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FEATURE MICHELLE OBAMA campaigns for the president



Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 82 | Number 1

OCTOBER 25, 2012 |FREE

Habitat for Humanity

Building homes, changing lives  PAGE 8



MITT ROMNEY keeps telling lies


DANIEAL MANNING likes Texans’ momentum


Yolanda Adams

Senfronia Thompson receives honor

Houston native Yolanda Adams is one of gospel music’s most successful artists, and she has a lot to say about life, career and family. Why is this November a special time for her? What was it like growing up in her Christian household? What advice does she have for those who hope to follow in her footsteps?  PAGE 5

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson is well-known in local politics, and she will soon be honored as one of 10 legends and leaders. Find out which institution is recognizing her. See what she has in common with a scientist, educator, and hip-hop mogul. Learn when and where the big event takes place.

looks at life • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years

 PAGE 6



Candidates’ wives play roles in campaigns Defender News Services

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney aren’t the only ones trying to convince Americans to elect them to the highest office in the land. Their wives – First Lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney – are reaching out to voters across the country. In a recent editorial, the first lady encouraged voters Ann Romney to cast their ballots early. She stressed that every vote counts, and recalled that in 2008, her husband won North Carolina by just five votes per precinct. “Barack has said all along that this election is going to be even closer than the last – and we won’t know which state might be this year’s North Carolina until November 6th,” she said. “So we need you to think about all those folks you know who need a little nudge to get to the polls this year

Michelle Obama – the cousin who’s always too busy, the aunt who’s never voted before, the niece or nephew who just turned 18 and isn’t tuned in yet.” While in Florida for the final debate between their husbands, both women hit the campaign trail. During a speech at an amphitheater, Ann Romney spoke of her husband’s character. “When you’re the president of the United States, you never know what decisions will come across your desk,”

she told the crowd of about 1,500. “It’s also very nice to know what kind of character is sitting in that chair.” Mrs. Romney, a survivor of multiple sclerosis and breast cancer, opened up about her struggles with MS while speaking with customers at a Florida restaurant. She said her husband helped her regain control of her life during a particularly painful period. She added that if he is elected, MS and breast cancer would be two of her priorities as first lady. Ann Romney also thanked her husband’s campaign team and volunteers. “I know you’re not doing this because my husband is the best in the world,” she said. “I know you’re doing it because you love this country.” On the Democratic side, more than 2,000 people stood in line at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward College to wait for Michelle Obama. After arriving, she told supporters that the upcoming election is “a choice about the America we want to leave for our kids and our grandkids.”

See more on: Election Day is Nov. 6, 2012


Election Day is Nov. 6, 2012


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Riverside Hospital board backs Gibson By ASWAD WALKER Defender

Members of the Riverside General Hospital Board of Trustees have vowed to stand behind recently arrested president Earnest Gibson III. In a letter released to the media and general public, board chairman Walter Highsmith stat-

ed in no uncertain terms that the board believes Gibson to be innocent of all charges. “We are shocked by the indictment of Mr. Gibson who has been the Administrator/ President/CEO for this Hospital for more than 30 years,” wrote Highsmith. “Having known and worked with him for about 20 of those 30 years, I must say that I

find it very difficult to believe that he could be guilty of such activities. The rest of the board members feel the same.” According to Highsmith, Gibson has worked tirelessly as the head of Riverside for over three decades, guiding the institution through several financial hardships while allowing it to remain a viable and accredited Continued on Page 12

5th Ward gets help with facelift Defender News Services

Starbucks employees erect a playground.

Fifth Ward recently received a makeover, which included fresh paint jobs for houses, vacant lots cleared of debris, newly planted trees and a brand new playground. The changes were made possible by the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation and the Starbucks Coffee Company. Starbucks held its leadership conference in Houston and selected Fifth Ward CRC as a community service partner. Over three days, 5,000 Starbucks employees volunteered their time by making much-needed repairs to homes and businesses. The event launched a three-year, multimilliondollar investment. “These revitalization efforts will not only sustain the current culture and population, they will also invite new businesses and residents from the greater Houston area into the community,” said

Kathy Flanagan Payton, president and CEO of Fifth Ward CRC. The 36-month campaign includes restoration of the historic Deluxe Theater and construction of a new health and wellness facility, a library and affordable housing. Fifth Ward is located just northeast of downtown Houston and was developed in the 1900s by former slaves. It is the birthplace of many prominent African-Americans, including the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and the late Congressman Mickey Leland. Like many other urban neighborhoods across the country, the area faces challenges that the Fifth Ward CRC addresses through extensive programming and community investment. “The goal is to create a healthy, economically sustainable and balanced neighborhood, while celebrating the heritage of the past and the possibilities of the future,” Payton said.

localbriefs THE FATE OF JESSICA TATA will be decided by the 12 jurors recently selected for her trial, which begins in criminal district court. Tata is charged with four counts of murder in connection with a February 2011 fire at a day care she operated. Investigators say Tata left seven children alone while she went shopping. A pot of oil left on the stove sparked the blaze. Tata was the object of an international manhunt when she fled to Nigeria after the fire……..TEXAS’ UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL to 6.8 percent in September as state employers added thousands of new jobs. “We saw encouraging signs in our state’s labor market in September and a decrease in the unemployment

rate last month,” said Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Texas continues to add jobs and we now have a record number of people employed in our state.” The largest gain was in professional and business services, which grew by 13,600 jobs. Education and health services reported 6,600 additional jobs in September ……..MATCHING SCHOLARSHIPS and tuition grants are being offered to 150 students this year by the state comptroller’s office through the Texas Match the Promise Foundation. The competitive scholarships and grants are available for sixth through ninth graders whose families have an income of $75,000 or less and participate

in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, the state’s prepaid college plan. Families participating in TTPF purchase units that can later be used toward undergraduate tuition and fees at Texas public colleges and universities. For information about eligibility, the application process and selection criteria visit www.matchthepromise. org or call 1-800-531-5441, ext. 3-7570…….. THE ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION’S recent walk to end the disease raised $350,000. Proceeds will provide care and support to those affected by the disease as well as fund needed research. Alzheimer’s is now the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years





Mitt Romney and President Obama field questions from moderator Bob Schieffer.

Candidates talk about foreign policy NNPA

What was billed as the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney often featured the former Massachusetts governor agreeing with actions taken by the president on foreign policy. Unlike his acerbic performance in the earlier debates, Romney agreed with at least a half-dozen actions taken by Obama, including instituting economic sanctions against Iran, wanting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down, increasing the use of drones, implementing a troop surge in Afghanistan, and supporting the killing of Osama bin Laden. At one point, Obama said: “What you’ve just heard Gov. Romney say is that he doesn’t have different ideas.” A CBS News/GFK instant poll of uncommitted voters showed that 53 percent thought Obama won the debate; 23 percent favored Romney and 24 percent called it a tie. During the 90-minute debate in Boca Raton, Fla., Romney repeated his charge that Obama had taken an “apology tour” around the world when he first entered office. Obama repeatedly accused Romney of being “all over the map.” Summarizing his foreign policy accomplishments, Obama said: “We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, Al Qaeda’s core leadership has been decimated. In addition, we’re now able to transition out of Afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that Afghans take responsibility for their own security. And

Horses, bayonets and bin Laden The first debate had Big Bird and the second debate featured “binders full of women.” During the third debate, President Obama delivered the most memorable line. The conversation began when Challenger Mitt Romney said the U.S. Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917, a fact that he found “unacceptable.” “Well, governor,” Obama responded, “we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines…” The online reaction was fast. On Twitter, the hashtag “horsesandbayonets” became the top trend in the country and third worldwide. On Facebook, users created more than 50 pages named “Horses and Bayonets.” Debate Moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News also grabbed attention when he mixed up the names “Obama” and “Osama.” While prefacing a question for Romney about Pakistan, Schieffer said, “We know that Pakistan has arrested the doctor who helped us catch Obama bin Laden.”

that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat future threats…” In a shift of tactics, Romney tried to attack Obama from the left, saying the United States “can’t kill our way out of this mess” of religious extremism. Even though the debate focused on foreign policy, each candidate eased in references to domestic issues. In one lively exchange, Romney again boasted that Massachusetts students led the nation in standardized test scores for math and reading while he was governor. It is unclear how much impact the final debate will have on voter preferences. In three battleground states, for example – Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin – less than 10 percent of voters in each state ranked national security as their top priority.

THE NAACP URGED AUTHORITIES to fully investigate a violent act in northeastern Louisiana after a Black woman, Sharmeka Moffitt, was recently attacked and burned in a Winnsboro, La. park. Moffitt, 20, is in critical condition with burns on more than half her body. She said she was set on fire by three men who wrote the initials “KKK” and a racial slur on her car. She described her attackers as three men wearing white hoods, but was unable to determine their race. “The NAACP offers our prayers to Ms. Moffit and her family in their time of crisis,” said president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous……..A FATAL SPA SHOOTING in Wisconsin prompted two state lawmakers to propose legislation to tighten the enforcement of gun rules in domestic violence cases. Radcliffe Haughton, 45, killed his wife, Zina, and two other women at the spa where she worked on Oct. 21. He bought a handgun two days after his wife obtained a restraining order against him. According to court documents, Haughton’s wife said he was extremely jealous, threatened to throw acid in her face and terrorized her “every waking moment.” State Sen. Lena Taylor said the tragedy highlights the need for better enforcement of laws requiring restraining order recipients to surrender their weapons…….. A RECENT REPORT from the Government Accountability Office found that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the agency that runs the federal penitentiary system, operated at 39 percent over recommended capacity nationwide and at 55 percent over capacity at high-security facilities. From 2006 to 2011, the prison population grew by 9.5 percent, outpacing the 7 percent growth in infrastructure and new beds. The rise in the prison population forced BOP officials to convert TV rooms and gyms into makeshift dorms, cut education programs, delay drug treatment programs, and curb much-needed job placements for inmates.


Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Advertising/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Print Editor Marilyn Marshall Online Editor ReShonda Billingsley

Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila People Editor Yvette Chargois Sports Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Contributing Writer Aswad Walker

The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender is audited by Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2012 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher). • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




Yolanda Adams

talks about music, life


By KAM WILLIAMS Special to the Defender

ver since her 1987 debut “Just as I Am,” Yolanda Adams has triumphantly carried the torch for contemporary gospel and inspirational music via a dozen glorious albums. Stunningly beautiful, exceptionally educated, filled with the spirit and blessed with one of the most powerful voices in any genre of music, this former schoolteacher is a stately beacon of God’s light. Born in Houston on Aug. 27, 1961, Yolanda has earned numerous accolades for her efforts, including the first American Music Award for Contemporary Gospel Artist, four Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and five

Grammy Awards. Yolanda’s pioneering blend of gospel with R&B infused with a touch of jazz continues to inspire her fans and transform the musical landscape. “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show” can currently be heard on radio stations across the country. Most of Yolanda’s fans know that she was once a schoolteacher; less known is the fact that she earned her college degree in radio/television broadcasting. She is joined on her radio show by co-hosts Marcus Wiley and Anthony Valary. She also has an inaugural book, “Points of Power,” inspired by a segment from her morning show. Here, she talks about her life, career and hosting Verizon’s “How Sweet the Sound,” a prestigious gospel music celebration and competition. Now in its fifth year, the show will stage its national finale in New York on Nov. 4.

KW: What interested you in “How Sweet the Sound?” YA: First of all, it gave me an opportunity to spend time with my great friends Donald Lawrence, CeCe Winans, Erica Campbell, Fred Hammond and Hezekiah Walker. Whenever we can hang out, it’s wonderful. Unless we’re on tour together, we usually don’t have a lot of opportunities to see each other, other than at something special like award shows. So, I was excited to do this. KW: Is it similar to the job you do on BET’s “Sunday Best?” YA: No, I actually co-hosted with Donald this year. So, I didn’t have to face the difficult challenge of judging these great choirs. KW: Do you care to share which choir you think is going to win? Continued To Page 6

What’sup TRACEE ELLIS ROSS and REGINA KING will return as co-hosts of the two-hour televised event “Black Girls Rock!” which spotlights women of color. It premieres Sunday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. on BET. The show features performances and appearances by BRANDY, INDIA.ARIE, KEYSHIA COLE, CIARA and TARAJI P. HENSON. Honorees include ALICIA KEYS, KERRY WASHINGTON, DIONNE WARWICK and SUSAN TAYLOR…….. DENZEL WASHINGTON said he had to be a part of the new movie “Flight” after reading the script, which he found to be a real page-turner. He portrays a pilot named Captain “Whip” Whitaker, who saves the lives of his passengers with skill under pressure. His heroics are threatened when alcohol is discovered

in his system during the flight, a felony that could put him in prison for life. Washington’s co-stars include DON CHEADLE, GARCELLE BEAUVAIS and TAMARA TUNIE……..TYLER PERRY is usually considered a sure thing at the box office, but “Alex Cross” earned a disappointing $11.8 million its first weekend in theaters. The movie actually brought in less money than the previous Alex Cross movies starring MORGAN FREEMAN. “Kiss the Girls” opened with $13.2 million in 1997 and “Along Came a Spider” made $16.7 million in its 2001 debut. Perry thanked fans who went to see the latest version on his website. “Thank you for letting me stretch my wings a bit,” he said. “I knew you would enjoy it.” Despite the poor box office performance, Perry has already signed

on to star in a sequel……..CHAKA KHAN will mark 40 years in entertainment next year and she started the celebration early. She recently kicked off a threeweek, nine-city concert tour abroad. Stops include the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Thailand, Indonesia and China. Khan, a 10-time Grammy Award-winner, first gained fame in the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the funk band Rufus……..THE HOUSTON AREA URBAN LEAGUE GUILD co-sponsors a swing-out and two-step dance contest on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. at Grooves Houston, 2300 Pierce. This event is the kick-off for the HAUL Guild’s 15th annual Masked Ball in February. For ticket information visit or call 832721-1464. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years



African drummers, dancers perform Nov. 9 Defender News Services

The celebrated Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi return to Houston for one night only on Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m., at Jones Hall. Their appearance is presented by Society for the Performing Arts. Hailing from a small country in East Africa, the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi have performed the same way for centuries, passing down drumming traditions and techniques from father to son. Their vibrant power and precision on 20 drums originally accompanied kings. Now, the heart-stopping sounds cross social and cultural barriers worldwide and offer a glimpse into a unique way of life. Since the 1960s they have toured outside of their country, becoming a popular attraction at concert halls and festivals around the world. Their massed drum sound, or “Burundi beat” as it became known, caught the ear of Western musicians. Their distinctive sound also influenced British rock bands of the early 1980s, such as Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow. The group’s drums are made from hollowed tree trunks and animal skins and were once used exclusively for ceremonial occasions such as births, funerals and the enthronement of kings. Each drum used in the performance has a separate and significant meaning to the drummers and the people of Burundi. Combined with graceful, yet athletic dance, the drum performance represents an important part of Burundi’s musical heritage. Tickets range from $35 to $80 and can be purchased online at www. or by phone at 713-227-4772. For groups of 15 or more call 713-632-8113.

The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi amaze audiences with their talent.

Dr. Felicia Conley

Kermit Crawford

Dr. Bettie Jean

Deidra Fontaine

Bernadine Oliphint

Dr. Carroll Thomas

State Rep. Senfronia Patrick Trahan Thompson

Dr. Michael Steven Hunte

Rocky Williform

TSU honors 10 outstanding grads Defender News Services

Texas Southern University will pay tribute to 10 distinguished graduates during its Legends and Leaders Presidential Scholarship Gala. The alumni will be honored on Friday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. at the Westin Galleria Hotel. TSU President Dr. John Rudley will award presidential awards to the honorees. The 10 graduates and the colleges and schools they will represent are: Dr. Felicia Conley, forensic chemist, Department of Drug Enforcement, Dallas, graduate school

Kermit Crawford, president, Walgreens Pharmacies, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dr. Bettie Jean Graham, National Institutes of Health Program Director, College of Sciences and Technology Deidra Fontaine, United Airlines director of diversity and inclusion, Jesse H. Jones School of Business Dr. Michael Steven Hunte, Methodist Dallas Medical Center emergency room physician, Dr. T.F. Freeman Honors College Bernadine Oliphint, internationally acclaimed opera singer, College of

Liberal Arts & Behavioral Sciences Dr. Carroll Thomas, Beaumont Independent School District superintendent, College of Education State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Thurgood Marshall School of Law Patrick Trahan, Exxon/Mobil Chalmette Refining L.L.C’s Public & Government Affairs Manager, School of Communication Rocky Williform, Hip Hop Blog chief operating officer, Barbara Jordan/Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. For more information call 713-313-1111 or visit

Adams...Continued from page 5 YA: The finalists are the top choirs from all of the cities that we chose. So, there are no duds left in this selection of choirs. These really are just the cream of the crop, the best choirs in the U.S. KW: Do you ever feel that the spiritual essence of a gospel song’s message is transformed when you sing in a secular arena? YA: No. The message is still the same. The delivery is still the same. You have to understand that everyone has a heart, and when it hits, the emotion is there. KW: What is your earliest childhood memory? YA: Having lots of fun and laughter in the house with my mom, dad and siblings. I didn’t grow up in one of those restrictive Christian households where you couldn’t do this or that. We were brought up with a great collection of good morals

and good values, but we also had fun. We’d go to church on Sunday, but then have ice cream, roller skate or play in the park afterwards. KW: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? YA: Determination! KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? YA: Hone your craft, study the history of the music, and sing anywhere that you can. KW: What was it like to be invited to participate in Oprah’s Legends Ball? YA: It was amazing! First of all, I felt quite honored to be acknowledged as one of the young’uns with Shirley Caesar serving as my legend. Oprah was very adamant that she wanted

to celebrate the people who had made a difference in her life. I had no idea that I had impacted her that deeply. My invitation came at one of the lowest points of my life. No one knows this, so you’re getting an exclusive, Kam. I was going through a divorce proceeding…So, I had to make a decision, do I go, even though I might not feel up to participating, knowing what’s going on at home with the lawyers? How do I deal with this? Then a soft voice whispered to me, “Go, and be blessed!” KW: How do you want to be remembered? YA: As a person who loved and cared for people and who genuinely wanted the best for them. That is my goal for my daughter. I’ve been teaching her that since she was in the womb. People deserve your kindness. They deserve your best. If you’re giving them less than that, it’s almost like you’re robbing God of the chance to show who He is. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years





General Mobility Program Referendum




DEFENDER | OCTOBER 25 | 2012 |

Habitat for Humanity

Building homes, changing lives By TIFFANY L. WILLIAMS Defender

Algenita Davis: A life of service

For 25 years Houston Habitat for Humanity has helped families throughout the area realize the dream of Algenita Davis: A life of homeownership. service The organization, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, recently built its 900th home. ExecuHouston Habitat for tive Director Algenita Davis said that’s still not enough. Humanity Executive Director “Anytime we open a house to a family, there is a Algenita Davis has been serving line of people outside the door who still need a home”, others for much of her life. she said. The Houston native said Not long ago, Houston resident Tymekia Rayford that growing up in Fifth Ward, was one of the people in line. she saw firsthand the construc“I saw all those people, and thought there’s no way tion of I-10, resulting in the they’re going to pick me,” she said. destruction of a community. But Rayford was selected to start the journey Witnessing that devastation, toward homeownership, and has lived in her home for along with her upbringing and about two months. faith, propelled her into a life “I’ve wanted to own my own home for a long dedicated to helping others. time,” she said. “Having a place I can call my own, and “I wanted to make the qual- Algenita Davis my kids can call their own – it’s such a blessing.” ity of life better for the people Through the help of volunteers, “sweat equity” around me,” she said. “God requires it of all of us. from homebuyers and funding from corporate sponsors, It’s not an option. It’s something you’re supposed HHFH is able to build roughly 40 to 45 houses a year. to do.” But the non-profit hopes to expand its reach. One of the Davis has served in her current position since ways is by diversifying its offerings. 2006, but began giving back to her community long “We’ve developed new models to add variety to the before that. homes we build,” Davis said. “We didn’t want people to After receiving an accounting degree from start saying, ‘there’s a Habitat for Humanity house.’ ” Howard University School of Business AdminisIn place of their traditional homes with vinyl sidtration in 1971 and a juris doctorate degree from ing, HHFH now offers all-brick, energy-efficient homes equipped with two-car garages, covered patios and twoto-five bedrooms. Many of the newer models can be found in Fifth Ward, where Rayford lives with her father and three homes, the next generation is more likely to purchase a children. home,” she said. Building communities Rayford said her children have definitely been Sheila Frye, HHFH’s family services and volunteer influenced by homeownership. manager, said they usually build in low-income neigh“They kept asking me, ‘Mom, when are we getting borhoods with numerous abandoned homes or vacant a backyard?’ So when we saw our new home for the lots. first time, they were jumping and screaming, ‘We have “We look for places with more than just a few lots, a backyard, we have a backyard!’ because we like to build communities,” she said. “We “I hadn’t even seen the inside yet, but I was sold,” build anywhere from 50 to 200 homes in a target area.” Rayford said. The expression on their faces was priceBy building entire communities, Davis said the less.” organization is able to influence more people, especially One of the misconceptions about the organization, children. Davis said, is that they give houses away. “What we have seen is that once families purchase “Our families are working families. They put a lot

Howard University School of Law in 1974, she worked as an attorney and became involved with various non-profit organizations throughout Houston. It was not until she became senior vice president and community affairs officer for Texas Commerce Bank in 1989 that she received the opportunity to help bring financial services and resources to low-income areas. Davis has served as president of the National Bar Association and the Houston Lawyers Association. She is past chair of the Greater Houston Women’s Foundation and the Houston Area

Urban League. Her work in each of her roles has helped Davis contribute to not only the community where she grew up, but to communities across Houston. She said her faith in God is what motivates her to continue. “He put me here,” she said. “I will never be rich. I will never be famous. My role is to do His work.”

of work into these homes and they purchase them,” she said. “We are a mortgage company; we just charge 0 percent interest.” In order to qualify, families must submit an application for review. “We don’t just look at the credit score,” Davis said. “We look at the reasons for low credit. “We work with our families. We even allow them to rent the home until they get to the point where they qualify,” she added.

‘Sweat equity’

Once approved, families must complete 300 hours of “sweat equity,” which serves as their down payment. Federal restrictions prevent the organization from • Serving th



A history of helping others

Jessie Ledet, Karen Ledet, Tawana Ledet and Bryniya Davis stand in front of Karen’s new Houston Habitat for Humanity home in Fifth Ward.

accepting a monetary down payment from families, so to receive their keys, families must, “build their home, their neighbor’s home and complete other volunteer services with HHFH,” Frye said. Families are also required to attend a series of homeownership courses – a process that can take anywhere from six to 18 months. When those courses are finished, there’s a postclosing class, where homebuyers learn about topics such as property taxes and how to avoid foreclosure. The City of Houston plays an integral part in the process as well, providing 10 percent of down payment costs for families who qualify. This percentage helps reduce the families’ mortgage rate over the next 20 to 30 years. “Our goal is for our families to be successful,” Davis said. “We’re not going to sell them a house they can’t afford.” The average cost to build a home is roughly $110,000, but HHFH normally sells them to families for $85,000 to $90,000. “Some would say we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” Davis said with a chuckle. “But we want our families to experience homeownership. We’ll lower the price if we have to.” Keeping prices low heightens the need for more

e Houston area for over 80 years

sponsors and volunteers. “Almost any day of the week we are desperate for volunteers,” Davis said. People can help by working at HHFH’s home improvement store, ReStore, assisting with office work or helping to build homes. “The good thing is, you don’t have to know anything about building homes to help,” Davis said. For more information visit or call 713-671-9993.

Habitat for Humanity International has helped low-tomoderate income families build and secure affordable housing throughout the world for more than 35 years. Founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller and headquartered in Americus, Ga., the organization currently has more than 550 affiliates across the globe, as well as 1,500 affiliates in the U.S. Locally, there are five affiliates – Houston, Northwest Harris County, Stafford, Baytown and Pasadena. In 1987, Carl Umland opened Houston Habitat for Humanity and served as its first president. He, along with others, helped grow the organization to monumental heights. Today, the affiliate ranks among the top 10 largest homebuilders in the U.S. For the last 25 years HHFH has helped place roughly 3,000 Houstonians into homes in more than 15 neighborhoods throughout the city. Executive Director Algenita Davis said what sets HHFH apart from others is its landmark projects, major events and construction innovations. In 1999, 2007, 2008 and 2009, the family service organization won the Energy Star Award for its commitment to building energy-efficient homes. According to Davis, some of the families living in these energy-saving homes have even received winter credit bills. In addition to their green initiatives, HHFH has also completed several landmark projects. In 1998, HHFH worked with former President Jimmy Carter, becoming the first U.S. affiliate to build 100 homes in a week. A few years later, they were able to partner with the NFL to construct 38 homes in 38 days leading up to 2004’s Super Bowl XXXVIII. “Those types of events always help generate excitement,” Davis said. “They helped put us on the map.” In 2005, following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, HHFH helped those displaced find and secure housing. The international recognition and support helped HHFH build 171 homes for families impacted by those disasters. “Houston was the welcome mat for those families,” Davis said.

Habitat hosts Nov. 7 gala Houston Habitat for Humanity will commemorate 25 years of service with an anniversary celebration. The event, “There’s No Place Like Home,” will honor existing sponsors and celebrate how important homeownership is to families. It takes place Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Americas Houston.

In keeping with the theme, the organization is asking everyone who attends to wear red shoes symbolic of those worn by Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” “This is our first annual gala,” Algenita Davis said. “It places us in a new category – one different from our tool belt.” The gala is the brainchild of

the HHFH board members who felt the organization needed to reach beyond their traditional sponsors, Davis said. “We love our sponsors,” Davis said, “and they will be honored during the event.” However, the need for more sponsors persists. Proceeds from the event will go directly toward a housing project.



Breast cancer takes heavy toll on Black women By MAYA RHODAN NNPA Washington Correspondent

When Kimberly Higginbotham was 23 years old, she received some devastating news. It was January. Higginbotham was in her last year of graduate school for physical therapy at Howard University, but she wasn’t feeling the same excitement as her peers. Instead, she was worried about the lump she had found in her breast. After she found it, she began showing everyone she knew. She showed her mother. She showed her instructor in her physical therapy program. Even her boyfriend noticed as he went in for a hug and felt something between them. Everyone told her the same thing: go to a doctor. Though she had just seen her gynecologist a month earlier, she took their advice. With her mother at her side, Higginbotham was told the tissue they removed came back positive with malignant cells. “I knew malignant meant cancer. I knew the tissue came from my breast, but I thought, at 23 years old, there’s no way in the world that he’s telling me I have breast cancer,” Higginbotham said. So she asked: “Does that mean I have breast cancer?” “Yes,” her surgeon replied. Higginbotham immediately began to cry. Instead of thinking about marching across a stage at graduation, her mind was filled with less pleasant thoughts of chemotherapy, hair loss,

Riverside...Continued from page 3 healthcare provider. “To our knowledge, he has steadfastly insisted on compliance with all regulatory agencies. We believe that the charges against him are contrary to the leadership that he has exemplified through the years,” said Highsmith. Riverside’s board has appointed Pamela Cashaw to serve as the hospital’s chief executive administrator. A native Houstonian and graduate of Jack Yates High School and Texas Southern University’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Cashaw has been working for Riverside more than 30 years. Cashaw was the assistant administrator and has served as the chief operating officer during Gibson’s tenure. “The Board of Trustees feels confident and assured that she is more than capable of providing the leadership and administrative knowledge and skills to move our hospital forward,” said Highsmith, former TSU head football coach. Riverside has also added two new members to its board: Attorney Guy Matthews, a former board member who is returning to service, and Valda DeWitt, who has an extensive background in social services and human resources. It is alleged that Gibson, his son and five other Riverside employees defrauded the Medicare program of $158 million over a seven-plus year span. There are concerns that the scandal could spell possible doom for the hospital’s future. Board members, however, are requesting that members of the community show their support in an effort to help Riverside keep its doors open.

and sickness. At 23, her life changed forever as she began moving along a path all-too-familiar for hundreds thousands of women across the country. Approximately, 230,480 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed last year in women, resulting in nearly 40,000 deaths. October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For Kimberly, 2012 marks the 14th year that she’s been cancer free. But many African-American women are not as fortunate. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second-most fatal cancer among Black women, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The incidence rate among African-American women is lower than that of their white counterparts. From 2003-2007, there were 114 women were diagnosed for every 100,000 or 6 percent lower than that of White women. However, in that same period African American women had a 39 percent higher death rate from breast cancer. Black women also have a higher incidence rate before 40 years of age and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age. Breast cancer mortality is 41 percent higher among Black women than white females. According to a recent study conducted by the Avon Foundation in partnership with the Sinai Urban Health Institute, the disparities in mortality between Black and White women are largely attributable to societal factors such as socioeconomic status and access to health care.

Dr. Sara Horton, the chief of the division of oncology and hematology at Howard University Hospital, said, “A big component of it is socio-economic barriers, because of income and where you live things including access to healthcare become a barrier in terms of getting care or screening.” The authors of the Avon and Sinai Institute study noted that if Black women were getting screened and following up with mammograms regularly, their risk of dying from cancer would be significantly reduced. However, Dr. Horton notes that even when they are screened, Black women are being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a much more aggressive and often fatal form of the disease. “There is a higher incidence of triple negative cancer in African American and younger women, but we don’t have the answer to why certain women have certain types of breast cancer,” said Horton. “The most important thing to understand is that breast cancer can be very curable if it is caught early. Breast cancer is not a death sentence.” “Prevention is the best way to fight it,” Horton said. “Doing things like talking about cancer, being aware, talking to family members, eating a plant heavy diet, smoking cessation – all these things can lead to prevention if they’re done early.” Kimberly Higginbotham realizes that her self-awareness may have saved her life. “You have to investigate and know your body,” she said. “You only go to the doctor about once every six months, but you’re with your body every day.”


OPPORTUNITIES IN VISION CARE Berkeley Eye Center is currently accepting resumes for employment opportunities within our practice. Opportunities are available for experienced medical front desk receptionists, opticians and Ophthalmic Assistants at our offices located throughout the Greater Houston Area. We value team-players who are friendly, flexible people of integrity. Berkeley Eye Center is Houston’s only vision care practice to be recognized in the Houston Chronicle as a 2011 Top Workplace. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package that includes health, dental and life insurance as well as free vision care, paid time off and holidays. If you would like to be considered for a position within Berkeley Eye Center please email your resume to:

Notice of Destruction of Special Education Records

For more information on Berkeley Eye Center we invite you to go to our website

Special Education records which have been collected by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of Special Education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for a period of seven years after Special Education services have ended for the student. Special Education services end when the student no longer is eligible for services, graduates, completes his or her educational program at age 22, or moves from the district.


This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of HISD’s intent to destroy the Special Education records of students who are no longer receiving Special Education services as of the end of the 2004-2005 school year. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After seven years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but they may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for Social Security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records in writing or in person at the following address: HISD Records Management Department 4400 W. 18th Street Houston, Texas 77092 Phone: 713-556-6055 Requests for copies must be received by December 21, 2012.

NOTICE TO PROPOSERS The Houston Independent School District located in the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center at 4400 West 18 th Street Houston, Texas 77092 will accept proposals, until the stated date and time deadlines, in the Board Services Office, Level C1

Project 12-09-05 – RFP /Network Cabling E-Rate – with a deadline of 3:00 p.m. November 16, 2012. No Pre-Proposal Conference will be held for this project.

Project 12-10-04 – RFP/Books, Periodicals, New & Used Text Books – with a deadline of 10 A.M.; November 14, 2012. The preproposal conference for this project will be held in room 2C10 on November 5, 2012 at 10:00 A.M.

Project 12-11-02 – RFP Employee Benefits Consulting and Administration Services with a closing date of November 14, 2012 at 2 P.M. The pre-proposal conference for this project is Monday, October 29, 2012 at 2 P.M. in Room 2C07 at the above stated address.

Proposals are available on the HISD web-site at The District reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, or, to accept the proposal that is most advantageous to the District.

The District sells obsolete assets on-line at



Partnership benefits students at 47 historically Black colleges Defender News Services

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) announced a multi-year, $1.7 million national partnership with Wells Fargo to provide scholarships and leadership development training to student leaders attending the country’s 47 public HBCUs. In addition, Wells Fargo will continue to support one of TMCF’s leading programs, the Teacher Quality & Retention Program, which focuses on increasing the number of Black males entering the teaching profession to educate children at highneed schools in urban and rural communities. “Wells Fargo and TMCF share a commitment to education,” said Gigi Dixon, director of national partnerships for Wells Fargo. “We also believe everyone deserves access to high-quality and affordable education, which is why we are committed to working with TMCF to enable more low-income and underrepresented students to attend and graduate college – one of the most important ways we can help our communities become economically self-sufficient.” To launch next year’s scholarship program,

Gigi Dixon

Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

TMCF will provide scholarships to public HBCU students who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and possess exceptional leadership potential. Selected Wells Fargo/TMCF Scholars will receive the equivalent of a full-tuition and fee scholarship for an in-state student to attend a public HBCU, and each of them will participate in a year-long

We keep Houston working. enroll today at

program that includes quarterly leadership seminars facilitated by Wells Fargo executives and an allexpense-paid trip to New York City for an intensive leadership development conference. Recognizing the significant underrepresentation of Black male teachers in America’s classrooms, Wells Fargo will also sponsor a year-long program to identify Black male students committed to a career in teaching. As part of the overall program, these TMCF fellows participated in a residential program on the campus of Prairie View A&M University for one week this summer intended to prepare them to become certified master teachers after graduation. “Thanks to Wells Fargo’s generosity and ongoing partnership, a cadre of extremely talented future leaders will be able to earn a college degree,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF’s president and CEO. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is named for the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its member-schools that include public HBCUs, medical schools and law schools.

Enter to Win* Two Tickets to

The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi Fri. Nov. 9 - 8pm @ Jones Hall Deadline: Mon. Oct. 29

The reasons people choose HCC are as diverse as the Houstonians we serve. And no institution does more to get students where they’re going faster than HCC. We keep Houston working with affordable tuition, innovative courses, and convenient locations.

Exciting…Explosive… Electrifying! *Contest open to local residents only

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9/26/12 2:56 PM




2012 Toyota Camry SE Sedan By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender

Engineers of the Toyota Camry had their feathers ruffled a bit last year. Camry has been the best-selling car in America every year but one (2001) since 1997. Americans bought more than 325,000 of them in 2011. Yet Camry lost out in the miles-pergallon ratings, specifically to the Ford Fusion and the Hyundai Sonata. Toyota promises that the all-new 2012 Camry will at least tie for leadership in fuel-economy figures this year. The V6 SE model is up to 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Just like clockwork every five years, the Camry undergoes noticeable changes, while maintaining the virtues – quiet, smooth, comfortable, reliable and affordably priced – that have made it America’s sedan of choice. This new, seventh-generation 2012 Camry is designed to maintain these virtues while offering more fuel efficiency and value.


MSRP base price – $26,640 (as tested $31,107) Engine – 3.5-liter V6 Transmission – Six-speed automatic with manual mode Fuel economy – 21 miles per gallon (city), 30 mpg (highway) Estimated annual fuel cost – $2,220 (based on $3.70 per gallon) Toyota was able to make these alterations without direct fuel injection, downsized engines or turbo-charging. The 3.5-liter V6 is virtually unchanged from a year ago. But the LE, hybrid and four-cylinder models were made lighter with lowerrolling resistance tires, sleeker sheet metal, taller gearing, more aggressive torque-converter lockup and electric power steering. Although this Camry doesn’t turn many heads, it still has better exterior appeal than its predecessor. The front end has a

HCC launches joint engineering program Defender News Services

Houston Community College and the University of Texas at Tyler have created a partnership through the development of an innovative, four-year engineering degree program on the HCC campus in Alief. The new program will allow students to obtain an engineering degree in the normal four-year time period from UT Tyler, without any dislocation from the HCC Alief campus, while saving nearly 50 percent in their tuition costs. While beneficial for the student, the program is also designed to support the engineering field and the businesses which need to fill highly skilled job opportunities. “HCC has worked hard to be flexible and to be supportive of local industry with innovative and forward thinking partnerships and programs,” said Mary S. Spangler, HCC chancellor. “We continue to work to remain at the forefront of what community colleges can provide for its students and local workforce. This historic partnership with UT Tyler is yet another example of how we are working to keep Houston working.” Spangler and other officials recently

signed the program’s memorandum of understanding. With the agreement, Houstonarea students will have the opportunity to complete an associate of science degree in engineering with a set degree plan qualifying them for transfer to the UT Tyler bachelor of science in electrical and mechanical engineering program. Starting in the spring 2013 semester, students will have the convenience of attending classes for their associate’s degree and the bachelor’s degree at the newly established UT Tyler’s Houston Center for Engineering located at HCC’s Alief Campus, 2811 Hayes Road. “This partnership provides real, meaningful value to all for whom we are entrusted to serve,” said Neeta Sane, HCC trustee, District VII. “I am so pleased that my colleagues, the administration and the leadership of UT Tyler were able to bring this level of innovation to Houston and the Alief community.” The total tuition cost for the HCC associate’s degree and UT Tyler bachelor’s degree in engineering will be around $22,500. For students enrolled at the Alief Early College High School who are concentrating on engineering, the cost will be approximately $16,000. For more information visit www.hccs. edu.

shovel-nose look and the sides are lacking aerodynamic styling. Other exterior highlights include color-keyed folding heated side mirrors, projector-beam headlamps with automatic on/off feature. The interior package remains spacious and comfy. A new layered dashboard with genuine stitching on its leading edge has upgraded the ambiance. Large controls on the steering wheel help navigate the vehicle’s standard and optional electronics. Toyota engineers might want to consider wood trim. Wind and road noise are even more subdued than before, and the ride is smooth without being floaty. The ride is the result of a sport-tuned suspension that includes springs and shock absorbers along with sport-tuned electric power steering. The SE’s powertrain consists of a 3.5-liter V6 engine matched with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode paddle shifters mounted on the rear of the steering wheel. Safety features include Toyota’s Star Safety System with traction control and anti-lock brakes, 10 air bags, tire pressure monitoring system and whiplash injury-lessening front seats. The seats are better for not getting your feathers ruffled.

Great Schools + Great Neighborhoods

Great = Cities

It’s a powerful equation for Houston’s future. In Houston, we work hard, dream big —  and always build for the future. The HISD Bond will build modern high schools in our neighborhoods and improve safety and technology across the district. See the facts for yourself at

Go all the way down your ballot: Vote FOR the HISD Bond! Vote early through November 2. Election Day is November 6. Pol. adv. pd. for by Citizens for Better Schools, Jacob Monty, Treasurer.

HISD_Defender_4.79x6.5_1023.indd 1

10/23/12 6:59 PM


opinio n


Romney continues

campaign of lies By GEORGE E. CURRY NNPA Columnist

As we have seen during three presidential debates and in his campaign speeches, Mitt Romney will say anything – even when he knows it is untrue – in his effort to dislodge President Obama from the White House. Romney charged in the second presidential debate that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Obama denied it, urging Romney to “Get the transcript.” observed, “The transcript does show that Obama said in a Rose Garden speech on Sept. 12: ‘No acts of terror will ever Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.’” In the same debate, Romney said a gallon of gasoline in Nassau County, N.Y. was $1.86 when Obama took office. It’s now “4 bucks a gallon.” As fact checkers for USA Today stated: “Gas prices were going through a period of exceptional volatility when Obama took office – largely because, as Obama noted, gas prices plummeted as the recession took hold and people drove less… But gas prices are still 34 cents below their all-time high during the Bush administration. In the summer of 2008, the national average hit $4.05 a David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star gallon.” Bush-era tax cuts) – and determined that Obama’s noted, “Mitt Rombudget ‘provides a middle ground between these ney falsely claims in a series of TV ads that two extremes.’” President Obama ‘will raise taxes on the middle Romney said during a Republican debate on class by $4,000.’ That’s nonsense. The ads cite a Feb 22: “I said today that we’re going to cut taxes conservative group’s study, but even the group iton everyone across the country by 20 percent, self doesn’t say Obama will raise taxes on middleincome taxpayers. It says his budget could result in including the top 1 percent.” However, during a debate with Obama, he said, “I’m not looking to a ‘potentially higher tax burden’ over the next 10 cut taxes for wealthy people.” years. In that same debate, Romney said: “In the last “In fact, the group’s study considered two four years, women have lost 580,000 jobs. That’s other budget scenarios – current law (allowing the the net of what’s happened in the last four years. Bush-era tax cuts to expire as scheduled at the end We’re still down 580,000 jobs.” of this year) and current policy (extending found: “Actually, according to rent policies into 2013, including extending the

the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the net loss of women’s jobs since January 2009, when the president took office, is 283,000. Even the 283,000 figure is an overstatement. The BLS also has announced that its routine annual benchmarking process will result next year in adding 386,000 total jobs – men and women – to the official historical figures. It did not say how many of those would be women’s jobs, but about 49 percent of total employment is currently accounted for by women. So about 190,000 will probably be subtracted from the 283,000 figure. That would put the current loss at 93,000, making Romney’s figure six times too high. “We assume Romney’s reference to ‘four years’ was meant to cover only Obama’s term. For the record, the number of women’s jobs lost in the last four months of the Bush administration was 833,000, according to the BLS. So the total over four years would come to 1.1 million, with the large majority lost before Obama was sworn in.” Romney has repeatedly charged that Obama “cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare.” But concluded: “Various incarnations of this claim have cropped up in Romney’s campaign speeches – including claims that Obama is ‘cutting’ ‘funneling’ or ‘raiding’ $716 billion from Medicare to pay for the health care law. But Medicare money isn’t being taken away. The Affordable Care Act calls for a $716 billion reduction in the growth of Medicare spending over 10 years, a move that – if successful – would keep the hospital insurance trust fund solvent for an additional eight years… Furthermore, as we explained in detail in our story ‘Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank,’ “ Medicare doesn’t have $716 billion sitting around that could be ‘raided.’ The president can’t take money out of the trust fund – which had $244.2 billion at the end of 2011.” Even on those rare occasions when Romney is telling the truth, there is deception. For example, he claims that he will create 12 million new jobs in his first term. But as fact checkers for USA Today pointed out: “Romney’s pledge to create 12 million jobs has been hotly contested in large part because economic forecasters, including Moody’s Analytics, predict roughly 12 million jobs will be created over the next four years – no matter who is elected president.”




Texans AFC’s

top team at bye week By MAX EDISON Defender

The Texans recent 43-13 shellacking of the dreaded Baltimore Ravens left the team with the AFC’s best record at 6-1. It’s also the best record through seven games in team history. Just as important is the fact that they rebounded from their first loss, an embarrassing outing against the Green Bay Packers the previous week. The team has reached what amounts to the half-way part of their season and a much-anticipated and well-deserved weekend off. Heading into the bye week Coach Gary Kubiak was glad to see his troops bounce back after the previous week’s disaster. “It feels good, but like I told them, last week’s game counted as one,” Kubiak said. “I asked how many this one counted for and they all said ‘one’ so they understand it too. “We’re almost at the halfway point...We’ve got a long, hard road ahead of us, but we have some good character on this team and just need to keep working.” Veteran wide receiver Kevin Walters wanted a win to head into the bye week. “Last week we didn’t play well as a team,” Walters said. “We corrected the mistakes from the previous week. We wanted to show that we’re a good team. We need some rest. Some guys are dinged up, and it’s a great time to have a bye week. This is how we wanted to go into the bye week, 6-1. ” Safety Danieal Manning took a moment to savor the team’s accomplishment and relish the words, “AFC’s best record.”

A key to the Texans success has been the stifling play of their defense led by JJ Watt (99), Danieal Manning (38) and Johnathan Joseph (24).

“It sounds good the way it rolls off the tongue,” Manning said. He reflected on the team’s bounce-back victory over their nemesis, the Ravens. “Coach VJ [DB coach Vance Joseph] said all week that adversity separates men from boys” Manning said. “We had a little adversity against the Packers. The only way we could bounce back is to respond to the challenge. “This is a response league. We responded with a big-time win over a very good Ravens team that we know we’ll probably see again somewhere in the playoffs. If we say we want playoff success and have a chance to go to the Super Bowl we’ve got to be able to beat teams like the Ravens.” Through seven games and six victories, the Texan defense, forcing turnovers and creating opportunities, has been a key to the team’s success. “That’s the nature of this game; it’s a momentum game,” Manning said. “[It depends on] which team or in this case which side of the ball can create momentum, [whether] making a play with a safety or a pick 6, like in the game today. “Those types of plays demoralize the opponent and lift up our offense. Our defense has been fortunate this year by being able to create positive momentum that our team feeds on.” With nine games remaining on the schedule,

the Texans are the talk of the town and with a bye week on the horizon that hysteria will only grow. The formula for continued success is simple in Manning’s estimation. “We’ve just got to stay focused and continue to stack wins. This league is a marathon. Sometimes teams pass you up during the marathon; you have to keep them in sight and catch back up during the course of the race. When you lose a game, come back with a win. If we continue to stack wins we’ll win the division, make the playoffs and get home field advantage. The main goal is to keep stacking those wins.” • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years Sharpstown’s Chevis

loves numbers game I scholarship offers. “I felt like A&M was one of the best places for Reginald Chevis has a me out of the 40 scholarlove for numbers. ships,” he said. “I defiHis favorite subject at nitely wanted to play in school is math. “Math is the Southeastern Conferuniversal. You don’t have ence, so that cut my 40 to know English to know choices down to nine. math,” he said. “If you like Then I wanted to play money, then you will like close to home so that narmath. And I plan on making rowed my choices down a lot of money one day.” to four. As the starting middle “I want to play my linebacker for the Sharpfreshman year, so that stown Apollos varsity really knocked it down to football team for the past one,” Chevis said. “Once three seasons, Chevis seeks I visited the campus, I out the key numbers on felt like the atmosphere opposing offenses and gets was for me. I feel like I acquainted with them. can definitely live there Case in point – Milby and I like the environfaced a fourth-and-one from ment outside of football.” their own 22-yard line in the Chevis has earned first quarter of its District all-district, all-state, 21-4A showdown with Team USA, Texas FootMiddle linebacker Reginald Chevis received some 40 Division I scholarship offers. Sharpstown and the Buffs ball Magazine Super decided to go for it. Team Defense and Allhead coach Dallas Blacklock. “They ran an empty America honors. He has “You’ve got all the intangibles. already been selected to play backfield with big number You got the speed, you got the four back there and 10 times in the U.S. Army All-American size and now I need you to out of 10 he’s going to get the High School All-Star Game take on the attitude. I want you scheduled for next January. ball,” said Chevis, a four-year to be Ray Lewis right here in letterman. “I just figured that His goals and ambitions Houston. I would stick my head in there coming into his senior season “Every play he was supand shut the play down.” were clear and well-defined. posed to make, he made and That’s just what the 6-foot“I wanted to be a betthat’s all we expect,” Black2 and 245-pounder did. He ter leader, a sound player and lock said. “I told him before stopped the ball carrier for come out and dominate every the game that all I want is all a one-yard loss and the mochance I get,” he said. you’ve got. He did that and I’m mentum swung sharply to the Blacklock remembers many proud of him.” Apollos. times when Chevis dominated Sharpstown was coming Three plays later, Jerrod in the past. Yet one time sticks off a disappointing one-point Taylor scored on a five-yard out in particular. loss to Reagan a week earlier. touchdown run and the rout “It was a playoff game “We had some situations in that against Booker T. Washington was underway. Sharpstown game where the defense failed would score two other touchand we had just committed to capitalize on them,” Chevis downs in the first quarter en a turnover,” Blacklock said. said. “We went back to practice “Reggie came over and told route to a 56-0 victory. The Apollos’ defense returned three and worked on some things.” me he was going to get the ball Chevis has verbally cominterceptions for touchdowns in back. On the next play he made mitted to attend Texas A&M the contest. an interception and returned “All week long, I told Reg- University. His choice came it for a touchdown. He came down to a numbers game. He gie that he had to be ferocious right back and gave me a big had approximately 40 Division in this game,” said Sharpstown hug after that.” By DARRELL K. ARDISON Defender


sportsbriefs Four-way tie in 18-5A There is a real shake-up in the District 18-5A standings following last weekend’s action. Eisenhower defeated defending district champion Alief Taylor 22-17 and Elsik outlasted Aldine 35-28 to give all four schools 2-1 district records and a tie for first place. Elsik will close out the regular season with games against MacArthur (Oct. 26) and Alief Hastings (Nov. 2). Alief Taylor must face Aldine (Oct. 27), MacArthur (Nov. 3) and Hastings (Nov. 9). Aldine will take on Taylor (Oct. 27), Aldine Nimitz (Nov. 2) and Eisenhower (Nov. 9) while Eisenhower has Nimitz (Oct. 26) and Aldine (Nov. 9). Four schools will earn playoff berths from District 18-5A.

Sykes does it all Coldspring senior Jerrell Sykes had one of those special games. In the Trojans’ 60-21 victory over District 22-3A rival Huffman Hargrave, Sykes supplied a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, recovered two fumbles, including one in the end zone, intercepted two passes and made tackles all over the field. On offense, he was nearly as spectacular. Sykes caught four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 49-yard TD catch called back because of a holding penalty. “I’m just trying to come out here and create plays for the team, doing what I can do – whatever they ask me to do. I just try my best to do it,” Sykes said. “It feels good to do it on a stage like this.” It was Coldspring’s eighth consecutive victory over Hargrave.

PV homecoming unparalleled What do you get when you combine an oldschool family reunion with a college football game and hundreds of recreational vehicles and travel trailers? You get homecoming Panther style. Prairie View A&M University’s homecoming was held recently and it was a phenomenal event that just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. Proud alums from as far back as the ‘50s were in attendance and they were not disappointed. The Panthers defeated a good Alcorn State University team 52-37 before a crowd of over 12,000 at Blackshear Field and that only accounts for those at the game. Easily that many more were tailgating around the campus. The Panthers are now 2-3 in conference and still have an outside chance of winning the SWAC’s West division. They would need to “run the table” with four conference games remaining.

Venus Williams wins Just when everyone was about to shovel dirt on her, Venus Williams stood up. She recently won her first WTA singles tournament in over two years. Queen V captured the Luxembourg Open, defeating Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-2, 6-3. Despite being hampered by illness and injuries over the recent years, Williams, 32, has won 44 singles tournament in her illustrious career, which includes seven Grand Slams. “Coming to the tournament this week I was just trying to play well. I didn’t know if I could win this event,” Williams said. • Serving the Houston area for over 80 years




Houston Defender: October 25, 2012  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source

Houston Defender: October 25, 2012  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source