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Star-Courier News

Early Voting Oct. 13 thru 30

Election Day is November 3rd

Early voting started Tuesday, Oct. 13 in Harris County, and will continue through Friday, Oct. 30. Election Day is November 3rd. Voters can go to any polling location, which can be located at www.harris votes.com. This year you will not be able to vote a straight ticket, so it will take longer to choose each candidate by name.

Important races include President Trump versus his challenger Joe Biden. Also Texas Senator John Cornyn is running against MJ Hegar, a war-wounded veteran.

U. S. Representatives that face challengers include Dan Crenshaw, Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, and Brian Babin. All of these represent some part of local districts.

In state races, incumbents Dan Huberty and Briscoe Cain face challengers. Armando Walle, Senfronia Thompson, and Ana Hernandez are running unopposed in their districts.

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Crosby’s elections controversial

The most exciting election of this century began on Tuesday, all voting terminates November 3, which means that in addition to the national and state elections there is a full line of local elections to know about before voting.

To avoid long lines during COVID-19, early voting requires a mask and an approved photo identification. Early voting began October 13 through 17 from 7 to 7 . Locations will also be open Sunday, October 18: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., October 19-24: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, October 25: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., October 26: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., October 27-29: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. October 27-29: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., October 30: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Early voting can be done, no matter where you live, at all early voting locations. Locations have undergone some changes. Locations include San Jacinto Community Center – Meeting Room, 604 Highland Woods Drive, Highlands, TX 77562-4546 and Coady Baptist Church – Fellowship Hall, 5606 Wade Road, Baytown, TX 77521-9744. Crosby is not voting inside the Edith Faye Cook Cole Harris County Crosby Branch Library as usual but instead, behind the Crosby Post Office, Crosby Community Center – Large Assembly Room, 409 Hare Road, Crosby, TX 77532 an alternative for folks in Huffman is Lake Houston Church of Christ – Fellowship Hall, 8003 Farmingham Road, Humble, TX 77346-2249.

Anyone around Channelview might use Martin Flukinger Community Center – Large Assembly Room, 16003 Lorenzo Street, Channelview, TX 77530. A bit farther North and West is North Channel Branch Library – Meeting Room, 15741 Wallisville Road, Houston, TX 77049 and more North is C E King Middle School, 8530 C E King Parkway, Houston, TX 77044.

On Thursday, October 29, seven polling locations will be open for over 24 hours in Harris County, and from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. October 30. You can vote over the 36-hour period at East Harris County Activity Center, Tracy Gee Community Center, Juergen’s Hall Community Center, Victory Gardens, NRG Arena, Kashmere Gardens Multi-Service Center, McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons.

The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is October 23. This is the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot, and fear of catching COVID-19 isn’t good enough to qualify thanks to the Governor enforcing his interpretation of Texas Law. Some physical condition that incapacitates otherwise is required.

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Judge ends Arkema trial with no convictions

August 25, until September 2, 2017 Hurricane Harvey brought a historic deluge, flooding knocked out power and refrigeration units were lost. Organic peroxides blazed after all cooling methods failed.As warned by company executives at a press briefing at Crosby Volunteer Fire Department Station Two in Newport, trailers containing chemicals that become volatile at normal temperatures explode outside a warehouse at Arkema Chemical Crosby. About 200 locals were evacuated and 21 first responders were treated at local hospitals.

By Lewis Spearman

HOUSTON – On October 1, Arkema SA and executives were acquitted of criminal charges related to events that followed Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Arkema executives were charged with the crime of felony assault related to failure to provide adequate emergency response information related to first responders entering into a location with toxic fumes. The company was earlier similarly indicted for failure to assess risks.

Although the acquittal bears directly on the responsibility of the company it does not necessarily end the lawsuits related to the incidents.

The same judge found that prosecutors had committed unintentional misconduct.

A 2018 US Chemical Safety Board final report indicated that Arkema had not considered flooding a “credible risk” although it is within the flooding plain and that agency urged better preparation for extreme weather.

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Garcia proposes County tax cut

HARRIS COUNTY – Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia proposed this week a motion to cut Harris County property tax rates. The motion was approved by Commissioners Court unanimously. The Garcia plan proposes a rate that will save taxpayers 1.3 cents per $100 of assessed value on their homes. The plan not only saves taxpayers money, it also still funds crucial priorities such as Flood Control and Harris Health.

“This will be our first consecutive tax reduction in at least ten years, and I’m proud to have proposed the motion to put us on a path toward a rate cut. As we all deal with a pandemic and economic crisis, my hope is that property tax relief will help our neighbors who are struggling. At the same time, essential county services must remain a priority — to both support the local economy, as well as to keep us prepared for any future challenges. (more…)

Rotary sends disaster relief

Highlands Rotary Club sent household food and supplies to the DeQuincy Louisiana Rotary Club last month, to help the recovery effort from Hurricane Laura. Seen in DeQuincy with local Rotarians, are Andy Scott, president of the Highlands Club, and Jerry Fallin, president-elect, who drove a trailer load of needed supplies to the stricken town. See MORE on Page 6.

Jamail Tourney brings golf scholarships

Jaxson Daniele, Bryan Daniele, Jerrid Payton and Chelsea Kinard were the winning team with a score of 50 having eagled all par fives. More on Page 5.

CROSBY – The twenty-second annual Jared Jamail Tournament is in the history books, and the tradition continues to make scholarships for Crosby ISD students from golfers’ generosity.

The original tournament began in 1999 and up until now over $330,000 has been awarded to 132 Crosby High School seniors. Now the Jared Jamail Tournament awards that were 4 scholarships each year at $1,500 each has reached to award 4 scholarships at $5,000 each.

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Pumpkin season has arrived

Over 1000 pumpkins fill the grounds of Lake Houston United Methodist Church in October. The Pumpkin Patch has a great assortment of varieties as well as sizes to offer its visitors.

HUFFMAN – The Pumpkin Patch opens Saturday, October 11, 2020! This will be the 19th year that Lake Houston United Methodist Church has been home to a large Pumpkin Patch. The Patch includes over 1,000 pumpkins with a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Before the opening of the Patch, LHUMC members and friends both young and old unload the tractor trailer once it arrives. Everyone participates in setting up and it is a great time of fun and fellowship each year. This year is no exception, however, a pandemic and construction of a new sanctuary may add a little bit of a challenge. LHUMC is determined to bring this cherished annual event to their community and provide beautiful pumpkins and a fun, fall tradition for many guests.

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THEA/SJRC Zoom meeting: Waste Pits schedule extended 160 days

Map of Southern Impoundment. Colors indicate the depth below the surface at which toxic material exceeding >240 ng/kg was found. Dark Green is the worst, at 4 feet. Red indicates the material is 10 feet below the surface. Market Street south of I-10 is the street shown.

HIGHLANDS – Concerns for the Coronavirus have put a temporary end to public meetings regarding the remediation of the toxic waste pits in the San Jacinto River.

But twice this month, Jackie Young Medcalf, the director of the San Jacinto River Coalition and THEA, held ZOOM meetings on July 1 and 15, to inform the public on the status of the remediation project for the pits.

The concentration of meetings was due to the release by the EPA of the 30% RD, or Remedial Design documents. There were over 30,000 pages of data and narrative, covering the Northern and Southern impoundment areas, and the Sand Separation area.

In addition to the report, EPA confirmed that the toxic material was deeper than first thought, and that remediation would take longer than announced.

The time line has stretched from a 2 year project, to now what is expected to take 7 years to complete, according to the engineering consultant, GHD Corp. On top of that, Jackie announced in the July 15 Zoom meeting that EPA had just granted a 160 day extension to the start of the project, moving it well into the year 2028. This will likely conflict with TxDOT’s plans to replace the I-10 bridge with a higher, wider highway.

Jackie said that in examining the RD documents, she was concerned about omissions and inconsistencies. She said that there was not enough “due diligence” exhibited in the work process, nor transparency. In the health and safety section of the RD, she said it was too generic and did not address the specific problems of this site, such as barge traffic and weather extremes such as hurricanes and floods.

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Newport fire investigated

Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. investigates a mysterious fire at Newport Elementary School on Sunday, Sept. 21 flames were found inside a classroom.

NEWPORT – Crosby Volunteer Fire Department responded to the report of smoke visible in Newport Elementary and an Active Fire Alarm 7:45 p.m., September 21.

Multiple units from Station 2 in Newport responded having been alerted of a fire. On arrival, the Fire Department found heavy smoke in 2 classrooms. First arriving units found a small electrical fire in a classroom and quickly extinguished it. Units on scene ventilated smoke with the High Volume Ventilation Fan. Through September 27 damaged material was removed. Harris County Fire Marshals were called in to begin an investigation. According to the administration, “Our campus is now clean and free of soot from the recent fire. NES will return to face-to-face instruction Monday, September 29.”

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS BURN, HS FOOTBALL RETURNS

BY LEWIS SPEARMAN

NORTHEAST HARRIS COUNTY – The approach of fall like weather did herald the return of Friday night lights to local football fields, although many locals feared COVID 19 would forestall this season.

Two Cosby coaches were found to have positive test results early in the season, many feared the season would disappear but Crosby ISD has begun their season with a scrimmage at Tomball last weekend.

The Crosby Cougars play at the George Ranch in Richmond, Texas Thursday, Sept 24 at Traylor Stadium at 7:00p.m.

Thurday, Oct 2, Manvel travels to Crosby to play at 7:30p.m.

Friday, Oct 9 the Cougars travel to Montgomery playing at 7:30.

The Oct. 16 game depends on how the season is developing and remains Open.

The US 90 rivalry is on Oct 23. As again the Cougars travel to Dayton for the Cougars to match the Broncos at 7:30.

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Census count ends Sept. 30th

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia speaks about the need for everyone to register in the Census which is soon drawing to a conclusion. Garcia was talking at the BakerRipley center in East Aldine, along with others including East Aldine’s Richard Cantu, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Pct. 2 Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Pct. 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, State Representative Armando Walle, and BakerRipley president Claudia Aguirre.

Sylvia Garcia, County and City leaders hold Census Caravan

HARRIS COUNTY – U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia has organized an intense public effort to count as many residents of the area as possible, stating that federal dollars that are sent to the state, county, and city are dependent upon the number of people counted and living in the area.

To draw attention to the need to sign up in the Census, Garcia and other community leaders have organized “Census Caravans” that drive through neighborhoods and urge residents to complete their census forms. Garcia says it only takes 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire, and can be done in several different ways.

Last Saturday the Census Caravan drove through the streets of East Aldine. Authorities have noted that this is one of the areas where only a small percentage of the residents have registered.

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