charges on Monday.
A court ruling is upholding city regulations for hourly-rate ‘hot sheet’ motels frequented by prostitutes. “This has been a long, hard fight,” according to city officials.
The current law prohibits sexually-oriented businesses, including topless clubs, massage parlors and ‘hot sheet’ motels, from operating within 1500 feet of residential areas.
The court ruling involved El rondo Motor Lodge at 8016 Livingston in the Sunnyside community. According to residents who testified at the trial, the motel was a haven for prostitution.
A gunman killed at least 12 and took as many as 41 people hostage at an upstate New York immigrant counselling centre this morning, shocking a nation already reeling from several mass shootings this year.
The violence rocked the small university city of Binghamton, three hours from New York City, when at least one gunman entered the American Civic Association building after blocking a rear exit, then with a high-powered rifle mowed down people assembled for English classes, citizenship counselling and other services for immigrants. Survivors of the initial assault fled to a basement room and more than a dozen hid in a closet, WBNG television reported.
The shooting began about 10.30am. Police quickly established a perimeter around the building and tried to get in contact with the panicked survivors inside. Local television station WBNG reported that a gunman had been killed. Reports from inside the building referred to a single gunman of Asian descent, in his 20s.
New York governor David Paterson confirmed that “12 or 13” people had been killed and said he was soon to fly to Binghamton with other public officials.
“I speak for all of New York when I offer my prayers for the victims and families of this tragedy,” he said in a statement.
Details of the shooting remained hazy in the hours after the assault, including the death toll and the number of hostages. The scene on the street outside the centre was one of controlled panic. Heavily armed local, county and state police were surrounding the building in Binghamton, a city of about 45,000 people, roughly three hours north-west of New York City, and an FBI hostage negotiation team was en route to the scene. A nearby high school was locked down.
Between 20 and 40 people were held hostage, and some hostages had been released. At least four people were taken out on stretchers, and as many as 10 ambulances rushed to the scene.
“The scene within minutes turned into one just flooded with police,” WNBF radio news director Bob Joseph said.
Note: This will definitely become an issue for more gun control in the states. It’s a reminder of just how easily accessible guns are to the wrong people. In the wrong hands the results are deadly!
Impeached former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested in December on charges of conspiracy and fraud, was indicted Thursday on 16 felony counts by a federal grand jury, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
The 19-count indictment charges Blagojevich and some of his closest aides and advisers with a wide-ranging “scheme to deprive the people of Illinois of honest government,” according to a statement by the attorney’s office.
Blagojevich, 52, faces charges including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators, according to the release. Three counts in the indictment are against the aides and advisers.
In a written statement, Blagojevich maintained his innocence — as he has done throughout a political soap opera that captivated the nation.
“I’m saddened and hurt but I am not surprised by the indictment,” he said. “I am innocent. I now will fight in the courts to clear my name.”
Blagojevich was vacationing with his family in Florida on Thursday. In video shot at a Disney resort outside Orlando, Florida, by CNN affiliate WESH-TV, he declined to comment on his legal situation. He was filmed shortly before the indictments were handed down.
In the WESH video, the ex-governor was sitting near a pool at the resort. “I’m enjoying Disney World with my kids and I don’t think you’re supposed to be here,” said Blagojevich, after his wife attempted to shield him from the camera. “I’m happy to talk to you at the appropriate time.”
A man who identified himself only as “someone who knows who he is” then blocked the camera.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said he hoped the former governor wouldn’t use the announcement as a reason to hit the media circuit again.
ESSENTIAL STYLES: INSITE BARBER SHOP OF THE WEEK!
The best I can get at my barbershop are a few bootleg movies and trash talk. But Torrey T-Dub Walker has the barbershop of the week. I interviewed someone at his barbershop on Highway 6 in Fresno and was very impressed. Essential Styles has everything a sports fan could want. There is actual theater seating and a big screen television. There is paraphernalia from every major basketball team in the NBA. There are even small basketball goals under the barber’s booth. I can tell the owner put a lot of money into this operation. And so does Torrey T-Dub Walker because he gets his hair cut every week. You’re likely to catch the Insite sporting a small afro because I get to my barber when I can. Make sure you go by and check out Essential Styles and you may bump into T-Dub!
12125 State Highway 6
Fresno, TX 77545
The Texas House has given initial approval to a new tax on sexually oriented businesses.
Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson’s proposal — tentatively approved Thursday with a non-recorded voice vote — would repeal a $5-per-person fee that strip clubs were required to collect from 2007 legislation.
The new tax would apply to every sexually oriented business that charges an admissions fee. It would total 10 percent of the gross receipts of the business’ admissions.
Topless club owners are fighting the previous state law in court. Thompson said her proposal would resolve that lawsuit and start sending millions of dollars to a fund for sexual assault victims.
The strip owners who have paid the state under the old fee would get a credit toward the new tax.
TREATING THE INDIGENT WITH RESPECT AFTER DEATH!
Most times governmental agencies are criticized in the public for various reasons. This time I’m here to praise officials with Harris County. I’m very proud to work in a county where the indigent dead are treated with the utmost respect and care. I had a chance to visit what’s considered the Harris County Pauper’s Cemetery. It was immaculate. It was well manicured and it looked as if the county really cared about the people who are buried there. The cemetery is designed for those individuals whose family can’t afford to bury them. It’s maintained by the Harris County Community Services office. I was really impressed just how well kept the facility was. And I hear there are more improvements in the works. Way to go Harris County. Keep respecting the dead who couldn’t afford to help themselves!
MY EARS COULDN’T TAKE ANOTHER WORD!
I was in east Harris County Thursday covering a story when we made a stop at a local CB radio repair shop. It was just to use the restroom next door. Anyway, seeing all of the people getting their cb’s repaired jogged my memory. It was back in 1999 when I put down my ham radio and grabbed a cb. It was one of the worst mistakes of my life. I can remember like it was yesterday. I was driving from Little Rock to Memphis when I decided to listen in on my brand new cb. I was appalled. The filthy racist language I heard on the radio from truckers was just disgusting. I remember one guy saying he saw and African American truck driver and he called him a sweaty monkey. The word ‘N’ word was used like a million times. I assumed it was mainly White truckers in that part of the country. And don’t talk about cursing. I placed that cb back in my garage and never picked it up again. Do you own a CB and what was your experience with it? The Insite would like to hear your opinon!
WILL YOU ATTEND THE MEET AND GREET AT THE END OF THE MONTH?
As many of you remember the Insite is planning a meet and greet real soon. We allowed the readers to vote on the venue and many of you chose Houston’s House of Blues. We’re likely scheduling the event towards the end of the month to allow those who are busy with Spring break to get that out of the way. Keep reading for the actual date here on the Insite and I hope to see all of you there!
IT’S BABYFACE IN HOUSTON FOR A CONCERT!
You’ve seen her hobnobbing with Victoria Rowell, chatting it up with Avery Johnson and chilling with Debbie Allen. Now, we have Millette Clayton Scott hanging out with one of her favorite singer and R&B sensation Babyface. Millette met the Superstar last week during his concert in Houston. She tells the Insite she and her cousin also pictured had a chance to chill with Face at the local Houston nightspot Grooves. Hey Millette, thanks for sharing these photos with the Insite!