Marquee 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer recalls last season as bittersweet but remains confident that should she medal at this year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil, it would put the icing on the cake as her greatest year ever.Spencer is one of the most successful track athletes in the history of the Diamond League circuit with a total of 21 wins.In an interview with The Gleaner, Spencer said that 2015 was a bittersweet season for her. “It began great. Unfortunately, I got an injury and I wasn’t able to complete my season as I would have wanted to but just using that as a stepping stone for this season.”Jamaica and the world have definitely not seen Kaliese Spencer’s best. I think this season is going to be a great season, so just watch out.”Despite her recent IAAF World Championships medal failures in the finals, Spencer maintains that she is over those disappointments, settled in her new training club, and looking at improving.”I have a great set of coaches working with – great people, great athletes – and it’s like a family,” she outlined at Cameron Blazers, adding that it would help her medal this year.”Definitely, I will be on the medal podium (Rio Olympic Games). I just want to stay healthy, and once God is in it, I will be a winner and I will be there,” Spencer continued.”I am over that (disappointments) long time ago. I don’t stay long on one thing. I just get going. OK, that was it. I am strong in faith, and I believe that God is by my side, and I believe that one day I will be victorious, and I am just working towards that,” she said.Though Spencer admits that she has a lot left in the tank, she did not want to predict how fast she could run this year.”I am not thinking about (times) that. I am just thinking about focusing and getting my technique better and getting stronger and staying healthy, and once I stay healthy, the times will come,” stressed Spencer.
00:00 /01:15 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Al OrtizDistrict Attorney Kim Ogg (center) announced the diversion program during a press conference held at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, where she was accompanied by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, among others.Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday a new program to deal with cases of low amounts of marijuana that she described as part of a new era in the county’s criminal justice system.Under Texas law, having four ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor.Starting March 1st, people caught with that amount, or lower, will get a second chance before going to jail.“You will be offered a chance to sign an acknowledgement form promising to take a decision making class, a cognitive decision making class. Takes four hours and costs $150. You’ll be required to do that within 90 days,” Ogg explained during a press conference held at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, located in downtown Houston.One of the arguments Ogg made was the high cost of arrests and prosecutions for these types of cases.The District Attorney estimated the county spends about $26 million per year on misdemeanor marijuana cases.She also said the program is in accordance with Texas law because of the discretion prosecutors have.Kevin Buckler, an associate professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Houston-Downtown, agrees with the District Attorney’s reasoning.“Prosecutors have tremendous discretion in terms of filing charges, police have tremendous street-level discretion in terms of how they handle cases,” Buckler said.Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez praised the initiative and, on behalf of the City of Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo did the same.Acevedo thinks it can help his department improve public safety.“What matters most to the people of Houston isn’t somebody with a baggy of marijuana, what matters most to them is what’s going on with burglaries of our residences, burglaries of our vehicles, armed robbery, sexual assaults. We are going to focus on being smart on crime, focused on crime,” Acevedo commented at the end of the press conference referring to the possibility the program will help HPD use its resources more effectively.However, some members of the regional law enforcement community have expressed their opposition to the initiative.Brett Ligon, District Attorney for Montgomery County, criticized Ogg’s program and said in a news release that his county wouldn’t implement a similar program to avoid becoming “a sanctuary for dope smokers.” Share Listen
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen 00:00 /50:48 X On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: Houston cycling advocates are taking another look at the city’s bike plan. Bike Houston just released a report card, which comes a year after Houston City Council adopted the plan. John Long, Bike Houston’s executive director, lays out his organization’s thoughts on the plan.Also this hour: 25 years ago this week, the siege on a religious compound near Waco went wrong, leaving more than 80 people dead. We hear from the people who were there, as part of our collaboration with the Houston Chronicle remembering the lessons of the Waco tragedy.Then, the Texas Association of Museums is holding its annual conference this week in Houston. We find out what will be discussed and learn what major issues museums are facing these days – especially the many in Houston’s lauded Museum District.Plus, we learn how an engineer designed cost-effective wheelchairs to be distributed by his nonprofit, Free Wheelchair Mission. And Brantley Hargrove talks about his new book The Man who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras.WATCH: Today’s Houston Matters 360-Degree Facebook Live VideoWe also offer a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share