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Posts published in October 2008

Highlands’ Thriller

The 52nd Highlands Jamboree attracted a broad spectrum of the community to participate in the commemoration of the opening of the Highlands Bank with the Fig Orchard Jamboree. Above Prince’s Roller Rink brought a lively rendition of “Thriller” on skates to the Highlands Elementary School parking lot in front of festivities inside the school. The troop reenacted the Michael Jackson video dressed as zombies. Ceremonies began at the San Jacinto Community Center at 7:00 a.m. where 1k, 5k fun runs and a 12k bicycle race started. The Jamboree Parade brought participants from the business and church sectors. Pastor Richard Amador in traditional Ameridian dress danced a traditional Native American ceremony throughout the parade. In addition to the floats were the local fire departments and law enforcement. Many booths were located inside the Highlands school for the public to peruse the community’s many entities both business and civic organizations. Craft booths, live and silent auctions also went on inside the school while performances on stage presented a wide variety of local talent. Outside kids played on the moonwalk, played duck the clown, shot basketball and frolicked in picture perfect fall weather. St. Luke’s Hospital was just shy of their goal of obtaining 25 pints of blood at the blood mobile.

Highlands Junior School dedicated

HIGHLANDS – The grass roots movement for a more up to date Highlands Junior School began about the year 2000, last Monday night Sampson Masonic Lodge, No. 231 ceremonially laid the Cornerstone on a state of the art building funded by a $220.5 Million dollar bond passed in 2005 inside Goose Creek Consolidated ISD.

Reverend Tim Edwards of First Baptist Church of Highlands gave the invocation for the dedication. Edwards was one of the strongest proponents of the new junior school to the 2004 Facilities Planning Committee.

The bond was passed by a large margin by Highlands and Baytown citizens. Later the Citizen’s Bond Advisory Committee and the Citizen’s Bond Technology Advisory Committee made recommendations specific to the design of the school and facilities. Gilbert Santana received a plaque on behalf of these committees that night from Barbara Sultis, in recognition for his and the committees’ efforts.

Ceremonies were held in a palatial 650 seat auditorium as Dr. Barbara Sultis, Superintendent of Goose Creek CISD welcomed attendants.

Carl Burg, President of the Board of Trustees introduced special guests. The actual dedication of the building was orated by Steve Herring, Principal of Highlands Junior School.

Grand Master in the State of Texas Thomas Griffin presided over ceremonies and addressed attendants with District Deputy Grand Master Kenneth Fielder performed the rituals of the Masonic Lodge that take their heritage as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. Attendants watched as libations of corn, wine and oil were applied and measures were made with square, level and plumb as dates back to ancient Egypt and are a link to ancient masons. The cornerstone represents morality as a hedge between the darkness and the light, symbolizing mankind’s advance from ignorance to knowledge.

Refreshments followed the ceremony.

Adams named 51st Miss Highlands

HIGHLANDS — This past weekend was a weekend that Megan Adams will likely never forget.

On Friday night she was recognized as the Junior Duchess for Goose Creek Memorial’s first-ever Patriot Court. Then the next afternoon she was crowned the 2008 Miss Highlands.

Adams becomes only the fourth girl in pageant history to wear both the Miss Highlands and Junior Miss Highlands crown. She won the Junior Miss title 2004.

This year’s pageant theme, which was held at the new Highlands Junior School, was “A Tribute to Musicals.”

The pageant began with an opening number performed to a mix of songs from the Broadway hit “Mamma Mia.” Jamie Lumpkin choreographed the opening number, which also featured 2007 Miss Highlands Kayla Neathery.

Serving as Master of Ceremonies for both the pageants was Matthew Forestiere, whom Neathery assisted.

Miss Highlands contestants are judged in four areas. The first was the Jamboree Parade held earlier in the day. Then, during the pageant, they compete in the areas of Sportswear, Evening Gown and Interview.

There is an optional talent competition. This year’s talent included a comedy routine, singing and dancing, sign language and a martial arts routine.

Adams also won this year’s talent competition with a performance of “In My Own Little Corner,” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”

For most of the girls the toughest part of the pageant is the interview in which they have to come up with a answer on the spot for an unknown question. This year’s question was “who was the most influential person in your life and why? Answers included parents, a grandmother and an older sister.

During the pageant the audience received special entertainment from the singing duo of Susie Thompson Garcia and Lorie Lopez.

At the close of the pageant a number of special awards were presented. Madison Gibson was awarded the Jennie Robbins Community Service Award. Adams won the photogenic award while Brittany White was recognized for high ticket sales.

In a vote taken by the contestants, Gibson also won the congeniality award.

First Runner Up in the Miss Highlands voting was Tiara Bradford, while Jennifer Valentine won second runner-up. Later that evening, Elizabeth Keyes was crowned Junior Miss Highlands.

The Junior girls had an equally tough question to answer: “If you could have one wish, what would it be. Answers included “world peace” and end to cancer, Altzheimer’s Disease and meeting Joe Jonas.

Nathan Edwards returned for the special entertainment.

Keyes also won the talent award for her performance of The Judd’s “Grandpa,” as well as the high ticket sales award. Maegan West was named most photogenic while Heather Plant won the congeniality award.

West was also named first runner up in the Junior Miss voting while Kassey Wright was named second runner up.

Crosby outlasts Barbers Hill 30-26

CROSBY — With just over a minute left in regulation, the Crosby Cougars came from behind to beat the Barbers Hill Eagles 30-26 Friday at Cougar Stadium.

Down 26-24 with 2:39 left to play the Cougars took their final possession and used a combination of running and pass plays to get back to their Red Zone. The Cougars also benefited from a 15-yard penalty levied against Barbers Hill.

Taking the handoff at the 18-yard line Forrest Tyler scored his third touchdown of the night to secure the win for Crosby.

Tyler had 97 yards rushing on 18 carries.

The Cougars are now 4-3, 4-1 in district placing them in good position for the playoffs. The Eagles fell to 2-5, 2-3 in district.

The Cougars took control early, going 93 yards in seven plays on their first possession.

Tyler, who was filling in for an injured Chance Casey, ended the drive with a oneyard touchdown run.

The Eagles came right back with a 72-yard drive highlighted by Tony Carmona’s 60-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Pagan. Carmona was 11 of 22 for 200 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 73 yards.

The two schools then traded touchdowns again with Tyler scoring another one-yard touchdown and Carmona running the ball in from the 18-yard line.

At halftime the two teams were locked at 14 points each.

In the third quarter the Cougars pulled ahead when San Fowler nailed a 42-yard field goal. The Eagles then took their first lead of the night on Carmona’s 10 yard TD run.

The seesaw battle continued in the fourth quarter with Xavier Frank taking a 35-yrd pass from Dominic Merka into the endzone. Merka passed for 224 yards on 19 completions. He also rushed for 109 yards.

This gave Crosby a 24-20 lead.

Carmona pulled Barbers Hill back into the lead with 2:39 left to play on a one-yard touchdown run.

Crosby will play at Galena Park on Friday while Barbers Hill will meet North Forest in their homecoming game on Halloween night.

Public’s help sought in solving Highlands gun shop burglary

HIGHLANDS — Crime Stoppers and Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Burglary and Theft Division are asking the public’s help in identifying several young burglars who took numerous firearms from the Pig Supply store in the 100 block of South Main in Highlands.

Surveillance video shows that shortly after midnight on Friday, August 29, 2008 three White or Hispanic males forced open both an iron gate and the front door to the business. Once inside, they smashed several glass counters and began removing firearms. They also took firearms from several wall displays. The burglars left with approximately seventeen shotguns, pistols and rifles.

All three suspects had their faces covered. Two appear to be tall and thin, and the third is shorter and heavier. The suspects possibly were driving a black Honda hatchback.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and charging of any suspect in this case. Callers are urged to call 713-222-TIPS with any information, or to send a tip online at All callers remain anonymous.

Highlands Chamber: Jamboree, DA race, sheriff’s services presented

Highlands Chamber of Commerce held their monthly luncheon last Thursday, with a full program of information on the 52nd Annual Highlands Jamboree, the upcoming election in November, and over 100 services and programs offered by the Harris County Sheriff’s department to the community.

Chamber representatives Kristy Stallings and president Jessica Woods told about the change in date of the Jamboree to Saturday, October 25, because of Hurricane IKE, and the wealth of events, some new, that will be present at the Jamboree.

The day will start with a Fun Run (1K and 5K) and a Bike Ride (12K) at 7 am from the Community Center. Everyone is welcome to enter, all participants that register early will receive a t-shirt. Walkers are also encouraged. Fees are Adults $15, Youth $10, Couples $25, and Families $45.

At 10 am, the Parade will go down Main Street, from Hopper School to Jones Road. The Parade Marshal will be the winner of the Terry Davis Award, James Brazzil, and the Organization of the Year will follow, the Highlands Rotary Club.

The parade theme this year is “ONCE UPON A TIME” and will consist of fire and police vehicles, business and organization floats, non-commercial floats, marching units and bands, classic cars, and much more. Judging and prizes will be awarded to the best units. Awards will be presented for Best of Theme, Best of Show, Best Non-Commercial, Best Commercial, School Spirit, and Antique Cars.

The Chamber has announced that the parade will take place, regardless of the weather, so prepare!

From 11am to 4pm, the Jamboree will take place at the Highlands Elementary School, both inside and outside. Crafts Booths, live and silent auctions, Karaoke, Kids Games, Food Booths, and entertainment will all be part of the celebration. Cub Scouts and 4H will be present, and a Blood Mobile from St. Luke’s Hospital will be present. This is especially important this year, since the hurricane depleted many of the blood supplies in the area. The goal is to raise 25 pints of blood during the day, so please help.

New events include a Little Miss and Mr. Highlands Pageant, and since it is close to Halloween, a Costume Contest with secret judges. BOOO. All winners of the children’s pageant will get to ride in next year’s parade, and everyone will receive a trophy. Entry fee is $35, ages are from Birth to 5th Grade.

In the afternoon, the Miss Highlands pageant will be presented at the Highlands Junior School, by the Highlands Horizons organization, and in the evening the Jr. Miss Highlands event will take place in the same location. Participants in the Pageant will be riding in the parade that morning.

Proceeds from the Jamboree, except as noted, go to benefit the Chamber and its ongoing programs for the community. Some of these include the Holiday food drive and dinners for about 60 families, Christmas Tree Lighting in the Park and on Main Street, Cookies and photos with Santa, Partners in Education and much more.


Several candidates for public office were present at the luncheon, including Diane Trautman, who is running for Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, and Pat Lykos, running for Harris County District Attorney.

Trautman said she is running to bring ethical leadership to county government, and ensure fair tax appraisals for all homeowners. As part of her community outreach and involvement, she pointed out that her campaign literature mentions active membership in several Chambers, including Highlands, Humble, and Crosby/Huffman.

Pat Lykos spoke about her experience as a judge, police officer, and attorney. She promised to restore public trust and confidence to an office that has been notorious recently for misdeeds of the previous district attorney while in office. She also promised reforms to the prosecutor’s office, to build back its reputation, based on ethics and professionalism. She is in favor of a regional crime lab, community justice centers, and a revamping of the jail system, so that there is more room for serious offenders and less serious crimes can be referred to treatment centers.


Deputy Dan McCool presented a great deal of information on over 100 programs that his department has available to help various needs in the community. These include information on Identity Theft, National Night Out, Rape Prevention, Fingerprinting of Children, Citizens Police Academy (with Ride Along), Gizmo robot, Safe Kids programs with Car Seat demonstrations, Gang Awareness, Junior Achievement, D.A.R.E. drug awareness program, Red Ribbon substance abuse prevention, G.A.S.P. choking prevention in adolescents, and much more.

McCool emphasized that he wants to work with groups and individuals and schools in the community to provide information on safety and crime prevention.


Matt Forastier described the “Life After Ike” celebration to be held Sat. Nov. 15th at the Sterling- White Chapel grounds with community participation.

Crosby overpass delayed as roads budget tightens

CROSBY – The proposed bridge over the railroad tracks at FM 2100 has been delayed again, this time the letting date is August of 2010, according to the Texas Dept. of Transportation (TXDoT) Public Information Office.

The delay is part of the Active Funds Authorization and the Project Planning Schedule. Samuel Anabae made the announcement.

That office was unable before press time to state exactly when the decision was made, what prompted the decision or how tentative (or likely to change) the decision was. There have been two delays already, first estimates were from September of 2008, next for January of 2009. This time they are on the active status for funding.

Connecting U.S. 90 to IH-10 and IH-610 continues on schedule. Consideration for the proposed Grand Parkway to be a toll road has been put forward, so the local outlook for being able to swiftly cross from Highlands to Huffman is bleak. The delay will however help the schools avoid transportation delays and an immediate cost increase in 2009. Still on the books for proposed projects is a Southbound exit ramp at FM 2100 which was to be let in September of this year.

Another consideration for the delay may lie in the local railways themselves. The Lafayette Subdivision Phase II was built in the 1860s by Texas and New Orleans Railroad, it is now owned by Union Pacific Railroad. It is the railroad that crosses FM 2100. One TXDoT study indicates “Increased traffic capacity of the Lafayette Subdivision for current anticipated growth is essential.,” and “A second main line of tracks from Dayton to Dawes will improve mobility.” But the total plan would require $117, 000, 000. But “No public benefits were identified.”

The Overpass at FM 2100 and the railroad was to cost about $12 Million but that cost has almost certainly increased.

On October 14, Governor Rick Perry, (R.) in Austin, speaking to Associated General Contractors of Texas Equipment and Trade Show called on the legislature to address issues on transportation and infrastructure inadequacies. The Texas Governor stated that funds from the gas tax that go to the Department of Public Safety are needed for roads. He cited the funds as amounting to $1.2 Billion for every 2 years.

Perry says that the infrastructure of Texas roads is overwhelmed by more than 1000 people per day moving to the state. He indicates that the state population has grown 57% over the last two decades while roads have increased 8%. Over the next 25 years, road usage will increase 214% while road capacity will increase 6%.