5 things for Houstonians to know for Wednesday, September 29

Harris County flooded buyout program
Harris County flooded buyout program

Here are things to know for Wednesday, September 29:

1. Police searching for missing inmate near Ellington Airport

Authorities are searching for an inmate who they say is missing in the area of Ellington Airport.

The inmate, 29-year-old Pedro Castillo Hernandez, was wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans, and in restraints. It was discovered he was missing when U.S. Marshals did a headcount of inmates who were scheduled to be transported by air to a location in West Texas. Castillo Hernandez was in custody for illegal reentry into the United States.

Castillo was described as being 5′8″ tall, weighing about 150 pounds with a tattoo on his right arms. Authorities said he was last seen at I-45 South and Dixie Farm Road.

US Marshals and police are searching nearby areas for the inmate.

Read more.

2. MUGSHOT: Man charged in Sunnyside convenience store shooting that left 17-year-old dead

A man has been arrested and charged after a deadly shooting at a convenience store in Sunnyside on Monday.

Al Vernon Brown, 47, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Officers said charges of murder and aggravated assault of a police officer are pending.

On Monday, Houston police said Brown entered a convenience store located at 9635 Scott Street with two pistols in his hands and demanded five customers and three employees to lock the door and get on the ground. Brown then threatened to shoot anyone who tried to leave, according to police.

Police said several people outside the store saw what was happening, and a 17-year-old who had his own weapon entered the store and demanded Brown to release the hostages.

Read more.

3. 5 Houston-area residents among 23 people charged in international fraud scheme to steal at least $17M, feds say

Five Houston-area residents were among two dozen suspects charged in an international multip-scheme fraud conspiracy to steal at least $17 million, federal officials announced Tuesday.

According to a release, Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei said 23 people were indicted in the fraud scheme, charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“The criminal conduct alleged in this case is sophisticated in its means, expansive in its scope, and callous in its aims,” Ganjei is quoted as saying in the news release. “The indictment alleges a scheme where all manner of fraud — including romance and investment scams — was unleashed on an unsuspecting American public, including the elderly and most vulnerable, with the ill-gotten gains syphoned off and funneled overseas. The amount of loss, both financial and emotional, alleged in this case is nothing short of staggering.”

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4. Homeowners speak out against Harris County’s Mandatory Flood Buyout Program

In the Allen Field neighborhood in northeast Harris County, home after home along Darjean Street are now part of the mandatory flood buyout program.

Thirteen homes in Dolores Mendoza’s immediate family were devastated after Hurricane Harvey.

“I was shocked and pissed off like, ‘What do you mean you’re taking my house?’” said Mendoza.

Mendoza’s family has lived in this neighborhood for six generations. She said more should have been done to fix the infrastructure in the neighborhood.

She said it’s not fair she and her family members are now being forced to leave.

The county says the program is designed to move families out of areas that flood repeatedly.

Read more.

5. A treacherous early ride to work as rain moves throughout Houston areas

Heavy rain is moving through Southeast Texas this morning. The greatest threat with this slow moving cluster of storms is street flooding. Watch for low-lying areas and hydroplaning is possible.

This area of rain will move out late this morning leaving us with a mostly dry afternoon and temperatures in the mid-80s.

This line is moving, so the threat should be isolated to street flooding. I am monitoring our flood tracker, which is in green so far.

Rain rates have been around an inch an hour.

By 10 a.m. this entire cluster should be out of here.

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