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Star-Courier News

State of the County focuses on COVID-19

HEB president Scott McClelland and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo presented the annual State of the County address in the style of a “Fireside Chat.”

Judge Lina Hidalgo’s discusses her ideal pandemic re-opening strategy

By Jada Mier

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and H.E.B.’s President Scott McClelland discussed some important topics at the Annual State of the County “Fireside Chat” held over Livestream. In a 33- minute conversation, the issues discussed were the pandemic, racial justice, and the Ike Dike coastal barrier.

Harris County has a total of 170,835 confirmed virus cases and 2,322 deaths; Judge Lina Hidalgo thinks it’s time for a “necessary pullback.” The number of new cases has increased by 40 percent, Hidalgo says. She feels that Harris county would benefit more from a gradual re-opening plan. Stating that she no longer has the authority to enforce this, she thinks what the country needs is a threshold re-opening strategy with scientifically based parameters. Addressing our suffering economy, Hidalgo says Covid-19 safety measures and the economy’s health are synonymous. “When folks know it’s safe out there, they’ll have the confidence to go out and engage in the activities that are going to improve our economy.”

McClelland pointed out the ongoing struggle students have to adapt to their new online school environment due to the global pandemic. In response to Harris County’s lack of connectivity, the county has invested more money to bridge this digital divide. People are noticing the lack of broadband and cellphone towers in more impoverished areas, which leads to an inability to access the internet, Hidalgo said.


Purse Bingo sees big success for Chamber

CROSBY – The beautiful David H. McNerney Amerian Legion Hall Post #658 was fully decked out for a circus like atmosphere as the local Chamber of Commerce held their second purse bingo competition there Nov. 13.

The event was also held in Stonebridge at Newport at the same time with the same numbers called thanks to modern technical convenience of simulcast Live Stream after 5:30 p.m.

The purses are actual pocketbooks and accessories from the pricey designer lines of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi and others. Raffles were held for pricey bags and a 52 pick up in two separate games added some variety.


Construction starts on Wallisville Road projects

As shown on the Map, 3 intersections on Wallisville Road marked with Red Boxes, will be rebuilt, with the addition of a turn-lane and new signal installation. Completion of the projects will be in April 2021. Project cost is $2,313,393, and the contractor is Wade Con LLC.

Precinct 2 Begins Intersection Improvements

Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s Office begins construction on various intersections along Wallisville Road in the Highlands area

Harris County, TX— Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia plans the start of construction on improvements along Wallisville Road in Highlands and east toward Baytown.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in this area over recent years, especially with housing developments along this corridor,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia. “Many people use this road to get to and from work. Kids wait alongside it to catch their bus. Improvements are absolutely necessary for safety, our economy and I’m happy to finally begin the work.”

Improvements for the $2 million project include signal installations and turn-lane additions at the intersections of Wallisville and Wade Road, Thompson Road, and FM 2100. Construction is expected to be complete late 2021.


Crosby Young Farmers host scholarship raffle

This John Deere XUV590M two seater Gator is first prize.

CROSBY – A raffle to raise money for scholarships for area youth is being hosted by Crosby Texas Young Farmers.

Only 400 tickets are to be sold at $100 each with 7 first rate prizes to be drawn November 21 at the Crosby Fair and Rodeo Fairgrounds at 7:00 p.m. The prizes are a John Deere 2 seat Gator, a gas PK Grille, a custom picnic table, a 7.2 CU freezer filled with a processed swine from Jackson’s Processing, a $500 gift card to Cabella’s Sporting Goods, an Amazon $500 Gift Card, and a $500 gift card to Bass Pro Shop.

To get in on the fun one can call (832)-472-2780 or (281) 793-4346, message Crosby Young Farmers on Facebook, email or pay Venmo @CrosbyYoungFarmer.


Crosby student suspended for threat to President-elect

CROSBY – Traditions of American Democratic Republic are far behind us now as vitriol spilled over into the high school children and one local teen received a suspension for suborning the assassination of the President-Elect last Sunday.

Mostly, a young male sporting and operating a hunting rifle appeared on Social Media encouraging shooting President-Elect Joe Biden.

Crosby ISD was not happy with this development; they issued a statement: “The safety and well-being of our students and staff is a top priority in Crosby Independent School District. On Sunday, November 8th, the District received information indicating that a student enrolled at Crosby High School made a threat on social media against President-elect Joe Biden over the weekend. The threat did not occur on school property or during school time and did not involve school district resources. Although the student made no threats against any Crosby ISD student or staff member, the student will remain home today as an added safety precaution. The threat has been investigated and cleared by federal authorities. At this time, the District does not have any further information other than what has been reported by the media. Although the incident did not occur on school campus or at any District facility, the District stands ready to cooperate with law enforcement in any way it can. Crosby ISD takes this situation very seriously and we are committed to ensuring that all District students, parents, staff, and families are safe and protected while at school and school events.”


Caine recognizes Rotary

Christine DiCosino, representing State Representative Briscoe Cain, presents Highlands Rotary Club president Andy Scott with a Recognition Certificate for the Excellent Community Service they perform.

Heavy voter turnout splits between parties in polls

Without a clue concerning the Presidential candidacy except a substantial lead by the incumbent in key toss up states and a lead by the challenger in projected electoral votes local elections are monotonously slow on Tuesday night.

Locally, Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton has maintained a comfortable 60% to 39% lead over Andre Hines all night.

With less than half of the votes to count in Harris County John Cornyn seems off to a fourth term in the US Senate by over 8% over Democrat M.J. Hagar.

Keeping the House seat for the local District 36, Republican Incumbent Brian Babin was about 62% in Harris County over Dem. Rashad Lewis. That Turns to 80% to 19% in Chambers County in favor of Babin. New face in the Republican Party in the House, Dan Crenshaw a War on Terror veteran won by over 10% over Sima Ladjevardian, who immigrated from Iran. Also in the US House Race, District 29 was won by Dem. Sylvia Garcia about 71% to 27% for Rep. Jaimy Blanco.

Incumbent Democrat Kim Ogg has a nine percent lead over Mary Nan Huffman for District Attorney.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez leads Republican Joe Danna by 15%.

Tax Assessor – Collector Ann Harris Bennett a Democrat has a 10% lead over Chris Daniel and a 50% lead over Billy Pierce.

Newport MUD Proposition for the compromise bond to handle improvements 67% for and 32% against.

Crosby School District Position 5 Heather Barrett at 57% then David Givens 27% and Sharon Mayes 15%.

Huffman School Board Position 4 Kirk Vaughn had 69% Dean Tinnin 31%. Position 5 Preston Tucker 54.5% against Charles Bardwell 45.5%. Position 7 Amanda McGee 47% against Pat Keith 43% and Vernon Reed 10%.

MUD 50 had an election Alice Dangerfield 62% Melody Fontenot 38%.

ESD 80 Chuck Murray had 19.5%, Raymond St. Julian Sr. 29% Derek Elkins 18%, all incumbent.

In the battle for Railroad Commissioner Chrysta Castaneda held 53% for most of the night over James Wright 44%.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas saw Amy Clark Meachum start off ahead in votes then fall far behind Nathan Hecht who took 53% to her 44%.

Tax losses revise funding for roadway progress

Taxing revenue in Texas decreased substantially in 2020, thanks to the pandemic. The source of funding roads for both TxDOT and H-GAC is taxes.

Years of finances and budgeting for future years are going to be impacted and how much improvement can be made on local roadways or how much infrastructure can be improved is a stake.

The State Highway Fund is looking at probably losing near 20% of state and federal income next year, a nearly $3.5 billion reduction.

Regarding local road construction such as FM 2100 from north into Crosby and other on-going projects including the FM 1960 expansion and Grand Parkway connections, “At this time, all active projects are moving forward with no impacts. We’ll know more about impacts to future projects early next year when the Comptroller issues his next budget estimate for the state, and will adjust accordingly as we do each year to develop our 10-year Unified Transportation Program. This 10-year project planning document allows us to adjust with respect to any revenue increases or decreases.” said Danny Perez, Public Information Officer for Texas Dept. of Transportation (TxDOT)- Houston District.


Crosby Superintendent unveils district’s finances

Crosby ISD Superintendent Scott Davis

CROSBY – The status of Crosby ISD in recovery from the state of financial exegency was recently revealed by Superintendent Dr. Scott Davis.

“The With the adoption of the fiscal year 2020 audit, Crosby ISD now sits at the TEA minimum recommendation for fund balance totals. TEA recommends an unassigned fund balance of 15% of the current year’s expenditure budget. Crosby’s unassigned fund balance is now sitting at 19.78% of our 2020-2021 expenditure budget. TEA also recommends a total fund balance of 25% of the current year’s expenditure budget. Crosby’s total fund balance now sits at 26.42% of the 2020- 2021 expenditure budget. The conservative budget approach and goal of living within our means has, in concert with assistance from HB3 funding, come together with the collective will of the school board and staff to get us to this positive and healthy financial position.”

Some questioned how the school’s audit might come out this year, Davis addressed this also.


Extreme Machine brings out Crosby

David Milam accepts the First Place Muscle Car Award from Pastor Keenan Smith of Crosby Church as entertainer/singer Eddie Foster announces. See car photo on page 3. This is his first time winning this award at this venue. Muscle Cars are especially prized at Extreme Machine in that they are both classic and fast running. In total, thirty trophies were awarded.

CROSBY – A church event last weekend brought the COVID19 fatigued community out to celebrate cars, trucks, and entertain the kids.

In its twelfth year, this special event features the Extreme Auto Show, and Craft Show with concessions, a local fire truck or two and a petting zoo at Crosby Church.

The Auto Show drew 85 classic and show quality vehicles from a local area of attraction and multiple categories of entries. (more…)

Panel to study name for Lee High School

BAYTOWN – A committee to look into the name of Goose Creek Consolidated ISD facilities will be formed according to specifications laid out by certain administrators at the school trustee meeting last week.

Robert E. Lee High School is obviously named for the general that swore he wished he had never participated in the American Civil War in retirement with his property confiscated, under house arrest for treason and having witnessed the deaths of most of his best friends and students. But that little bit of history is often forgotten in the current sensitivity to the Confederacy and horror of the great American sin of slavery.

The committee was given directives by members of the administration in deciding if names will remain as they are or be changed. “This committee is tasked with reviewing data and providing input to the school board concerning potential facility name changes.” stated Matt Bolinger.

Bolinger and others asked the committee to investigate how much a change will cost, which facility will be renamed, how did the school get its name, why and if a renaming would be needed, when would renaming be optimal, and how such renaming impacts students.