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Posts published in “Day: May 15, 2008”

Voters reject $103.5m Crosby ISD bond package

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – The Crosby ISD School Bond was voted down by 696 votes to 490 uncanvassed, according to Diane Fleming.
The Crosby ISD Superintendent Mike Joseph said, “I take full responsibility for the bond not passing. Here is what I know about the Crosby community – it has great people that are supportive of the kids and I know that we are going to use this as an opportunity to come up with another plan that will be in the best interest of the entire community. I am possitive that something good will happen.”
“We are going to focus on what we do and that is providing quality education.”
When asked if he believes that another bond will be proposed by next November he indicated that the general election would be too early.
“We have to have time to bring in all fascets of the community to see what our plan B is.”
When pressed concerning the costs of construction going up about 1% per month and the financial pressures of increasing gasoline and deisel.
“I look at it as maybe next May maybe in the next two years, I don’t know. The voters spoke and we appreciate that, we are going to look at the fact that there are people throughout this community that I am proud to know and develop another plan. It didn’t work this time, so maybe there are some things that we can look at and maybe we can bring everyone together.”
The Star-Courier had been sent a barrage of e-mails, somearriving after deadline. The proposed bond was to biuld a new 7th and 8th grade Middle School on Kennings Road. Much of the reaction to the proposal concerned increasing taxes in a time of economic uncertainty and uncertainty about the results of the up-coming general election.
Most of those that reacted to the proposal acknowledged that there is a need for new buildings in the district. The rate of growth in the district is now at about 2.5% per year when the decade prior to that has seen about 1% per year. Most of the growth had children in the Kindergarten age group.

Cotten ousted in re-election bid

By BOBBY HORN JR.
HIGHLANDS—After serving 18 years on the Goose Creek CISD Board of Trustees Weston Cotten will step down from the post, following Saturday’s loss at the polls.
Ken Martin defeated Cotten 264 to 123 for the District 3 seat.
“I guess this is the year of the Obama,” Cotten said after the election. “The year of people promising to change things for the better.”
Cotten said that he was surprised at the final tally and that he expected to get more support from Highlands voters. Martin campaigned heavily in the Lakewood subdivision in the days leading up to the election.
Cotten said that despite the loss he plans to continue in public service. He noted that he is considering a run in 2010 for the Justice of Peace seat currently held by Tony Polumbo.

Memories of Eddie Arnold

Been in the briar patch picking blackberries, got two large freezer bags full from two pickings. The Mrs. suggested blackberry jam out of the pickings but my thoughts are on another batch of wine.
Picked a few tomatoes out of the garden of weedin and some of the onions are ready already. Nothing better than a toasted BLT samich with homegrown tomatoes.
Dug up a few red potatoes but what little mess there is would not sustain a family over winter.
The bucket with two tomato plants growing out the bottom finally has a tomato on one of the vines. A far cry from the photos I have seen loaded with nice size tomatoes.
Sure did hate to hear of Eddy Arnold passing on, he was 89.

My mother truly enjoyed the music of Eddy Arnold on the old tube radio in our kitchen back in Georgia. Still have that old tube radio from back 50 years ago; Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams, and Ernie Ford were all popular back then. My mother would listen to the radio during the day when she was in the kitchen cooking biscuits or whatever; some of those old songs she could play along with a biscuit pan and right good at it.
Received news this past week of an old family friend who also passed away, at 93. Beulah Louise Irvin from Morristown, Tennessee.
She lived her life in my hometown of LaGrange, Georgia and her husband was a mechanic. He was also a racecar driver of ole number 1084. AJ were his initials but he was known as Jute. 1084 was the Lodge number of the BPOE.
Louise worked at the Cake Box off on one of the main streets in town back when I was a bicycle riding fool. After the picture show, I would go by the Cake Box and get a Coke in the bottle and a brownie. They had the best brownies you would ever want to eat.
The time on these events was when gas was in the price of cents if you savvy.
I would give Louise a case quarter and never paying any attention to the change, I would put it in my pocket and proceed to gnaw into those brownies and wash it down with a Coke and then a large belch of which I could do some CATTLE CALL.
Once I noticed the change and she said do not worry about it and I did not.
Being all this on a Saturday and the Cake Box closed on Sundays as did every other place in town….they also closed on Wednesday afternoons back then too.
Louise would give me whole cakes, which they would have to throw out or give to some of the help. Fortunately, for me, I have bicycled over a mile and a half, up hills enough to wear one out to get a German Chocolate cake to the house with one hand, thanks to Louise.
R I P Beulah and Eddy, two Tennessee folks.

Financial strategies for small-business owners

If you’re a small-business owner, you put your heart, soul – and most of your time – into your business. Unfortunately, sheer hard work doesn’t always translate into financial security – so you’ll need to take some additional steps.
Here are a few to consider:
Protect your business against the loss of a key employee. If you have an employee with valuable management or sales skills, and this person were to die unexpectedly, your business could suffer. That’s why you may want to write a “key-person” life insurance plan on this employee. In its simplest form, key-person coverage pays cash to your company, which is usually the policy beneficiary, when the designated employee dies or becomes disabled. Key-person insurance also can be structured to fund deferred-compensation arrangements or buyout agreements between partners.
Avoid “raiding” business coffers to pay for personal expenses. Try to keep six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses in a liquid account. Once you have established this “emergency fund,” you’ll be less likely to tap into your business’ income or assets to pay for unexpected personal expenses, such as a new appliance, a costly car repair or a large medical bill.
Create a retirement plan for yourself. As a business owner, you’re responsible for establishing your own retirement account. Fortunately, you have some attractive choices, including the following:

*SEP-IRA – You can contribute up to 25 percent of your compensation – as much as $46,000 – to a SEP-IRA. Your contributions are tax deductible and your earnings have the potential to grow tax-deferred until withdrawn. This plan offers you significant flexibility in making contributions for yourself and your employees. Plus, as an employer, you can generally deduct, as business expenses, any contributions you make on behalf of your plan participants.
* SIMPLE IRA – You can put in up to $10,500 – or $13,000 if you’re 50 or older – to a SIMPLE IRA. As is the case with the SEP-IRA, your earnings have the potential to grow tax deferred. You can match your employees’ contributions dollar for dollar, up to three percent of compensation, but no more than $10,500 (or $13,000 for employees 50 and over). Alternatively, you could contribute two percent of each eligible employee’s compensation each year, up to a maximum of $4,600, regardless of whether the employee contributes or not. Contributions to your employees are tax deductible.
* “Owner-only” 401(k) plan – If you have no employees other than your spouse, you can establish an “owner-only” 401(k) plan. Between salary deferral and profit sharing, you can contribute up to $46,000, in pre-tax dollars, to your owner-only 401(k), or $51,000 if you’re 50 or older. Like a SEP-IRA and SIMPLE IRA, a 401(k) provides the potential to accumulate tax-deferred earnings. But if you open a Roth 401(k) your earnings have the potential to grow tax free, provided you’ve had your account at least five years and you don’t start taking withdrawals until you’re at least 59-1/2. (However, you make Roth 401(k) contributions with after-tax dollars.)
Your tax or financial advisor can help you decide which retirement plan is right for your business. But don’t wait too long to choose one, or to make the other moves necessary to help you make progress toward your financial goals. When you own a business, time flies – so make the right moves today.

Mont Belvieu Mayor Dixon wins election

By BOBBY HORN JR.
MONT BELVIEU—Mont Belvieu Mayor Nick Dixon jumped out to an early lead and maintained it through election day, defeating challenger Kevin Speer 470-359.
According to City Secretary Phyllis Sockwell Dixon collected 318 votes during the early voting period. Speer had 267 votes going into Election Day. On Saturday, Dixon outpaced Speed by a 3:2 margin with 152 votes to Speer’s 92 votes.
During the campaign Speer, a local real estate developer, challenged Dixon’s ability to lead the city through what been unprecedented growth. Speer said that the city had to be prepared for growth over the next five to 10 years. Dixon responded by saying that the city, through its long-range plan, had anticipated the growth and was in the progress of addressing the issues. He pointed to improvements on water and sewer and the Eagle Drive expansion as two projects designed to accommodate people moving into the area.

Lydia Schneider had no trouble winning reelection to the Position 2 on the city council. She defeated Eric Johnson 557 to 240. Schneider collected 404 votes during the early voting period, while Johnson had 158 in the days leading up to Election Day.
Mike Pomykal, who was unopposed in his reelection bid for Position 1, received 603 votes.
OLD RIVER-WINFREE
Last year Kenneth Epperson lost his bid for reelection as a Chambers County Justice of the Peace. Turning his attention to city government, he sought the Position 1 seat on the city council, which was being vacated by Jerron Young. Also setting her eyes on the seat was Angela Motz. Despite taking a three-vote lead during the early voting period, Epperson’s supporters came out on Saturday and gave him an 81-69 victory.
Jackie Johnson and J.S. Steadham returned to city council, as each was unopposed in their respective races.
BARBERS HILL
Incumbents proved victorious during Saturday’s school board election.
In the race for Position 3 Perry Carrington Sr. jumped out to a 290-249 lead over George Barrera during early voting. However, the tide turned Saturday as Barrera outpaced Carrington 931 to 760 on Saturday.
Likewise in the race for Position 4, incumbent Benny May found himself down 311-268 to challenger Lawrence “Elmo” Camp. Saturday was a difference story as May collected 765 votes on Saturday to Camp’s 559 votes.