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Posts published in October 2018

Early Voting now thru November 2

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters cast their votes early, starting on Monday, October 22. This mid-term election is considered by most political observers to be an important statement about the current Republican control of the White House, Congress, and the Texas government. Although the president is not on the ballot this time, many important seats in Congress and Texas will be decided. In addition, a number of local Harris County positions are on the ballot, and an important choice in the city of Houston regarding pay for firemen. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, but Early Voting started on Monday, October 22 and continues through Friday, November 2. Hours that the polls are open are as follows:

Oct. 22-26 8 am – 4:30 pm

Oct. 27 7 am – 7 pm

Oct. 28 1 pm – 6 pm

Oct. 29-Nov 2 7 am – 7 pm

The election for U. S. Senate has probably gained the most attention, both in Texas and nationally, Incumbent Senator Ted Cruz has seen a strong challenge from Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, who has raised much more money than Cruz in his campaign, and seems to have an enthusiastic grass roots support among the public. A visit last Monday by President Trump on behalf of Cruz is thought to boost his chances for re-election.

A number of U. S. Representatives seats are open for election, including District 2, formerly held by Ted Poe, who retired. Candidates in this district include Dan Crenshaw and Todd Litton; District 6, with incumbent Kevin Brady vs. Steven David; District 18 with incumbent Sheila Jackson Lee vs. Ava Reynero Pate; and District 29, where long term Representative Gene Green has retired, and State Senator Sylvia Garcia is running against Phillip Aronoff.

Governor Abbott is defending his seat against challenger Lupe Valdez, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is running against challenger Mike Collier. Another state race that has gathered attention is Attorney General, where the beleaguered incumbent Ken Paxton is running against Democratic challenger Justin Nelson.

In state Senate races, in District 7 incumbent Paul Bettencourt vs. David Romero; and District 15, Randy Orr is challenging incumbent Democrat John Whitmire.

A number of State Representatives are running unopposed, and therefore will be re-elected. These include Brisco Cain in District 128;Armando Walle in District 140; Senfronia Thompson in 141; and Ana Hernandez in 143.

In contested races for State Representative, incumbent Dan Huberty faces Libertarian challenger Ryan Woods; District 144 incumbent Mary Ann Perez vs. Republican Ruben Villarreal; and District 145, incumbent Carol Alvarado faces Libertarian Clayton Hunt.

Harris County voters will decide on keeping well respected incumbent judge Ed Emmett, or vote for Democratic challenger Lina Hidalgo.

Other county offices of interest include District Clerk, with incumbent Chris Daniel vs. Marilyn Burgess; County Clerk, with well known incumbent Stan Stanart vs. Diane Trautman; County Treasurer, Orlando Sanchez vs. Dylan Osborne.

An interesting race for county school trustee, Position 3 at Large, is where well-known East Aldine District executive Richard Cantu is running against Marc Cowart for the HCDE board. Cantu has been endorsed by this newspaper.

Several County Commissioner seats are to be elected including Precinct 2, where the incumbent Republican Jack Morman faces Democratic challenger Adrian Garcia; and Precinct 4, where incumbent Republican Jack Cagle faces Democrat Penny Shaw.

In races for Justice of the Peace, of local interest is Precinct 3, Place 2. Lucia Bates is running unopposed. This district includes the North Channel, Channelview, North Forest and a part of the Aldine area.

Voters in the Lone Star College area will be asked to decide between Michael Stoma or George Edwards, Jr. in District 1; Ernestine Pierce or Matthew Wheeler in District 2; and Mike Sullivan or G. Puente in District 8.

For voters who reside in the City of Houston, two propositions will be on the ballot, both concerning the finances of the city, and both controversial and considered important.

Proposition A known as ReBuild Houston calls for voters to approve the City’s existing street and drainage program, and secure the revenue so other departments cannot use it.

Proposition B asks voters whether they are in favor of Firemen receiving the same pay as police officers.

Mayor Turner has indicated that he is in favor of Proposition A, and against Proposition B, which he says the city is unable to afford, cannot raise taxes, and therefore will have to lay off large amounts of firefighters and city workers.

EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS

— North Channel Branch Library, 15741 Wallisville Road

— Galena Park Library, 1500 Keene Street

— John Phelps Courthouse, 101 S. Richey Street

— East Harris County Activity Center, 7340 Spencer Highway

— Baytown Community Center, 2407 Market Street

— Northeast Multi Service Center, 9720 Spaulding

— Atascocita Branch LIbrary, 19520 Pinehurst Trail Drive

— County Attorney Conference Center, 1019 Congress, downtown Houston

Galena Park ISD cuts ribbon for new Elementary school

Josh Zigal, North Channel Chamber of Commerce, Laurie Crockett, Galena Park Elementary Assistant Principal, Margie Buentello, President, North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce, Wanda Heath Johnson, Board of Trustees President, Jaime Rocha, Principal, Ramon Garza, Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees Secretary, Dr. Angi Williams, Superintendent of Schools, Senator Sylvia Garcia and Dr. John Moore, Galena Park ISD Associate Superintendent for Operations attend new Galena Park Elementary ribbon cutting.

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. – October 17, 2018 — The Galena Park Independent School District (GPISD) held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Galena Park Elementary School (GPES). The new school is equipped with the most modern and latest technological advancement s available for teaching elementary age students.

Allan Jamail, the NC Star writer, said, “It was an emotional day for me to witness the new facility which replaced the old building where I got my elementary school education 67 years ago. Just being there brought back so many childhood memories; I was thrilled to be in attendance. After all, once a Yellow Jacket always a Yellow Jacket.”

Ceremonial comments were made by many, but the one that received the loudest applause came from Marilyn Chavez, a fifth grade student. She said, “When I first came to Galena Park Elementary, I was four years old, and when I saw the school, I said to myself, ‘WHOA, THIS SCHOOL IS HUGE!’ As I walked into my kindergarten class, I was scared and wondered if I was going to do okay. Is my teacher going to be nice?”

Marilyn said the year passed quickly, and on her last day of kindergarten she cried because she was going to miss her teacher. The teacher gave her a big hug, and she went home for the summer. Through her school years, she attended at the old school building, then portable buildings, and now the new beautiful building, which she said looks like a palace with shiny floors.

Dr. Angi Williams, Superintendent of Schools, said, “This day has been a dream of so many. The students, parents and staff are off to a fantastic start this school year. To say this community is excited about this beautiful new campus would be quite the understatement.

“Galena Park Elementary is indeed a tribute to this community, our school board, and to the dedication, hard-work, planning and construction which has taken place over the past year.”

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North Shore defeats Baytown Sterling 63-3

Mustangs junior defensive back Marcus Cockrell out leaps a Sterling Ranger receiver to intercept a pass, the turnover led to another Mustang score. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Friday, October 19, 2018 – Baytown, TX – At the Goose Creek ISD Stallworth Stadium, the North Shore Mustangs scored 5 touchdowns in the first quarter. By the end of the game they had made 9 touchdowns. Kicker John Villalobos made all 9 extra point kicks. To keep from being shut-out the Sterling Rangers kicked a field goal, the final score was 63 to 3.

The undefeated 7-0 Mustangs have only had one serious challenge this season when they opened the season 7 weeks ago by beating the Katy Tigers 35 to 21.

North Shore and the Beaumont West Brook Bruins are tied for first place with 4 wins each in District 21 – 6-A Region III. In order to reach the playoffs Coach Jon Kay’s Mustangs must pull off a win against the visiting Bruins Friday, October 26th.

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Federal Road reconstruction begins

Federal Road to be under construction beginning Oct. 22

GALENA PARK, Texas – Commissioner Jack Morman is excited to announce the start of the Federal Road Reconstruction Project for Monday, October 22nd. Improvements include demolishing the roadway to stabilize the subgrade, conducting drainage improvements, and pouring fresh concrete for a new, smooth roadway.

The $3.8 million project will improve the roadway from the Washburn Tunnel traffic circle to the new bridge being built over the railroad tracks.

“The new bridge is a great project on its own, but we wanted to take improvements to the next level by completely redoing the roadway leading to it,” said Commissioner Morman. “We have asked the contractors for both projects to work on their traffic control plans together to reduce impacts to the area.”

Drivers are reminded to travel with caution through the construction zone or use alternate routes, if possible. Roadway construction is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2019, while bridge construction is expected to be complete late 2020.

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North Shore 10th Grade Center Ribbon Cutting

On Monday, October 15, North Shore Senior High 10th Grade Center hosted their dedication ceremony. The event was attended by students, parents, staff, alumni, elected officials and community members. North Shore 10, GPISD’s newest facility, is built to house over 1,200 Mustangs. The campus has state-of-the-art classrooms, complete with interactive panels and Google Chromebooks for the students, along with a secured storefront entrance and a safe walkway for students to walk to the Senior High.

The event began with the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony hosted by the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Kenneth Bryant, North Shore 10 principal, was joined by Chamber of Commerce members, Dr. Angi Williams, superintendent of schools, and the Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees for the cutting of the ribbon.

The Grand Masonic Lodge of Texas held a cornerstone leveling ceremony as the signal of the building’s completion. The cornerstone will lie in the Northeast corner of the building with a time capsule placed behind the plaque.

Congressman Gene Green presented Mr. Bryant with a plaque in recognition of the Ribbon Cutting and Cornerstone Dedication Ceremony and he also presented an American Flag that flew over the United State Capitol on May 28 to be displayed on the campus.

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Rep. Green’s Paying for College Workshop focuses on FAFSA, awards students college scholarships

Scholarship Recipients pose for a photo at North Shore High School during the ‘Paying for College Workshop’ hosted by Congressman Gene Green who is with them along with school Officials.

HOUSTON, TX – Congressman Gene Green hosted Houston-area students and parents at his Paying for College Workshop on Monday, October 15th at North Shore High School.

During this free event, a representative from The Sallie Mae Fund and Project GRAD Houston spoke to families about how to apply for scholarships, financial aid, and the important factors to consider when selecting the school that fits them. Students were also reminded that this year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was made available on October 1st, three months earlier than the traditional January 1 date.

“I want every student to have the option to attend college, regardless of financial background,” said Rep. Green. “That is why I encourage students to apply for FAFSA early, so that more students can access the historic investment in financial aid and better information when they need it. It is my hope that every student who attended this event walked away feeling more confident that the cost of college can be made affordable.”

Students and families from North Shore Senior High, North Shore 10th Grade Center, Galena Park High, C.E. King High, Early College High, Channelview High, and Summer Creek High all attended.

Representatives from San Jacinto College, Houston Community College, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, and Aviation Institute of Maintenance were available to students who were interested in applying to one of their institutions. Additionally, several universities awarded scholarships on-site to attending high school seniors:

Recipient of $1,000 Scholarship from San Jacinto College (more…)

North Shore Mustangs win 75-13 in Homecoming

North Shore 2018 Homecoming King and Queen. North Shore High School at halftime announced Senior Malcom Montgomery as King and Senior Diamond Simon as Queen of the Homecoming King and Queen contest. The North Shore Mustangs beat the Deer Park Deer 75 to 13.

By Allan Jamail

Friday, October 12, 2018 at the Galena Park ISD football stadium the home team North Shore Mustangs once again proved why they’re number 2 ranked in the state and 13th in the nation. The Deer Park Deer ran for lots of yards but not while carrying the football, they ran chasing the Mustangs who had the ball and scored 10 touchdowns for 75 points to the Deer’s 13.

Coach Jon Kay’s undefeated Mustangs haven’t had any strong competition yet in district play which could end up hurting them when they get into playoffs. One loss in the playoffs ends the season and the chances of a state title. Normally teams have enough serious district competition that’ll prepare them for the tougher playoff teams they’ll be challenging.

The district title showdown will probably be when the Beaumont West Brook Bruins come to play North Shore Friday, October 26th. (more…)

Suspect wanted in hit and run in Channelview

Earlene Polk

Crime Stoppers and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office need the public’s assistance identifying the suspect responsible for a Hit and Run – Failure to Stop and Render Aid.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, at approximately 2:55 a.m., Earlene Polk was involved in an accident in the 16000 block of Avenue C in Channelview, Texas. During this incident, the suspect was operating a blue passenger vehicle with visible front end damage. The suspect’s vehicle struck the victim as she attempted to cross Avenue C and fled the scene of the accident without rendering aid. As a result, the victim sustained severe injuries and is in critical condition.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of the suspect(s) in this case. Information may be reported by calling 713-222- TIPS (8477), submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app. All tipsters remain anonymous.

Jacinto City upgrades Fire Station

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Jacinto City’s original 1974 fire station gets a much needed remodeling and expansion of facilities, including day room, kitchen, sleeping rooms, showers, offices, equipment storage, and exercise room. L to R: Firefighter K. Dixon, Fire Chief Rebecca Mier, City Manager Lon Squyres, Firefighters C. Virgadamo, D. Magby and carpenter Cervando Acosta (red shirt). (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – October 4, 2018 – Jacinto City already has many new projects under way or recently completed, and is now upgrading and expanding its Fire Station.

City Manager Lon Squyres said, “The original station was built in 1974 for a strictly volunteer fire department. The dorm quarters are not adequate and it lacks basic life safety measures such as a fire escape. The new addition addresses all of these issues by providing several small individual bunk rooms and adequate showers for the firefighters. Part of the older current facility will become a better exercise room than we currently have.”

Fire Chief Rebecca Mier said, “The new addition provides additional office space and training space that will be more conducive to our day to day operations.”

Plans include new wiring and lighting in the truck bays of the existing building. Future plans include replacing the rolling overhead doors, which are too old and require continued maintenance.

Planning for the new addition started last year, and construction will be complete before the end of this year 2018.

The two story addition will add about 3840 square feet to the building. The contractor for the work is Portfolio Builders of Houston. Council approved a contract for $755,500 for the project. The building was designed by Gilbert Hoffman of Hoffman Liu Design Associates, with the joint venture architectural firm of TDCK Architects.

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3 Superintendents speak to Chamber

PHOTO COURTESY OF BLANCA BELTRAN

SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS from the 3 local districts were the featured speakers at last week’s monthly North Channel Chamber Luncheon at the San Jacinto Monument Room. ABOVE, King Davis of Sheldon ISD, Angi Williams of Galena Park ISD, and Greg Ollis of Channelview ISD brought the audience up to date on activities at each of their districts.

Davis spoke about two topics, the devastation in his district from flooding after Hurricane Harvey, and the progress on new schools built under the Bond program. Sheldon is experiencing a tremendous growth in student population.

Williams spoke about results from the GPISD Bond program, and new and renovated schools. This month her district is holding cornerstone/ribbon cuttings on four new schools, three elementary and one 10th grade school.

Ollis spoke about the effort his staff, including the transportation department, made to help citizens after the flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and his pride in his staff.

SEE CHARLOTTE JACKSON’S COLUMN ON PAGE 6 FOR MORE DETAILS.