Suspect Arrested, Charged in Man’s Death at 5715 Heron Drive

Jan 21, 2021
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in the death of a man following an incident at 5715 Heron Drive on January 14.

The suspect, Annual Davidson III (b/m, 36), is charged with murder in the 174th State District Court.  A booking photo of Davidson is attached to this news release.

The victim, Joseph Kasavage, 60, suffered wounds to his head.

HPD Homicide Division Detectives M. Condon and J. Brown reported:

HPD patrol officers were called to a hospital about 2:30 a.m. on January 14 and advised that Mr. Kasavage was pronounced deceased with head wounds. 

The subsequent investigation revealed Kasavage and a suspect were involved in a physical confrontation at a residence at the above address that led to Kasavage being wounded.  The suspect then drove Kasavage to the hospital where he died.

Further investigation led to the identification of Davidson as a suspect in this case and he was subsequently arrested last Saturday (Jan. 16) and charged for his role in Kasavage’s death.
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Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Stabbing at 1709 Morris Street

Jan 21, 2021
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in the fatal stabbing of a woman found at 1709 Morris Street about 7:30 a.m. on Thursday (Jan. 14).

The suspect, Clyde Bolt (b/m, 42), is charged with murder in the 339th State District Court.  A booking photo of Bolt is attached to this news release.

The victim’s identity is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

HPD Homicide Detectives D. Crowder and A. Vinogradov reported:

HPD patrol officers responded to a person down call at the above address.  Upon arrival, they found the victim deceased in the street.  She had suffered multiple apparent stab wounds.  While at the scene, Bolt approached the officers and told them he had stabbed the woman.  Officers detained Bolt, who subsequently confessed to his role in the incident.  Based on statements provided, the murder weapon was then recovered.




                              Clyde Bolt
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Houston City Council Approves Largest Brownfield Solar Project in the Nation

Jan 14, 2021
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner and city council yesterday approved unanimously a lease agreement with Sunnyside Energy, LLC to advance the Sunnyside Solar Project–an innovative public-private partnership to convert the 240-acre closed landfill in Sunnyside into the largest brownfield solar installation in the nation. The project is a product of the City’s Climate Action Plan and Complete Communities Initiative. It is an example of how the City of Houston is working to find innovative, public-private solutions to addresses historic environmental justice concerns, climate change, and economic development in underserved communities. 
 
“The Sunnyside landfill has been one of Houston’s biggest community challenges for decades, and I am proud we are one step closer to its transformation,” said Mayor Turner. “I thank the Sunnyside community because this project would not have come together without its support. This project is an example of how cities can work with the community to address long-standing environmental justice concerns holistically, create green jobs and generate renewable energy in the process.” 
 
The project, developed by Sunnyside Energy, will be anchored by a 50 megawatt (MW) ballasted solar array that will generate enough renewable energy to power 5,000 homes and offset 120 million pounds of CO2 each year. The array is expected to be installed and operational by the end of 2022 – at no cost to the City.


 
“We applaud the actions of Mayor Turner and the City Council in taking this significant step,” said Dori Wolfe, Managing Director of Sunnyside Energy LLC. “It is a strong vote of confidence for this impactful project. All members of the project team realize that this Sunnyside Solar facility will be an iconic statement in the rejuvenation of the community. We are grateful that Mayor Turner has given us his support.”
  
In 2017, the City of Houston joined the C40 Reinventing Cities Competition – a global competition to develop innovative, carbon-free, and resilient urban projects. Through the competition, Houston and 13 other cities across the globe identified for redevelopment under-utilized parcels of land. Through this effort, the City selected the winning proposal from Wolfe Energy, LLC.  After receiving the green light to move the proposal forward, Wolfe Energy formed Sunnyside Energy LLC, a team of engineers, architects, community members, and artists, to transform the abandoned landfill site into an urban solar farm.
 
Under the terms of the lease agreement approved by City Council, the City will retain ownership of the land, but the tenant will be responsible for the permitting, construction, operation, and maintenance of the project, an estimated $70 million private investment for the community. In the coming months, Sunnyside Energy LLC will work to secure all necessary state and local permits and finalize financing and design plans to ensure the project meets the most rigorous environmental safety standards before construction.  
 
As part of the City’s Complete Communities initiative, the project also contains sustainability, resilience, and economic development components, requested by the community and will: 
 Prevent potential future environmental hazards posed by the landfillProvide power discounts for low-income residents in the neighborhoodTrain and employ local laborStore and filter stormwater on the tract to help reduce floodingInclude educational attributes at the restored site 
Increasing Houstonians’ use of solar power is a critical component of the city’s first-ever Climate Action Plan. One hundred percent of the City of Houston’s electricity to operate its facilities comes from solar and wind sources, making Houston the largest municipal user of renewable energy in the nation. 
 
The mission of Complete Communities is to ensure that all Houstonians have equal access to quality services and amenities. By tapping the strengths of Houston’s community members, nonprofits, businesses, and philanthropic partners, the Complete Communities initiative is building a stronger, more resilient city and making transformational change where it’s needed most.
 
For more information on the Complete Communities initiative or to view the Sunnyside Complete Communities Action Plan, visit online at http://www.houstontx.gov/completecommunities/.
 
More details about the Sunnyside Solar Project and the Houston Climate Action Plan are available at www.greenhoustontx.gov and complete communities website.
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Mayor Turner, Houston Public Library, and Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Announce Search for Houston’s Next Poet Laureate

Jan 14, 2021
(Left to right) MOCA Director Debbie McNulty, HPL Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Houston’s 2019 – 2021 Poet Laureate Leslie Contreras Schwartz, and Mayor  Sylvester Turner at the Poet Laureate Reception on May 20, 2019. 
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Director of Houston Public Library (HPL), Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, are pleased to announce the search for the City of Houston’s next poet laureate. 

The Poet Laureate Program celebrates Houston’s rich culture and diversity through the work of a Houston poet who serves as the City’s ambassador for the literary arts. The Houston poet laureate’s role is to stimulate poetic impulse, foster appreciation of poetry in all its forms, and serve Houston residents and visitors with expressions of culture through words.

“Right now, perhaps more than ever, Houston needs the power of community offered through written or spoken word poetry,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We look forward to finding and announcing our City’s fifth poet laureate, whose words will bring us together in spirit and inspire us to be resilient in the coming years.” 

The City’s next poet laureate will serve from April 2021 through April 2023 and receive an honorarium of $20,000 from the City of Houston’s City Initiative Grant Program. The program is coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) and HPL. The Poet Laureate Program is funded through the Hotel Occupancy Tax that is dedicated to the arts. 
Deborah “D.E.E.P.” Mouton, Houston’s 2017-2019 Poet Laureate
“The Houston Public Library is so pleased to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs again to welcome Houston’s next poet laureate. We have so many Houstonians who are passionate about poetry and community, and we encourage them to submit their poetic works to support our effort in celebrating Houston’s diversity and elevating this art form,” said Dr. Lawson. “It’s a great opportunity, especially during these challenging times, to have this citywide platform for poets to share not only their invaluable talent, but also their voice.” 

During a two-year appointment, the poet laureate makes several guest appearances at special events and completes a feature project. Houston’s most recent poet laureate, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, created Bayou City Broadsides, which are one-page artistic displays of lines from poems of everyday Houstonians. Houston’s 2017-2019 Poet Laureate Deborah “D.E.E.P.” Mouton created community performance poetry videos highlighting various Houston neighborhoods. Houston’s 2015-2017 Poet Laureate Dr. Robin Davidson developed an anthology book of Houston residents’ favorite poetry, and Gwen Zepeda, Houston’s 2013-2015 poet laureate, created the Houston Poet Laureate’s social media platforms. 
Dr. Robin Davidson, Houston’s 2015-2017 Poet Laureate, reading “To Speak of Rivers, after Langston Hughes” for Mayor Turner (Photo credit: Tony Davidson), Sept 10, 2016
The Houston Poet Laureate Selection Committee, a diverse group of poets, scholars, literary experts, and community representatives, will assist in the selection process. The group includes all poets laureate emeritus Gwen Zepeda, Dr. Robin Davidson, Deborah “D.E.E.P.” Mouton, and Leslie Contreras Schwartz; Radu Barbuceanu of Visit Houston; Dr. Ginger Ko of Sam Houston State University; Jennifer Julian of Texas Southern University; Roderick Robinson of Public Poetry; and Harrison Guy of the Fifth Ward Cultural District. Non-voting members include Monique Mogilka of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) and Carmen Abrego of the Houston Public Library (HPL). 

The selection committee will interview finalists in March, and Mayor Turner will select the winner. The City will announce Houston’s next poet laureate in Apil to celebrate National Poetry Month.

The deadline to apply is midnight on February 25, 2021. Submissions are welcome from poets, authors, writers, and spoken word artists. 
Gwen Zepeda, Houston’s 2013-2015 poet laureate, at the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Conference XV in February 2020. 
The guidelines and application portal for the Houston Poet Laureate and term requirements can be found at https://www.houstontx.gov/poetlaureate.html.
For more information about the Houston Public Library, visit www.houstonlibrary.org, Twitter @houstonlibrary, or call 832.393.1313. 

For more information about the City’s Cultural Programs, visit www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs or follow the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook or Instagram @HoustonMOCA.
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Suspect Arrested, Charged in Fatal Crash at 8000 Antoine Drive

Jan 14, 2021
Charges have been filed against a suspect arrested in a fatal crash that occurred at 8000 Antoine about 8:20 p.m. on Monday (January 11).

The suspect, Lohortenes Sanders (b/f, 28), is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the 232nd State District Court.  A booking photo of Sanders is attached to this news release.

The female victim, 52,  was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Her identity is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

HPD Vehicular Crimes Division Sergeant P. Lee and Officer C. Song reported:

According to a witness, Sanders had an argument with someone in a nearby apartment complex.  When the passenger exited Sanders’ blue-colored Mercury Grand Marquis, Sanders drove erratically through the complex and then drove eastbound on West Gulf Bank Road.  A witness reported Sanders ran the red light at the Antoine intersection and was struck by a gold-colored Chevrolet Malibu traveling northbound at the above address.  The driver of the Malibu died at the scene.  Sanders was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

Sanders, also known as Lohortense Howard, was subsequently arrested and charged in the crash.
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There’s Light at the End of This Tunnel

Jan 14, 2021

Happy New Year Harris County! I know you all are just as happy as I am to say goodbye to 2020. We’ve faced so many dire challenges over the last year — unemployment, financial devastation, social isolation, illness, and death. We’ve sacrificed so much to stay apart and keep our community safe. And I’m sorry to say that, though it’s a new year, we are not where we need to be to end this pandemic. The number of people in our hospital system for COVID-19 continues to rise, again threatening the ability of our healthcare system to keep up and adding even more strain to our frontline healthcare workers. And we have yet to face the impact of all the gatherings that took place over the holidays. I go into further detail on our current situation and the ensuing state restrictions in a video here
But we do have reasons to look forward to the new year. The incredible development of a COVID-19 vaccine is a testament to the power of modern medicine, science, and the tireless efforts of researchers and institutions — many from right here in Harris County. We have been working for months to plan for the arrival and distribution of vaccines, and our Public Health Department has been working diligently to prepare and ensure local clinics are registered and ready. We are currently in phase 1A and 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, which means we are vaccinating frontline healthcare workers, residents of long-term healthcare facilities, essential workers, residents over 65, and those with chronic health conditions. 
So far, Harris County’s role in vaccine distribution is limited. We were given a very small number of vaccines (around 8,000 so far, in a county of 5 million residents) to distribute to qualifying individuals who might have problems receiving them elsewhere, such as teachers, funerary directors, and home healthcare providers. Given the very small numbers, we are not currently in a position where we can reasonably offer vaccines publicly. The County as a whole at last has received just over 200,000 vaccines for individuals in phase 1A and 1B, the bulk of which are being distributed by non-governmental providers like pharmacies and hospitals, but the number of qualifying individuals in Harris County is many times that number. We are advocating for more vaccines for Harris County Public Health to distribute and, more importantly, for our community. We will keep you informed as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we will continue distributing vaccines efficiently, fighting to address disparities, and advocating for our community. For the most current information on vaccination supply and distribution from the state, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 Vaccination webpage here.
So many people are hurting right now – grieving the loss of loved ones, struggling to pay their bills, or both – and I have to ask you to endure this pandemic and its accompanying restrictions a little longer. We’re in a very precarious situation. Unless we see any major changes happen fast, things are likely to get much worse before they get better, even with a vaccine. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a very long way to go. Please, keep social distancing and wearing a mask when you are in public. Get vaccinated if you are eligible. Let’s get to that finish line having saved as many lives as possible.

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Person of Interest Sought in Toddler’s Death at 6401 Ranchester Drive

Jan 5, 2021
Houston police are asking for the public’s help in locating a person wanted for questioning in the death of a boy at 6401 Ranchester Drive about 5:30 p.m. last Thursday (December 31).

Investigators would like to interview David Ajanel Ixcayau (H/m, 19) concerning the death of Wilson Cosigua, age 3.  Photos of Ixcayau are attached to this news release.

HPD Homicide Division Detectives R. Montalvo and E. Martinez reported:

HPD patrol officers responded to a report of an unresponsive child at the above address.  Upon arrival, they and Houston Fire Department paramedics found Wilson inside an apartment.  He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Further investigation led to the identification of Ixcayou as a person of interest in this incident.  Anyone with information on his whereabouts or in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.




David Ajanel Ixcayau
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Mayor Turner Gets a COVID-19 Vaccine Shot in the Arm and Encourages All Houstonians to Protect Their Health

Jan 5, 2021
Mayor Turner gets COVID-19 vaccine 
HOUSTON –  Leading by example to encourage Houstonians to protect their health during the global pandemic, Mayor Sylvester Turner rolled up his sleeve to get a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination Monday afternoon.

The mayor was joined by a diverse group of community members, health care personnel, and essential frontline workers. The doses were given by trained Houston Health Department staff to the mayor and others who are at least 65 and older or age 18 and older with at least one chronic medical condition putting them at increased risk of severe illness and death.

“I want everyone to know, especially people of color in this diverse community, that this is not the Tuskegee Project,” Mayor Turner. “This is not the time for people of color to stay away from the vaccine.”

Police Chief Art Acevedo, Fire Chief Sam Pena, Council Members Amy Peck, Michael Kubosh, Letitia Plummer, David Robinson and Judge R.K. Sandhill, Mary Ramos, William A. Lawson, Susannah Wong, Zhengyi Wu, and several frontline city workers also received the vaccine.

Ramos said she wanted to publicly get the vaccine to send a message to the Hispanic community. “I am asking all my people to take the vaccine. I just took it, and it does not hurt,” said Ramos. “You have a better chance of surviving this pandemic if you take the vaccine. If you care about your family, do it,” 

Darryl Flood, a Houston Public Works maintenance employee, also got the vaccine Monday. “I feel good, and I encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated.”




Also on Monday, the Houston Health Department launched an online registration portal allowing Houstonians at the highest risk of coronavirus disease to schedule appointments to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations. 

While appointments are full for the rest of the month, Mayor Turner said he soon plans to announce a vaccination mega-site. A larger site would allow the health department to increase the number of daily vaccinations.  

“We know there are people reluctant to get the vaccine in certain communities,” said Mayor Turner. “But there is a lot of demand. Our goal is  to open more sites as we get increased vaccine supply.”

Contact:
 
Mary Benton
Director of Communications
Office: 832.393.0830
Mobile: 713.208.6229
Mary.Benton@houstontx.gov

Ada Ortega
Press Secretary
Office: 832-393-0800
Mobile: 832-547-3240
Ada.Ortega@houstontx.gov

Tejal Patel
Public Information Officer/Deputy Press Secretary
Office: 832.393.0808
Mobile: 832.459.9706
Tejal.Patel@houstontx.gov






 
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HOUSTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR COVID-19 VACCINATIONS FOR HIGH RISK GROUPS

Jan 5, 2021
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department launched today online registration allowing Houstonians at the highest risk of coronavirus disease to schedule appointments to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations. A Spanish version is anticipated to launch later in the day.

People age 65 and older and people age 18 and older with at least one chronic medical condition putting them at increased risk of severe illness and death may sign up to get the vaccine at HoustonEmergency.org/COVID19

These groups are prioritized as Phase 1B of the State of Texas’ vaccine distribution plan.

Frontlines healthcare workers who have yet to receive the vaccine also are eligible to sign up to get the shot through the health department. Healthcare workers are grouped as part of Phase 1A distribution.

Appointments are also available through the health department’s COVID-19 call center by calling 832-393-4220. The call center is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with hours extended until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

“The Houston Health Department is doing a phenomenal job getting the vaccine directly to people. The new online registration, in addition to the call center, will make the process more efficient. While there is great public demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, there is also a lot of hesitancy. I understand the concerns, but  I encourage all eligible Houstonians to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of the deadly virus,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

As additional doses become more plentiful in the coming weeks and months, the department will ramp up local vaccination efforts and announce other free vaccination opportunities.

Medical conditions placing people at high risk include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes.

The department currently offers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, recommended for people 18 years of age and older under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.

People will receive an appointment time and the location of the vaccination clinic site during the registration process. Staff with the department will screen people when they first arrive at the clinic site, direct them to a secure area to receive the vaccination and monitor them for any adverse reaction for 15 minutes.

Information about COVID-19 vaccines, including safety and efficacy, is available online on the COVID-19 Vaccine page of HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.   
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Houston Health Vaccinates More than 1,000 People During the City’s First COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Jan 5, 2021
Mayor Turner holds a news conference on Saturday, January 2 to discuss the City’s first COVID-19 vaccination site
HOUSTON –  Mayor Sylvester Turner applauded the Houston Health Department for quickly establishing the City’s first COVID-19 vaccination site on Saturday, January 2, and providing the Moderna vaccine to more than one-thousand people. “After a slow start and some technical issues, the Health Department vaccinated more people than initially planned. Clinic staff vaccinated 1,008 people in one day at the first Houston vaccination clinic. In the coming days and weeks, there will be more providers at various locations throughout the City,” said Mayor Turner. The Houston Health Department plans to hold a second COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Sunday, January 3. A limited number of appointments remain open. Interested individuals who qualify to get the vaccine based on the state’s 1A and 1B criteria  must make an appointment through the COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. 4 p.m.

While the Health Department has limited daily capacity to provide vaccines, Mayor Turner said the city will establish additional COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites in the near future.

“My goal is to get the vaccines to people as soon as we get them, ” said Mayor Turner. “Even though there is a lot of vaccine hesitancy, people still have a strong desire to get the vaccine, and that is what today demonstrates.”The State of Texas’ Phase 1B distribution plan prioritizes people 65 and older and 16 and older who have at least one chronic medical condition, putting them at increased risk. The Houston Health Department received the Moderna vaccine, and it is recommended for persons 18 years of age and older in the U.S. population under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. Per CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.Medical conditions placing people at high risk include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes. Frontline healthcare workers are also eligible for vaccination as part of the Phase 1A distribution plan.”Seven out of 10 people who die of COVID-19 are 65 and older. If you look in the line today, we see some of these folks, and I am grateful for that,” said Houston Health Department Director Stephen Williams. Information about COVID-19 vaccines, including safety and efficacy, is available at the HoustonEmergency.org/covid19
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