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Star-Courier News

Eastside Veterans host car show

Raising funds to build a memorial in Crosby Park or wherever they can get the public land and host a celebration of veterans on Veteran’s Day, the Eastside Veterans’ Celebration hosted a car show last Saturday, July 13 at the Crosby American Legion Post 658. Out front as President Bob Ward, Karen Foster and Betty Michelsky in the far background are the fundraiser pigs Freedom and Justice with entertainer, Eddie Foster. The top twenty show vehicles received trophies for their participation and there was a Best of Show and Judge’s Choice Award along with a 50/50 jackpot won by lucky Mrs. Betty Michelsky. The Eastside Veterans also host a trip to Coushatta Casino Resort in Kender, LA. each month. The Eastside Veterans’ Celebration has a website and a facebook page that interested locals can follow.

Judge’s Choice award went to Bruce Meyer with a 1969 Cobra GT, here awarded by judge Trystan Anderson, an automotive detailer in Crosby.

Don Housley won Best of Show here with Eddie Foster, MC and event entertainer. Don brought a 1948 Ford Truck that wowed everyone.

Lawmen bust Crosby human trafficking ring

CROSBY – It took over a year to get Human Trafficking charges confirmed against three local suspects in Montgomery County although three young women had been liberated almost immediately once the investigation began by a special task force.

Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton is making every effort to find and liberate victims of human trafficking locally. Constable’s Deputy Johnson was the lead deputy to investigate what would become a case that continues to grow as he was instrumental in finding two of the women in Crosby and pointed to another in Fort Bend County that was rescued by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.


Divers recover body of driver of semi that plunged off I-10 into the River

THE FRAME AND CAB OF THE SEMI truck that plunged into the San Jacinto River last Thursday, June 26 are lifted by a crane on a work barge on Saturday morning. The barge came from T&T Salvage in Galveston, and was required because the bridge and the nearby Waste Pits Superfund site were not suitable for this type of heavy lifting. (Photo by Harris County Sheriff’s Department)

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – For the third time in the last two months, a vehicle has plunged over the side of a highway bridge, and the occupant was killed.

The most recent event occurred Wednesday, July 3 on the I-610 East Loop bridge over the Houston Ship Channel. Authorities reported that an 18-wheeler swerved to miss a car that had cut in front of him, and crashed through the railing and fell 150 to land on the buildings below. Emergency responders attempted to remove the driver from the wreckage, but he was pinned upside down and died at the scene. The driver of the truck was not immediately identified. His rig landed on top of some industrial buildings of Huntsman Chemical Company. They said that no plant employees were injured, but that operations were stopped due to a sanitary sewer line that was severed and leaking. Some traffic lanes on the bridge were closed, as TxDOT studied how to repair the railing.

This fatal accident followed by only a week a similar accident on the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River, when an 18-wheeler struck a stopped car and then plummeted over the rail and into the river. (more…)

Local water bills are increasing

NORTHEAST HARRIS COUNTY – San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) is increasing groundwater and surface water rates, according to its press release.

It is the first time in 16 years that it is increased and over a decade since the Texas Legislature enacted the 3-2-1 Act that relates to subsidence and using thee tons to one of surface water to subsurface water.

The wholesale water sales entity with a facility in Highlands attributes some of the increase to groundwater conservation rules from the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District ( in Montgomery County) (LSGCD) not being clearly defined. Uncollected funds and to finance a new surface water treatment plant are other factors for increase noted in the press release.

The rate adjustment is after the Texas Water Development Board voted down a LSGCD’s proposed groundwater management plan for Montgomery County back in May, requiring the LSGCD to submit a new management plan and standards.

Last month water rates increased slightly in Crosby Municipal Utility District and just about all other water sellers with notation that the increase must be funded for Crosby to continue purchasing the water.


Boat crashes into bulkhead, one dead

MOTORBOAT with front end mangled.

CHANNELVIEW – Authorities were able to end their search for a missing boater Tuesday morning, when they discovered the body of a man thought to be Luis Gonzalez, 33.

Sunday night about 7:30 pm a motorboat traveling at a high rate of speed on the San Jacinto River, near Rio Villa, crashed into a bulkhead, crumpling the boat and seriously injuring two people on the boat, with the third person thrown overboard and declared missing.

Authorities reported that Galan Ruiz was transported by LifeFlight to a hospital with severe leg injuries, and Michelle Huff was transported to a hospital with lacerations, a broken leg, and internal injuries.

Sheriff’s Deputies and Texas Parks and Wildlife deputies said that the boat had a number of beer cans inside and nearby in the water. (more…)

Outing turns deadly in Huffman

Investigators collect evidence until late in the evening on an apparent murder-suicide.

HUFFMAN – From wheeling about the San Jacinto River to an apparent murder-suicide is a tragic turn for two neighbors and friends here June 30.

Two men were dead after an argument around 3:00 a.m. according to deputies called to Ideloch Subdivision concerning a shooting in progress.

When deputies arrived they found Austin Smith, 27, lying in his driveway, dead of an apparent gunshot wound. His pickup and an ATV were parked at the end of his driveway. Witness testimony indicated that Smith and his girlfriend had gone with neighbor, Coby Rigsby, 32, and his girlfriend “Mudding” in their trucks and off-road vehicles.

Statements indicate an argument between Rigsby and his girlfriend became heated and was interrupted by Smith but that Rigsby took offense at Smith’s interdiction and a fight began between the two men in Rigsby’s lawn.


County, City won’t support ICE raids

For several days last week, rumors were rampant that a national effort to round-up and deport immigrants without legal papers would include Houston and Harris County persons. The rumors emanated from Washington, D.C. and said that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement would carry out unannounced raids, detention, and deportation without a court’s due process.

Local leaders reacted with negative comments, vowing that they would not cooperate with such an undertaking, citing inhumane treatment of individuals, and questionable legal authority. Here are the statements by the County Judge and the Houston Mayor:

Judge Lina Hidalgo Statement:

The Trump administration announced that potential raids on undocumented families across the nation, including in Harris County, have been delayed. The Harris County Judge’s Office had been working with community and government leaders to seek answers so we were prepared to do right by our community, and did not ever receive notice from any governmental agency regarding the reported enforcement operation planned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Nonetheless, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo expressed disappointment at the reported threats of raids, saying, “Creating a climate of fear puts lives at risk. Even the threat of raids are a shameful attempt to push some of our most vulnerable residents further into the shadows. Families belong together, and immigrants make our communities stronger. My office will not assist in any rumored raids and will continue to advocate for reforms at all levels of government.”

Individuals with questions or in need of legal advice are advised to call the Immigrant Rights Hotline: 1-833-HOU-IMMI (468-4664). Should a loved one be detained by ICE, leave a message with a name, phone number and point of contact. Messages will be returned.

Mayor’s statement:

“The city of Houston has not been directly notified by ICE of any plans to conduct mass raids targeting undocumented families. The unconfirmed reports have created a great deal of anxiety for some and it proves once again this country needs comprehensive immigration reform.


Highlands Rotary installs new officers

HIGHLANDS ROTARIANS gathered at the Boat Club in Highlands, for the installation banquet and awards ceremony last Friday night. Pictured are Front Row: Sheila McDonald, incoming president, and Betty Brewer, Membership and PIE chair; Back Row: Denise Smith, outgoing president, Charlie Ward, Foundation Chair, Patricia Scott, Treasurer, Johnny Gaeke, Sergeant at Arms, Gilbert Hoffman, Program Chair, Weston Cotten, International Services, and Dr. Larry White, Scholarship Chair. Not Pictured: Andy Scott, president-elect, Teresa Martin, Secretary, Diana Weaver, Community Service & Polio Plus chair.

HIGHLANDS – The Rotary Club of Highlands held their Installation and Awards Banquet last Friday night at the Boat Club on Clear Lake Road.

Present were about 40 persons, including new officers and board members, family and friends, and invited guests. Emcee of the evening was outgoing president Denise Smith.

The theme for 2019- 2020 for Rotary International is “Rotary Connects the World” an acknowledgement of the presence and activities of Rotary in almost all the countries of the world.

Small clubs like Highlands are actually part of the much larger organization, first the District 5890 with 3000 members in greater Houston, then the national Rotary organization in the United States, and finally part of Rotary International, with 35,000 clubs worldwide, and 1.2 million members. Highlands Rotarians are welcome at all these clubs.


Hunter Hearn plays America’s Pastime

The Hearn family with Hunter’s girl friend, with Carol and Blane next to Coach Deggs.

Signs with MLB Phillies

CROSBY – Blane and Carol Hearn raised a son who played baseball since he was four years old.

The couple sat with this reporter at Blane’s shop, where he was reconditioning a truck from the 1940s and making a fantastic queen sized bed from vintage truck parts, complete with lights and radio. He showed me what he was making for his customer as I made my way through a menagerie of artisan life-like, taxidermic crafted deer heads.

“I was concerned to see if he wanted to keep living baseball after college.” said Blane. “Hunter answered, ‘I can do this, dad.’ So, I knew he would get after it.”

Hunter signed with Philadelphia Phillies in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 5. That means he gets to try professional baseball and is in Florida training currently. The training isn’t a walk in the park; it is the same workout as U.S. Navy Seals endure for fitness training. The details of what his freshman year in the big leagues will be are still open, although he has a great history as a catcher. The minor’s papers only say “outfield.” We are told that is just generic.

Hunter is a graduate of Crosby High School and Sam Houston State University with a degree in Construction Science and Management with a minor in General Business Administration. Hunter continues to hold baseball records at both his former schools. (more…)

Crosby looks at HB3 funds

CROSBY – At the June 17 meeting of the Crosby ISD Board of Trustees meeting, Lisa Jones gave a report of the 2019-2020 Budget, including how the school district expects that House Bill 3 will effect that budget.

The school is going to hold an open meeting next Monday, June 24, 7:00 p.m., to discuss the budget with any of the public that might make it into the new Administration Building, known as the bus barn or old HEB. The purpose is to adopt the 2019-2020 budget based on the old law. The tax rate will go into effect in September or October. The budget will be amended when the new HB 3 is better understood.

“With a measure of caution and a great deal of thanksgiving and hope, take this report we are giving tonight,” said Superintendent Scott Davis.

HB3 requires increased compensation to full time personnel, such as 75% for teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians, and prioritizing differentiated compensation for classroom teachers with over 5 years of experience. Regarding salaries, Davis said, “The thing I am most excited about is that those that decided to stay with this district are the winners.”


Waste Pits cap needs major repair

Articulated Concrete Block Mat is the current solution for sealing the toxic waste under the cap.

HIGHLANDS – Members of the San Jacinto River Coalition learned at a meeting last month that major repairs were needed to the northwest corner of the Waste Pits site and its cap.

The meeting was held Tuesday, June 4th at the Community Center. THEA director Jackie Young led a review of the EPA Update meeting that was held May 7th in Highlands, and then brought the group the latest news on work being conducted at the site.

Construction equipment including several cranes, trucks, cement mixers, formwork and a work crew of about 15 can be seen from a safe distance, working on the placement of a new technique known as Articulated Concrete Block Mat or (ACBM).

The EPA is calling this current work “Slope Enhancement” and says it will take about a month to complete. They said that this method has key benefits over the method used before, which was a textile membrane held in place with a rock cover. This method proved to be unstable, and not a reliable method of sealing the waste material. This is the third time that major repairs were required on the cap. Work was also done in July 2018 and November 2018, but this is the first time that the ACBM technique has been used. The cap was constructed in 2011, and has a history of unreliable performance.