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Rotary Clubs attend city-wide All-Club Meeting

HIGHLANDS ROTARY CLUB was well represented at the Rotary District 5890 All-Club Banquet, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom at Reliant Center. Attending in the photo were Denise and Jerry Smith, Andy and Tricia Scott, Raymond Gonzalez, Weston Cotten, and Gilbert and Mei (let me take the picture) Hoffman. They were joined by an outgoing exchange student from Willowridge HS, who will spend the summer in Brazil as a Rotary ambassador.
HIGHLANDS ROTARY CLUB was well represented at the Rotary District 5890 All-Club Banquet, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom at Reliant Center. Attending in the photo were Denise and Jerry Smith, Andy and Tricia Scott, Raymond Gonzalez, Weston Cotten, and Gilbert and Mei (let me take the picture) Hoffman. They were joined by an outgoing exchange student from Willowridge HS, who will spend the summer in Brazil as a Rotary ambassador.
HIGHLANDS ROTARY CLUB was well represented at the Rotary District 5890 All-Club Banquet, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom at Reliant Center. Attending in the photo were Denise and Jerry Smith, Andy and Tricia Scott, Raymond Gonzalez, Weston Cotten, and Gilbert and Mei (let me take the picture) Hoffman. They were joined by an outgoing exchange student from Willowridge HS, who will spend the summer in Brazil as a Rotary ambassador.
HIGHLANDS ROTARY CLUB was well represented at the Rotary District 5890 All-Club Banquet, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom at Reliant Center. Attending in the photo were Denise and Jerry Smith, Andy and Tricia Scott, Raymond Gonzalez, Weston Cotten, and Gilbert and Mei (let me take the picture) Hoffman. They were joined by an outgoing exchange student from Willowridge HS, who will spend the summer in Brazil as a Rotary ambassador.
HIGHLANDS ROTARY CLUB was well represented at the Rotary District 5890 All-Club Banquet, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom at Reliant Center. Attending in the photo were Denise and Jerry Smith, Andy and Tricia Scott, Raymond Gonzalez, Weston Cotten, and Gilbert and Mei (let me take the picture) Hoffman. They were joined by an outgoing exchange student from Willowridge HS, who will spend the summer in Brazil as a Rotary ambassador.
HIGHLANDS ROTARY CLUB was well represented at the Rotary District 5890 All-Club Banquet, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel ballroom at Reliant Center. Attending in the photo were Denise and Jerry Smith, Andy and Tricia Scott, Raymond Gonzalez, Weston Cotten, and Gilbert and Mei (let me take the picture) Hoffman. They were joined by an outgoing exchange student from Willowridge HS, who will spend the summer in Brazil as a Rotary ambassador.

County Attorney sues Channelview truck stop

Truck Stop

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has filed suit against the owner and operator of a Channelview truck stop claiming it is a public nuisance because of criminal activity such as prostitution and robbery. Ryan is asking a court to order that the Key Truck Stop, located at 17124 I-10 East, take action to stop the criminal activity that has taken place at that location for years.

“Since January of 2010, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department has handled multiple criminal cases at the Key Truck Stop including prostitution, robbery, aggravated assault, and drug offenses,” said County Attorney Ryan. “The defendants are aware of these crimes yet have done nothing to stop them. It will obviously take legal action for them to do the right thing for this community.”

The defendants are Desai Pratap, owner of the property, and Channelview Enterprises, Inc., operator of the truck stop.

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Sheriff apprehends suspect in Highlands murder

BREAKING NEWS:

HCSO homicide investigators have charged Ethan Drake, 21, with capital murder in the Dec. 13, 2013 stabbing death of Caroline Stagner, 72, at her home at 810 Clear Lake Road in Highlands.

Her body was discovered that day, when Highlands Fire Department responded to a fire at the house.

Legends of San Jacinto Baseball returned for special weekend event

LEGENDS GROUP photo cutline: A highlight from this past weekend’s Tournament of Champions at San Jacinto College was the Legends Ceremony, during which former San Jacinto College players who went on to play professionally, as well as those who excelled as college players, were honored for their contributions to the San Jac baseball program. Shown at the ceremony, from left (front row): Ruth Keenan, San Jacinto College Foundation executive director; Head Baseball Coach Tom Arrington; Dan Mims, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees chairman; and San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer; (second row): Carey Nelson; Ali Gator (team mascot); Rocky Luetge (representing his son Lucas Luetge); David Rollins; Jesse Crain; Russell Revere; Ryan Jorgensen); Tommy Collier; Brandon Hicks; Andy Pettitte; Tanner Hines; Collin Lippert; Brandon Belt; Justin O’Bannon; Matt Albers; Daniel Stumpf; Robert Manuel; Matt Headly; Jarred Wells; Chris Kelley; assistant coaches Kory Koehler, DJ Wilson, and Jimmy Durham. The San Jacinto College 2014 baseball team is shown on the field behind the group. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.
LEGENDS GROUP photo cutline: A highlight from this past weekend’s Tournament of Champions at San Jacinto College was the Legends Ceremony, during which former San Jacinto College players who went on to play professionally, as well as those who excelled as college players, were honored for their contributions to the San Jac baseball program. Shown at the ceremony, from left (front row): Ruth Keenan, San Jacinto College Foundation executive director; Head Baseball Coach Tom Arrington; Dan Mims, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees chairman; and San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer; (second row): Carey Nelson; Ali Gator (team mascot); Rocky Luetge (representing his son Lucas Luetge); David Rollins; Jesse Crain; Russell Revere; Ryan Jorgensen); Tommy Collier; Brandon Hicks; Andy Pettitte; Tanner Hines; Collin Lippert; Brandon Belt; Justin O’Bannon; Matt Albers; Daniel Stumpf; Robert Manuel; Matt Headly; Jarred Wells; Chris Kelley; assistant coaches Kory Koehler, DJ Wilson, and Jimmy Durham. The San Jacinto College 2014 baseball team is shown on the field behind the group. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

MLB stars, former players honored by San Jacinto College

HOUSTON – San Jacinto College’s season record stands at 5-3 after going 22 in the Tournament of Champions Feb. 7 through Feb. 9, played at John Ray Harrison Field on the North Campus. In the tournament, San Jacinto College played non-conference games against Eastern Oklahoma State College, Grayson College, and Howard College.

A highlight of the tournament was the Legends Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7, during which former San Jacinto College baseball players were recognized for their contributions. Professionals and former professional players who attended included Andy Pettitte (New York Yankees-retired), Brandon Belt (San Francisco Giants), Matt Albers (Houston Astros), Jesse Crain (Houston Astros), Ryan Jorgensen (Florida Marlins-retired), Jared Wells (San Diego Padres), Robert Manuel (Cincinnati Reds-retired), Brandon Hicks (San Francisco Giants), and Lucas Luetge (Seattle Mariners, who was represented by his father Rocky Luetge).

Legends players that returned for the ceremonies included NY Yankees retired Pitcher Andy Pettitte.
Legends players that returned for the ceremonies included NY Yankees retired Pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte, who grew up in Deer Park and returned to live in Deer Park after retirement, was glad to revisit the College that proved to be the launch site for his remarkable career in Major League Baseball. “It’s good to see the guys that played here and it’s great to be out here and try to support the organization as much as I can,” commented Pettitte, whose 19 post-season wins is the most of any pitcher in MLB history.

San Jacinto College Head Baseball Coach Tom Arrington gave a warm welcome to the former student-athletes, who were presented gifts of appreciation from San Jacinto College. “The College’s baseball program has a lengthy tradition of excellence,” commented Arrington, who is now in his 13th season at the helm of the program. “We are proud of all the players that have contributed to the success of San Jacinto College baseball. The Legends ceremony was special in that it allowed many former players to get together and reminisce about the good times they shared at San Jac.”

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OBAMACARE: Sebelius in Houston to promote ACA sign-ups

GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES (left to right) Rep. Gene Green, Rep. Al Green, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES (left to right) Rep. Gene Green, Rep. Al Green, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

(Houston, TX) — On Friday, December 20, 2013, Rep. Al Green (TX-09) joined Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Reps. Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as enrollees in the Health Insurance Marketplaces at the Magnolia Multi-Service Center for a discussion and press conference on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“The Affordable Care Act is working. It’s working for senior citizens by closing the doughnut hole, which requires them to pay more for pharmaceuticals, it’s working for persons under 26 years of age by allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance policies, and it’s working for young people with preexisting conditions by allowing them to get insurance coverage,” Congressman Al Green said. “Next year, it will work even better when persons young and old with preexisting conditions will have the opportunity to get insurance coverage and many persons will have their coverage subsidized to some extent. Better coverage at less cost for more Americans that’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.”

COMMUNITY PROFILE: Silver Plating specialist at Pineforest Jewelry

JONI McMAHAN of Bron-Shoe Company (at right) and Jim Mills of Pineforest Jewelry help a customer order silver restoration on a beautiful set of silver urns, seen on the table.
JONI McMAHAN of Bron-Shoe Company (at right) and Jim Mills of Pineforest Jewelry help a customer order silver restoration on a beautiful set of silver urns, seen on the table.

Joni McMahan is spending the day last Tuesday at Pineforest Jewelry in North Shore, helping customers evaluate their silver settings and order repair and restoration work from her company. Joni works for Bron-Shoe, one of the few remaining silver repair businesses in the United States. They have a 40,000 sq. ft. plant in Columbus, Ohio and 30 employees busy with their special restoration skills.

Joni travels all over the country, year-round, meeting customers and explaining the special processes that BronShoe has used since their founding in 1934.

Before she entered the world of silver restoration, in her home town, she was a real estate sales manager, over 30 employees, in Sarasota, Florida. She won several awards for this work, and laughs at the fact that the last award she received was bestowed on her in Houston. She explains that her family was in Columbus, and eventually she returned there.

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Development of Greens Bayou Corridor includes new Foster Park

Chamber hears of new canoe & kayak launch

Jill BoullionThe Greens Bayou Corridor is a 45 mile long stretch of potentially beautiful natural parks and recreation facilities, and flood control protection for the future, according to the Chamber’s February luncheon speaker, Jill Boullion, Executive Director of the GBCC.

Boullion said the length of the bayou is divided into four sections, and the South section runs from US90 to the Buffalo Bayou through the North Shore area. It serves a watershed of 212 sq. miles, with over 550,000 people living and depending upon it.

The Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition came about after the bad flooding of Tropical Storm Alison in June 2001, when a group of people including the Harris County Flood Control District decided a coordinated effort was needed to avoid future flooding, and at the same time develop the land along the bayou.

The mission of the GBCC is flood remediation, development of recreation facilities, economic development, and improvement in quality of life.

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Channelview ISD attendance and graduation rates gain

attendance graduation ratesGraduation, attendance and academic achievement rates in the Channelview Independent School District are at exemplary levels, according to results from the Texas Academic Performance Report.

The graduation rate of Channelview High School students topped 91.1 percent, which is above the state average of 87.7 percent. District attendance rates also stood out at 96.8 percent, ahead of the state totals of 95.9 percent. As further evidence of the district’s efforts to keep students in school, Channelview’s dropout rate averaged 1.7 percent, as compared to the state average of 2.4 percent.

News of the high attendance and graduation rates shared the spotlight with the district’s academic success as students achieved the Texas Education Agency’s highest rating of “Met Standard” on the State of Texas Assessments for Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests.

Over the past seven years, Channelview’s academic progress has shown an upward trend. During the final two years of the previous state accountability system, CISD was rated as a Texas Recognized District. In that time, attendance rates also continued to improve.

“Our teachers are finding innovative ways to reach our students and it is obviously showing in terms of student achievement and attendance,” said Greg Ollis, Channelview ISD superintendent. “The constant improvement shows that students are extremely engaged in what they are learning which gives them a sense of enthusiasm about coming to school.”

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Marathon Woman, June Harris

JUNE HARRIS, center, receives an award as the Chamber Foundation president, at the North Channel Chamber Gala on Jan. 25.
JUNE HARRIS, center, receives an award as the Chamber Foundation president, at the North Channel Chamber Gala on Jan. 25.

June Harris doesn’t know when to quit. I met her for the first time at the Chamber Veterans Day EXPO, and she had just run the New York Marathon race. But this was her third try, and the only successful one. In 2011 she went to New York to run, but became sick and couldn’t compete. So she went back in 2012, and then Hurricane Sandy hit, and the race was cancelled. So in 2013, she tried once again, and suceeded with a time of 4:53:46.

Harris is a devoted runner, having competed in 32 marathons and 6 ultras. This year she also ran the Houston Marathon for the 15th time, receiving a commemorative shirt for the accomplishment.

Harris started running marathons in 1999 in Houston, but has also run in Washington DC in the Marine Corps run 6 times, and last year ran in a marathon in Paris. Prior to 1999 she only ran 10K runs.

Her time this year in the Houston marathon was 4:56 and she noted that was not nearly as good as her best time, 4:37 several years ago.

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Woman strangled by boyfriend

Jerry Fain charged with murder for strangling his girlfriend.
Jerry Fain charged with murder for strangling his girlfriend.

A man is accused of strangling his girlfriend, who was found dead in her Channelview home.

On Wednesday morning, February 5, deputies responded to a report of a death at 15425 North Brentwood in east Harris County. Upon their arrival they found the body of April Cobb inside the residence.

Cobb’s three daughters awoke to finds signs of a struggle and Cobb’s body lying on the floor. Deputies say the mother of three had been strangled to death.

Her boyfriend, Jerry Fain, is now charged with the murder. Deputies did not reveal any information about Fain’s arrest.

Fain is being held in the Harris County Jail without bond.

Friends say they are planning to hold a benefit on Feb. 15 to aid the Cobb family at Joe Koolz Rock’n Country Saloon in Crosby.

CISD receives high ratings for fiscal responsibility

The Channelview Independent School District’s commitment to continued academic progress and cost-effective operations earned high ratings as part of the Texas Comptrollers’ Office (FAST) Financial Allocation Study for Texas report.

Channelview ISD received 4.5 stars out of five under the ratings system. Each district and campus is assigned a FAST rating of one to five stars, indicating its success in combining costeffective spending with the achievement of measurable student academic progress. The FAST study examines both academic progress and spending at Texas’ school districts and individual school campuses.

“I am extremely proud of the academic progress of our students,” said Greg Ollis, Channelview ISD superintendent. “The academic achievement in our district continues to increase despite the funding challenges facing the district and similar districts in our area and across the state.”

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