Former Texan Andre Johnson: Move to Indy "A Breath of Fresh Air"

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Thumbnail image for HOU_NEWS_20150309_AndreJohnson_EricSauseda_023.jpg
Photo by Eric Sauceda
Apparently the grass is greener...
The dissolution of long-term relationships is a complicated thing. They tend to fall into two categories.

On the one side, you have the bitter breakup, after which both sides wish the interpersonal equivalent of a plague on the other party's house. Those vitriolic breakups are raw, but honest. Then on the other side, you have the cordial breakup, where both parties figuratively shake hands and wish the other party the best of luck. Roughly, 98 percent of the cordial breaker-uppers are liars.

Practically everyone privately hopes that their significant other's next slew of relationships fail miserably because we all want to cling to some idealistic notion that we were "their best" (even if, for many of us, being the best at anything is a virtual impossibility).

I say all of this to lead up to our first update on former Texan Andre Johnson, who broke up with the Texans back in March, and with whom many of you out there tried to conduct a cordial breakup when it all went down.

More »

Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy Suspended 10 Games for Domestic Violence Incident

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Thumbnail image for greg_hardy_flickr.jpg
Shea Huening via Flickr
Wow, it was a rough Wednesday for the city of Dallas. Of course, there was the 24 hour period where the Rockets shoved the Mavericks to within a half step of falling into the NBA playoff canyon, and then the team essentially fired its point guard (for whom they traded three players, two draft picks, and a nearly $13 million trade exception). That was fun.

Of course, you had to know that Jerry Jones wasn't going to let Mark Cuban have all of the fun, right? No way. The Cowboys had to get in on some of the fun.

And so it was that on Wednesday, the newest Dallas Cowboy, defensive end and noted domestic abuser Greg Hardy was slapped with a 10 game suspension by the NFL for the physical abuse of his girlfriend last year when Hardy was a member of the Carolina Panthers.

The details of the NFL's two month investigation confirm some pretty shocking details of the incident between Hardy and his then girlfriend Nicole Holder. From the Twitter feed of Yahoo! Sports' Rand Getlin:

More »

Fight Club at HCC: More Allegations Spill Out in College's Lawsuit Against Former General Counsel

Categories: Courts, Education

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for HCCBuilding560.jpg
photo by WhisperToMe via creative commons
First rule of Fight Club: don't talk about Fight Club.
If you believe Renee Byas, the Houston Community College Board of Trustees had devolved into a den of iniquity during her tenure at the school.

In court filings made this week in the drawn-out legal fight between Byas, the former general counsel fired by HCC last summer, and the multi-million dollar community college system, Byas outlines some explosive allegations against current and former members of the HCC board, including:

-- "How an HCC Trustee had taken free trips to places such as the Caribbean with an HCC vendor on the vendor's plane."

-- "How three HCC Trustees had entered into an agreement with an individual that the three Trustees would convince the HCC Board of Trustees to buy property from the individual and, in exchange, the three Trustees would receive 10% of the money that HCC paid to the seller."

And...(here's the kicker):

-- "How during a closed session meeting an HCC Trustee had accused another Trustee of accepting bribes and kickbacks and how the accused Trustee started punching the accuser."

More »

The 10 Most Heroic Dogs in Houston

Categories: Best of Houston

Photo by the Harris County Sheriff's Office
Boomer and Tommy
Mankind's partnership with the dog goes back further than our written history. It has been us and the pooches against the world for a very, very long time. This week we're going to celebrate some of the great deeds done by our four-legged friends here in Houston.

Boomer and Tommy
The working dogs of the Harris County Sheriff's office are serious about crime busting. Two of the K-9 unit heavyweights, Boomer and Tommy, were nominated for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards 2013 for their contributions to law enforcement in Houston. Boomer is the veteran, having been responsible for the seizure of more than $6 million worth of illegal drugs. Tommy is the up-and-comer, but has already been instrumental in cornering suspects, finding lost people and locating evidence in sexual assault cases.

More »

Rajon Rondo Is Done for the Playoffs With an "Injured Back"

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Thumbnail image for nba-logo.jpg
Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don't make. Along the multiyear journey of building the 2014-15 Houston Rockets, general manager Daryl Morey has learned and relearned this lesson a handful of times.

Ultimately, after an offseason in which they swung and missed on numerous free agents, perhaps this season's Rockets will be the ultimate reinforcement of that adage. Either way, whether they win a title or not, it is undeniable that the Rockets should be thankful that any interest they had in Rajon Rondo back in December didn't turn into Rondo's becoming a Rocket.

The surly, truculent eighth year point guard is the Dallas Mavericks problem now, and on Tuesday, after a Game 2 in which Rondo obliterated every semblance of teamwork and winning culture, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle opted to put that problem in the freezer.

Per's Marc Stein, the news came down this afternoon:

More »

Authorities File Charges in Alleged 2012 Honor Killings

Categories: Crime

Officials have charged Ali Irsan and three family members in the death of Gelareh Bagherzadeh and Coty Beavers
Nesreen Irsan told federal authorities she was a prisoner in her Montgomery County home, under the strict control of her devout Muslim father, Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan. In June 2011, while Irsan was away visiting his native Jordan, Nesreen's mother and sister discovered voicemails, emails and text messages between Nesreen and her soon-to-be husband Coty Beavers, a Christian.

Nesreen knew her father would punished her when he returned, so one day she escaped out a bathroom window, according to testimony federal officials gave in court last year. The next month, Nesreen and Beavers married. Soon afterward, the couple got a protective order against Irsan.

What followed was a relentless campaign by Irsan -- aided by his wife, 21-year-old son, and another daughter, authorities say -- to track down his daughter and reclaim his family's honor. Irsan not only blamed Beavers for his daughter's escape, according to authorities, but he also targeted one of Nesreen's best friends, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, a 30-year-old Iranian-American activist and Christian convert who berated Irsan for thinking he could control his daughter.

On Wednesday, more than three years after Bagherzadeh was gunned down as she pulled into her parents' Galleria-area townhome complex, authorities charged Irsan, his wife, and his 21-year-old son Nasim in the killing. Authorities say Irsan, who has been charged with capital murder, also killed Beavers, his daughter's 28-year-old husband, just 11 months after Bagherzadeh's slaying.

Flanked by FBI and Homeland Security officials in a press conference on Wednesday, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said the killings are unlike anything she's ever seen. "The family involvement, the lengths that were gone to to commit these murders, the premeditation. ... The efforts are unprecedented."

More »

Dan Patrick's Advisory Board Calls Pre-K "Godless", "Socialistic"

Thumbnail image for GA_Dan_Patrick_awkward.jpg
Photo from Gov. Greg Abbott's office
Meetings between these two must be awkward...
At the dawn of the 84th Legislative Session this year, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did something pretty brazen, which isn't entirely out of character for the talk-show host turned-most powerful officeholder in the state. First, he tapped a slew of millionaires, billionaires and heavyweight GOP donors -- over half of whom donated directly to his campaign -- to form official "advisory panels" to help his office tackle economic, oil and gas, water and tax policy. The move essentially formalized the incestuous "fund my campaign and I'll help you make laws" nature of this biennial shit-show we call the Texas Legislature, making influence-peddling a formal, recognized component of Texas's governing body. (We guess you can call that transparency?)

But it wasn't just moneyed interests that catapulted the Houston Republican to the lieutenant governor's seat. The Tea Party darling had to thank his base, too. So Patrick established another panel of advisers, a so-called Grassroots Advisory Board. Yesterday, we got a lesson in how weird things can get when the lieutenant governor invites a group of hard-right, Tea Party faithfuls to the table to debate state-wide policy priorities -- like, say, the better funding of pre-kindergarten programs.

More »

Houston Texans Announce 2015 Schedule

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Of all its properties and assets, perhaps the one that the NFL most grossly misuses and improperly leverages is the reveal of the upcoming season's schedule. Fans in NFL cities love finding out when and where their teams are going to play in the upcoming season, and how many primetime games their teams will have.

And yet the NFL treats it with the urgency and magnitude of an appointment at Supercuts, waiting to nail down the exact date and time of the unveiling until like 48 hours before that date. I don't get it, but it's not my job to get it. It's my job to analyze it once the schedule is released.

After a few leaks here and there on Tuesday afternoon, we finally got the goods on Tuesday night. Here is the Houston Texans 2015 schedule:

More »

Ex-Con Allegedly Posts Pics Showing Off His Guns #facingmorefederaltime

Categories: Crime

And here's to you, Mr. Robinson.
OK, say it with us one last time, folks: "If I'm a convicted felon who is not allowed to possess firearms, I will not post pics and videos of me possessing firearms."

That's from an introductory political science class we sometimes teach outside the Houston Public Library downtown, called "Tips For Dipshits 101." And it's a class that should have at least been audited by one Frederick Ramon Robinson, who has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm after allegedly taking to Twitter and other social media to show off his guns and say things like "if white people hate ISIS so much, then I like ISIS. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. #chopthemheadsoff Amerikkka is the Black Man's Foe."

More »

Rockets Roll in Fourth Quarter to Go Up 2-0 Against Dallas 111-99

Categories: Sports

Photo by Jeff Balke
Dwight Howard and Josh Smith hooked up for 43 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists against the Mavs.
For three quarters and just over a minute, the Rockets slogged through an awful shooting night while a depleted Dallas team did everything they could to keep it close including setting a team playoff record for consecutive makes at the free throw line without a miss. It was the game the Mavs wanted: slow, physical and ugly. Monte Ellis hit a three pointer to close out the third quarter, added a two to start the fourth. After Amare Stoudamire hit a jump shot, the Mavs had run off seven straight and they were up 84-81.

From that point on, the Rockets outscored Dallas 30-15, many on a series of alley oop dunks courtesy of Dwight Howard and Josh Smith, current teammates who looked what fans imagine they looked like back in high school when they played together on AAU squads. Smith finished with 15 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds in 25 minutes. Howard had 28 points and 12 rebounds and 2 blocks as well as numerous intimidations at the rim.

What had been a close, slug-it-out matchup turned into a rout as both teams cleared their bench waiting for only the final score and a short trip up Interstate 45 to Dallas for game three on Friday night.

More »