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Posts published in “Day: March 6, 2008”

Coast Guard searches vehicles at Lynchburg Ferry

By BOBBY HORN JR.
LYNCHBURG – Recently morning commuters who use the Lynchburg Ferry to cross the ship channel found an unusual delay as deputies from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Coast Guard conducted vehicle searches.
Sgt. David Crain, with Harris County, said that joint operation took place Feb. 21 and 28 for about three to four hours each morning,
Crain said that departments have worked together in the past to ensure the safety of the ship channel. Under the federal Maritime Safety Transportation Act the Coast Guard, acting under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security, can search vehicles boarding watercraft on public waters.
Crain said that his department’s role in the operation was to provide equipment and manpower. “We lend support to them (the Coast Guard), but it’s their operation. We look for local warrants and provide transportation to the jail if needed.”
During the operation, Crain said that 21 people were arrested mostly for open warrants and drug possession.

Burglary suspects caught in high speed chase

CROSBY- It has been set said that the best crime prevention is neighbors watching neighbors. This proved true recently when a resident of Barbers Hill Road called authorities when he noticed suspicious activity at his neighbor’s house.
On Feb. 25, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a burglary in-progress in the 5100 block of Barbers Hill.
The observant witness stayed on the phone with the dispatcher, while giving a detailed account of what the three suspects were doing, Deputy K. Miller said.
The caller advised he first noticed them just before noon, when the suspects pulled up to a neighbor’s perimeter gate in a U-Haul truck. The two-man, one-woman crew broke into the residence and proceeded to quickly fill the truck with stolen property from the home. Dispatch was able to relay to responding units when the U-Haul truck was on the move, he added.
Miller said that following at a safe distance, the caller gave turn-by-turn updates.

Deputies first spotted the truck at the intersection of F.M. 2100 and Highway 90. With lights and sirens blaring on the patrol cars, the driver of the truck refused to stop and fled westbound on Highway 90 in excess of 80 mph.
One of the deputies pulled to the left of the U-Haul and made eye contact with the driver, before the suspect swerved several times in an attempt to run the Deputy off the road and into an approaching guardrail., Miller said,.
After turning onto Beltway 8 and exiting at Uvalde, the U-Haul suddenly stopped in the 7500 block of Uvalde. All three suspects bailed out and ran into a wooded area.
After a brief foot chase, two of the suspects were apprehended.
Russell White, 29, of Baytown, was identified as the driver. White was charged with burglary of a habitation, aggravated assault against a public servant and evading arrest with a motor vehicle.
The female was also caught and identified as 37-year-old Stacy Morris, also of Baytown. Morris was charged with burglary of a habitation and evading detention. A third suspect was able to elude deputies, for the moment.
During a thorough investigation, the third and final suspect was identified as 44-year-old Wade Hockett.
Although Hockett got away that day, he has since been arrested and charged with burglary of a habitation and evading detention. All three suspects are currently in the Harris County Jail, awaiting March 2008 court appearances.
ÒThe owner of the burglarized residence was contacted and informed of the incident and of the recovered property. The property, valued at over $3,700, was later released to the grateful owner, Miller said.

Dragpalooza braces fans for O’Reilly Nationals

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
MONT BELVIEU – Houston Raceway Park is kicking off the quarter mile season this weekend in segway for the NHRA O’Rielly Spring Nationals to come March 21.
As a complete aside, when one considers what businesses bring in extra business to the area, consider that the O’Rielly Spring Nationals, as of two weeks ago, had booked all area lodging as far as Channelview for the event.
Drag Illustrated Dragpalooza IV, the first of nine national events this year for the Flowmaster American Drag Racing League (ADRL) includes four eighth-mile drag racing classes: Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Extreme 10.5, Pro Nitrous and Pro Extreme, the quickest and fastest doorslammer class in the world. The event is presented by the National Guard.

On Friday, March 7, pit gates open 8 a.m. Spectator gates open 9 a.m. Pre-Qualifying Ceremonies at 7:45 p.m. Pro Qualifying Round 1 at 8 p.m. Jet Car one run at 10:15 p.m.
Tickets are free at Highlands Tractor Kawasaki while they last and more than 70 Houston area Discount Tire locations, or HRP box office until Mar. 6; Friday at track: Adults $10, Children 6-12 $5; Saturday at track: Adults $25, Children 6-12 $5; Two-day pass at track: Adults $30, Children 6-12 $10; All children under 6 free; General parking $5; All tickets include pit access and free copy of Adrenaline magazine, official publication of the ADRL (while supplies last).
Pit gates open 8 a.m. on Saturday for event parking. Spectator gates open 9 a.m. Pro Qualifying Round 2 starts at noon. Pro Qualifying Round 3 at 2 p.m. Pro Eliminations Round 1 at 4 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies at 6:45 p.m. Pro Eliminations continue at 7 p.m. Jet Car runs at 8:15 p.m. Pro Eliminations continue at 9 p.m. Jet Car runs at 10:15 p.m. Winner’s Circle Party from 10:25 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Tickets are free at Highlands Tractor Kawasaki while they last and more than 70 Houston area Discount Tire locations, or HRP box office until Mar. 6; Friday at track: Adults $10, Children 6-12 $5; Saturday at track: Adults $25, Children 6-12 $5; Two-day pass at track: Adults $30, Children 6-12 $10; All children under 6 free; General parking $5; All tickets include pit access and free copy of Adrenaline magazine, official publication of the ADRL (while supplies last).
 Call Houston Raceway Park (281) 383-7223 for more information.

Highlands’ Chief Little is County Fireman of Year

¡By LEWIS SPEARMAN
PONDEROSA – Highlands Fire Chief Harvey Little was chosen Harris County Firefighter of the Year on February 20 at the Ponderosa Volunteer Fire Department over west of Houston.
“It was a complete shock to me.” remarked Little to the Star-Courier on March 4, “I know there are more deserving candidates out there than me. I don’t even know who nominated me. They said they were going to give it to me at the meeting the month before but I missed the meeting.”
Each year Harris County Fire Fighters Association selects and honors a fire fighter who has provided his / her department or the Fire Service in general with outstanding achievements, including:. outstanding job on a special project, leading out in a new endeavor, or making a dramatic rescue. According to the by-laws, the nominee should be considered because of past heroism in a fire related act, dedication to training, introduction of new or innovative training methods, or years of dedicated service to the Fire Service.
Harris County Fire Marshal Deputy Jerry Ickes, a former Highlands Fire Volunteer, presented the award to Little. A five man panel determined Little’s merit.

Local hunter outwits majestic trophy buck

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CARRIZOS SPRINGS – A Highlands man brought down a 40 inches mass, 183 and 3/8 points on the Boone & Crockett Scale, 8.5 years old whitetail buck on February 24 at the San Pedro Land And Ranch.
Keith Coble, owner of Highlands Tractor Kawasaki, attributes taking his quarry to breaking his usual hunting routine. Coble indicates that a hunter is supposed to pattern a deer but figures this deer was patterning him.
Coble has about 40 mounts that measure up to 179 Boone & Crockett Points and has become a steady enthusiast over the last 5 years.
Generally, Coble would drive his Mule somewhat near the field where the enormous male deer was once seen about three weeks prior grazing on the 42,000 acre ranch. Coble had been showing up at about 5:00 a.m., as the other hunters had done, for the first three days in the hunt.
On the last day of his four day hunting safari he parked his vehicle a full 1/4 mile further away and was in the field a full hour earlier. He crept to the field in full stealth mode and watched the deer frolic and graze under a nearly full moon. Coble managed to manouver until the wind came from his right instead of from behind him toward the deer.
When the enourmous buck entered the field all the other males scurried away and began to walk in the direction of Coble. The buck came to within two hundred yards from Coble before he fired striking the deer perfectly in the neck not only breaking the neck but also tearing through the heart.
The San Padro Land And Ranch only allows hunters to take deer over the age of seven and a half years old. the average age of bucks harvested in Texas is 5 years old. It is field hunting, not protein feed or high fence range.

It’s been a good week

It has been a good day as far as bird watching goes and I do like it.
Went out back this morning to see the Purple Martins and how many are here. So far, there are eight of them in and around the house.
The Purple Martins were waiting on me to put the house up last week. As I secured the pole to the base pole, two of them were circling wanting me to hurry up. I had just washed the house.
After counting the Martins, I noticed several Cedar Waxwings in the neighbor’s tree next to a Tallow tree. After getting the binocs, there were twenty of the Cedar Waxwings in the tree.
A very pretty bird the Cedar Waxwing, tan in color with a colored tail tip and a black mask. Somewhat like the shape of a good size, red Cardinal with the hair swooped back.
As I went out front to get in the truck, there were a male and female Cardinal out front playing chase in the tree and down and around to the ground.

It has been a good week as far as that goes. My day job is what one calls dialing for dollars and that gets me introduced to people for up to sixty months…sometimes much longer if the court gets involved.
Had one account with a repayment history of being 26 times over 30 days late. That means two payments due. Then to top that, they were 9 times over 60 days late meaning there were three payments due. Last but not least, how about 2 times 90 days late and you know what that means.
With dirt as collateral, one cannot hire a Repo man to go snatch it as you would a car.
Court has to be involved in the taking of real estate and a timely process it is.
The account paid off as in FULL last week. Made my day, it did!
It is like pulling a gray hair, get two more in its place.
With petrol going to four bucks a gallon, is it going to put a crimp in your cash flow?
Everything in your house is delivered by truck so standby. Groceries have already gone up as much as 40 percent.
One must learn to eat what is on sale at the supermarkets. I shop Food Town and find the prices fair compared to where the rich folks shop.
If you select what is on sale, you can save a few bucks to buy your petrol.
For instance salad dressing, I love blue cheese and a pint of my brand cost as much as a gallon of petrol.
I make our salad dressing now, same stuff my dad used back at Charlie’s Fish Camp.
Ketchup and mayo whipped up with a dash of lemon juice. The twins grew up on it and it is good on biscuits and baked potato.
Know the best way to get on your feet?
Miss two car payments.

(Almost) Everything you wanted to know about bonds

In the financial world, stocks tend to get most of the attention. But if you’re going to make progress toward all your long-term goals, you need to be aware of all types of investments – and bonds can be an important part of your portfolio.
Many people, however, don’t fully understand how bonds work. So, before you invest in them, familiarize yourself with the “bond basics.” Here are a few of them:
* Bonds are “debt” instruments. When you buy shares of stock, you’re actually becoming an owner – although one of a great many – of a company. But when you purchase bonds, you are, in effect, loaning money to whomever issues the bond – a business or the government. If you hold the bond until it matures, you’ll get your principal, or “par value,” back (provided the issuer doesn’t default) and, along the way, you’ll receive regular interest payments. A bond’s interest rate is known as the “coupon.”

* Bond prices will fluctuate. Your bond’s interest rate will not change over the life of the bond. However, the price of your bond can fluctuate, an important factor to keep in mind if you plan on selling your bond before it matures. A bond’s price will move in response to several variables, chief among which is interest rates Bond investments are subject to interest rate risk such that when interest rates rise, the prices of bonds can decrease and the investor can lose principal value. For example, suppose you own a $1,000 bond that pays a 4 percent interest rate. If new bonds are issued at 5 percent, no one will pay you the full $1,000 for your 4 percent bond, so, if you wish to sell, you will have to offer it at a discount. Conversely, if market rates fall to 3 percent, your 4 percent bond will become highly desirable, so you could sell it for more than the $1,000 par value.
* Different bonds have different “ratings.” If you buy a corporate bond, you’ll have a choice between investment grade bonds – those receiving the higher “grades” issued by rating agencies, such as Moody’s or Standard & Poors – and “junk” bonds – those getting the lowest grades. The higher-quality bonds carry less risk of default but pay a lower interest rate than the “junk” bonds, which must offer the higher rates to attract investors who may be worried about default risk. Generally speaking, you’re probably better off by sticking with “investment grade” bonds and staying away from the “junk.”
* Some bonds can be “called.” A callable bond is a bond that can be redeemed – or “called” – by the issue before its maturity. If interest rates have declined since the bond was originally issued, companies will call bonds and reissue them at the lower, prevailing interest rate, thereby saving money on interest payments. As an investor, this could be cause for concern, because if your bond is called, and you wanted to reinvest the proceeds in a new bond, you’d likely have to accept a lower coupon rate. Consequently, you may want to look for a bond that offers “call protection” – a promise that a bond can’t be called before a certain time.
To determine if bonds are appropriate for your individual situation – and, if so, what type of bonds – see your financial advisor. By adding bonds to your portfolio, you may well give yourself a broader platform for success.