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Posts published in “Day: May 17, 2022

New VIPER program to reduce crime

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, along with the County Commissioners and Judge Hidalgo, announce the new VIPER program.

VIPER VIOLENT FELONY WARRANT TASK FORCE

Harris County, TX — TUESDAY, May 10, Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia was joined by County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, and Pct. 6 Constable Silvia R. Trevino announced VIPER – a new violent crime warrants task force approved by Commissioners Court. The warrant roundup initiative aims to reduce the number of violent offenders on the loose in Harris County. After being considered by Commissioners Court, VIPER passed unanimously with a 4-0 vote.

There are more than 50,000 people in Harris County who are wanted by police, including more than 700 people who are wanted for murder. The Harris County Commissioners Court passed the creation of a new task force that will be aimed at tracking down and arresting the most violent offenders.

The Harris County Violence Persons Task Force, or VIPER, consists of deputies from both the sheriff’s and constables’ offices. VIPER will add much-needed staff, whose purpose will be to track down and arrest the most violent offenders in Harris County. The task force will be made up of two teams, each team will consist of 4 deputy constables and 4 deputy sheriffs.

“VIPER will help ensure public safety that must be addressed,” Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. “Putting a stop to the culture of not feeling there are any consequences for criminal activity.”

2 dead, 3 wounded in Airline Drive shoot-out

Two people died and several were others injured in a shootout near a north Harris County flea market Sunday afternoon, deputies aid.

According to officials with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, thousands of people were at a flea market in the 8700 block of Airline Drive near West Gulf Bank Road around 1 p.m. when two groups of people began shooting at each other.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, while three others were transported to various hospitals. Their conditions were not known.

The victims were all part of the altercation and no innocent bystanders were harmed, deputies said.

Russia may want to trade Griner for criminal in U.S. custody

Brittney Griner is seen on Russian TV leaving a hearing room last week, where she learned that her detention and pre-trial hearing will be extended another month. Griner, in handcuffs, did not speak to the media. She was accompanied by her Russian lawyer, but no U.S. officials have been allowed to see her except once for a welfare check.

WASHINGTON, DC – American officials learned last week that Brittney Griner, a professional women’s basketball star player will be detained for another month in Russian custody, and that her pretrial hearing had been delayed until then.

Griner is well known in Houston and Aldine, where she was a star center for the girl’s basketball team at Nimitz High School. She currently plays for the Phoenix, and was in Russia for the off-season playing pro ball there.

Griner was detained at a Russian airport in February, and charged with having illegal drugs in her luggage. Since then, U.S. officials have been working to get her release, with little progress.

For the first time since Brittney Griner’s arrest almost three months ago, Russia appears to have publicly signaled its asking price for her safe return, if multiple reports by Russian state media are to be believed.

Russia is looking to exchange the WNBA star in a prisoner swap for notorious convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, several state-owned Russian news outlets reported last Friday, citing unnamed government sources.

Run-off Election May 24

Texas voters get another opportunity to cast ballots starting May16 in primary runoff elections slated for both Republican and Democratic candidates. The election is May 24, with early voting running until May 20.Statewide runoff races are slated for attorney general and land commissioner in both parties, lieutenant governor and comptroller in the Democratic race, and railroad commissioner on the Republican side of the ticket.

More information can be found about particular races at harrisvotes.com. Voters who cast ballots in one party’s primary cannot vote in the other party’s runoff election. However, voters who did not cast ballots in the primary can vote in either party’s runoff.

HCC Northeast names Michael Edwards as new President

DR. MICHAEL EDWARDS

HOUSTON (May 11, 2022) —Dr. Michael Edwards has been named President of Houston Community College (HCC) Northeast College, pending approval by the Board of Trustees on May 16.

Dr. Edwards, a 25- year employee of the district, had been serving as Interim President of HCC Northeast since December 7, 2021.

In his distinguished career, Dr. Edwards has held positions as Associate Vice Chancellor for Systems Operations, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Government Relations, Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness, Interim President of Coleman College for Health Sciences, Executive Dean for Instruction and Student Services, Dean of Workforce Development, and President of the HCC Faculty Senate.

His numerous awards and recognitions include the National Institute for Organizational and Staff Development (NISOD) Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Certificate in Organizational Innovation from the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business, member of the University of Houston at Clear Lake Board of Sociology and Criminology, Quality Texas Foundation examiner for continuous quality improvement, Commendation for Distinguished Service from the HCC Board of Trustees, and graduate from the Future Leaders Institute of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“Dr. Edwards is the right person at the right time to serve as President of HCC Northeast College,” said Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, “In his significant role as Interim President, he has provided leadership that drives student success and promotes the ongoing development of instructional pathways partly made available through the Northeast College Centers of Excellence.