Suspects Arrested, Charged in Child’s Death at 10630 Beechnut Street

Oct 8, 2020
Charges have been filed against a man and woman arrested in the death of a child reported missing at 10630 Beechnut Street about 9:30 a.m. on August 22.

The suspects, Sahara Ervin (b/f, 20) and Travion Thompson (b/m, 21) are both charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury and tampering with evidence (human corpse) in the 209th State District Court.  Both are accused in the death of two-year old Maliyah Rosalie Bass.  

Photos of both suspects are attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division A. Henderson and E. Rossow reported:

HPD patrol officers responded to a report of a missing child (Maliyah Bass) at an apartment complex at the above address.  Witnesses stated the child had been left unattended while playing on the playground area near her apartment.  Ervin, Maliyah’s mother, stated when she returned after five minutes, Maliyah was no longer there.  Officers searched the area, but the child was not located.  

Officers with the HPD Missing Persons Division responded to the scene, as well as Texas EquuSearch, and an AMBER Alert was issued for Maliyah.  

On August 23, at about 10:30 a.m., a female jogger discovered a child’s body in a southeast Houston bayou near 5200 Carrolton.  HPD patrol officers responded to the scene, as well as Houston Fire Department personnel and the child’s body was recovered from the bayou.  The child was pronounced deceased at the scene and was subsequently identified as the missing juvenile, Maliyah Bass.

On Monday (Oct. 5), suspects Ervin and Thompson (Ervin’s boyfriend) were questioned by HPD Homicide Division investigators after evidence of their involvement in the disappearance of Maliyah was discovered.  On Tuesday (Oct. 6), Ervin and Thompson were subsequently charged for their roles in Maliyah’s disappearance and death.  
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Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reforms Releases Recommendations

Oct 1, 2020

 Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reform Releases Recommendations
HOUSTON – The Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reform today released a highly anticipated 153-page report with a list of recommendations proposed by the 45 member citizen group.Led by Chairman Larry Payne, the task force spent months listening to Houstonians and organizations about the type and kind of police department they desire and demand. The task force engaged in extensive research on issues and best practices around the country and received more than 7,000 responses from a community survey. 

“In the events of recent months, it is clear in Houston and across the nation that our community, mayor, city council, police chief, officers, and the union must all work together to protect and serve the constitutional rights of all citizens,” Chairman Payne wrote in the report’s introduction. The recommendations are divided into six categories: Community Policing, Independent Oversight, Power dynamics, Crisis Intervention, Field Readiness, and Clear Expectations.”We have worked hard on this being a document that is not going to sit on a shelf. It has actionable items that can be implemented,” Payne said. “We are also going to stay committed to the mayor. As a task force, we are not going away.”The 104 recommendations are available online. (Click the image below.)Mayor Turner said he plans to take time to thoroughly review the report before making decisions about implementing any or all of the task force’s recommendations.

“I know people in our community recognize the importance of our police officers, want good policing, accountability, and transparency within the Houston Police Department,” said Mayor Turner. “This is a transformational moment for our city as we seek to improve how policing is done in our community in a time when people are calling for reform and demanding we address racial and social injustices.
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Mayor’s Office of Adult Literacy Celebrates One Year Anniversary with a Book Distribution

Oct 1, 2020


HOUSTON – In recognition of National Literacy Month, the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL) celebrated one year by hosting a “Drive-Up 4 Literacy” book distribution. Mayor Turner joined Houston Public Library (HPL) Director, Dr. Rhea Lawson, CITGO Petroleum Corporation’s Thomas Coleman, MOAL Director, Federico Salas-Isnardi, and HPL employees to distribute 35,000 books. The Molina Foundation donated a Book Buddies grant to make the distribution possible.

 Literacy providers from Community Family Centers, Eastside University, the Chinese Community Center, and The Alliance received books for their learners. MOAL held the distribution in partnership with The Molina Foundation as part of its Families Learning Together campaign. The campaign is a national initiative to encourage literacy and reading skills during the summer and back-to-school season during the COVID-19 pandemic. 



 
“I want to congratulate the MOAL on its anniversary of advocating for equitable and fair access to literacy skills,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This pandemic demonstrates that we need literate adults and families to tackle a health crisis affecting our communities. A City’s health and economic strength are determined by the resilience of its families and neighborhoods.” 

 Access to these books will help create word-rich communities in Houston that are healthy and complete. The event also served as a wonderful example of collaboration and support. The Houston Public Library, Houston Public Library Foundation, The Houston Food Bank, and CITGO Petroleum Corporation also partnered with MOAL in this endeavor. 

As the nation’s only mayoral office for literacy advocacy, MOAL serves as an example of economic impact through service. The National Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) recognized this innovative approach and its influence over the last year. In recognition of Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (AEFL Week), the organization awarded Mayor Turner with the 2020 Adult Education Leadership Award.
 
The demand has been great as more than 10,740 books have already been reserved across 21 providers around Houston! HPL (or MOAL) will distribute books on a first-come, first-served basis until the donation is exhausted. Literacy providers interested in receiving books should contact MOAL at 832-393-0308.
 


About Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL)
On September 17, 2019, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner officially launched the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL.) MOAL focuses on enhancing adult literacy advocacy and promoting awareness about the impact of illiteracy on our economy, communities, families, and individuals. With one in three Houstonians unable to read, MOAL also promotes awareness, advocates, and helps build capacity for Adult Literacy and Adult Education causes and providers in the City of Houston.  The launch of the office was made possible by a generous grant from the CITGO Petroleum Corporation. For more information about the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy, visit www.houstontx.gov/adultliteracy. You can also connect with the MOAL team via Facebook.
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Mayor Sylvester Turner Creates New Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence

Sep 15, 2020

Program launched to empower survivors with paths toward safety and financial independence
HOUSTON – Effective immediately, the Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking will expand to include Domestic Violence and focus on services and policies to address gender-based violence. The new Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence (MOHT&DV) will be led by Minal Patel Davis.

Mayor Sylvester Turner made the announcement Monday along with District C City Council Member Abbie Kamin, Minal Patel Davis, director of the newly expanded office and Emily Whitehurst of the Houston Area Women’s Center. 

The new office is launching a partnership with Magpies & Peacocks called the MAKR Collective to empower human trafficking and domestic violence victims economically. MAKR Collective is an independent entrepreneurship program that works in collaboration with M&P to help survivors gain valuable, life-long skills for employment opportunities in the fashion industry. 



Starting in October, the MAKR Collective will be set up to transition six clients per month into the virtual 3-6-month pilot program. This unique opportunity seeks to use remote visual learning techniques to teach participants how to sew, cut patterns, learn basic alterations, and develop skills to make their first for sale product. Upon completion, participants will be paid for their work, possess a portfolio of skills, and can offer paid services to others. Participants also can become a product designer. No prior experience is required, and information sessions and application will be available in Spanish. The program also includes a range of financial supports like a stipend during the upskills period and a cash match savings program that can yield $500 in savings in 6 months.

“Economic empowerment opportunities like this one are the key to breaking the cycle of domestic violence, “said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Almost all survivors experience financial abuse, lack access to financial resources, or the skills needed to be independent, keeping them tied to an abuser. ” 

“COVID exacerbated the problem, but Houston continues to rise to the challenge. We continue to ask, ‘what more can we do to ensure all Houstonians are safe,’” said Council Member Abbie Kamin. “Today’s announcement and the expansion of an official City office to include domestic violence in its charge is a very big deal. It ensures that the work to protect survivors and their families will continue for years to come.”

“Our goal is to ensure that survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence have multiple pathways to economic stability,” said Minal Patel Davis, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence. “Magpies and Peacocks is the perfect partner since their model will upskill survivors locally while disrupting fashion production and the labor trafficking that results from that globally.



The MOHT&DV will also pursue additional avenues for economic security, dialogues on gender equity through community and civic engagement, focus on service deserts, and changing cultural attitudes.

The Houston Endowment, Frees Foundation, Grant Me the Wisdom Foundation, National Football League, and the Kanta K. Patel Fund are sponsors. The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs helped identify M&P as a partner.

Mayor Turner’s Anti-Trafficking Division was the first municipal-level office of its kind in the U.S. for making a local impact on human trafficking from a policy-level perspective. The new office will now also develop domestic violence initiatives.

Magpies & Peacocks is Houston’s and the nation’s exclusive 501(c)3 non-profit design house dedicated to the collection and sustainable reuse of post-consumer clothing, scrap textiles, and accessories diverted from landfill.

For more information, contact Minal Patel Davis, Director, MOHT&DV at (832) 596-9965.
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PREVENTING OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS DURING A PANDEMIC

Sep 1, 2020
HOUSTON – Houstonians are facing the collision of two health emergencies: the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening opioid addiction. Houston first responders report a 17% increase in overdoses in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same time period last year. As we recognize September as National Recovery Month, the Houston Health Department and its partners continue to be on the forefront battling both health emergencies.

“Even as COVID-19 is the health crisis at the top of our minds, we must remember the opioid crisis is not under control,” said Dr. David Persse, Local Health Authority for the Houston Health Department. “We must focus on making it easier for people to get the help they need and get it as quickly as possible.”

The FRONTLINES (First Responder Opioid Overdose Naloxone Training and Linkage into Needed Evidence-based treatment Services) grant program puts the life-saving drug naloxone in the hands of first responders, those who can administer it quickly and effectively. The drug restores normal respiration in people actively suffering from a heroin or prescription opioid overdose.

Through the program, the Houston Fire Department was trained on how and when to use Narcan, the nasal spray form of naloxone. In 2019, Narcan was used more than 1,300 times by Houston first responders. So far in 2020, it’s been used more than 1,000 times.  

“Now, more than ever, the entire Houston community needs to be aware that opioid misuse is a growing problem that could touch the lives of anyone including their own,” said Dr. Persse, who is also the principal investigator of the FRONTLINES project. “Since people with opioid use disorder are disproportionately affected by the ongoing health and societal consequences associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we all need to be ready to react quickly to save lives.”

Rising unemployment and worsening mental health symptoms cause higher stress levels which may increase the abuse of substance like alcohol and illicit opioids, increasing the risk for opioid-related overdose. 

Even people currently working on their sobriety can be affected by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The anxiety, pain, isolation, financial worries, changes at home and work, and a constant feeling of uncertainty are powerful relapse triggers for people in recovery. The local treatment community reports seeing increasing rates of relapse in recent months.

These factors are why the Houston Health Department and its partners are increasing overdose prevention services during the pandemic including quick access to naloxone, overdose prevention education, and post-overdose recovery through Houston Recover Center programs.

In addition to the Houston Recovery Center, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas at San Antonio are partners on the FRONTLINES grant.

For more information or to schedule an opioid overdose training for a community group or organization contact Dr. Alicia Kowalchuk at aliciak@bcm.edu. More information and linkage to substance abuse disorder treatment services are available by contacting the Houston Recovery Center Clinical Office at 713-238-7803.

Naloxone is available by standing order across all pharmacies in the state of Texas, no separate prescription needed.  Ask for it at your local pharmacy.  You can legally possess and administer naloxone in Texas if you are personally at risk of opioid overdose or know someone who is.
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City of Houston Conducts COVID-19 Cleanup of Encampments

Aug 21, 2020
City Conducts COVID-19 Cleanup, Mayor Turner Thanks Solid Waste Management Employees for Protecting City’s Health and Safety During Pandemic 
Mayor Turner and city officials discuss the Solid Waste Management Department’s COVID-19 cleanup initiative focusing on underpasses throughout the City of Houston.
HOUSTON – The City of Houston is addressing public health risks associated with homeless encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today during a tour of a cleanup at Bellfort and the Gulf Freeway. 

Councilman Robert Gallegos, Solid Waste Director Harry Hayes, and Marc Eichenbaum, director of the mayor’s homeless initiatives, joined the mayor to observe workers collect and remove trash from the underpass.

Since April, the Solid Waste Management Division has worked with city council members and community groups to identify locations and conduct weekly debris removal of more than 70 sites around freeway underpasses and other infrastructure. 


On June 17, the city council approved the purchase of special COVID cleaning equipment, including six pickup trucks/trailer combinations and two rear loaders for heavy material.
The COVID-19 cleaning consists of removing trash, shopping carts, abandoned furniture, and power washing areas, to protect the community’s health and safety. 

The mayor stressed that all COVID-19 cleanups follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and SWMD employees respect the personal property of people living in the homeless encampments. 

“Our crews have been out here talking to the people living in the encampments. They know we are not just trying to move them just for the sake of moving them,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “We want to treat them with the dignity and respect they rightfully deserve. Just because you are homeless doesn’t mean you need to be living in unsanitary conditions.”

“Managing public health while mitigating community spread of COVID-19 is a critical pandemic response mission of the Solid Waste Management Department.  Our workers understand the importance of their role and duties to maintain a safe and healthy city for all residents, regardless of their life status,” said Solid Waster Director Harry Hayes.”Just as in other disaster response and recovery missions, Solid Waste Management employees are on the front line providing critical public services.”

“Improving the sanitation at these locations is just part of our multi-prong response to prevent the communal spread of COVID-19 within and outside of our at-risk, homeless population, including the distribution of masks and sanitation supplies, placement of handwashing stations, a specialized homeless testing program, and an overnight facility for those who need to quarantine or isolate and lack the means to do so,” said Marc Eichenbaum, Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives.
 
The City plans to continue the COVID-19 cleanups through the end of the year. However, Mayor Turner stressed that his primary goal is to provide permanent housing for people living on Houston streets. 

“Over a month ago, we announced a $65 million partnership with the county to house about 5,000 people over the next two years. We plan to transition some of the homeless people on our streets now and put them into permanent supportive housing,” said Mayor Turner. 
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Pruebas de COVID-19 sin cita previa

Aug 9, 2020

Los Angeles, CA.- La ciudad de Los Angeles esta realizando pruebas de COVID-19 gratuitos y sin necesidad de hacer una cita. La oficina del alcalde de Los Angeles Eric Garcetti y el concejal Gil Cedillo pusieron en marcha un centro de examen COVID-19 y una mesa de información para el Censo 2020 en el parque Cypress Park Recreation Center 2630 Pepper Avenue, Los Ángeles, CA 90065.

El día sábado 8 de agosto se dio inicio a lo que se denomino como puestos de “Pop-Up COVID-19”, este pequeño centro de pruebas contó con más de 500 paquetes con los utensilios necesarios para hacer el examen del coronavirus; la actividad comenzó de 9am hasta las 4pm.

Adultos, jóvenes, ancianos y niños acudieron al centro de exámenes COVID-19 en Cypress Park. El único requisito que se pide para hacer el examen de coronavirus en estos centros, es traer una identificación con foto y puede ser la matricula consular si no tiene documentación del gobierno.

La alcaldía de Los Angeles se compromete con Usted, en devolverles el resultado de la prueba en un periodo de 48 horas. Al Usted ir a este centro de pruebas también hay algunas reglas sanitarias que debe seguir; como el aislarse en su casa y quedar a seis pies de distancia de las personas que lo rodean en casa hasta que reciba los resultados entre otras que le explicaran a la hora de asistir a la prueba.

El próximo centro de pruebas gratuito y sin cita previa estará abierto el Lunes 10 y Jueves 14 de agosto en la ubicación del supermercado “Food 4 Less” de la ciudad de Westlake 1700 W. 6Th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

jrodriguez.bereavision@gmail.com

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La Luz del Mundo transmite su Santa Convocación 2020 virtualmente

Aug 9, 2020

(Phoenix, Arizona). Este domingo 9 de agosto, la iglesia La Luz del Mundo dio inicio oficialmente a las actividades religiosas que año con año han realizado desde 1931: la Santa Cena.

Desde la ciudad de Phoenix, Arizona, en Estados Unidos, se transmitió la ceremonia de bienvenida presidida por el P.E Joel Herrera, a través de las cuentas oficiales de redes sociales de La Luz del Mundo, para alrededor de 5 millones de fieles en los cinco continentes del mundo que este 2020 no pudieron estar presentes en Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, (donde se encuentra la sede principal de esta congregación), atendiendo las indicaciones por la emergencia sanitaria que ha ocasionado la pandemia de Covid-19.

Cabe mencionar que la Santa Convocación fue suspendida en su modo presencial desde el pasado 11 de junio para evitar un riesgo de contagios, pues este evento reúne a más de medio millón de personas en la colonia Hermosa Provincia, siendo uno de los eventos religiosos más grandes en América Latina.

La decisión de llevarla virtualmente a los hogares no fue impedimento para que feligreses y ajenos se conectaran para observar el saludo de los miembros representantes de más de 60 países que son parte de esta comunidad, simbolizando una bienvenida a quienes participarán de la Santa Cena, conmemoración de la muerte y resurrección de Jesucristo para salvación del mundo.

En ese sentido, el director internacional de esta congregación, el Apóstol de Jesucristo Naasón Joaquín García, envió una carta a los asistentes para dar por iniciada esta festividad, que culminará el día de 15 de agosto, misma que fue leída por el P.E Daniel Valerio.

“Bienvenido seáis hermano en Cristo, donde os encontréis, cualquiera que sea vuestro continente, cualquiera que sea vuestra ciudad, hoy te digo: bienvenido a nuestra gran reunión, a nuestra fiesta más importante, la Santa Cena de Jesucristo.

Hoy damos inicio a nuestra Santa Convocación invitando a nuestros hermanos de todo el mundo para enlazarnos a través de los mecanismos tecnológicos, pero principalmente en un enlace espirítual donde la característica más importante es nuestra hermandad espirítual”, expresó en su misiva.

Durante esta semana se transmitirán cultos de adoración a través de Youtube, Facebook Live y Berea Radio, en los idiomas español, inglés, portugués, italiano y francés, así como lengua de señas mexicana.

Será en horarios de 5 y 9 de la mañana, 12 del mediodía y 6 de la tarde, desde el lunes hasta el jueves; posteriormente el día viernes será el día oficial de la celebración de la Santa Cena 2020 a las 4 de la tarde con un servicio especial y finalmente, será la despedida el sábado 15; todo esto en el horario de Phoenix.

Esta sería la primera festividad religiosa de esta magnitud realizada a través de medios virtuales, en un sentido de responsabilidad para proteger a miembros de La Luz del Mundo y a la sociedad en general ante el coronavirus y que quedará marcada en la historia.

BM

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Incendio de “Apple Fire” avanza hacia las montañas de San Bernardino

Aug 3, 2020

Los Angeles, CA.- Por aire y por tierra se realiza la labor de contención del incendio Apple en el Condado de Riverside; que ahora se extiende hacia las montañas de San Bernardino.

Este es el primer incendio forestal del año qua ha consumido más de 26,850 acres de bosque en el sur de California. Desde el sábado y domingo se realizaron las evacuaciones de aproximadamente 2500 casas en varias localidades cercanas al incendio.

Al momento las ordenes de evacuación fueron puestas desde Wilson St, Sunset Ave y Hathaway St., North Dutton Street y al Este de Oak Glen Road. Al norte con la Avenida Cherry Valley Blvd al Este de la Avenida Beaumont, llegando hasta el área de Potato Canyon en el condado de San Bernardino.

Los bomberos del condado de Riverside han luchado por contener las enormes llamas que no se ha podido controlar con éxito hasta el momento; la cifra oficial de contención hasta hoy lunes 3 de agosto es del 7 por ciento.

Fotos de Leo Fontes y Cal Fire

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Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Shooting at 5500 De Soto Street

Jul 17, 2020
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of a man at 5500 De Soto Street about 4:30 p.m. on Monday (July 13).

The suspect, Jeremiah Autreas Hamilton (b/m, 17), is charged with murder in the 262nd State District Court.  A booking photo of Hamilton is attached to this news release.

The identity of the victim, 42, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

HPD Homicide Division Officers P. Pak, C. Flora and M. Estep reported:

Officers were dispatched to a shooting call at the apartment complex at the above address and found the victim unresponsive in front of a building #31.  Paramedics pronounced the man deceased at the scene.  He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Witnesses reported that prior to the shooting, the victim had a disturbance and physical altercation with another male who lives on property.

Homicide investigators arrived and were able to develop Hamilton as the suspect in the shooting.  He initially fled the scene, but returned and surrendered.  Hamilton confessed to his role in the shooting and was subsequently charged.
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