INSITE’S DAD OF THE WEEK: MEET FOX 26 ANCHOR TOM ZIZKA!

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AFTER THE NEWSCAST: I’M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!

It was a Christmas gift any kid would love. That’s what FOX 26 morning anchor Tom Zizka gave his two little girls. Zizka surprised them for Christmas with a trip to DisneyLand. Tom says the girls were very excited with the unexpected Christmas gift. He says their trip lasted from Christmas to New Years Day. With that wonderful Christmas gift Tom get’s the Insite’s Dad of the Week Award. Way to go Tom and keep surprising those beautiful little girls!

WHO’S RIGHT: THE PALESTINIANS OR THE ISRAELIS?

THE WAR IN GAZA BLEEDS ONTO WESLAYAN IN HOUSTON!

The violent and deadly conflict continues tonight in Gaza as many of us sleep peacefully in our beds. But all Houstonians aren’t ignoring the fighting that leaves those of Jewish decent vs. Arabs. There was another protest by those of Arabic decent on Weslayan near 59 Friday afternoon in Houston. Dozens of people took to the streets asking Americans to support the Palestinian side of the dispute. What position have you taken in this international tragedy? The Insite would love to hear your opinion. Also, below I have included the latest news on the fighting that’s going on half a world away:

Israel pressed on with a punishing Gaza offensive and Hamas sent more rocket salvoes into southern Israeli towns in a two-week-old war that continued to defy international efforts to stop it.

The Israeli military said it carried out more than 70 air strikes in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Friday against militants, rocket launching sites and weapons caches, and that the Islamist group fired at least 30 rockets across the border.

Medical officials in the Gaza Strip said the Palestinian death toll had risen to 784. Hamas officials said more than a third were children. Ten Israeli soldiers have been killed, as well as three civilians hit by Hamas rocket fire.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dismissed as “unworkable” a binding U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an “immediate and durable” ceasefire.

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip said they were weighing the resolution but objected they had not been consulted. The group said it had sent three of its leaders from Gaza to Cairo to discuss a separate Egyptian ceasefire proposal.

Diplomats said Israel and Egypt were far apart on the plan.

NEW INDICTMENTS IN THE HOUSTON URBAN LEAGUE SCANDAL!

PROSECUTORS: FORMER BOXER REGINALD JOHNSON AND 3 OTHERS ACCUSED OF ORGANIZED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY!

A former Houston boxer, along with three other people, have been slapped with charges of organized criminal activity.

Reginald Johnson was originally arrested for theft in June 2008. He was accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the Houston Area Urban League, Inc. for a youth boxing camp for that never took place according to prosecutors. Now we’ve learned there are three more arrests.

Prosecutors say Deidre Jones Shook, Ed Lee and Dorothy Spencer have all been indicted and arrested in connection with Johnson’s alleged boxing camp theft. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Terese Boose says they are charged with engaging in organized crime to theft.

The trial for Johnson is scheduled to begin in March.

AL BENNETT WAS PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC SWEEP IN HARRIS COUNTY!

MEET JUDGE AL BENNETT OF THE 61ST DISTRICT COURT!

Houston attorney Al Bennett was sworn in Friday as the newly elected judge in the 61st District Court in Harris County. In November he was able to unseat Republican John Donovan. The Insite made a quick run through his swearing in ceremony to grab some photos. Bennett, who’s Democrat, is among a long list of judges to push out more than a dozen Republican judges in Harris County!

Note from Al:

Dear Supporters:

Thank you! Words are not enough to express my gratitude for all that you have done for this campaign. With your support, we have ushered in a new era at the Harris County courthouse. When given a clear choice between “business as usual” and “change for the better”, you resoundingly voted to end one party rule at the courthouse.

As I pledged, I will serve the citizens of Harris County to the very best of my ability and give you every reason to cast your ballot for me again in four years. I will not let you down. Again, thank you and now on to the work ahead.

Sincerely,

Alfred H. “Al” Bennett

ANOTHER HOUSTON POLICE OFFICER UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT!

TWO OFFICERS FACING BIG TROUBLE IN AS MANY DAYS!

A second Houston police officer is under investigation for sexual assault. It is the second such investigation in two days.

The officer, whose name cannot be released because he hasn’t been criminally charged, works out of the Northeast precinct. The Houston Police Department confirms that the officer has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

That officer is accused of sexually assaulting a civilian. The female victim’s name is not being released.

Investigators and members from the Houston Police Officers Union say they cannot make any public statements on the case.

The first police officer accused of sexual assault has been identified as James Anthony Rodriguez. He’s been charged with sexually assaulting a female here in Houston!

Watch the video report:

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/myfox/MyFox/pages/sidebar_video.jsp?contentId=8225226&version=1&locale=EN-US

WHAT DID THE INVESTIGATION SAY ABOUT THE MARVIN DRIVER BEATING?

AN INSITE SECOND LOOK AT THE MARVIN DRIVER CASE!

A valued reader here on the Insite wrote recently that every member of the media was wrong when it came to the internal investigation into the alleged beating of Marvin Driver. Driver, the father of NFL player Donald Driver, claimed he was brutally beaten by 3 Houston police officers. That reader said the probe done by HPD was inconclusive. That reader went on to say the department couldn’t determine if Mr. Driver was beaten by the cops or if his story was true. But the department cleared the officers and put them back to work. If the department thought the officers were guilty they would’ve been charged and fired. I offer you this press release from the department which clears the police officers accused in the beating. Read it and you be the judge:

UPDATED STATEMENT ON MARVIN DRIVER INVESTIGATION

An extensive Internal Affairs Division investigation, including independent eyewitness statements and a review of hospital medical records, has concluded there is no evidence to substantiate allegations made by Mr. Marvin Driver Jr. that he was assaulted following his arrest during a traffic stop about 1:30 a.m. on November 17.

The allegations against HPD Officers B. Guzman, G. Cruz and M. Marin have been ruled as not sustained. A disposition of not sustained means the investigation could not prove or disprove Mr. Driver’s allegations. The three officers, who have been on administrative duties since November 20, will return to their regular patrol assignments immediately.

Medical information obtained by investigators does not support or indicate any injuries to Mr. Driver consistent with a recent assault.

Two independent witnesses provided similar statements given by the three police officers involved in the traffic stop and its aftermath. Following Mr. Driver’s arrest at 8300 Gibbons, he was transported around the corner to a vacant lot at 1200 Roosevelt so officers could complete their arrest paperwork stemming from the traffic stop. The witness statements indicated Officer Marin, whom Mr. Driver alleges repeatedly assaulted him at 1200 Roosevelt, remained inside his patrol vehicle at that location. According to witnesses, no signs of an assault or altercation took place involving Mr. Driver and the officers at the Roosevelt location.

After leaving the Roosevelt location with Mr. Driver in the back seat of their patrol vehicle, Officers Cruz and Guzman transported him to the Southeast Jail at 8300 Mykawa Road. Upon arrival to the jail, the officers stated Mr. Driver was unresponsive. A jail doctor examined Mr. Driver and advised officers to contact HFD paramedics. HFD then transported Mr. Driver to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

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.

WHERE’S THE CITY OF HOUSTON SO CALLED FREE WIFI?

THE PLANET WAS MY SAVING GRACE FOR INTERNET SERVICE!


I was in downtown Houston when I decided to surf the net with my new Ipod Touch. But I needed a source of WiFi to get it down. I remembered the city of Houston unveiled a free wifi and internet program in downtown Houston last year. As I tried to log on I noticed I could only get a single bar of surge out of four. The signal was extremely weak in the heart of downtown. When I tried to get online the service was so slow that my Ipod timed out several times. I wondered if the service actually existed. Then I passed a building called the Planet. I don’t know what type of business it is but they provided free public wifi. It was the only way I got online. I think someone at the city really needs to check the so called free WiFi and figure out exactly what’s going on. Have you been successful at getting free internet from the city of Houston? The Insite would love to hear your experience!

RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS CAUGHT ON TAPE!

I AM MY BROTHER OR SISTER’S KEEPER!

The Insite was interviewing city Councilman Ronald Green when he was approached by a woman who appeared to be a transient. She asked for some spare change and he delivered. Green dropped two bucks on the woman he describes as a regular around the Harris County Courthouse complex. Green says her name is Saundra and he’s been helping her with small cash gifts since getting his law license. I decided this would be the Insite’s random act of kindness of the week. Way to go Councilman Green!

MAJOR TRADE SHOW COMING TO HOUSTON AND YOU’RE INVITED!

FROM THE OFFICE OF COUNTY JUDGE ED EMMETT!

Bruce Carlton, the president of the National Industrial Transportation League, and Jorge Canavati, the vice president of the Mexico Business Association of San Antonio, are among dozens of top transportation and trade experts to attend and speak at the First Annual Harris County International Trade & Transportation Conference in Houston early next week. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett organized the event to address current events in trade and transportation, with a special focus on U.S./Mexico trade. The conference was originally planned for September, but was canceled in response to Hurricane Ike. “This is going to be an unusually detailed conference, bringing together some of the most important participants in local, national and international transportation and trade,” said Emmett. “Many of those who will be deciding the future of transportation in Washington, Austin, Houston and Mexico City are going to be here giving us a preview of some of the changes we can expect. “The conference begins with an early evening reception on Sunday, Jan. 11, attended by members of the state Senate and House of Representatives, Houston City Council and officials with the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Port of Houston Authority. Among the events scheduled at the conference on Jan. 12 and 13 are seminars focusing on challenges facing international transportation, how politics affects international transportation and a discussion of U.S.-Mexican border trade.In addition to Emmett, Carlton and Canavati, guest speakers include: Jeff Moseley, the president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership; Jim Edmonds, the chairman of the Port of Houston Authority; Richard Vacar, the director of aviation for the Houston Airport System; Robert Voltmann, the president and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association; and numerous corporate officials representing dozens of Mexican transportation companies.All events are being held at the Westin Galleria hotel at 5060 W. Alabama. Attendance is open to the public, but registration is required. Those wishing to register can do so at http://www.harriscountyevents.net/. The cost for all educational and networking events is $125.

SPIDERMAN SAVES THE WORLD FROM THE FAKE OBAMA!

THE PRESIDENT-ELECT IS NOW IN THE COMICS!

Nothing like getting elected President to get people to want to do cool things for you. Marvel Comics is hooking up President-elect Barack Obama with a bonus edition of the Spider-Man comic book. Turns out Obama collected Spider-Man comics as a kid, so Marvel decided to feature him in a story line. The story starts with Spidey’s alter-ego Peter Parker taking photos at the inauguration and spotting two identical Obamas. Parker than uses basketball to determine the bogus Obama — and punches out the fake one. The real Obama thanks him with a fist-bump. Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada says he’s glad to hear Obama collected comic books as a youngster. Quesada says it’s “really, really cool” to have a what he calls “a geek” in the White House. The Obama story is a bonus in Marvel Comic’s Amazing Spider-Man .583. It will be available in comic book shops nationwide on January 14th for $3.99. It is expected to sell out.

THE HOUSTON POLICE OFFICERS UNION IS GOING AFTER MARVIN DRIVER!

UNION: WE WON’T ALLOW PEOPLE TO UNFAIRLY SOIL THE NAME OF OFFICERS!

It was that picture that said a thousand words. It was Marvin Driver barely conscious and hospitalized.

The father of NFL player Donald Driver claimed he was brutally beaten by three Houston police officers. Several weeks later with Quanell X, he was demanding for justice.

“I feel very strongly about the investigation,” Driver said after the incident. “I think they’ll make the right decision.”

But an internal affairs probe released says the officers did not beat Driver, and they were cleared.

Now the union is going after the man who made the allegations.

“We intend to hold people accountable who have made false statements and tomorrow we will be releasing some information about our intentions and the request we’ve made of the district attorney’s office,” Gary Blankenship said.

Blankenship is asking the district attorney’s office to investigate Driver for perjury, a criminal charge that could land him behind bars.

Blankenship also says the union will likely go after Quanell X and Driver in a civil lawsuit. Meanwhile, the two men did not want to comment on the latest developments.

THE MORTGAGE MESS HITTING THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY!

BEHIND ON THOSE MONTHLY PAYMENTS!

Nearly one in 10 Latino homeowners fell behind in mortgage payments last year.
That’s the finding of a Pew Hispanic Center survey. The Hispanic research group also reports about 3 percent say they had received a foreclosure notice.

The survey found that nearly half of respondents, 47 percent, indicated they were homeowners. That’s consistent with census data that shows 49.5 percent of Hispanics owned their homes in the third quarter of 2008.

Among Hispanic renters, 5 percent said they had lived in a home that went into foreclosure in the past year. The strain felt by Hispanic homeowners seemed consistent with that of all U.S. homeowners. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported last month that a record one in 10 American homeowners with a mortgage was at least one month behind on payments or in
foreclosure at the end of September 2008.

The study also found strong worry among Hispanics about their finances. About 75 percent of Latinos said their personal finances were in fair or poor shape, but 67 percent said they expect their financial condition to improve.