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North Shore Rotary installs new officers

NEW PRESIDENT MIKE WILLIAMS presents outgoing president Allatia Harris with her gavel and plaque, a Rotary tradition.

NEW PRESIDENT MIKE WILLIAMS presents outgoing president Allatia Harris with her gavel and plaque, a Rotary tradition.

The North Shore Rotary Club held their installation banquet last Friday night at the Monument Inn, with their usual verve and fun.

Mike Williams was sworn in as the 58th president, by Judge Mike Parrott. Parrott delivered an emotional talk about his upcoming retirement in 2016, after a lifetime of service to the North Shore area.

Special guests at the dinner were the officers of Rotary District 5890, including Governor Nick Giannone and wife Fabriola, DG elect Eric Liu and wife Sandy, and DG designate Bill Palko and wife Debby. Recognition was given to Rotarians who were present and had been in the club for 50 years or more, including B. J. Westbrook, Jerry Dominy and Frank Nadolney.

As outgoing president, Allatia Harris gave a short talk on the accomplishments of the club during her term, summing it up as “An Amazing Year.” She mentioned successful international projects to Mexico and Australia, help for youth through Early Act/ First Knight, Interact, FFA Auctions at 4 schools, Food Baskets for the needy and Seniors, financial support for the Bay Area Homeless Family shelter, and an outreach to the Darrington Prison unit. She thanked members and her board, whom she awarded with copies of the book “Texas Rising.”

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State and County attorneys join forces to fight synthetic Marijuana

state to fight synthetic marijuana

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan announced last Tuesday, June 15, a joint operation against four Houston-area stores for distributing products that contain synthetic marijuana while deceptively claiming the products are safe and legal.

“Synthetic marijuana is an extremely dangerous substance and a growing risk to Texas youth, as evidenced by the mounting numbers of recent hospitalizations in Texas related to its use,” Attorney General Paxton said. “These stores were operating in blatant disregard for the law and with an utter disregard for the safety of their customers. I commend investigators and officials who are working to put an end to this substance’s distribution.”

“These products are marketed and sold to children, despite defendants knowing the products are illegal and unsafe. Use of these products has not only caused illness, but even death in some cases,” said County Attorney Vince Ryan.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Joe Stephens, former basketball star now aspiring to JP seat

JOE STEPHENS AT HIGHLANDS ROTARY

JOE STEPHENS AT HIGHLANDS ROTARY

HIGHLANDS – He’s tall, has a big grin, and makes you feel comfortable right away.
Joe Stephens has a history that includes being a basketball star at North Shore high school, and on the Houston Rockets and other pro teams for a total of 10 years in the NBA. He played with super stars such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Mario Elie and Clyde Drexler, and at a recent fund raiser for his political career, they were there as hosts.

Stephens is now a successful insurance agent in North Shore, but he plans to run for the office of Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3 Position 1 when Judge Mike Parrott retires next year. In fact, Parrott has publicly endorsed him for the position.

The Highlands Rotary club had Stephens as a guest at a recent luncheon, and he spoke about his career, his work with youth, and his aspirations to help his life-long community as a Justice of the Peace. Stephens told an entertaining story of how he got into pro basketball. In 1996 he and a few friends heard that there was an open tryout that the Houston Rockets were conducting in Sugar Land, so they went. After playing there for a while, he caught the eye of coach Rudy Tomjonovich, who came over to him, and offered him a position on the team.

He would play for the Rockets for 2 years, and a total of 10 years in the NBA for other teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers.

He emphasized his commitment to the North Shore neighborhood, having grown up there and in the Crosby area. His family was originally from Pine Trails, in East Texas, and Mont Belvieu where his father worked for Gulf Oil.

In 2009 he became a member of the Galena Park Rotary, and was elected to the Galena Park school board, where he was recently made president.

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