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Posts published in “Day: March 3, 2011”

Hooker, Creager, Fowler next to play Crosby Rodeo

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – Jake Hooker is signed to play the Crosby Fair & Rodeo’s April 30 Spring dance.
Roger Creager and Kevin Fowler, two of the locally top drawing national recording artists, signed to play the Rodeo Cook-Off the week before the Crosby Rodeo.
Local favorite Jake Hooker plays Texas Swing, a traditional Western Music that feature great dance music, Western Ballads and draws a large local crowd. This is the fourth time he has been called to play the Spring Dance based on crowd appeal.
The Crosby Fair & Rodeo Cook-off and Parade is nearly already at capacity and teams are advised to get to the Fair Office as soon as possible to reserve available spaces.

Roger Creager took the Texas music scene by storm with his first release and has garnered an ever-growing fan base where-ever college students gather. His songs resonate with the youth experience while making a thoughtful reminiscence with growing experiences.
Kevin Fowler is much like a modern, Texas based Hank Williams in style of play.
He reaches deep into the unique Texas mannerisms grabbing all the fun, devil-may-care attitude, poking fun against stupidity and his stage presence involves the entire crowd with the performance.
Johnna Ramirez will play June 10 before Roger Creager electrifies the stage.
He payed his dues in Nash ville. Ramirez, a local band, has a great range of play acumen can play like anybody including Marie Lavo. His brother is the drummer.
Phillip Griffin Band played in front of Kevin Fowler last year at the record setting Saturday concert, why mess with success? Griffin is a large local crowd gatherer between Dayton and Crosby gigs. Griffin plays a Texas Revolution style fitting well with rowdy, fun loving, Kevin Fowler.
His Aggie sound and substantial growth in musical ability has many talking of great potential for a big career. Rick Larkin head of the Cook-Off and Parade Committee indicates the Crosby Fair & Rodeo promotes local youth and education.
Funds garnered from these events are by the nonprofit entity put back into the community, supporting the Houston Shriner Hospital and Galveston Burn Center, Tough Enough to Wear Pink, breast cancer awareness initiative, Huffman Auction, Dayton Livestock Auction, Baytown Fair & Rodeo, Harris County Youth Expo; as well as, the highly touted substantial support for Crosby students in the Livestock show and Rodeo.
In addition to the traditional, exciting live and silent auction for the open to the general public event, this year the Spring Dance will have some unique innovations.
For the first time in years, the event will be held in front of the Rodeo office. Some fantastic hunting and fishing expeditions are going into the fair office at $150.
Individual tickets are $15.00 from any board member or at Crosby ACE Hardware. Parking will be in the North lot.

Barbers Hill ISD prepares to weather budget storm

MONT BELVIEU— Barbers Hill ISD has weathered its share of storms. Typically, they are of the tropical kind. Hurricane Ike was the most recent to challenge the district of just over 4000 students. But the district is also no stranger to the storms that sometimes rage from the west, the state capital of Austin to be exact.
Barbers Hill ISD has continued to provide excellence in the classroom and produce success for its students despite the ever-changing school funding system in Texas. The infamous Robin Hood plan of the early 90’s resulted in a “property wealthy” label for the district requiring that it return nearly half its property taxes to the state on an annual basis. More recently, ups and downs in the economy have also meant ups and downs in the primarily industrial-based property values. These experiences have honed Barbers Hill’s financial management strategies to prepare for such financial “storms.”
As other districts react to the news from Austin of huge budget shortfalls, Barbers Hill continues to plan for a bright future for its growing student population. “Our school Board and current and past administration have been exemplary stewards of tax payers’ money. What a blessing that Barbers Hill ISD can still keep its focus on excellence even during these turbulent economic times,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole.
District “Fiscally Efficient’
Barbers Hill ISD was recently named one of the most efficient school districts in the state of Texas by the State Comptroller’s office. The Financial Allocation Study of Texas (FAST) report gave the district 4.5 of 5 stars for student performance results produced for the resources expended. “BHISD has a culture of efficiency while maintaining the highest standards of service and how rewarding for the state to recognize these efforts,” said Poole.
Several decisions in recent years by voters, businesses, Trustees and the administration have allowed Barbers Hill to “cut the plywood” and “stockpile the duct tape” for a budget storm like the one now looming over the classrooms of Texas.
Local Tax Dollars
First, advantages are already being recognized as a result of a $500 million Property Value Limitation Agreement with Enterprise Products for two new natural gas manufacturing facilities which produce clean energy. The facilities will not only enhance the tax base of BHISD in the future, but they reflect continued capital investment in the District and the State as a whole.
In 2008, the voters of Barbers Hill ISD overwhelmingly – by a 94 percent margin – approved a tax rate which allowed the District to retain $600,000 locally that would have otherwise been subject to recapture by the state. At the same time, the School Board reduced the Interest & Sinking tax rate by 2 cents, keeping the total tax rate the same as the previous year.
Education Foundation
In the fall of 2009, the Barbers Hill Board of Trustees created the Barbers Hill Education Foundation.
The mission of the Foundation is to generate and distribute resources to assist each BHISD campus in enhancing educational programs. To date the Foundation has secured over $3 million in future pledges. The first grants were distributed this year.
Cost-Cutting Measures
The district recently renegotiated its electricity contract to take advantage of low natural gas prices. The savings to be realized from the renegotiation figures to be $500,000 over the next three years.
The district is expanding partnerships and cooperative agreements with the three other school districts in Chambers County to take advantage of shared services
“We are not naive to the seriousness of the budget shortfalls schools, including Barbers Hill, are about to face,” said Poole. “But we believe we have used lessons from the past to help us prepare for the future, and we believe the future is bright for our students. We will continue our tradition of excellence in Barbers Hill ISD.”

Relay For Life co-chairperson killed in auto accident

LIBERTY COUNTY—A longtime chair of the South Liberty County Relay for Life, which benefits the American Cancer Society, died in an auto accident Feb. 26.
Last year, under Glover and fellow co-chairs Sandra Sterling and Candy Rucka, the Relay attracted hundreds of participants and raised in the neighborhood of $80,000.
According to authorities, Judith 9 (Judi) Pelt Glover was driving on SH 105 in Hardin County near Sour Lake around 6:55 p.m. when she apparently crossed over the center line.
Glover’s vehicle struck an SUV that was in the oncoming lane head-on.
Glover, 67, of Sour Lake was born January 2, 1944, in Waco to James and Lindell Locklar.
Having grown up in Winnie, she graduated from East Chambers High School in 1962 and then from Sam Houston State University. Judi was active in her church at Hardin Baptist Church and volunteered for forty plus years with the American Cancer Society.
Survivors include her children, Tracey Pelt Brown and her husband Robert and Darrel Pelt and his wife Kim, both of Sour Lake; grandchildren, Aaron Brown, Reagan Brown, Brayden Pelt, and Keily Pelt all of Sour Lake; her dad of 64 years, Euel Dugat of Winnie; and her brother, Dennis Dugat and his wife Sarita of Winnie.
She was preceded in death by her father, James Locklar in 1944; and her mother, Lindell Dugat in 1994.
Funeral services were March 1, at Pine Ridge Baptist Church in Kountze with burial following at Pine Ridge Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in Judi’s memory to Hardin Baptist Church, P.O. Box 314, Hardin, Tx. 77561 or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 5144, Beaumont, Tx. 77726

Wildfire threat forces burn ban

By BOBBY HORN JR.
LIBERTY/ CHAMBERS COUNTY—On Feb. 23, a wildfire broke out in the Tarkington plains, off FM 321 near the Ryan Cemetery.
Before the day was through crews from HWY321, Dayton, Kenefick, Cleveland, Cypress Lakes, Hardin, Hull-Daisetta, North Liberty, Plum Grove, Liberty, and Huffman fire departments, as well as the Texas Forest Service battled the blaze that covered some 300 acres.
The fire was believed to have started as a brush pile fire that got out of control.
The following morning another wildfire broke out, this time no the north side of the county on FM787 at the Trinity River.
Seeing the danger that fires posed, County Judge Craig McNair issued a burn ban.
According to the commissioners court order, “the Commissioners Court finds that circumstances present in all or part of the unincorporated area of the county created a public safety hazard that would be exacerbated by outdoor burning.”
Under the order, “all outdoor burning is prohibited for 90 days from the date of this Order (Feb. 24), unless the restrictions are terminated earlier based on a determination made by the Texas Forest Service or this Court.”
Violation of the burn ban is a Class C Misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $500.
The Texas Forest Service issues daily “Texas Fire Danger Maps” to alert county emergency management of the situation. On Feb. 27, Liberty County was listed as being in “Moderate” danger. The next day the danger level as upgraded to “high.”
Chambers County adds ban
On Feb. 28 Ryan Holzaepfel, director of emergency management for Chambers County, said that they did not have a burn ban but that they were monitoring the situation closely.
The next day he put out an alert that the burn ban was in effect.
Holzaepfel said that normally they look at a drought index to determine the need for a burn ban. This is not the case in this instance.
He said that while the drought index is not particularly high there have been high winds, and areas of dead, dry grass. These conditions, he said, are ripe for wildfires and that all that is needed is a spark.
The Texas Forest Service, in their 10-day forecast, does not show any major change that would effect the burn bans.

Flying wish made real

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – ‘Oh, to slip the surly bounds of Earth’ with one’s craft under one’s own control, was a wish come true for a local man last Saturday as he made a list of things he would like to do as he faces Cancer and having decided not to undergo treatments again.
His daughter Connie summed it up concisely, “My dad told me last year that on his bucket list was to build his own boat and to fly a plane. I’m a hair dresser so when you when you sit in my chair you kind of tell me everything. About 2 weeks ago the doctor told us he has 6 months to live so we decided to make it happen.

My brother asked me then what would I do if he lives another 5 years, then what are you going to do?”
According to Terry Dunham, “This is a private field and his daughter found me on the internet and asked if we could take care of getting her dad a chance to pilot a plane. I’m a Cancer survivor myself so whenever I get a chance to make something good happen for someone in that condition, I do my best to make it happen.”
Wife Sharon made introductions to the Hite clan, “Our sons, daughters, and grandchildren are all here for support, just a couple of our step sons could not make it.”
In a few minutes conversation with Carl or his sons, Carl Jr., or Michael almost anyone feels right at home – the jokes flow and the observations are couched in humor. With young and old around there was a festive atmosphere to the airplane flight even if the overhanging clouds did not see fit to provide ideal flying visibility. Hite worked for a couple of papers back in the 1950’s including the Conroe Courier, has the low key, down home affect mastered.
After a talk about worst case scenarios from Pilot Bossler, the daughter that arranged the flight and granddaughter Amy boarded the plane following Carl and the flight began.
Upon return, Hite stated, “Flying is something I would do a lot more of if it was always like that. We went out to Hawaii and that was the worst trip I ever took, nothing but sitting for 7 or 8 hours and we did not have the best seats on the plane either.”
Of the overcast flight itself he said, “We went to Liberty then Mont Belvieu and took off again. We came back across Connie’s house, wiggled our wings there. Got a picture of her house, I told her I could have got that picture off of Google Earth and closer.”
He smiled after the teasing, “It was a good trip. I didn’t land. It would have been ticklish but I’d have tried it.”

Pilot Club Fair salutes patriotic American theme

By GILBERT HOFFMAN Star-Courier
HIGHLANDS– “Stand Up for Pilot” was the American patriotic theme that carried through most of the Community Fair that the Pilot Club held last Saturday, February 26.
The event at the Highlands Elementary School was the 13th year for this all-community celebration and fundraiser.
The all-day event opened at 10:30 a.m. with a patriotic song by Patricia Brockinton, presentation of the colors by the Crosby Jr. ROTC Color Guard, and introductions by Pilot Club president and Fair Chair Jana Jones, Miss Highlands Alli Little, and Jr. Miss Highlands Kendyll Reznicek.
Entertainment during the day was provided by Sparky of the Crosby Fire Department, singers Selena Shoemaker, Patricia Brockinton, and the Our Voice children’s chorus, dance numbers by Super Moms, and skating by Prince’s Roller Rink. Emcee for the event was Scott Cliff, and food was cooked by the Henderson Cook Team and served by the GCM students.

Door prizes were won by the following:
iPAD by Raymond Clements;
Pressure Washer by Bruce Filkins;
Gift Cards by Eric Raggio.
The “Split the Pot” was won by Brent Stallings.
Bicycles were won by Tori Gonzalez and Auggie Dilworth.
Outdoor games and exhibits were provided for children, including basket shoot and a new “Spiderman” moon walk.
Highlands Fire Department had equipment on display, and a booth inside, as well as the Higlands Heritage Project, Constable Mike Parson fingerprinting, Harris County Precinct 2, and many other commercial exhibits and crafts booths.

State shuts Highlands pain clinic

By BOBBY HORN JR. and LEWIS SPEARMAN
HIGHLANDS—A Highlands pain management clinic was forced to discontinue operations following an investigation by the Texas Medical Board.
On Feb. 18 the Texas Medical Board’s disciplinary panel temporarily suspended without notice the pain management certificate for The Oaks Medical Clinic Inc., 444 S. Main in Highlands.
Three other pain management clinics in Houston: the Imed Clinic, Inc; Preferred Medical Clinic and UMAT Clinic, also had their certificates suspended.

The board ordered the four clinics to discontinue operating as pain clinics until further notice.
Texas Medical Board Spokesperson Leigh Hopper said that on Aug. 20, 2010 the Board issued four pain management clinic certificates to Dr. Akili Graham, who claimed to be the owner and operator of the clinics.
“On January 6, 2011, during an investigation of prescribing habits at the clinic, board staff obtained information that the clinics were not owned by Graham or any other physician, a violation of state law,” Hopper said.
The investigation, she said, revealed that Danny A. Muhammed owns The Oaks Medical Clinic and the Imed Clinic. Durce Muhammed owns the Preferred Medical Clinic and Tamu Muhammad owns the UMAT Clinic.
Danny Muhammad, 40, also served as a Houston Police Department officer since 1997. A department spokesperson confirmed that he was suspended with pay in December after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Harris County District Attorney’s office initiated an investigation. His current status with the department is “relieved of duty.”
Danny Muhammed, also known as Bro. Danny Muhammed, also serves as “Life Skills Coach” for Resurrection Zone, a personal development provider in Houston.
According to their website “The Resurrection Zone is a program that was created to help those who need a second chance in life for whatever reason.”
The website states that Danny holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and has also served as a probation officer in Fort Bend and Harris County.
Durce Muhammed is listed as a “Manhood Trainer/ WorkSkills Coach” with Resurrection Zone. The RZ website also lists an affiliation with Graham.
A new state law went into effect Sept. 1, 2010 requiring registration and issuance of pain management clinic certificates.
The law was created to curtail so-called “pill mills” or clinics that use off-site doctors who write blank prescriptions to the clinics, which are then resold to the public.
Under the new law, a physician/medical director must own the pain clinic and works on-site at least a third of operating hours. Physicians and clinic employees must pass criminal background checks and have no prior disciplinary action or DEA license restrictions.
The DEA would not comment on whether they are investigating the four clinics as possible “pill mills.”