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North Channel Star

Rep. Gene Green to host annual job fair

Over 50 confirmed employers from the public and private sector will be participating and seeking to hire

NORTH CHANNEL – Congressman Gene Green invites constituents to his 13th Annual Job Fair on Monday, April 27th at San Jacinto College North from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

“We have employers coming from all over the Houston area, and job opportunities ranging from lifeguards to sales representatives to police cadets,” Green said.

“Changing careers or landing that first job can be challenging. Our hope is that this job fair creates a space where people can meet potential employers from a variety of industries and make that first connection or take that first step.”

The event is being organized in conjunction with Workforce Solutions and the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce, and will host over 50 employers that are looking to fill full and part-time, and seasonal positions immediately.

In addition to job opportunities, Workforce Solutions will be offering assistance on interviewing skills and resume critiquing. Attendees should dress professionally and bring resumes. For a full list of participating employers, visit Congressman Gene Green’s website.

San Jacinto College North, Monument Room is located at 5800 Uvalde Road, Houston, TX 77049.

GP/JC COMMUNITY-INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP: Panama Canal talk by Bill Diehl

CAPT. BILL DIEHL, USCG (RET) and President of the Port Bureau
CAPT. BILL DIEHL, USCG (RET) and President of the Port Bureau

GALENA PARK – Participants in the CIP heard industry reports of safety and emissions last month, but they also heard two interesting talks by industry leaders.

Derrick Bockius, plant manager of the new Kinder-Morgan facility in Galena Park reported that the plant was now on line, and producing about 50,000 gallons/day. This is Unit 1, and Unit 2 will go on line later this year, he said. The distillate product is being sent to local Galena Park companies, and to barges for export. Bockius said that the city of Galena Park should realize about $4 million yearly from this new plant.

Capt. Bill Diehl, president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, made a detailed slide presentation on the status of the new Panama Canal work, and explained how it would affect commerce in the Houston Port area.

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Police chase ends in shooting, suspect killed

Suspect lies on ground, shot after a high-speed police chase. (Photo courtesy Allan Jamail)
Suspect lies on ground, shot after a high-speed police chase. (Photo courtesy Allan Jamail)

HOUSTON — A suspect is dead after a police chase ended in a shooting Wednesday morning in the North Shore/Channelview area.

According to police, the chase started after Houston Police Officers were conducting an operation near Highway 59 and Crosstimbers when they observed a car making unsafe lane changes. The chase began after a patrol unit did a traffic stop but the driver of the blue Chrysler 300 refused to stop and chase ensued at around 10:40 a.m.

The suspect drove from the Eastex onto Beltway East, then south on the Sam Houston Tollway. Spike strips were used in an attempt to slow down the vehicle, but failed. The chase ended on Wallisville Road and N. Castlegory in Northeast Harris County where the suspect’s car crashed into a small white car. He then lost control and crashed his car into an SUV near the Wendell Ley YMCA.

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Channelview FFA auction highlights successful show

Madisyn Beach shows her Grand Champion Steer at the Channelview ISD Livestock Show at the Allen Hall Fairgrounds on April 11. Beach's steer sold for $6,000.
Madisyn Beach shows her Grand Champion Steer at the Channelview ISD Livestock Show at the Allen Hall Fairgrounds on April 11. Beach’s steer sold for $6,000.

The bids were going fast and furious between prospective buyers and students proudly showed their animals as the auction highlighted the conclusion of the 52nd annual Channelview ISD Livestock Show on Saturday, April 11.

As of press time, funds raised from the livestock sales were still being totaled. Funds from the event go toward the Channelview FFA Scholarship Fund.

The week-long event featured many livestock, horticulture and craft exhibits. In addition, the annual parade took place before the auction with the route traveling between Schochler Elementary and Channelview High School. Longtime FFA supporters and livestock show buyers Walter and Martha Tutor served as Grand Marshalls of the parade.

Of particular interest was the bidding for Madisyn Beach’s Grand Champion Steer, which earned $6,000 with Tutor Security’s winning bid. Alexis Brown’s Reserve Champion Steer also brought in quite a payday, as it was purchased by Tubular Services for $6,500.

Other major winners included:

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Stephens EKG bill passed in Texas House

AUSTIN – Nearly three years since Cody Stephens died of sudden cardiac arrest the Texas House approved HB 767. Cody wore number 76 for the Cougars, but did not have a heart screen done prior to practicing to play for Tarleton State University.

Chairmen Wayne Smith, Dan Huberty, and Sylvester Turner, enabled passage of HB767 on the third reading last Tuesday, the vote went 60 to 40. The day before it had tentatively passed 86 to 57. It was a bi-partisan effort to pass as some Republicans in the House are against any new regulations.

“This is not about somebody making a decision for the school board,” said Scott Stephens, explaining that the bill is really moving the tests performed on potential athletes into the 21st Century.

“The bill would not go into effect until the next school year, 2016-2017,” Stephens said, “that gives the U.I.L. a year to get ready.”

The bill puts the non-invasive electrocardiogram test of heart electrical activity as part of the regular check-up done on high school kids. The bill now allows parents to opt out of having the test done on their child “for any reason.”

The bill unanimously passed the House Education Committee and members of the committee stood and applauded the decision. (more…)

NORTH SHORE Rotary prepares for 40th Annual Catfish & Crawfish Boil May 16th

NORTH SHORE ROTARIAN JIM MILLS, owner of Pineforest Jewelry on Uvalde, displays the Toyota pick-up truck, which is one of the two vehicles that the winner of the Raffle can choose on May 16th. Tickets are available from any Rotarian, or at the Pineforest Jewelry store. Mills dog friend “Dutch” might be able to give you a tip on which ticket will be the lucky one.
NORTH SHORE ROTARIAN JIM MILLS, owner of Pineforest Jewelry on Uvalde, displays the Toyota pick-up truck, which is one of the two vehicles that the winner of the Raffle can choose on May 16th. Tickets are available from any Rotarian, or at the Pineforest Jewelry store. Mills dog friend “Dutch” might be able to give you a tip on which ticket will be the lucky one.

NORTH SHORE – Rotarians are busy preparing for their annual fundraiser, the 40th Annual Catfish Fry & Crawfish Boil, that will be held at the Rotary Pavilion next to the Courthouse Annex at 14350 Wallisville Road, Saturday May 16th.

This annual event brings out almost a thousand people each year, eager to try the fresh catfish and crawfish seafood meal and try to win a new car in the raffle.

This year’s prize is either a new Toyota Camry or a Toyota Tundra pick-up, courtesy of Community Toyota in Baytown. There are a total of 20 prizes in the drawing, which costs $100 to enter, and includes 2 meals with your raffle ticket. Also available are meal tickets for a $10 donation for one serving. Food will be served from 11 am to 3 pm, but come early for there is a high demand.

There will also be a entertainment, and a live auction and a silent auction, and each year about 100 unique items are up for bid. There is a lot of interest in this, due to the special types of prizes.

North Shore Rotary uses the proceeds from the event to fund community projects all year long, including youth projects, scholarships, and international projects.

Major Sponsor this year is the Holiday Inn East. Come and have a good time, plenty of free parking.

NORTH CHANNEL CHAMBER: Mattress Mack speaks at luncheon

mattress mackBy Gilbert Hoffman

I’ve known Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale since about 1980, when we both arrived in Houston from “up north” — he Dallas, me Pennsylvania. Over the years, I have heard him speak dozen of times, yet I never tire of his message, and his delivery. His energy, dedication, and focus is amazing for a man with 300 employees, and major health problems.

His message is about hard work as the key to success, and the importance of the customer and his or her interests.

Over the years, his “stump speech” has been refined, and now it is not just about his life’s story of creating a successful business, but more about the trials, challenges, and triumphs he and his family faced along the way, and the importance of relationships.

Do you know anyone else as optimistic, with a big smile, who has had their building set on fire by an arsonist, undergone major heart surgery, and had a daughter with a serious debilitating disease, OCD?

Mack paced the stage of the San Jacinto Monument Room last Friday, as he told his story to an enthralled room of Chamber members and guests.

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Texas: Botsky’s

botskys hot dogBy Russell A. Graves

The menu speaks volumes: MacDaddy & Cheese, Slawdog Millionaire, and other fun and catchy names hint at the fun you’ll have in this downtown Lake Charles, Louisiana eatery long before the hot dogs are delivered to your table.

This unique eatery does one thing and does it remarkably well. They specialize in hot dogs.

I parked just down the block on Pujo Street and headed west towards the place and one of the first things I noticed was the simple sign hung from the vintage building’s facade. It features a mythical creature: the jackalope.

This is my kind of place.

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JACINTO CITY, GP TO BAN ALL ILLICIT DRUGS

CONSTABLE CHRIS DIAZ AND JACINTO CITY POLICE CHIEF JOE AYALA display some of the illicit drugs such as “Kush” that were confiscated in the area. New ordinances in Jacinto City and Galena Park will give officers more authority to remove these drugs from their communities.
CONSTABLE CHRIS DIAZ AND JACINTO CITY POLICE CHIEF JOE AYALA display some of the illicit drugs such as “Kush” that were confiscated in the area. New ordinances in Jacinto City and Galena Park will give officers more authority to remove these drugs from their communities.

New Ordinance expands enforcement power, definition of Designer Drugs

Last week Jacinto City council passed an ordinance on first reading, that will give the police authorities in their jurisdiction more ability to arrest people that have illicit drugs in their possession.

In a like move, Galena Park council on Tuesday of this week had the first reading of a similar ordinance, that will also give local police the authority to remove these drugs from the community.

The proposed ordinance was read for the record by City Attorney Jim DeFoyd, and each council will take a final vote at their next meeting, adopting the measure.

At last Thursday’s council meeting in Jacinto City, police chief Joe Ayala distributed a brochure on various types of illicit and illegal drugs that his department has had to deal with recently.

These include synthetic drugs with street names such as Kush, K2, Smiles, Spice, Bath Salts, Blizzard, N-Bomb, Fake Weed, and Black Mamba. Kush is a derivative form of marijuana.

Synthetic drugs are created using man-made chemicals. They are known as designer drugs, and there chemical state is slightly altered, to avoid being classified as an illegal drug. This ordinance is designed to cover these variations, making it possible for law enforcement agencies to apprehend and prosecute those who posses the designer drugs.

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Galena Park to have Gateway Plaza

PRELIMINARY DESIGN STUDIES for the Monument. (Art Courtesy Knudson, LP)
PRELIMINARY DESIGN STUDIES for the Monument. (Art Courtesy Knudson, LP)

GALENA PARK – City Council met at their regular meeting last Tuesday, and voted to proceed with the Gateway Plaza project.

This will be a landmark in a new plaza next to City Hall, if current plans are finalized. Originally the monument was to be at an entry to the city, but a suitable site was not found, and the plaza concept was developed instead.

Council approved $25,000 for landscape design. The whole project is expected to cost about $125,000, and the Economic Alliance is funding $75,000 and the H-GAC (Houston Galveston Area Council) funding $25,000. Surrounding cities also have similar landmark monuments, according to City Manager Robert Pruett.

Council also approved the lease/purchase of a new fire engine, a pumper that will cost about $520,000. $218,000 of this will be provided by the Texas Forest Service, and the remainder will be paid by a note at about 2% for the city. The new engine is expected in a few months, Chief Gregory said. (more…)

Harris County Sheriff’s Office: Solving Cold Cases

rotary cold casesNORTH SHORE – Rotarians heard from Harris County Investigator Bobby Minchew on how his department pursues so-called “cold cases.”

Minchew is one of two officers assigned to his department, which was restarted in 2009 by Sheriff Garcia. It was initially constituted in 1998. They work with the three homicide squads, following up on cases that have had no leads for over two years. Then they are turned over to he and his partner Eric Clagg, for another look with a fresh perspective.

He said that there are currently over 540 open cases in their cold case files, some of them dating back to the 1960’s and 1970’s. When an old case is referred to them, they review the file and make a decision whether to pursue it farther. However, even if they don’t work the case, it remains open.

Changes in the way the Sheriff ’s office investigates a case have helped them, he said. In the 90’s DNA became a useful tool, especially on older cases where it wasn’t used before. Also, in 2007 a new electronic date base was initiated, making it easier to investigate the available information.
Minchew’s CCC (cold case unit) studies DNA in a data base known as CODIS, firearms evidence files, with a national registry known as IBIS, and fingerprints, known as AFIS.

The work of his unit has resulted in clearing 22 murders, and charging 25 suspects.

When they decide to investigate a case, it is usually because of new tips, information from family or friends, or DNA database matches.

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