led to speculation that Defendant Jacob’s conversation with Council Member Kubosh might fall under the attorney client privilege.

 

This speculation is not rooted in fact. Furthermore, when Council Member Kubosh informed the Police about the information he received he expected it to remain as confidential as possible.  Especially since it was a Solicitation of Capital Murder case.  Therefore in light of Investigator Turpin’s testimony and the widespread reporting on this case.  Council Member Kubosh will be taking questions on his involvement in this Murder for Hire Case.

 

Council Member Kubosh and Attorney Paul Kubosh will hold a Press Conference to clear up the confusion and inconsistencies in this case.

 

When:    Wednesday, April 5th, @ 1:30 p.m.

Where:   

Contact: Michael Kubosh


Paul Kubosh
1619 Lubbock


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Investigators in Montgomery County say in March information was developed about the sale and distribution of marijuana, marijuana wax, and marijuana infused edibles in the Montgomery County area. On March 27 members of the Montgomery County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MOCONET) and Conroe Police executed a Narcotics Search Warrant in the 19000 block of FM 1314 in Conroe, Texas.

As a result of the search warrant, approximately 10.6 pounds of hydroponic grown marijuana, 14 kilograms of marijuana infused edibles, 11 ounces of marijuana wax, 302 marijuana infused Vape pens, $11,639 in U.S. Currency, and 2 firearms were seized.

As Detectives were conducting their investigation and performing a search of the premises, multiple vehicles arrived on location throughout the night, driven by individuals coming to purchase narcotics from the occupants of the residence.

As a result of this investigation, five individuals were taken into custody.

Daniel Marquardt, Shannan Moore, and Cody Pittman were all placed in custody for Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance (First Degree Felony) and Money Laundering (State Jail Felony). Donald Sullivan was taken into custody for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Third Degree Felony), and Walter Cordaro was taken into custody for Possession of Marijuana (Misdemeanor B).

MOCONET is a cooperative, multi-agency task force which consists of law enforcement agencies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables Offices, Texas Department of Public Safety-CID, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Walker County District Attorney’s Office, Customs and Border Protection – Houston Air and Marine Operations, and Homeland Security Investigations.  Participating agencies recognize that a special collaborative effort is necessary to more effectively combat the drug distribution and collection of drug proceeds throughout the area.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office encourages those who have knowledge of illegal narcotics use or sales to please contact Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392- STOP

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A former U.S. Congressman and one of his associates were indicted today for their roles in orchestrating a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable foundations and the individuals who ran those foundations. Some of the funds were used to illegally finance the politician’s campaigns for public office and to pay for his personal expenses and those of his associates. Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas and Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement along with Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Special Agent in Charge D. Richard Goss of IRS – Criminal Investigation (CI), Houston Field Office.
Former U.S. Representative Stephen E. Stockman, 60, of Clear Lake, and the former director of special projects in Stockman’s congressional office, Jason Posey, 46, formerly of the Houston area, were charged in a 28-count superseding indictment with mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), making excessive campaign contributions and money laundering. Stockman is also charged with filing a false tax return that concealed his receipt and personal use of the fraudulent proceeds, while Posey is charged with falsifying an affidavit in order to obstruct an FEC investigation. Thomas Dodd, a former special assistant in Stockman’s congressional office, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the scheme on March 20, 2017.  
 
According to the superseding indictment, from May 2010 to October 2014, Stockman solicited approximately $1,250,000 in donations based on false pretenses. Specifically, the indictment alleges that in 2010, Stockman diverted a significant portion of $285,000 donated to charitable causes to pay for his and Dodd’s own personal expenses and to further Stockman’s own interests. The indictment further alleges that in 2011 and 2012, Stockman and Dodd received an additional $165,000 in charitable donations, much of which Stockman used to finance his 2012 congressional campaign. 
 
Shortly after Stockman took office in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, he and Dodd allegedly used the name of a nonprofit entity to solicit and receive a $350,000 charitable donation. Stockman allegedly used this donation for a variety of personal and campaign expenses, including illegal conduit campaign contributions, a covert surveillance project targeting a perceived political opponent and payments associated with Stockman’s U.S. Senate campaign in early 2014. 
 
The superseding indictment further alleges that in connection with Stockman’s Senate campaign, Posey used a nonprofit entity to secure a $450,571 donation in order to fund a mass-mailing project attacking Stockman’s opponent. Only approximately half of the donation was spent on the mail campaign, and Posey used a portion of the unspent balance to pay for expenses associated with Stockman’s Senate campaign and to fund personal expenses, according to the charges.
 
The FBI and IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis of the Southern District of Texas and Trial Attorneys Ryan J. Ellersick and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case. 
 

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One 3/24/17 around 2:30 a Pct. 4 deputy witnessed several individuals walk underneath a bridge just north of Northpark on Highway 59.  The deputy couldn’t stop at that time since he was enroute to back up another deputy.  Soon after he returned and walked under the bridge he witnessed Russom, Eric 3/29/75 from Splendora, TX, Arriola, Jonathan 6/4/99 from Kingwood, TX and Rybinski, Gabriel 7/29/98, also from Kingwood, TX all spray painting the structure under the bridge.  An investigation also showed Russom to be in possession of marijuana “wax”.  All three subjects have been charged with felony graffiti and Russom also charged with felony possession of a controlled substance.

Constable Hayden stated he’s proud of his deputy’s actions.  They go above and beyond daily, getting out of their vehicles and investigation suspicious activities which lead to arrests and ultimately making the area a great place for you and your families.

Arrested:

Russom, Eric (date of birth 3/29/1975)                                                                                       State Jail Felony – Graffiti                                                                   State Jail Felony – PCS (wax marijuana)

Arriola, Jonathan (date of birth 6/4/1999)                                                      State Jail Felony – Graffiti

Rybinski, Gabriel (date of birth 7/29/98)                                                                  State Jail Felony – Graffiti

Crime Stoppers and The Texas Attorney General’s Office – Houston Fugitive Apprehension Office, need the public’s assistance locating Fugitive Alvin Eugene Johnson.

On August 31, 1976, Johnson was convicted of Sexual Assault of a Child in Harris County, TX and sentenced to 2 years confinement. The victim was an 11 year old female.

On September 30, 2015, the Texas Board of Pardon and Parole issued warrant #02039356 for Johnson who is currently on parole for Delivery of Cocaine.

On September 20, 2016, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office issued warrant #1524376 for Fail to Comply as a Sex Offender.

Johnson is described as a black male, black/gray hair, brown eyes, 5’9″ tall and weighs approximately 170 lbs. Johnson has tattoos on his right forearm and chest.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of the suspect in this case. Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org. Tips may also be sent via a text message by texting the following: TIP610 plus the information to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.


​The Factor has learned a veteran Houston police officer has left the force while facing an internal investigation. 
Our sources say officer Bruce Johnson, who’s been with the department for 22 years, is retiring. 
This comes after he found himself the target of an internal investigation. 
You may remember it was back in February when Johnson shot a man who was burglarizing his home. 
He says he received an alert on his phone that his home was being targeted. 
Johnson was relieved of duty that day because there were questions about him also physically assaulting the suspect. 
HPD confirms Johnson’s retired on March 9th. 


Previous report on Johnson:
HOUSTON (FOX 26) – Houston police say an off-duty officer shot a man several times after he caught him breaking into his home. The officer, Bruce Johnson, a 22-year HPD veteran, received a message on his phone from his alarm system that there was an intruder at his house.
When he got to his house on Yorkdale Road, authorities say he saw the man attempting to leave his house, with several of his items.
The man, who police describe as a black male in his 30s, apparently pulled a pickle knife out of his pocket and attempted to lunge at Johnson. 
Chief Art Acevedo says that’s when Johnson discharged several rounds of ammunition, striking the suspect numerous times.There was also a physical altercation. When police arrived, they found the suspect wounded on the street.
He was transported to Ben Taub Hospital where he underwent surgery. HPD says his status is not known, but he was shot numerous times. Officer Johnson did not sustain any serious injuries.
“When you have somebody in full uniform, in a full police uniform and you start fighting that individual and you pull a weapon on them you can almost be assured you’re probably going to get shot, you don’t take out a weapon and engage a person in this uniform,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Officer Johnson has been placed on administrative leave while HPD conducts its criminal and administrative investigation.

There will be more than 100 residents traveling to Austin TOMORROW from Houston and Dallas to speak at the TxDOT Transportation Meeting

At last month’s meeting, Senator Borris Miles raised the issue of the lack of minority contractors being selected for projects relating to the Highway 288 Project, located in his district (Senate District 13). 

TxDOT originally committed to 12% of contractors selected would come from their Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. 

Miles says to date, they have only been able to commit to a 6% DBE participation rate, with less than one percent going towards African American contractors.

 

More than 100 residents will be traveling to speak at the TxDOT Transportation Meeting from HOUSTON and DALLAS to share why minority participation is important to the community.

 

ALL MEDIA IS INVITED TO ATTEND.

TOMORROW, March 28, 2017

1PM

Ric Williamson Hearing Room on the 1st Floor

125 East 11th St.

Austin, Texas 78701