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COURTHOUSE RALLIES AROUND ‘CANDY MAN’ AFTER CANCER DIAGNOSIS P3

LOCAL

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LOCAL TX JUDGE RULING Millions may lose overtime pay

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Houston’s Leading Black Information Source

Volume 86 | Number 5

DECEMBER 1, 2016 | FREE

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ENTERTAINMENT JOE P. to host youth poetry slam

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OPINION FEATURE CHARLIE STRONG

out as UT coach

OPEN ENROLLMENT DEADLINE: DEC. 15 r PAGE 8

P13

SPORTS CLINT CAPELA proves himself as a starter

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Donald Trump

Eboni Williams

President-Elect Donald Trump is already making major waves as he prepares to take office and Americans are seeing the impact of his surprising win. A few big changes: Changes to the federal workforce and an increase in minority gun purchases.

Cable News Analyst Eboni K. Williams is one of few faces of color on the FOX News Channel. The vocal host walks a fine line between conservative and liberal viewpoints. Find out how she balances being a Black woman on the controversial network.

impacts Blacks

speaks out on Fox

r PAGE 4

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

localbriefs A JUDGE IS UNDER FIRE FOR SUGGESTING A BLACK MAN BE LYNCHED after being accused of killing a local police officer. “Time for a tree and a rope,” he posted on the San Antonio Police Department’s Facebook page. Burnet County Judge James Oakley took responsibility for the rash words, apologizing and calling his language “unfortunate,” but denying that it contained any racial undertones. The article he posted contained news of an arrest made in the shooting death of a police officer. Otis Tyrone McKane, who is Black, was arrested after the officer was fatally shot inside his patrol car…..SOME HOUSTON POLICE OFFICERS ARE BEING INVESTIGATED after allegedly tasering a woman in a wheelchair during an argument with deputies, which caused the woman to fall to the ground out of her chair. Sheketha Holman had confronted police following her daughter’s arrest when the incident occurred. She was surrounded by three deputies when one of them deployed the stun gun and shocked her to the point that she fell out of her wheelchair. She claimed that she was shocked a second time once she was in handcuffs……TEXAS A&M IS DENYING INVITING A WHITE NATIONALIST TO SPEAK ON CAMPUS. Richard Spencer, a Dallas native who is now president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think-tank, was invited by a former student, and there may not be anything the school can do to stop his appearance. Spencer recently spoke in Washington D.C., declaring “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” while some attendees gave Nazi-style salutes….. DESPITE FACING ETHICS QUESTIONS, THREE LAWMAKERS EASILY WON RE-ELECTION. Voters overwhelmingly chose to send state Reps. Ron Reynolds of Missouri City and Dawnna Dukes of Austin and state Sen. Carlos Uresti of San Antonio, all Democrats, back to the Capitol, a sign of voters’ capacity for exoneration or apathy — or both.

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Millions may now lose overtime pay, raises Defender News Service A rule put in place by President Obama to expand eligibility for overtime pay to millions of workers may be on life support. A federal judge in Texas, ruling in two cases brought by business groups and 21 states challenging the rule’s validity, issued a preliminary injunction stopping the rule from taking effect on Dec. 1. The indefinite postponement will stand until the judge renders his decision on the cases. The federal government has the right to seek an appeal. But that could be a long process and put key decisions about fighting for the rule in the hands of President-elect Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20. The policy is meant to help workers in low-paid managerial positions, such as managers at fast-food restaurants, who are not eligible for overtime but are still expected to work long hours. “We strongly disagree with the decision by the court, which has the effect of delaying a fair day’s pay for a

long day’s work for millions of hardworking Americans,” the U.S. Department of Labor said. The rule would make all workers who make between $23,660 and $47,476 eligible for overtime pay regardless of their duties. More than 12 million workers fall into that category, and of those about four million have managerial duties that currently make them exempt from overtime pay, according to Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

Advocates of the rule say it will provide more money or more free time for affected workers: They would either start getting overtime pay or a raise to put their salary above the new threshold. Or employers won’t let them work any more than 40 hours a week so they don’t incur overtime costs. But business groups opposing the rule say it wouldn’t help workers in terms of pay or benefits and would raise costs and regulatory burdens on employers.

‘Candy Man’ supported through diagnosis Defender News Service Rick Johnson is known around Houston’s legal circle as the ‘courthouse candy man’ in downtown Houston. He’s been at the corner of Caroline and Franklin Streets for a decade. You often can hear him shouting, “Don’t worry, be happy” to those on their way into court as he sells candy. Defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges look at the 60-year-old as part of their courthouse family. That’s why everyone took notice when one day Johnson stopped showing up to the spot where he stood each and every day for so many years. “He never took a day off. That’s why we were so concerned,” said crim-

inal defense lawyer Deborah Keyser. Keyser and her husband James Stafford were so concerned that they called Houston Police and hired a private investigator. They would soon learn the man they’d come to know and adore was sick with Stage 4 colon cancer. Lawyers Rick Johnson like Vivian King who’ve befriended him over the years are helping him with expenses and stopping by his house to visit him. A group even set up a GoFundMe account to help with his home care. “Rick is one of our shining stars

at the courthouse. He dances with us. He embarrasses us. He does not allow anybody to be snooty,” King said. “I’m praying that a miracle happens.” Johnson said he is overwhelmed by the support. “I ain’t through crying. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Never in a million years did I think I affect so many people,” Johnson said. “Don’t worry. Be happy. Be happy. Don’t worry. Jesus has your back.” Johnson’s courthouse family has been visiting him regularly ever since finding out about his diagnosis. “You know how you never miss someone until they’re gone? Everyone misses Rick, so I think it will mean the world to us if he gets better,” said criminal defense lawyer Vivian King.

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

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national

U.S.briefs

THE

TRUMP

IMPACT

Black federal workers could be hurt

T

Defender News Services

he president-elect’s plans to downsize the federal government will hit African-Americans, who make up nearly 20 percent of the federal workforce, particularly hard. Less than two weeks after winning the election, Presidentelect Donald Trump, along with congressional Republicans, wasted little time in announcing ambitious plans to further downsize the federal government. For Black folks—particularly Black middle-class families that have historically (despite segregation and institutional hostility) relied on public sector jobs as a solid form of professional growth and upward mobility—this latest development might well be viewed as the end of their economic world as they know it. In recent years, Congressional Republicans had been escalating longtime efforts to scale back the role, size and impact of the federal government, or what they call, “federal government overreach.” Ironically, only two (and a half, when counting the Maine split)

states out of the 20 most dependent on federal funding were not Donald Trump Electoral College pickups. From battle cries for Affordable Care Act repeal to forcing government shutdowns that, politically, never backfired, Republicans spent an entire two terms of the Obama White House railing against the exaggerated “evils” of federal encroachment. Now enter Donald Trump, with plans for a full-blown dismantling of everything near and dear to civil servants: reduced benefits and pensions; easy ways to get folks fired; mass federalhiring freezes; eliminating unions in the agencies; and—the biggest of them all—the fall of the gradebased automatic pay raise. Bad enough that Black federal workers have a hard-enough time facing high levels of racial discrimination and being passed over for promotion (one in four of all federal discrimination complaints are filed by Black employees, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). But with Black Americans constituting nearly 20 percent of the overall federal workforce (a proportion

larger than their population size of 13 percent), slicing up the federal government is sure to have a negatively disproportionate impact on them—and, in a bigger way, thriving Black middle-class communities in metropolitan centers like Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, which are major hubs of federal agency and contractor commerce. It won’t just be Black federal employees, either: Black professionals and entrepreneurs with small to midsize businesses relying on federal budgets stand to lose a lot, too. That animus toward federal involvement in, pretty much, anything seems to conveniently fall on racial fault lines. It’s not all paradise for Black workers. Black federal workers struggle for stability and advancement against the odds of racist norms. And when events like government shutdowns, hiring freezes or massive attrition take place, it’s cash-strapped, Black public sector workers (compared with their comfortable white peers) who find themselves without a paycheck and under greater pressure to survive.

‘Stand Your Ground’ law leads to spike in killings Defender News Service

A new study suggests Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law can be linked to a spike in gun-related deaths. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the self defense law led to a 24 percent increase in homicides and a 31.6 percent increase in firearm-related deaths between 2005-2014. ABC News reports data

acquired from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that after the law was passed in Florida, the average number of homicides per month increased as well. The average number of homicides per month skyrocketed from 82 a month in 1999, to 99 homicides a month between October 2005 to 2014. Nearly two dozen states have adopted Stand Your Ground

legislation since 2005. If you remember, Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law came under intense scrutiny after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and during the George Zimmerman trial. Critics of the controversial legislation consider it the “shoot first law,” as it allows an individual who feels threatened during a confrontation to “meet force with force.”

A CHATTANOOGA SCHOOL BUS DRIVER WHO KILLED SIX CHILDREN IN A CRASH had previously alarmed students, parents and faculty with his driving. School documents show that Scott Walker, 24, who had been in an accident two months prior, had drawn a series of complaints that raise questions about whether the children riding the bus were safe in the driver’s care. Walker was driving students home from school on an unapproved route at a high rate of speed, when his bus slammed into a tree at such a speed that the vehicle split in half on impact. Thirty-seven children were on the bus. Six of them, ages six to 10, died. Dozens were injured......ACCUSED WHITE SUPREMACIST DYLAN ROOF WILL REPRESENT HIMSELF after a judge granted his request. Roof, 22, faces 33 counts of hate crimes, obstruction of religion and firearms charges stemming from the massacre carried out at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty if he is convicted. A judge earlier ruled that Roof was mentally competent to stand trial, following concerns raised by defense attorneys about their client’s ability to understand the nature of the proceedings against him and to assist in his defense. Jury selection will now resume…..A SHOOTING IN THE NEW ORLEANS FRENCH QUARTER has left nine people injured and one dead. The shooting victims were two women and eight men, ranging in age from 20 to 37. Police do not know what motivated the shooting, which happened despite an increased police presence for the Bayou Classic football game between Southern and Grambling universities…..PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP WENT ON A TWITTER TIRADE ALLEGING VOTER FRAUD. Trump erroneously tweeted that “millions of people” voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, otherwise he would have won the popular vote. Trump won the Electoral College and thus the White House, but the Democratic nominee leads him in the popular vote by about two million ballots.

VOLUME 86 • NUMBER 5 DECEMBER 1, 2016

Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Ad/Client Relations Selma Dodson Tyler Digital Editor LaGloria Wheatfall Art Director Marshall A. Latimore Proofer Maia Shelby

Editors ReShonda Billingsley Marilyn Marshall Contributing Writers Aswad Walker Jasemine Knowles Amber Vernon Sports Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison

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).

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Gun sales surge among Blacks, minorities

DECEMBER 1 | 2016 | DEFENDER

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Gun storeowners are reporting that since November 8, they’re seeing up to four times as many Black and minority customers —and Black gun groups are reporting double the normal number of attendees at their meetings since the election. Racial tension was already at a high during the election, with a spate of videoed shootings and deaths of Black men by police officers, followed by ardent protests and the fatal targeting of white police officers. From Ferguson to Chicago to Baltimore, African-Americans felt targeted and angry, sending marchers into the streets and communities on edge. And Donald J. Trump’s surprise victory in November has done nothing to abate the racial violence — it even seems to have encouraged more open displays of hatred. More than 700 instances have already been reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center just since November 8, and LGBT hotlines are seeing an “all-time peak” in calls from people reporting harassment. October saw 2.3 million FBI background checks for gun sales, an all-time record; and the 18th month in a row to set a new high. November could be on pace to break that. But while gun company stocks and firearm sales saw a run-up before the election — based on fears a Hillary Clinton victory would result in increased gun-control measures — shares in gun companies fell as much as 20 percent after Trump’s win. Michael Cargill, the owner of Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, says he had given up on advertising to African-Americans — but now he’s seeing as many as 20 a month, and they’re filling up his training classes; along with Muslim, Hispanic, and LGBT patrons with heightened worries about being targeted. Black gun owner groups are seeing an uptick too, led by African-American women. They report receiving an increased number of emails from across the country from concerned minorities looking to learn more about gun safety, training, and firearm access. Philip Smith, founder of the 14,000-member National African American Gun Association said his members are buying up every kind of gun, from Glock handguns to AR-15 rifles to AK47 semi and automatic weapons — though most first-time buyers gravitate toward a nine-millimeter pistol or .38 revolver. He said that twice the usual attendees have RSVP’d for the next meeting of the Georgia chapter, which he heads. “Most folks are pretty nervous about what kind of America we’re going to see over the next five-ten years,” he said.

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

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Supreme Court hears Texas death penalty case Defender News Service

It’s unconstitutional to execute people with intellectual disabilities, that much the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear. But things get fuzzy when individual states try to legally determine “intellectual disability,” and that ambiguity is leading Texas to its latest hearing before the high court. The eight justices recently heard arguments surrounding Texas’ method of determining the condition, ultimately deciding if the state’s approach fits within past rulings specifying who can be put to death. The case is brought forth by Bobby Moore, a death row inmate of more than 36 years. In April 1980, Moore, then 20, walked into a Houston supermarket with two other men, wearing a wig and holding a shotgun, according to Texas’ brief to the high court. He approached the clerks’ counter and shot 73-year-old James McCarble once in the head, killing him. Decades after receiving the death sentence, the 57-year-old man still sits in prison. Moore’s appeals have been exhaustive; he was even granted a second sentencing hearing in 2001 and again handed the death penalty. In his latest appeal, Moore’s attorneys claim he is intellectually disabled, which would make him ineligible for execution. But courts have disagreed on how to legally determine the disability. Two previous Supreme Court rulings have addressed executing intellectually disabled people. In

Bobby Moore, who suffers from intellectual disabilities, has spent 36 years on death row.

2002, Atkins v. Virginia ruled that executing those with the disability violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, but left it up to the states to legally define the condition. In 2014, Hall v. Florida specified that an IQ higher than 70 did not alone eliminate the condition, and that legal determination “is distinct from a medical diagnosis but is informed by the medical community’s diagnostic framework.” Attorney Cliff Sloan, representing Moore, ar-

gued that the ruling violated the constitution by requiring courts to use medically outdated standards to determine if a death row inmate is intellectually disabled and ineligible for execution. Moore’s brief claims that courts should be using current medical standards to determine intellectual disability, and that the Briseno definition is unjust and only qualifies certain people with intellectual disability as exempt from execution, instead of all of them.

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DECEMBER 1 | 2016 | DEFENDER

7


8

cente

DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

N

ow is the time to c coverage for 2017 Open enrollment

Marketplace bega

31. But you must act by Dec

your coverage to take effect

to know about this year’s en

1. Your actual premiu as high as you’ve h

ACT NOW! Open Enrollment Deadline: Dec 15

By BOB MOOS

More than seven in 10 T the marketplace will be abl than $75 per month, thanks If your income falls belo poverty level – that’s $48,00 a family of four – you’ll qual will help make your coverag 10 marketplace consumers i the tax credits increase dolla a benchmark health plan, m from rate increases. Also, if you’re buying an through the marketplace, y gov and recheck your eligib An estimated 252,000 Te outside the marketplace and have incomes low enough to

2. All consumers still

About eight in 10 market choose from competing insu ers served by a single insure plans. Texans can choose from a

Which health insurance marketplace plan is right for you? Levels of plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace are bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories. They are based on how you and your insurance plan split costs. Categories have nothing to do with quality of care. Total costs include: premiums, the amount you pay for health insurance each month; deductibles, the amount you pay for services before your insurance plan starts to pay; copayments, a fixed amount you pay for a service after you’ve paid your deductible; and coinsurance, the percentage of costs you pay after you’ve paid your deductible. Each category may include several types of plans and provider networks, like health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). The categories are:

BRONZE

SILVER

• Insurance company pays 60 percent, you pay 40 percent • Lowest monthly premium • Highest costs when you need care • Bronze plan deductibles can be thousands of dollars a year • Good choice if: You want a lowcost way to protect yourself from worst-case medical scenarios, like serious sickness or injury. Your monthly premium will be low, but you’ll have to pay for most routine care yourself.

•Insurance company pays 70 percent, you pay 30 percent • Moderate monthly premium • Moderate costs when you need care • Silver deductibles are usually lower than those of bronze plans. • Good choice if: You qualify for “extra savings” or, if not, if you’re willing to pay a slightly higher monthly premium than bronze to have more of your routine care covered. • Note: If you qualify for “extra savings” on your deductible, copayment, and coinsurance (sometimes called cost-sharing reductions) you must pick a silver plan to get the extra savings. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year if you use a lot of care.

defendernetwork.com • Serving th


erfold

check your health care

or sign up for the first time.

through the Health Insurance

n on Nov. 1 and runs until Jan.

c. 15 if you want any changes in

t on Jan. 1. Here are six key facts

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exans with coverage through e to find a health plan for less s to financial assistance. w 400 percent of the federal 00 for one person or $97,000 for lify for federal tax credits that ge affordable. About eight in in Texas are eligible. Because ar for dollar with the cost of most consumers are protected

n individual health plan but not ou’d be wise to visit healthcare. bility for the tax credits. xans who purchased coverage d paid full price for it last year qualify for assistance.

have choices.

tplace customers will be able to urers for 2017. But even consumer will select from a range of

an average of 26 health plans,

defendernetwork.com

though the exact number will vary from county to county. Rural areas are likely to have fewer. You can view all of the plans for sale in your area at healthcare.gov. If you haven’t purchased a health plan through the marketplace before, you should know that all plans cover a comprehensive set of benefits, including doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care, pregnancy and prescription drugs. The plans must treat you fairly. Insurers can’t deny you coverage because you have a medical issue, such as cancer or diabetes. Nor can they charge you more than they would someone who’s in good health.

3. It pays to shop and check out your options. If your health plan from this past year is continuing into 2017, you may be automatically re-enrolled. But you’ll still want to review it to make sure it meets your needs. Every year, insurers adjust premiums, out-of-pocket costs and benefits. You should have received a letter from your insurance company explaining the changes for 2017. Even if you’re satisfied with your current coverage, it’ll be smart to log into your marketplace account at healthcare. gov and update your information on household income and family size. Updating your personal information is important, because you may be eligible for lower costs than last year.

9

ibles, copayments and coinsurance. An “out-of-pocket calculator” provides an estimate of your total yearly costs for each health plan, based on factors like age, gender, income, ZIP code and how much health care you expect to use. You can also check out a plan’s list of covered drugs and find out which doctors and hospitals participate in the plan you’re considering.

5. Deductibles can often be made more manageable. Most marketplace consumers qualify for financial assistance that lowers their deductibles. The median marketplace deductible is now $850.  All plans cover some preventive services, such as cancer screenings, vaccines and well-child visits, without a deductible. And eight in 10 marketplace consumers select plans that cover common health services, such as primary care visits, generic drugs and some specialist visits, before meeting the deductible. Instead of bearing the full cost of your doctor visit, you may have just a copayment. 

6. There are places for help with signing up. Besides relying on healthcare.gov, you can call 1-800318-2596 and visit with a marketplace customer service

4. Comparing plans at healthcare.gov is easier than ever. The marketplace simplifies shopping for coverage by letting you make convenient comparisons of health plans. The process to enroll is faster and more streamlined this year. You can even shop and enroll from your smartphone or tablet. Healthcare.gov helps you put together the full picture of your health care costs, including premiums, deduct-

By MARILYN MARSHALL GOLD

PLATINUM

• Insurance company pays 80 percent, you pay 20 percent • High monthly premium • Low costs when you need care • Deductibles are usually low • Good choice if: You’re willing to pay more each month to have more costs covered when you get medical treatment. If you use a lot of care, a gold plan could be a good value.

• Insurance company pays 90 percent, you pay 10 percent • Highest monthly premium • Lowest costs when you get care • Deductibles are very low, meaning your plan starts paying its share earlier than for other categories of plans. •Good choice if: You usually use a lot of care and are willing to pay a high monthly premium, knowing nearly all other costs will be covered.

he Houston area for over 85 years

Source: www.healthcare.gov

representative. You can also visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to locate the organizations in your community that will assist you in signing up for coverage. Don’t risk paying a penalty of $695 or more because you go uninsured next year. Check out your options at healthcare.gov. Plans may be more affordable than you think. Bob Moos is Southwest public affairs officer for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.


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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

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How to choose your 2017 health plan

I

By VICTOR A. SIMMS, MD, MPH, FACP Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

f you’re a federal employee, you’re probably aware that now is your only opportunity to make changes to your health insurance before the December 12 enrollment deadline. But do you know your current plan may not offer KelseySeybold physicians in 2017? The good news is, you can keep your doctors by simply changing your plan to one of the options offered by the government that include your Kelsey-Seybold doctors. Nothing is more important than your health. Here are some tips to guide you in choosing the right health plan.

Consider health plan networks Your out-of-pocket costs are typically lower when you see an in-network doctor. If you have doctors you prefer, check each plan’s online provider directory for 2017 to make sure your doctors are included in that plan. Consider your own unique healthcare needs and those of your family members. When you find a doctor you

like, who is familiar with your medical history and understands your needs, stick with him or her. Most women are very selective when choosing an OB/GYN and the pediatrician who treats their children. If you are treated for a chronic condition, you’ll benefit from seeing a physician who is familiar with your medical history.

Compare costs

4 tips for choosing the right plan

Your total annual health insurance costs depend on how much care you use. Most plans provide preventive care, including pediatric checkups and vaccinations, well-woman visits and more, without a copay. And most plans cover some services Dr. Victor Simms before you reach your deductible, like prescriptions, periodic physicals and services to help you manage chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes.

Here are four tips for choosing the right health insurance plan: • Compare plan options side by side. • Eliminate plans that don’t offer your doctors as part of the provider network. • Make sure the plan you choose will pay for you and your family’s necessary care, like prescriptions and specialists. • Determine the option you believe is your best choice for quality and value.

Evaluate your options

If you see Kelsey-Seybold doctors, I hope you’ll review your plan options carefully during the annual “Open Season” enrollment. Visit GetKelsey.com for more information. Or call us at 713442-3636 to speak with a health plan specialist. If you are a retiree or will be retiring in 2017, call 713-442-9066.

Evaluate your plan premiums, along with deductibles, prescription drug costs, copayments and coinsurance. Make your best estimate of your family’s healthcare needs and associated costs.

Dr. Victor A. Simms is a boardcertified physician who serves as Chief of the Department of Internal Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic and see patients at the Pasadena Clinic.

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With the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) enrollment going on now through December 12, be sure to choose a plan offering Kelsey-Seybold doctors in 2017! These include APWU, NALC and SAMBA health benefit plans. Go to GetKelsey.com for the complete list.

Our health plan specialists are ready to help! Call for a free evaluation based on your needs or for more information on FEHB plans that include your Kelsey-Seybold doctors. If you are a federal employee, call 713-442-3636. If you are a federal retiree or will be retiring in 2017, call 713-442-9066.

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DECEMBER 1 | 2016 | DEFENDER

Fox political analyst

entertainment

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Eboni K. Williams

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By KAM WILLIAMS

boni K. Williams is a popular political and legal commentator you can catch on numerous FOX News Channel programs like “Hannity,” “The O'Reilly Factor” and “The Kelly File.” She also frequently serves as a co-host on “Outnumbered” and “The Five.” Eboni received a B.A. in Communications and African-American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her J.D. from Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans. Here, she shares her thoughts about the election and her role in covering it. Kam Williams: How would you describe yourself politically? Most African-American commentators on Fox are either way to the left or way to the right, but with you, it's hard to discern where you stand. Eboni Williams: I am a proud, registered Independent. I have voted for candidates from both the Democratic and Republican Parties. I was a two-time Barack Obama supporter. In this election, I wrote in a candidate. I rejected both of the major party candidates, and I wasn't impressed by any of the third-party candidates. I've been very clear about the fact that my politics don't follow party lines, they follow policy. I'm a lawyer by trade, and I'm particularly concerned about policies that make life better for communities I feel are underrepresented... whether that's communities of color... women... or young people. But I'm really concerned about all people, because we're all Americans, and I want opportunity for all of us. "Opportunity" is the key word. I think the Democratic Party really got it wrong when they started describing their economic policy in terms of "income inequality." Well, in my playbook, income should reflect work effort, which is not always equal. We don't all work the same, so why should all of our incomes be the same? What I think is fairer is "opportunity equality." What we all should be afforded is the opportunity to determine our own income. That is very important to me.

KW: What inspired your transition from lawyer to journalist? EW: My favorite thing about being a lawyer was being a voice for the voiceless because, as you have probably noticed, I have a loud voice and a lot to say. But effecting change inside our judicial system is a very slow process, because you can pretty much only do one case at a time. So, I switched to journalism in order to be able to continue advocating for the underdogs but on a macro level. What better way to do that than by getting into media where instead of effecting change one client at a time, I could hopefully do it for thousands or even millions of people. KW: What was the best decision you made to advance your career, moving to FOX News? EW: I didn't really seek out FOX. FOX came to me while I happened to be covering the George Zimmerman verdict for radio. Someone with “The O'Reilly Factor” happened to hear my segment and asked me to come on the show that night to discuss my reaction to and legal analysis of the verdict. I'd never seen the show before, so I didn't know enough to be intimidated, though I quickly learned. But I really, really enjoyed my interaction with Bill. I was on with him and another gentleman. We had a very candid discussion about a delicate, but critically important topic. After that night, I was hooked. That's really how my association with FOX came about.

what’sup New details are emerging about KANYE WEST’S apparent state of mind prior to hospitalization and the impact it could have on his largerthan-life persona moving forward. The 39-year-old rapper was admitted to UCLA Medical Center after sources say he suffered from “severe paranoia” and “hallucinations” brought on by a “lack of sleep” associated not only with his intense workload, but also with stress from wife Kim Kardashian West’s horrifying armed robbery in Paris last month…… Legendary director SPIKE LEE is being sued because he failed to make benefit contributions to employees of his 2008 movie “Miracle at St. Anna.”

According to the suit, filed in New York federal court, Lee and his two companies —Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks and Black Butterfly Productions— did not pay $45,000 in pension and health plans of three Hollywood unions the IATSE, the Teamsters and the Musicians unions…..Actor RON GLASS, best known for his role as Ron Harris in the cop comedy “Barney Miller,” has died at age 71. The prolific actor died of respiratory failure. Though many knew him for his Emmy-nominated role as the sardonic NYPD detective on “Barney Miller,” which aired from 1975 to 1982 on ABC, younger generations may recognize him from more

recent TV roles. Glass played the deeply religious preacher Derrial Brook on the 2002 cult science fiction show “Firefly.”…..DAVE CHAPPELLE has cut a deal with Netflix for three new comedy specials. The projects will mark Chappelle’s first standup TV specials in 12 years, and it marks another aggressive push by Netflix in the standup comedy arena. The deal calls for Chappelle and director Stan Lathan to produce an original special for Netflix. Two other unreleased projects will come from Chappelle’s vault — one produced out of the Austin City Limits Live venue, the other from a performance at the Hollywood Palladium.

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

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DTP Poetry slam showcases youth Defender News Service

Young poets will get a chance to let their lights shine at the “Disturbing the Peace (DTP)” poetry slam. Hosted by ACTing Up Studios and its founder, Joseph “Joe P” Palmore, the citywide competition and showcase will feature some of the finest voices in Youth Poetry. DTP has set the stage for young talent to not only discover and develop their skill in performance, but to harness their thoughts and ideas and give soulful weight to their Spoken Word. “The program provides an outlet for youth to develop their craft and build a presence as performance artists and life leaders,” says Palmore. “Disturbing the Peace becomes the premiere creative platform for student performances to be showcased following each semester.” Palmore says DTP allows creativity to flow freely, challenging the norm, even breaking societal stereotypes, by first helping young minds to tap into their self-confidence. “Since our very first year, DTP has been made possible through the generosity of our business and community leaders, friends, and family who understood the value in our vision. It is now year four, and that vision remains the same, to inspire the artistic development of young artists wanting to experience a new level of professional growth,” Palmore added. DTP was named for artist and activist James

Baldwin who believed that the purpose of every artist is to heal and create change by means of truth and transparency, as he spoke “artists are here to disturb the peace.” Creativity flows freely through DTP as young artists begin to shape themselves into productive life leaders. “In this life, I knew that I had to give back all that I’ve learned using the experiences that I’ve been through,” Palmore said.

DISTURBING THE PEACE YOUTH SLAM AND SHOWCASE Thursday, Dec. 15, 6 p.m. The Lifelong Learning Center 13033 Landmark Houston, TX 77045 TICKETS

General Admission: $15.00 High School Students w/I.D.: $10.00 Official website: www.actingupstudios.com Eventbrite: www.dtpyouthslamandshowcase. eventbrite.com PERFORMER ELIGIBILITY

• Poetry Slam: High school students ages 15-18 • Artist Showcase: Youth ages 15- 21 Contact: Darnetta D. Nelson 313.673.4682 darnetta_nelson@hotmail.com

January 16, 2017 @ 8:15 am


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DECEMBER 1 | 2016 | DEFENDER

UT fires Charlie Strong, hires UH's Tom Herman

TOP EVENTS ON VACATION

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Charlie Strong has been fired as the head football coach at the University of Texas at Austin. And just hours after his dismissal, the school ushered in his replacement, University of Houston coach Tom Herman. “It's a very difficult day for me, my family and all of the people affected by this decision,” Strong said in a statement posted online. “I'm most disappointed for these kids and our staff who have poured so much of their lives into this program for the past three years. I do understand that it comes down to wins and losses, and we have not done our job in that area yet.” Strong's dismissal follows a disappointing loss Friday to Big 12 rival Texas Christian University. The Longhorns finished the 2016 season with a 5-7 record, and Strong had a record of 16-21 in his three seasons as head coach.  In a separate statement, UTAustin President Greg Fenves said that while Strong was an "outstanding leader and role model ... the results over three seasons were not there."  “I am grateful for the contributions Charlie Strong made to our athletics program and the community,” said Fenves. “I wish Charlie, Vicki and their family only the best moving forward. I will forever consider them friends of the university.” The school announced that Herman will take over for Strong. While Herman was also rumored to take over at Louisiana State University, then-assistant coach Ed Orgeron was hired as the full-time head coach there. “The opportunity to come back to Texas is a dream come true for me and my family, and I can't thank President Fenves and Mike Perrin enough for providing me with this incredible opportunity,” Herman said. “Longhorn football has been – and always will be – a national power, winning and playing for national championships with great pride and passion, supported by an unbelievable fan base.” UT-Austin will pay a hefty price to fire Strong. Since the former

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Tom Herman head coach still has two years left on his $5 million-a-year contract and there’s no buyout in place, he’ll likely be owed the full $10 million even though he won’t coach the next two seasons, according to a copy of the contract. Herman's latest extension at UH was worth roughly $1.35 million per year for five years. He is expected to make much more at UT, at least rivaling Strong, and receive a 5-year deal for more than $5 million a year. The Texas Tribune contributed to this report.

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

sports

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ROCKETS CLINT CAPELA

PROVING HIMSELF AS A STARTER By MAX EDISON

W

Defender

hen Dwight Howard opted out of his Rockets contract earlier this summer the question on everyone’s mind was, who will play center now? The answer to that question was already sitting on the team bench in the form of third year, 22-year-old center/forward Clint Capela. Capela, a 6-foot-10 string bean from Switzerland by way of Paris has more than adequately filled the void as the Rockets man in the middle in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. The 25th pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft, Clint was considered a project. He spent the majority of his rookie season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets Development team. When Donatas Motiejunas was injured at the end of the 2014-15 season, Capela seized the opportunity. Ironically enough, Clint appeared in more playoff games (17) than regular season contests in 2014–15 and averaged 3.4 points in 7.5 minutes

per postseason game. The physical ability of Clint Capela was undeniable and Rocket management realized that the harvest was immediate and the future was now. With a quarter of the season down, the move to start Clint Capela has paid immediate benefits. He’s averaging 11.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and two blocks per game. All this from a player first-year Rocket’s coach Mike D’Antoni admits he knew very little about when he took the job. “I knew absolutely nothing about Clint before I got here,” Coach D’Antoni mused. “He’s great, he keeps getting better. At some point I’ll have to say he’s leveled off, but for now he just keeps getting better. He’s very gifted, intelligent, he’s a great guy and he’s all for the team. “We have a lot of guys that help the locker room and he’s that,” D’Antoni continued. “He has the ability to take things we try and teach him and put it in his game real quick. It usually takes months for guys to be able to incorporate stuff the coaches tell them, but Clint picks it up real quick.” Capela credits the Rockets assistant coaches with helping his game evolve. “Roy Rogers (Rockets asst. coach) has coached a lot of the centers in the league like (Pistons’ big man Andre) Drummond,” Capela shared. “Before every game, we watch videos. It’s always good to see what I’m doing on the court;

so, I can see where I can get better.” Local Rocket legend turned D’Antoni assistant, John Lucas, has also been instrumental in the improvement. “He’s helped me a lot with my confidence on the free throws and my confidence overall. I can be way better than I am right now. He pushes me all the time (to get better). He is a huge part of my growth and my confidence.” The biggest question about Clint Capela’s move into the starting lineup was how he would physically hold up to the bumping and grinding that goes on in the middle. A mere string bean two years ago (approx. 210 lbs.), Capela has added bulk, now tipping the scales at 240 pounds. “Every year, I feel stronger and stronger in the post,” Clint explained. “I’ve gained 10 pounds of muscle this summer. I feel stronger

against the bigger guys because it’s going to be my game in the future. It’s always good to come on the court and feel stronger after a good summer of work. My goal is to gain pounds and get stronger.” Of course if you’ve watched the Rockets at all this season you have to be impressed with the way Clint Capela and point guard James Harden have collaborated. Harden’s alley oops to Capela have been consistent highlight reel material. “We’ve been working on it since I got here, almost two years,” Capela said. “It’s getting to be a huge part of our game as a team. It opens up shots for the shooters because it forces the defense to collapse on me, which is our game.” Harden is pleased with the progress he’s seen in his young teammate. “The thing I like about Clint is he wants to get better,” Harden opined. “On the court and in the weight room, he just wants to get better. A young guy like that, continues to work and wants to get better, great things will happen for him. We’re all seeing it. I stay on him every single day about never letting up, continuing to work hard, be the best you can be and he’s doing that.” As the season progresses, expect Clint Capela to continue to improve his game and the Rockets to have more team success.

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DECEMBER 1 | 2016 | DEFENDER

h.s.zone

sportsbriefs Texans salute HOF’ers Major props to the Houston Texans for hosting a ceremony at halftime of the San Diego game for two NFL Hall of Famers with ties to Houston. Elvin Bethea and Kenny Houston, both former Houston Oilers, were presented with newly designed HOF rings by David Baker, Pro football Hall of Fame president. Bethea was a third round pick for the Houston Oilers from North Carolina A&T in 1968. He played 16 season, all with the Oilers. He was inducted to the HOF in 2003.

Cougars looking for a coach With Tom Herman’s departure to the University of Texas, the Cougars are now in search of a new Top Cat. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando has been designated the team’s interim coach. He will lead them in whatever bowl game they are invited to. Orlando is also a candidate for the permanent position. Expect former Houston and Baylor head coach Art Briles, Oklahoma offensive coordinator, Lincoln Riley and current Cougar offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to be among the top candidates to succeed Herman. “With a Tier One University, fertile recruiting ground, upgraded facilities including a new indoor practice facility slated to be completed next fall and a roster full of driven and talented student-athletes, the next leader of the Houston Football program will have an outstanding opportunity to compete for championships, maintain our program’s national prominence and continue the HTownTakeover,” AD Hunter Yurachek said. Time will tell.

FB Marshall, Manvel march to region finals Trailing A&M Consolidated 14-7 at halftime, Fort Bend Marshall struck for a Kolby Peel trifecta in the third quarter at NRG Stadium with 21 unanswered points and advanced to the Class 5A Division II Region III championship game with a 28-21 victory. Peel scored on a run, punt return and a reception as the Buffalos improved to 11-2. Marshall will face College Station, a 52-28 winner over Port Neches-Groves. The Region III-5A Division II championship game between Marshall and College Station will be held Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. on the campus of Prairie View A&M University. Manvel polished off Cedar Park 47-35 at Kyle Field. Rarely has Manvel (13-0) been an underdog going into a contest but that was the case facing defending Class 5A Division II state champion Cedar Park (121) that suffered its first loss in two seasons. Manvel will play 10-3 Temple in the 5A Division II Region III title game, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. in Arlington (AT&T Stadium).

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Little big man for North Shore By DARRELL K. ARDISON | Defender At 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds, North Shore’s Kerrion Hadnot is usually one of the smallest players on the football field. Yet in a matchup of two Houston area high school powerhouses, he had the biggest impact. With North Shore trailing eight-time state champion Katy 17-13 with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a Class 6A Division I Region III semifinal game at NRG Stadium, Hadnot did what he does best. “I had to pull one out for my teammates,” said the junior running back. “It was an outside zone play and that’s my specialty. I’m a short, fast guy so I like to get the ball on the outside and make people miss. That’s my game plan, to make people miss.” Hadnot accepted the handoff from senior quarterback Bryant Badie and began probing the left side of his offensive line for an opening. After bouncing off several wouldbe Katy tacklers, Hadnot turned the corner and raced 48 yards for the game-clinching touchdown with 5:03 left in the contest. The late-game heroics of North Shore’s little big man had yet another chapter. North Shore’s defense withstood four Katy run attempts inside the two-yard line, including Katy’s last effort on fourthand-goal from the one-yard line with one minute, 38 seconds left in regulation. “We have at a tremendous defense. We practice hard every day and stay calm and keep our composure,” Hadnot said. “We pray to God and he helps us find a way.” Then the mecurial Hadnot sealed the deal much to Katy’s chagrin. With his team needing a first down to nail down a 20-17 victory that would propel the Mustangs

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Who led Atascocita’s upset win over Lamar? into the Region III-6A Division I finals against district rival Atascocita, Hadnot moved the first-down sticks with a run to the 12-yard line. “My coach is always telling me, ‘Little run, little run, little run, big run’” Hadnot said. “Something good is going to happen, so just stay calm, stay patient and stick to your game plan.” North Shore, 12-1, and the defending Class 6A Division I state champion, will face 11-1 Atascocita Dec. 2 in NRG Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Katy, the defending Class 6A Division II state champion, closed out a 10-3 campaign. Hadnot was a member of the North Shore varsity squad last

year, but his sophomore season was derailed by an injury. “The main goal for me coming into this season was just to go hard and don’t worry about my size,” he said. “Run over anybody that I see and play as hard as I can. “My mother always told me that it’s not about the size of the dog, it’s about the fight in the dog. So I just take that and run with it,” Hadnot said. North Shore is seeking to add a third state football championship to the one last year (2015) and the first in 2003. “We’re going to move ahead and focus up,” Hadnot said. “We never want to make this game bigger than what it really is.”

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 1 | 2016

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Houston Defender: December 01, 2016  

Houston's Leading Black Information Source