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Posts published in August 2016

Screening outreach touches many locals

CROSBY – ECG Screenings were done at the Crosby Community Center this Saturday by the Cody Stephens Go Big Or Go Home Memorial Foundation to the general public.

The Cody Stephens Go Big Or Go Home Memorial Foundation was begun by Scott and Melody Stephens following the death of their son, Cody, May 6, 2012 to Sudden Cardiac Arrest also called sudden death.

When his death occurred only about 5% of Texas schools used ECG screenings in addition to the check ups traditionally used and required by the State U.I.L. committee. Now about 25% of school districts in Texas are using the screenings due to foundations throughout the state.

According to Scott Stephens, “The results will be available shortly. We appreciate all that Crosby has done to help us promote the screening program across Texas and are glad to give this opportunity to our community.”

So about 100 people were screened and about 100 tickets are still on sale for this Saturday’s event.

Saturday, August 27, at 7:00 p.m. until about Midnight at the David H. McNerney American Legion Hall 658 in Crosby the annual fund-raiser is to be held. Tickets are available and tables are still for sale. Tickets are probably going to be available at the door this year. Live Auction items are still being collected. Details for buying tickets are available on the facebook site Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation or the website or call Stephens at (713) 451-3600.

Previously, this event has been among the best charity events of the year. Leaders from throughout the country and northeast Harris County will be in attendance including the legislature and Harris County. Live auction items include a week stay at a condo in Puerto Vellarta. An axis hunt, sport memorabilia, concerts including Dolly Parton and many more are offered for even the most selective buyers.

Catfish on Wheels is catering the event. D.J. Dennis Butterworth will be playing the music. Bill Busby will be the auctioneer.

So, one last effort to save young lives will depend on local support this Saturday evening at the David H. McNerney American Legion Hall. The implications stagger the imagination concerning potential and hazzards of a lack of support for a cause that started locally.

Huffman-Crosby New Educators welcomed

CROSBY – The David H. McNerney American Legion Post 658 on August 17 was packed to capacity as the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce hosted their 39th Annual New Educator’s Luncheon.

First to speak was Chamber Chairman Dr. Larry Koslovsky, next Kim Harris caught everyone up with the events and updates for the Chamber. Demica Espree spoke of the importance of new educators to the business community.

Following that introduction the Superintendents of both Crosby and Huffman spoke to the crowd about their excitement.

Dr. Keith Moore’s entire district is changing in addition to a new high school, the district is starting community schooling it is like opening 5 new schools throughout the district.

Dr. Benny Soileau boldly introduced the concepts of under funding from the legislature.

Highlands deputy shoots Attacker

HIGHLANDS – A Precinct 3 deputy constable was the object of an unusual personal attack last Saturday afternoon, in the driveway of his home.

The deputy answered a knock on the door of his home, to be confronted by an unknown male who asked if the patrol car in the driveway was his. The officer responded “yes” and then was asked to show his badge. The intruder said he was looking for a different officer.

Due to the strange way the man was acting, the officer went into his home, got his gun and badge. But he also called for backup.

At this point, the suspect entered his auto and attempted to run over the deputy, and to pin him against a fence.

Then he put the car in park, got out of the car, and threatened the deputy by saying he was going to cut him with a knife. As the suspect approached the officer, he refused to drop the knife, and the officer fired twice at him with his gun, hitting him in the abdomen. The man was subdued, and taken by LifeFlight to the hospital, reportedly in critical condition.

Authorities said that the man admitted to being under the influence of drugs and cocaine. However, a motive for the incident has not been established, and the whole event is under investigation.

The 29 year old officer, who is a five year veteran of the constable’s office, was placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.

North Main Street was closed for several hours on Saturday as authorities conducted the full investigation.

Heart Screening extended to general public

ECG tests for students and adults this Saturday

CROSBY – ECG Screenings are going to be performed at the Crosby Community Center this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until Noon by the Cody Stephens Go Big Or Go Home Memorial Foundation to the general public from 7th grade and up, not just first year athletes or children.

The Cody Stephens Go Big Or Go Home Memorial Foundation was begun by Scott and Melody Stephens following the death of their son, Cody, May 6, 2012 to Sudden Cardiac Arrest also called sudden death.

When that happened only about 5% of Texas used ECG screenings in addition to the check ups traditionally used and required by the State U.I.L. committee. Now about 25% of school districts in Texas are using the screenings due to foundations throughout the state.

Those wishing to have their heart checked by an ECG screening can register at the website www.codystephens foundation.org. A limited number can be performed in the time allotted so make your registrations soon.

“This website is created to share Cody’s story with others and do anything and everything we can to raise awareness of this silent killer and help prevent other families from experiencing the loss and heartache that we know.”

This is a free heart screening, however donations will be accepted the day of the event. Because funding can detect life threatening conditions.

As an example of the impact that the screening can have on seemingly healthy people, the University of Pittsburgh now screens their first time athletes with an ECG. This year their freshman class of athletes had two students discovered to need heart surgery.

This screening however is only the beginning of the outreach done by this foundation and its impact on the State and the nation is difficult to determine. 60 Minutes Sports recently did a televised report on Scott and Melody’s efforts. Many leave the program asking “Well, why doesn’t every school screen first time athletes with ECGs?”

In the last legislative session the House of Representatives Committee unanimously approved a measure to make screenings an addendum to the physicals now done. The Senate Committee however saw the measure stall. Now, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, R., has expressed interest in the legislation.

BENEFIT DINNER TO BE HELD SATURDAY AUGUST 27

Saturday, August 27, at 7:00 p.m. until about Midnight at the David H. McNerney American Legion Hall 658 in Crosby the annual fund-raiser is to be held. Tickets are available and tables are still for sale. Tickets are probably going to be available at the door this year. Live Auction items are still being collected. Details for buying tickets are available on the facebook site Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation or the website or call Stephens at (713) 451-3600.

Previously, this event has been among the best charity events of the year. Leaders from throughout the country and northeast Harris County will be in attendance including the legislature and Harris County. Live auction items include a week stay at a condo in Puerto Vellarta. An axis hunt, sport memorabilia, concerts including Dolly Parton and many more are offered.

Speakers from throughout the country will share their stories and a young man from Deer Park whose heart surgery begins days before the event will share how his mother’s insistence on an ECG due to Cody’s story may have saved his life.

Catfish on Wheels is catering the event. D.J. Dennis Butterworth will be playing the music. Bill Busby will be the auctioneer.

In the Deer Park case the doctor did not want to do an ECG even after he had heard a problem but the youth’s mother insisted. The results lead his to surgery. His best friend since the third grade had the surgery just days before he was to have the ECG. But the doctor was upset that the mother insisted.

Crosby blaze probed, man rescued

CROSBY – Firefighter Kevin Barker may well have saved a resident last Saturday when he braved a fence, a dog and a locked door to get the man out of his smoking house.

On his way to work the Crosby Volunteer Fireman saw a neighbor’s house smoking at about 4:28 p.m. on August 6. Barker was bitten three time by the dog and had to knock down the door to get a man out of a house that was about to erupt into flames.

Neighbors say Jerome Ulrich had lived at the residence for decades.

Harris County Fire Marshals investigated the blaze and determined that there was cause to do an extensive investigation. The fire may have started in as many as three locations. An arrest for trespassing was done by Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies of a couple found to be dwelling nearby behind the residence. The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office were going to interview the couple however the initial contact Sunday morning found the two incapacitated. On Monday, they declined to speak to investigators without legal representation.

First Assistant Chief Russell White said that Barkers’ injuries were not extensive and he was treated at the scene. Another fireman was said to have suffered heat prostration battling the blaze and was treated and released by Methodist Hospital San Jacinto. Ulrich was not injured.

According to White, Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. has determined it was a two alarm blaze “because we thought several times we had knocked the fire out but it got into the attic with plenty of fuel throughout the structure. We had to add to our efforts several times.”

The crews were on hand far past the 7:30 tap out however, the FM 1942 was closed throughout the combat of the blaze. Thereafter as law enforcement and the Fire Marshals probe there was limited passage as fire trucks and first responder vehicles were on the scene.

The Finnisher is finished

GALVESTON – Riku Melartin, 54, was sentenced twice by the county court system last week. In a jury trial, he was found guilty of attempted bribery of a police officer, stemming from a DWI traffic stop in June 2014 in Kemah. The judge sentenced him to 11 years in Texas prison and a $10,000 fine, but he is able to appeal the sentence, according to the Galveston County District Attorney’s office.

He also was found guilty of the DWI charge, pleaded “no contest” and received a 25 day jail sentence for that charge, of which 15 days had been served.

Melartin is best known for his association with the Keating Chevrolet dealership in Crosby, owned by his wife Tina Jou. He made a series of TV commercials showing him holding a gun and nicknaming him “The Finnisher” a reference to his Finnish heritage and his actions in stopping an armed robbery in his neighborhood in Bellaire.

However it was at that dealership that he allegedly sexually assaulted an underage girl who was working there. He has been charged with 3 counts of assault of a minor, but that trial has not been heard. He had been released on bail on those charges.

In the bribery trial, prosecutors showed dashcam video from a Kemah police cruiser, allegedly showing Melartin attempting 3 times to bribe the officer with money in exchange for releasing him. The trial by jury was held in Galveston’s #405 Judicial Criminal Court, with Judge Michelle Slaughter presiding. The judgement was rendered on August 1, 2016 and the sentence was to begin immediately.

Daughter charged with death of father

HUFFMAN – According to Detective Ben Beall of the Harris County Sheriff’s Homicide Division, Janice Byrnes has been charged with the murder of her father.

Neighbors say that many times Sheriff’s Deputies and other officials have been called to the 1300 block of Gum Tree Lane concerning loud arguing and fighting.

Officers say, July 26 Janice Byrnes walked to a neighbors house, and told that neighbor that she murdered her father. Deputies responded to the scene and located the body of John Byrnes within his home. He was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.

Janice was taken to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit and questioned. Janice Byrnes stated she and her father argued on Sunday and she became very angry and blacked out. Several hours later, she realized her father was deceased.

Janice Byrnes is charged with murder in the 208th District Court with bond set at $75,000.

The case is being investigated by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit. If anyone has any information regarding the death of John Byrnes, they are asked to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 713-274-9100.

San Jacinto Coalition hears updates, waits for well report from Harris County Health Dept.

HIGHLANDS – The San Jacinto River Coalition held their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, with about 150 attending at the Community Center.

But instead of hearing information on the possible contamintion in their well water, they had to wait a few more weeks, said Jackie Young.

After attending a meeting with Harris County Public Health, she was unable to provide the definitive information that the audience asked for. They wanted a detailed quantitative report on dioxins, and other contaminants in their water.

100 wells have been tested by the county last month, and 71 of those received a letter advising them not to drink or cook their water.

Jackie Young, executive director of the group, gave a history of the organization, her involvement, and status of the EPA study of the waste pits.

She also played a video of Congressman Gene Green, questioning EPA director Mathy Stanislaus on EPA’s plans to remediate the Superfund Site. The reply was that a study was almost complete, and an answer with a public comment period would be ready by the end of summer. Green emphasized the time critical nature of the remediation, since many people were experiencing health concerns and problems.

His comment on the video to Stanislaus, “We want it cleaned up. We want it completely removed.

Young also produced a letter from Congressmen Brian Babin, and Randy Weber, expressing the same sentiment and asking for complete removal.

The Coalition is establishing a Memorial Display, to honor those who are sick or deceased from the environmental problems. The next meeting of the group is on August 23 at Walker Community Center. The topic is “ground water.”