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Star-Courier News

Rotary installs Andy Scott as next president

Outgoing Highlands Rotary president Jerry Fallin (right) passes the gavel of authority to the incoming new president, Andy Scott (left) at last Friday’s installation ceremony at the Boat Club.

HIGHLANDS – The Rotary Club of Highlands, known throughout the city as “The Biggest Little Club in District 5890,” got new leadership at an installation ceremony held last Thursday evening at the Baytown Boat Club in Highlands.

Rotarian Andy Scott was sworn in for his second round as president of the club. Presiding over the installation was District 5890 Assistant District Governor Bryan Clements.

The event was attended by about three dozen Rotarians, families, and guests. A special guest at the dinner was Connie Russell, owner of the Channelview bar of the same name. Connie has been very active in raising money for scholarships and supporting the Highlands Rotary.

Other officers that were sworn in at the dinner were President Elect Denise Smith; Treasurer Sheila McDonald; Secretary Diana Weaver; Club Foundation Chair Tricia Scott; Public Image Chair Gaylynn Milliorn; Service Projects Chair Weston Cotten; Sergeant at Arms Johnny Gaeke; and the whole club was designated as the Membership chair.

EPA meets with community on Waste Pits

Ashley Howard, EPA Project manager for the Superfund San Jacinto River Waste Pits, made the presentation and update to the community last Thursday evening at Channelview’s Fluckinger Center.

CHANNELVIEW – Representatives of the federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) met with the public last Thursday evening, June 23 at the Flukinger Community Center in Channelview. The purpose of the meeting was to update interested members of the public on progress in remediation and removal of the toxic wastes in the San Jacinto River at several sites.

The slide presentation was made by the Superfund Project Manager, Ashley Howard, and a question and answer period following the talk was moderated by Jeanetta Coates.

About 75 interested members of the Channelview and Highlands communities attended the meeting. Many of them asked questions after the presentation.

The Audience at Flukinger Center listened intently for almost two hours, while EPA representatives (at far right in the background) showed slides and reported on progress and the schedule. Excavation of toxic material in the Southern Impoundment site is scheduled to start in the fall of this year, but the Northern Impoundment work will not start until next year, and continue for 5 or more years.

Pct. 3 Comm. Ramsey speaks to Chambers

PCT3 COMM. TOM RAMSEY AT HIGHLANDS CHAMBER.

Redistricting splits Highlands with 2 Commissioners

HIGHLANDS – Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey made a presentation to the Highlands Chamber members on June 1, at a special luncheon. Ramsey has met with all the local chambers, to introduce himself and hear of the needs of his new constituency.

Harris County Commissioner’s districts were realigned at the beginning of this year, and Ramsey gave up much of his territory on the west side of the county, and gained parts of Crosby, Highlands, and Baytown that had been in Pct. 2.

Ramsey said he was a civil engineer by training, and brought this knowledge to his duties as commissioner. He said his top priorities are crime reduction, and flood control.

The realignment of the districts resulted in some strange relationships, such as the Highlands area is split down the center of Main Street (Crosby-Lynchburg Road), with the west side in Ramsey’s Precinct 3, and the east side remaining with Adrian Garcia in Pct. 2.

Ramsey said, “I will represent people in Highlands, whether they are in either Pct. 3 or 2. And I will finish every project in the original 2018 Bond program.”

REVISED PRECINCT BOUNDARIES IN HARRIS COUNTY SHOWING HEAVY GERRYMANDERING.

Crosby Superintendent’s message to the community

Security Update; Crosby Fair & Rodeo; Summer School and Camps

Hello East Harris County and Crosby ISD families,

I want to start by talking about steps forward in school security for the upcoming school year. This month, the District sent an email survey to parents and guardians regarding their thoughts and concerns. We are also forming a Security Steering Committee of internal and external stakeholders (students, parents, and staff) to gauge their feedback. The public input will then be acted upon by our Safety and Security Committee, a long-standing group of staff members, parents, community members, and school resource officers who carry out the logistics of security. District leadership is also spending the next few weeks on in-depth planning for the 2022-2023 Academic Year.

Administrators will gather for a team-building academy in July, and one of the major topics will be identifying if any safety and security procedures need to be updated before the new school year. Keeping our students and staff members safe is my top priority. I appreciate everyone who has shared input so far.

Next, we wanted to share a big “Thank You” to the Crosby Fair and Rodeo Association. Their annual event is one of the best of the year to put our Crosby kids on the map. From ag mechanic designs to blue ribbon steer and lamb, our students get to show off their hard work raising livestock and honing their skills with woodworking, welding, horticulture, and crafts. The Crosby Fair and Rodeo Association raised more than $450,000 for scholarships in their auction this month. An extraordinary achievement that will continue to bless our students.

It is now officially summer on the calendar, and I hope your families are enjoying vacations or planning quick getaways to rest and rejuvenate. Don’t forget to encourage reading and math skills among children. Reading 20 minutes a day helps avoid learning loss. Math skills are twice as likely to be forgotten during the summer, so don’t forget to keep quizzing your students on everything from fractions to simple addition. Every little bit helps.

Activists watching environmental activities in San Jacinto River

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – Whether it’s toxic waste dumps in the San Jacinto River, or unauthorized dredging and barge facilities, the citizens of Channelview and Highlands have two active watchdogs to monitor and protest when activities threaten the environment.

Jackie Young Medcalf and Carolyn Stone can be heard at many public meetings, questioning public authorities and requesting the proper procedures be followed. This Thursday the EPA will be at the Flukinger Community Center in Channelview to report on remediation work in the river, and the public will have an opportunity to question progress. Prior to the meeting, Medcalf issued the following statement:

Dear Community Members,

We have two important action items for the San Jacinto River Coalition.

We must act to stop Gun Violence

COUNTY CONNECTION
By Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

Over the past month, our nation has yet again endured violent deaths from mass shootings and gun violence. In Buffalo, we all witnessed the brutal attack driven by racism and hate that left 13 people dead at a grocery store. 17 people were shot during a mass shooting in downtown Milwaukee. And we are all still mourning the loss of two teachers and 19 innocent children murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. This violence shows no sign of letting up – between May 24th, the day of the Uvalde tragedy, and June 6th, there have been 33 additional mass shootings, including multiple mass shootings here in Harris County. No one is immune from this bloody plague.

Today, our nation and our county is in the midst of a vital conversation about violent crime and what needs to be done to prevent it. The truth is, we cannot talk about addressing violent crime without talking about the role that guns play in fueling it. On the same day as the tragedy in Uvalde, we released new data from Harris County’s Institute for Forensic Sciences from which the conclusion could not be more clear – we are not just suffering from a rise in homicides, but also from a rise in the percentage of homicides caused by guns. In 2018, gunshot wounds caused 76% of homicides in Harris County. In 2021, that number was 84%. This year’s percentage is at 87%. And we aren’t unique. Statewide, the rate of gun homicides in Texas increased 90% between 2011 and 2020, from a little over 3 deaths per 100,000 people to about 6 deaths per 100,000.

Crosby Rodeo sets attendance, sales records

CROSBY LIVESTOCK SALE & AUCTION proceeds topped $480,000 in preliminary figures, more than previous years. ABOVE, the Grand Champion Steer sold for $17,500 and was shown by Shelby Kouba. Buyers were Ranger Roofing and Construction, and R. L. Doskocil Inc.

Reserve Champion Steer was sold for $9,750, shown by Peyton Givans and purchased by Scott Stephens and Associates. Photos courtesy CFR.

MORE photos and details next week.

EPA meeting June 23 will report on Waste Pits

Rachel Jordan, at left, of THEA updated CHIC members last Thursday, May 26. Above, Ginnie Ramsey and Carolyn Stone of CHIC at the meeting in Channelview.

CHANNELVIEW – CHIC members and guests heard of recent activity regarding the remediation of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, at a meeting held last month at the Channelview FD Station 3.

Public interest remains high regarding the waste pits, and the EPA plans a public meeting for everyone on Thursday June 23rd at 6:30pm at the Flukinger Community Center in Channelview.

Highlands native new Hospital CEO

JEANNA BAMBURG

Houston, Texas — HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division President Troy Villarreal announced Jeanna Bamburg has been named chief executive officer of The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. Bamburg will assume her new role Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

A native Houstonian originally from Highlands, Bamburg has been the chief executive officer at HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast since 2012. Prior to serving as CEO, Jeanna served as chief operating officer at HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast when it was Bayshore Medical Center. Additionally, she has held positions of increasing responsibility in her 25 years with HCA Healthcare.

Bamburg has been named one of Houston’s Most Admired CEOs, Houston’s Women Who Mean Business and Houston’s Breakthrough Women.

“Jeanna has demonstrated expertise in improving patient safety and quality, expanding clinical service lines and HCA’s footprint in the community and transforming the hospital’s culture. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the hospital is a great place for patients, their families, staff and providers,” said Villarreal. “Her work ethic, talent and natural leadership ability make her a great fit to take the helm at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.”