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Posts published in May 2014

Memorial Day Service prays to remember

HIGHLANDS – Each year the local cemetery hosts a Memorial Day Service to honor those that served their country.

“Sterling-White Funeral Home & Cemetery puts on a great program every year and we are honored to do it.” said Jeff Moore after over 200 people attended services last Monday that exhibited a full compliment of features.

The services began with a procession of Crosby JROTC bringing for a Memorial Wreath at the Wall of Honor under the direction of Major Quinton Farr and Sergeant Tim Meadows. Two female students laid the wreath upon the Garden of Honor Memorial Stone as Captain Thomas Harper (retired) directed the raising of “Old Glory” and the Texas Flag.

Opening prayer was lead by Pastor Jerry Hovater of the Little Country Church in New Caney and now Crosby.

Two special guest speakers in uniform spoke during the services. U.S. Air Force Col. Mark McClelland spoke on the meaning of Memorial Day and its important to a free society and Leiutenant Col. Leth spoke on the flag of the Medal of Honor and the service of recipient David H. McNerney.

The sermon concerning Memorial Day was delivered by Pastor Hovator.

Don Guillory of the David H. McNerney American Legion Post 658 read the roll call of names of the servicemen laid to rest within Sterling-White Cemetery. Family members called out to acknowledge their attendance.

“Taps” was played professionally by Dana Read of New Orleans after having returned from a gig in New York City.

Pipe Major Tom O’Brien of Texas Bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” as Janeen Scheider set doves flying before the memorial Stone of the Garden of Honor. Rev. Sam Purkhiser of Northeast Freeway Baptist Church a veteran of Iwo Jima and his wife sat near the stone. Iwo Jima cost 5,900 American Marine lives and 17,400 were wounded in the month and a week battle beginning in February 1945.

“I would like to thank all of you for attending our Memorial Day Services. It is a great honor to serve you and your loved ones. I would also like to thank my staff for all their hard work and dedication, and a special thank you to all the local vendors who have contributed to this year’s services.” said Funeral Director Moore.

During research it was discovered that this service in Highlands is one of few remaining funded by a single private enterprise source and not by governmental or municipal agencies.

Babin wins local congress race – State Run-off Primaries puts conservatives ahead

TEXAS – The catbird seat is being held by conservatives for the November election but not everyone that won was Tea Party endorsed in the Run-Off Primary last Tuesday.

Replacing Steve Stockman as the US Congressman for an area that runs from inside Harris County all the way to the Louisiana border is Dr. Brian Babin, a dentist and the former Mayor of Woodville. He won over Ben Streusand 58% to 42%. Streusand a Tea Party operative and former mortgage banker funded his own campaign and was former chairman of Americans for Prosperity.

Streusand lives in Spring and has houses west of the district. He attacked Babin for raising property taxes in a factually disputed ad.

Dr. Babin will face Michael Cole in November.

Attorney General Gregg Abbott must be looking at election results with a smile at fellow Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis as he waits on the November election. Not so many Democrats turned out for the Primary.

The Lieutenant Governors’ race got the most notice this year. Dan Patrick, a Tea Party radio talk show host, defeated David Dewhurst 65% to 35%. Dewhurst the current Lieutenant Governor was an energy mogul that many Republicans blamed the fiasco of the abortion filibuster upon that would launch Wendy Davis into the spotlight.

Patrick will face Senator Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio in the November election that has already weighed in on Patrick saying he would stop the “illegal invasion from Mexico” and “lower property taxes.”

The Democrats have their work cut out for them pitting David Alameel against Senator John Cornyn, the Minority Whip of the Senate, in his third term bid. Steve Stockman resigned his congressional seat to run against Cornyn in an ineffectual but amusing race. Alameel defeated Kesha Rogers Tuesday in a landslide. Kesha is a Lyndon LaRouche devotee that promised to impeach Obama.

In the race for Attorney General Dan Branch conceeded to Ken Paxton at 8:50 p.m. as Paxton had surmounted 63% of the vote. Ken Paxton will face Sam Houston in November. There is a history lesson in there somewhere.

The Ag Commissioner had two Democrats and two Republicans run that never said a word about farming during a drought. Republicans Sid Miller and Tony Merritt did talk about gun rights and abortion however in their ads. Sid Miller got a rare endorsement from Gov. Rick Perry and had Ted Nugent as his campaign treasurer. He had been a representative in the Texas House for over a decade but lost about two years ago.

Jim Hogan for the Democrats beat Kinky Freedman without hardly campaigning.

Someone once said that in the event of rain Democrats turnout spacely. Judging by the percentages it must have rained all over Texas.

Lil’ Cowpokes lead off for Crosby Rodeo

CROSBY – Each year the Crosby Fair & Rodeo hosts the Lil’ Mr. and Miss Cowpoke Pageant before the presentation of scholarships and then graduation so the little guys, age 2 to 8, can beam before big brother and sister are all the story.

This year all participants received a trophy and the winners get to represent their community at the Crosby Fair & Rodeo and drive through the Rock’n C Arena for all the fans to see.

This year there were four major catagories and three age groups for each catagories. Age groups are 0 to 2 years, 3 to 5 years and 6 to 8 years. The catagories are Best Dressed Cowgirl Jeans and Stuff, Best Dressed Cowboy, Rodeo Dress bling and skirts, and Rodeo Clown.

First place went to Best Dressed Cowgirl 0-2 Miranda Baker. Ages 3-5 had no entries. McKenna Robinson won for 6-8 years.

Best Dressed Cowboy was Jeff Janek in 0 to 2. Wyatt Baker for age 3 to 5.

Rodeo Dress first places were Carsen Fincher for 0-2, Holli Elledge for 3 to 5 and McKenna Robinson 6-8.

Jeff Janek was best Rodeo Clown for age 0-2. Hayden Elledge was best Rodeo Clown for ages 3 to 5. There is plenty more spaces for other dressers next year.

Much excitement is being focused this year on the Rodeo Parade to happen Saturday June 7 at 10:00 a.m. It occurs when the Rodeo Cook-off is going on inside the fairgrounds. Bill Murff and family will be the Parade Marshals. Friends, Families, Representatives and

Organizations of the community are encouraged to enter a float or vehicle in support of “Sticking to Our Roots.”

Line up at the Crosby Fair & Rodeo parking lot is at 9:30 a.m. The parade will go north on the CF&R property to Church St. Turn Left on Church St. turn right on 1st Street, turn right on Kernohan. Turn left on Crosby-Dayton Rd. Turn right onto Pecan St. Continue back to Church St. It goes to the Entrance of C.F.&R. Parking lot and enters C.F.&R. Property.

Riordan, McEachern contrast winning ways of coaching

CROSBY– Last Thursday Athletic Directors of Crosby and Huffman told the Crosby Huffman Chamber of Commerce of their accomplishment and much about their philosophies of coaching inside the Crosby Community Center.

Coaches Jeff Riordan and Mike McEachern enlighten listeners about the status of athletics locally, their approaches to athletes and athletics and finally of their accomplishments last season.

Crosby’s Jeff Riordan spoke first opening with “Code Red is bigger than wins and losses.” and “We have athletics for students to become great men and women, to see a kid’s life change.”

Then he capped those inspirational with “Athletics is a crucial part in developing, we are teaching more than sports we are teaching life.”

Many of the listening business community were ready to ask to be put into play after the first few minutes.

His explanation of what a coach is tasked to do revolved around a quote from Jimmy Johnson, “ Treat a person as they are and they will stay as they are, treat them as they could be and they become as they should be.” He indicated he always tries to challenge those he encounters to become a little more of their potential.

The Crosby season showed much inspiration this year not only in the powerful 10 record smashing football season but also in Power Lifting, Golf, Boys and track. The girls had success also, Crosby softball had 198 runs, 244 hits, 159 runs batted in, 42 doubles, 21 home runs, 5 home runs in a single game, and Ariel Clogston cracked 20 home runs in a career.

Boys Baseball Varsity went 19-12 Overall, 12 -4 in District to become District Co-Champs and Bi-District Champs.

The strategic challenge Riordan offers is “Crosby Cougar takeover is our mission. When the Crosby bus pulls up, I want other schools to say, ‘Uh Oh.’”

Mike McEachern spoke less about records than about his approach to teaching, his communities values, and the importance of being winners in the intrinsic meaning of the word.

“I always tell the kids, ‘If you are sitting around eating Cheetos and watching Oprah, somebody is getting better. If you are doing nothing someone is outworking you,’” he emphasized.

Morals and values need be focused on “Doing right.” and an expectation to do well.

“‘Don’t embarrass your family, don’t embarrass yourself and don’t embarrass the program.’’’ he quoted Lou Holtz.

McEachern also had an imperssive list of accomplishments.

Crosby and Huffman can expect a scrimage in football next year.

Historical Society cleans desecrated Simms grave Work underway to get 3 cemeteries and grave site preserving historic designation

CROSBY – Local history buffs have gotten some cleanup done with the help of Harris County at a local family grave that was disfigured and is about to achieve making three local family graves historically designated areas.

The Crosby Historical Society meet last Saturday at the gymnasium of Crosby Brethren Church. The topic of the meeting was about the history of local dairies with an update by Susan Armstrong about the Simms grave just south of the Center Point Power R.O.W. lines.

In the future the Society will perform ceremonies to recognize the Texas State Historical Associations’ Historic Cemetery Designation of the Simms Cemetery, the Penn Cemetery and McKinney grave, the latter having been marked with a Texas Historical marker that had been riddled with bullets.

On February 8, the family grave was found to have been altered by someone carving Slayer on the back of one of the gravestones, and assorted damage to the grave area in general. Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Nason accompanied this reporter on a tour of damage occurring west of FM 2100 not the least of which was the Simms family grave site. The resulting article was printed in the Star-Courier on February 12.

Recently, with the help of the Harris County Roads and Bridge Department under Jack Morman Commissioner of Harris County Commissioner’s Court Precinct 2 crews and volunteers from the Crosby Historical Society got busy with cleanup.

Alton Chishom headed the road crew from Precinct 2 based upon the filings of Deputy John Ray Harrison of Constable Ken Jones’ Precinct 3 and instruction from Gretchen Knowles of Harris County Precinct 2.

The Society found a tree fell on the graves. The iron fence around two of the graves had been torn down and some of it rolled up together. Underbrush had grown about the graves and a headstone was knocked down and the obelisk cap on Captain Simms’ grave had been knocked down and now cannot be found. Substantial trash and debris was found within the cemetery.

Bill McKinney filed the documentation to have the Simms and Penn Cemeteries designated with a medallion and protective fence. The group is meeting to determine how to get the Penn Cemetery fence constructed and it is assured that the Society can obtain a marker. Both the Penn Cemetery and the Simms Cemetery have Civil War veterans interred. Both served in the Confederate Home Guard a designation of under age 17 and over age 55 males that guarded the railroad trestles and bridges of the San Jacinto from Union attacks.

Efforts are underway to restore the Simms obelisk as was done for the Humphrey Jackson obelisk by the same company as had made the Jackson restoration.

Historically, Mercer McKinney enlisted in Captain John Simms’ Company Texas Home Guard. He became ill from exposure while guarding Federal Prisoners and died Jan. 11, 1863. He is buried to the south of the Simms Cemetery. His widow Mary later remarried to his old friend, John Milburn Simms. Historical designation says that John and Mary are buried in the Simms cemetery just north of the Penn Cemetery and to the southwest of Black Hope Cemetery.

The road crews dug up the part of the fence that was buried, set it upright wired the fence together. The fence originally probably had two gates like a French door. Hopes are that the grave can be restored as it originally was.

County Attorney urges EPA to require complete dioxin removal from San Jacinto River Waste Pits

May 6, 2014 –Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to require the complete removal of toxic dioxin wastes at a Superfund site on the San Jacinto River. Waste pits at the site contain a dangerous.

In 2008, at the urging of Harris County and others, the site, located in and on the banks of the San Jacinto River near the IH-10 East Bridge in east Harris County, was made a Superfund Site by the EPA. The pits were at one time used to store chemical by-products of paper production. Since that time, by order of the EPA, the responsible parties placed layers of rock and a plastic tarp over the location as a temporary solution to control the leakage.

The parties responsible for the pollution, International Paper, Inc. and MIMC (a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc.), are proposing a scaled-down remediation plan that would leave toxic and hazardous materials in the environment by simply leaving the “cap” of rock and plastic where it is now.

In his letter, Ryan told the EPA that anything less than complete removal of the toxins would leave the site vulnerable to damage from hurricanes and other severe weather conditions that regularly impact the Texas Gulf Coast.

Despite efforts to educate the public of the contamination dangers, including posted warning signs, the area remains a popular place for fishing and family recreation.

“The Waste Pits are located in an area of the San Jacinto River that is the locale of boating, swimming, camping, commercial and recreational fishing,” County Attorney Ryan said. “Removal of the source material from the Waste Pits and the river sediment is the only way” to ensure that humans and wildlife are no longer exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD type of pollutant known as 2,3,7,8-TCDD dioxin, one of the most toxic pollutants in existence making fishing and recreation near the site unsafe.

County Attorney Ryan filed comments on behalf of Harris County and its residents in a letter to the EPA. The letter was released to the public today.The letter was filed at the invitation of the EPA for consideration by the National Remedy Review Board of the EPA. The Board will meet in July and will recommend to the EPA which remedy to use to clean up the site as well as recommend the amount of dioxin, if any, that can remain after the clean-up. Harris County is recommending complete remediation (the removal of substantially all of the dioxin waste). The EPA will take the recommendations of the Review Board as well as Harris County and the other interested parties into consideration before making a final determination regarding the future of the San Jacinto River waste pits.

In a completely separate proceeding, County Attorney Ryan is suing the responsible parties: International Paper Inc., MIMC and Waste Management, Inc. for polluting the San Jacinto River and seeking millions of dollars in civil penalties for the contamination. The case is pending in state district court and set for trial in late September 2014.

Man drowns in Crosby pond

CROSBY – A man drown in a retention pond on Murf Turf Grass Farm at Gatewood near where Crosby Eastgate meets Louis Rd last Saturday.

According to Harris County Sheriff’s Media spokesperson Thomas Gillilan three men were barbecuing at that location when one decided to go for a swim in the expansive retention pond at about 5:15 p.m. According to the two other men, the 23 year old went under water at about midway out and did not return to the surface.

His friends tried to find him but were unable to do so. The pond is deep at that location.

Harris County Sheriff’s Dive Team, a Baytown Police Dept. Dive Team and a Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. Team came out to help save the man. Sheriff’s Divers recovered his body at about 9:45 p.m.

What caused him to drowned is still under investigation. Divers all agree that hydrilla is very heavy in that area of the pond.

Two years ago two men were trespassing in the same area and one also drowned then.

Hydrilla, a submerged plant, has come to American waterways from overseas. Hydrilla stems are slender, branched and up to 25 feet long. Hydrilla’s small leaves are strap-like and pointed; growing in whorls of four to eight around the stem. According to investigative reporter David Yeomans of KXAN in Austin “It’s responsible for half a million dollars worth of damage to Tom Miller Dam, causes erratic driving as boats swerve to avoid it and was a major factor in at least one drowning in Lake Austin,”

San Jacinto Festival thrills crowds, fills park

Catch the eye of a youngster the first time they hear the report and feel of a Napoleon cannon going off nearby to understand the difference between Dull History and Real History.

Last Saturday at the San Jacinto Monument Grounds, the San Jacinto Festival offered a host of activities, concerts and shows but the one that packs them in is the reenactment of one of the most decisive battles on this continent. It is also the largest reenactment in the State of Texas, a judged reenactment that is under the ever watchful eye of the State of Texas Parks and Recreation.

The view from the inside is much more textured than one can see as a visitor just as a play has more insight for the actor than the audience gets to experience. Among a bevy of interesting facts for those on the inside this year was that the radio ceased working when communication is most needed. That time is just before the last battle when the Texians launch their final assault on Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s camp. But, the battle went off without a hitch thanks to some quick decision making on the part of commanders and the rigors of communiques that passed from the commanders between the volunteers prior to the reenactment. Knowing hand signals was also helpful for the man that played General Houston this year.

On April 21, 1836, the Mexican camp and commander had little fear of the diminutive rabble army led by General Houston. Santa Anna had no guard on duty as he took siesta in the heat of the day. His left flank would be hit by his fastest moving contingent and his right would be hit by a wave of solid infantry that had hid during their advance behind trees and shrubs. It took timing and luck when General Houston did it and when re-enacted last Saturday.

The upshot of all of this should be that preparation and planning make or break important events in life.

However, although General Houston did make preparations, communicate effectively and wait patiently for his enemy to make a mistake, then act on it; it is even more of an act of character that he did so as Interim President David G. Burnet was telling him he was wrong. Burnet was giving him orders to attack the 8,000 strong Mexican Army on the road to Harrisburg (now called Houston) and ordered Houston to be left for dead on the battlefield.