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North Channel Star

Stephens recounts how screening bill stalled

Scott Stephens
Scott Stephens

Speaking last week at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Highlands, Scott Stephens recounted for the audience the long path through this year’s Texas Legislature’s 84th session.

Stephens wants to provide heart screenings for all student athletes, to avoid the Sudden Cardiac Death that took the life of his son unexpectedly in 2002. His son Cody, a healthy looking football player in Crosby, had an undetected heart defect and died without warning at his family home.

Since that time, his father Scott has campaigned to provide ECG heart screening to all young athletes, at first with private donated funds, and eventually with the hope that school districts would include it in their regular screening process for students, athletes and others.

Stephens formed a private foundation, the Cody Stephens Foundation, and has raised over $500,000 to pay for 15,000 of these ECG tests last year. But he says there is the need to test many more, and he thinks the state should require all school districts to make this test available and in some cases mandatory.

During this session of the 84th Texas Legislature, there were 3 House bills and 1 Senate bill that were forwarding the proposal. Sponsors in the House were representatives Sylvester Turner, Wayne Smith, and Dan Huberty. Sponsor in the Senate was Chuy Hinojosa. The bills read “to prevent Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) in student athletes by enhancing the current Pre-Participation Sports Physicals with the addition of an Electrocardiogram (ECG) in the first year and third year of participation. Student and parent may opt out for religious or financial reasons.”
Stephens stated that the cost for an ECG in this circumstance is approximately $15 per student.

Stephens said that SCD is the #1 medical killer of high school age students. (Unfortunately, vehicle crashes are the #1 killer otherwise.)

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Congressional leaders visit Port of Houston

Congressional leaders on Port Matters visit Port of Houston efforts related to safety and security highlighted.
Congressional leaders on Port Matters visit Port of Houston efforts related to safety and security highlighted.

HOUSTON, June 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Port of Houston Authority facilitated an important visit and tour of the Port of Houston, Friday, June 5.

Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Congressman Ted Poe and Congressman Brian Babin visited the Port of Houston and learned more about the national impact of the Port of Houston overall and in particular its safety and security measures. The visit was arranged upon the invitation of Congressman Poe, who along with Congresswoman Hahn cochair the PORTS Caucus, which represents more than 100 ports across the nation.

A delegation that included Port of Houston Authority Port Commissioners John D. Kennedy and Stephen DonCarlos, along with federal partners Captain Brian Penoyer, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston and Leslie Fleming – Luczkowski, Assistant Port Director, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) and Captain Mike Morris, Presiding Officer, Houston Pilots visited Shell’s Deer Park refinery before taking a tour by boat of the Houston Ship Channel.

The tour highlighted unique aspects of the nation’s busiest port. (more…)

Dr. Camacho presents cancer information

Dr. Luis H. Camacho
Dr. Luis H. Camacho

The North Channel Chamber heard from a cancer expert at their monthly luncheon last week, Dr. Luis Camacho.

Dr. Camacho is affiliated with the East Houston RMC Cancer Center, and is also Director of the Center for Oncology and Blood Disorders. His original training was at Bogota, Columbia, and later at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the U. S.

Dr. Camacho illustrated his talk with slides about various types of cancers, and some basic facts about the nature of cancer and how it can be minimized, or otherwise treated.

Camacho said that 1 of every 2 men will have some type of invasive cancer, and 1 of every 3 women. He defined cancer as cells in the body that have uncontrollable doubling.

The outstanding questions, he said, are whether we can prevent cancer, and cure cancer. The answer is “Yes.”

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Channelview ISD Top 10 graduates

channelview top 10 graduates

Channelview High School held its graduation on Sunday, June 7 at Aldine ISD’s M.O. Campbell Center. The CHS top 10 students are, from left (by rank), Valedictorian Matthew Yates, Salutatorian Kaliah Glenn, Adriana Aguirre, Erika Richey-Carson, Jay-ar Haro, Jocelyn Ramos, Mary Ontiveros, Destiny Adkins, Judy Bich-Tuyen Truong and Christina Grueso.

Clinton receives Jordan Leadership Award

Presenting the award left to right: Mrs. Rosemary McGowan (Jordan’s sister) Dr. Thomas Freeman (Jordan’s debate coach), Hillary Clinton, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee & TSU President Dr. John M. Rudley (NORTH CHANNEL STAR PHOTOS BY ALLAN JAMAIL)
Presenting the award left to right: Mrs. Rosemary McGowan (Jordan’s sister) Dr. Thomas Freeman (Jordan’s debate coach), Hillary Clinton, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee & TSU President Dr. John M. Rudley (NORTH CHANNEL STAR PHOTOS BY ALLAN JAMAIL)

Houston, TX. June 4, 2015 – Texas Southern University presented a historic event with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton by bestowing on her the first Barbara Jordan Inaugural Gold Medallion for PublicPrivate Leadership Award.
The event was hosted by the Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Barbara Jordan Institute for Policy Research, The Thurgood Marshall School of Law, The Barbara Jordan Inaugural Gold Medallion Committee, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Allan and Linda Jamail of Jacinto City were on the Barbara Jordan Inaugural Gold Medallion Committee who helped plan the event.

Before entering the building, each of the four thousand plus attendees had to go through the Secret Service’s security process of metal detectors and bomb sniffing dogs, Allan Jamail said.

Clinton, the former first lady and wife of President Bill Clinton, is an announced presidential candidate seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party.

According to Allan Jamail this was to be a nonpartisan event, not a campaign event, and Secretary Hillary Clinton, after receiving the award, was to give a Policy Speech on Voting Rights. However, Jamail says Clinton, after praising the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, a former TSU student, then fired up her speech and went into an attack mode, blaming some of her Republican rivals for the new laws that are making it more difficult for minorities and college students to register and to vote.

She called for universal and automatic voter registration for all citizens reaching the age of 18, and a 20-day (or more) period of early voting in every state, before every election. Clinton’s speech identified the work of protecting and expanding voting rights as a critical part of her campaign.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Dr. Grant personifies the value of education

Dr. Charles Grant, San Jacinto College graduate and former president of the North Campus, holds four college degrees and believes in the value of education. He recently started an organization that provides training and certification services for continuing and professional development educators. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.
Dr. Charles Grant, San Jacinto College graduate and former president of the North Campus, holds four college degrees and believes in the value of education. He recently started an organization that provides training and certification services for continuing and professional development educators. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

HOUSTON – Dr. Charles Grant, San Jacinto College graduate and former president of the North Campus, holds four college degrees and is a firm believer in the value of education.

In fact, he has spent almost all of his 35 professional years in the field of education. For San Jacinto College, Grant served as a professor and administrator for 25 years before changing careers. He then worked for three years as education and special projects liaison for Harris County Pct. 2 before joining the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce as its president and CEO. Dr. Grant returned to the education field, launching his own organization – Continuing Education Association International (CEAI), an association that provides training and certification services for continuing and professional development educators.

“I launched CEAI because I feel there is a real need to improve the quality of continuing education worldwide,” commented Grant, who worked at San Jacinto College from 1983 to 2008. “Most continuing education teachers are proficient in their career fields, but many have little or no formal training as educators. It’s one thing to know a subject, but it’s another thing to be able to convey and impart that knowledge to students.” During his tenure at San Jacinto College, Grant served as a director of continuing education, and later as a dean of continuing education. The College’s continuing education division is now called the Continuing and Professional Development division to more accurately reflect its wide range of training and education services.

Grant is not only a former employee of San Jacinto College, he is a San Jac Certified alumnus, having earned an associate degree in general studies in 1967. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Stephen F. Austin State University, a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Sam Houston State University, and a PhD in higher education from Texas A&M University.

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Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary hosts Scholarship Award Ceremony

Galena Park High School scholarship winners with school principal Tony Gardea, Superintendent Dr. Angie Williams, Assistant Director for Maintenance I.A. “Abby” Abou-Awdi, and Rotary President Maria Rodriguez.
Galena Park High School scholarship winners with school principal Tony Gardea, Superintendent Dr. Angie Williams, Assistant Director for Maintenance I.A. “Abby” Abou-Awdi, and Rotary President Maria Rodriguez.

The Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club celebrated 28 Galena Park High School graduating seniors by presenting them with college scholarships ranging from $500.00 to $1,500.00.

Small Club President of the Year for Rotary District 5890, Maria D. Rodriguez, and Club Secretary Ibrahim Abou-Awdi were joined by District Governor Lisa Faith Massey, GPHS Principal Tony Gardea, and GPISD Superintendent Dr. Angie Williams in presenting each student with monetary recognition of their determination and hard work.

The Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club is open to membership from business owners and other interested community members. They meet weekly at 12 noon for lunch at the Alvin D. Baggett Community Building, 1302 Keene St., Galena Park TX 77547. Lunch is $10.00. The fundraising work of the small club of Galena Park/Jacinto City is reflected in the awarding of these 28 scholarships. Congratulations to all involved.

MAYOR’S SON ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORN

SERGIO JESUS MOYA
SERGIO JESUS MOYA

GALENA PARK – Early on the morning of Friday, May 29 a police task force from the Houston Police Department raided a house on 9th Street, They arrested the occupant, Sergio J. Moya, and confiscated several computers, according to authorities.

The Galena Park Mayor’s son, Sergio J. Moya, age 26, was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, and housed in the Harris County jail. His bail was set at $70,000 for the three counts, and on Monday morning he had a hearing before Judge Brock Thomas in Criminal Court No. 338. At that time, represented by attorney Chip Lewis, he was released on bond and ordered to appear at the next hearing on Friday, July 17th.

Moya had been employed for about a month, as a dispatcher for the Precinct 2 Constable’s office, and as an unpaid Reserve Deputy Constable, but after the arrest he was fired by Pct. 2 Constable Chris Diaz. Ironically, Moya had completed police training at the Academy, where Diaz had presented him his certification.

No details of the charges have been made public at this time.

In an interview with the media on Friday, May 29, Mayor Esmeralda Moya emphasized that her son was cooperating with authorities, and that some details of the public charges were not correct. She claimed he did not own any computers and questioned the charges against her son. She pointed out that the raid was not at her house, contrary to some reports, and that her son lived in a house next to hers.

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Controversial Galena Park contracts tabled without action by Council

GALENA PARK COUNCIL MEMBERS decided to table the two contracts that were on the Agenda of the Special Meeting called for Friday, May 29 at 3 p.m.
GALENA PARK COUNCIL MEMBERS decided to table the two contracts that were on the Agenda of the Special Meeting called for Friday, May 29 at 3 p.m.

GALENA PARK – A special Executive Session of the City Commission was called for Friday, May 29 at 3:00 p.m. for the purpose of “discussing personnel matters regarding an employment contract for the City Administrator and the Chief of Police.”

The impetus for the employment contracts had been the result of a negative vote in May on these two provisions in the City Charter Amendment election.

City Administrator Robert Pruett, and Chief of Police Jonathan Rader, believed that they should have an employment contract with the city that detailed their duties and authorities, their pay scale, and other employment terms such as vacation, personal time off, and termination. To date, their employment had been only at the resolution of the City Commission, as acted on at previous meetings.

It was felt by the two men that in lieu of a Charter Amendment calling for codification of their positions, that a formal contract would be advisable.

However, this action was not without controversy. Mayor Moya immediately said that the parties involved did not understand that the Charter election was a vote against their office holding, especially the articles referring to their positions. She noted that the public vote was 2 to1 against establishing these positions in the City Charter. As she had said since her election last May, the public wants a change in the administration of the city.

After reviewing a draft copy of the Employment Agreements, Moya pointed out that they were highly in favor of the employee, and not in the best interests of the city.

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Maria Rodriguez awarded District 5890 “President of the Year”

MARIA RODRIGUEZ WITH ROTARY PRESIDENT’S AWARD.
MARIA RODRIGUEZ WITH ROTARY PRESIDENT’S AWARD.

At the Rotary District 5890 Convention, held in May in New Orleans, the district awarded Maria Rodriguez, president of the Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club with the award for president of the “Small Club of the Year.” She was nominated for the honor by Assistant District Governor Bill Parlko of the North Shore Rotary Club, who has worked with her on a number of community and Rotary projects.

There are over 60 clubs in the district, so the competition was intense. Maria is seen here with the sculptural award, signifying the International Theme for the Year, “Light Up Rotary.” Maria has been president for the 2014-2015 year, during which the club increased its membership, held community food fairs and health fairs, the annual Million Dollar Meal, a Gold Tournament, a Cake Auction, and a popular Country Fair, and awarded scholarships to 28 students. The Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club celebrated with the 28 Galena Park High School graduating seniors by presenting them with college scholarships ranging from $500.00 to $1,500.00 at the club luncheon on May 26 at Baggett Center.

The club also sponsors an Interact club for students at Galena Park High School. Maria is employed by the Galena Park ISD and works at Galena Park High School. Congratulations to her, and the club.

COMMUNITY PROFILE: K-9 patrol dog will honor memory of fallen deputy “Trey” Valdez III

EAST ALDINE BOARD MEMBERS pose with the K-9 that was purchased to honor the memory of fallen Deputy Jesse “Trey” Valdez III. Pictured in front are Valdez’s mother, and HCSO Sgt. Chris Adolph with the dog Trey and Valdez’s son, also Trey Valdez.
EAST ALDINE BOARD MEMBERS pose with the K-9 that was purchased to honor the memory of fallen Deputy Jesse “Trey” Valdez III. Pictured in front are Valdez’s mother, and HCSO Sgt. Chris Adolph with the dog Trey and Valdez’s son, also Trey Valdez.

Board members and the public viewed the new K-9 member of the Sheriff ’s patrol unit, a dog that was purchased by the East Aldine District for use by a sheriff’s unit that at one time included fallen deputy Jesse “Trey” Valdez III.

Deputy Jesse “Trey” Valdez III was killed in a head-on crash in Highlands on Oct. 29, 2014.
Deputy Jesse “Trey” Valdez III was killed in a head-on crash in Highlands on Oct. 29, 2014.

Valdez worked with the East Aldine deputies at the storefront unit, and then was assigned to District 3 units working in East Harris County and the North Shore areas.

On the early morning hours of Oct. 29, 2014, Valdez’ patrol car was struck head-on by a car that allegedly crossed the centerline on westbound Wallisville Road, near Highlands. Valdez died in the accident, and the driver of the other car, Kelly Jo Ivey, has been charged with manslaughter and remains in jail.

Many benefits have been held since then for the family, including his son Trey. East Aldine paid $10,000 for the dog and its training.

Deputies who worked with or knew Valdez want to keep his memory alive with the patrol work that the dog, named “Trey” will undertake.