Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in May 2021

Heroic youth foils fast food robbery

Scant facial features are visible in this depiction of the robber taken from surveillance equipment.

CROSBY – An attempted robbery on May 23 at 3:37 a.m. left a young man that refused a gunman’s demands shot and the attempted robber fleeing with miniscule loot.

Malacheye Simpson, 18, was working his shift at the drive through window of Jack In The Box Restaurant in Crosby.

Law enforcement has declined to discuss a case with the investigation ongoing and most information concerning this case comes from the victim, coworkers and relatives and the restaurant camera. Harris County Sheriff’s Office would not comment on any reward.

Malacheye Simpson, shooting victim, recalls the ordeal of robbery and defense of his workplace.

According to the victim himself, “A hooded figure comes up from behind me talking all crazy with a gun, telling me to give him the register. I told him, ‘No!’ and we started fighting.”

Brawling inside the restaurant ended outside, Simpson recalled winning the battle for the pistol but discovered he had been shot from above down through his body and fell to the floor. The trajectory of the bullet damaged his diaphragm, kidney, intestine and colon, but doctors indicate expectation to make a full recovery.

TEA releases statistics on local middle schools

AUSTIN – Urgent to the education process is work on educating 6th through 8th Graders. On April 22 the Texas Senate added more legislation to keep students up with the nation as focus shifts on testing to determine proficiency in a year when less than expected students are yet returning to the classrooms. Updated TEA statistics have been released concerning Crosby Middle and Highlands Junior High. Both are remarkably similar and surprising in differences. Highlands Junior High has a student population of 1,185. The student population of Crosby Middle is 1,428.

In Highlands, 46% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 38% scored at or above that level for reading. At Crosby Middle, 60% of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, and 39% scored at or above that level for reading.

GLO, Feds deny flood funds to Harris County

Harris County and Houston officials learned Friday that the state GLO (General Land Office) and the federal HUD (Housing and Urban Development) had determined that these two governments would not receive any Flood Mitigation funding of the approximately $1 billion that was available, in the first round of allocations by the state.

The allocations are based on a formula to determine which communities are the neediest, according to GLO. Within Harris County, approximately $90 million was allocated to Baytown, Pasadena, Galena Park, and Jacinto City for flood mitigation projects that they had applied for.

Harris County had submitted an application asking for $900 million, according to Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Commissioner Garcia, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued statements expressing their displeasure and disbelief in news of the allocations not including local jurisdictions.

Commissioner Garcia said that he was upset, and “incredibly frustrated.” Judge Hidalgo said, “It is unconscionable that the very community hit with the most flooded structures by far during Hurricane Harvey received nothing as part of this Harvey Mitigation allocation.”

Mayor Turner said, “For the State GLO not to give one dime in the initial distribution to the City and a very small portion to Harris County shows a callous disregard to the people of Houston and Harris County.”

Judge Hidalgo said that she plans to ask HUD for a review of the criteria used, and assurance that the County will receive future fund allocations. She said the formulas that are used disadvantage large urban areas that are hardest hit.

Rodeo pageant unfolds bloom of youth

The Crosby Fair & Rodeo held their annual Rodeo Pageant featuring cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo dress and rodeo clowns of kids aged 0-8 in twelve categories last Saturday. This year Rachel Hicks has taken the reins, but Lanette Armstrong (having lead multiple successful pageants) was still present and helpful as boys and girls paraded before a substantial crowd to show their charisma.

Each of the 58 contestants deservedly received a trophy for their participation. Twelve first place contestants get to ride inside the Rock’n C Arena on both nights of this year’s Crosby Fair & Rodeo and the Crosby Fair & Rodeo Parade to be held June 5.

Highlands Rotary awards 19 scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS pose for a group picture after the banquet, speeches, and awards. Pictured with the scholars are Rotarians Jerry Fallin (President Elect) and Dr. Larry White (Scholarship Chairman). Not pictured, Andy Scott, club president.

Highlands Rotary Club held their annual Scholarship Banquet last Monday night, and awarded 19 scholarships totaling $32,500.

In spite of heavy rains and very inclement weather, the venue of the Baytown Boat Club on Highlands Clear Lake Road was full to capacity, with scholarship recipients, family and friends, and Rotarians and their families.

The scholarships are a result of the funds raised primarily at the club’s Annual Chili Feast in February. At this event, a new vehicle is raffled off to a $100 ticket holder, along with 13 other prizes, and the net proceeds are used for the scholarships and other community projects.

Jose Jimenez wins North Shore Rotary Raffle

At left, Rotarian Shawn Silman reads the name on Ticket #25, and Jose Jimenez is the winner of a new vehicle in the raffle. club president Lowell Everitt, right, pulled each of the 25 tickets for Shawn.

North Shore Rotarians gathered last Saturday afternoon at Turner Chevrolet in Crosby, to pull raffle tickets for their benefit Raffle event, and award prizes.

The raffle this year was in place of their annual Catfish Fry and Crawfish Broil, which they did not hold because of the health concerns from the COVID19 pandemic.

In spite of that, and due to the hard work of the members of the club, they were able to sell over a thousand tickets, which will fund their projects in Harris County and internationally for the next year. The club through ticket sales, sponsorships, live and silent auctions typically raises several hundred thousand dollars, which allow them to put the money back into the community for projects, scholarships and more. They are strong supporters of FFA programs in three school districts, and other educational projects.

Harris County Judge Moves COVID-19 Threat Level to Level 2: Orange

Key COVID-19 Trends Continue Downward Trajectory; Hidalgo Commends Community for Driving Indicators Down By Getting Vaccinated, Urges Continued Vigilance and Action to Reach Non-Vaccinated Population

Harris County, Texas – May 18, 2021, Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced that she is moving the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 1: Red to Level 2: Orange, the system’s second highest threat level. The move comes as a variety of indicators demonstrate significant progress in reducing the threat of COVID-19 and the availability, administration, and efficacy of vaccines for eligible age groups.

Over the past several weeks a convergence of factors has led to the lowering of the threat level. Among them, a variety of key indicators used to inform the county’s threat level system made significant improvements. These include hospital population trends, hospital usage trends, case trends, and positivity rate. Additionally, the on-demand availability of vaccines, their efficacy against variance, an increasing number of individuals getting vaccinated, and updated CDC guidance regarding mask usage and testing. These indicators have been used by the county in conjunction with health experts to make decisions about policy changes and community guidance.

“Thanks to the hard work of our residents, we have made substantial progress in turning a corner against this virus,” said Judge Hidalgo. “This is not a mission accomplished moment, but we should feel encouraged that these vaccines have helped us finally trend in the right direction. Let’s continue to pull together and help persuade friends, family members, and others those who haven’t been vaccinated to do their part.”

Vondenstein shows COVID isn’t a flu

Mrs Vonderstein expressdes thanks and recounts some struggles Colby has surmounted as he stands beside her and having thanked all supporters.

CROSBY – A benefit for “Colby Strong” Vondenstein was held at the Crosby Fair & Rodeo pavilion last Saturday.

Colby Vondenstein, 24, an in-shape husband and father of three, contracted COVID-19 after last Christmas and as a result had a double lung and a kidney transplant. He had no underlying health conditions. His family caught the bug too, but they recovered while Colby deteriorated. Doctors in February said he probably only had days to live.

Sandy Mendez, his mother, chatted with the Star-Courier at the benefit before Colby made an appearance on a walker to thank supporters and attribute his stunning recovering to his prayer warrior supporters. Mendez stated, “We are holding this to help with medical bills. It is going to be a long recovery, and he is going to be out of work for about a year.”

Flood funds need matches for mitigation

By Lewis Spearman

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – Problems matching money set aside to mitigate flooding locally are allowing flood conditions to threaten the Greater Houston Area.

Remember all those floods from the Memorial Day Flood to Hurricane Harvey? Citizens of Harris County passed a $2.5 billion dollar matching funds bond to deal with making an infrastructure to reduce the risk of floods.

The $2.5 billion bond passed in 2018, and Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) planned for state and federal agencies to match the bond amount. But the HCFCD explained that the Texas General Land Office changed how it allocated funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Houston and Harris County are now competing with the rest of Texas for Hurricane Harvey relief. The 2015 Memorial Day and 2016 Tax Day floods did not receive grants, according to the HCFCD.

Caregiving answers chronic dog dumping

Jancie Ivey trains “Seeing Eye Companions” and spoke with Amanda Sherrod, stray dog rescue hero, at the Gazebo located in front of Newport Subdivision last Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Chiquita Aurora Espinosa’a Quince/Sweet 16 Charity Event.

CROSBY – Those of us with a heart for dogs were encouraged last Saturday to learn that a local lady is working diligently to find homes for strays and dogs being dropped off in east Harris County from that big city to the West.

Most in Crosby believe there is a special place in the Inferno for folks that abandon fur babies in the wild, but Amanda Sherrod has started a Foster and Rescue Care Charity to help our canine friends.

The kick-off for her charity was the Chiquita Aurora Espinosa’s Quince/Sweet 16 Charity Event sponsored by the Espinosas. There was cake, punch and water for the humans and a doggie party bag for each attending dog with keepsake pictures. A raffle was held for prizes for dog and their humans. Guests were asked to bring an item such as bowls, collars, leashes, blankets, preferred food like Purina Pro Plan to benefit the Foster and Rescue Care.