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Posts published in February 2019

Boeing 767 Cargo Jet crashes near Anahuac

AUTHORITIES can only use airboats to search for debris, black box recorders, and bodies of the three airman, due to the muddy marsh and shallow water. Only small fragments were left of the jumbo jet, after nosediving into Trinity Bay.

Search difficult in muddy marsh

ANAHUAC – This quiet suburban community was the scene of a horrific airplane accident last Saturday afternoon, as a Boeing 767 jumbo jet dropped from the sky into Jack’s Pocket, a backwater of Trinity Bay.

The flight was Atlas Air 3591, a cargo plane carrying packages for Amazon on a trip from Miami to Houston.

At about 12:40 pm, authorities said it fell from 6300 feet into the bay, at an angle almost straight down. A witness said she saw it dive, roll to the left, and catch its wing as it landed in the marsh and water of the bay.

First responders included the Chambers County Sheriff, Brian Hawthorne, and fire and EMS from nearby Anahuac. Later authorities included DPS, Coast Guard, Houston Police and dive team, Harris County Sheriff, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Baytown divers. The FAA and the NTSB will be in charge of the investigation. At this time, there is no known cause for the crash, and air traffic controllers said there was no distress call or radio indication of a problem.

The plane broke into hundreds of small pieces, either in the air or as it hit the water. There were three crewmen aboard, and the bodies of two have been recovered.

Authorities are searching for the Black Box controllers, apparently silent due to the muddy marsh where they are embedded, along with many of the parts of the plane. The search is urgent, because the 767 is considered one of the safest planes flying, and authorities want to know what caused this crash.

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Rotary wins Terry Davis Award

Chamber president Jim Wadzinski presents the Terry Davis Award to the Highlands Rotary Club. Members present (L to R) President Denise Smith, Weston Cotten, Sheila McDonald, Betty Brewer, Rose Smith, Gilbert Hoffman, Patricia Scott, and Andy Scott. Third from right is Will Carter of Congressman Babin’s office.

HIGHLANDS – The Highlands-Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Installation and Community Awards Banquet last Thursday evening, at the Monument Inn. There were Community Awards given to six outstanding individuals and organizations that have contributed to the life of the community. The top award is the Terry Davis Award, and it was given to the Highlands Rotary Club for their work in the community. A special award was given to Betty Brewer for her 35 years of supporting the Chamber. Betty is also an active member of the Rotary Club.

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Crosby-Huffman awards CRCU, Meaux

Community Resource Credit Union was acclaimed as Business of the Year for Crosby doubtlessly for their support of community activities and projects also continued commitment to bring innovative banking. Marsala Italian Grill won for Huffman but was unable to attend.

BAYTOWN – The Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Installation and Awards Banquette at the Hilton Garden Inn on Garth Rd. last Wednesday in a stellar celebration.

Installed for the Board by Precinct 3 J.P. Joe Stephens who borrowed the time honored cliche’ ”It is better to be sworn in than sworn out.”

Yet this year the Chamber honored a pair of categories, one for Huffman and one for Crosby. The single exception is Ambassador of the Year won by Margarette Chasteen.

David Mendez of Turner Chevrolet awarded Dan and Jennifer Meaux the Citizen of the Year Award. The Meaux’s restaurant is an avid community supporter, instrumental in enabling the Cougar Band to go to Chicago from an event inside the Crawfish Shack. “It was nice to receive this honor with my wife.“

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Let’s Rodeo! Parade, Trail Riders kick it off

12 Trail Rider groups spent last week to get to Memorial Park campgrounds on Friday.

Are you ready to Rodeo? The 87th Annual Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo starts Monday, February 25, and runs through Sunday, March 17.

Monday’s opening entertainment is Grammy winning Kacey Musgraves, and the closing act in March is George Strait.

Events leading up to the Rodeo included Trail Riders arriving at Memorial Park, a Parade downtown, a Bar-B-Que Cook-off, and a Rodeo Run which had more than 9000 entries.

The Rodeo Parade, including the traditional “Howdy” float, took place on Saturday in spite of inclement weather.

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Coach Riordan moves to Tyler

TYLER, Texas – Chapel Hill Independent School District named Jeff Riordan as successor to lead their football program and athletic department next year.

Riordan will serve as new head football coach and athletic director.

Riordan will replace Jason Hooker who resigned on February 11.

Riordan’s 16 years of experience; including seven at Crosby ISD with a mark of 66-18 at Crosby. He led the Cougars to six playoff appearances and four district championships.

Just prior to Crosby he was at Sulphur Springs. He began at Garland Lakeview Centennial High School for four years and was the wide receivers coach at Texas A&M-Commerce in 2001.

Riordan will officially begin his duties on March 18.

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Crosby ISD Audit finds false reports, cost over-runs, excesses

By Lewis Spearman

CROSBY – According to the Audit performed by Weaver and Tidwell, L.L.P., Crosby ISD got less money than it expected, spent far more on projects than anticipated, hired more than it could fund, played accounting games to hide financial problems, misrepresented funding, and did not report to T.E.A. adjustments to the ten month budget as required on a 12 month basis beginning in 2016.

Superintendent Davis found that $3.9 million was omitted from payroll. Fraud was committed by intentional omissions from the financial statement in June of 2017, $7.86 Million was omitted from reports.

Anyone that remembers the musical “Camelot” can think that the locals here are experiencing similar situations as the final act during the play or movie, when Lancelot has become a homeless person, and Arthur has been betrayed, lies dying on the field, and has given Percival Excaliber to throw in the lake.

The good news is, however, the audit indicates that the current administration has issued corrective action in the District’s finances. The bad news is, substantial reorganization must take place to not repeat the same situation.

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Crosby A.D. quits in March for other offer

Coach Jeff Riordan, second from left, pictured with Crosby Coaches in heyday 2014 after winning Regional Championship. From 1960, the Crosby Cougars went 13-2 that year. Jeff Riordan has Crosby’s most winning 66-18 record from the last seven years. Riordan oversaw much athletic equipment and athletic capital improvements, including 2 baseball and 2 softball fields of all artificial turf in an area known for raising grass. Crosby Stadium grew into “the Jungle” during his tenure, and a lighted real-time video scoreboard became a feature.

CROSBY – It is no secret that the financial condition of Crosby ISD has cost the district some fine people and most knew that would happen when the laying off of over 100 teachers was announced.

The district had to layoff a bunch of coaches and cut the budget for athletics by 60% in 2018.

Riordan was known to have been upset in October of last year when it was announced that Michelle Trotter, later chosen to be Coach of the Year, was to be laid off in spite of her diligence with the Lady Cougar’s Basketball Team. She had been Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator and her last day was going to be Dec. 20. That was prior to the intercession of local parents.

Coach Jeff Riordan, Athletic Director and Head Coach of Crosby Football has indicated he will be leaving after Spring Break but that is unofficial and all await approval of the school board. He has indicated an offer came for an opportunity to return closer to where his extended family lives.

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Moore addresses critics, apologizes

Dr. Keith Moore addresses angry public in Crosby.

CROSBY – At the Tuesday meeting of the Crosby ISD Board of Trustees Dr. Keith Moore, former Superintendent of Crosby ISD, came to speak at the Public Hearing portion of the school board meeting to explain what had happened during his tenure.

Dr. Moore was banned from showing up on Crosby ISD property but the Crosby ISD Bus facility now converted to an Executive Office that once was HEB is on records as being a grant of HEB, not Crosby ISD property, to reveal another even older administration’s secret.

The board afforded Moore three minutes to give his about 7 minute address. Then they called time and went on to discover that the Technology Maintenance Fee (computers to a maximum of $40) to students was not allowed by law and the school would have to make their best efforts to reimburse parents for 2016 and 2017 charges. The Board also approved moving forward with implementing new accounting measures, hopefully the origin of oversight.

While the Board was in Executive Session Moore read his 7 minute speech and then he consented to answer questions for about 20 more minutes to an angry and disappointed, near capacity audience in the meeting room.

Dr. Moore began with heavy emotion, saying, “Things happened that I did not mean to. I love this place.”

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Houston Methodist Cancer Center at Baytown holds Grand Opening Ceremony

Some of the Houston Methodist Baytown attendees, left to right, Jarren Garrett, VP, operations; Kiska Boyd, director, pharmacy; David P. Bernard, CEO; Becky Chalupa, chief nursing officer; Susan Neel, clinical nurse manager, cancer services; Dr. Atul Shah, gastroenterology/hepatology; George Colon, director, spiritual care & values integration; Dr. Claudia Molina, pathology; Dr. Esther Dubrovsky, breast surgery; Dr. Cesar De Las Casas, medical oncology/hematology; Dr. Shawn Tittle, cancer center medical director; Dr. Walter O’Hara, cardiothoracic surgery; Dr. Ziad Kronfol, colorectal surgery, Dr. Mary Goswitz, radiation oncology

BAYTOWN — (February 15, 2019) — Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital’s newly renovated cancer center held a grand opening for the community on February 12.

The expansion project at the facility located at 4021 Garth Road is designed to meet the growing needs of the community and provide leading edge cancer care. The project includes the addition of infusion therapy suites for medical oncology patients, as well as radiation oncology and improved conference and education facilities for patients and physicians.

“Our nationally recognized experts in cancer care are dedicated to bringing the latest cancer treatment and therapies to our patients,” said David P. Bernard, CEO, Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital. “Through individualized treatment plans and compassionate care, our team of highly trained cancer specialists are working to fight cancer and support those who have it.”

The cancer program specializes in treating some of the most common types of cancer, including breast, lung, prostate and colon, using the most advanced techniques available. The Houston Methodist Cancer Center at Baytown features an experienced, specialized team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, oncology nurses and cancer care navigators to help patients and families through their cancer journey. The care team provides services ranging from prevention and diagnosis to advanced treatment follow up and survivorship.

“Our team of clinical experts helps patients and families through their cancer journey—both physically and emotionally—with the goal of reducing or eliminating cancer, seeking new treatment options for highly resistant cancers and providing personalized care to every one of our patients,” said Bernard.

The Houston Methodist Cancer Center also offers screenings, educational events, support groups, clinical trial access and genetic testing close to home.

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Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman holds citizens advisory committee meeting

Diane Trautman, Harris
County’s newly elected
Clerk conducts her first of
seven Citizens Advisory
Committee Meeting. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Wants Election Day Voting at any poll

By Allan Jamail

Houston, Tx. – January 23, 2019 – Diane Trautman Harris County’s newly elected Clerk held her first Election Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting. She hasn’t wasted time in full-filling her campaign pledges of having citizen involvement in her decisions and to make it more convenient for voters to cast their ballots.

To get broad based county-wide citizen involvement Trautman will have seven Election Advisory Committee (EAC) meetings. The meetings will educate and seek input from the minority languages of the county as required under the 1965 and 1975 Voting Rights Act (Section 203). Trautman will include meetings in Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. She’ll use these EAC meetings to unveil her Countywide Voting Centers Plan and or her Election Day Vote Center (EDVC) plan.

Another of Trautman’s major campaign pledges was to make it easier for voters to vote on Election Day. If her EDVC plan is approved by Harris County’s Commissioners Court, it would make it possible for anyone to vote on Election Day at an Election Day Vote Center (EDVC) at any of Harris County’s 700-plus polling locations. Currently, county residents have multiple options during early voting, but on Election Day, they can only cast a ballot in their home precinct.

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Barge damages I-10 bridge

THIS CONCRETE PIER, under the westbound lanes of I-10, was struck by an uncontrolled barge. TxDOT reported a structural failure both above and below the water line. They reported that they will let an emergency contract in a few days, for repairs and/or replacement of the pier. (Photo by We All Nosey)

Traffic flow severely throttled

Monday afternoon a barge, being pushed by a tug boat, the Lindberg Crosby, hit a support pier under the I-10 highway, severely damaging it.

TxDOT was forced to close the westbound lanes of the highway, until they could ascertain the extent of the damage. This caused a severe traffic jam from Highlands clear to the far side of Baytown. In addition, the entry ramp westbound at Four Corners was closed, and traffic backed up on all the side roads clear to Crosby. Some motorists headed north, to US90, but delays of over an hour were reported.

The Coast Guard told this newspaper that an investigation was underway, but did not have details on the cause of the collision at this time. Aerial photos on TV news showed the barge and a tug boat standing by just south of the highway.

TRAFFIC WESTBOUND at 4:33pm was blocked by TxDOT trucks and the police, as engineers assessed the damage. Later one lane was opened, and on Tuesday two lanes, but the on-ramp from Crosby-Lynchburg was closed, causing massive backups from Highlands to Crosby and Baytown. (Transtar Photo)

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