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Posts published in August 2019

Grant will allow expansion of East Harris County bus service

Harris County Transit bus

Service to include Channelview, Cloverleaf, and Sheldon and connect with La Porte, McNair, Highlands, Crosby and Baytown

Public Meetings Set for input from riders

Harris County Transit Services has received a $3.8 million dollar Community Development Disaster Recovery Block Grant (CDBGDR) to expand its fixed route bus service to some of the communities hardest hit by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey.

Five new routes are proposed to specifically serve individuals in areas damaged by Hurricane Harvey. They will serve the communities of Channelview, Cloverleaf and Sheldon with approximately 70 miles of additional service for a three-year period. Service start-up will require public meetings take place first. The public is asked to participate and voice their needs.

Two of the three planned public meetings have been set as follows:

• Tuesday, September 10, 2019
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Leon Grayson Empowerment Center
13828 Corpus Christi St.
Houston, TX 77015

• Thursday, September 19, 2019
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Flukinger Community Center
16003 Lorenzo St.
Channelview, TX 77530

Manuel Escalante new Principal at GPISD’ Woodland Acres Middle Schoo

Manuel Escalante, Woodland Acres Middle School Principal welcomes parents and visitors to the school. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

The Galena Park Independent School District (GPISD) announced for the 2019-2020 school year Manuel Escalante as the new principal at Woodland Acres Middle School.

Serving as Assistant Principal with Escalante are Lakeisha Washington and Diego Merino, and Sandra C. Andrade-Reed as Counselor.

Principal Escalante has 20 years of experience as an administrator and educator. He’s been selected as Teacher of the Year, State finalist for the HEB Principal of the Year award, and numerous other recognitions.

Escalante said, “I served as an educator in the Channelview School District for sixteen years, and four years in the Laredo School District. My last two years there, I served as the principal of JC Martin Jr. Elementary School, in which the school became one of only thirteen schools to receive the prestigious 2019 National Blue Ribbon nomination for exceptional performance in closing the achievement gaps.”

Jacinto City’s food distribution day brings out hundreds

Volunteers Oziel Salinas and his wife Irasema Salinas, Keep Jacinto City Clean Vice-President and Lupe Gomez handing out free food. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – On August 23rd, hundreds of area residents came to get free food at Jacinto City’s distribution point, the city’s Town Hall, located at 1025 Oates Road.

Adele Brady, Director of Marketing and Communications at Houston Food Bank (HFB), said their nonprofit organization supplies the food to their Jacinto City Community Partner (on the fourth Friday of every month) and a network of 1,500 other Community Partners.

“Last year we provided access to 104 million nutritious meals in 18 counties in southeast Texas that included food pantries, soup kitchens, social service providers, and schools,” Brady said.

Mayra Loera, Capacity and Operations Manager for the HFB, encourages anyone interested in setting up a new distribution point as a Community Partner or receiving food assistance help to contact

Sheldon ISD celebrates opening of new stadium

School Officials and community members at ribbon cutting of new Sheldon ISD stadium.

Sheldon ISD celebrated its second ribbon cutting in two weeks as the new Sheldon ISD Panther Stadium was officially unveiled to the entire community on Wednesday.

Superintendent King Davis thanked everyone for coming out to celebrate this special occasion, which was part of a $285 million bond package voters approved in May 2016.

“This wonderful new 10,000-seat stadium will start a new chapter for our coaches, athletes and fans,” Davis added.

San Jacinto Pilot Club installs new leadership

San Jacinto Pilot Club’s recent officer installation. Pictured in the photo (L-R): Karen Westbrooks, Julie Fallin, Joan Van Fleet, Carolyn Roberts.

The San Jacinto Pilot Club installed their new officers for the 2019-2020 Pilot year in June. Co-Pilot Jerry Fallin was the installing officer for the evening’s banquet, held at Iguana Joe’s in Crosby.

Officers for the 2019- 2020 year, which begins July 1 are: Julie Fallin, President; Joan Van Fleet and Carolyn Roberts, CoSecretary; and Karen Westbrooks, Treasurer. We wish all these officers the very best of luck this Pilot year.

The San Jacinto Pilot Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at noon at the Amegy Bank building on I-10 (near Federal Rd.). Membership is open to men and women in the community.

Sheldon ISD holds ribbon cutting for new Sheldon Lakes Elementary

Sheldon ISD Superintendent King Davis cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Sheldon Lake Elementary campus. (Photo by Derek Moore)

SHELDON – The Sheldon ISD Board members, administrators, dignitaries, teachers, students and community members participated in a ribbon cutting at the new Sheldon Lakes Elementary, last Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm. All who attended enjoyed learning about the new 21st century learning opportunities at this new school.

The campus is located on the Beltway 8 feeder road, just south of Garrett Road.

The principal for Sheldon Lake Elementary is Christopher Dickson, formerly the principal at Sheldon Early Childhood Academy.

Architect’s rendering shows the exterior entrance of the new elementary that opens this fall. The building is just one of the new projects for this fast-growing district.

NEW PRINCIPALS – A SERIES: Marcus Morrow is new principal at Joyce Zotz Ed. Ctr.


By Allan Jamail

The Galena Park Independent School District (GPISD) announced for the 2019/2020 school year Marcus Morrow as the new principal for the Joyce Zotz Education Center.

Principal Morrow brings to his new position 18 years of academic experience as a teacher, at-risk specialist and assistant principal at the Zotz Center. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University and a Master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The Joyce Zotz Education Center (JZEC) specializes in the accomplishment of students being able to obtain their educational goals through non-traditional settings. GPISD’s goal is to provide students a valuable and worthwhile education in a caring but well disciplined surrounding that they may not be getting from their home campuses.

Morrow said, “Parents with children can attend our night classes, and we’ll provide child care while the parent is in class, much like a normal day-care center does.”

The center was named after Joyce Zotz, who joined GPISD as a business teacher in 1956. Over the next 47 years she held numerous positions ranging from teacher to campus principal. Ms. Zotz had a vision for better meeting the needs of students who did not seem to fit the mold of regular classroom. She advocated for those students who often “marched to the beat of a different drum.”

Cody’s fundraiser Goes BIG

Dan Huberty welcomes the accolades for HB 76, the Cody Bill and HB 3, the school bill. His staff is weepy and he is supported by Carol Alvarado at left.

CROSBY – August 17, the Big Event for the Cody Stephens GBOGH Memorial Fund was a rousing success held at Southern Lace Estates for a night of big band, big auction and big celebration.

A catfish dinner started off a packed program beginning with recognizing this year’s youngsters saved from sudden death by the efforts of the foundation. Awards for those that contributed effort generally in the form of belt buckles.

It was especially a celebration of the passage of House Bill 76, the Cody Bill — also excitement at the passage of House Bill #3 for education — with special recognition of Representative Dan Huberty, R. 127, Rep. Briscoe Cain, R. 128, and State Senator Carol Alvarado, all instrumental in passing the bill that gives parents the right to choose a heart screening for their students.

Three children drown at Sylvan Beach


Sheriff Hawthorne reports that on Thursday, August 8, at approximately 7:28 p.m., the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the LaPorte Police Department of a possible multi-fatality drowning at Sylvan Beach Park.

Sylvan Beach Park is a county park within the city of LaPorte, Texas, and Harris County. However, the bay waters that border the park are wholly within Chambers County.

Upon arrival of the Chambers County deputies it was learned that a family from the Houston area were swimming in the park when an otherwise beautiful afternoon took a tragic turn. Six members of the family, including the Mother, Father and four children ranging in age from 7 to 13, began having trouble in the water. The Mother and Father, along with a 10 year old male child were able to make it back to shore with help from nearby good samaritans.

EPA sets community meeting Sept. 24

Map from EPA shows a green dot where the semi truck landed off the I-10 bridge, and the blue area is where the agency took readings to determine if the accident damaged the cap. I-10 railing is the line at bottom.

HIGHLANDS – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Federal, State and Harris County agencies, local officials and industry, plan to hold a Community Meeting for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site. During the meeting an update will be provided on current site activities and the cap inspection data.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Highlands Community Center, 604 Highland Woods Drive, Highlands, Texas 77562.

WASTE PITS: Did Semi crash damage cap?

HIGHLANDS – This month’s meeting of the THEA/San Jacinto River Coalition dealt with potential threats to the integrity of the cap over the waste pits, as the community waited for the slow process of removing the toxic waste to go forward.

Jackie Young announced that she had learned that the Pelican Asphalt Permit, wanting to dredge areas near the Waste Pits, had been approved on July 3 without any further public notice.

Crosby hero sets sights on raising $270,000 to save more young lives

Scott Stephens backs his volunteers at C.E. King High School where his charity organization, the Cody Stephens Foundation, scanned the hearts of 250 students with EKGs from throughout Northeast Harris County last Saturday, in concert with an organization dedicated to teaching C.P.R. Seated are U. Fonsera, a Precinct 3 Deputy, Elizabeth Bucio, Cynthia Galeano, Yanira Ramirez and Drake Hernandez all of C.E. King High School staff. Guarding the crowd was Precinct 3 Deputy Howard. Stephens is hosting the GBOGH Cody Stephens Memorial Fundraiser at Southern Lace Estates this Saturday, Aug. 17.

C.E. KING – Last Saturday, the Go Big Or Go Home Cody Stephens Foundation scanned the hearts of over 250 kids with the help of C.E. King staff and faculty, North Shore Rotary, San Jacinto Pilot Club, and the North Shore Anchor Club volunteers.

ReACT in a Heartbeat, a Baytown Non-Profit that teaches life saving C.P.R. instructed some 200 students how to perform Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation at the same venue. These were not certification classes but exposure classes and man of the students went from having their hearts tested to learning to save someone else’s life.

“We always try to teach C.P.R. training at our screenings we don’t usually do it at school screenings because kids are supposed to get C.P.R. certification from their school but anytime we have a community screening we try to team up with someone group and teach the basics.

Now Stephens says, “We are going to try to help put EKG machines in schools so that athletic teams can check out their own members.”

The Stephens fight to save young lives for the last seven years as Scott’s family has attempted to impress upon the Texas Legislature that young athletes dying of sudden death can hopefully be avoided with early detection by the new E.K.G machines that have not only gone from being the size of an ambulance to the size of a paperback book and ranged in ability from being only able to tell if someone was having a heart attack to being able to read rhythms and irregularities. It began with a personal note for Scott, his son Cody died in May of 2012 from sudden death. His last words to his father were “Go big or go home.”