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Posts published in June 2007

New Crosby ISD superintendent takes reins

By BOBBY HORN JR.
CROSBY—The Crosby ISD Board of Trustees didn’t have to look far to find a successor to retiring Superintendent Dr. Don Hendrix. He was, quite literally, across the hall.
Mike Joseph, who was serving as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, was no stranger to the board having served Crosby for the past 23 years.
Joseph started out his career in Crosby teaching 8th grade math. Eleven years later he was promoted to principal at Newport Elementary. He held this post for 10 years until, in 2005, he moved up to assistant superintendent.
Joseph said that coming up through the ranks given him a unique perspective to the post, as each promotion has widen his focus from a classroom, to campus to the entire district.
In these 23 years, Joseph said that he was learned some valuable insight into Crosby students.

“We feel that Crosby can compete with any school across the state,” he said. “And when they get to college they can compete with kids anywhere.”
The view of students comes not only from a teacher and administrator but also a parent. Two of Joseph’s sons have graduated from Crosby, one going on to Texas A&M University and the other to the Washington University in St. Louis. His third son will be a senior in the fall. Joseph’s wife, Roseanne, is coordinator for the dyslexia and speech pathology department with the district, having served the district for 28 years.
Joseph said his goal is that every student who graduates from Crosby and wants to go to college will be prepared. Those who choose to go directly into the workplace, vocational training or military, he said, will also have the skills they need to be successful.
While proud of the achievements that students are making in college entrance exams and advanced placement classes, Joseph said that there is still work to be done. Areas most in need he said are math and science. Across the state, he said, students are having trouble on standardized tests in these areas, and Crosby is no exception. While he approves of testing in general, Joseph said that requiring passage to graduate is wrong.
Another issue facing the district is growth. While school growth is about140 students a year, Joseph said that Crosby could see significant growth over the next five to seven years, possibly enough to make Crosby a 5A district. Under the current guidelines, Crosby is about 550 students below the 5A mark.
To address this, Joseph said that in the fall he was putting together an exploratory committee that will review facilities needs. In May 2008 the committee, made up of community members and school employees will bring recommendations back for review.

Eversole initiates Crosby Park expansion

CROSBY– Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Eversole presided over ceremonies kicking off the new second phase of construction at Crosby Park.
The groundbreaking event was held last Wednesday, June 6th at 10 a.m. in the morning, with local officials and community leaders attending.
Crosby Park is located on Hare Road, and currently is 46 acres, and includes two baseball fields, four soccer fields, two tennis courts, basketball court, playgrounds, walking trail, picnic tables, and a pavilion and rest room facilities.
New construction to be started this year will total $496,000 of new facilities.
This will include a new double-sided concession area and restroom pavilion, serving both the football and soccer leagues., and utilities including new water and sewer lines.
Work on these facilities has been undertaken by Urban Architecture, and GCC Builders.

Recently completed construction includes two additional lighted parking lots with 96 spaces, a new regulation size soccer field, a youth size soccer field, two lighted football fields, and electrical upgrades.
In addition to the groundbreaking, Eversole and other interested officials and community leaders cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the recently completed facilities. This work totalled $788,709 and was funded through the 2001 Capital Improvement Projects bond funds.
In his remarks, Commissioner Eversole stated the “Since 1992, we have been working to add more land and new amenities to this park, and I am pleased to say that all the improvements have continued to move along as scheduled. By March of next year, the community will have a fully expanded facility to enjoy.”
Other facilities and amenities implemented in the Crosby area by Commissioner Eversole include the Crosby Community Center, opened in February 2002 and located within Crosby Park.

Women must plan (extra) carefully for retirement

If you’re a woman, you have to be actively involved in your financial preparations for retirement – and that’s true whether you’re single or married. As a woman, you have at least two special considerations associated with your retirement planning:
*You’ve got a longer life expectancy. Women typically outlive men by about seven years, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics – and more years of life mean more expenses.
*You may have less money in your retirement plan. Women drop out of the work force for an average of 12 years to care for young children or aging parents, according to the Older Women’s League, a research and advocacy group. This time away from the workforce results in women accumulating much less money in their employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s.
The prospect of a long, underfunded retirement is not a pleasant one. Fortunately, there’s much you can do to avoid this fate. For starters, know what’s going on in your financial situation. If you are married, share the responsibility of making investment decisions. What are your retirement goals? Are the two of you investing enough to eventually achieve these goals? And where is the money going? You must know the answers to these questions.

You’ll also need to know what you could expect to receive if your husband dies before you. As a surviving spouse, you will likely inherit all your husband’s assets, unless he has specifically named other people – such as grown children from an earlier marriage – as beneficiaries. Nonetheless, you can’t just assume that all sources of income that your husband receives will automatically roll over to you. For example, if your husband were to die before you, you wouldn’t get his Social Security payments in addition to your own, although you could choose to collect his payments instead of yours. But if you both earned close to the same income, you might not get much of an increase in Social Security benefits.
In any case, whether you’re married or single, here are some moves that can benefit you:
*”Max out” on your 401(k). If you can afford it, invest the maximum amount into your 401(k) and increase your contributions every time your salary goes up. Your 401(k) provides you with tax-deferred earnings and a variety of investment options.
*Contribute to an IRA. Even if you have a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, you might be eligible to contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA. A traditional IRA offers the potential for tax-deferred earnings, while a Roth IRA potentially grows tax-free, provided you don’t take withdrawals until you’re 59-1/2 and you’ve had your account at least five years. You can fund an IRA with virtually any investment you choose.
Do whatever it takes to help ensure a comfortable retirement – and the sooner you start planning, the better.

Crosby leaders say battle won with Fox26

By BOBBY HORN JR.
CROSBY— After getting a “black eye”, to use a term from Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce President Steve Coon, from Houston news station Fox 26 which aired a report on registered sex offenders that made Crosby look like a haven for ‘sex predators’ Coon said he believes that the station has made up for their mistake.
“Last week they (Fox26) ran a story that was very complimentary to Crosby and they apologized,” he said. “I don’t think that we need to do anything else to pursue the matter.
The original report, which first aired on May 8, said that based on a population of 1,700 residents Crosby had a ratio of 30 residents for every ‘predator.’ The term ‘predator’ used by the report referred to registered sex offenders.
The Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce, along with area business and individuals, took immediate offense to the report, citing what Coon referred to as being “full of misrepresentations and inaccuracies.”

The main area of contention, Coon said, was reporter Carolyn Canville’s source of population figures. Coon said that the 1,700 figure quoted in the reported consisted of only a small portion of the area and that the entire population of ZIP Code 77532 is closer to 20,143. Given the 62 sex offenders registered in 77532, the ratio is closer to 1 to 343, not the 1:30 cited in the report.
Coon said that within days of the report he, on behalf of the chamber, sent a letter to the news station asking for multiple retractions, a series of “positive” reports about Crosby, and the firing of Canville as well as those responsible for conducting research for the report as well as those who allowed it to air.
Following the letter, Coon he had multiple conversations with Fox, both locally as well as with their national legal representation.
In response to the complaints, Fox 26 aired multiple retractions beginning on May 22. Initially Fox26 refused to run a retraction on their website, even though the report was posted on the site. After more pressure by the chamber Fox26 said it would put a retraction on the website.
Then, on May 31, the station ran another story about Crosby. This time Canville interviewed Superintendent Mike Joseph and Crosby Brethren Church Pastor Dr. Larry Koslovsky, which presented Crosby in a better light.
Coon said that based on the second report, as well as apologies from the station he intends to meet with the chamber’s board of directors this week and recommend that no further action be taken against the station.
“I know that there are others out there who want Fox26 to do more,” he said. “But I am satisfied that we got the positive coverage that we deserved.”

Crosby Fair & Rodeo continues tradition of bringing exciting performers

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
This year’s Crosby Fair and Rodeo continues this week with three exiting night of Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA)- sanctioned events along with concerts by six of the most electrifying performers in country music today.
This year’s lineup includes: Thursday, June 7 – Stoney LaRue and Wade Bowen,
Friday, June 8 – Jason Boland and Aaron Watson,
Saturday, June 9 – Charlie Robison and Blaine Larsen.

THURSDAY

Wade Bowen will open the Thursday night Rodeo concert on June 7. Bowen attracted large audiences with “God Bless This Town.” It was number 4, then Live In New Braunfels won the 2004 Bluelight Live Album of the Year.
Bowen, who sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar, is backed up by Matt Miller and Gary Wooten on electric guitar. Brooks Robinson on drums and Casey Twist. The band is currently in the middle of their Hold My Beer and Watch This Tour. This tour takes them across Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, During the tour they will be part of a seven-day cruise concert with Crosby Fair and Rodeo alumnus Cross Canadian Ragweed.
This intensive touring schedule fits perfectly for an artist known for his ability to cross musical genres.
With musical influences that cite everyone from Aerosmith to Patty Griffin to Led Zeppelin and Paul Thorn, the result of Wade Bowen’s incessant touring is something akin to a smooth shot of roots rock with an alt-country back, served on ice with doses of traditional country and sensitive blues, but with a fiery edge, too.
A blend made all its own while not overwhelming the music pallet; Bowen is passionate about being a genre-crossing artist, learning from a variety of musical styles.
Stoney LaRue, 28, of Taft, Texas, with a whole lot of John Anderson like traits, is playing about 300 shows a year nationwide and in the Caribbean.
With a newly assembled band that includes Jeremy Bryant (drums), Jesse Fritz (bass), Rodney Pyeatt (guitar), and Steve Littleton (keys), Stoney LaRue is poised for hectic touring schedule to support their latest release “The Red Dirt Album.” In the week following Crosby, LaRue will find himself playing in Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma before coming back to Texas for a performance in Bryan.

The recent recipient of the Gruene With Envy 2007 Artist of the Year award, LaRue counts an influence a wide variety of singers from Anderson to Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, The Grateful Dead and Kris Kristofferson.
Armed with golden ear musicianship, an amusing wit, and soulful magnetism, LaRue’s shows are infused with an uplifting quality, a cathartic barroom brand of spirituality, where venues are complimented for good bar “feng shui,” and where time and dimension can be traversed via emotive lyrics and melodic riffs.
A charismatic performer, LaRue’s flawless vocals can draw a crowd to a open mouth level of sonic mesmerization, and next have them singing “Forever Young” so loudly that you can’t hear anything else.

FRIDAY

Friday night’s concert begins with Aaron Watson. Off the Record played top five in Texas in 2003. Capping that with “Reckless” playing top 5 of the Texas Music Chart for two months. The Amarillo native is now touring about 200 shows a year and has come to be called the Honky Tonk Kid.
Watson is now touring in support of his newest release San Angelo, which debuted at #60 on the Billboard chart and is up to #5 on the Texas Music Chart.
“Aaron Watson looks too young and cheerful to know much about the honky tonk life, but one spin of San Angelo proves appearances can be deceiving.
Watson manages to find a comfortable middle ground between the radio-friendly polish of new country and the tougher sounds that continue to find favor in his home state of Texas, and while the party anthem “Heyday Tonight” may open the album, it’s harder-edged tunes about love and heartbreak like “Blame It on Me,” “Haunted House,” and the title cut that put the meat on this disc’s bones,” wrote reviewer Mark Deming for the All Music Guide.
Jason Bowland and the Stragglers, 32, closes the Rodeo Friday, June 8.
Boland, backed by his band of stellar musicians: Roger Ray (pedal steel, lead/rhythm guitar), Brad Rice (drums/backing vocals), Grant Tracy (bass), and Noah Jeffries (banjo, mandolin, and guitar) have sold over 100,000 records since 1999.
The Bourbon Legend is Boland’s first record with Sustain Records, an independent Texas-based record company distributed by Universal Music & Video Distribution. The first single, “No One Left To Blame,” carries with it heavy overtones of a music reminiscent of Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. while providing an edgy musical dose of a new generations’ varied influences. The majority of the songs on the record were influenced by acts such as the Marshall Tucker Band, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, among others.
“Up and Gone” recently hit number one on the Texas Music Chart.

SATURDAY

Recently, Charlie Robison released Magnolia and voiced a depth of emotions from deep in the psyche. But there is the fun stuff too, on Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Hungry, one has to entertain the double entendre.
Born in Houston, Robison was raised in Bandera. A musician at heart, Robison even found his wife in the music industry. In 1999 he married Dixie Chick Emily Erwin.
Before Going solo, Robison was in the bands Chaparall, Millionaire Playboys, and Two Hoots and a Holler. At one point, Robison was on Warner Brothers, but apparently did not see eye to eye about his musical career there and left to release some albums on his own. Among his releases was a live disc also featuring brother Bruce and Jack Ingram that was put out by Sony’s Lucky Dog label. He then went to Dualtone Records.
Robison was a judge on the first season of the TV singing competition Nashville Star.
Blaine Larsen, 20, grew up in a broken home only later in life to experience the joys of family when his mother remarried. The fresh faced kid features an adult voice, distinctive writing and musical accomplishment.
At age 13, inspired by George Strait’s music, Larsen bought a guitar with money earned from selling homemade birdhouses.
By his freshman year in high school, he was singing in assemblies and at school shows. His geometry teacher taught him chords and wrote a song with him, “Keep It Country.” Larsen also booked gigs in Buckley at sporting events, weddings and in civic clubs.
However, one of Larsen’s classmates got in touch with her distant relative, Rory Lee Feek, a successful songwriter in Nashville. She encouraged him to listen to Larsen’s music. Feek had never even met Larsen’s classmate, but he dropped by the studio to say hello. After returning from Washington, Larsen sent him a finished CD.
After hearing it, Feek and songwriter Tim Johnson flew the 15-year-old singer back to Nashville for a legitimate recording session. They started a label and released a single titled “In My High School,” which received some airplay in Seattle.
An employee of BMG in Seattle sent a note to Joe Galante, head of the BMG labels in Nashville, suggesting that he check out Larsen’s Web site. Galante quickly auditioned him and signed him. At the end of 2004, the label released the single How Do You Get That Lonely, about teenage suicide. His major label debut, Off to Join the World, followed in early 2005. A year later, he issued Rockin’ You Tonight and went on tour with Gretchen Wilson.
The Crosby Fair & Rodeo Board seems to bring in better acts each year, and seeing them here has proven to be a value because the performers have a tendency to go big after playing here.

Smart financial moves for college graduates

It’s that time of year when students from across the country graduate from college. If you’re one of them, you’ll be anticipating a new chapter in your life. And that means you’ll have to do your homework on a very important topic: your financial situation. It’s one subject in which you’ll definitely want to earn a passing grade.
Of course, if you’re like many recent graduates, the financial issue that might weigh heaviest on your mind is your student loans. To help pay for college, about two out of three students take out loans, with the average debt amounting to more than $19,000, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Education.
Whatever the amount you have borrowed, you will need to make arrangements to pay for it. If your loans aren’t too large, your monthly payments may not be overly burdensome, but, in any case, it’s a very good idea to stay current on your payment schedule – falling behind can lead to big problems down the line.

Apart from paying back your loan, though, you’ll have other financial considerations upon graduating college. Unless you’re going to graduate school, you might be starting at a full-time job, which means you’ll have to quickly learn some money-management skills – and one of the most important of these skills is budgeting. At this stage of your life, you may not have a lot of disposable income – especially after paying for rent, which will probably take up a sizable portion of your paycheck – so you’ll want to track your expenses carefully and be as thrifty as possible.
Still, while you’re thinking about today, you’ll want to plan for tomorrow. If you want to save for a car, or perhaps later down the line, a house, you’ll want to get in the habit of investing something on a regular basis. Even if you can just put away $50 or $75 per month at first, you may see some accumulation after several months. And just as importantly, you’ll get in the “savings habit,” which, if continued throughout your working life, can pay off for you in many ways. Dollar cost averaging does not guarantee a profit, nor does it protect against a loss in a declining market. You should always consider your financial ability to continue investing through periods of low-price levels. If you don’t know how you should invest your money, consult with a financial advisor – and don’t be deterred from seeking out professional help because you’re “only” a “small” investor. Many highly qualified financial advisors will be more than willing to meet with you and help you out – you just have to find someone who’s right for you.
You might also get some investing help, in a way, from your employer. If you’ve landed a job with a company that offers a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), take advantage of it. While retirement may be quite far from your mind at the moment, an employer-sponsored retirement plan offers the chance to invest on a tax-deferred basis, which means your money will grow faster than it would if you invested it on an account in which you paid taxes every year. So, put away what you can afford – at least enough to earn your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered – and increase your contributions as your salary rises over time.
By following these suggestions, you can start your life in the working world with a solid grasp on your finances – and that’s a grip you won’t want to relinquish.

Kickin’ Klobassa Fest

The Knights of Columbus hosted their Klobassa Fest with a car show, auction and bake sale last Sunday. The Knights of Columbus raise money each year for a scholarship fund and other gifts to the needy for local Catholic charities. This year acres of the hall’s grounds were covered with vehicles competing for bragging rights in the categories of antique, classic, sports car, special interest, street rods, tractors and trucks.

Dayton Ole Tyme Days Festival announces ‘07 scholarship recipients

CROSBY– The annual scholarship awards ceremony for Dayton’s graduating seniors was held May 24. Dayton Ole Tyme Days Festival announced 21 scholarship winners for 2007. The mission of the Dayton Ole Tyme Days Festival is to promote Dayton, Texas and to raise money for local youth scholarships.
Event organizers say the 15th anniversary year was their most successful, allowing them to give away $25,000.00 in scholarships.
Scholarships winners were Cheyanne Choate, $2000 in memory of Jay Tankersley; Jacob Pickle $2000, in memory of Jackie Lambright; Andrew Dewey $2000 ,in memory of Sharon Gray; and Ashley Krnavek, $2000 in memory of Delores Bagley.
Dayton Old Tyme Days Scholarships, valued at $1,000 each, were awarded to Megan Ash, Sara Trevizo, Ashtyn Underwood, Elizabeth Adams, Trey Durdin, Megan McClaugherty and Meagan Rossow.
Also: Jason Heilig, Morgan Williamson, Nicholas Anderson, Lindsey Booth, Matthew Passmore, Quantanique White, Robert Wurz, Cheyanna Clark, Justin Choate and Sean McCool.
The festival committee invites the community to join them again next April for the 16th annual Dayton Ole Tyme Days Festival for a weekend of fun for the whole family.
For more information about Dayton Ole Tyme Days, visit www.oletymedays.com for details on the arts & crafts, live music, BBQ cookoff, Junior Chili cookoff, carnival, car show, bake-off, pageant/contest, photo contest, 42-tournament and tractor show.