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Posts published in “Day: May 1, 2003

Changing for summer

This is my favorite time of the year with the wonderful smell of honeysuckle in bloom, gardeners reaping the benefits of their labor, birds gathering straw and bugs for their nest and the many varieties of birds feeding on the two large stumps out back and kitchen window ledge.

Wondering what the little sparrow birds are with a red top, red throat and chest? A jar of chowchow for the first one to correctly identify that little bird.

Had my first hummingbird of the year yesterday. The Purple Martins are back too; we do enjoy watching them.

I had another first Friday; celery with crunchy peanut butter spread on it. Attending the Baytown Chamber of Commerce Expo, the lady at the old folks booth across the aisle was munching on one and I hollered over, “Whatcho eating?” She told me and offered me one. I moseyed on over and ate it up, good too. I even bought some celery this morning, already had the peanut butter.

Had my first fried green tomatoes for the year last night. They were good as always.

I’ll be making chowchow real soon, wanna help?

While on a visit to Vaughan’s nursery in Channelview last week getting my Cow Horn pepper plants and saw a Georgia Rattlesnake plant. I bought it out of curiosity. I don’t normally grow watermelons because they take up so much ground. Besides, the seedless variety has me spoiled rotten.

As you probably know, I am from Georgia and proud of it.
Can you believe the state of Georgia is on their fourth flag? The state legislature just approved a new one. My my my!!!

They change flags more than most banks change names. They are trying to please everybody and offend no one – that’s hard to do.
I have my old Georgia flag hanging in this room. I need to get a Lone Star flag and be done with it.

I did get my Confederate Rose in the ground and it is looking good, it’s my first one.

One of the few things I plant because you cain’t eat it.

My gardening guru from Highlands gave me a Seven Sister Antique Rose and it is yet to be in the ground. That is another one of those things that you cain’t eat but should compliment the back yard with its pretty looks when in bloom.

Do you know what a Confederate Rose or a Seven Sister Rose looks like? They are one of the finer things in life as you grow older and learn to appreciate even if you cain’t eat them.

Time for a REAL rodeo

Well, we’re back in the saddle again! I hope you all enjoyed last weekend. Wasn’t it a great couple of days? I was “forced” to go to Lake Charles and visit with my youngest son. Of course the free crawfish boil didn’t hurt any!

With the war in Iraq over, I don’t have a lot of political fodder, but I think we had better keep our ears and eyes wide open cause those scalawags in Austin are in session and you know that can’t be good! Now I’m not sayin’ that all politicians are bad, it’s just that it’s that 99% that make the other 1% look bad.

All seriousness aside, we do have the finest politicians money can buy! Maybe those folks should remember that” a closed mouth gathers no foot”, and, “never miss a good opportunity to shut up”!

After those folks in Washington and Austin get through with us, it reminds me of the old sayin’, “we are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse”!

Enough of pickin’ on those sweet, lovable politicians. I’m pretty sure you all don’t need my help for that.

So, it looks like we’re headin’ into a great summer. I guess I’ll have to read Charlie Farrar’s column to find out what to do.

By the way, for those of you who were askin’ about that new colt at the Rancho Pequito, well, he’s doin’ just fine and momma is slicked up real good. We’re gonna keep that name, “Toby’s Anthem”, since the little feller seems to like it a lot already.

I was excited to read about the Crosby Fair and Rodeo last week. I get the opportunity to meet with Luther Brady and the other Directors each year and we are very fortunate here in this area to have such a great bunch of folks to volunteer their time. Our Rodeo Committee is all volunteers, from top to bottom. In case you folks didn’t know it, our Crosby Fair and Rodeo is one of the best in Harris County. The only one as good is the Pasadena Rodeo. That other one held each year in Harris County is not really a rodeo.

A real rodeo is where you can drive up to the parkin’, usually on grass or sometimes gravel, and walk a short ways to the gate. You don’t have to take out a loan to be able to take the whole family and you have a really good ole time. That’s a rodeo folks!

Keep your eyes on this paper and put the Crosby Fair and Rodeo on your calendar.

I’d like to say how proud I am of our businesses in our area. Fred Salinas and his pards at Crosby Ford are really a great asset to our community. Their involvement shows that we finally have a great Ford dealer in the area.

I don’t want to forget our pards at Keating Chevrolet, either. They support a lot of community projects, also.

Of course I’d better not leave out Joe’s Barber Shop cause I want a good haircut when I see Joe Anselmo. And Crosby State Bank, well, they got all my money, but I really like those folks, too!

Maybe I’ll mention some others next time, cause it would take too long to tell about all our great businesses. But keep your buyin’ local whenever possible, it helps everyone.

I hear Toby whinnyin’, so I gotta go. Last one out, shut the gate, and I’ll be,

Just a Ridin’

Crabb in hot seat on proposed Redistricting for Congress

By Dave McNeely
Columnist, Austin American-Statesman

While Democrats welcomed an opinion from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott that the Texas Legislature does not have to draw new congressional districts, the Republican majority leader of the U.S. House said it should be done anyway.

The Texas delegation in Congress is serving in districts drawn by a three-judge federal court after the Legislature failed to do so in 2001.

“I think it’s the responsibility of the Legislature,” U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, told reporters. “The constitution’s very specific as to who’s supposed to do redistricting and apportionment – not judges.”

On cue, House Redistricting Committee Chairman Joe Crabb, R-Kingwood, said he’ll hold a public hearing next week on the topic.

The districts under the court map, which paid attention to incumbents while creating two new Republican districts, elected 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans.

DeLay contended because Republicans got more votes for Congress than Democrats, new districts should be drawn to reverse those numbers. But he denied that amounts to a quota system.

DeLay, in Austin Thursday for Former Members Day in the Texas House where he served in the early 1980s, admitted that the bill he’s been pushing might face tough sledding in the Texas Senate, where a two-thirds vote traditionally is required to bring bills to the floor. But he thinks it should be considered anyway.

DeLay said he met with Gov. Rick Perry, Senate presiding officer Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Tom Craddick. DeLay said Dewhurst said the Senate will get a redistricting bill to the floor if the House passes it.

Dewhurst said later through a spokesman that the Senate will consider the bill only if the House passes it, and then it will go through the normal committee process.

DeLay said Craddick told him he will move the bill through the House. But Craddick said “It’s up to the House, and I don’t know how the House really feels about it.” Though he supports it, “I’m not pushing it,” Craddick said. “If (the committee members) are for it andkick out a bill, then it will be up to the full House to decide.”

DeLay said Gov. Perry is “more than anxious to get a bill to his desk so he can sign it.”

Meanwhile, even though DeLay claims part of his goal is to increase African-American and Hispanic representation in congress, minority Texas House Democrats said they like the current districts just fine. And the Legislature has far more important things to do than get into a divisive partisan battle over redistricting

Hispanic Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, said Crabb had told legislators publicly and privately that “if we’re not mandated to take up congressional redistricting, we wouldn’t. . . . I’ve known Joe Crabb for over 10 years and he has always been a man of his word.”

Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, who chairs the Black Caucus, was asked why DeLay should care what Texas House Democrats think when he runs roughshod over Democrats in Washington.

“I know that (DeLay) doesn’t care,” Deshotel responded. “But I’m asking Speaker Craddick to care.”

McNeely can be contacted at 512/445-3644 or dmcneely@

Accident on San Jacinto River kills boater


CROSBY– A Liberty man was killed Saturday night in what the Harris County Sheriff’s Department call a boating accident.

According to Lt. Scott Holman with the HCSO’s Marine Division Darrell Tanton, 33, was traveling northbound on the river when he struck a horizontal steel support on the railroad bridge which crosses the San Jacinto River.

The incident occurred about 500 yards north of Love’s Marina near Crosby at approximately 7 p.m., as darkness was beginning in the area.

A spokesperson for the Harris County Medical Examiners office said that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Holman said that they are waiting for a toxicology report from the medical examiner before they will say whether or not alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident. He noted that empty beer cans were found in the boat.

Shell Open helps local schools, organizations

By P.J. Williams

A caravan of eight tractor trailers full of canned and boxed foods from Oklahoma-based Feed the Children pulled into the north side last Tuesday. The Chinquapin School in Highlands and the Bay Area Women’s Center were among 35 Houston charities that received a portion of the 270,000 pounds of food distributed at the Greenspoint Mall in conjunction with the Shell Houston Open.

The Women’s Center received approximately 3,000 pounds of food that they will use to feed the women in their shelter. “We have up to 25 women, and we’re usually full every day,” executive director Joyce Young said. The food will also be used in food baskets for women who come in for counseling and need assistance. “We usually purchase food from the food bank at a reduced rate. Any food donations we receive like this really helps out,” explained Young.

According to Chuck Schillings, senior vice president of Feed the Children, the two groups have distributed food to Houston charities during the golf tournament ever since Shell Houston Open organizers contacted the relief agency almost two years ago. “As a result of the money that comes in from the Open, they are able to distribute large sums of money to Houston charities,” Schilling said.

Feed the Children, founded in 1979, distributes food, medicine, clothes, and other necessities in all 50 states and 51 foreign countries. The agency does not charge any fees for the food they donate and receiving charities must sign a waiver that they will not sell, trade, or barter the food. “It was wonderful,” Young said. “All we had to do was show up and bring our truck. They didn’t charge us a thing, and they even helped us load it. Their staff was wonderful.”

Voisin starts year with a win

HIGHLANDS– The pit area was full with new rigs, new boats and great anticipation for the new season. Many teams had spent countless hours testing, trying to improve luck or continue thier winning ways. After dominating last season, Vince Voisin was anxious to pick up where he left off.

Fifteen boats entered the event but a blown motor for Glyn Mathews knocked it down to fourteen on Saturday. Glyn will retun in Port Neches. Qualifying was a duel between Shaun Torrente, who would claim pole, and Voisin who laid down the lap to be early. Third fast was Darren Rube, who looked good all weekend in his new Bazooka Seebold.

With the field split down the middle, the first group went to battle for two back to back ten lap heats. Torrente won the first while Lucas Delaune overcame some problems to take the second. Taking two thirds was Devin Corbit’s Hafer Case Snap On Hoffman. The second group featured Voisin, Michael Schubert, Johnny Flemming, Ray Newman and others. Voisin won the first but didnt fire on the start of the second.

With the positions set for the final, they lined em up and blasted off. Voisin jumped out to a quick lead with Torrente right on his tail. As they settled into thier positions, the red flag came out and the race was stopped. Bouy missing. The course was fixed and the race was restarted. Launching off the dock again was Voisin who came around in front of the packed house out front again.

Michael Schubert looked strong in his Majek Gran Prix boat as well as Rube, Newman, and an exceptionally aggressive driving Mike Higginbotham who had the drive of the weekend to finish top five. As the field stretched out there were several great battles for position. At one point, turn four went missing and while the leader continued around the set path of the course, a few did not and were penalized, taking themselves out of the race.

At races end it was Voisin leading wire to wire, with Schubert, Rube, Newman, Higgy, Corbit, John Jorewicz, Torrente, newboy Kelly Kidwell, Curtis Nunez, Johnny Fleming and Robbie Murphy.

Highlands team wins Streetbike Shootout


BAYTOWN – The Second Round of the Texas Shootout was filled with exciting thrills and a major spill at Houston Raceway Park on April 26.

Local dragster bike riders, Jeff Peck and Gilbert Coronado, won (in that order) the Streetbike Shootout of the Second Round of Texas Shootout.

Team Highlands Kawasaki’s, Jeff Peck was number one qualifier on a ZRX 1200 Turbo and Coronado qualified third on the same type of bike.

Team Highlands Kawasaki’s Roberts Sanders hit the wall during the Super Comp class at 166 m.p.h. but left the ambulance only one hour later. The motorcycle he was riding came to rest over 150 feet from where his body stopped. The impact was so hard it knocked the face mask off his helmet, seared road debris into his skin but he walked up to the Team Manager less than two hours later.

After the scuffed up but tough rider had a conference with Manger Keith Coble, Coble winked, “That says a lot for the leathers, gloves and helmets we have the riders wear doesn’t it.”

Super Comp winner was Kirk Reeves followed closely by Sterling Tausch.

In the 60″ Sportbike Shootout David Gebhardt was the declared winner. Team Highlands Kawasaki’s Bryan Dunham, winner of Round One of Streetbike Shootout, was disqualified this time because he didn’t have his headlights turned on during burn-off phase of racing. He did have them on for the race but that disqualification and another Team Highlands Kawasaki disqualification for being 1/8 inch too long left no runner up.

Top Gas winners were Lonnie Crane followed by Robert McMahan. Super Gas was taken by O’Shea Squalls followed by Bruce Calhoun. Pro ET went to Craig Treble and Chris Lebouef. Street ET winners were Jimmy Crites with Steve Read runner up.
Coble was obviously disappointed with the 60 inch bike results for his team, “Outfront, I have to say I’m very gratified with Jeff and Bryan’s good outing. I have to say that an eighth of an inch isn’t going to out run us. We are at the point that we have our bikes working so that they have to bring their lawyers to the track to beat us but they are not going to out run us. I was surprised to find that our run time qualified, we discovered Jeff’s bike had a waist gasket broken, but he won anyway.”

Top Eliminator was taken by C.D. Watson. Dennis Shaw was second. In Pro-Gas Harley, John Peek was the winner. Keith Poston was in second place.

Highlands’ crimes turn very weird


HIGHLANDS – Starting April 18 through the morning of April 23, the last of the full moon, Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies took action in three incidents that can only be termed bizarre.

An apparently trespassing ATV rider that attacked a resident when asked to pay to ride on his property may seem an over-reaction, but that incident and a nude driver lighting his crack pipe when approached by an officer seems no way to behave on Good Friday. A handy man that allegedly stole his employer’s prosthetic leg on April 23 sounds cruel.

On a sultry Good Friday Morning, about 4:30 a.m., Sheriff’s Deputy K. Thornton pulled a cruiser behind a pick-up parked on the off ramp in the 1700 block of I-10’s Westbound feeder road. Thornton reports he saw a piece of paper fly out the window of the 1988 Chevy truck – “Don’t mess with Texas.”

When the officer got up to the driver’s side window, the driver was buck naked – but then again, it was humid that night. What most got the officer’s attention was that the driver trying, with some exasperation, to fire up his glass crack pipe.

Now Deputy Thornton didn’t help with that lighting problem; instead, he asked the man to put a towel around himself and get out of the truck. Thornton field tested the pipe for cocaine and the result was positive. William Earl Horton, 46, of Houston, was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

That same day, close to 11:20 p.m., deputies were called to a private dirt driveway on Crosby Lynchburg at Barbers Hill Rd. about an aggravated assault.

At the location, officers met by a couple, the property owners, who reported being assaulted by several suspects riding 4 wheelers on their property without authorization.

The matron had been on the property, near the river, collecting money from riders who had been allowed to ride on their property for a fee. She reported to her husband that 20 to 30 riders from the north descended onto her land and responded to her demands for fees to ride with obscenities and proceeded down the river trail.

The husband, upon arrival at the property, blocked his front gate with his truck and waited for the group to return.

They returned , but in response to being told they needed to pay the fees to ride the members of the group stated they weren’t going to pay, and they were going to ride back the way they came.

The property owner reports at that time, as he stood near his truck, several of the group began hitting him in the head. His wife was punched in the left eye by a blond male with slender build, between 5’6″ and 5’7″, wearing a red and yellow motorcross shirt.

The property owner reports that a man of the same description as punched his wife, then ran over his foot and rammed the rear quarter panel of his truck. The four wheeler was described as possibly red in color and medium sized.

Harris County Sheriff’s Detectives are on the case now, anyone with information related to this case is asked to call (713) 967-5810.

Leg swiped by handy man

On April 22, the last night of the full moon, at about 10:00 p.m., in the 600 block of Main St. in Highlands, an employee kicked out his employer’s residential window and made off with an old pair of blue jeans containing $43 in cash and his prosthetic leg worth $10,000, according to a 72 year old male complainant.

Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Smith was following up a criminal mischief call the next day when he was advised by the victim that the incident had involved the prosthesis.

According to Deputy Smith, the victim was upset because the loss of the artificial limb made it difficult for him to get around.

The victim named Mark Allan Hicks, his handy man, as the perpetrator of kicking in the window and snatching the jeans.

The complainant told Deputy Smith that he believed Hicks lived in the 500 block of Dell Dale. Smith went to the location and spoke with the mother of one of Hicks’ ex-girlfriends. She directed Deputy Smith to another location, a trailer park on Grand Street.

At the trailer, Smith rapped on the door and was answered by a woman identified as Hicks’ ex-girlfriend. After getting permission to step inside the trailer, Smith saw a man asleep on the couch. The ex-girlfriend identified him as Mark Allan Hicks. She further told the deputy that Hicks had asked a friend of hers to ride him to the complainant’s house and they both saw Hicks beat on the door, then kick out the window when no access was given.

Her statements to the deputy include that of the $43 from the jeans, Hicks gave the friend $20 for gas and threw the jeans with the leg out the window near the Monmouth exit on I-10.

Hicks was awakened to an arrest and from the back of a patrol car directed the officer where he threw the jeans.

Hicks’ bond was set at $10,000 for burglary of a habitation and was taken into custody at the Wallisville Substation.

Deputy Smith stated, “When I returned his prosthesis back to him, he was teary eyed…that really touched my heart. I’m just glad I was able to help.”