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Posts published in July 2009

Cyclones blow away competition at Cooperstown tournament

HIGHLANDS — On the week of July 11 – July 17 the Cyclones journeyed to Cooperstown, New York to participate in the All-Star Village Tournament. This team consisted of 10 players from within a 30 mile radius of Highlands.

This team faced teams from all over the United States and one team from Canada. The Cyclones overall record was 10-0. The boys battled in the championship game from a 3-run deficit to make a come back with three consecutive home runs to tie the game and ended up winning 11-10.

The Championship Game was against Victory Baseball from IL.

Hunter Hearn and Ricky Stelzer each hit two home runs in the championship game. Ricky Stelzer, Hunter Hamm and Austin Pulcher hit consecutive home runs to tie the game. Andrew Fregia hit a solo home run to put the team ahead. There were seven Home Runs total in the Championship game by the Cyclones.

Once this happened the offense was fired up. More base hits were made by the Cyclones and going into the top of the 6th we were up by two making the score 11-9.

Stelzer was the last run to cross the plate to secure our win. Victory was batting and scored one run to make the score 11 – 10.

The team’s defense made great plays to get two outs and our pitcher Mason Furlong struck out their #4 batter swinging to gain the team the final out and win the Championship.

The team put up some impressive stats during the tournament. Everyone on the team hit at least one home run in the tournament. The team hit a total of 40 home runs for the tournament. The Team Batting Average was over .500.

Stelzer won the Home Run Derby with 10 Home Runs Colby Shumaker won second in the Round the Bases race. Andrew Fregia with the help of a great defense pitched a no hitter in game # 6. Austin Pulcher, Matthew Bumpas, Shannon Broussard, Hunter Hamm, and Jared Nolan hit their first ever home runs in Cooperstown Colby Shumaker, Hearn and Fregia each hit a Grand Slam.

As a team they scored 135 runs and only allowed 23. Each member of the team was inducted into the Cooperstown Youth Baseball Hall of Fame. This experience was a chance of a lifetime for them and they are to be commended for the way they represented their community.

Special thanks go out to Brian and Shawna Hamm. Brian has been the Head Coach of this team for the past 3 years and all of his hard work and dedication has been put forth to bringing the skills and talents of these players together as a team.

U.S.90 reaches IH-10, IH-610 Spring 2011

CROSBY – Texas Dept. of Transportation (TXDoT) indicates that the connection of U.S. 90 to IH-10 with IH-610 and the overpass at the railroad at FM 2100 are both scheduled to complete near the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Earlier this year, Quincy Allen P.E., East Harris County Engineer at TXDoT, stated “That will be one of the best and most popular projects we’ve done recently.” re,erring to extending U.S. 90 as a six lane highway from Beltway 8 to I-H10 and IH-610.

Both East Harris County engineers and TXDoT Media spokespersons expect that the anticipated connection of U.S. 90 to Beltway 8 from IH-610 and IH-10 (the U.S. 90 Gap) will finish in the Spring of 2011 rather than the Summer of 2011 as their last projections indicated.

Projections for the completion of the Overpass of the Union Pacific Railroad at FM 2100 near the cross streets of Kernohan and Jackson Bayou are predicted for April or May of 2011. The earliest projection of the completion of U.S 90 Gap is February 2011 but that seems optimistic.

The total price of the completion of U.S. 90 from Beltway 8 is to be $158.3 Million as stated by the Star-Courier in Nov. 2006. The construction is in three projects built by different divisions of Williams Brothers under three different contracts, according to TXDoT Media Consultant Rachel Lewis.

Lewis also indicates that all three of the contracts must be completed in order for the freeway to be open at any point, any projections that part of the freeway would be open before others would not meet the specifications of the builders.

But projections for completion back in 2006 were for August 2010 and that was pushed back a year by funding problems. U.S. Congressmen Gene Green (D) District 29 and Ted Poe (R) District 2 had put $1.6 M. more in the 2005 Highway Bill to expedite the project. The new projected completion (despite of what one might have read elsewhere) was then August 2011.

One might have read in January of 2009 the projection was set for completion in the Summer of 2010 Other’s apparent partial projections of $86 Million now seem laughable even though TXDoT saved $21 Million over original projections of $187M. Cost estimates on the most completed project due to some redesign efforts was pushed back from $62 M. to $41 M.

The project that actually links U.S. 90 to the other side of IH-10 specifically, the 6% elevation from Eastbound IH-10 to at Gelhorn to Mercury Drive was where the redesign was effective. Yes, there is a lot of steel in that project. Utility conflicts have caused some delay thus far and are expected to make the exact time of completion variable but “all of the time allotted in the contracts until the Summer of 2011 are not expected to be used.” stated Ms. Lewis on July 24 about the U.S. 90 Gap.

Utility conflicts are also at variance of about two months for the Railroad Overpass at FM 2100. TXDoT acknowledges that expectations of March of 2011 for completion of the Overpass of FM 2100 could hold things up through May.

“This is part of TXDoT doing our job.” said Lewis when asked how did they manage to keep the project on time. There are certainly many variables in completing highway projects and time schedules are probably as difficult to predict as any other engineering problem.

New school immunization requirements go into effect on Aug. 1

Changes to school immunization requirements for five vaccines take effect Aug. 1 according to Texas Department of State Health Services officials.

‘The changes were made to update the Texas elementary and secondary school immunization requirements to more closely match recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.” Said Jack Sims. DSHS immunization branch manager.

Changes affect mainly students entering kindergarten and seventh grade. All immunizations must be completed by the first day of attendance at public and private schools.

The vaccines and new requirements are:

Hepatitis A vaccine: Students entering kindergarten statewide must have had two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine.

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine: Students entering kindergarten must have had two doses of the MMR vaccine. Students in grades 1 through 12 must continue to meet the current requirement, which is two doses of a measles-containing vaccine and one dose each of mumps and rubella vaccine.

Varicella vaccine: Students entering kindergarten and seventh grade must have had two doses. Students in grades 1 though 6 and 8 through 12 must continue to meet the current requirement, which is one dose of varicella vaccine.

Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis containing vaccine (Tdap): Students entering seventh grade must have had one dose of Tdap vaccine. Students in seventh grade must have had a booster dose of Tdap, but only if it has been five years since their last dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine. Students in grades 8 through 12 must have had a booster dose of Tdap if it has been 10 years since their last dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine.

Menigoccal vaccine: Students entering seventh grade must have had one dose.

“A student may be enrolled provisionally if the student has received at least one dose of each required vaccine,” Sims said. “To remain enrolled, the student must complete the required doses in each vaccine series on schedule and as quickly as is medically feasible.”

Information about the Texas immunization requirements was sent to health care providers, schools and child-care facilities earlier this year.

Back to School Blues

Yesterday morning Linda and I were having breakfast before heading off to church when she picked up some newspaper ads. After reading a few she said, “They are starting already.”

“What?” I asked. “The back-to-school ads,” she replied.

That got me thinking some negative thoughts. Boy, when I was a kid I hated to see those ads. Now, here it is not yet the end of July and the “back-to-school” ads have started. At least when I was in school they didn’t start until after the first of August.

When I was in the first grade, back in the 1930’s, summer seemed awfully long, and I was happy to get back to school and see my school chums that I hadn’t seen all summer. That lasted about three years. Then, all of a sudden, the summers seemed to get shorter and I wasn’t all that keen on starting back to school on that “first day.”

Back then the school term ended a few days before Memorial Day and the “first day” back was the Tuesday after Labor Day. Now, summer for the kids is even shorter, but they get more time off during the school year than we used to receive. I guess it all evens out.

When I was in junior high I had a paper route that I kept for about four years. It was a morning route and during the summer I would deliver my papers, come back home and sit on our front porch to read my selected parts—usually the sports pages and the comics. Nothing much else mattered.

However, one could not help seeing the big headlines on the “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” ads and they would ruin my day. Especially while I was in high school and summers off seemed so short. I can remember a couple times ripping the ads out of the paper.

All of that has passed now but I well remember my feelings for those ads in those days. Occasionally I will hear a youngster fuss about having to go back to school and it brings a smile to my face.

Now I have turned too much more adult things. Today, as soon as I finish this column, I have to go to the dentist and probably get a tooth pulled. I believe I hate going to a dentist more than I hated the back-to-school ads. Things are relative!

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my home!


Serving the Community for 61 Years • “Biggest Little Club in District 5890”


On November 24, 1948, the Dayton Rotary Club sponsored the chartering of a new club in Highlands. The first president was Ralph McFarland.

While early details about the club have been lost, what is known is the relationship between the club and the business community has always been strong. In the absence of an incorporated government, the club often took a leadership role in the community. Business leaders of yesterday and today make up the president’s roll. Jim Carrell, who served as president from 1971-72, later went on to be a District Governor.

During the early 70’s the club went through a period of transition, where newer members began to interact with other chapters to learn how to operate properly. Members became more active in the community, with their first major fundraiser in 1971. The Rotary raised an unheard of $2,400 for the volunteer fire department.

Rotary has continued putting the community first and worked towards its betterment. Its success in raising funds for community projects earned it the reputation among the 57 Houston clubs as the “Biggest Little Club in District 5890.”

In November 1998, the club celebrated its 50th anniversary with a banquet attended by 150 present and past members, district and national officials, visiting Rotarians and friends.

In 2006, District 5890 awarded the club president, Steve Miller, “President of the Year” among the district’s 57 clubs, because of the outstanding work the club did on Hurricane relief, and other accomplishments. In recent years, the club has been a leader in the Houston District, achieving 100% Paul Harris Fellows in 2007. Membership increased to 25, winning a President’s Citation. Donations to the Rotary Foundation of $355 per member made the club #2 in the World.


Ralph McFarland, 1948-50; Ray Martin, 1950-51; A.J. Smith, 1951-52; Albert Franta, 1952-32; George Bower, 1953-54; Jeff Tanner, 1954-55; Bonnie P. Hopper, 1955-56; Dr. W.L. Herndon, 1956-57; Harry K. Johnson, Jr., and Larry Jacobs, 1957-58; W.E. Hendrickson, 1958-59; Derwin Walker, 1959-60; Jim Ezell, 1960-61; Charlie Ramsey, 1961-62; Glen Walker and Jim Brazzil, 1962-63; Jim Brazzil, 1963-64; J.C. Johnson, 1964-65; Alton Neatherlin, 1965-66; John Heger, 1966-67; James L. Creel, 1967-68; M.L. Bishop, 1968-69; Bill Morgan, 1969-70; Roy Loggins, 1970-71; Jim Carrell, 1971-72; Chester Stasney, 1972-73; Louis Stephens, 1973-74; Harold Kail, 1974-75; Mike McAlister, 1975-76; Walter Haynie, 1976-77; Ellard Lambert, 1977-78; Bobby Zahn, 1978-79; Dr. Joe Ed Sutton, 1979-80; J.E. Bird, 1980-81; Bennie Wotipka, 1981-82; Gary Smith and Bennie Wotipka, 1982-83; David Brown, 1983-84; John Butler, 1984-85; Charlie Powell, 1985-86; Jack Lindsay, 1986-87; Dr. Larry White, 1987-1988; Doc Craig, 1988-89; Dr. Steven Scannell, 1989-90; Lynn Sorrells, 1990-91; Charlie Farrar, 1991-92; Mike Robinson, 1992-93; C.R. “Dickie” Woods, 1993-94; Raymond Gonzalez, 1994-95; Richard Robinson, 1995-96; Jay Burger, 1996-97; Tim O’Bier, 1997-98; Gilbert Hoffman, 1998-99; Weston Cotten, 1999-2000; Charlie Ward, 2000-2001; Beverly Culbreath (in absentia-deceased), 2001-2002; Weston Cotten, 2001-2002; Joe Hausberger, 2002-2003; Jesse Guillen, 2003-2004; Joe Hausberger, 2003-2004; Patricia Scott, 2004-2005; Stephen Miller, 2005-2006; Johnny Gaeke, 2006-2007, Charlie Ward 2007-2008, Patricia Scott 2008-2009.

Click here for Highlands Rotary Club photos!

Those Summer Daze…

Finished reading an eBook this weekend, a first for me and enjoyed it so much, I ordered another eBook to download. An eBook is read over the computer once downloaded for a nominal fee.

The program to read the eBook was free so I am good to go. The particular book just finished was LONG HORN II by Dusty Rhodes. AMAZON.COM has the book for $35.95 + S & H and it is a paperback edition, used at that.

The eBook was purchased for $5.50 with the only drawback being it must be read over this computer and one cannot go lie down to read and catch a snooze. It cannot be copied, printed, transferred or forwarded. Like the Vegas theme, “What you read here, stays here”.

Our oldest boy by 9 minutes and his clan are down from Pennsylvania. They head back up and across the Mason Dixon Line tomorrow, none too soon for the cats. Must admit the boy has become a good cook over the years and gladly turned the cooking over to him while he was home. Reckon we’ll be eating leftovers for a week after they leave.

Grandkids sure are nice and fun loving to have. Some good, some bad and folks say you reap what you sow. The reason kids today are such picky eater is because the parents ask them if they want some of this, that and the other to eat. Prepare the kids a plate and expect them to eat. If they do not, do not reward them with cookies and ice cream. GOOD GRIEF!!!

That is old school maybe but I am sure there are some of you who will agree with me. Took the granddaughters (7 & 12) to Wal-Mart the other morning @ 0600; advised them to stick close to me because somebody might get them and they be making tamales for the rest of their lives. Do not have to worry about the girls running around whooping and hollering like some you see in the stores. Reckon you could say that is why little brother got left behind because I too would whoop and holler too if I had to tag along with two girls in the girl’s britches department.

These kids do not know how good they have it. All they did while in Texas sure beats sitting outside in a swing shelling beans and peas, shucking corn and putting stuff up, canning and all. That may be productive and it sure beats watching SQUARE BOB WET PANTS or the Nick channel. Guess that is why they are at their great aunt’s house swimming in the concrete pond and not in the creek outback.