Month: September 2014

Kingwood Mobility Study Public Meeting Notice

Houston City Council Member Dave Martin would like to inform residents that the second public stakeholder meeting regarding the ongoing Kingwood Mobility Study will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Kingwood Community Center.

The meeting will include a presentation from Gunda Corporation on all feasible possible solutions to improve mobility in the Kingwood community. The information being presented will be a combination of surveys submitted, comments from the citizen database and quantitative research conducted by Gunda Corporation, which is available at http://gundacorp.com/kingwood-mobility. There will also be an opportunity for the public to express individual comments and questions. All comments collected at this meeting will be taken into consideration when evaluating final mobility improvements.

The primary objective of this comprehensive study is to identify short, medium and long range projects intended to address the growth of the community and promote better mobility in the Kingwood area. It is Council Member Martin’s goal to ensure that all Kingwood residents have a voice and an opportunity to review the findings and provide input to identify potential solutions that would help mitigate the current traffic congestion and improve accessibility.

Kingwood residents are encouraged to continue to send their comments, questions and suggestions regarding traffic and mobility to kingwoodmobility@gundacorp.com.

For more information, please contact Council Member Dave Martin’s office at 832- 393-3008 or districte@houstontx.gov.

Charges filed in case of bronze statue stolen from community center

Charges have been filed against a man in connection with the theft of a large bronze statue stolen last month from the Coles Crossing community center in northwest Harris County.

William Montgomery White, 39, has been charged with theft and is currently in the Harris County Jail on an unrelated charge. His photo is attached.

The large bronze statue, stolen from the community center in late August, was recovered by HCSO deputies in pieces from a scrap metal business.

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William Montgomery White

It had been a fixture in the Coles Crossing community since the late 1990’s.

3rd Update: Second Suspect Arrested in Fatal Shooting at 8939 Long Point

Houston police have arrested a second suspect charged in the fatal shooting of a man at 8939 Long Point about 9:45 a.m. on June 11.

The second suspect, Lawrence Taylor (b/m, 21), was taken into custody on Monday (Sept. 29) without incident.  He was wanted on a charge of capital murder filed on August 11 in the 178th State District Court.  The other suspect, Derian Latrell Wilson (b/m, 22), was charged with aggravated robbery-serious bodily injury in the 183rd State District Court.  Wilson was arrested on July 9.  Photos of both suspects are attached to this news release.

The two males are accused in the killing of Russell Soltani, 66, of Houston, who was pronounced dead at Ben Taub General Hospital.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeants J. Burton, M. Brady and Senior Police Officer T. Miller reported:

Mr. Soltani had just arrived at a car sales business at the above address when he was approached by an unknown black male.  According to witnesses, two gunshots were heard in the parking lot.  An individual, described only as a black male, was then seen running from the parking lot carrying a box or container in one hand and a pistol in the other.

Further investigation led to the identities of Wilson and Taylor as suspects in this case.

Lawrence Taylor
Derian Latrell Wilson
 

Investigation into Fatal Traffic Accident at 2400 East T.C. Jester

Houston police are investigating a fatal traffic accident at 2400 East T.C. Jester Boulevard about 1:50 a.m. today (September 30).

The identity of the male victim, 43, is pending notification to family members by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

HPD Vehicular Crimes Division Sergeant I. Izaguirre and Officer D. Rodriguez reported:

The victim was driving a black Chevrolet Silverado east on T.C. Jester when he failed to maintain a single lane and drove onto the median, striking a tree.  The victim was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  There were no other vehicles nor persons involved in this accident.

The investigation is continuing.

CDC Confirms First Ebola Case Diagnosed in the U.S., Harris County prepares

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed today, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20.

Harris County medical professionals are on alert for potential Ebola cases here in Houston. First responders and emergency room doctors are being told to ask a series of questions if someone shows symptoms of Ebola.

The CDC is currently monitoring about two dozen people including numerous children who were in close contact with the infected man.

The person fell ill on Sept. 24 and sought medical care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas on Sept. 26. After developing symptoms consistent with Ebola, he was admitted to hospital on Sept. 28. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola. The medical facility isolated the patient and sent specimens for testing at CDC and at a Texas lab participating in the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network. CDC and the Texas Health Department reported the laboratory test results to the medical center to inform the patient. A CDC team is being dispatched to Dallas to assist with the investigation.

“Ebola can be scary. But there’s all the difference in the world between the U.S. and parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities,” said CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in the coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this.”

The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring, as Ebola is contagious only if the person is experiencing active symptoms. The person reported developing symptoms several days after the return flight. Anyone concerned about possible exposure may call CDC-Info at 800-CDC-INFO for more information.

CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person, and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

We do know how to stop Ebola’s further spread: thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms. The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the United States.

The data health officials have seen in the past few decades since Ebola was discovered indicate that it is not spread through casual contact or through the air. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated. The illness has an average 8-10 day incubation period (although it ranges from 2 to 21 days); CDC recommends monitoring exposed people for symptoms a complete 21 days. People are not contagious after exposure unless they develop symptoms.

CDC confirmed on September 30, 2014, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from West Africa. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately five days after arriving in the United States.

The person sought medical care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola. The medical facility isolated the patient and sent specimens for testing at CDC and at a Texas lab participating in CDC’s Laboratory Response Network. CDC and the Texas Health Department reported the laboratory test results to the medical center to inform the patient. Local public health officials have begun identifying close contacts of the person for further daily monitoring for 21 days after exposure.

The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring, as Ebola is only contagious if the person is experiencing active symptoms. The person reported developing symptoms several days after the return flight.

CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the United States.

More information is available at www.cdc.gov/ebola.

PRESS RELEASE: ANDERSON’S ‘ME TOO’ MARIJUANA PLATFORM SHIFTS WITH POLITICAL WINDS OF CHANGE

In Jan. 2014, the Harris County DA made the following comments about marijuana prosecution:

“Marijuana is the number one drug that citizens over the age of 12 are addicted to or abuse. The negative effects of marijuana use on a developing brain can be permanent.”

“Marijuana is creating deadly situations right here in Harris County.”

“The most effective way to keep our law-abiding citizens safe is to obey all laws that our legislators put on the books at our State Capitol.”

Then in early Aug. 2014, Kim Ogg announced her plans for the future of marijuana prosecution complete with a program called.

“GRACE.”

No jail, no bail, no permanent record for misdemeanor marijuana offenders so long as they perform two days of community service picking up litter on and out of Houston bayous. The program will save an average of $10m per year in jail, court and prosecution costs and Ogg says the program’s recycling component will pay for itself in two years. Most importantly, an average 12,000 offenders per year would be able to clean up their criminal records and police would not lose 3 hours off the streets for each arrest.

Today, the District Attorney announced her own ‘new program’ to handle first-time marijuana offenders. In response, Ogg states,

“We need every police officer on the beat patrolling neighborhoods, protecting our families and our homes. Unfortunately, Anderson’s plan still requires arresting officers to spend at least three hours processing every misdemeanor marijuana case. Her plan totally fails to increase public safety.”

Additionally, Anderson’s program applies only to first offenders, approximately one-third of the 12,000 individuals arrested annually in Harris County for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

“First offenders are already eligible for pre-trial diversion. This is not a new plan…it’s a ‘me too’ program by a candidate who has shifted her position with the winds of political change.”

In a recent debate aired on Fox News, Anderson stated the intent of the new program was to, ” scare marijuana users straight.”

Ogg suggested such outdated rhetoric be shelved along with the lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ approach that has failed for decades, instead saddling offenders with lifelong criminal records that reduce employment and opportunity.

Ogg welcomes Anderson’s change of position. If you want to know more about what Devon Anderson will say tomorrow, go to kimoggforda.com.

2nd UPDATE: Fatal Shooting Investigation at 4606 Phlox

Houston police homicide investigators are still seeking one person of interest in the fatal shooting of a man at 4606 Phlox about 5:55 a.m. on February 21, 2014.  However, they no longer need assistance in locating a female person of interest seen in surveillance photos released last Friday (Sept. 26).

The female in the photos was located, interviewed and released without charges.

Investigators are seeking information about Omari Danta Barnes, 28, a person of interest in the death of Jose A. Gomez, 36, of the above address.  A photo of Barnes is attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeants M.A. Holbrook, S. Murdock and Officers L. Bailey and K. McDonald reported:

Mr. Gomez went out to his truck to begin his day as a landscaper.  A few minutes later, his roommate found Gomez deceased in a drainage ditch in front of his residence.  He had been shot.

There were no known witnesses or suspects in the shooting.

Further investigation revealed that shortly after the murder, a female walked into a nearby bank in the 9000 block of Cullen and talked to the manager about the murder, providing details about the incident.

Investigators obtained surveillance photos of the female inside the bank and asked for the public’s assistance in identifying her.

After seeing the photos shown by media outlets, the female contacted investigators who determined she did not witness the incident, had no connection to the incident, nor did she have any information on a possible suspect.

Anyone with information on Omari Barnes is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

 

 

Investigation into Fatal Shooting at 9678 Azeem

Houston police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man at 9678 Azeem about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday (September 28).

The victim, Siryon Ishmael, 58, of the above address, was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant T. Simmons and Officer S. Overstreet reported:

Mr. Ishmael’s roommate heard him come home and then heard a gunshot.  The roommate found Ishmael lying on the floor to the entrance to the home with a gunshot wound.  A neighbor, while inside her room, reported hearing shouting and someone demanding money prior to the shooting.

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

Investigation into Fatal Shooting at 7433 Force

Houston police are investigating the apparent accidental shooting of a man at 7433 Force about 10:05 p.m. last Friday (September 26).

The victim, Gregory Higgon, 22, of the above address, was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital where he died.

HPD Homicide Division Officers C. Liu and C. Sharp reported:

Mr. Higgon was teaching his sister how to take apart a gun when, at some point, the weapon discharged and he was struck.  Higgon was then taken to the hospital.

No charges have been filed at this time as the investigation is continuing.

Fatal Traffic Accident at 18100 Gulf Freeway

Houston police are investigating a fatal traffic accident at 18100 Gulf Freeway (South Interstate Highway 45) about 8:35 p.m. on Saturday (September 27).

The male victim, a pedestrian, was transported to Memorial Hermannn Southeast Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  His identity is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

HPD Vehicular Crimes Division Sergeant T. Trometer and Officer F. Flynn reported:

The victim was running across the northbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway when he was struck by a silver, four-door Nissan sedan.  The victim was taken to the hospital where he died.  Neither the driver nor the passenger in the Nissan was injured.

The driver did not show any signs of intoxication.