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North Channel Star

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.

National Night Out: Crime prevention in North Channel Communities

Wood Shadows II President Warren Lewis served chili hotdogs to his neighborhood crime fighters as they gathered at his home for an evening of mixing and mingling to discuss how to make their neighborhood safer. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – October 2, 2018 – Sue Blackburn a resident of Houston’s Wood Shadows I and Warren Lewis, President of Wood Shadows II Civic Club went door to door, block by block handing out flyers inviting their neighbors to come to their house party for a meet and greet.

Block by block, house by house citizens gathered in their neighborhoods in a concerted effort to discuss ways they can help each other prevent falling victim to crimes.

The event has been held annually since 1984, simply with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their homes. The annual event focuses on the community and raising awareness in the United States and to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood friendship to make neighborhoods safer.

The events are typically organized by block leaders. They can be as simple as cookouts with food, games and music to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, neighborhood watch and other anti-crime efforts.

Jacinto City had five separate locations for citizens to go get crime prevention literature, food, refreshments and meet police officers. Galena Park had their event at the City Hall.

Leaders host Town Hall on new Legislation

Congressman James E. Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader, at the Town Hall with State Senator Sylvia Garcia, middle, and Congressman Gene Green, right. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – At the North Shore Community Fellowship of Faith Church, Senator Sylvia Garcia, Congressional leaders Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee and U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (SC) informed citizens and civic clubs in attendance of recent legislation passed and signed by President Trump that’s having a negative impact on income taxes, health care benefits, and affordable housing tax credits for working families.

Pastor Robert I. Dixon, II, made the North Shore Community Fellowship of Faith Church building available for the meeting so the church members and citizens can come hear and learn about Medicare, Social Security, and citizen issues.

“Just when we thought America’s affordable housing crisis couldn’t get any worse, Republicans picked up their shovels and kept digging. Their tax scam is projected to cause 235,000 fewer affordable housing units to be built and 262,000 jobs to be lost over the next ten years. With an existing shortage of more than 7 million units, we simply cannot allow this crisis to go on unabated,” Clyburn said.

Congressman Green reported the 2018 Medicare Trustees Report projects that Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund will bring in less revenue due to changes made in the Tax Cuts Act (commonly known as the “Trump tax cuts”).

Senator Garcia will be the Democratic Party’s nominee to replace retiring Democrat Congressman Gene Green of the 29th District. The district has a high number of Democrats and she’s favored to be elected if Democrats turnout in large numbers. Opposing Garcia is Republican Phillip Aronoff and Libertarian Cullen Burns. Garcia said she’s not expecting an easy win and she’s asking her supporters to work hard to get voters out until the last voter votes at 7 PM November 6th.

Green, Lee and Clyburn said they’re supporting Garcia because she has a proven record of leadership producing positive results for her constituents over the years.

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Ponder resigns in Galena Park

Barry Ponder

City government in Galena Park finds itself in a state of change once again, as a leading City Commissioner has resigned from the board, with no reason given.

Barry Ponder, a leader of a group known as “Citizens for A Better Galena Park” and a Commissioner since elected in 2017, sent a letter to the city secretary with his resignation. Although missing from all commission meetings since the date of his letter, August 22, the commission has made no public announcement of this resignation or acknowledged his absence. City Attorney Robert Collins told the North Channel Star that the city has up to 120 days, by state law, to appoint a replacement. This replacement would be voted on by the Commission. After 120 days, if no action is taken, the city must hold a special election to replace Ponder.

COMMISSIONER RODNEY CHERSKY

A number of citizens have questioned whether another Commissioner, Rodney Chersky, is qualified to hold his seat on the board because he no longer resides in the city.

Although the city charter says that you must be a resident if you run for office, Collins explained to the Star that even though Chersky announced that he had moved into Houston in July, the charter says he can hold the seat until June 1st of the next year, or until a general election is held. However, Collins said this is his interpretation, and will ask for a ruling from the Texas Attorney General.

Attorney Collins addressed this situation publicly at the last Commission meeting on October 2nd. He also noted that Chersky plans to move back into Galena Park, which may make this problem moot.

INVESTIGATION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL

The North Channel Star has learned that a number of citizens of Galena Park have been interviewed recently by a representative of the Texas Attorney General, Sergeant Mark Richardson. (more…)