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North Channel Star

Harris County opens on-line Vaccine registration

Harris County Public Health Nurse administers a vaccination last week at the Pct. 2 Northeast Community Center.

HOUSTON — Starting on Tuesday, January 26th, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) will launch a new COVID-19 Vaccination Portal for residents who meet the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) criteria for receiving a vaccine. The portal will allow individuals to be placed on a waitlist and contacted once vaccines and appointments are available. The waitlist will be available via the vaccine information link on ReadyHarris.org and https://vacstrac.hctx.net starting no later than Tuesday afternoon. Eligible residents without internet access can also call (832) 927-8787 once the portal is live to be placed on the waitlist.

Harris County’s new “Smart Waitlist” system will not use a first-come, first-served process for allocating vaccines. In order to ensure fair access for elderly residents, working families, and vulnerable populations, registrants on the waitlist will instead be selected through a prioritization and randomization process in accordance with state guidelines. Only individuals who fall under the DSHS Phase 1A and 1B category will be eligible to receive the vaccine at this stage. Those who are not qualified to receive the vaccine under 1A or 1B will still be able to be placed on the waitlist but will not be contacted to schedule an appointment until the State of Texas expands eligibility beyond 1A and 1B, likely not until the Spring or Summer.

Priority phases:

Jacinto City’s Finest – Lt. Walker and Dispatcher Solis

Jacinto City’s Lieutenant Dennis Walker and Communications Specialist Leslie Solis. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – January 26, 2021 – It will soon be eight years since the day (March 20, 2013) when Jacinto City’s Lieutenant Dennis Walker was critically wounded while backing-up another officer, Sgt. J. Simpson-Castaneda, who had been dispatched to investigate a family disturbance call with a family member threatening them with a gun.

When Sgt. Castaneda entered the house, the deranged gunman opened fire, the bullet striking her and knocking her to the floor. Lt. Walker heard the gunshots as he arrived and without hesitation ran into the house where the gunman was about to shoot the wounded officer again. Walker got the gunman’s attention away from the wounded officer, preventing her death. The gunman and Walker exchanged shots, and the gunman fled for cover to the bathroom, but not before Walker received multiple gunshots to the chest. The suspect later surrendered and was subsequently sentenced to prison.

Texas proposes $119.7B yearly budget, down 3%

TEXAS STATE CAPITOL, AUSTIN

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan today released the following statement on the House’s base budget for the 2022-2023 biennium:

“The Texas House’s base budget prioritizes the needs of Texans during this consequential moment in our state’s history and advances the Legislature’s commitment to the historic public education and school finance and property tax reforms passed last session. The decisions we make during the 87th legislative session will have lasting effects on the future of our state, which is why the House will work to improve our business climate, foster economic prosperity, and do what’s right for our students. I am grateful to the Members of the House Appropriations Committee and the hardworking committee staff for their efforts throughout this process.”

The House base budget recommendations for FY 2022-23 appropriate $119.7 billion in general revenue, a decrease of three (3) percent adjusted for population and inflation. The House budget recommendations are $3.2 billion below the spending limit of 7.06 percent adopted by the Legislative Budget Board in November 2020, and maintain a majority of the five (5) percent reductions identified by state agencies in 2020.

Significant provisions of House base budget recommendations include the following:

Pandemic slows progress on new PO/TBA plant

Large red cranes loom over LyondellBasell’s Channelview site as installation of the company’s propylene oxide, tertiary butyl alcohol plant’s largest pieces of equipment, such as this 25-story-tall, 601-ton distillation tower are being installed. Once in operation, the PO/TBA plant will be the largest of its kind in the world.

By Jada Mier

CHANNELVIEW – The LyondellBasell Plant hosted their Annual CAPLE State of the Plant last Thursday night, January 21, where community members, plant leaders, and media representatives discussed how the plant has held up in the midst of the pandemic. The meeting was moderated by Anne Gowan.

Plant Manager Chris Cain opened up the night explaining that 2020 has been a “challenging year.” In spite of the challenges though, Cain said, “I’m proud of how our plant, company, and people have dealt with the pandemic and still making sure that our plant is safe and successful.”

There was an update on the new PO/ TBA plant expansion project. Site Integration Manager Dean Hoffman gave a detailed status update. The new PO/TBA plant will be the world’s largest. Hoffman said that in April, due to COVID-19, the number of people working construction on the project decreased from approximately 1,600 contractors to 200 contractors per day. In late May and early June, LyondellBasell (LYB) began to increase the number of construction workers to pre-COVID-19 numbers. The project will peak in mid-2020 with approximately 1900 contractors. The new plant will be completed in December 2022.

Channelview board votes not to extend Superintendent Greg Ollis’ contract

GREG OLLIS, CHANNELVIEW ISD SUPERINTENDENT

CHANNELVIEW – The Channelview ISD school board voted at their regular meeting last Tuesday night, not to extend the contract with the current school superintendent, Greg Ollis, when it expires in February 2023. It is not known whether they will decide to terminate it any earlier than that period.

The vote was 5 not to extend the contract, and 2 for extending it. Against the extension were Trustees Patrick Lacy, board president, Raquel Dobbins, Shumana Collins, Hector Martinez, and Frank Bryant. In favor of extending the contract were Alex Ybarra and Kent Wilson.

The move for termination was extremely unpopular in the community and on social media, with 29 persons speaking at the meeting, most of them against the motion.

Trustees that voted not to extend indicated that they “wanted a new direction” and a new superintendent. There was some discussion about whether the students were getting an adequate education, with Trustee Collins stating that 60% of the students tested as illiterate. However, the TEA rates the district as a B, indicating adequate performance, and the latest evaluation of Ollis’ performance rated him at 3.34, above average for the state.

Murder victim found in Highlands Canal

The Victim and his car are pulled from the canal on Jones Road at
Thompson last Thursday afternoon. Authorities searched for two days
for the car, which was under water. A confession from Fransha Brooks to
the shooting led to the discovery of the car and the body inside.

NORTH SHORE WOMAN CONFESSES

NORTH SHORE – Tuesday, January 12, at 7:30 a.m. Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 12,000 block of Woodforest Blvd. concerning a Missing Person. A woman told them that her boyfriend, Jonathan Tisby, gave a mutual friend a ride, Monday night. Then she described a telephone call from her boyfriend at close to 3:45 a.m. that morning, in which she heard an argument in the background. Suddenly, her boyfriend’s cellphone disconnected. She stated that she was unable to re-establish contact with her boyfriend.

Jonathan Tisby was driving a white, sedan, Buick LaCrosse with paper license plates, at the time of his disappearance.

At approximately 3:45 p.m. afternoon, Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a call at an apartment complex off of Normandy and Woodforest. The caller advised the 911 Operator that she was involved in a Murder on Monday night, and she shot a male driving a white Buick. When Deputies arrived at the apartment complex, she provided additional information and stated she shot the male multiple times and drove the car, with the male inside it, into a canal near Jones Road and Thompson Road, in the McNair area.

North Shore Rotary supports Sheldon FFA at livestock show

These 4 banners represent the purchases that the Rotary Club made in support of the Sheldon FFA students.

SHELDON – The North Shore Rotary Club is committed to supporting community youth. Last Saturday at the Sheldon FFA Auction we were successful bidders for 1) Grand Champion Swine 2) Reserve Grand Champion Swine 3) Fourth Place Swine 4) partnered with Rotary members Dr. Don and Dana Nino to buy the Reserve Grand Champion Steer.

The Reserve Grand Champion Steer was purchased by the North Shore Rotary Club with Dr. Don and Dana Nino. (TJ JOHNSON PHOTO)

Club President Lowell Everitt stated that these animals will be processed and become prize packages in the Annual Rotary fundraiser to be held on May 15, 2021.

Westlake Chaparrals end Mustangs playoff run 24-21

By Allan Jamail

Katy, TX. – Saturday, January 9, 2021, at Katy’s Legacy Stadium, the North Shore Mustangs (Eastside Boys) were eliminated in the Class 6A Division l State Semifinal football game by Austin Westlake Chaparrals, 24-21.

The Chaparrals took the game’s opening kickoff, and after getting stopped on the 41 yard line, they kicked a 41 yard field goal for the game’s first score, to take the lead 3 – 0.

The Mustangs took the ensuing kickoff, and in their opening drive, Mustangs junior running back Xavier Owens fumbled the ball, giving it back to Westlake on the Mustangs 14 yard line. With only 5 minutes into the game, Chaparrals quarterback Cade Klubnik threw a touchdown (TD) pass, giving them a 10 – 0 lead.

Local legislators safe after Capitol Riot

Rioters broke into the Capitol building while a joint session of Congress was taking place, to certify Joe Biden as president elect. Congresspersons and others in the room took shelter behind the seats, before they were evacuated to a safe room away from the intruders. ABOVE, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee crouches behind the seats, until she can make her way to safety

Trump blamed; SJLee, AGreen seek impeachment

WASHINGTON, DC – Congress was in joint session last Wednesday, meeting to certify the Electoral College votes from state electors for the president and vice-president. Shortly after the session started, a large crowd of about 8,000 persons left a rally near the White House where President Trump was speaking, and assembled at the Capitol, breaking through barriers and storming into the building.

What followed was a deadly riot, where Congress members had to be taken to safe locations away from the destruction and assault of the mob of demonstrators. Our legislators, including Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, and Al Green, were just some of the local representatives that were led to safety.

These supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a protest aimed at thwarting the vote on certification of the electors and their votes, with the aim of stopping the peaceful transfer of power to the new administration.

87th Texas Legislature convenes this week

TEXAS STATE CAPITOL, AUSTIN

New House speaker lays out challenges

The 87th session of the Texas Legislature opened Tuesday with COVID-19 encompassing every aspect of what the lawmakers do, according to new House Speaker Dade Phelan.

“COVID, obviously, it will be a blanket over the entire session,” Phelan told his hometown TV station, KFDM Channel 6, in Beaumont. “We will deal with it in every aspect of policy. It will be a huge determining factor in the budget.

Before the pandemic hit, Phelan said, legislators “were supposed to come into this budget cycle with a surplus, and now we’re coming into it with a deficit …” Money will be even tighter for the next two-year budget lawmakers write during the session, he said.

“The No. 1 goal is to get the economy back on track,” Phelan said.

For opening day, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth and chair of the administration committee, laid out safety protocols for lawmakers and visitors to follow at the Capitol, which recently reopened after closing in March because of the pandemic. The opening ceremony was scheduled to be shorter than usual to reduce time spent gathering.

“It’s always been difficult to be speaker. It’s never been easy, but going into this session, the 87th, given the budget deficit, redistricting, and the fact that we have the first pandemic in 102 years in which to operate, I’m exceptionally proud they’ve given me this honor,” Phelan said of the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers that voted for him to be the new speaker.

Phelan, a Republican, stressed the bipartisan spirit of Texas and cited how well former Gov. George W. Bush worked with Democratic Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock during their time serving together at the Capitol.

“That is the Texas model. We’ve always worked that way,” Phelan said. “If you’re sitting at the speaker’s dais and you’re looking at all the chairs in the House chamber, there is no left side or right side, red, blue, like there is in Washington, D.C. We all sit amongst each other.”

Lawmakers are scheduled to be in session until May 31.

North Shore Scarlets Dance Team performs

The 2020~2021 North Shore Senior High School Scarlets Dance Team. Director Mrs. Audra E. Taylor & Assistant Director Ms. Angela Upshaw. (Allan Jamail Photo)

By Allan Jamail

January 12, 2021 – “Once a Scarlet, Always a Scarlet” is the motto of the Scarlets. The GPISD Scarlets is a dance team that perform at functions like varsity football and basketball games, pep rallies, community events and contest in the state. The Scarlets are composed of students from the 10th, 11th, and 12 grades of North Shore Senior High, with a junior varsity dance team called the Reserves, which is composed of the 9th graders.

The Scarlets have a Booster Club which supporters, fans and citizens can join for $8 a year. As a member of the booster club, you’ll receive information on upcoming Scarlet events and be invited to vote on fundraisers which is how they earn money to help offset costs or various items throughout the school year.