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Fund set up by Constable Herschel Smith:

Shelita Rowe Fund
TDECU Credit Union
2438799

Waller County Precinct 3 Constable Herschel Smith needs your help.

Tonight (Monday) he stumbled upon a single mother with six children sleeping in a van in the parking lot of a Motel 6 at 2900 W. Sam Houston Parkway.

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The woman tells me by phone she left Houston a year ago to try and find a job in Florida to support her kids.

She says when that did not work out she returned this week.

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By that time the struggling parent says she was out of money.

She also reached out to three major shelters in Houston.

She says she was told there was no room because the facilities are at capacity for the holidays.

She says one shelter also told her she had too many children.

I asked if she had family in Houston to crash with and she said no since she’s been on her own for such a long time.

If you have any type of solution to this issue contact Waller County Precinct 3 Constable Herschel Smith right now at 832-889-8529… as soon as possible!

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It’s been two months since the Harris County District Attorney introduced a new program that wouldn’t leave first time pot smokers with a criminal record.

Jeff McShan with the DA’s office says 184 people have qualified for the program that would allow those who are first time marijuana offenders to enter an intervention program to get the charge dismissed.

This is for those who have a small amount of weed (up to 2 ounces) for personal use only.

DA Devon Anderson’s program got underway in October. 

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Texas State Representative Joe Moody (D–El Paso) introduced a bill Monday that would reduce state penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Representative Moody announced the details of the bill at a news conference hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. He was joined by retired Texas District Court Judge John Delaney and representatives from the coalition including ACLU of Texas, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, and the Marijuana Policy Project.

“Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn’t working,” Rep. Moody said. “We need a new approach that allows us to more effectively utilize our limited criminal justice resources. This legislation is a much-needed step in the right direction.”

The proposed law would remove the threat of arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of $100. Under current Texas law, individuals found in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana can be arrested and given a criminal record, and they face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

“The War on Marijuana is a failure and has needlessly ensnared hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, at tremendous human and financial cost,” says Matthew Simpson, policy strategist for the ACLU of Texas. “It’s time to implement reforms that are fairer, more compassionate, and smarter at reducing drug dependency and improving our health and safety.”

According to the FBI, there were 72,150 arrests or citations for marijuana-related offenses in Texas in 2012, 97% of which were for simple possession. That same year, nearly 90% of all burglaries — including home invasions — and 88% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved.

“Giving a ticket for small amounts of marijuana makes sense,” Judge Delaney said. “The fine can be paid by mail, so police, prosecutors, and our courts will be able to use their limited resources for more important matters.”

More than 60% of Texas voters support limiting the punishment for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a fine of $100 with no possibility of jail time, according to September 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.

“There is broad support for reducing marijuana possession penalties, and it spans the political spectrum,” said Ann Lee, executive director of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. “The prohibition of marijuana is diametrically opposed to the Republican principles of limited government, individual responsibility, and personal freedom. There is nothing conservative about it.”

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have removed the threat of jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

“Most Americans are fed up with laws that saddle people with criminal records just for possessing a substance that is less harmful than alcohol,” said Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Texas simply cannot afford to continue arresting and jailing people for marijuana possession.”

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The Devil is always busy especially around the holidays.

A Fox 26 news crew out covering a protest in Freedman’s Town Monday afternoon learned that the hard way.

When the reporter and photographer returned to the news unit parked on Wilson Street they discovered their windows knocked out and potentially thousands of dollars in equipment – gone.

The crew was advised by HPD to drive to the nearest substation to report the incident because the response time would not be priority.

Luckily no one was hurt.

This is a clear reminder even if you lock up your vehicle the bad guy if determined will still get what he wants.

CRIMESTOPPERS

On October 31, 2014, Harris county Deputies responded to a robbery call at a gas station located in the 6900 block of Gessner. The victims say around 5:00 pm three suspects stormed the store wearing masks and carrying guns. Two of the suspects ordered everyone to get on the floor. The third suspect jumped over the service counter and pointed a gun to the clerk demanding all the money in the registers. They left in a white Ford truck.

The suspect that went behind the counter is described as a black male standing around 5’8” to 5’10”. He weighed approximately 150-to-160 pounds.

If you have any information about this crime, or any other felony crime, please call Crime Stoppers at
713-222-TIPS (8477).

You never have to give your name, and if your information leads to the criminal’s arrest, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

HPD

The Houston Police Department is conducting an investigation into an incident involving the apparent injury to a juvenile suspect. On Monday (Dec. 8) about 9:30 p.m., off-duty HPD officers were patrolling an apartment in the 8900 block of Glencrest when they were advised that three individuals were trespassing and had concealed themselves in a vacant apartment. When the trespassing suspects refused the officers commands to exit the vacant unit, the officers obtained assistance from an on-duty supervisor and an HPD K9 unit (police service dog).
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Despite the on-scene supervisor’s attempts to convince the suspects to exit the apartment and be lawfully detained, the suspects refused. HPD officers, along with a police service dog, then entered the apartment to effect detention and arrest. During an encounter with the juvenile, who was concealing herself in a bathroom, the police service dog bit the juvenile, causing injury. The juvenile received medical attention at the scene and at a local hospital for her injuries. In total, two juveniles were arrested for criminal trespassing and an adult male was arrested for an outstanding felony warrant, criminal trespassing, and possession of marijuana.

Police service dogs are used to assist officers in a number of situations, including searching for concealed suspects. This standard operating practice helps reduce the risk of use of force encounters between officers and suspects and usually does not result in serious injury to suspects or officers. This investigation will focus on the facts of the incident and will also evaluate the practice in terms of mitigating injuries to suspects and officers.

fedsA coordinated effort among federal, state and local officials has led to the federal indictment of eight individuals for trafficking in methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Special Agent in Charge Robert W. Elder of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Walker County Sheriff Clint R. McRae and Huntsville Police Department Chief Kevin Lunsford.

“The arrests made this week in Huntsville and in the surrounding Walker County communities demonstrate the value of information sharing and interagency collaboration,” said Arabit. “Law enforcement at the local and federal levels will continue to join together to disrupt and remove key command and control elements of criminal drug trafficking organizations responsible for the distribution of narcotics into our communities.”

“These arrests in Houston and the surrounding areas exemplifies the success that can be achieved when federal, state and local agencies combine resources to eliminate suspected serious firearms and narcotics offenders from the streets,” said Elder. “These results highlight the use of ATF’s Frontline Model, which seeks to direct limited resources towards positive impacts on crime.”

Eight people, including an officer with the Houston Police Department, were charged in a seven-count indictment returned under seal Dec. 4, 2014. They are all charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. The indictment was unsealed in its entirety today as some made appearances in federal court in Houston.

Those charged include Derryck Collins, 38, David Choate, 51, Michael Kelly, 22, and Roddrick Collins, 29, all from Huntsville, as well as Jarvis Lovelady, 33, Carlos Montemayor, 39, Javier Aguirre, 38, and Jasmine Bonner, 26, all of Houston. Bonner is a three-year veteran of the Houston Police Department.

All but Lovelady have been taken into custody and have made their initial appearances in recent days before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy. Some will be back in federal court for their detention hearings Dec. 16, 2014, at 02:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy.

Lovelady is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact authorities as follows:

DEA at 713-693-3000

Huntsville Police Department at 936-291-5480

Walker County Sheriff’s Office at 936-435-2400

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For Texas Southern University’s famed Ocean of Soul Marching Band, the year is ending pretty much the same way it began – with a big band Bang! The famed band was on hand to play for the premiere opening of popular entertainer/comedian Kevin Hart at his opening at the Edwards IMAX  in Katy, Texas. Hart got into the grove and made a few cool moves to the sounds of the Ocean. He’s pictured with members of the Ocean, “the motion” dancers. Earlier this year Hart made a $50,000 donation to support the band’s trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Yesterday was a cool way for the band to say, “Thank You,” for your support of student musicians.

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It is that time of the year when all of the journalist groups come together in the city Houston.

It was the annual joint Christmas party (Jingle Bells with Journalists) that attracted dozens of working reporters and public relations reps.

Some of the organizations attending the event included the Society of Professional Journalists, Houston Association of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Journalists along with the Houston Press Club.

The Wednesday night event was held at the Houston Print Museum in midtown. 
Some very familiar faces attended the party that also served as a fundraiser for young future journalists here in the community.

Here are some of the photos I snapped at the big event! 

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METRO’s newly appointed Police Chief Vera Bumpers is inviting the public to meet her officers and bring a donation that will enhance the life of patients in treatment at the county’s busy psychiatric hospital. Chief Bumpers, who has been with the force for more than 30 years, is making staff available to meet the public and accept donations destined for the UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center (UTHCPC) patients.

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“Our officers understand – from everyday experiences – the necessity of mental health services for all our constituents. What we hope to accomplish with our meet-up and collection drive is familiarize the public with our police force, and support an agency that provides vital services to thousands of families regardless of their circumstances,” said Chief Bumpers, the first African-American and first female to lead the agency’s police force.

Officers, including Chief Bumpers, will be on-hand to accept new items such as:

Personal hygiene products (non-aerosol only)
T-shirts and socks
Sneakers (size 7 and up)
Dominos and playing cards
Crossword puzzles and coloring books

Supplies collected on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the Texas Medical Center Transit Center (6910 Fannin at Pressler) between 7 and 9 a.m. will be given to UTHCPC staff and volunteers for patient use.