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Posts published in “Day: December 28, 2010

Eversole Indicted by Feds; Commissioner faces charges of bribery, tax evasion

HARRIS COUNTY– The U. S. Attorney for Houston, Jose Angel Moreno, on Tuesday unsealed a federal grand jury indictment against County Commissioner for Pct. 4 Jerry Eversole and another, businessman Michael Surface.
The 31 page indictment lists conspiracy, receiving a bribe, and filing false income tax statements against Eversole. It lists conspiracy and paying a bribe against Surface.
Eversole and Surface appeared in federal court on Tuesday, bound in handcuffs and shackles, a pitiful site for a powerful office holder such as Eversole. Both defendants pleaded “not guilty”, and were released after posting $100,000 bond each.

The charges stemmed from a corruption investigation that has been ongoing for several years, and of which Eversole was aware. He commented to several media representatives this year that he expected to be indicted.

Eversole is charged in the detailed indictment, with receiving such things as vacations, clothing, antique firearms, and financial support for his home mortgage from Surface, and in return voting to award Surface and several of his companies with lucrative county contracts. He also appointed Surface to the Sports Authority Board, and even conspired to retire in favor of Surface assuming his commissioner’s seat, according to the indictment.
Eversole’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, stated that the two men have been friends for over 25 years, and the dealings were personal and not related to county business or favors.
Eversole’s trial is set for February 22 before Judge David Hittner. The government is asking for restitution of all monies, and punishment that could be as much as 20 years in jail.

“HCC Northeast and the North Forest Community: One year later

By Dr. Margaret F. Fisher
President, HCC Northeast

This Status Report, “HCC-Northeast and North Forest Community: One Year Later” is presented to provide an update on activities since Annexation in November 2009. Great strides have been made by the College in collaboration with the North Forest Independent School District and the North Forest Community.
Notable among the great achievements is the development of a dynamic “Blue-Ribbon” Committe that has established a Vision for its work with the College and has developed an Incubator Process for implementation into a permanent HCC Campus facility within the North Forest Community.

Shortly after annexation was approved by the North Forest Community on November 3, 2009, the Boards of Trustees of Houston Community College District and North Forest Independent School District approved a parnership agreement that would allow HCC-Northeast to lease classroom space at Forest Brook Middle School to establish the early beginnings of the HCC-North Forest Vocational Technical Campus. A schedule of classes was developed, and seven classroom were leased to offer courses on weekday evenings and on Saturdays.
During the course of the year, over 500 traditional college students have enrolled in college-based courses at the North Forest Campus and have benefited from the tuition reduction that resulted from annexation. Over 260 students have enrolled in Dual Credit courses during that last twelve months and have benefited from the Tuition Waiver that was granted by the HCC Board of Trustees for all in-District Students in 2003. Thus, nearly 800 North Forest residents have benefited from college courses and instructional-support services that are now available to them at an accesible, affordable, and attractive location in the North Forest Community.

Northeast News Defensive Player of the Year: Booker played ‘big’ for Eagles in 2010

By Mike Keeney
Contributing Writer

Gayron Booker wasn’t the biggest guy on the Eisenhower Eagles defense, but he sure came up big during the 2010 season.
Booker played outside linebacker for the Eagles, who finished second in District 18-5A. Although he stood 5-71/2 and weighed in at 188-pounds, Booker made plays all over the field in helping his team make a return trip to the playoffs.
During his senior season, Booker recorded 52 tackles, eight sacks and recovered one fumble. That output earned him the Northeast News’ Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2010 season.
Booker began his high school career as a running back, but the Eagles had a glut of talented ball carriers when Booker was an underclassman and if he wanted to get on the field, he knew he had to change positions.

During spring training of his sophomore year, defensive coach Dre Thompson, who now serves as Eisenhower’s interim head coach, asked him to do just that and things worked out rather well for both Booker and the Eagles.
“I liked the way he moved,” Thompson said. “I also knew he was a tough kid and could play outside linebacker for us because of his speed and quickness. I asked him if he’d like to give linebacker a try and he said he’d play anywhere to help the team. I liked his attitude when I asked him to move to defense.”
Booker said he was fine with the move, as long as he got a chance to play. The move was definitely the right thing because he became a two-year starter on a team that earned back-to-back playoff spots during his junior and senior seasons.
“Coach Thompson saw something in me and asked me to move,” Booker said. “Hey, the team comes first. If that’s where he thought I could help out, that was all I needed to hear. I’ve always been a defensive person at heart. I like to watch (Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker) Ray Lewis play. I love his physical style of play.”
Thompson said he knows Booker’s height will probably keep him from earning a Division 1 scholarship, but he said Abilene Christian University (ACU) has an interest in him and that might be the perfect place for the deeply religious young man.
ACU may not be a Division 1 school, but it has produced a number of NFL players in the last decade such as defensive back Daniel Manning of the Chicago Bears, wide receiver Johnny Know, also of the Bears and Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott.
“I really think he can play at the next level,” Thompson said. “He can play outside or could be a good nickel back. He’s quick and smart and knows how to get to the football. He has a lot of natural instincts. He plays with a motor and was a playmaker for us he also understands the game. He watched a lot of film while he was here to learn his opponent.”
And while he may be small in stature, Thompson said opponents knew they were going to get Booker’s best shot when he came up against them.
“He likes to pack a hit,” Thompson said, with a laugh. “He’s a strong kid for his size and enjoys the contact of the game.”
Away from the gridiron, Booker is involved at this church, Shady Acres Church of Christ. He helps feed the homeless and also has a part-time job.
“I really enjoy hanging out with my family as well. Family always comes first,” Booker said. “I like to stay busy. Working with my church gives me a feeling of inner peace. It makes me feel good to know that I’ve helped others.”
And let’s hope Gayron Booker gets some help in his quest to continue his football career!

Northeast News Offensive Player of the Year: Jones, Offensive Machine for Eagles in 2010

By Mike Keeney
Contributing Writer
James Jones isn’t the sort of guy who brags about himself, but others have no trouble signing his praises.
As a senior, James, Eisenhower’s starting quarterback, led the Eagles to a second-place finish in District 18-5A and a return trip to the Class 5A playoffs. During his senior season, Jones completed 88 passes for 1,433 yards and 12 touchdowns, rushed for 1,295 yards (Jones averaged 7 yards per carry!) and scored 23 touchdowns and even caught two passes for 51 yards. He also helped out on defense (more on that later) as he intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown.

As a junior, Jones passed for 1,423 yards and 7 TDs, and picked up 786 yards on the ground and scored 10 times.

As a two-year starter, Jones accounted for 4,300 yards of total offense and an eye-opening 52 touchdowns.
Not a bad two-year stretch!
Jones’ stellar senior season earned him the Northeast News’ Offensive Player of the Year honors and Eisenhower interim head coach Dre Thompson said his star pupil was most deserving of the award.
“James is a very talented kid,” Thompson said, in an understatement. “But he’s not a boaster. He understands it’s a team game.”
Jones doesn’t have the physical size of his boyhood idol, Vince Young, but he possesses outstanding speed and quickness. Even though he’s only 5-11, Thompson thinks Jones will get a chance to play collegiately. He’s heard from Baylor, Missouri, Army, Air Force and the University of Houston. The service academies have said he will get a chance at quarterback, while the other schools pursuing him would like to use him as a slot receiver/return man.
Jones said while he loves playing quarterback, it does not matter where he is used once he picks a college.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” the likable Jones said. “I just want the chance to get a college education and have the opportunity to play at the next level.”
Thompson compares Jones to Chicago Bears wide receiver/return man Devon Hester, who played defensive back at Florida State and early in his NFL career before the Bears converted him to a wide receiver. Hester is also one of the league’s most dangerous punt/kickoff returners.
“I see him being like Devon Hester,” Thompson said. “He can make plays on both sides of the ball and he can be explosive on kick returns. James knows he needs to get stronger and continue to learn the game, but he’s a coachable kid and that’s what college coaches like.”
Oh yes, there was that mention earlier of Jones’ penchant for making big plays on the other side of the ball. That was never more evident than in a non-district game against Class 4A powerhouse Dayton early in the 2010 season. With the Eagles clinging to a small lead and Dayton driving for the tying score, Thompson inserted Jones in at safety hoping he would come up with the play of the game. Jones did not disappoint.
“James picked off the ball and ran it back 104 yards for the game-clinching touchdown,” Thompson said. “He made his name on offense, but to me, that was the biggest play of the year for him.”
Football isn’t Jones’ only game. He’s the starting point guard on the Eagles basketball team and in the spring will run a leg on Eisenhower’s 400-meter relay team.
When he isn’t excelling on the athletic field, Jones likes to spend time with his family and will be watching with keen interest when Oregon takes on Auburn in the BCS title game on Jan. 10. Jones will have a rooting interest in the game considering his cousin, Michael Huff, who played at Nimitz High a year ago, will be playing wide receiver for the Ducks and catching passes from one of Jones buddies, Darren Thomas, a graduate of Aldine High.
“James is a natural born leader,” Thompson said. “His teammates love him because it’s not about him, but rather it’s about team.”
That’s music to a coach’s ear!