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Posts published in “Day: February 28, 2008”

Crosby Constable substation opens

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – This area now has a law enforcement station to act as a patrol staging and communications satelite and it did not cost the taxpayers a dime to obtain.
Crosby’s American Legion Post #658 offered to allow deputies to have keys and use of their palacial hall as a satellite station when the hall was completed last September.
“The American Legion offered the room, we definately appreciate it and we intend to take advantage of it. There will be a place for our deputies to make reports and talk to people instead of having to go all the way to Baytown or the North Channel area. This will be a shot in the arm as far as the deputies not having to do a lot of travelling back and forth which pulls them out of the area. Our Crosby, Huffman and Barrett Station deputies can do their paper work in the areas, make secure phone calls to contacts, save time and fuel. We are definately thankful to the American Legion for what they have done here for us and we intend to make it work for the community in terms of keeing patrols in the area. ” explained Constable Jones of what the satelite station will do for the areas.

Retirement time for Jimmie Strouhal

HIGHLANDS– Jim Strouhal is one of the key people that makes this town a great place to live. Since he came here to work at the main packaging plant in 1964, he has been involved in most every aspect of the community.
Now, he feels at 63 years of age that he and his wife should slow down and enjoy life a bit more. He has retired from his work after 43 years on Feb. 15th.
Ed Davis, president and CEO of ZXP Technologies, said that the company will host a farewell party this Thursday, Feb. 28 at St. Jude’s Church, from 4 to 7 p.m. Everyone in the community of Highlands is invited, to express their thanks to Jim and his wife Letha.
Jim is known in Highlands for many community activities. He is vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, co-founder of the Highlands Heritage Museum and Preservation Project, member of the North Channel Local Emergency Planning Committee, board member of the Fire Department’s Emergency Service District #14, and an active member of St. Jude’s church. He also operates Jimmie Strouhal Insurance Agency, which represents RVOS Farm Mutual Insurance and others. Letha is an active participant in this business, as financial secretary of the local lodge.
Other activities have included managing the Jamboree parade each year, and participating in the Harlem Elementary school’s STAR program, a reading program where adults sit with students and read to them each week. Jimm says this has been extremely satisfying.

The Strouhals have lived in Highlands since their marriage in 1966. They met when they both worked at the Decker Drive-In Theater in 1962. They have four boys and six grandchildren, all whom live in the area. Jim is originally from Huffman, and went to Goose Creek schools, including Highlands elementary and Lee High School. Letha is from Cleveland, Texas and later Baytown.
In 1992 the city of Baytown named a day “Letha and Jimmie Strouhal Day, in honor of the work they have done as R.S. Sterling Band parents and other community activities. Even today, Jimmie is the announcer voice at the team’s halftime events.
Jimmie’s career in Highlands started with a phone call in 1964 from Paschal James, plant superintendent at SMS Industries, which had been the food canning plant in Highlands since about 1929. Over the years it had processed rice, vegetables, and figs. It started as the Tyrell & Garth canning plant, and was the main reason for the community of Helena, which became Highlands.
The work at the plant was evolving from food processing to automotive products, and Jim had some chemistry training to help in the lab. Over the years, he would work there under different owners and names, such as SMS Industries, Hi-Port Industries, Hi-Port, RhinoPak, and ZXP Technologies. He would hold positions as lab technician, lab manager, quality assurance manager, production supervisor, bulk materials manager, and manager of lab and environmental programs.
He said, “Serving in these roles, I have had the extreme pleasure to interface with some of the greatest people in the packaging industry–those in our facility and those representing the businesses that we have dealt with.”
In Jim’s early years, the plant focused on packaging food products, including national brands such as Hawaiian Punch, Dole fruit drinks, Sport Ade, QuickKick, Aunt Nellie’s, Cotton Maid Starch, Kitchen Kraft Blackeyed Peas, Top Kick Pet Foods, and General Foods Cycle Pet Foods. Each product line in the plant had its own separate building area, segregated from all the other areas.
As the plant brought on automotive products, such as antifreeze and motor oils, the food products were phased out to allow focus on contract packaging. ZXP is now one of the largest contract packagers in the country. Much of the country’s anti-freeze is packaged here.
Jim said that work at the plant required years of early morning starts, at 5:30 each day. He is not sure he will be able to adjust to a more normal schedule. He and Letha plan to keep busy with the insurance business and their community service activities.

Smart portfolio moves for your retirement years

For most of your working years, your investment strategies, by and large, will probably revolve around achieving sufficient growth to help you meet your long-term goals, such as college for your kids and a comfortable retirement. But once you are retired, you can’t just sit back and put your investment portfolio on “autopilot.”
What types of portfolio moves should you make as a retiree? Here are a few possibilities:
*Generate Your Own Paycheck. When you’re retired, you can collect Social Security and receive distributions from your 401(k) and IRA. But you’ll also probably need to generate some income from your investment portfolio. Consequently, you’ll need to own the appropriate mix of investments, including stocks that have the potential to pay dividends, bonds and Certificates of Deposit (CDs).
*Protect against inflation. Even if you do need some of your investments to provide you with an income stream, you can’t ignore the need for growth – because you’ll have to contend with inflation. Consider this: Everything you buy today will cost about twice as much in 25 years, assuming a 3 percent annual inflation rate. In other words, if you need $75,000 a year to retire comfortably now, you’ll need about $150,000 per year in 25 years to maintain your standard of living. And with advances in medical treatments leading to longer life spans, it’s entirely possible that you could spend 25 years – or more – in retirement.

To fight inflation, then, you will need at least some exposure to stocks, which offer the potential to provide returns greater than the inflation rate. While it’s true that by investing in stocks, you can lose some, or all, of your principal, you may be able to reduce your risk level by buying quality stocks and holding them for the long term. You can also help protect yourself against inflation through other investments. Your financial advisor can help you choose the investments that are appropriate for your needs.
*Leave a legacy. As you may know, the estate tax laws are in flux. In 2008, the estate tax exemption amount – the amount you can pass to your heirs, free of estate taxes – is $2 million. This figure rises to $3.5 million in 2009. Then, in 2010, the estate tax disappears -for one year only. And unless Congress changes the laws before then, in 2011 the exemption amount will revert to $1 million, with a maximum estate tax rate of 55 percent.
How could you help your family cope with a potential estate tax burden? You could make some “tactical” moves, such as rolling over your 401(k) to an IRA, which, when passed on to your heirs, could be “stretched” for years to reduce the tax bite. You could also reduce the size of your taxable estate by making gifts to family members and charitable organizations. Before making either of these moves, though, consult with your tax and legal advisors.
Clearly, there are many portfolio considerations for retirees. So, when you’re nearing retirement, start planning ahead. By making the right moves, you can make your “golden years” considerably brighter.
***Edward Jones does not offer tax or legal advice. You should consult with a competent tax or legal adviser for your specific situation.

Candidates file in city, school board elections

By BOBBY HORN JR.
CHAMBERS/ LIBERTY COUNTY—While much of the attention in politics has been directed towards next week’s Party Primaries, candidates have already began campaigning for races of more local significance.
The filing period is now open for those wishing to run for either a seat on their local school board or their respective city council. Due to changes in the state election laws enacted by the last Texas Legislative Session, school districts within an incorporated city will hold their election for trustees on the same ballot at the municipality.
The election will be held on May 3.
BARBERS HILL
There will be two races for seats on the Barbers Hill ISD Board of Trustees. Incumbent George Barrera is seeking reelection to Position 3. He is opposed by Perry Carrington Sr. In the race for Position 5 Benny May, the incumbent, is running against Lawrence “Elmo” Camp.
OLD RIVER WINFREE
Old River Winfree City Secretary Linda Murphy said that three candidates had filed as of press time. Angela Motz has filed on the ballot for Position 1. Jackie Johnson is seeking another term as the Position 2 alderman and Alderman J.S. Steadham is seeking reelection to the Position 5 seat.
DAYTON ISD
So far, only the two incumbents Thomas Payne, in Place 3 and Bob Pickle, in Place 4 have filed for seats on the Dayton ISD Board of Trustees.
DAYTON
There are three at-large spots open on the Dayton City Council. The three highest vote-getters will be elected to the council. To date, only Council members Felix Skarpa and Rick Brown have filed for the election.
Anyone wishing to have their name added to a ballot or either a city or school board race has until March 10 to file with the respective entity.