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North Channel Star

Early voting breaks records

More than 700,000 Harris County voters cast ballots

By Chris Valdez

Harris County residents are voting at a record-setting pace this year, a clear indication that Texas voters are excited and enthusiastic about making their voices heard at the ballot box. Joint efforts by civic organizations like members of Houston in Action in partnership with local officials to expand voter registration, education and equitable access helped ensure Harris County’s election infrastructure was prepared to handle the enormous turnout.

Top-line numbers:

  • Overall, 719,840 Harris County residents have voted during the first full week of early voting – a 27% increase over the first full week of early voting in 2016, in which 566,741 Texans in Harris County voted early.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 registered voters in Harris County (29%) have already voted.
  • More than 100,000 Texans voted early in person in Harris County each of the first four days of early voting.
  • On just the first day of early voting in Harris County, 128,106 residents voted in person. The previous first-day record was 67,471 votes, set in 2016.
  • That means this year’s first day of in-person voting nearly doubled 2016’s first-day numbers.
  • Thanks in large part to the record-setting pace of Harris County, Texas leads the nation in the number of people who have voted early – over 4.6 million – and in the percentage of its 2016 vote total that has already voted (51%).

More ballots were cast in the first full week of early voting in Harris County than in all of 2014.
“Voters in Harris County are fired up and ready to vote this election season,” said Frances Valdez, of Houston in Action. “This enormous and palpable enthusiasm on the ground is a testament to the months-long efforts of, community leaders, people like members of Houston in Action, and local elected officials that are working tirelessly to ensure Harris County residents have all the information and resources needed to make their voices heard. This week’s record-breaking turnout numbers are a reflection of that painstaking work.”

Channelview Clean-up set for Saturday, October 24

By Carolyn Stone

Please come out and join us, we will be conducting our second Channelview Community Cleanup this upcoming Saturday 10/24/20 from 7:30 – 11:00 am. We kickstarted Channelview’s cleanup last month on 09/19/20 by removing trash from the roadside and medians of the south end of Sheldon Road from Market St. to I-10. and trimming the plantings and the curbsides of the Sheldon Rd. median at Lorenzo St.

This effort was a major improvement and our clean-up effort did not go unnoticed. On 09/24/20 Cindy Miller, Harris County Pct. 2 Community Liaison, shared a communication with C.H.I.C. from Jose Jimenez, Pct. 2 Director – Neighborhood Services & Economic Opportunity:

“We will begin cleaning Channelview esplanades on Oct. 6th with Gradall. Tree limbs will be picked up tomorrow. Next week we are using all dump trucks to haul ditching spoils from IT May to James Driver. Cindy, please let the local constituents know they have been heard! More to come.”

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Early Voting Oct. 13 thru 30

Election Day is November 3rd

Early voting started Tuesday, Oct. 13 in Harris County, and will continue through Friday, Oct. 30. Election Day is November 3rd. Voters can go to any polling location, which can be located at www.harris votes.com. This year you will not be able to vote a straight ticket, so it will take longer to choose each candidate by name.

Important races include President Trump versus his challenger Joe Biden. Also Texas Senator John Cornyn is running against MJ Hegar, a war-wounded veteran.

U. S. Representatives that face challengers include Dan Crenshaw, Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, and Brian Babin. All of these represent some part of local districts.

In state races, incumbents Dan Huberty and Briscoe Cain face challengers. Armando Walle, Senfronia Thompson, and Ana Hernandez are running unopposed in their districts.

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Mayor’s Race highlights local election

Three campaign to be Galena Park mayor

GALENA PARK – One incumbent and two challengers are running to be the next mayor of Galena Park. The candidates are Maria (Rodriguez) Cortez-Ochoa, Barry Ponder, and incumbent mayor Esmeralda Moya. (See page 6 for Position Statements and Qualifications for each of these candidates.)

Also on the ballot are three Galena Park Commissioners. For Position 1, Mark Groba and Paul Winfield are running against the imcumbent Zenaida Granados. For Position 3, Incumbent Veronica Garcia is running against Martha Perez. And for Position 4, Robert Moya is running against Maricela Serna. Running unopposed for Position 2 is Mary Robles.

In the Galena Park school trustee election, voters will be asked to choose for Position 5 between Ken Wimbley, Herbert Alexander Sanchez, or Trent Johnson. For Position 6, they must choose between Noe Esparza or Kristina Zatopek. Running unopposed for Position 7 is Norma Hernandez.

For State Representative, District 143, Ana Hernandez is running unopposed. In District 144 Mary Ann Perez is challenged by Tony Salas.

For State Senator, District 6, incumbent Carol Alvarado is running against Timothy Duffield.

Two Constable races have received a great deal of attention. In Constable Precinct 2, to replace Chris Diaz two candidates are running, either Daniel Vela or Jerry Garcia. In Precinct 3, incumbent Sherman Eagleton is opposed by Andre Hines.

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Voter Registration Drive held in Jacinto City

As voter registration deadline nears, first time to-be voter Roxanne Morales of Jacinto City steps up to register for the November 3rd. Presidential Election. L-R: New Voter Roxanne Morales, State Representative Ana Hernandez, Community Liaison & Harris County Deputy Registrar Linda Jamail, Deputy Registrars Katherine Summerlin, Robyn Rothman and Joy Kaplan from the Houston League of Women Voters. Also present Maria Delgado, Chief of Staff. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Your Vote Is Your Voice! Su Voto Es Su Voz!

By Allan Jamail

Saturday, October 3, 2020 – Jacinto City, Texas – Volunteers of State Representative Ana Hernandez’s office and Houston’s League of Women Voters conducted a non-partisan Drive-Thru and Walk-Up voter registration drive.

Using the city hall parking lot on Mercury Drive Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars (VDVR) waved signs at passing motorists getting them to come register to vote. The event was part of a larger regional registration drive sponsored by the East Harris County Empowerment Council with Crystal Mendez, Community Engagement Coordinator organizing it (https:// ehcec.org).

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GP Yellowjackets sting Caney Creek Panthers 34 – 20

Galena Park’s senior running back #2 River Medina scored first on a 68 yard pass from quarterback Gabriel Pagan. (All photos by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park ISD Stadium Houston, TX – Friday night the 5A-2 Region III District 11 Galena Park Yellowjackets defeated Conroe’s Caney Creek Panthers 34 to 20 in a non-conference game.

Spiro Amarantos, Head Football Coach/Athletic Coordinator from the start of the game to the end had his Jackets buzzing on all over the Panthers. His offense, defense and special teams out performed the Panthers in all categories of the game.

The Jackets had so many offensive weapons the Panthers didn’t know who would strike next for a touchdown. The Jackets scored 5 TD’s and in every quarter, racking up nearly 300 yards.

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Judge ends Arkema trial with no convictions

August 25, until September 2, 2017 Hurricane Harvey brought a historic deluge, flooding knocked out power and refrigeration units were lost. Organic peroxides blazed after all cooling methods failed.As warned by company executives at a press briefing at Crosby Volunteer Fire Department Station Two in Newport, trailers containing chemicals that become volatile at normal temperatures explode outside a warehouse at Arkema Chemical Crosby. About 200 locals were evacuated and 21 first responders were treated at local hospitals.

By Lewis Spearman

HOUSTON – On October 1, Arkema SA and executives were acquitted of criminal charges related to events that followed Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Arkema executives were charged with the crime of felony assault related to failure to provide adequate emergency response information related to first responders entering into a location with toxic fumes. The company was earlier similarly indicted for failure to assess risks.

Although the acquittal bears directly on the responsibility of the company it does not necessarily end the lawsuits related to the incidents.

The same judge found that prosecutors had committed unintentional misconduct.

A 2018 US Chemical Safety Board final report indicated that Arkema had not considered flooding a “credible risk” although it is within the flooding plain and that agency urged better preparation for extreme weather.

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BATTLE OF CHAMPIONS & VIRUS: North Shore Mustangs 38, Shadow Creek Sharks 21

First Score of the 2020 season was made on a 15 yard run by #24 Mustang running back senior Brannon Davis with the help of (photo right) Jhalyn Bailey #6 pushing Shark player away and (photo left) and #76 Tyler Edwards putting two Sharks on the turf. (Photos by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Friday, September 25, 2020 at the Galena Park ISD stadium, the 2019 defending 6A Region III District 21 state champion North Shore (NS) Mustangs (38) clashed with the 2019 defending state champion 5A Shadow Creek Sharks (21). Shadow Creek High School is located in Pearland, and in the Alvin school district. This year the Sharks moved up to 6A Region III District 23.

Due to the deadly Covid 19 virus and the need to social distance 6 feet apart, the game was played before a half capacity crowd. Spectators were required to wear face masks, which muffled their cheering; that took the crowd noise out of the game.

The officials of the two school districts decided not to allow cheerleaders and halftime bands to perform, so as to eliminate those students from passing the virus to one another. Many high schools have canceled their football season altogether due to the virus threat.

The U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 can spread through the air. Texas is one of the leading states in the nation with contagious coronavirus cases.

In this most highly anticipated high school game of the season, the battle of champions was considered the nation’s high school highlight to kickoff the football season. It pitted the state’s number one rated Mustang quarterback, Demetrius Davis against the number two rated quarterback, Sharks’ Kyron Jones.

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Garcia proposes County tax cut

HARRIS COUNTY – Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia proposed this week a motion to cut Harris County property tax rates. The motion was approved by Commissioners Court unanimously. The Garcia plan proposes a rate that will save taxpayers 1.3 cents per $100 of assessed value on their homes. The plan not only saves taxpayers money, it also still funds crucial priorities such as Flood Control and Harris Health.

“This will be our first consecutive tax reduction in at least ten years, and I’m proud to have proposed the motion to put us on a path toward a rate cut. As we all deal with a pandemic and economic crisis, my hope is that property tax relief will help our neighbors who are struggling. At the same time, essential county services must remain a priority — to both support the local economy, as well as to keep us prepared for any future challenges. (more…)

Legacy Health Clinics open in two Galena Park schools

Pictured (left to right): Mr. Kenneth Bryant, principal of North Shore 10th Grade Center, Dr. Angi Williams, Retired GPISD Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Moore, Superintendent of Schools, and Dr. Wiley Johnson, Deputy Principal of North Shore Senior High School

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Galena Park I.S.D. (GPISD) hosted the Legacy Community Clinic Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House at North Shore Senior High School and Green Valley Elementary School.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was hosted by the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. John Moore, Galena Park I.S.D. Superintendent of Schools, was joined by Dr. Angi Williams, retired GPISD Superintendent of Schools, the Galena Park I.S.D. Board of Trustees, Senator Carol Alvarado, Legacy Community Health personnel, and the principals of Green Valley Elementary, North Shore 10th Grade Center and North Shore Senior High School to cut the ribbon.

Legacy Community Health (Legacy) is the largest federally qualified health center in Texas and a first-of-its-kind in our District with a clinic inside Green Valley Elementary School and North Shore Senior High School for students and their siblings to visit. Legacy is committed to providing access to affordable, high quality healthcare for children by providing a variety of pediatric and behavioral health services. The clinics have telemedicine options for students with special accommodations for in-person visits or on an as-needed basis.

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THREE NEW DRONES: Jacinto City’s Eyes in the Sky

ABOVE: A flying drone plane took this photo 150 feet up in the air of the two communication workers (center of photo) removing the obsolete equipment from the water tower. Workers used the crane’s hook and cable to take the equipment off the towers handrail and lower it to the ground. (Photo by Lt. Mark Longrigg, Jacinto City Police Drone Operator)

By Allan Jamail

September 21, 2020 – Jacinto City’s newest budget has provided for acquiring three drone planes to improve city services and to make it safer for emergency personnel.

City Manager Lon Squyres said the city’s police, fire and emergency management departments each has one. The drones have speakers, night lights as well as infra red night vision cameras, costing about $4,500 each.

Lt. Mark Longrigg one of the police department’s drone operators said, “These drones are and will be used for many purposes, such as assisting us in locating lost children, elderly and etc. Ariel surveillance to locate suspects, suspect vehicles, etc. We’ll use them to access locations that might be inaccessible to patrol vehicles and personnel.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restrictions on where drones can and cannot fly, rules regarding air space use and they cannot be flown over 400 feet high.

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