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Posts published in “Day: June 23, 2022

San Jacinto College is finalist for Aspen Institute $1 million excellence prize


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7, 2022 — Today the Aspen Institute announced the ten finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Started in 2010, the $1 million Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of community colleges that are achieving high, improving, and equitable outcomes for students. The ten finalists represent the amazing potential of America’s thousand-plus community colleges as engines of prosperity and social mobility.

The finalists also represent the impressive diversity of community colleges, from a 2,700-student college in Iowa granting primarily technical awards to a 57,000-student college in Florida with a focus on transfer and bachelor’s degree attainment. Excellent community colleges, regardless of their size or location, are defined by their focus on outcomes and their emphasis on developing students’ talents and strengthening their regional economies and communities.

Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize honors colleges that show outstanding performance in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2023.

“We’re grateful to all the experts who have helped Aspen identify these impressive colleges,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We can’t wait to dive in to learn more about how they have achieved these measurable student outcomes so we can share what we learn with the field.”

The finalists are:

East Houston United wins 3rd national title

East Houston United 2022 National Basketball Champions and their former high schools. L – R: CJ Calhoun (Furr) Josh Anderson (CE King), Coach Kevin Williams Sr., Corey Alpough (Channelview) Brandon Taylor (Galena Park), Carl Corman (Atlanta Georgia), Xavier Howard (Jack Yates), Zack Strong (Atlanta Georgia) & Maurice Redmond III (Channelview).

Undefeated EHU Wins 3rd Consecutive Title

By Allan Jamail

Pasadena, Texas – June 12, 2022 at the Pal Gymnasium, the East Houston United (EHU) basketball team won their 3rd consecutive United States National Basketball League’s (NBL) Championship in a row. Most of the team’s players are from the North Channel area. (See photo.)

Head Coach Kevin Williams Sr. said his team went 10 – 0 this season and is 30 – 0 in the NBL and 49 – 1 overall. They are undefeated on their home court.

The NBL named Kevin Williams Sr. as Coach of the Year, and Maurice Redmond III (Channelview High School) was league MVP.

Drive-by shooting kills 8 year old sleeping in his bed in East Houston


HOUSTON – The Harris County Sheriff’s Office provided updates on a possible suspect after 8- year-old Paul Vasquez was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting in east Harris County on Sunday, June 12.

According to authorities, the shooting happened in the 13800 block of McNair Street around 10:45 p.m.

Deputies said Vasquez was in his bed inside of his room when a bullet pierced him in his chest. Investigators said the boy was able to tell his mother what happened before collapsing.

Authorities say there were about nine to 10 shots fired during the incident.

He was rushed to Ben Taub hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Officials are now searching for those responsible, stating it may be more than one suspect who remains at large.

Deputies released a photo of the suspect’s car, describing it as a Gray KIA Optima with damage to the front right side.


Jake rescued by JC Police

Jake the Dog, Owner Justine Balderas,
and Officers Fisher and Seydler.

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – Saturday, June 12, 2022 – The Jacinto City patrol officers got an unusual assignment from their dispatcher when they were sent to a citizen’s home.

Long time Jacinto City resident Ms. Gloria Balerio called the police to report her granddaughter Justine Balderas’ dog had its paw stuck in the fire place grating.

Sgt. A. Seydler and Officer R. Fisher arrived on the scene to see a sad puppy (Jake). Jake somehow managed to get its paw caught in the grating. The officers couldn’t free the paw by gently pulling on it, so they quickly dismantled the grate, freeing Jake.

Galena Park ISD votes pay raises for staff

GPISD Board of Trustees Approves Generous Compensation Package

The Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees approved the 2022- 2023 compensation package for district employees. The Board, Superintendent, and district administrators realize competitive compensation packages are important in attracting and retaining the very best staff possible. Some highlights of the district’s 2022-2023 compensation package include:

–3% general pay increase for ALL employees

–Equity adjustments to maintain competitiveness for teachers with 17 to 25 years of experience

–Minimum pay rate of $14.50/hour for custodians, bus aides, and student nutrition workers

–Starting teacher salary of $62,750

Activists watching environmental activities in San Jacinto River

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – Whether it’s toxic waste dumps in the San Jacinto River, or unauthorized dredging and barge facilities, the citizens of Channelview and Highlands have two active watchdogs to monitor and protest when activities threaten the environment.

Jackie Young Medcalf and Carolyn Stone can be heard at many public meetings, questioning public authorities and requesting the proper procedures be followed. This Thursday the EPA will be at the Flukinger Community Center in Channelview to report on remediation work in the river, and the public will have an opportunity to question progress. Prior to the meeting, Medcalf issued the following statement:

Dear Community Members,

We have two important action items for the San Jacinto River Coalition.

We must act to stop Gun Violence

By Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

Over the past month, our nation has yet again endured violent deaths from mass shootings and gun violence. In Buffalo, we all witnessed the brutal attack driven by racism and hate that left 13 people dead at a grocery store. 17 people were shot during a mass shooting in downtown Milwaukee. And we are all still mourning the loss of two teachers and 19 innocent children murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. This violence shows no sign of letting up – between May 24th, the day of the Uvalde tragedy, and June 6th, there have been 33 additional mass shootings, including multiple mass shootings here in Harris County. No one is immune from this bloody plague.

Today, our nation and our county is in the midst of a vital conversation about violent crime and what needs to be done to prevent it. The truth is, we cannot talk about addressing violent crime without talking about the role that guns play in fueling it. On the same day as the tragedy in Uvalde, we released new data from Harris County’s Institute for Forensic Sciences from which the conclusion could not be more clear – we are not just suffering from a rise in homicides, but also from a rise in the percentage of homicides caused by guns. In 2018, gunshot wounds caused 76% of homicides in Harris County. In 2021, that number was 84%. This year’s percentage is at 87%. And we aren’t unique. Statewide, the rate of gun homicides in Texas increased 90% between 2011 and 2020, from a little over 3 deaths per 100,000 people to about 6 deaths per 100,000.