Archive for May, 2009

An Inspiring Graduation Story
May 30, 2009

http://www.click2houston.com/video/19605605/index.html

Raised by her grandmother after her mother was sentenced  to life in prison for murder, 18 year old Kierra Lee overcame medical problems  and financial struggles  to graduate as the valedictorian of  the 2009 Jack Yates Senior High School class.

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She has been awarded more than $80.000 in scholarships.

 Kierra plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in sociology.

Congratulations Kierra and Best of Luck!

Support A Disabled Vet – Spend A Day On Lake Houston
May 29, 2009

On Saturday, May 30, 2009 you have an opportunity to support a wonderful program that helps disabled and wounded war veterans.

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Texas Adaptive Aquatics located on Lake Houston will be hosting “adaptive ski day”  for  disabled and wounded soilders who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Friday,  news photographer Joe Campos and I got a special sneak preview of the event.

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We went along for the ride as 24 year old Steven Schultz  was lifted out of his wheelchair and put on an adaptive water ski for a ride on Lake Houston.

Schultz, who is a graduate of Friendswood High School, is a U.S. Marine who was severely injured when an IED (improvised explosive device) blew up near him and his fellow Marines.

Steven suffered a traumatic brain injury,  but he told me  that he would “go back to serve his country in a heartbeat”  if  given the opportunity.

Saturday’s event will be held from 10:00AM – 5:00PM at the Texas Adaptive Aquatics Sports Center which is located on Page Road off 1960.

The event is free to the public, but donations are accepted.

For more information you can call:  Roger Randall at 281-324-4653.

Rush Limbaugh Visits Houston
May 28, 2009

Several days ago, 2 on the Beat reported that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was coming to Houston Thursday night to raise money for U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul.

I was on a different assignment and could not get by the event, but political consultant/fundraiser Meredith Maxfield Iler  did send me  pictures to post on the blog and her personal account of the evening. (by the way Meredith is active in a fantastic group: www.helpingahero.org)

For the sake of fairness, I am also posting a response sent to me earlier in the day by the Texas Democratic party.

(in other words what you are about to read is not this news reporter’s point of view)

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From Meredith:

Rush Limbaugh came to Houston to attend a fundraiser for Republican Congressman Michael McCaul.  Congressman McCaul represents Northwest Harris County clear to Austin and has a very tough district.  He has been a proactive Congressman during his first 2 terms and will be running against a liberal Democrat who used to be a Wall Street banker from New York who recently moved from New York to Austin…just a footnote…the opponent owes $1.6 million from his company in back taxes.About 200 people joined together for this once in a lifetime event.  Event chairs were Jim Dannenbaum and Joanne King Herring.  Congressman Louie Gohmert from Tyler, Senator David Vitter from Louisiana, and Governor Rick Perry also attended to show their support for Congressman McCaul.  Governor Rick Perry also made Rush an “Honorary Texan”.

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From Kirsten Gray/Texas Democratic Party Communications Director:

This event illustrates everything that’s wrong with Rep. McCaul and Republicans in Congress. Like Rush Limbaugh, they’d rather shout and scream and point fingers than work for commonsense solutions to the problems facing Texas families.  We need results, not talk show rhetoric. –

Houston’s Top FBI Agent Plans To Retire
May 27, 2009

On Wednesday, dozens of people attended a lunch in honor of  Andrew Bland, the Special Agent in Charge of  the FBI’s  Houston office.

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After two years on the high ranking job, and more than two decades with the FBI,  Bland is turning in his badge to go to work in the private sector. 

 He told 2 on the Beat that he plans to work for a  private San Antonio based security company.

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Prior to being promoted to the SAC position in Houston, Bland served as the FBI’s legal attache in Baghdad, Iraq.

Meanwhile, the lunch party guest list read like a whose who of  people in the law enforcement community.

Houston Police Chief  Harold Hurtt, who brought a city of  Houston proclamation honoring Bland, retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Don Clark, Fort Bend County Constable Ruben Davis, Sheriff  Adrian Garcia, Bob Doggium with the sheriff’s office, Katherine Cabaniss with Crimestoppers, along with former NBA great Calvin Murphy,  and Bland’s family, including his wife and sons. 

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The FBI has not named a new Special Agent  in Charge to replace Bland, whose last day on the job is  Friday, May 29, 2009.

Flag Fight On UH Campus
May 26, 2009

It’s a symbol that’ s  considered offensive, hurtful and a source of anguish to countless Vietnamese Americans.

On Monday, State Representative Hubert Vo (D-Houston) persuaded his colleagues in the Texas House to support his resolution urging the University of Houston and other colleges to stop displaying the red flag of the Socialist Republic of  Vietnam.

Representative Vo wants colleges to fly a different flag. 

 It’s yellow and called the “Freedom and Heritage Flag”.

President Obama’s High Court Nominee
May 26, 2009

I am proud to announce my nominee for the next Justice of the United States Supreme Court: Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

This decision affects us all — and so it must involve us all. I’ve recorded a special message to personally introduce Judge Sotomayor and explain why I’m so confident she will make an excellent Justice.

Please watch the video, and then pass this note on to friends and family to include them in this historic moment.

Watch a special message from the President
Judge Sotomayor has lived the America Dream. Born and raised in a South Bronx housing project, she distinguished herself in academia and then as a hard-charging New York District Attorney.

Judge Sotomayor has gone on to earn bipartisan acclaim as one of America’s finest legal minds. As a Supreme Court Justice, she would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any Justice in 100 years. Judge Sotomayor would show fidelity to our Constitution and draw on a common-sense understanding of how the law affects our day-to-day lives.

A nomination for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land is one of the most important decisions a President can make. And the discussions that follow will be among the most important we have as a nation. You can begin the conversation today by watching this special message and then passing it on:

http://my.barackobama.com/SupremeCourt

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Saving The Shape Community Center
May 24, 2009

Its  motto is “Let  Us All Pull Together” and  last week that’s exactly what several community leaders did to help keep the doors open at the Shape Community Center.

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Mayoral candidate Gene Locke made an emergency appeal for donations over the airwaves of KCOH Radio on Thursday, May 21, 2009.

 Several people called in to the studio to make  financial pledges, while others  stopped by the station to drop  off  a check or cash donation. 

Shape has been  the heart of  Houston for 40 years. It has helped register people to vote,  given clothing, food and money to pay utilities to countless needy families, and provided a place for community members to meet to discuss issues of racial discrimination. 

Many of the people who called into the station gave their own testimonial about how Shape has made a difference in their lives.

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DeLoyd Parker is the executive director  of   the Shape Community Center.  You c an learn more about the organization and how you can help by logging on to www.shape.org.

Katy FireFighter is Smokin’ on New Motorcycle
May 21, 2009

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Congratulations to volunteer  Firefighter Brian Vickers of   Katy, Texas.

He rode away with a sweet new Harley-Davidson motorcycle after  being named the winner of   a  sweepstakes. 

Vickers  became eligible when he made a donation to help the families of  fallen firefighters.

Vickers recently travelled to Washington D.C.,  to accept his “Fat Boy Firefighter Special Edition” motorcycle, and to be congratulated by Congressman Michael McCaul, who represents the Katy area.

Congressman McCaul called Vickers, “a hero not only because he risks his life to save others, but because he went out of his way to make a difference for others.”

HPD Honors Students Who Create Anti -Drinking and Driving Message
May 21, 2009

The Houston Police Department  handed out awards  Wednesday  night to several students who took part in a fun project that promotes a serious message.

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Students from several area high schools teamed up to  create  public service annoucements about the dangers and costs associated with teen drinking and driving.

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You can take a look at some of the creative entries by clicking this link: http://casualtiesoffun.org/

Thirteen entries were submitted,  and the winning  team took  home proclamations and prizes including camcorders, gift cards and concert tickets.

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As an added bonus, HPD is trying to convince  local TV stations to broadcast some of the public service annoucements. 

Several  of  HPD’s top brass, community leaders, students and parents took part in the “Casualties of  Fun”  Awards Ceremony including, Assistant Chief of Police Vicki King, Judge William Harmon, Glen Muse with Texas Pictures and HPD officers P. Lassalle and D. Egdorf.

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A Big Endorsement in the Race for Mayor
May 20, 2009

Three of  Houston’s powerful political players are taking sides  in the  race  for mayor. 

State Senators Rodney Ellis,  Mario Gallegos and John Whitmire, all democrats, announced today that they are supporting Gene Locke’s campaign to win the top job at city hall.

In a statement sent to the media, Senator Whitmire said,  “At  a time when Houston needs a strong accomplished mayor at city hall, the right candidate has come forward. We are committed to seeing Gene Locke elected Mayor of Houston.”