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North Channel Star

Channelview HS Band shows resilience one year after bus crash

CHS band students show resilience one year after the bus crash.

The Band program at Channelview High School is preparing for the upcoming UIL band evaluation. This year’s preparation looks very different from one year ago. March 13, 2019, marks the 1 year anniversary of the band’s bus accident as they returned from their trip to Disney World in Florida. A total of 46 students, teachers, and parents were on the bus when it crashed 38 feet below the roadway in Loxley, Alabama. Many of those students and their director were seriously injured in the bus accident. As students began to heal, they would return to school and start working on UIL band evaluation. Their motto has always been “once a band kid, always a band kid.”

Band Director Aaron Allison remained in the hospital as one of the most severely injured. It would be months before he returned to school. However, his injuries did not stop him from attending the bands UIL evaluation last year; wheelchair, casts and all! Mr. Allison was determined to support his students who worked so hard to show him they would never give up. CHS band students never gave up! They proudly earned the most coveted “sweepstakes” rating that all band programs hope to receive. This year the band still hopes to get sweepstakes, but the students are able to work towards achieving the goal with Mr. Allison by their side.


San Jac Board approves new simplified tuition payments, fees eliminated

New tuition model goes into effect with Fall 2019 semester

PASADENA, Texas – The San Jacinto College Board of Trustees has approved a new tuition model aimed at simplifying the tuition and fee structure by eliminating most registration fees and offering one tuition rate based on a student’s residency.

The approved tuition rates, effective with the Fall 2019, semester are as follows: $78 per semester credit hour for in-district students, $135 per semester credit hour for out-of-district students, $210 per semester credit hour for out-of-state and international students.

“After reviewing the current tuition and fees structure, it became evident that it is complex,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College Chancellor. “We know that many of our students budget for their higher education, and this new model eliminates most fees that were in addition to the tuition rates. Starting this fall, students will pay one tuition rate for registration and enrollment for a more simplified and less complex tuition model.”

Fees that were eliminated under the new tuition model include the general service fee, lab fees, technology fee, distance learning fee, course fees, and incidental fees. Students who opt to take courses that utilize the Open Books Plus option will still pay the charge associated with course materials. Students will also continue to be responsible for purchasing specific program items such as, but not limited to, uniforms, tools, supplies and equipment.


North Shore Basketball Team advances to State Championship Tournament

GAME 2: North Shore with Regional Final Trophy and Game Ball after defeating George Ranch
Longhorns 35 – 32 – Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Cypress-Fairbanks, Harris County – Berry Center – Friday, March 1st and Saturday March 2nd 2019 — The North Shore Mustangs East Side Boys Basketball team, under the direction of Head Coach Sam Benitez, captured Regional Title, to advance in the 2019 Boys State Basketball Championship – 6A Regions 1 & 3 tournament.


In a two-day tournament the Galena Park ISD Mustangs on Friday came from a 13 point deficit to defeat the Fort Bend ISD Elkins Knights 69 to 62 in overtime.

After trailing the entire game, late in the fourth quarter Coach Benitez called timeout to give the team his strategy to pull out a win. After the timeout, the team shifted gears and began playing more aggressively. The lead changed by just one point a few times and was tied twice.

With the final 47 seconds on the clock, a 3 point shot by guard KJ Smith tied the game 57 to 57, putting it into overtime. The East Side Boys offense made 12 points, and the defense held Elkins to just 5 points, winning 69 to 62. Mustangs Leading scorer’s #0 Joshua Cooper with 18 points, #11 Bruce Scott with 16 points, and #15 Jalen Means 10 points.

After the game, NC Star writer Allan Jamail asked Coach Benitez what he most contributed the come-from-behind overtime win to. Benitez said, “The East-Side Boys pride.”


Chamber hears about Small Business Administration


At the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon this month, the featured speaker was Tim Jeffcoat, Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Houston.

Jeffcoat gave the audience an entertaining and informative look at the programs and services offered by the SBA to any small business. He defined small businesses as any manufacturing or processing business that has less than 1500 employees. Examples were refineries, aircraft and airline companies, oil transportation, and delivery services.

He also defined small business as any service firm doing up to $38.5 Million is business. Thus a large number of Houston businesses would qualify for SBA services.

These include access to Counseling, Federal Contracting, Capital, and support during crisis situations.

Jeffcoat noted that of all new businesses, 63% qualify as small businesses.

He sees SBA as “Helping Americans achieve the Dream of Small Business.”


CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT TX-29: Sylvia Garcia holds Open House

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia’s first Open House with staff. An extraordinary high number of attendees came to greet the new member of Congress. L – R: John Chapa Gorczynski, Chief of Staff, Claudia Ortega Hogue, District Director, Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia, Yuroba Harris, Director of Special Projects, Daniel Vasquez, Field Representative. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

TX29 – Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia held her first District Office Open House less than two months after being sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives. An experienced public servant, Ms. Garcia aims to continue the long traditions established by the Honorable Gene Green during his years of serving the 29th District of Texas. Over 200 local leaders and residents were on hand as part of the celebration.

“We’re open and ready to serve the community. Find us at the Atrium 10 office building in the same spot that Gene was in. Please call or stop by if you need anything. The people of the 29th District have come to expect a high level of constituent service and community engagement. We will continue with many of the previous initiatives such as Community Cleanup Day, regular Northeast Neighborhood Safety Meetings, and more. But we also want to grow and build on what people want. So come by and tell us how we can help,” said Congresswoman Garcia.


Morales elected to District 145 open seat


In the Special Election run-off, held Tuesday, March 5, Christina Morales defeated Melissa Noriega, with 60.76% of the vote, to 39.24% for her opponent.

A total of 3022 votes were cast, out of a possible 72,927 registered voters in District 145.

Morales, 50, is the president of the Morales Funeral Home in the East End. She takes the seat vacated by Carol Alvarado when she was elected to the Texas Senate to replace Sylvia Garcia. Morales will join the Session already meeting in Austin, and be on the Urban Affairs and Corrections committees. She also will work on public education, health care, and environmental issues.

Rotary supports North Shore Little League

NORTH SHORE LITTLE LEAGUE PRESIDENT Ed Kirchner, 3rd from left, accepts a $3000 check from Rotary president Bill Bowes to his right. Rotary has also supported the Challenger Division, for players with special needs, with a $2000 donation. North Shore Rotary also helped build the Little League park and fields. Kirchner spoke at a recent Rotary Luncheon, and updated the club on the Little League Season, with Opening Day set for March 23rd. Pictured with Kirchner are Little League representatives, and Rotarians.

Four youths shot, two die in gang fighting

ALLEGED ASSAILANTS are Rene Moreno, driver of the getaway car, and Marlon Valdez, who allegedly fired the rifle at the other group.

Police arrest two alleged shooters

NORTH SHORE – In what has been described by Houston Police as an ambush, from the rooftop of a vacant house, two youths died from gunshots, and two others were wounded.

Two groups of youth who had a previous altercation, planned to meet at Strickland park and a vacant house in the 12800 block of Eastbrook Drive, near Maxey and Woodforest. Reportedly the one group thought it would be a fist fight, but it turned deadly with a shooting.

The incident occurred last Thursday, Feb. 21 at about 4:50 pm. Neighbors reported hearing multiple rounds of firing, and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that the AR-15 style rifle was equipped with a 30 round magazine. Two of the young men were hit with deadly fire, a third was wounded and was admitted to a hospital, and a fourth person, an 18 year old woman, was wounded in the knee.

VICTIMS WHO DIED are brothers, Jose Aguilar, 18, and Maximo Aguilar, 20. Two others were also hit by bullets from an AR-15 style rifle.


Women’s Care Center opens in East Houston

HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast, formerly Bayshore Medical Center, celebrated the opening of its third Women’s Care Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 13.

The clinic offers a variety of services, including prenatal and postnatal care, well women exams, colposcopies, and more, via certified nurse midwives. Through a unique collaborative care model, nurse midwives collaborate with doctors at HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast, where they also deliver patient’s babies according to custom birth plans with the safety net of a nursery and level II and level III NICU on the same floor.

HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast CEO Jeanna Bamburg, Certified Nurse Midwife Jane Freking, and a spokesperson from U.S. representative Sylvia Garcia’s office spoke at the event amongst a crowd of staff and community members. Following some finishing touches, the clinic is expected to open to the public by the end of February.

More information on page 8 of the print or PDF edition.

Congresswoman Garcia holds community meeting

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia provides her account of the state of affairs in Washington, D.C. to attendees at her first Community Meeting since being elected in November. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX – February 20, 2019 — Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia held her first Community Safety Meeting and reported how she’s doing in her new role representing the 29th District.

She said one of her first things to do was to go visit the Texas Republicans serving in the House and to let them know she wanted to work in a bipartisan way on issues that will help Texas. She said she felt they will have a good working relationship on many issues such as the Port of Houston, NASA, hurricane surge protection, and disaster relief. But on the more hard-line tough issues like immigration and the border wall, the Republicans are dug-in and determine to hold their position and not eager or willing to compromise.

The Congresswoman expressed dissatisfaction that President Trump’s immigration policy at the border is separating very young immigrant children from their parents and in one place 140 kids are kept confined in a small room using bunk-beds. Garcia said the recent President’s government shut-down hurt everyone and she was working with legislatures to try to get legislation approved which would prevent a shut-down from any future President just because they didn’t get their way on issues that Congress wouldn’t approve for them.


Let’s Rodeo! Parade, Trail Riders kick it off

12 Trail Rider groups spent last week to get to Memorial Park campgrounds on Friday.

Are you ready to Rodeo? The 87th Annual Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo starts Monday, February 25, and runs through Sunday, March 17.

Monday’s opening entertainment is Grammy winning Kacey Musgraves, and the closing act in March is George Strait.

Events leading up to the Rodeo included Trail Riders arriving at Memorial Park, a Parade downtown, a Bar-B-Que Cook-off, and a Rodeo Run which had more than 9000 entries.

The Rodeo Parade, including the traditional “Howdy” float, took place on Saturday in spite of inclement weather.