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North Channel Star

Three children drown at Sylvan Beach

CHAMBERS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES, AND MARINE PATROL, SEARCH FOR THE THREE MISSING CHILDREN 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.

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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.

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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.”

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Flores speaks out against animal cruelty

Pet Lover Cinthia Flores holding Bella with Oso (Spanish for Bear).

Story & Photo by Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – August 12, 2019 – College Student Cinthia Flores, in a statement made to NC Star writer Allan Jamail, said, “In the first place, people should never get a pet if they don’t have the means for caring for it properly. But if they get one and then later realize they can’t properly care for it, they should give it to someone who will. I’m on a strict college student budget but I still manage to save enough to provide shots, food and a healthy place for my pets.”

Dogs kept outdoors are the most common pets to be mistreated, 70 percent of animal cruelty cases is dogs. With daytime temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s, it doesn’t take long before a pet can have a heat stroke.

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LULAC awards scholarships

Galena Park LULAC Council 4703 gave out $12,500 in scholarships to college-bound students from our local area this evening. Thank you to LULAC member Justice of the Peace Joe Stephens who came out to share his life story of success and words of encouragement to these students and Lt. Charles Brown from Constable Chris Diaz’s office. If you are an incoming senior in high school and you want to apply for the LULAC scholarship go to the LNESC.org website to get the application in February 2020. Pictured with the students are Judge Joe Stephens, Lt. C. Brown and LULAC President Cruz R. Hinojosa, Jr.

Commissioner Garcia details his plans for Pct. 2 improvements

Commissioner Adrian Garcia speaks at the Chamber luncheon about his plans for Pct. 2.

By Gilbert Hoffman

Speaking last week at a North Channel Chamber luncheon, Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia covered a wide range of topics related to his concepts of improving conditions for all the residents.

Garcia said that his focus at all times is on Precinct 2, and what he can do to better conditions there. He said a fundamental change in how the precinct is run is his emphasis on spending county money to hire companies and workers that are located in the precinct. He introduced his purchasing director, Jose Jimenez, saying he was they key to implementing the new plan.

Garcia reflected on his first seven months in office, and how it seemed like an unending string of catastrophes. He noted that his term started the first week with an ExxonMobil fire in the refinery in Baytown, and currently was ending the period the same way with the same disaster. He noted that the refineries in Precinct 2 have a history of violations of air and water pollution, and vowed that the county would implement new procedures to minimize these. Because of the large number of petrochemical plants in his district, he said that environmental concerns and safety would be a primary concern that he would focus on.

Garcia noted that his precinct has the lowest household income in the county, and related to that is the lowest home ownership percentage. He noted how important this is, related to other problems of educational achievement and crime rates.

He said a priority is to raise the level of educational achievement, and as a start he has partnered with HCDE, the Harris County Department of Education, to provide free SAT college preparation for about 200 motivated students that need help to pass the college entrance tests. This is a four week course for high school students, and if successful will be repeated for more. Garcia noted that passing the SAT will open more educational opportunities, and result in more job and career choices and opportunities.

Garcia told the students, “Go on to succeed, but come back to Precinct 2 and Give Back.”

Garcia said that healthcare was a major concern, and noted that he had started the first “food pantry” at a Clinic in the district, to provide more healthy food to clients. He noted that other factors affecting access to good healthcare included transportation, which is being provided.

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Hurricane Recovery snagged by floodplain rules

HARRIS COUNTY – The public doubtlessly wants to stop flooding, but with new rules adopted in early July, building new will come at a premium.

Harris County Commissioner’s Court has established new rules that require that builders set off as much retention as would handle flooding at the 500-year floodplain. The vote was unanimous on July 9 concerning unincorporated Harris County to move the model from the 100-year to 500-year floodplain. The new rules are related to projecting increases in the state’s rain from federal studies and the Atlas -14 rainfall data. All of this is atop of any other requirements by enforcers like the Harris County Flood Control District.

According to County Judge Lina Hidalgo at the assembly, “To make sure the new development takes into account the latest rainfall protections and the new development is required to retain as much water as possible so as to offset any impact they would have on the folks downstream.”

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First Baptist Church Jacinto City celebrating its 75th Anniversary

Remaining in the same location since the beginning, the First Baptist Church of Jacinto City (FBCJC) will celebrate its 75th anniversary on August 18, 2019. Located at 10701 Wiggins, the church and its members have seen many changes throughout the community, but it has remained strong and committed to presenting the message of Jesus Christ and His resurrection.

With the first meeting on August 6, 1944, and housed in a tent, a church was formed with the name of Universal Baptist Church. With an initial membership of 117, the last charter member on the roll died in 2008. The first building was completed in 1945 and served as the sanctuary, office space and classrooms. This building now serves as a worship center for a Hispanic Congregation, Iglesia Bautista Resurrection, and the church offices.

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Demolition of old Jacinto City Police Station makes way for the new JCPD building

10429 Market Street Road, JTB Demolition workers demolishing Jacinto City’s 70 year old police station. A new two-story facility has been built there that’s now in operation by the city’s police force. (Photo by Linda Jamail)

Down with the Old, Up with the new Jacinto City Police Station

Jacinto City, TX. – Monday morning July 29, 2019, marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new era in time for Jacinto City’s history, especially the police department’s history.

After two years of construction, the city’s police force has finally begun using their new two-story police station, located at 10429 Market Street Road, behind the old police station.

Current and former city officials gathered to witness the demolishing of the 70 year old police station that’s had fewer than 10 police chiefs run the department. As the demolishing began some present started going down memory lane about some of the well kept humorous secrets of times past at the police station.

Mayor Ana Diaz said, “I’m glad to see we’re nearing the completion of the new police station, which will provide better police protection for the citizens. And our police officers will benefit too, by having a larger working space, removing the dangers they’ve faced from the overcrowded conditions when processing those brought into the police station.”

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Pct. 3 Constable race finds Eagleton, Jones, Florus already registered

Ken Jones seeks old position

HARRIS COUNTY – By far the most contentious local, primary race in 2016 was the race for the Democratic candidate for Precinct 3 Constable. Now we find the incumbent Constable facing his old boss, and the wife of his last Republican opponent. While there is plenty of time for others to also run, these three have already selected a responsible financial treasurer to seek campaign finances for office.

The race will be held November 5, 2020. The official deadline for filing isn’t until Dec. 9 of 2019 for the Democratic Party. The Democratic party spokesperson indicates that they do not know who will run as yet and the Harris County Clerk of Court has no listing as to who might run.

As rumor would have it, eleven people are running for the office but no official record indicates this or whom those candidates might be.

Still with certainty, we can say that Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton is running, the former Constable Ken Jones is running, and Deborah Florus is running, and each has named an election treasurer. All three have long histories in law enforcement. Eagleton and Jones have held the office and Deborah Florus is a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy and wife of Dan Webb, the last Republican Candidate for Precinct 3 Constable and formerly with the Department of Public Safety.

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Renowned Attorney Mike Ramsey dead at 79

MICHAEL RAMSEY

HOUSTON – Longtime Houston-area defense attorney Michael Ramsey died at the age of 79 on July 28, 2019.

Ramsey was known nationally as a top Defense Attorney, but lived and grew up in the Channelview area. He also maintained a cabin in East Texas, where he often retreated to work on his difficult high profile cases.

Ramsey had a lengthy career in the Houston area and represented big names such as Ken Lay during the Enron scandal and Robert Durst during his murder trial in Galveston.

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