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Posts published in “Day: November 21, 2013”

Meeting airs opinions on new game room regs

CROSBY – Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman conducted a public hearing to record the public’s opinion on game rooms conducting gambling in unincorporated areas of Harris County.

The meeting was officiated by Robert Soard, First Assistant County Attorney. Precinct 3 Constable Ken Jones and Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman, and Majors from the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and the Precinct 2 Commissioner were on hand to hear the comments and to make their own.

Some 20 residents spoke for regulation of the game rooms and four against regulation and another mostly between the options.

As first recorded in the Star-Courier in December of 2012 Wayne Smith R. 128 Texas District proposed legislation that would enable Harris County to strengthen the authority to enforce regulation of game rooms at which gambling is being conducted. According to Constable Hickman, 135 search warrants have been served on illegal gambling operations doing business as game rooms. In the last 5 years in these illegal game rooms there have been over 100 aggravated robberies. In thee same area and time there have been seven homicides. The dramatic rise in the number of game rooms has prompted Harris County as a body corporate and politic under the laws of the State of Texas, is tasked with protecting the health and welfare of its residents.

The regulations would give the county to investigate game rooms for violations of regulations.

Huffman resident Leslie Dean spoke first, she is President of the Harris County Emergency Services District #4, she favored the regulations as the game rooms often “create a hazard to the occupants as well as firefighters, and medics performing services at them. Dean laid out a cogent argument about the crowding, locked doors, lack of entries and safety issues with unregulated game rooms.

Next Attorney Steven Gates spoke opposed to regulation, indicating that regulations only serve to change the location of illegal facilities. He argued that regulations in the past have only served to exacerbate the problems. “There has not been one case of robberies solved by Houston Police Department from clear window regulation.”

Personal stories of loved ones losing everything to game rooms were pronounced from many speakers in favor of regulation. Velma Ellison of Alliance Properties spoke of the impact of game rooms Ministers from Huffman Baptist Church, Keenan Smith of Crosby Church, and Tim Edwards of First Baptist Church Highlands all offered compelling arguments for regulation of game rooms.

Constable ken Jones gave a most dramatic statement regarding illegal activities (drugs, unfair gambling practices and robberies) that without the regulations his office could not interdict and therefore presented a menace to public health and safety.

Cody Ornament will hang on Christmas tree in Austin

CROSBY – Each year Members of the Texas House are invited to create a visual representation of what makes their district special, this year Representative Wayne Smith R., District 128, and Scott Stephens, founder of the Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation, that has spearheaded an effort to have high school athletes’ hearts scanned, have teamed to put an ornament for that cause on the State’s tree.

For the last four Christmas seasons, their creative works – in the form of ornaments – have decorated the majestic 22-foot native Christmas tree that stands in the House Chamber of the Texas Capitol during the holiday season.

The tree will be on display from December 4 through January 3 and showcase the distinct nature of every House district to the thousands of Capitol visitors who enjoy the ornaments each year. All ornaments are photographed and descriptions of their individual significance are compiled into an album so that visitors to the House Chamber and House website can enjoy each ornament’s unique story.

Scott Stephens funded creation of an ornament to be placed on the Texas House of Representatives Christmas tree and last Wednesday, Nov. 13 all participants gathered at Crosby High School to put together a story about this ornament that will represent Texas District 128 this year.

According to Wayne Smith R. 128 Texas District “It is with great pride that I will present this symbol of District 128 to Speaker Straus to be hung on the Texas House of Representatives Christmas tree. The ornament is the product of the Crosby Independent School District. A community panel received 60 submitted designs and selected the winning design by Janey Swisher. Jamey is a student of art teacher Mrs. Thibodaux. This beautiful ornament will help make the tree truly representative of Texas and I am thrilled to add our ornament to the tree to give all Texans a taste of the unique culture and rich history of District 128 this Christmas season.”

Each year Members of the Texas House are invited to create a visual representation of what makes their district special. For the last four Christmas seasons, their creative works – in the form of ornaments – have decorated the majestic 22-foot native Christmas tree that stands in the House Chamber of the Texas Capitol during the holiday season.

The tree will be on display from December 4 through January 3 and showcase the distinct nature of every House District to the thousands of Capitol visitors who enjoy the ornaments each year. All ornaments are photographed and description of their individual significance are complied into an album so that visitors to the House Chamber and House website can enjoy each ornament’s unique story.”

Background on the Ornament:

On one side a train represents the many railroads in District 128, and the other side celebrates the Christmas holidays and highlights the Cody Stephens “Go Big or Go Home” Foundation established in memory of Cody Stephens, a football player and senior at Crosby High School who died suddenly of cardiac arrest in 2012. The foundation provides assistance to school districts in the implementation of an ECG screening program to help implement and facilitate improved physicals to middle and high school student athletes including education and raised awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) among young seemingly healthy students. The foundation endorses the availability of low cost ECGs as a part of sports pre-participation physicals for all student athletes.

Jamey Swisher was the artist at Crosby High School that designed the ornament.