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Volume 83 | Number 9

DECEMBER 26, 2013 | FREE

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2013 Year in Review

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 26 | 2013

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in memorian

Deaths in 2013

Bert Long

An acclaimed Houston artist, died Feb. 1 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72. Long, a native of Fifth Ward, was a widely regarded painter, sculptor and photographer. His works were shown across the country and in Europe. Local venues for his exhibits included the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Malcolm Shabazz

The grandson of Malcolm X, died May 9 in Mexico City after being beaten outside of a bar. Shabazz, 29, was reportedly traveling to Mexico City with a Mexican labor organization based in California. Trouble seemed to follow Shabazz. In 1997, at age 12, he pleaded guilty to setting fire to the apartment of his grandmother Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X. The fire resulted in her death and young Malcolm spent four years in juvenile detention.

Gaynelle Griffin Jones

Appointed by President Bill Clinton as the first Black woman to be United States attorney for the Southern District of Texas, died March 1 after a battle with cancer. She was 64. She was also the first Black woman to serve on the First Court of Appeals in Texas. Jones most recently served as litigation counsel for Hewlett-Packard and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Houston Law Center.

Ayanna Adé

A noted Houston activist, died May 23 from breast cancer complications at age 62. SHAPE Community Center and the National Black United Front hosted standing-room only memorials after her passing. Known for her contributions as a midwife, Adé earned a master’s degree in midwifery and delivered over 2,000 babies. She was cofounder of Childbirth Providers of African Descent, and described as a “tireless revolutionary and a great humanitarian.”

Lee Elliott Brown

Rick Roberts

A legendary Houston radio announcer, died March 21 at the age of 71. Family members said he died from injuries sustained after burglars beat him in his home. Roberts began his broadcast career at KYOK-AM. As program director in the ‘70s, he was a part of the first radio station on wheels. He later worked for Texas Southern University’s radio station KTSU-FM, first as program director and later as general manager. Roberts was one of the first AfricanAmericans in the nation to do live play-by-play sports broadcasts.

Died April 3 at the age of 62. Crosby was the pastor of Mount Corinth Baptist Church in Hempstead and the voice of “The Christian Community Today” on KTSU. His radio ministry included such programs as “The Church and Community in Action” and “Teen Talk” on Prairie View A&M University’s KPVU and “Spirit, Soul, and Body” on Praise 92.1. He served as public relations director for Houston Ministers Against Crime and chaplain for the Hempstead Police Department.

Bobby “Blue” Bland

Dr. Charles A. Hines

William H. Gray III

Who served as affirmative action director for the City of Houston from 1984 to 1994, died March 25 at the age of 74. Brown, who served under former Mayors Kathy Whitmire and Bob Lanier, designed and implemented the first discrimination investigation process for the city workforce. She also monitored the increase in the participation of minorities and women in city contracts.

A legendary singer, died June 23 after a lengthy illness. He was 83. Bland recorded more than 30 albums and remains one of the top 25 best-selling R&B artists of modern times. He made a name for himself in the ‘50s with a sound that mixed gospel, blues and R&B. His first hit was “It’s My Life, Baby,” released in 1955. Two years later, his single “Farther up the Road” reached No. 1 on the R&B charts. Bland was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and presented a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Who served as president of Prairie View A&M from 1994 to 2002, died July 4 at the age of 77. He oversaw the university’s role in the Office of Civil Rights settlement that resulted in funding for four new buildings, additional master’s and doctoral degree programs, development initiatives, student scholarships and endowed chairs. Hines was a retired major general with the Army.

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Pastor Lloyd Crosby

A pastor, former United Negro College Fund chief and former member of Congress, died July 1 in London at the age of 71. He was in London for the Wimbledon championships. Gray was elected to Congress in 1978 and became the first African-American to chair the House Budget Committee and to serve as House majority whip. He served in the House from 1979 to 1991, and surprised many people when he resigned to become president and CEO of the UNCF. Continued on Page 14


defendernetwork.com DECEMBER 26 | 2013 | DEFENDER

newstalk

Top 10 local stories By MARILYN MARSHALL Defender

It was an eventful year in the Houston area. The African-American community experienced highs and lows, and many of the issues were all too familiar. The Defender takes a look at the top 20 local stories in the order in which they occurred. Legislative session begins, ends

The state’s 83rd Legislative Session began with a list of key priorities, including the budget, business and economic development, criminal justice and public safety, health, education and transportation. A deal on a Texas budget was passed that restored nearly $4 billion to public schools cut from the previous session. The budget also granted state employees a three percent raise. In the area of healthcare, the House voted to increase funding for mental health programs. On the criminal justice front, minority lawmakers praised a new law ensuring that all relevant evidence that speaks to a defendant’s innocence or guilt is revealed.

North Forest loses fight

The year began with supporters of the North Forest community determined to keep their school district open. Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams recommended that the troubled district be annexed into HISD effective July 1. The decision upset many in the community. “We made sure our schools were safe and our students were taught,”

NFISD Superintendent Edna Forté said. Despite a valiant fight, NFISD officially merged with HISD, which took over its buildings, records and the responsibility of teaching its students

SHAPE Center stays put

SHAPE Community Center received a scare when it was sold at auction. It was alleged that SHAPE accrued a debt of $60,000 due to unpaid leases on two copiers. A default judgment was awarded to debtors, which led to the auction. Founder and director Deloyd Parker assured Houstonians that the iconic Third Ward institution was not going anywhere. Sure enough, the sale of the center’s property was voided. “The case has been settled; the property has been returned,” said attorney Ben Hall.

Ryan Middle School closes

The HISD Board approved a transition plan that would allow Ryan Middle School to be repurposed as a magnet school designed to attract students from throughout the city. The district said Ryan was too small to operate efficiently while offering students needed services. Students zoned Continued on Page 4

Legislators gathered at the State Capitol for the 83rd session.

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North Forest ISD closes and merges with HISD.

Supporters of SHAPE Community Center attend a rally.

Newstalk... Continued from page 3 to Ryan were permanently rezoned to nearby Cullen Middle School. The new Medical and Health Professions Academy at Ryan Middle School is designed to prepare more students to compete for admission into the DeBakey High School for the Health Professions

Homelessness in Houston declines by 27 percent.

Fires are deliberately set in South Park and Sunnyside.

Reynolds maintains innocence

Missouri City State Rep. Ron Reynolds said he would fight to maintain his innocence. In March, arrest warrants were issued for Reynolds and seven other Houston-area lawyers. They were charged with barratry – often called ambulance chasing – and accused of paying kickbacks to the alleged ringleader of an operation. In November, Reynolds was indicted on 10 counts of barratry by a Montgomery County grand jury. Barratry is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Black schools get bad grades

The annual rankings of Texas schools released by Children at Risk showed while some local schools continue to excel, others continue to decline. In 2013, Children at Risk assigned each school a letter grade (A-F) based on comparative performance on its indicators, and a number of predominantly Black schools received a failing grade. HISD high schools receiving an F included Wheatley, Worthing and Yates. Failing middle schools included Attucks, Holland and Ryan, and failing elementary schools included Blackshear, Gregory Lincoln and Kashmere Gardens.

Homelessness on the decline

The Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County celebrated its 30th anniversary on a positive note. Preliminary results of its 2013 count showed a 27 percent drop in homelessness. The decrease was attributed to a corresponding increase in individuals living in permanent supportive housing. A coalition spokesperson said, “This focus on placing individuals and Houstonians protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman. families into permanent supportive minority women already certified with the city. housing has been a collaborative effort “We do not believe so,” said Carlecia Wright, among many homeless services providers and director of the Office of Business Opportunity. the results are evident.” “The city has contract specific goals, meaning City MWBE program changes separate goals for minority subcontractors and The City Council approved several changes women subcontractors.” to Houston’s MWBE program. Women-owned businesses were reinstated to the program, the citywide participation goal in construction was Four firefighters lose lives increased, and the Persons with Disabilities A five-alarm blaze at a Southwest Houston Business Enterprise program was expanded. motel killed four Houston firefighters and The reinstatement of women-owned businesses injured 13 on May 31. The fire was the single raised the question of whether opportunities would be taken away from Black or other Continued on Page 17

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defendernetwork.com DECEMBER 26 | 2013 | DEFENDER

national

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Top 10

national stories

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By RESHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY Defender

he year 2013 was marked with controversy and disappointments, from the government shutdown and frustrations with the justice system to an assault on voting rights. Following is a recap of the top ten national stories that dominated the headlines in 2013.

President Barack Obama speaks to Americans about the Affordable Care act.

1. Obamacare stumbles One of President Barack Obama’s key legislations – the Affordable Care Act – went into effect in 2013. But the Oct. 1 rollout of a crucial part of the health care initiative fell flat. Between enormous website issues and frustrations over elements of the plan, enrollment in Obamacare fell way below expectations. The site was supposed to make it simple for people to search and sign up for new health care policies, but instead it was challenging, at times, inoperable. The White House worked diligently to iron out the kinks, but not before thousands lost faith in the plan and the president. The White House is determined to get the initiative back on track.

2. Government shuts down From Oct. 1 through 16, the U.S. federal government entered a shutdown and curtailed most routine operations after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014. Regular government operations resumed Oct. 17 after an interim appropriations bill was signed into law. During the shutdown, approximately 800,000 federal employees were indefinitely furloughed, and another 1.3 million were required to report to work without known payment dates. Only certain government employees continued to report to work. The 16-day-long shutdown was the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 26 | 2013

Top National Events... Continued from page 5 3. Nelson Mandela dies Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter, prisoner, moral compass and South Africa’s symbol of the struggle against racial oppression, died Dec. 5 at the age of 95. Mandela, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid, was known for his message of reconciliation, not vengeance. He inspired the world after he negotiated a peaceful end to segregation and urged forgiveness for the white government that imprisoned him. His defiance of white minority rule and long incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world’s attention on apartheid, the legalized racial segregation enforced by the South African government until 1994. Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations. 4. George Zimmerman acquitted George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder. He was also acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge. After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Zimmerman had deliberately pursued Martin because he assumed the hoodie-clad teen was a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death. Zimmerman said he shot Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in selfdefense after the teenager knocked him to the ground, punched him and slammed his head George Zimmerman is found repeatedly against the not guilty of second-degree sidewalk. In finding him murder in the death of not guilty, the jury agreed Trayvon Martin. that Zimmerman could have been justified in shooting Martin because he feared great bodily harm or death. Zimmerman experienced a slew of other troubles after the acquittal but remains free. Trayvon’s death ignited a national debate on racial profiling and stand-your-ground laws. 5. Gay marriage gains support The year marked a number of milestones for the gay marriage movement, earning approval from a majority of Americans along the way. The two largest victories came from the Supreme Court in June, when justices struck down the Defense of Marriage Act preventing same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits, and invalidated an effort to restore California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage. The DOMA ruling was a close 5-4 decision, and Justice Antonin’s Scalia’s dissent was particularly scathing, but the jubilant crowds gathered outside of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., cheered

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happy kwanzaa

A pA s t t o u n i t e u s , s ev e n p r i n c i p l e s to g u i d e u s

Continued on Page 18 South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela dies Dec. 5 at age 95.

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entertainment

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Top 10

entertainment stories of the year By RESHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY Defender

There were lots of highs and lows in the entertainment arena in 2013. From a resurgence of Black movies to drama with popular icons, this year has been a memorable one. The Defender takes a look at some of the top stories of the year. 1. Black movies gain popularity

This has been a banner season for Black films, from the slavery odyssey “12 Years a Slave” to the day-in-a-life drama “Fruitvale Station,” to the civil Rights drama, “The Butler,” to the highly-anticipated sequel, “The Best Man Holiday.” “The Butler” in particular shocked Hollywood by raking in more than $100 million. Also successful were such films as David E. Talbert’s “Baggage Claim,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” a sweeping biopic of the South African leader starring Idris Elba, the Jackie Robinson drama “42” and the Langston Hughes adaptation “Black Nativity.”

2. Beyoncé shatters records

The good news keeps coming for Mrs. Carter. Beyoncé’s self-titled album released in December sold over 1 million copies in the worldwide iTunes Store in just a few days. The LP started out as an iTunes exclusive, with physical copies heading to stores by Christmas. The 14-track “visual album” came with videos for every single song, a stunning expanse of material that was recorded in large part while Beyonce was touring the globe as part of her Mrs. Carter World Tour. The mammoth effort was kept under wraps, and news of its release spread across social media like wildfire. In the time since its release, the album has spawned vigorous debates about feminism, consumerism, parenthood and sexual representation, as bloggers and Twitter users write and pick apart a myriad of thought-pieces on Beyoncé’s music and messaging.

3. “Scandal” grows

In eight months, producer Shonda Rhimes broke up the

Chad Boseman portrays baseball great Jackie Robinson in “42.”

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Top 10 Entertainment... Continued from page 7 first family, unleashed a mole into the executive branch of the White House, suppressed a ballot-rigging debacle, killed innocent people, and consequently, made “Scandal” one of the top-rated dramas on network television. While season one of ABC’s Thursday night political thriller earned a modest critical response, round two hit record-highs, even outscoring “American Idol.” According to Nielsen “Scandal” is the highest rated scripted drama among African-Americans, with 10.1 percent of Black households, or an average of 1.8 million viewers, tuning in during the first half of the season. A large part of the show’s new-found success has been the support of a passionate online community. Tweets each week keep “Scandal” trending for days, and it doesn’t hurt that Rhimes and her cast are leading the call to action.

4. Winfrey, Perry become partners

Tyler Perry struck a deal with his friend, Oprah Winfrey to give her and her OWN network the exclusive rights to every original TV show directed and produced by T.P. himself. It was a move that paid off as the struggling Oprah Winfrey Network pulled down big ratings thanks to Perry’s shows, “Have and Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor.” Oprah’s big interviews have also drawn great ratings. The network’s target audience, women aged 25-54, bumped up viewership by 39 percent.

5. Jackson case in court

Michael Jackson’s family lost its $1.5 billion negligent hiring lawsuit against international concert promoter AEG Live. Jackson died of a drug overdose in 2009 at age 50, after being given a fatal dose of propofol. In 2011, Dr. Conrad Murray, who administered the propofol injection, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, filed the negligence case against AEG Live, promoter of Jackson’s “This Is It” tour, in 2010. During the 21-week trial in Los Angeles, attorneys for the Jackson family claimed AEG did not properly investigate Murray and was only concerned with the money Jackson’s comeback tour would bring the company. After two days of deliberations, jurors decided that AEG did hire Murray but that the doctor was not “unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired.”

6. Shows keep it real?

Reality TV shows continued to dominate the airwaves. Every single one of the top five shows on VH1, essentially the network’s bread & butter, are all so-called “Black-themed” programs, which is even more interesting when you consider that VH1 is not a Black TV network. Shows such as “Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta,” “T.I. & Tiny” and “Basketball Wives” brought the network big ratings. The same is happening over at Bravo, Kerry Washington attracts a wider audience with her hit series, “Scandal.”

Beyoncé scores with a Super Bowl performance, world tour and new album.

Cicely Tyson wins a Tony Award for “The Trip to Bountiful.”

which once again experienced success with “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” but also added, “Thicker Than Water.” The antics featured on these reality series have sparked a growing backlash: viewers have created petitions demanding VH1 cancel shows, advertisers have pulled ads and critics blast the network for promoting crass and negative images of Black women.

7. Blacks win on Broadway

Several stars had a big night during the 2013 Tony Awards. For only the second time in history, Blacks took home four of the eight major acting awards. Walking away as winners were: Cicely Tyson, Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role; Billy Porter, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical; Patina Miller, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, and Courtney B. Vance, Best Performance by an Actor Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey form a winning partnership.

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Top 10 Entertainment...

DECEMBER 26 | 2013 | DEFENDER

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8. Talk show hosts have a lot to say

America can’t seem to get enough of talk shows. Actress, singer and rapper Queen Latifah debuted her new daytime show in 2013. Actor and comedian Arsenio Hall returned to late-night TV with his new talk show. His first ran from 1989 until 1994. Wendy Williams, Steve Harvey and Trisha Goddard continued to entertain their audiences in 2013. Others on the air included Michael Strahan, Sheryl Underwood, Aisha Tyler, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd.

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9. “American Idol” goes through changes

It was a rocky year for “American Idol.” The addition of three new judges – Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban – did nothing to increase the show’s audience. In fact, the ratings were lower than ever for “Idol,” which for nine seasons was the mostwatched show on television. The season ended with the crowning of Candice Glover as the show’s winner. It was later announced that Carey and Minaj would be leaving and Urban would be staying. He will be joined by Harry Connick Jr. and former judge Jennifer Lopez. Randy Jackson will return as a mentor.

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“Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts has been through a lot. But things are definitely looking up for the longtime ABC News host. GMA had taken over the No. 1 morning show slot from “The Today Show,” which had been slipping badly in the ratings, though it has been inching back up lately. Roberts felt that she was deserving of a big increase in salary. After much back and forth, Roberts reached a new long-term deal with ABC which will net her $14 million a year. Roberts, who has been at ABC News for over 20 years, has had her share of health issues over the past few years, including a recent risky bone marrow transplant.

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chag’s

DEFENDER | DECEMBER 26 | 2013

For Event Coverage...visit

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theme for their sixth annual gala was “Investing in Ourselves: Building Our Future.” YEAR IN REVIEW…..2013 was an exciting year for many individuals, businesses It is through investment that they can continue to improve our community and build a and organizations. Here are 10 events that appeared in “Chag’s Place” as well as bright future for Houston. They honored several individuals, including attorney Terry online at defendernetwork.com for your viewing pleasure….. CELEBRATING A Bruner, Chief McClelland, James Davis, Dr. Baxter Montgomery, and Dr. Heather SILVER WITH A CENTENNIAL….. Houston-area Chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Brown…..WESTERN AREA CONFERENCE…..The Galleria will never be the Sorority, Inc. celebrated the centennial anniversary as a national organization and same again. More than 800 members of The Links, Inc., with delegates the 25th anniversary of the Houston area joint Founders Day from Alaska to Texas, 10 states in all, attended the organization’s 41st Observance. The chapters include Bay Area Houston Alumnae, Join Yvette Chargois Western Area Conference. The four-day agenda included a major Houston Metropolitan Alumnae, North Harris County Alumnae, donation of $30,000 to the Young Women’s College Preparatory Suburban Houston-Fort Bend Alumnae, Delta Gamma Chapter Events of the Week Academy; recognition of Houston living legends Rev. William Lawson, at Texas Southern University and Zeta Sigma Chapter at the More photos on defendernetwork.com Lauren Anderson, Dr. Edith Irby Jones, Dr. Mae Jemison and Regina University of Houston-Central Campus….. FRIENDS OF See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. Rogers; and a workshop on bullying presented by Congresswoman MHMRA MARDI GRAS BALL…..The Friends of MHMRA Sheila Jackson Lee. The Links celebrates more than 65 years as celebrated its ninth annual Mardi Gras Ball at the Bayou City a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, Event Center. The organization was created in 2005 to enhance sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African-American and and expand the services and supports provided by and through mental health and other persons of African ancestry…..DIARY OF A FASHIONISTA……This year MHMRA of Harris County. This year’s honorees were Houston Police Chief Charles marks the Ivy Educational and Charitable Foundation of Houston’s (IEACF) 32nd A. McClelland Jr. and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia…..BUILDING OUR year of educating, empowering and encouraging the Houston community. They FUTURE….The 100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston celebrated another year of hosted their annual scholarship luncheon and fashion show that was attended by over successful partnering in the community and mentoring our young men. This year, the

Mary Wright, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Cynthia Butler McIntyre (CELEBRATING A SILVER WITH A CENTENNIAL)

MHMRA Exec. Dir. Dr. Steven Schnee and MHMRA Board Member Dr. Lois Moore….. (FRIENDS OF MHMRA MARDI GRAS BALL)

Honorees Atty. Jarvis Hollingsworth, Judge Debra Champagne, Cynthia Turner and Atty. Harry Johnson…..(JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION)

Atty. Cornel Williams and John Guess Jr. ….. (COCKTAILS AND CULTURE)

James Davis, Dr. Heather Brown and Chief Charles McClelland…

Yava Scott, Senfronia Thompson and Sherr

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800 guests. Additionally, they honored several outstanding individuals including, attorney Rosalyn Bazzelle, Alsie Cluff Jr., Susan Delson, Paula Harris, Dr. Felicia Austin Jordan, Carrin Patman, Latosha Lewis Payne and Merele Yarborough….. JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION…..The Missouri City Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (MCJCF) is a non-profit organization and the largest of its kind in the nation. For the 11th year, they celebrated with weeklong Texas-sized family events and activities. One facet of their celebration is the Community Service Awards Gala that was established in 2006 to bring recognition to area community leaders. This year’s gala was held at the beautiful City Centre-Quail Valley facility and the honorees included attorney Jarvis V. Hollingsworth, Judge Debra Champagne, attorney Harry E. Johnson and Cynthia Turner…..COCKTAILS AND CULTURE…..The Houston Museum of African-America Culture (HMAAC) chose the theme “Cocktails and Culture” to showcase the latest happenings at the museum. Due to the remarkable and dedicated work of its CEO, John Guess Jr., HMAAC is a museum that is unafraid to be contemporary as well as historical, to acknowledge the cultural impact of the last 20 years, including hip hop, as well as major cultural movements of the past such as the Harlem Renaissance. It’s a museum for all people…..WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP…..The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) gathered an impressive group of 44 of Houston’s prominent women leaders to hear

…..(BUILDING OUR FUTURE)

more about the work of the ADL and specifically how important their work is to women. The luncheon was the inaugural collaboration of a diverse group of women that the ADL would like to see involved with the organization. State Rep. Senfronia Thompson was the guest speaker and recalled her work with State Sen. Rodney Ellis in passing the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Law and much more….. LIVING LEGENDS…..Blue Triangle Multi-Cultural Association, Inc. (the first branch of Houston’s YWCA), hosted its 2013 Living Legends luncheon. This year’s honorees included Dr. Alma Allen, Lynn Jackson Bell, Katherine Beck, Earline Bradford, Errol Brooks, Willie Burgs, Lynda Wright Gittens, Vivian Lois Harrison, Velma Jackson, Howard Jefferson, Deloris Jolivet, Dr. Bettye Davis Lewis, Ernestyne Bell Terry, Leroy Thornton Jr., Addie Marie Watts-Vester and Alice Walker….. PRESIDENT’S GALA…..Texas Southern University President Dr. John M. Rudley hosted the 2013 TSU President’s Gala by honoring six distinguished alumni and six community partners who represent excellence in achievement. The alumni honorees receiving awards included Ricky Anderson, Winfred Frazier, Dale Hawkins Long, Alice G. Mendoza, Perry J. Miller, and Gerald W. Womack. Additional awards were presented to CenterPoint Energy, Keith J. Davis Sr., Houston Endowment, the Port of Houston, Rev. William A. and Audrey H. Lawson and Roosevelt Petry Jr. and Marlene Petry…..From Chag’s Place, Happy New Year!

Roxann Chargois, Constance Fitzpatrick Smith, Josie Daniels and Sharon Murphy….. (WESTERN AREA CONFERENCE)

ry Levy…..(WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP)

Chair Booker Lynne Graves and board president Charlotte Bryant….. (LIVING LEGENDS)

he Houston area for over 80 years

Saundra Wiley, Staci Fullmighter and Marianne Walker….. (DIARY OF A FASHIONISTA)

Tamesha Brown and Michael Stewart….. (PRESIDENT’S GALA)

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sports

Top 10 pro & college sports stories By MAX EDISON Defender

It was a year of triumphant victories and agonizing defeats in pro and college sports. As 2013 prepares to hit the eject button, 2014 is taking practice swings in the on-deck circle. Before he steps into the batter’s box, let’s review the year that was. 1. The Texans collapse

What else can we say? The disappointment of the 2013 Texan season has taken its toll on everyone. Expected to be a contender for the 2014 Super Bowl after a 12-4 record last season, the Texans are now a broken franchise. The team had endured a franchise record of at least 11 consecutive losses and the firing of head coach Gary Kubiak after week 14. The task now falls on GM Rick Smith to hire a new head coach, draft the right players and set this franchise back on a winning course. The football fans of Houston deserve it.

2 . Howard signs with Rockets

In a move that stunned the NBA establishment, free agent center Dwight Howard signed with the Houston Rockets. It’s not that the move didn’t make good basketball sense, but Howard turned his back on the Lakers. Who does that?! The move now makes the Rockets one of the elite teams in the Western conference on paper.

3. SWAC championship comes to town

The SWAC football championship was played in Houston for the first time on Dec. 7 at Reliant Stadium, and by all accounts, it was a tremendous success on and off the field. Fans witnessed an exciting game between Jackson State University and Southern University that went into two overtimes before the Jaguars won 34-27. They also were also treated to an exciting battle of the bands at the game’s conclusion. A crowd of 38,985 enjoyed the festivities.

4. Houston, Rice go ‘bowling’

Gary Kubiak is fired as the Texans coach due to a disastrous

It was a big year locally in D1 football. Both the University of Houston and Rice University are going to bowl games. The Cougars finished with a record of 8-4 and accepted an invitation to the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham on Jan. 4. Rice won their first ever C-USA title with a 10-3 record. As a result they were given an invitation

to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.

5. TSU basketball rules

Texas Southern University first-year head coaches Mike Davis and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke wasted little time showing the SWAC who the new sheriffs in town were in basketball. The men finished with a record of 17-14 overall, 16-2 in conference play, including a 12-game winning streak. They finished No. 1 in the conference, but because of NCAA sanctions were not eligible for post-season play. Cooper-Dyke wasted no time establishing herself as one of the nation’s top women’s coaches. The Lady Tigers finished the season with a 20-12 record, 16-2 in conference and won the conference regular season crown. Cooper-Dyke was so good that she landed the top spot at her alma mater, USC. The program is now in the capable hands of former assistant coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry.

6. Grambling forfeits as players boycott

Grambling University, the gold standard in college/ HBCU football lore, had the unthinkable occur. They experienced a player boycott and forfeited a football game at Jackson State. It always comes back to funds or a lack thereof, and unfortunately, money was in short supply at Grambling. Football players had multiple complaints ranging from unsanitary practice and workout facilities to taking the bus for extremely long out-of-town games. Eventually, a truce was forged with the help of Grambling legend and deposed head coach Doug Williams and the school administration. The Tigers finished the season 1-11, 1-8 in conference play. The sad state of affairs tarnished the legacy of the great Eddie Robinson.

7. Rockets battle in the playoffs

Who among us saw this coming? The Rockets qualified for the playoffs and gave Oklahoma City all they could handle

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DECEMBER 26 | 2013 | DEFENDER

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Pro Sports... Continued from page 12

The Rockets sign Dwight Howard and land a big free agent prize.

TSU women’s basketball coach Cynthia CooperDyke wins, heads to USC.

The Rice Owls and playmaker Phillip Gaines get invited to a bowl game.

Former Grambling coach Doug Williams and team embroiled in controversy.

before bowing out in six games of the first round. Boasting the youngest team in the NBA, the Rockets were a scrappy team. Led by All-Star James Harden the team seems poised for greatness.

8. Serena Williams dominates

Serena Williams continues to dominate in women’s professional tennis.

The hits just keep on coming for 9. Simone Biles Serena Williams. She won the French becomes champ and U.S. Open, her 17th majors (4th Although her all-time). She became the oldest No. accomplishment didn’t get 1 in WTA history at 32 years old, won nearly enough attention, 78 matches this season – 20 more than it doesn’t overshadow her previous best – and went on a 34 Manager Bo Porter and the Astros suffer her success. Gymnast match-winning streak, her personal best. through another losing season. Simone Biles, all 4-feetShe won 11 titles, three more than her nine of her, is the reigning previous best of eight in 2002, and earned a record 2013 U.S. National All-Around Champion and World $12.4 million in prize money, well above the previous Champion. The 16-year-old product of Spring, Texas, high of $7.2 million won last year by Victoria won the Women’s All-Around competition at the 2013 Azarenka. Other than that it was a pretty pedestrian World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, year for Ms. Williams.

Belgium in October.

10. Astros continue to flounder

Despite an energetic new manager in Bo Porter, the Astros have the distinction of being the worst team in Major League Baseball for the third consecutive year. The numbers don’t lie. For example, the team had the lowest payroll in Major League Baseball, $21 million. By comparison the Yankees had four players make more than the Astros entire team payroll. The Astros also set a new MLB record for strikeouts in a season (more than 1530), tied the team record losing 11 consecutive games and lost more than 100 games (111) for the third year in a row. It’s depressing.

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 26 | 2013

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in memorian

In memorian... Continued from page 2

Jean Hines Caldwell

A veteran Houston educator and the mother of Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, died July 28 at the age of 83. Mrs. Caldwell began her career as an audiologist with HISD. She spent 38 years as a teacher and guidance counselor at Phillis Wheatley High School, her alma mater. In 2005, HISD named a new elementary school in her honor.

Lee Thompson Young

Who portrayed a detective on TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Aug. 19 after committing suicide. He was 29. Young, who shot himself in the head, was taking medication for bipolar disorder and also suffered from depression. Young appeared in such movies as “Friday Night Lights” and “Akeelah and the Bee.” He starred in Disney’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” from 1998-2001.

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Dr. Alvin I. Thomas

Who served as Prairie View A&M president from 1966 to 1982, died Sept. 26. Thomas coined the phrase, “Prairie View produces productive people.” Under Thomas’ administration, two new residence halls and a dining facility were built. Other major construction completed included the fire and security building, Farrell Hall Laundry, Burleson-Ware ROTC Building, Hobart Taylor Hall, the engineering building, and the Owens-Franklin Health Center.

It’s your future.

No matter your passion, HCC can help turn your dreams into reality. If you’re just getting started, or starting a new chapter, we have the skills and knowledge that meet your goals and your schedule. HCC has convenient locations and

O.A. “Bum” Phillips

One of Texas’ most iconic sports figures, died Oct. 18 at age 90. Phillips became the Oilers head coach in 1975 and eventually led the team to the first of three-straight playoff appearances. Phillips was larger than life during the “Luv Ya Blue” days and was known for his cowboy attire and white Stetson hat. He later coached the New Orleans Saints.

Leonel Castillo

The first Hispanic elected to citywide office in Houston, died Nov. 4 at the age of 74. Castillo was elected city controller in 1971. In 1977, he was appointed commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service under President Jimmy Carter. He made an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 1979.

Bishop Sarah Frances Davis

President of the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and vice president of the World Methodist Council, died Nov. 9 after a brief illness. She was only the third woman in the 218-year history of the AME Church to reach its highest level, the office of bishop, in 2004. At the time of her death, she was the presiding prelate of the16th Episcopal District. She was the first woman in Texas to lead a major AME church.

hundreds of programs and degree plans. What are you waiting for? Go get it. It’s yours. Your journey begins here.

Classes start January 13 Register today at hccs.edu

Learn about our logistics program, and many more at HCC.

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defendernetwork.com DECEMBER 26 | 2013 | DEFENDER

h.s.zone

15

Top 10

high school sports stories By Darrell K. Ardison Defender

The superstition is that “13” is an unlucky number. High school student-athletes from the greater Houston area proved that 2013 was a very lucky and prosperous year in terms of winning team championships and individual awards. Houston area schools claimed state titles in football, basketball, baseball, track and field and volleyball. Here are the top 10 high school sports stories of 2013. 1. Katy wins again Tim Wilkerson, Katy

Katy (16-0) brought in the New Year by claiming the school’s seventh state football championship with a 35-24 victory over Cedar Hill before a crowd of 42,621 in the Class 5A Division II state title game at Cowboys Stadium (now AT&T Stadium) in Arlington. Tigers’ running back Adam Taylor was named the game’s offensive MVP after rushing for 277 yards on 30 carries and scoring five touchdowns. Katy defensive end Matt Dimon was selected the game’s defensive MVP after combining for two quarterback sacks and five tackles overall.

2. Houston claims titles

At the boys’ state basketball tournament in Austin, the Houston area claimed not one but two state titles and nearly came home with three. Fort Bend Travis came up short in 2012, but the Harrison twins were not to be denied in 2013. Andrew and Aaron Harrison had already committed to the University of Kentucky and would later be named McDonald’s All Americans, but refused to leave Fort Bend Travis High School without bringing home a Class 5A state championship. Rosenberg Terry knocked off defending Class 4A state champion Dallas Kimball 55-47 behind an MVP performance by senior post Derrick Griffin. Houston Yates lost to Dallas Madison 85-72 in the 3A title game.

3. The Woodlands is victorious.

Kolbi Brown’s mind was already at ease prior to arriving at Dell Diamond in Round Rock for last June’s state high school baseball tournament. He was an all-greater Houston first-team selection in football, had a 4.55 grade-point average at The Woodlands High School and had been accepted at Harvard University. Then things got a little better. Brown slugged a walk-off solo home run to advance The Woodlands into the Class 5A title game with a 2-1 victory over San Antonio Northside O’Connor. The following day Brown went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored as The Woodlands defeated Dulles 9-5 in the state championship game.

4. Wheatley girls make track & field history

With senior University of Oklahoma signee Daye Shon Roberson paving the way with the odds stacked against them during inclement weather in Austin, the Lady Wildcats amassed 58 points to tie Lancaster and finish with a state co-championship. Coach Mareon Lewis received crucial contributions from Chanta Gosby, Ashely Howard, Alia Duncan, Keoni Franks, LaMetra Smith-Thomas and Daye Shon’s younger sister Takyera Roberson. Daye Shon won a gold medal in the 400-meter dash, placed second in the long jump and ran a leg on the gold-medal winning 4X100 meter relay and the silver-medal Continued on Page 6

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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 26 | 2013

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Andrew Harrison, Travis

Clear Springs girls earn berth in 2013 tournament. Photos by Darrell K. Ardison

Kolbi Brown, The Woodlands

Daye Shon Roberson, Wheatley

Holton Hill and Kyran Mitchell,

Top ten High School... Continued from page 15 winning 4X400 meter relay. Takyera ran a leg on both relays and placed fourth in the 200-meter dash.

5. Lamar advances

Houston Lamar went undefeated during the regular season in football for the second consecutive season in 2013. Lamar advanced to the regional semifinals in 2013 after making a trip to Class 5A Division I state title game in 2012. Coach Tom Nolen’s team was led by quarterback Darrell Colbert, defensive back Holton Hill and linebacker Kyran Mitchell.

6. The Woodlands girls are perfect.

The Woodlands girls’ volleyball team won a state and national prep title in 2013. Led by Courtney Eckenrode, Courtney Quinn, Madison McDaniel and Morgan Eason,

the Lady Highlanders were 45-0. Head coach Leslie Madison saw her entire program (four teams) go 118-0 in 2013.

7. Summer Creek on top.

Summer Creek won the boys Class 4A state track and field title by compiling 54 points to 40 for runner-up Fort Bend Marshall. Aaron Sharp won a gold medal in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.19 seconds. Sharp also ran the anchor leg on the Bulldogs’ two gold-medal winning relays (4x200 and 4x400).

8. Clear Springs advances.

Clear Springs advanced to the girls’ state basketball tournament for the first time after three consecutive trips to the regional tourney. Head coach Pamela Crawford guided her team to a 38-3 record led by Courtnie Latham, Brooke McCarty, Kaylin Roher and Ryshinique Ball. 9. Dulles finds success. Dulles High School advanced

Alaysh’A Johnson, Spring

to the state baseball tournament for the first time since winning the title in 1989. Dulles defeated Jersey Village 5-2 in the regional final. With six African Americans on the roster, including three in the starting lineup, Dulles advanced to the Class 5A state championship game against The Woodlands before faltering by a score of 9-5 at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. During its playoff run, Dulles knocked off defending 5A state champion Cypress Ranch by sweeping a best-of-three series.

10. Johnson excels.

Alaysh’A Johnson of Spring High School was impressive at the annual state high school track and field meet. Johnson swept both girls’ hurdles races to bring home double gold medals. She won the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 13.52 seconds and came back to defend her 300-meter hurdles state title with a clocking of 41.24 seconds despite falling at the finish line. She’ll be back for her senior season in 2014.

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DECEMBER 26 | 2013 | DEFENDER

Spring ISD steps up security following a fatal stabbing.

17

The University of Houston neglects the Black community.

Top 20 Locals...

Continued from page 4 worst loss of life experienced by the Houston Fire Department in its 118-year history. A public memorial service for the four victims was held at Reliant Stadium. Killed in the fire were Capt. Matthew Renaud, 35, who had been with HFD since 2001; Engineer Operator Robert Bebee, 41, who also joined the department in 2001; Firefighter Robert Garner, 29, who joined the department in 2010, and Anne Sullivan, 24, a probationary firefighter who graduated from the HFD Academy in April.

Mayor Annise Parker wins re-election for a third term.

Community rallies for justice

Hundreds of Houstonians gathered at Byrd Funeral Home in Third Ward to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Demonstrators came from different sectors of the community but all echoed the same sentiment – the need for justice and unity. The local rally was one of many held across the country. “When the verdict was read, they did the African-American race a great injustice,” said one protester. The rally culminated with a march through the community beginning on Wheeler Street and ending on Texas State Highway 288.

Residents troubled by fires

Residents of South Park and Sunnyside were on high alert due to a rash of fires plaguing their communities in recent months. Businesses, homes and abandoned buildings all fell victim to an arsonist. Community leaders were joined by members of the Houston Fire Department at a town hall meeting to inform residents about the

Claims are dismissed against former HISD Trustee Larry Marshall.

fires that have been deliberately set. They learned that multiple fires have occurred in the area dating back to December 2012.

Student killed at school

Joshua Devon Broussard, a 17-year-old student at Spring High School, was stabbed to death on Sept. 4 on campus. Another student, 17-year-old Luis Alonzo Alfarao, was charged with murder and jailed. Following the incident, students returned to class amid tighter security. At least 30 officers were on duty at the campus, part of increased security provided by Spring ISD police and local law enforcement agencies. Only two entrances were open, causing long lines as students passed through metal detectors. There were reports of racial tension between Blacks and Hispanics at the school.

UH neglects Black community

The improvement of the University of Houston’s academic ranking to Tier One status caused concern about the future of Black students at the university. Eleven percent of UH students are Black, and the number of Black

freshmen entering the university has declined. Despite the fact that UH is located in Third Ward, its overall Black student enrollment has continued to drop, its number of black faculty has remained low and its vendor contracts with Black Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) has decreased.

Voters go to the polls

In the Nov. 5th election, Mayor Annise Parker defeated her closest challenger, attorney Ben Hall, by winning 57 percent of the vote. Hall received 28 percent. Controller Ronald Green was re-elected. City Council incumbents Jerry Davis, Larry Green and C.O. Bradford held on to their seats, while incumbent Andrew Burks lost in a runoff. Dwight Boykins won the District D seat in the runoff. Outgoing Councilmember Wanda Adams won the HISD trustee position vacated by Larry Marshall. In the race for Houston Community College trustee, incumbent Bruce Austin lost by 26 votes to Dave Wilson. Austin accused Wilson of deceiving voters into thinking he was Black.

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Continued on Page 19


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DEFENDER | DECEMBER 26 | 2013

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Top 10 National Stories... Continued from page 6

their victory nonetheless. The gay rights movement as a previously been subject to Voting Rights Act preclearance. whole is only becoming more popular nationwide, leading The U.S. Department of Justice has made efforts to chalmany to speculate that it’s the fastest-moving civil rights lenge these new discriminatory tactics. movement in U.S. history. A July Gallup poll found that 9. Violence continues 54 percent of Americans think same-sex couples should be This was again a year of mass casualties. In Septemgiven the same rights as heterosexual couples. ber, Aaron Alexis, a lone gunman armed initially with a 6. Obama begins second term shotgun, fatally shot 12 people and injured three others in a President Barack Obama officially began his second mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems term in 2013. For his second inauguration, less than half of Command inside the Washington Navy Yard in Washingthe estimated 1.8 million onlookers who crammed the Naton, D.C. It was the second-deadliest mass murder on a U.S. tional Mall in 2009 attended the public ceremony. Obama military base after the Fort Hood shooting in November made an impassioned plea for a more inclusive America. 2009. Earlier in the year, during the Boston Marathon, two Black voters see their political power threatened by an assault on voting rights. “Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing three people and and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts,” he injuring an estimated 264 others. The suspects were identisaid. “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced fied later that day as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. An to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not unprecedented manhunt ensued on April 19, with thousands of complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopelaw enforcement officers searching a 20-block area of Watertown ful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.” and putting the city on a “shelter-in-place” advisory. The public 7. 50th anniversary march observed transportation system and most businesses and public institutions A half-century to the hour after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were shut down, creating a deserted urban environment of historic delivered his clarion call for justice from the Lincoln Memorial, the size and duration. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was later killed. His brother, nation’s first Black president stood on that hallowed marble step, Dzhokhar was arrested. hailing the 50 years of racial progress that made his election pos10. Detroit enters bankruptcy sible but warning Americans that King’s dream remains unfulfilled. After years of financial trouble, the city of Detroit filed for In August, tens of thousands turned out for the 50th anniversary Chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18. It was the largest municipal The city of Detroit files for bankruptcy after a drop in celebration of the March on Washington. The march included a population and the auto industry. bankruptcy filing in U.S. history by debt, estimated to be $18-20 more diverse coalition, with the central themes resonating around mechanism that had protected millions of voters by preventing billion. Detroit’s population, which is more than 80 percent Black, voting rights, jobs, gun violence and equality in minority comdiscrimination in voting for more than four decades. With this deci- has declined from a peak of 1.8 million in 1950 to around 700,000. munities. sion, the floodgates have been opened for state legislatures to put in There are also thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and 8. Voting rights threatened place barriers to voting in the jurisdictions with the worst records of unlit streets. Mayor Dave Bing predicted the city would rebound The Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Section 4 of the discrimination. Indeed, within days of the Court’s decision, we saw from financial ruin. “I’m surely hoping that this will be a new Voting Rights Act, effectively gutting the federal “preclearance” serious actions taken against voters in several critical states that had start,” Bing said. “Detroiters are a very, very resilient people.”

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health Defender Spe cial

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Enjoy our 2013 digital Health Editions filled with information for the entire family on keeping healthy. Visit us online at: http://bit.ly/1fLLN0I for our June 20th, August 15th and November 21st editions.

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DECEMBER 26 | 2013 | DEFENDER

19

Metro rail is on the move with a new North/Red Line.

Top 20 Locals...Continued from page 17 Teens die in house party shootings

Three local teens were killed in two separate house party shootings which were promoted on social media. On Nov. 9, a deadly house party in the Cypress area left teenagers Qu’eric Richardson and Arielle Shepherd dead and some 20 people injured. About 100 people attended the party, which was promoted through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and text messages. A week later, Braveon Terry, a 17-year-old student at Yates High School, died outside a Southwest Houston home after a disturbance escalated into gunfire. Police continued to search for suspects in the cases.

Claims dismissed against Marshall, HISD

A U.S. District Court judge dismissed claims in a lawsuit filed by a district contractor against HISD and Trustee Larry Marshall that alleged bribery and manipulation of contracts. The civil suit accused Marshall, HISD and two construction companies of a bribery and kickback scheme involving lucrative contracts. The district estimated it spent over $1.5 million over three years in legal and court fees since the suit was filed in December 2010. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said he would encourage the board to pursue reimbursement for the legal fees.

Inmate’s appeal for hearing denied

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied death row inmate Duane Buck’s appeal for a new sentencing hearing free from racial bias. Buck was sentenced to death in Harris County for two 1995 fatal shootings. Sentencing came after his trial prosecutor elicited testimony from a psychologist indicating that Buck was more likely to be dangerous because he is Black. Though there is no question of Buck’s guilt, supporters say no one can be sentenced to death because of his or her race. The appeal filed by Buck cited a study that found racial bias in a disproportionate number of African-American death penalty cases in Harris County.

Blacks recruited for bank robberies

Violent bank robberies became a cause of concern. According to the FBI, 112 bank robberies took place in Houston since Jan. 1, and an alarming 82 percent were committed by African-Americans. During a two-month period, 27 African-American men were sent or sentenced to federal prison for their roles in the robberies. Older individuals often recruit younger males to participate in committing

robberies through the promise of “fast money.” The new recruits are often “groomed” and “manipulated” into committing violent crimes.

HISD forbids offensive mascots

The HISD Board took the first step in approving a measure that would prohibit offensive or culturally insensitive mascots. The proposed policy affects four HISD high schools — Lamar High School Redskins, Westbury High School Rebels, Hamilton Middle School Indians and Welch Middle School Warriors. It would go into effect at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. The new policy would allow schools to respectfully retire their existing mascot while also acknowledging the important role their related traditions and symbols have played in their community.

Metro unveils rail line

The new North/Red Line is open for business. The Metro North Line extends the existing Red Line by 5.3 miles and runs through the heart of the historic Northside, a neighborhood rooted in rail that came into being with the expansion of the Hardy Rail Lines in the 1880s. Starting at the University of Houston-Downtown station, the line runs north on North Main to Boundary, crosses east to Fulton, then proceeds north to Northline Commons Mall and the Northline Transit Center.

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t this time of year it is a joy to pause and say ‘Thank You’ for your patronage and goodwill throughout the year. Best wishes and May GOD Bless you and your family in 2014.

The Defender Family

Defender


December 2013 DEFENDER YEAR IN REVIEW