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Posts published in “Day: June 30, 2011

Yepez Vineyard brings wine making to Beach City-Weekly Concerts & Tastings a special treat

By Gilbert Hoffman, BHD Press
On a long, sparse stretch of highway FM2354 through Beach City, a pleasant surprise is in store for the public, when they discover Yepez Vineyard. On 20 acres of land, David Yepez and wife Lena have established not only Chamber’s County’s only vineyard, but also an entertainment venue that is truly a gem.
Every summer evening in June, July and August, you can enjoy music from the Curry brothers, while you also try the varieties of wine that David and his family are producing from grapes grown on the property, and from other Texas grape growers.
David started the first planting of grapes in 2005, a choice of Blanc de Bois and Black Spanish grapes. These are varieties that have shown to grow well in the coastal areas of Texas, he said.

Blanc Du Bois is a yellow/gold grape that can be made into a charming Alsace style dry wine with a slight Muscat aroma. Black Spanish grapes are a traditional dark red grape, excellent for making Port wine.
In addition to growing and making wine, and selling it at retail at their location in Beach City, they also offer the Vineyard as a location for special venues such as family and company picnics, private and public wine tastings, private and public winery events, live music, corporate meetings, engagement parties, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, baby and wedding showers, and other special events.
And if you want to participate in the wine making process, there will be a “Grape Stomp Fest” from 12-6 pm on Sunday, October 29th. (Weather permitting).
Over the winter, from October to May, the Public Tasting Room is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 5, and on Sunday from 2 to 6. In the summer months, June to September, the hours are longer, Friday and Saturday 12 to 6. Also in the summer months of June, July and August, summer concerts on the patio are for public and family enjoyment. You are invited to bring a picnic and a lawn chair, and have a good time.
David says that this year they are expanding into growing olives, and will be producing olive oil in the future as well.

Newspaper Founder, Author, Citizen, Jim Brazzil dies at 95

By GILBERT HOFFMAN Publisher, Highlands STAR (Courier)

HIGHLANDS– Jim Brazzil loved writing, newspapers, Highlands, and life. Brazzil passed away early Tuesday morning, leaving a legacy of friends, family, and community service that influenced many lives and careers.
Brazzil is best known as the founder with his brother-in-law Alton Neatherlin, of the Highlands Star newspaper. Attracted to Highlands by the charm of the small town, the friendliness of the Rotary Club, and the need for a newspaper, starting in 1955, they served the community for 20 years, until Jim retired and Alton continued the paper which is today the Star-Courier under present owner Gilbert Hoffman.
During his tenure, the Star won 35 awards of excellence from the Texas Press Association. Brazzil wrote three books after his retirement, about his early life in Coryell County, and his years as a newspaperman.
In 2007 he was honored by the community with the Terry Davis Award for Outstanding Community Service.

Brazzil was known for his kindness and concern for others, and indeed even after many years he continued to express interest and praise on the present-day Star-Courier.
A complete obituary for James Wilson Brazzil is on page 6 of this newspaper.

Child drowns in San Jacinto

CROSBY– Once again the San Jacinto River has claimed a life, but this time it was a tiny child that wandered away from her family.
According to authorities with the Sheriff’s office, last Sunday evening, June 26, 22 month old Tiffany Cleto was playing on the sandy beach along the river near Magnolia Gardens Park. This is on the west bank of the river, upriver from Love’s Marina where only a few weeks ago Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia warned the public of the dangers of the river, and cautioned them to use extraordinary care to save lives.
According to HCSO spokesperson Christina Garza, unfortunately, little Tiffany wandered away from the eyes of her family. Although missing for only a short time, she went into the water, and was found underneath a dock by a searcher, who pulled her out but was unable to revive her. She was found about 6:30 p.m. and help was called to try to revive her.
She was transported to East Houston Medical Center in Northshore, but was pronounced dead there.
According to authorities, this is the eighth drowning in the Houston area this year, and the fourth in the San Jacinto River since last May. Victims have included swimmers and boaters, so caution is called for.

Constable Jones tells Rotary of crime fighting with reduced resources

HIGHLANDS– Speaking at a recent Rotary luncheon, Harris County Pct. 3 Constable Ken Jones outlined the problems that his office has had with a reduced county budget, and what steps he has taken to preserve jobs and keep service standard close to normal.
Jones said that the county cut all constable budgets, and his went from $12 million to about $10.5 million. He has had to reduce work hours and cut purchases of new equipment such as 11 patrol cars. However, he has not had to fire any employees in his department, unlike some other precincts who have lost as many as 100 deputies.
Jones says that he has been able to maintain patrols and other services through the dedication and hard work of his staff. He now has 85 deputies at work. Citing recently developed crime stats (see box) Jones noted that the criminals know about reduced staffing. Since March, when staff hours were reduced, crime calls have increased up to 16 percent. But, says Jones what counts is how many crimes you solve, not how many calls you answer.