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Posts published in July 2016

Crosby VFW host fish fry with Wall of Honor

CROSBY – The local veterans and Rolling Thunder, Inc. combined to bring a new Wall of Honor to Just Connie’s Ice House last Saturday.

Just Connie’s Ice House purchased the food for the veterans to sell. Also, the establishment purchased a large cooler to be raffled off to aide the two groups and filed them with the winner’s favorite beverage.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Frank Kubin Post 9761 fried fish and had a 1957 Chevrolet Sedan for raffle that features 200 tickets for $100. A raffle for a shotgun was pulled that day. Bob Stamply won the shotgun. Contact Bob Slovak at (281) 635-9263 to buy a ticket for the Chevy or any member of the VFW post.

Rolling Thunder, Inc. members have been working on the Wall for a decade. Beginning in 2001 the wall is up to date through 2014 for the War on Terror. Panels begin with World War II and continue through the War on Terror that has the name and photograph of all those that died to keep this county free of terror.

Rolling Thunder Inc.’s major function is to educate the public on the American Prisoners Of War after conflicts and to protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action. They are committed to helping all veterans from all conflicts. Rolling Thunder is a nonprofit organization.

The Wall shows that of American veterans 405,399 were killed and 671,846 were wounded serving in World War II. Korea suffered 103,284 wounded and 36,574 were killed. In Vietnam 153,303 were wounded and 58,209 were killed. In Desert Storm 294 were killed. In the War on Terror 24,016 have been killed of all allied soldiers and servicemen, 4,902 Americans eleven are former POW/MIA and one is still listed as POW/MIA.

Highlands accident leaves 2 dead

HIGHLANDS – The peace of Sunday afternoon was shattered by an accident on Haney Road at the intersection with Barbers Hill Road last Sunday.

A call went to Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies at 7:15 p.m. Ambulance crews from Highlands Fire Dept. arrived first on the scene of a two vehicle accident with two dead and another in serious condition.

A Ford F-250 had hit a Mazda CX-7 sedan and both were in the same ditch on the east side of Haney Road.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Division continues to investigate the scene but have made some preliminary determinations.

According to investigators, at about 5:55 p.m. Joaquin Perez was operating the Mazda northbound on Haney Rd. Dominga Perez was seated in the front passenger seat. Nicholas Bowens was driving the Ford east in the 3800 block of Barbers Hill Road and allegedly did not stop at the stop sign. The front end of the Ford struck the left side of the Mazda. The Mazda was pushed broadside into a tree and a road sign. The Ford rolled over on its right side then back on its wheels. Nicholas Bowens was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Lifeflight in critical condition. Both Joaqiun Perez and Dominga Perez died at the scene from injuries.

The investigation continued until 12:10 a.m. Highlands Fire Department assisted with traffic control on Haney Rd.

Four shot in Barrett Station, two die

BARRETT STATION – As many were preparing for the Homecoming on Friday and Saturday night, this small bedroom community was shocked by gunfire last Thursday.

According to Media Relatons of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, on July 14, in a trailer house at the intersection of Locust and Pecan Avenue two or three suspects entered the residence from the front door and began shooting the three occupants it being nearly 7:45 p.m.

When a forth occupant arrived from the car wash he too was shot down by men coming out of the trailer house.

One of two deceased say the invaders demanded money.

After the shooting occupants, suspects fled in a small silver four door sedan. It has yet to be announced if any items were taken from the residence.

Waylon St. Romain, 26, died at the scene, Dameon Griffith, 23, was transported to East Houston Hospital where he expired from his injuries. Carl Potts, 52, and Herbert Singleton, 32, were taken to hospitals and are expected to survive.

In the crowd surrounding the residence after the shooting neighbors spoke of the location being a “drug house.” And detectives believe the shooting to be drug related.

One witness told sheriff’s deputies that a masked man approached the front door and when the occupant of the trailer house attempted to push the masked man away that man began shooting.

Another witness described the suspects’ car as a silver or gray Nissan.

Three were shot inside the residence and one was shot outside the residence, according to Media Relations. The Harris County Tip Line is (832) 529-6797 for anyone with information wishing to remain anonomous.

Large crowds at Waste Pits meetings discuss well water

HIGHLANDS – Jackie Young, president of the new organization THEA and the San Jacinto River Coalition, held two meetings to update the public on the status of work on the Superfund Waste Pits.

Last Thursday she met with interested parties at the J. D. Walker Community Center in McNair, and this week on Tuesday night she met with the public at the Highlands/San Jacinto Community Center. Each meeting had about 150 attendees, with only a few at both.

Young said that attendees were evenly divided from affected neighborhoods around the Waste Pits, including Channelview, Lynchburg, Highlands, McNair, and Baytown.

Young spent a lot of time on technical and chemical information, explaining to the interested crowd how Harris County tests had discovered possible contamination, even dioxin, in the well water samples it drew in June. She said that Harris County Polution Control had sampled and tested 100 wells. Of these, 28 had shown to be contaminated, and the well owners had received letters from HCPC telling them “Don’t Drink the Water” until retesting had been completed. Young explained that she understands when the samples were tested, other samples were open nearby, and may have compromised the well water samples.

Harris County is using money from the lawsuit settlement to pay for the testing. Each test, if searched for all contaminants, costs $2000 and therefore the whole testing program cost $200,000. This was paid for out of the $10 million dollars that the county received from the lawsuit. Precinct 2 has said that all the money will be spent on environmental projects within 5 miles of the Waste Pit site. They have not currently decided how the rest of the money will be spent, but there is under study a proposal to provide water and sewer lines in some of the affected areas.

Young explained that even though the lawsuit awarded $29.2 million to the plaintiffs, including the county, this money cannot be used for individual relief from health problems or well water contamination. These situations must be settled in private lawsuits against the responsible parties, she said.

It was noted that a number of attorneys were present at the meeting, to talk with interested residents that had a claim. These included high-profile firms such as Smith & Hasler, and the Mithoff Law Office.

CONGRESSMAN GREEN CALLS FOR REMOVAL

In a speech on the floor of the House in Washington, Congressman Green called attention to the health problems created by the Waste Pits, and told Congress the only acceptable solution was to remove the contaminated material completely. In part he said “This is no way to live. We need to take the strongest measure available to clean up the site.”

BAYTOWN VOTES FOR

REMOVAL

City Council in Baytown last week passed a resolution calling for the full removal of the material in the Waste Pits. They directed their Parks Department to work on this.

Young said that many people had asked her for a method to use filtration to make the water safe. She said that reverse osmosis, and most filtration systems, are not satisfactory. Although she could not recomment one, she advised the audience to look into Catalytic High Activated Carbon filters, which have shown some success.

The audience had a number of questions, concerns and opinions.

These included why the letter from the county said bathing in this well water was okay;

What affect hurricanes and floods might have on the integrity of the temporary cap;

Would a barge strike release dioxins;

Why is money allocated for a park north of Lake Houston, so far away;

What is an acceptable level of dioxin in the water (30 picograms per litre).

COMPETING PROPOSALS

Young mentioned that another organization, San Jacinto Citizens Against Pollution, has a website keepitcapped.org, and is against the plan to remove all the contaminated material. Their theorgy is that the so-called “dig and haul” method exposes and spreads more dioxin than a cap would ever disperse.

However, Young says the technique should be cofferdams, drainage of the fill site, and then dry removal of the contaminated material in a safe and proven method.

BUY-OUTS POSSIBLE?

The federal government has used a buy-out progam in Banana Bend and Rio Villa to eliminate potential flood properties. The question is whether some type of Buy-Out program would compensate well owners for their potential losses, and health risks.

Young had a sign-up sheet at the meeting, to learn who might be interested in this type of program. However, she cautioned that no money is currently available for any type of relief in a buy-out program.

She did note that “I’ve heard that property values are dropping” in affected areas, such as Lynchburg.

Audience comments included Sean Matula, who advised well owners to file Freedom Of Information requests with the County to learn what the tests show is in their water;

Sam Sledge, who complained about not knowing if his water is safe;

and Mr. Hunt, who said that in his opinion the dioxin could never be totally eliminated and would always pose a threat, even if most was removed.

The next regular meeting of the San Jacinto River Coalition is scheduled for August 2.

Tour of new Crosby HS

CROSBY – Plans are being made for a community wide open house for the area to see what the school bond bought including the new Crosby High School.

Dr. Keith Moore, Superintendent of Crosby ISD consented to take the Star-Courier on a tour of the state of the art in high schools late last month even as finishers and craftsmen settled the work on 9 acres under roof and two stories tall.

An orientation day is planned for those that are to use the school or have wards that will use the new facilities. Currently, the new school is ready to accommodate 1800 students. At capacity with some designated space already allotted, the school could be upgraded for 2400 students. After that new considerations would need be made.

Just as all roads lead to Rome the high school attendees will all come to a brilliantly lit library area. Those passing the security doors in the administration area see the spacious library rising before them in two stories to their right. Those entering from the overhead covered bus entrance also enter near the library off to their left.

“As big as this school is I think it is divided sensible because the west side is your academic side and the east side is the extracurricular side.” Dr. Moore starts out.

Farthermost West are the Agriculture Barn and Shop and all mostly academic areas like science labs and applied sciences including the Culinary Arts Center.

Most eastward are the athletic and practiced arts including gyms and a unique fine arts department. A theater that has features enviable by professional theaters, pulley systems, lighting rows and automated systems. A professional looking basket ball court with seating for 1,800 adjoins an auxiliary court. Both courts have all the most modern amenities and goals. The varsity court has fully collapsible bleacher seating.

HOLIDAY DROWNINGS TWO DIE IN SAN JACINTO RIVER;

1 child survives in Huffman

HIGHLANDS – The San Jacinto River claimed two lives over the 4th of July holiday weekend, and a young child in Huffman almost became the third victim.

The drowning victims included a 50 year old man who walked into deep water at Banana Bend on Saturday, July 2nd; a 7 year old child that went under water at Love’s Marina and Park on old 90 near Crosby; and the near drowning of a 3 year old in Huffman.

The 50 year old died about 1 p.m. on Saturday, as he was swimming at Banana Bend Beach. While swimming with friends in shallow water, he went under water and didn’t resurface. Witnesses said they thought he stepped of a sand bar into deep water, and couldn’t swim.

At Love’s Marina, the drowning occured at 10 a.m. Sunday morning. It was thought that the 7 year old did not know how to swim.

In Huffman, later in the week a 3 year old almost drowned in water near South Commons View Drive on Thursday afternoon. Houston Fire Department answered, and called LifeFlight to take the child to Hermann Memorial Hospital.