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Posts published in “Day: February 10, 2005

Drug Dog at work: Jones’ Deputies track drugs in McNair; major cocaine, pot

McNAIR – Precinct 3 Deputy More has a nose for finding illegal drugs, and his comrades have come to regard him as an essential team member when there is a question about the presence of contraband.

On the evening of January 28, More aided in finding a half pound of ‘boat’ (near pure) powder cocaine on Fayle Street inside a truck that was illegally parked outside a house that is suspected to be used for drug exchanges. On February 2 at about 9:25 p.m., Deputy More helped a Texas Highway Patrol Officer bust about 10.5 pounds of marijuana, according to Captain Jack Hagie.

More is one of the most frequently trained deputies on the force but does not pack a pistol. That should not be interpreted to mean that his bark is as bad as his bite, both are telling. This dog’s addition to the force was one of Precinct 3 Constable Ken Jones’ campaign promises and has paid a dividend in drug interdiction for the Precinct.

The cocaine find was brought on by the suspected driver having parked in the middle of the street. As Deputies closed in on the suspect, the suspect fled into the drug house and out the other side. Although deputies established a perimeter, the suspect escaped for the time being and later filed a report that the truck had been stolen from the location.

The 10.5 pounds of Marijuana was found to be inside a car suspected by the Highway Patrol to smell of burning rope. When the officer stopped the car near John Martin Road, he asked if he could search the vehicle and the driver said, “No.” When Deputy More arrived however, the K-9 deputy instantly keyed all the probable cause needed to make the search.

Chili Feast stories: Mundy Garcia wins truck; 700 dine on Chili

HIGHLANDS – The Rotary Club held their 30th annual Chili Feast last Saturday, and a large part of the community turned out for good fun, good chili, and the excitement of “almost” winning a new pick-up truck.

But one lucky ticketholder did get a new GMC truck. It was Mundy Garcia of Bay City, who learned of his good fortune from his sister, Rosie Rodriguez, on the telephone. It seems that Mundy was working that day, and missed some of the excitement that others enjoyed.

Rotary chili feast chairman Steve Miller reported that the event raised a net amount of about $36,000, that will be used for community projects throughout the year by the club. For the first time this year, the club had sponsors as well as raffles and ticket sales, so the income was higher than in previous years.

Sponsors included Crosby State Bank, RhinoPak, Griffith Truck & Equipment, and Sterling White.

Miller said that the auctions raised almost $8,000, and the ticket sales about $50,000. Other income came from card draws, desert sales, and miscellaneous items.

The Rotary Club has about 25 members, and were aided in the execution of the event by the wives auxiliary, the Boy Scouts, and the Interact Club of Chinquapin School.

The auctioneer was Ken Garcia, and entertainment was provided by the Pic n Grin band. Congressman Ted Poe was on hand, and pulled the first ticket in the raffle. Also present were Constable Ken Jones, Judge Tony Polumbo, Judge Mike Parrott’s staff, and many other personalities of the community.

The major prize was a new GMC extended cab pick-up truck, but also given away were 11 other prizes during the drawing, ranging from TV sets to a complete computer set-up.

Students to help tsunami victims in Southeast Asia

Drew Intermediate fifth grade students are currently trying to gather 3,000 units of bottled water for Southeast Asia tsunami victims, their teacher Janie Wilkins said Tuesday.

The project began three weeks ago and Wilkins said the response has been fair.

Wikins said the students are doing this as part of their curriculum to take part in community service education.

“It gives the fifth graders an opportunity to give back,” Wilkins said. “We were trying to find someone in need.”

You may drop off your unopened bottled water in front of the school Monday through Friday. Wilkins said she designates students to pick up dropoffs each day.

The donations continue until the end of the month at the school.

Yesteryear memories, history in Liberty area

“I should like to spend the whole of my life traveling, if I could borrow another life to spend at home.” — Hazlitt

“Home was quite a place when people stayed there.” — White

William Hazlitt and E. B. White are two men of our past whose quips, quotes, witty remarks, wisecracks and proverbs are often quoted today and I believe will be for many years to come.

These quotes deal with travel and/or our homes. In this column I want to focus on travel; travel that is near and far. My daughter, who lives not to far from us back home, tells me I’m in a little trouble with the local Chamber of Commerce there. In recent columns for a couple of back east papers I focused on favorable places to travel in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. In the Chamber’s view I am only supposed to talk about places to travel in the good old home state.

In both columns I said it is important for one to travel within one’s home state and know as much as one can about “home” before venturing beyond the borders. Now I would like to focus on you local Texans and traveling to somewhere quite near which I think is well worth the 25-mile or so day-trip.

My focus is on The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center located on FM 1011, off of SH 146 three miles north of Liberty.

This facility is a library, and I understand a goodlibrary. It is also a research center and when we were there a few people were hard and work using the books and other items for their research. It is, however, for the average Texan and out-of-state visitor, much more than that.

The site includes the Cleveland-Partlow House, the Gillard-Duncan House, the Norman House, and the 1898 St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church that was moved there from downtown Liberty.

It also includes the Jean and Price Daniel House, built in 1984 and patterned after the original 1856 plans for the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

It houses many mementos of the public life of Governor and Mrs. Price Daniel.

Of course the main building is the modern library and research center building in the middle of the complex. It is an attractive two-story building. There are rooms on the second floor containing mementos about General Sam Houston, Governor Daniel and Congressman Martin Dies.

There one finds the private executive record of Sam Houston and the Jean Houston Baldwin Collection of Sam Houston images which is the largest known collection of photographs and other illustrations of General Houston.

It is only a few miles away and well-worth the time expended to see this part of Texas history and learn some facts about the history of the ten counties in this area of the state.

It is open Monday thru Saturday and admission is free. Traveling near, as well as far, can be educational and fun.

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!

Who can eat a pepper?

Here it is the second week of February and there are still blooms and pods of pepper on the plants at the entrance in front of the house. That area faces southeast and there is a ground cover also that has managed to live there since August 1991 in the same spot.

There have been times when folks make comments about the pods and I tell them they are my sweet peppers which have some heat to them.

Yesterday was one of those days. As I came into the house the Mrs. said something about me finding another victim to sample my peppers as numerous people have had a taste of the fiery morsels.

After coming back to the house from the grocery store and as I drove onto the driveway, I was talking to my sister in South Carolina on the cell phone utilizing a wired ear bud in my right ear so listen and drive with both hands. After opening the truck door the little girl two doors down hollered something at me so I waved. Here she comes with her mother and two other kids. Her mother walked up and started talking to me so I told my sister I’d have to call her back ’cause I cain’t listen to two women at the same time.

Anyway the neighbor lady said next time we go to Georgia that her husband wants us to bring back some of their… she couldn’t think of what it was so I asked, peaches?

She said no and I mentioned vidalia’s and that’s what he wanted us to bring back. I told her she could get them at Sam’s or Kroger when they are in season which is about the time the Texas 1015 onions come out.

Then she said they’d like some more of the pepper stuff too.

Pointing to the entrance way to the house I told her that I have peppers over there growing and started walking towards them. I reached over and picked a nice size bouquet pepper and showed it to her. She took the pepper and looked at it as I stated to her that these were good in the chowchow and were a mite warm.

Much to my amazement, she put the whole thang in her mouth, biting it off at the stem. Lordy, I thought, she’s tough. Then I picked a long green cayenne and I said now these are hot too. She looked at me with misty eyes and said while holding the pepper stem, “These are hot.” Needless to say it was all I could do to keep from grinning like a mule eating briars.

* * * * *

How do most men define marriage? A very expensive way to get your laundry done for free.

Two guys walk into a bar. You’d think one of them would have seen it.

In the beginning there was nothing. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.

What to do if you receive a hot check

This is a very common question with merchants. If you receive a hot check closed account, or fictitious account, you must send the writer of the check a certified, return receipt requested letter making demand for the value of the check in cash or money order. If the letter is ignored or comes back, you must then take the certified letter you sent to either Judge Tony Polumbo or Judge Mike Parrott’s office (it doesn’t matter which J.P. court you use) along with the bad check.

The judge’s office will help you complete the necessary paperwork and give you a packet explaining the hot check law and procedures. After you file the hot check with the judge’s office, the judge will issue a warrant for the arrest of the individual that issued it.

The warrant is then sent over to my office and entered in our computer where Capt. George Knott assigns it and the warrant is tracked.

At any time, we can tell you the status of the warrant and the warrant investigator assigned to it.

We receive anywhere from 2700 to 3000 arrest warrants a month, and have one of the highest arrest and clearance percentages in the county, usually around a 98 percent success rate. It is very important for everyone who gets a hot check to file it, as usually the same person who wrote you a hot check has written several other merchants in our precinct a hot check.

Timing is important and a great help in catching the check writer. Don’t sit on the bad check for months; file it right away. It gives my warrant detectives a better chance of catching them.

Always get good identification from the person writing you a check; a social security number does not help us much. Get their Texas Driver’s license number, a work phone, home phone, etc.

We work hard at returning the merchant’s money from worthless checks; and yearly hundreds of thousands of dollars are recovered and returned.

The important thing to remember is to file them as soon as possible to increase your odds of us recovering the money or incarcerating the suspect.

Judge Polumbo in Baytown holds a yearly seminar on hot checks; and it is given to the public. If you would like to attend, call his office for future seminars.

If you need help in filing or information on a check you have filed, call my office at 281-427-4791 and ask for Captain George Knott.

He will be happy to answer your questions or send a warrant detective out to help you in filing your hot check. We also have “Hot Check Warning” signs free to the public to place in your business warning hot check writers that you do prosecute the hot check writer.

Community grieves at death of Pat McPhee

CROSBY – This community and Highlands were stunned by the sudden death of a leading citizen and churchman, Pat McPhee, Sunday morning. McPhee suffered a heart attack at his home. He was 54 years old.

McPhee and his wife Barbara had just attended the Rotary Chili Feast on Saturday, enjoying the day with his fellow Rotarians. They were preparing for church Sunday morning at Crosby Baptist, when the unexpected attack occured.

McPhee was a representative of the Edward Jones Investment firm, with many friends and clients throughout the area. His intelligence, quiet demeanor, self assuredness and quick wit made many friends. He was active in Crosby Baptist Church, the Crosby/Huffman Chamber, the YMCA, and Highlands Rotary.

In 2004 he had been chosen Citizen of the Year by the Star-Courier.

Chamber President Nancy Oliver stated that “Pat McPhee will be missed at the Chamber; he definitely had a positive impact on our communities. In today’s sometimes jaded world, it was inspiring to meet someone with such an enthusiastic view of life and a readiness to convey his convictions to others.”

The official obituary follows:

Patrick (Pat) William McPhee met his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, face to face on Sunday, February 6, 2005 in Crosby, TX. Pat was born to Marcella Irene (O’Leary) McPhee and Robert Angus McPhee on March 13, 1950 in Detroit, Michigan. Pat was an active member of First Baptist Church, Crosby. Dedicated leader of the AWANAs Youth Program.

Teacher and mentor for young co-ed adult bible classes, by-laws committee of the church, and member Crosby Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of Highlands Rotary, Star-Courier Citizen of the Year, Crosby, TX 2004 and board member of the

Pat graduated from George C. Shafter High School, Southgate, Michigan in 1968 where he was a member of the Downriver District Football Championship. Pat attended Northern Michigan University, graduated from Detroit Business Institute with a Marketing Degree. Pat was an Investment Representative for Edward Jones Investments, Crosby, TX.

Pat was preceded in death by mother, Marcella Irene (O’Leary) McPhee. He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Barbara Elaine (Musick) McPhee, daughter, Mikele (Mikey) Kathleen (McPhee) Johnson, son-in-law, Richard Lee Johnson II, father Robert Angus McPhee Jr. and stepmother Dorothy McPhee, brother, Robert Angus mcPhee III and wife Gail of Plymouth Township, Mi, sister, Pamela McPhee and Mar Thorne of West Branch, MI, sister Carol Diem and husband Dave of Fenton, MI, brother Michael McPhee and wife Lori of Coppell, TX and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

With a contagious sense of humor and quick wit, Pat never met a stranger. He could recall names and details of every life he touched. His gift of encouragement towards both young and old has touched many people’s lives. He was proud of his wife and daugher. Especially the singing talent of his wife and how he was so looking forward to his new granddaughter, Camille Elaine Johnson.

Visitation was held at Sterling White Chapel on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services were Wednesday, February 9, 2005 at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Crosby. Internment at White Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the First Baptist Church of Crosby Building Fund, 281-328-2564.

His favorite scripture was Psalms 91:1 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Services are under the direction of Sterling White Chaptel Highlands. 281-426-3555.