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Posts published in April 2014

Candidates Forum presents information to Galena Park voters for May 10 election

L to R, Esmeralda Moya, Robert Clowers, Joseph Thibodeaux, and Cruz Hinojosa presented their ideas, qualifications, and experience record to the audience for evaluation and consideration at the Candidates Forum last Friday night at Baggett Center.
L to R, Esmeralda Moya, Robert Clowers, Joseph Thibodeaux, and Cruz Hinojosa presented their ideas, qualifications, and experience record to the audience for evaluation and consideration at the Candidates Forum last Friday night at Baggett Center.

GALENA PARK – Last Friday evening, April 25, candidates for the upcoming election of a Mayor and Council members in Galena Park participated in a Candidates Forum at Baggett Center.

The Forum was hosted by this newspaper, the North Channel Star, and the Rotary Club of Galena Park-Jacinto City.

Four candidates for Mayor were present: Esmeralda Moya, Robert Clowers, Joseph Thibodeaux, and Cruz Honojosa.

There are nine candidates for city council’s four positions, and most of the candidates were present. That included Position #1 Water & Sewer: Joe DeLaTorre, Position #2 Police & Fire: Lois Killough, Position #3 Parks & Recreation: Maricela Serna and Veronica Garcia, and Position #4 Street & Bridge: Mark Groba, Juan Flores, and Martha Flores. Due to prior commitments, Danny Simms for Position #1 and Zenaida Granado for Position #2 did not attend.

CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: (L to R): Position #1 Water & Sewer: Joe DeLaTorre; Position #2 Police & Fire: Lois Killough; Position #3 Parks & Recreation: Maricela Serna, Veronica Garcia; Position #4 Street & Bridge: Mark Groba, Juan Flores, Martha Flores.
CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: (L to R): Position #1 Water & Sewer: Joe DeLaTorre; Position #2 Police & Fire: Lois Killough; Position #3 Parks & Recreation: Maricela Serna, Veronica Garcia; Position #4 Street & Bridge: Mark Groba, Juan Flores, Martha Flores.

The format of the evening was an open 5 minute presentation by the candidates, followed by questions from a panel, and the audience.

The panel consisted of Rotary President Ernesto Parades, Journalist Bob Bartel of the North Shore News website, and publisher Gilbert Hoffman of the North Channel Star newspaper.

First, candidates were asked to tell of themselves, and their qualifications. Briefly, these were the responses:

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Deputies capture two involved in robbery rampage

channelview robbery suspectsHarris County Sheriff’s Office deputies have arrested two of three aggravated robbery suspects who led them on a chase that culminated in a deputy involved shooting last, Wednesday morning, April 23, 2014, in east Harris County.

Deputies charged Jeffrey Britten, 20, and Javon Price, 19, with aggravated robbery, evading arrest and aggravated assault on a peace officer.

The trio attempted to rob the Texaco gas station at 15600 East Freeway around 12:15 am. The store manager had locked the doors as two of the suspects wearing bandannas over their faces tried to enter.

They fled the scene in a black Saturn after not being able to gain entry.

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Bomb scare empties Galena Park High

Galena Park High School
Galena Park High School

GALENA PARK, TEXAS – Students and staff at Galena Park High School were evacuted last Monday morning after a bomb scare.

According to Galena Park ISD, a suspicious package was found hanging in a tree near the high school around 9 a.m.

All students and personnel, approximately 1,000, were evacuated from the building to a soccer field, then to nearby middle and elementary schools.

“We moved them into our schools, and elementary school and a middle school, so they could have air conditioning and easier access to water,” said Jonathan Frey, Galena Park ISD Director of Communications and spokesman.

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Rotary hears of Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase

Chris Vaughan of the Houston Touchdown Club, Coach Phil Camp of Milby High School and the Senior Football Showcase, North Shore Rotary President Matt Davis, and Rotarian Scott Stephens and head of the Cody Stephens Foundation, learned about the opportunities for scholarships to small colleges for senior football players that were not drafted and signed in the first round of athletic scholarships from the larger colleges. Stephens also won the endorsement of the Showcase for his program of screening athletes for serious heart defects.
Chris Vaughan of the Houston Touchdown Club, Coach Phil Camp of Milby High School and the Senior Football Showcase, North Shore Rotary President Matt Davis, and Rotarian Scott Stephens and head of the Cody Stephens Foundation, learned about the opportunities for scholarships to small colleges for senior football players that were not drafted and signed in the first round of athletic scholarships from the larger colleges. Stephens also won the endorsement of the Showcase for his program of screening athletes for serious heart defects.

North Shore Rotarians heard two speakers at their luncheon last Thursday, explain how the five year old program known as the Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase, gave graduating athletes a second chance to win a college scholarship, based on their academic standing first and their athletic abilities.

The annual trials took place in February, and over 300 players showed up at the Texans/Methodist training field to get the attention and approval of at least 43 coaches from smaller colleges.

Since the program was started by Milby Coach Phil Camp in 2009, over 500 kids have won another chance, with over $50 million given to them for college expenses.

Touch of Life: Yard Work

don springer headshotBy Don Springer

I’ve been home a month today and I’m right back where I am every year at this time — behind. At least the grass has been cut twice since returning and trimmed almost all the way around the house at least once, mostly twice.

Every year I think I’m returning earlier so I will be in step with my neighbors on outside house and lawn care but it never happens. I think of the colder temperatures here in March and decide the Houston area is more appealing to me. Now, everything is nice and warm here and Dave tells me you have had some really hot and humid weather there already.

Saw in the paper where the temp. hit 106 in Brownsville a few days ago. Hottest April day in history I read. I’m ready to submit to the gods when it gets that hot and humid. Experienced a lot of those hot temperatures the two years we were in Saudi, but never the humidity.

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North Shore Mustangs, Coach Green at NS Rotary

(l/r): David Green - Head Coach, Jarrey Foster, Kerwin Roach, Brandon Etienne, Dr. Angi Williams - Super- intendent of Schools, Brandon Green, Jalin Hart, Kenneth Coleman - Assistant Coach, Dr. Joe Coleman - Principal North Shore Senior High School. (Photo Courtesy Jonathan Frey/GPISD)
(l/r): David Green – Head Coach, Jarrey Foster, Kerwin Roach, Brandon Etienne, Dr. Angi Williams – Super- intendent of Schools, Brandon Green, Jalin Hart, Kenneth Coleman – Assistant Coach, Dr. Joe Coleman – Principal North Shore Senior High School. (Photo Courtesy Jonathan Frey/GPISD)

NORTH CHANNEL – Rotarians feted the coaches and team of the North Shore High School at their luncheon on Thursday, April 17 at the Holiday Inn on I-10. The Mustang basketball team won the State 5A championship this year.

Present at the celebration were all the team members, coaches, staff, North Shore High School principal Dr. Joe Coleman, Athletic Director Vince Sebo, and Galena Park ISD superintendent Angi Williams, who is also a Rotarian.

AD Sebo opened the program, talking about the success that GPISD has had across all their sports teams. He said that the main quality a player and a team needs to win is “attitude, know that you are going to win.”

He said that you must be passionate about your sport, and “Act with character-don’t be the character.”

Head Coach David Green inspired the members of Rotary by detailing stories from the North Shore Mustangs path to the state championship.

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GP Candidates Forum April 25 at Baggett Center

Public invited to attend

A Municipal Election will take place in Galena Park on May 10th, for the offices of Mayor and City Council.

The North Channel Star in cooperation with the Galena Park-Jacinto City Rotary Club, will host a Candidates Forum on Friday night, April 25 at 6 pm. in the Baggett Center, to introduce the candidates to the public, who are invited to attend.

All candidates have been invited, but to date not all have accepted and indicated they would attend. They will have an opportunity to speak on whatever they wish, and to present their history and qualifications. There will be a panel, made up of Bob Bartel, Ernesto Parades, and Gilbert Hoffman, to pose questions to each candidate. In addition questions from the audience will be written on cards, and asked of the candidates.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Single parents have a resource in Tyra Chapa

tyra chapaSHELDON – She has come a long way since they days when she and her kids were homeless. This single mother of four now has a substantial job and career, a good home for her kids, and heads an organization that offers help to others that have had similar difficult paths in their lives.

Mothers Raising Children Alone is an organization Tyra Chapa founded, and now has about fifty members. They meet at First Baptist Church of Sheldon now, and previously at the Harris County Pct. 2 Grayson Center in Channelview. They meet every 1st and 3rd Saturday, from noon to 2 p.m. and invite anyone interested to attend.

In spite of the name, members include dads, moms, and grandparents. They are encouraged to bring their kids.

The organization is a support group, and helps in many ways. Working with the Lighthouse of Houston and Pasadena, they have provided over 500 turkey dinners to families at Thanksgiving.

They also provide education with GED tutoring, and help single parents with food, clothing, an emergency pantry, and job searches and resumes.

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Easter observed with Egg hunts, Church Services

easter 01 easter 02

The Easter Egg Hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny last Saturday in Jacinto City were typical of Easter celebrations for all ages, taking place from last Saturday through Easter Sunday.

At left, Mayor Ana Diaz and Constable Chris Diaz hand out candy and gifts to some of the children waiting in line for the egg hunt. At right, kids scramble to pick up the 5000 eggs provided by the city. Four of them had special prizes inside.

Religious services and Sunrise Services were also planned for this weekend.

Jacinto City Police foil gas station’s ATM burglary

The burglary was at this convenience store on Mercury Drive.
The burglary was at this convenience store on Mercury Drive.

JACINTO CITY – Police were called to the Come & Save food store and gas station at 1509 Mercury Drive last Thursday morning, when a would-be thief broke a storefront window, tied a rope around an ATM machine inside, and pulled it out into the parking area with his car.

The crime happened early in the morning, according to Jacinto City Police Chief Joe Ayala, but an alarm and video equipment brought a quick response from the Jacinto City police patrols.

The broken ATM machine.
The broken ATM machine.

On the surveillance video, the thief can be seen breaking open the ATM, and attempting to pull the cash out. Almost immediately one police cruiser arrives on the scene, and the thief enters his car and flees south on Mercury Drive. At that time, two other cruisers arrive and give chase, apprehending the thief a few blocks away. He has been identified as Gustavo Barriga, a 22 year old Hispanic male. He is currently in the Harris County jail, awaiting arraignment.

Assisting in the arrests were Jacinto City Police officers Cpl. Nieto, Sgt. S. Flores, and Officer D. Reyes. They were commended by Chief Ayala for their quick action and apprehension of the suspect.