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2 More Houston-Area Men Arrested For Joining Capitol Insurrection



The two men allegedly drove a rental car to D.C. to attend a march and entered the Capitol building during the attack.

Two more Houston-area residents have been accused of participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, bringing the total number of locals arrested to six.

Authorities say Christian Cortez and Benjamin Larocca, both of Seabrook, drove a rental car to Washington, D.C. to attend the march, and entered the Capitol building during the attack. The two men were identified using footage recorded throughout the day, according to court documents.

In one video, Cortez appears on Capitol grounds near a line of officers, alongside other pro-Trump extremists.

Christian Cortez and Benjamin Larocca allegedly entered the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

“Oath breakers! Oath breakers!,” he yells toward a line of officers, according to court documents.

As the video continues, court documents say Cortez could be seen continuing to yell at the officers while moving closer to the line. Cortez then appears to be sprayed with pepper spray by one of the officers, according to a sworn affidavit.

The FBI said another video was found on Benjamin Larocca’s Instagram that appears to be shot from inside the Capitol building, with a caption on the screen reading, “We got in.” An individual who appears to be Cortez can be seen in the video, before the camera flips to show Larocca himself, according to court documents.

“Our house!,” he repeatedly chanted, according to court documents.

In an interview with authorities, Larocca said that he and Cortez were “chilling” in the “tour area” of the Capitol building, and acknowledged that neither he or Cortez had signed up for a tour, according to the affidavit.

Authorities say both Cortez and Larocca were arrested at a residence in Seabrook Friday.

Cortez is charged with assaulting a federal officer, civil disorder, obstructing an official proceeding, unlawfully entering a restricted building to disrupt government, and disorderly conduct on restricted grounds. Larocca is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, unlawfully entering a restricted building to disrupt government, and disorderly conduct on restricted grounds.

The two men join four other Houston-area residents who’ve since been arrested, including: former HPD officer Tam Dinh Pham, Joshua Lollar, Wilmar Alvarado, and Shane Jenkins.

Culled from the NPR

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Houston Texans send statement with resounding victory over Jacksonville Jaguars



What a game. What an absolute triumph of a game. The Texans won their first game of the season and it wasn’t even particularly close for most of the game; a resounding 37-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t want to regale you with too much flowery prose to start with because you’re gonna want to read about the Houston Texans first win of the season below. Enjoy!

The Texans started with the ball and quickly went three and out followed by the Jags appearing to march the ball down the field at will. But the defense stepped up, and stopped the Jags, forcing them to kick a field goal that went comically wide right.

Rookie QB C.J. Stroud continued to impress with his poise and his ability to push the ball down field by completing a 46-yard bomb to fellow rookie Tank Dell. Dameon Pierce would punch it in on the next play for a one-yard touchdown, putting the Texans up 7-0.

The Jags would later try to kick another field goal when their drive stalled once more. This time rookie edge rusher Will Anderson blocked the kick, leading to the Texans taking over at the Jaguars’ 41-yard line.

The Texans would then march down the field culminating in a touchdown pass from Stroud to Mr. December himself, Brevin Jordan, to put the Texans up 14-0.

On a later drive, Texans safety Eric Murray, yes THAT Eric Murray, would force a fumble that would be recovered by Blake Cashman at the Texans’ 32-yard line.

After a long review of a Tank Dell catch where he somehow managed to keep a toe in to keep the drive going, the Texans would move on to end the half with a 28-yard field goal, putting them up 17-0.

Jacksonville got the ball to start the second half and, thanks to a dumb pass interference penalty on Jimmie Ward, score on a Tank Bigsby run, putting the Jags on the board 17-7.

Then they followed that up with a field goal, putting them down by a touchdown to the good guys 17-10.

And then a miracle happened.

Andrew Beck, the Texans’ fullback, muffed the kickoff, recovered it and then returned the ball 85 yards for a touchdown, putting the Texans back up 24-10. It was the first kickoff returned for a touchdown for the Texans since December 2021.

The quarter would end with Blake Cashman picking off an errant Trevor Lawrence pass.

Pass interference on Jimmie Ward leads to first and goal at one for Jags. Bigsby with TD. Texans lead 17-7.

Stupid penalties and bad defensive play.

Jags stopped for a 33-yard FG. 17-10 Texans.

The Jags have an answer for the Texans, Texans NEED to find a way to respond, and fast.

Andrew Beck with the 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown! And in related news, unicorns are real! Texans lead 24-10. (laughing for five minutes). First kickoff return TD for Texans since December 2021.

To end the quarter Blake Cashman would pick off an errant Trevor Lawrence pass.

The drive would stall for the Texans leading to a Fairbairn FG to put the Texans up 27-10.

Here is where the game would briefly turn into a slugout.

Trevor Lawrence threw a well-no-[kitten] 26-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk to pull within 10 of the lead.

Stroud would respond with his own well-no-[kitten] 68-yard touchdown pass of his own to Tank Dell.

Fairbairn would see the field one last time with a field goal to put the Texans ahead by 20, 37-17, and that is how the game would finish.

The Texans get their first win of the season and it was a statement game to boot.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to write an apology email to C.J. Stroud for ever doubting him in the first place.

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FITCC Partners with Texas Southern University



Partnership with the Texas Southern adds a new dimension to this event. For example, besides the SOC, the partnership will also include the Mickey Leland Center, Jesse Jones Business School, and the Barbara Jordan School of Public Affairs.

Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC) is collaborating with Texas Southern University (TSU) to engage student professionals in communication and to facilitate pre-event and on-site media coverage for the two-day trade fair. Paid student volunteers will write articles, shoot videos, and conduct on-the-scene interviews during the event. TSU’s Interim Dean of the School of Communications (SOC), Dr. Chris Ulasi confirmed this development, adding that “the SOC students have always excelled in collaborative coverage of major national and global events.”

Ulasi was right. In 2022, for instance, TSU joined Morgan State University in an all-expenses paid trip to the Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) in Monterey, California, where the TSU’s Jazz Ensemble, University Choir, and Journalism department joined 20 other jazz and choir students from Morgan State University, to perform. In the same period, a team of TSU journalists traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Democracy Summit at Howard University. The Democracy Summit brought in students from TSU and six other HBCUs, including Morehouse, Morgan State, Savannah State, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T, and North Carolina Central University.

Texas Southern University (TSU) student professionals in communication will facilitate pre-event and on-site media coverage for the two-day event. Photo by Arthur Murray (SOC-TSU)

The FITCC is one-of-its-kind. On October 24-25, at the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center in Houston, the Fidelity Bank Plc. Nigeria will premier this international trade and creative fair called Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC). The event is expected to attract thousands of participants from all over the world. These attendees would interact with the brightest minds and industry leaders who would exchange ideas, create trade/business partnerships, and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of international trade, exports, and creative connections.

As fundamental objectives, the FITCC conference will address the limitless market opportunities between Nigeria and the U.S. marketplace. The sole facilitator, Fidelity Bank Plc. Nigeria is a popular international commercial banking entity with over 7.2 million customers serviced across 250 business offices and other digital banking networks. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said that the Bank has very much invested in supporting export trade.

Partnership with the Texas Southern adds a new dimension to this event. For example, besides the SOC, the partnership will also include the Mickey Leland Center, Jesse Jones Business School, and the Barbara Jordan School of Public Affairs. Deans and faculty members are invited for research-based presentations and speaking engagements. In addition, Exhibitor Booths will be provided for TSU, and space will be provided for the KTSU2 radio station.

SOC Students in action: Partnership with the Texas Southern adds a new dimension to this event. Photo by Arthur Murray (SOC-TSU)

According to The President of AIX LLC, the Houston-based facilitator of the conference, Linda Anukwuem, “Our partnership with TSU will allow a working collaboration with the students depending on their choice of study. We are excited about their participation and cannot wait to release more details soon.”

These students will also have the opportunity to meet or interview various dignitaries, including Mayor Sylvester Turner, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe (CEO & Managing Director) of Fidelity Bank Nigeria, and Her Excellency Engr. Tamunominini Olufunke Makinde (First Lady of Oyo State, Nigeria), Benedict Oramah (President – Afrieximbank), Engr. Henry Obih (Independent Director-Fidelity Bank Nigeria), Ufo Eric-Atuanya (Senior Vice President, Global Business Development – Export-Import Bank of the US), 97.9 The Box – G.T. Mayne.

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Houston Resident Builds Library In Sagyimase, Ghana



Alice B. Otchere is a native Houstonian and was raised in Houston’s Fifth Ward. She never thought of herself as a philanthropist. After high school, she attended the University of Northern Iowa, and along the way received Business School Certifications from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas. She established herself in Houston and developed a longstanding and successful career in Human Resources, at all levels through executive levels. Otchere visited Accra, Ghana in 2019 after connecting with her sons’ Ghanian family. The family welcomed her and her sons with open arms. While touring the country, she visited Sagyimase, the village which the family called their “home village”. She observed that there were no libraries in the area for the school children and others in the community of villages.

After visiting Ghana and returning to the United States, Otchere established the non-profit Literacy for Life ( in September 2019. She has received tremendous financial support from her immediate family, including her family in Ghana who donated the land. In addition, she received support from friends and Port City Chapter (TX) Links, Incorporated sisters by hosting fundraisers and receiving donations from many donors who appreciate the value of her commitment to share blessings with those in need. She also contacted the pending Consul General of Ghana in Houston to advise him of her plans. He was delighted to hear about a Houstonian engaged in humanitarian efforts in his home country.

Ms. Otchere returned to Ghana and Sagyimase in January 2020 to announce to the family and the village community her plans to build a library. While there, her desire and plans to build a library were confirmed. She saw the local village school and recognized it was underserved. She asked one of the teachers if they had a library. There were a few books, and the bookcase was dilapidated. As an avid reader, Ms. Otchere wanted to do something to ensure the schools, the students and all who lived in the area would have access to a library. She committed to do her part to work towards building and operating a Library in Sagyimase. 2020 offered challenges with the COVID pandemic; the air space in Ghana was closed and travel into the country was prohibited. But 2020 offered opportunities to work with the General Contractor, Architect and Project Manager to layout the plans for the library.

In September 2021 Otchere returned to Ghana to break ground for the library in Sagyimase, Ghana! Since that time, the project has been on-going, and the Project team has been successfully meeting construction milestones. The library is scheduled to open and begin operations October 16, 2023,
When asked what her family takes away from this experience, Otchere says, “you don’t have to be a millionaire to help a village”.

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