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North Channel Star

Sheldon ISD trustees cancel November bond election

District prioritizes safety and academics

At the July 14 school board meeting, Sheldon ISD trustees voted to cancel the November 3 bond election due to the continued effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bond was originally called by the school board for the May election, but in March trustees unanimously voted to postpone the election due to COVID-19 virus.


North Shore Rotary presents awards, scholarships

The Awards Presentation was held last Thursday, at the Rotary Pavilion on Wallisville Road. Seen above are club president Ryan Dagley, and (not in order) scholarship recipients Stephannie Villanueva, Aaron J. Daniels, Xenia Garcia, Emely J. Melendez, Alessandra Camarillo Morales, Yuleima Zamora, Sofia Garcia Bucio, Olivia B. Kirby, and Xavier K. Crawford. The students were from C.E. King High School, Channelview High School, and North Shore High School.

Nine graduating seniors receive $40,000 total

NORTH SHORE – The Rotary Club of North Shore held their regular weekly meeting last Thursday, and presented scholarships to nine graduating seniors, and achievement awards to 13 Rotary club members.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has been meeting in an outdoor setting at the pavilion behind the Wallisville courthouse. This allows them to maintain social distancing.

Scholarship awards were three types. Four year scholarship, amounting to $2500 each of 4 years, were presented to Stephannie Villanueva of C.E. King high school, Aaron J. Daniels of Channelview high school, and Xenia Garcia of North Shore high school.

A scholarship of $2500 was presented to Emely J. Melendez of North Shore high school.

Five scholarships of $1500 each were presented to the following: Alessandra Camarillo Morales, North Shore high school; Yuleima Zamora, C.E. King high school; Sofia Garcia Bucio, C.E. King high school; Olivia B. Kirby, Channelview high school; and Xavier K. Crawford, Channelview high school.

The occasion also was the venue for achievement awards to club members who had actively helped the organization through the 2019-2020 Rotary year. These were presented by outgoing president Ryan Dagley.


Sheldon ISD Board of Trustees selected as Region 4 School Board of the Year

Sheldon ISD Trustees. The 2019-20 board members are: President Latricia Archie, VicePresident Eileen Palmer, Secretary Angela Cormier, Member Ken Coleman, Member Erika Martinez, Member Devora Myles and Member Fred Rivas. Superintendent King Davis is at second row, center.

The Sheldon ISD Board of Trustees has been selected as the Region 4 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) School Board of the Year. Region 4 represents the greater Houston and surrounding area and is one of the largest education regions of the 20 in Texas. The 2019-20 board members are: President Latricia Archie, Vice-President Eileen Palmer, Secretary Angela Cormier, Member Ken Coleman, Member Erika Martinez, Member Devora Myles and Member Fred Rivas. The School Board Awards Program recognizes school boards that have demonstrated outstanding dedication and rendered ethical service to the children of Texas.

“We are blessed to have such a dedicated group of individuals serving the Sheldon community,” said Superintendent Dr. King Davis. “From the challenges of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 and now the COVID-19 pandemic, our board continues to place children first with every decision they make.”

Dr. Davis also said he was pleased that members of the regional School Board Awards committee were able to see how Sheldon ISD trustees have made tremendous gains in the areas of finance, student achievement and growth.


Garza’s family provides summer heat relief for pets

Garza Family – L-R: Jayden holding Jumper, Lily, Jay grooming Max and Jesus. Jacinto City’s Garza’s family provides sweltering heat relief for 2 pet dogs. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – July, 20, 2020 – During the record breaking heat waves Jacinto City’s Garza family regularly gives their two pet dogs a cooling down. Their dogs get to enjoy the inside air-conditioning when needed.

Galena Park Police Chief Rodney Chersky said, “My officers take very serious the treatment and care pets in the city is getting. While on routine patrol the officers look for outdoor pets appearing to be in distress because of the heat. We’ll immediately call for one of the city’s two humane officers to investigate any questionable pet being neglected. If a citizen suspects animal mistreatment, he urges them to call the police so we can investigate it.”

“People without thinking will get a long haired dog and put them outside and this can be tortuous for the dog. If a person would put on a fur coat and wear it outside for just a couple hours during the summer, they’d quickly see how hot it is for a long haired dog, it’s even hard on a short haired dog outside during the summer,” Chersky said.

“Pet owners should check on their outdoor pets several times a day and give them lots of fresh cool water every few hours. If they cannot bring their pet indoors during the summer then they must provide lots of shade for them. Some people will put water in a small water bowl before leaving for work and expect that to be enough water for 8 to 10 hours while they’re gone, that’s cruel,” the chief said.

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.


Run-off election holds surprise results

Eagleton in a landslide; Garcia wins tight race

HARRIS COUNTY – Tuesday, the Democratic and Republican Parties held their Run-Off Primary elections and the results in several races were different than had been predicted.

Jacinto City and vicinity had a showdown between Precinct 2 Constable incumbent Chris Diaz against challenger Lt. Jerry Garcia. This was a close race, with Garcia winning by only 229 votes of 9,505 cast. This race had been marked with negative charges of unethical practices and favoritism on both sides.

Substantially more people voted in the Democratic Party in early voting at several Precinct 3 locations. Early voting counts in Crosby were 744 Democratic and 434 Republican most probably due to the hotly contentious local Precinct 3 Constable race between incumbent Sherman Eagleton, and previous constable Ken Jones, and the fact that there were more contests at issue for the Democrats. Over 150,000 votes were cast county wide on the Democratic ticket. The Republicans drew about 60,000 on their ballot.

Voters are no longer designated to specific voting precincts but habitually tend to vote at locations near where they live and with which they are familiar.


COVID-19 outbreak reported in nursing home facility in Jacinto City

Jacinto Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is located at 1405 Holland St., Jacinto City. (PHOTO BY ALLAN JAMAIL)

4 deaths may be Covid-19 related

By Elizabeth Perez, HCPH

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) in partnership with the Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC) are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak at Jacinto Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. HCPH’s initial investigation of this facility began on June 10 after the facility reported 12 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 and one resident died. As the regulatory agency for healthcare facilities, HHSC has also began working with the facility.

To date, there have been four deaths, medical records are pending review to determine if COVID-19 related. Based on our current records, 57 residents and staff members are actively being monitored by HCPH for COVID-19. HCPH issued public health control orders to the facility on July 3 to ensure compliance with infection control & prevention, to track viral transmission of the virus and COVID-19 related deaths. HCPH is continuing to work with HHSC and other state entities in this investigation.


Precinct 2 ready for Hurricanes, flooding

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia

Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia has been planning for a busy hurricane season, and possible street flooding, he recently reported in an interview on a local news blog. Garcia told Michael Palmer of NNB that his precinct prepares every day of the year, not just hurricane season, for responses to natural disasters, man-made accidents, and even a pandemic. He noted that last year the county saw a series of natural disasters that they responded to. These included the ITC fire, the KMCO explosion, a lightning strike at a refinery, a barge accident under I10 and another in the ship channel, and the flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. Garcia noted his own experience with disasters includes hurricanes such as Alycia, Katrina, and Ike.

“And so I understand these events,” he said. “We have good coordination with our area mayors, and work closely with all of the entities necessary when it comes to a disaster of any sort.”

Garcia also spoke about flooding from storms, and areas in his Precinct that have been inundated.

“Precinct 2 is a Downstream Side of many surrounding counties, and we get 70% of everyone else’s water. I supported the $2.5 Billion flood bond election, but I want to make sure that we’re using the money wisely.”

The commissioner said that he works closely with the Harris County Flood Control District, to insure that new projects don’t add to the flood problem. (more…)

Application period opens for Harris County small business recovery fund

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo at a news conference Monday, explaining the new Small Business Recovery Fund. She also strongly advised everyone in Harris County to wear a face mask and practice safe distancing.

Grants of up to $25,000 Available; Recipients Will be Selected at End of 10 Day Application Window

Harris County, Texas – July 13, 2020 – Eligible businesses can apply for financial assistance through the Harris County Small Business Recovery Fund today through Friday, July 24. The $30 million grant program, which was unanimously approved by the Harris County Commissioners Court on June 30, prioritizes struggling small businesses that have not yet received funds from other COVID-19 relief programs.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Harris County’s economy, and the pandemic has hit them especially hard,” said County Judge Lina Hidalgo “While county government alone cannot make up for all of the loss, we must do all we can to help as many as we can.”

To be eligible for grants of up to $25,000, applicants must meet the following requirements:


COVID-19 SPREAD CONTINUES: Harris County raises threat level to ‘Severe’, advises masks, stay home

Judge Hidalgo Urges Residents to Stay Home, Leave Only for Vital Needs

Harris County, Texas — June 26, 2020 — Today at noon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo updated the county’s COVID-19 public threat level from significant (orange, level two) to severe (red, level one). Level one indicates a “severe and uncontrolled” level of COVID19, meaning outbreaks are worsening, contact tracing capacity is strained or exceeded, and healthcare surge is likely. The elevation to threat level 1 – the highest in the system – comes as a variety of data demonstrate alarming trends that are on track to overwhelm the local healthcare system.

“The harsh truth is that our current infection rate is on pace to overwhelm our hospitals in the very near future,” Judge Hidalgo said. “We hope this serves as a wakeup call to everyone that the time to act is now. I’m calling on all residents and businesses to take immediate action to help our medical community get this virus back in check before it spirals beyond control and more lives are needlessly sacrificed. Stay and work from home except for essential business. Wear a face covering if you absolutely have to be out. We’ve flattened the curve before, and we can do it again, but we need to buckle down and do this together.”

Under a level one threat, the public is urged to:

Stay home, except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine

Avoid and cancel all gatherings of any size.

Essential workers practice special precautions to prevent spread.

All vulnerable individuals (65+ or with pre-existing health conditions) stay home.

Self-quarantine for 14 days if in close and prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive with COVID-19. Wear face coverings to protect others.

Avoid non-essential business and personal travel. Avoid public transportation where possible.

Cancel visits to nursing homes, long term care facilities, and hospitals.

Avoid and cancel all indoor and outdoor gatherings, including concerts, rodeos, large sporting events, etc. Schools and after-school activities for youth close, as directed by educational authorities.

Area hospitals have reached their full ICU base capacity and are now relying on surge space to treat patients. The number of daily cases and hospitalizations have also reached their highest point since the beginning of the pandemic.


Constable Race key in Early Voting

By Gilbert Hoffman

Harris County voters are currently voting by Early ballots, prior to Election Day on July 14. This is a Run-off Election, with many important positions to be decided. Winners will go to the General Election in November.

One of the races of most interest in the North Channel area is Harris County Precinct 2 Constable race, with incumbent Constable Chris Diaz facing a strong challenge from Jerry Garcia, a Lieutenant in the Precinct 3 Constables office, under Constable Sherman Eagleton. Voters have been following this race for months, since the Primary in March, with charges and innuendos thrown out by both candidates. In the Primary, Diaz got 34% of the votes, or 5081, and Garcia got 39% or 5721 votes. Neither received a majority and therefore face this run-off.

Diaz has held the office for the last 7 years, and is running on his record of accomplishments. Prior to his term as a constable, he was a councilman and mayor of Jacinto City, where he still lives. Garcia is running on his long experience as a law enforcement officer for over 22 years. He lives in the South Belt area of the Precinct.

Both candidates have accused the other of improprieties. (more…)

Update on San Jacinto River Waste Pits: EPA says deeper toxic waste means more time & money

This illustration of a typical cofferdam and dewatering process, furnished by the EPA, may be the type called for in the Design Package.

By Jennah Durant, EPA Press Office

Here is more information on recent SJR waste pits questions:

1. Have you received the 30% Design package for the South impoundment?

Yes. The 30% design package for the south impoundment was submitted to EPA on April 13, 2020.

2. Have you received the 30% Design package for the North impoundment?

Yes. The 30% design package for the north impoundment was submitted to EPA on May 28, 2020.

3. Will these documents be available to the public? When?

The documents are currently under review by the regulatory agencies. Following EPA’s review of the document and determination that the design is appropriate based on the remedy selected in the Record of Decision, EPA will make the document available to the public.

4. Regardless of whether the reports are public, could you furnish me with an executive summary or your own summation of what they say? 

• The pre-design investigations have refined the volume of waste to be removed in the north and south impoundment;

• Waste in some areas of the northern impoundment are deeper than presented in the Record of Decision;