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Best Community Newspaper Houston 2010 - Examiner Newspaper Group, Houston Community Newspapers

These community newspapers in West University, River Oaks, Memorial and Bellaire are as thoughtful and researched as they are feisty. Bellaire Examiner Editor Charlotte Aguilar keeps things going at a steady pace, making sure these papers provoke discussion as much as they celebrate neighborhood achievements. Reporter Steve Mark stays on top of Houston Independent School District business, and not always in the more comfortable manner that some other media members adopt. This is a group of community papers that remains focused on its readers in both print and online editions, and that not infrequently breaks news that its bigger brethren would love to have.

READERS' CHOICE: Houston Press

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Karin Sims Lowery
Karin Sims Lowery

Attention Pastor West;

Roland Martin with CNN news whom I meet with at the NAN convention in NY city requested me to send my information to all African American Newspapers in Houston and New York. Please submit this article.

My children and I have been en-trapped in a horrible ordeal with CPS/Houston. I have several supporting documents including letters of support from Texas Children Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, Houston Urban League, Minneapolis Urban League, Morehouse School of Medicine, NorthPoint Health and Wellness MN, Star of Hope Shelter, HAWC, Barbara Jordan Rehablitation Center(HRC), HMMRA, Legency, Ben Taub Hospital, United Black Front and a host of supports who have been helpful in my fight for justice.

On March 27, 2011 The Houston Chronicle had an article concerning Judge Schneider and CPS. This case does not make sense at all, I am wondering if it is true? Please read the article written by Terri Langford. The Houston Chronicle indorsed both Mike Schneider and the attorney Dennis Slate. Check it out. The first goal of CPS according to its Parents Handbook Guide is reunification with the family. This is achieved through the completion of a "Family Service Plan" where caseworkers monitor parents activities until the home is rendered suitable and the children are in no harms way. Once a Family Service Plan is completed and CPS goals are met, reunification occurs. Parents are monitored through random drug tests, doctors visits, psychological therapy, workshops, and employment. Quality assurance is tracked with data written into questionnaires and reports by agencies/agents who offer services like drug testing. The current strain of today's economy has affected the ability of CPS to monitor the overwhelming number of cases as shown in for example, Harris County, Houston, TX where 61.4% of African American Children are in Foster Care, the highest in the country. There are more children in foster care than there are in the city living with their biological families. This outstanding number of displaced children has created a cycle of dysfunction which is breeding 'MISFIT' young adults. Teens trying to escape the system end up on the streets as runaways and are then herded over and over back into the system. Karin Sims Lowery is one mother who has been fighting for 3 years for the reunification of her family of 4 children: Zaire 12, A'Shunte 9, Saniya 5 and Seth Lowery 2. Karin has completed a startling 5 Family Service Plans, scores of drug tests and psych evaluations, community resource involvement, without the guidance of a case worker with Ms. Lowery's and her children's best interest in consideration. Judge Mike Schneider of the 315 Family Juvenile Court has ordered that the Lowery parents have no contact with their children, despite the law that states that a case should not be opened for over 12 months; despite overwhelming evidence of falsified documents; tampering with evidence; redundant Family Service Plans; violations of CPS rules and regulations; violations of Court orders by CPS; negligence by CPS; proof of abuse of the Lowery children under the care of their foster parents; false imprisonment of Karin and her children; maltreatment of the Lowery children through over-medication. (In one case at age 7, A'Shunte Lowery was prescribed 9 different drugs, not all FDA-approved, psychotropic drugs.) No contact despite discrimination and bias towards Ms. Sims Lowery; harassment; and the continued severing of the relationship between Ms. Karin Sims Lowery and her children. Although Ms. Sims Lowery has been accused of abusing drugs and possible mental illness, none of which has been legally proven. CPS has failed to offer Mrs. Lowery any therapeutic or rehabilitation services which proves the goal of reunification was never on the CPS agenda. If the Sims Lowery case would be used as a model of how CPS works, Black families are in grave danger. On one hand, you have a judge who speaks about saving minority children off the streets in the same context as he would speak of getting stray dogs and cats off the streets and providing them shelter. Yet, even a dog or cat would not be separated from its lactating mother as was done to Ms. Sims Lowery in the case of her now 2-year-old son, Seth Lowery. (At the time of his abduction, he was only a 3 1/2 month old pre-mature infant.) On the other hand, families are left without fair representation as the lawyers in the Juvenile Court system, are trained by Judge Schneider, who presides over majority of the Harris County CPS cases. As cases and caseloads grow and staff is reduced and as unqualified workers are kept on the CPS payroll, what will be the fate of the Lowery children and their mother Karin Sims Lowery? What will be the fate of the American Black family and community? By the selling of pharmaceutical drugs; by Medicaid fraud; and gross negligence of this state system, we are losing our children. The system is creating guinea pigs used to test unapproved medications. We are forced to live below societal standards, upholding the status of the lowest class. We are denied our civil rights which are sacrificed for a man who's main goal is a Senate seat. Best Regards, Anjanette Dyer-MunroeSupporter of The Sims Lowery Family

George Boehme
George Boehme

Well-deserved. But don't leave out the great work by Examiner reporter Mike Reed. His investigative and probing reporting of the Metropolitan Transit Authority served as a disinfectant by shining a bright light on their (now old) business practices.