One Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Shooting at 9202 Nathaniel Street

Aug 6, 2020
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of one man and the wounding of another that occurred at 9202 Nathaniel Street about 7 p.m. on January 30.  

The suspect, Henry McZeal McCoy (b/m, 35), is charged with capital murder in the 351st State District Court.  He is accused in the death of  Pedro Ontiveros, 23, who died at the scene.  

A booking photo of McCoy is attached to this news release.  

HPD Homicide Division Officers D. Higgs and J. Caten reported:

Officers responded to a shooting at a convenience store at the above address and found Mr. Ontiveros sitting inside a vehicle in the parking lot.  Paramedics pronounced him deceased.  Another male victim was transported to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. 

At that time, the suspects were described only as two black males in their 20s.  

Further investigation identified McCoy as one of the suspects.  He was taken into custody today (August 6) without incident.  A second unidentified suspect remains at large.  

Anyone with information on the identity of the wanted suspect or in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
Read More

City Council Approves Ordinance Changes to Encourage Walkable Development

Aug 6, 2020
City Council Approves Ordinance Changes to Encourage Walkable Development 
HOUSTON – Houston City Council adopted amendments to development ordinances – Walkable Places and Transit Oriented Development – that aim to change the urban streetscape in designated areas and move Houston a step closer to embracing walkability and development that relies less on cars.

The Walkable Places and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) initiatives promote pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development. The new ordinances encourage combined commercial, office, and multifamily residential developments to create more vibrant, walkable streets that support alternative modes of transportation.

These programs are the result of three years of planning, research and public engagement by the Walkable Places Committee and help to achieve the goals of Plan HoustonResilient HoustonHouston Climate Action Plan and Complete Streets.  

“This is an exciting and meaningful moment for our city, a paradigm shift, where we are building a framework for the future and moving away from the auto-centric development standards that prioritized parking over people,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner “By approving these ordinances, we are changing the way people think about moving about in our city and making it easier for developers and property owners to join this forward momentum.”

Current auto-centric surburban development versus new pedestrian-friendly urban development
 
Click each image for larger view or view on the Walkable Places site. 

Effective October 1, 2020, the standards will apply to new developments or redevelopments in three pilot communities: Emancipation Avenue in Third WardMidtown and Hogan/Lorraine Streets in Near Northside.

Walkable Places may be designated on any street within the city limits by either the City of Houston or property owners and established with unique planning standards to address the neighborhood characteristics. Transit Oriented Development streets within a half mile of walking distance from transit stations may be designated by the City of Houston.

Both programs will benefit:property owners by allowing more buildable area and adjusting parking requirements;pedestrians by creating safer and more walkable streetscapes and public spaces; andneighborhoods by creating an activated area with more eyes on the street.“Houstonians will still drive cars. Change won’t happen overnight or in every corner of our city, but these three pilot communities are ideal locations to launch the new Walkable Places development standards,” said Planning and Development Department Director Margaret Wallace Brown. “We hope these communities will be open to new mobility possibilities, ready for transformative change and ready to pave the way for Walkable Places yet to come.”
Read More

Mayor Turner and Houston City Council approve $20 million rent relief program

Aug 6, 2020
City Council Approves $20 million Rent Relief Program to Help Houstonians Who Cannot Pay Rent Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Mayor Turner explains how the City Council Approved $20 million Rent Relief Program will work. The program is designed to help Houstonians who cannot pay rent because of financial challenges created by the COVID-19 Pandemic. A landlord must also agree not to evict tenants through Sept. 2020.
Read More

Mayor Turner Announces Citations will be Issued to People not Wearing Face Masks

Aug 5, 2020

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today that he has directed the Houston Police Department to issue warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a face mask or face covering required by the state’s mandatory mask order. Police will not ticket those who are not wearing a mask if they meet the exemption criteria. The citation carries a $250 fine.

“We know that wearing a mask or face-covering in public is one of the most effective methods to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in August.”

Houston police will not respond to 9-1-1 calls about people not wearing masks.

The mayor’s announcement happened on the same day the Houston Health Department reported 1,104 new cases of COVID-19, bringing Houston’s total to 50,896. There are six newly-reported deaths, bringing the city’s total to 478.

“For months, we have focused on education and not citations. But now, I am instructing the Houston Police Department to issue necessary warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption,” Mayor Turner said.

Read More

Houston Health Department, partners announce free COVID-19 testing schedule for week of August 3

Aug 3, 2020
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department and its agency partners are announcing the schedule for sites offering free COVID-19 tests the week of Aug. 3, 2020.

Houston Health Department
The department offers free drive-thru testing at two mega sites in Houston, located at Delmar Stadium and Butler Stadium. Each site is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 650 tests.

People wanting to get tested at Delmar Stadium, 2020 Mangum Rd, can call the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220 between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive an access code.

Butler Stadium, 13755 S Main St, no longer requires an access code, commonly referred to as an appointment. 

The department will also open its mobile unit for drive-thru testing August 7-8 at the Consulado General de El Salvador, 8300 Bissonnett St. The site doesn’t require appointments and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 250.

Texas Division of Emergency Management
The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the department will operate drive-thru testing sites at: Crump Stadium, 12321 High Star Dr.,HCC-Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Dr., andHCC – South Campus, 1990 Airport Blvd.TDEM sites are open Monday-Saturday and require appointments, available by calling 844-778-2455 or visiting txcovidtest.org.

TDEM will also operate a walk-up site that doesn’t require appointments at the Merfish Teen Center, 9000 S. Rice Ave, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

United Memorial Medical Center
United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will offer weekday testing at drive-thru test sites at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, 7817 Calhoun Rd., Plaza Americas Mall, 7500 Bellaire Blvd., Houston Community College-Southeast, 6815 Rustic, and Houston Community College-Felix Fraga, 301 N. Drennan St.

The sites don’t require appointments and offer testing from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 250 tests.

Other UMMC drive-thru sites opening weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. are:UMMC Tidwell, 510 W. Tidwell Rd., Forest Brook Middle School, 7525 Tidwell Rd,Cullen Middle School, 6900 Scott St., andGriggs School, 801 Regional Park Dr.People needing information about UMMC test sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

Ibn Sina Foundation
The Iba Sina Foundation offers free tests with rapid results at two of its clinics, 5012 N. Shepherd Dr. and 11226 S. Wilcrest Dr.

Appointments for the Shepherd location are available by calling 832-426-3760 and appointments for the Wilcrest location are available at 281-495-7462.

Federally Qualified Health Centers
The health department is providing test kits, lab access and equipment to local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) so they can expand their COVID-19 testing capacity. The centers and phone numbers people can call to set up testing appointments are: HOPE Clinic: 713-773-0803Spring Branch Community Health Center, 713-462-6565El Centro de Corazon, 713-660-1880Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, 713-426-0027Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston, 346-348-1200, andScarsdale Family Health Center: 281-824-1480.FQHC patients pay what they can afford, based on income and family size, and are not denied services due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.
 
The department and its agency partners may shift locations and schedules of test sites to better meet community needs. Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston test sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus.
 
Information obtained through testing, treatment or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation.
 
Flyer: Houston Free Testing Sites: Week of Aug. 3, 2020
Read More

Mayor Turner announces relief package for renters

Aug 3, 2020
Mayor Turner Announces Second Rental Relief Program for Houstonians Struggling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Mayor Turner announces a second rental assistance program for Houstonians. He also called on state leadership, the U.S. Congress, and the White House to do more, by joining the City of Houston in providing additional assistance and support to people who need help.
HOUSTON – Amid an unprecedented health crisis, Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced a second rental assistance package to help those who lost their jobs and are struggling financially and cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19.

The City of Houston is creating a $19 million rent relief package that will be administered by BakerRipley. Funding will include $15 million from the The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, and $4 million from donors:$2 million from the Houston Endowment$1 million from the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund$1 million from the Kinder FoundationIncluded in the $19 million, money will be set aside for Lone Star Legal Aid and for those who need assistance, but do not qualify for CARES Act dollars.



“The rental assistance will not be allocated on a first come first served basis, but rather we intend to provide a lifeline to those facing immediate eviction with the greatest need. And we will work through that process over the next few days,”said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Our objective is to help the most vulnerable. Our priority is to ensure quick assistance to help families avoid evictions working alongside landlords willing to provide flexibility and compassion to keep their tenants housed.”

The Houston Apartment Association is working with its members to voluntarily implement a grace period.

“We believe rental assistance is the best way to  remedy the stress being put on housing providers and residents,” said Clay Hicks, Houston Apartment Association president. “We all know there are large overhead expenses to provide housing across our great city and without the monthly rental income, apartment properties can’t employ and maintain the thousands of workers that keep our properties running, including the maintenance teams that have become so vital during this time cleaning and disinfecting daily while everyone stay at home.”

“We appreciate Mayor Turner’s recognition of our continued efforts to educate and represent low-income Texans facing eviction by providing funding for us to do so. Lone Star Legal Aid is launching an Eviction Right to Counsel Project with the intention of increasing access to justice,” said Dana Karni, Lone Star Legal Aid managing attorney.

Mayor Turner is working closely with city council members and Baker Ripley to design a matrix to assist those who need the dollars the most.
The mayor is also on organizations to help fund the program and grow it to $20 million – $25 million by the time it goes to city council for a vote on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Read More

Houston Health Department launches multilingual COVID-19 education campaign, Mayor Turner proclaims August Better.

Jul 31, 2020
HOUSTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES MULTILINGUAL COVID-19 EDUCATION CAMPAIGN, MAYOR TURNER PROCLAIMS AUGUST BETTER. TOGETHER. MONTH
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston Health Department today launched Better. Together., a multilingual public health education campaign empowering Houstonians with the knowledge and skills to protect their families and communities from COVID-19.

Mayor Turner also proclaimed August 2020 Better. Together. Month, encouraging Houstonians to work toward the goal of reducing city’s COVID-19 positivity rate, currently at 23 percent, to 5 percent or lower.

“Thousands of our family and friends have been sickened and hundreds of Houstonians have died because of the virus,” said Mayor Turner. “Better. Together. means it will take Houstonians working together for our city to get better. It also reminds us the proven behaviors of wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands and getting tested work better together to slow the spread.”

In addition to television, radio, print and digital advertisements, Better. Together. includes direct outreach into the city’s most vulnerable communities through neighborhood canvassing, signage in public places, toolkits for businesses and organizations, and virtual education sessions.  

“In order to bring our positivity rate down, we must continue to go directly into communities,” said Dr. Faith Foreman-Hays, chief of the health department’s Office of Chronic Disease, Health Education and Wellness. “This means we must educate people in their homes, schools, parks, businesses, houses of worship, restaurants and other places.”

As of July 30, there are 45,415 cases of COVID-19 and 432 associated deaths in Houston. The city’s Hispanic community is affected disproportionally and accounts for approximately 40 percent of cases and 45 percent of deaths.

Earlier this month, the health department launched Todos Juntos. Mejor, the Spanish-language segment of Better. Together., educating Hispanics about preventing the spread of the virus and sharing valuable information for families needing food, housing and mental health assistance.

The health department also saturated high-positivity communities with more than 71,000 flyers, 401,000 robocalls and 71,000 text messages in English and Spanish and engaged community stakeholders, including faith-based groups, to amplify the message.

Houstonians should visit HoustonHealth.org for information about free testing sites and protecting their families and communities from this deadly virus. The site provides information in many languages, including a Spanish section.
Read More

Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Shooting at 17510 Wayforest Drive

Jul 28, 2020
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of a man at 17510 Wayforest Drive about 12:50 p.m. on April 19.

The suspect, Jason Wells (b/m, 21), is charged with murder and felon in possession of a weapon in the 262nd State District Court.  A booking photo of Wells is attached to this news release.

The victim, Kenneth Mosley, 35, was pronounced deceased at the scene by Houston Fire Department paramedics.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant M. Holbrook and Detective J. Roscoe reported:

Mr. Mosley got into an altercation with another man at the car wash at the above address.  The argument escalated when the male shot Mosley.  The suspect, described only as a black male, fled the scene.  
 
Further information led to the identification of Wells as the suspect in this case and, on April 30, he was charged in Mosley’s death.  Wells subsequently surrendered to the court on July 17.
Read More

Thousands of Students and their Families to receive Backpacks, School Supplies, Food and Masks at Mayor’s Back to School Fest presented by Shell

Jul 28, 2020
Thousands of Students and their Families to receive Backpacks, School Supplies, Food and Masks at DRIVE-THROUGH Mayor’s Back to School Fest presented by Shell
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner joined representatives from Shell Oil and the Houston Food Bank to announce details of this year’s push to help children and families successfully prepare for the new school year.

The  10th Annual Mayor’s Back to School Fest presented by Shell on will take place on Friday and Saturday, August 7-8, 2020 in the NRG Park Yellow Lot.  To accommodate the growing number of students who need assistance, this year’s Back to School Fest will be “drive-through” event over a two-day period. 

Registration is recommended for participation in the fest: https://www.houstontx.gov/btsf/registermystudent.html

The annual fest presented by Shell Oil Company provides Houston area elementary students and their families with some of the tools they need to start the school year off right. In addition to distributing 25,000 backpacks with school supplies, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events has partnered with the Houston Food Bank to provide food to the students’ families.

Additionally, the Mayor’s Health Equity Response (H.E.R.) Task Force will distribute face masks to ensure a safe return to school. With one in four Texas children living in poverty, the Mayor’s Back to School Fest presented by Shell focuses on changing the future, one child at a time.

“The majority of Houston area students will begin the school year in a virtual classroom, but they still need supplies to succeed in their learning experience. Because of job losses, illness, and other challenges during the COVID-19 public health crisis, many Houston families cannot afford school supplies, said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I thank our sponsors for stepping up to the plate to help. As a result of their generosity, thousands of young people will have the tools they need to start the school year off right.”

Due to COVID-19, this new procedure for obtaining school supplies was implemented with the sole purpose of keeping the public safe and socially distanced.

“Shell is proud to be counted as a founding and presenting sponsor of the Mayor’s Back to School Fest – marking the ten-year anniversary of Shell’s partnership with the City of Houston,” said Scott Ballard, Shell Executive Vice President Human Resources, North America.  “Our commitment to supporting students and families prepare for academic success is unwavering, so too is our determination to play a meaningful part in the growth and economic vitality of the city we all call home.”

Partnering with the Houston Food Bank will benefit students and their families by providing much needed produce, dry goods, protein, and milk.

“Houston Food Bank is proud to be a part of the Mayor’s Back 2 School Fest, to help kids and families get ready for this important time of year,” says Brian Greene, president/CEO of the Food Bank.  “While there still remains so many unknowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, what we do know is that some families need help preparing for this time of year, and they are still in need of food assistance.  We are happy to partner with Shell and City of Houston for this important event.”Registration is recommended for participation in the fest: https://www.houstontx.gov/btsf/registermystudent.html
Read More

Today, Mayor Turner and Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities will Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

Jul 28, 2020
HOUSTON –  Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities (MOPD) and director Gabe Cazares will participate in a virtual celebration of the  30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law barring discrimination against people with physical and mental disabilities. Virtual ADA Celebration Event Details
When:
 2-3:30 p.m. July 26
Where: facebook.com/houstonMOPD/live 
or register for the Zoom webinar at bit.ly/2Wslo4UThe program theme, Generation ADA: Paving the Road for the Next Thirty Years, reflects the history, Houston-based activism, and collective action that led to that pivotal moment for disability justice.

“I am proud of Houston’s disability community and its diverse and powerful presence and contributions,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “It is a priority of my administration to ensure equal opportunity for disabled people in every aspect of community life. Today’s program is a celebration of disability rights and social change. It is also a celebration of our city and our disabled community. “

‘Houston, like any other city, certainly has work to do to increase accessibility and inclusion. However, under Mayor Sylvester Turner’s leadership, our city is more committed than ever to ensure that we are building an accessible and resilient city for the future,’ said Gabe Cazares, Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities Director.

The virtual celebration is a collaboration with MOPD, The Houston Center for Independent Living, The Southwest ADA Center, TIRR Memorial Hermann, and the Jewish Family Service (JFS).

In addition to remarks by Mayor Turner, the program will include a keynote interview with Lex Frieden, disability themed music by local performers with disabilities, a special ADA 30 poem by Houston activist Maria R. Palacios and more.
Read More