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Posts published in October 2015

CROSBY & GOOSE CREEK -Danger to school kids brings tough enforcement

CROSBY – Today, Oct. 27, bus 45 got a ticket for passing a bus picking up pupils at the curve on FM 2100.

Since a video went viral on Click 2 Houston and social media of a local driver passing a school bus in the grass to the right of the bus, the Captain at District 3 of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office ordered deputies to monitor and enforce laws inside the proximity of Crosby ISD School Zones.

One deputy wrote 23 tickets on Monday morning. The tickets range from speeding to passing a bus when the red stop sign has been activated.

According to Captain Jesse Inocencio, “The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has received complaints about people driving past loading and unloading school buses — Morning and afternoon. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office District 3 Joint Task Force is conducting a traffic initiative on FM 2100 and surrounding area to include the Goose Creek and Crosby ISD. This is our second initiative this school year and we have already cited over 50 violators. This initiative began on Monday, October 19 and will continue for several weeks. We hope to get the public’s attention and gain compliance with the law.”

The increase in traffic enforcement has drawn a reaction already. One resident was out filming the traffic stops on FM 2100 Tuesday morning saying he intends to prove that his wife had gotten a ticket on Oct. 26 wrongfully because when she passed the bus the sign was not yet fully extended as the bus was still rolling to a stop.

He expressed outrage at the truck driver that was caught on a dash camera between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. last Thursday on Bohemian Hall Rd. that stopped behind the stopped bus then hit the gas and drove around the side of the bus where children exit.

But the resident added, “I guess about 82% of these stops are bull and we are going to alert people that this $1,200 ticket writing is out of control.

The driver of the truck has already turned himself in for the incident. However, there is a problem with commuters school zones and bus stops.

According to Dr. Keith Moore, Superintendent of Crosby ISD, “I was pleased to hear that the driver of the truck turned himself in. I understand that stopping for our buses makes already difficult commutes even longer, but choosing to go around loading buses is genuinely careless, callous and dangerous behavior. Deservedly so, this driver will face significant fines and public ridicule but let’s be sure to understand that this is not an isolated incident. Too many Texas drivers are playing Russian Roulette with our children’s lives everyday.”

Captain Inocencio continued, “Here are some myths or misunderstandings that we hear from the violators that I will address:

Myth: ‘I don’t have to stop on a four lane highway with a center turn lane” WRONG: You do have to stop on both sides of the roadway – behind the bus and the opposite direction.’

Myth: ‘I don’t have to stop if there is a solid center stripe” WRONG: You do have to stop both ways regardless of a solid center stripe.’

Myth: ‘If there are no houses or children coming from the opposite side of the school bus then why should I stop?’ WRONG: you must stop if there is no center median- the law does not give you a choice.

In truth drivers do not have to stop on a divided highway with a center median, such as a grassy median is present, if you are approaching from the opposite direction of the bus. Those going the same direction of the bus must STOP.

The bottom line is that we do not want to write these tickets, our main concern is for the safety of the children and if we prevent a tragic event from happening then we are all doing the right thing.”

Drivers near school districts and buses might better stay off cell phones and operate within the law or face hefty fines.

Highlands hears details of Water District bonds

Tuesday night the public heard engineers, financial experts, and the Water District board tell of the need for physical improvements to the water lines and processing facilities of the Harris County Water Control & Improvement District No. 1.

Mark Taylor, general manager of the water district, introduced Wallace Trochesset and Jimmy Flowers of the LJA Engineering firm, and Andrew Friedman of SAMCO Capital. They explained with slides and narration what work was planned for the system, and how it would be paid for.

Although the total bond package that voters are being asked to approve would total $16,000,000, it will be sold and implemented in two phases.

Phase I is termed “2016 Short Term Projects” according to Trochesset. Work to be included are a “digester” for the wastewater treatment plant, and a control system for the existing lift station. The total for this work is about $2,500,000.

Also included in Phase I is to replace the lift station at Blue Bell, and West Houston. They are deteriorated beyond repair, Trochesset said. The Corley lift station would be removed. This work is estimated at $688,800.

Also included are renovations to the Battlebell water plant, and maintenance and recoating of the elevated storage tank, which is now 35 years old. This work is estimated at $1,977,000.

Also included are new water lines to replace aging and failing lines, on Clear Lake Road, Wallisville Road, and Magnolia and West Houston. The total estimated cost of these is $680, 600.

Trochesset said there is a Phase II, “2023 Long Term Projects” that will include:

Rehabilitation of the existing clarifier No. 3 at the Waste Water plant, and treatment for phosphorous and nitrogen. This cost is estimated at $5,804,000.

Also included in Phase II is a replacement Lift Station on West Houston, and the abandonment of a left station on Corley. These projects are estimated to cost $$608,000.

The total estimated for construction costs is $12,256,400 and with engineering and legal fees the total project cost, and bond referendum amount to $16,000,000.

The bonds, and construction, will take place over the next 8 years, Taylor said. The work is necessary to keep the aging system in operation, and providing safe drinking water.

Bonds are a less expensive method of meeting costs, rather than paying for the work from ongoing water bill charges.

It was calculated that for a home owner with an assessed value of $150,000, Phase I improvements would only cost about an additional $200 yearly on the water bill. After Phase II, the cost would be $645 added to the annual water bill.

Pct. 2 holds annual Veterans Picnic

HIGHLANDS – The annual veterans’ dinner was held here last Saturday and Commissioner Jack Morman gave special reverence to those that have served their country.

Gil Sossa that represents the county’s service to veterans here in Highlands introduced the commissioner. “I am very proud of the fact that we have a Veteran’s service office in Pct. 2 that assists our veterans and troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in obtaining their well-deserved Veterans Benefits.”

“I look forward to this special day every year to celebrate and pay tribute to our veterans who have served our country to protect our freedom and to the brave soldiers who are out in the field today. May God protect them and bring them home safely to their families.” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Morman.

The crowd about 350 learned that Precinct 2 provides transportation to and from the DeBakey VA Medical Center to wheel-chaired veterans and those who depend on this service for their appointments.

The Commissioner closed with, “My family and I would like to say thank you to all our Precinct 2 veterans and their families. We appreciate and honor your service to our country. We are so happy you are here with us today.”

Morman introduced guest speaker, Frank “Kiowa Jim” Tongkeamha, a Navy Chief Petty Officer during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Eastside Veterans had a booth at the event, they invite veterans and the public to turn out for their events Nov. 5, 6 and 7.

HIGHLANDS: $16m water improvements on Nov. 3 ballot

HIGHLANDS – The Highlands water district will hold a meeting next Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Community Center to present information to the public on a Bond Referendum package that will appear on the Nov. 3rd ballots for local residents.

The tax exempt bonds in the amount of $16 million dollars, to be spent over the next 8 years, will ensure that customers have properly functioning water supply and sewer treatment facilities.

Harris County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 is the sole water and sewer service provider for Highlands and surrounding areas, since 1939.

Mark Taylor, manager of the waterdistrict, stated that an engineering study by LJA engineers had been conducted, to assess current conditions and plan for systemwide improvements. Their recommendations are:

At the wastewater treatment plant, to replace outdated equipment 60 years old, add new controls and meet new state standards;

At the wastewater collection system, replace two existing lift stations and eliminate another;

At the water plant on Battlebell, renovate and return the plant to service, and rehabilitate the 35 year old elevated storage tank;

At the water distribution system, replace aging lines some of which are over 70 years old, and increase pipe size as necessary.

The Bond will be paid for by a small tax increase, according to Taylor. The amount would initially be about 8 cents per $100 assessed value, with an increase in 2018 of 18 cents and in 2024 of 16 cents. The total impact of the taxes would be about $430 for a $100,000 home by the year 2024. This final tax rate is $.63/$100, compared with other nearby areas, of $.55/$100 in Crosby MUD, $.68/$100 in Lake MUD east of Highlands, and $1.12/$100 in Barrett Station.

Voters will be asked to approve the bonds, on the November ballot. Early voting starts Oct. 19 to 30 at any Harris County early voting location, and on Nov. 3 at the Highlands Community Center and the Highlands Elementary School.

Crosby enjoys Street Dance, Pink Fire Trucks

CROSBY – The New Crosby Street Dance was Saturday, Oct. 17 with loads of features for the locals to hear view and enjoy.

The Grand Opening of the Crosby Antique Mall began Noon Saturday with the closing of Main Street in the underpass below Main Street in Crosby.

It was an event of live music, food vendors and shopping.

This was the first of what is to be an annual event, according to Danny Jones “We are trying to get it back. We are making this a free event on our dime this time. Hopefully next year we can get a little support and sponsorship.”

Many remember folks from throughout the area coming to Crosby from the 1960’s up until the Mid-1980’s to attend the Crosby Street Dance.

“We got the permit with TXDoT and are looking forward to having the Pink Fire Truck with the Superhero’s on it coming. It’s never been to Crosby before. We want this to be a family event.” Jones said.

Scheduled Live Music events continued until 10:00 p.m. It began with karaoke by Karaoke Korner from Noon until 3:00 p.m. The Dayton Academy of dance performed at 2:30 p.m. The Bootleg Country Band played at 3:00 lasting until 6:00 as lead for the title feature, Jason West and West of the Trinity Band, from 7:00 until closing at 10:00 p.m.

Making their appearance with two regular pink fire trucks and another with a giant kids’ moonwalk, called the Kid’s Fire Truck, the Pink Healers’ Breast Cancer Pink Fire Trucks made their appearance about 5:30 to bring awareness and support to our community. “Support the fighters, admire the survivors and honor the taken and never give up hope.”

Each year through Bras For The Cause, Crosby Fair & Rodeo supports the Pink Healers with contributions

Rowdy Bucks’ Beer Booth will vend America’s favorite beverage.

Crosby Street Dance returns Saturday – PINK HEALS is coming to Crosby

CROSBY – Back with a grand opening the New Crosby Street Dance is Saturday, Oct. 17 with loads of features for the locals to hear view and enjoy.

This is the first of what is to be an annual event, according to Danny Jones “We are trying to get it back. We are making this a free event on our dime this time. Hopefully next year we can get a little support and sponsorship.”

Many remember folks from throughout the area coming to Crosby from the 1960’s up until the Mid-1980’s to attend the Crosby Street Dance.

The Grand Opening of the Crosby Antique Mall begins Noon Saturday with the closing of Main Street in the underpass below the overpass of Main Street in Crosby. It will be an event of live music, food vendors and shopping at 5613 South Main in Crosby.

“We got the permit with TXDoT and are looking forward to having the Pink Fire Truck with the Superhero’s on it coming. It’s never been to Crosby before. We want this to be a family event.” Jones said.

Scheduled Live Music events are to continue until 10:00 p.m. It all begins with karaoke by Karaoke Korner from Noon until 3:00 p.m. The Dayton Academy of dance comes out to perform at 2:30 p.m. All is a lead off for Bootleg Country Band at three lasting until six as lead for the title feature, Jason West and West of the Trinity Band, from 7:00 until closing at 10:00 p.m.

Making their appearance with two regular pink fire trucks and another with a giant kids’ moonwalk, called the Kid’s Fire Truck, the Pink Healers’ Breast Cancer Pink Fire Trucks make their appearance about 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. to bring awareness and support to our community. “Support the fighters, admire the survivors and honor the taken and never give up hope.”

Each year through Bras For The Cause, Crosby Fair & Rodeo supports the Pink Healers with contributions

Rowdy Bucks’ Beer Booth will vend America’s favorite beverage. As of press time there is still vendor space available so call Danny Jones at (281) 799-2080.

BARRETT STATION: Two shot, one dies in robbery at market

Barrett Station – A father and his son were shot and the father killed last Thursday at the Barrett Grocery and law enforcement has charged a local man for the double shooting.

As traffic built prior to the rush hour crowd on the streets under construction about 2:00 p.m., Oct. 8 shots rang out at the Barrett Grocery.

Javed Nizamani was critically wounded and later succumbed to his injuries but Shahzaib Nizamani is expected to recover. Both Shahzaib and Javed Nizamani were transported to Hermann Memorial Hospital via Life Flight Helicopters. Javed was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The two were working at the store that Javed purchased two years ago. Shahzaib Nizamani recalled a man that frequently harrassed customers going by the handle “Pooman” was in rare form this day, knocking on windows, shouting and generally being a nuisance to the store employees and potential partons.

Shahzaib recalled that he and Javed had ordered “Pooman” to leave the premises but that seemed only to escalate the rage of “Pooman.”

While “Pooman” was shouting at the window, somehow the window shattered. “Pooman” left the business at that time only to return again a short while later with a handgun.

Shahzaib Nizamani stated that “Pooman” reached inside the broken window with the handgun and shot both he and Javed Nizamani then fled the scene.

Homicide Investigators were in the area most of the evening and spoke with a number of residents.

The next day, Harris County Sheriff’s Homicide Investigators filed charges on John “Pooman” Larue Simpson, 37, for the murder of Javed Nizamani.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Simpson is asked to call the Harris County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS (8477).

Early Voting starts Oct. 19

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters may want to start early this year, due to a very full ballot, with State Constitutional propositions, County, school and water district bond referendums, and candidates for a number of offices.

Early voting runs from Oct. 19 to Oct. 30, and the general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Hours for voting are Oct. 19 to 23 from 8:00 to 4:30; Oct. 24 7:00 to 7:00; Oct. 25 1:00 to 6:00; and Oct. 26 to Oct. 30 7:00 to 7:00.

This year, in addition to the usual locations, the county has added locations: HCCS Northeast, and Riley Chambers Community Center to name two in this area. Also in this area, you may vote early at the Baytown Community Center, and at the main Harris County administration building downtown at 1001 Preston.

Of interest to local voters will be the 7 state constitutional amendments; 4 Harris County bond referendums; 24 Baytown propositions; 2 Baytown Police and Fire propositions; Harris County MUD No. 1 issuance of bonds and taxes to pay; and in Highlands Harris County WCID No. 1 issuance of $16 million in bonds and taxes to pay.

Outside of the immediate unincorporated area, there are also mayor and council races in the city of Houston, and bond and school trustee elections in surrounding community colleges and school districts.

Detailed information is available at www.harrisvotes.org.

2015 Miss Highlands is Jordan Gwaltney

HIGHLANDS – The 58th Annual Miss Highlands Pageant was held last Saturday, with seven girls competing for the top title, and another nine competing for the junior honors. Two competitions were held, at 2 and 7 pm at the Highlands Junior School auditorium, with a full crowd in the audience hoping their favorite would take away the title.

The Pageant show was emceed by Baytown police assistant chief David Alford and the 2014 Miss Highlands, Katlyn Burns.

Originally the pageant was part of the Highlands Jamboree, but in recent years has been sponsored and run by the Highlands Horizons. Pageant directors for Miss Highlands are Norma Cotten, Pam White, Carol Forrest, Chrissa Teel, and Becky Baumbach. Directors for Junior Miss Highlands are Ashley Forrest, Delene Cotten, Kathryn Dunlop, Laura Little, and Jamie Gonzalez.

The pageant receives strong support from the greater Highlands business community, and Goose Creek schools.

This year the theme was “Back to the Beach” with decorations on that theme. Both pageants included an opening number, constestant introductions, casualwear modeling, talent competition, dress modeling and interview question.

Proceeds from the pageant are used by the Horizons for scholarships, and to help needy families and students in the community. In 2014 the organization was able to award 9 scholarships to deserving graduates.

An additional award, the Jennie Robbins Community Service Award, was given to Maegan Linck for community mindedness and dedicating her time to serve and help others. Presented by Kathryn Robbins Dunlop.

Arson suspected in Newport fire

NEWPORT – The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is asking the public’s help with any information on the identity of the two men seen setting a fire in the 17000 block of Scuttle Way in Crosby.

Saturday, September 26, at 3:30 a.m., two male suspects, believed to be Hispanic are video recorded pouring a flamable liquid for the second time at the home of Allen Hill. A similar incident happened a week before, with less damage.

Although video recorded throwing the liquid on the door, garage, back, and side of the house and pouring a lead fuse on the driveway, only the garage door and welcome mat were burned the second time.

Barking alerted neighbors and the three occupants of the home. They were able to put out the flames.

Local investigators do not currently have a motive, and an investigation into personal relationships is ongoing. Arson investigators would not say anything additional. They did indicate that there is a reward for the two suspects’ capture.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspects in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.”