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Posts published in “News Index – Barbers Hill Dayton PRESS”

Covestro invests 1.7 Billion in Baytown

Covestro Plant in Baytown

Covestro accelerates its investment activities to capitalize on the strong MDI market growth. Today, the Supervisory Board of Covestro has approved an investment of around EUR 1.5 billion to build a new world-scale MDI plant in Baytown, USA. This investment at the existing site in Baytown is the largest single investment in the history of the company. Total capacity of the new train will be 500 kilotons MDI per year, start of production is expected in 2024. At the same time an older, less efficient MDI unit of 90 kilotons production capacity will be closed. Thus, total MDI capacities of Covestro in the NAFTA region will reach around 740 kilotons per year making Covestro the industry capacity leader in the region by 2024. With that, Covestro will also strongly underline its global industry capacity leadership position.

“Demand for innovative MDI materials will continue to grow for the foreseeable future and likewise promises attractive capacity utilization rates. We have already announced a significant increase in capital expenditures, now it’s time to put it into action”, said CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann. “With the new MDI train in Baytown, we will further strengthen our global leading position in Polyurethanes, even better serve our customers and create long-term shareholder value.”


“Umbrella Alley” is finalist for state award

Baytown’s Umbrella Alley

Finalists for the 2018 Texas Downtown Association President’s Awards Program were recently announced in Austin. For over 30 years the awards program, sponsored by the Texas Downtown Association (TDA), has recognized outstanding projects, places, and people of Texas downtowns. One hundred and eleven entries were submitted in eleven different categories from communities across the state. Judges reviewed entries online and then met in person to make their final selection of award finalists and winners.

Baytown’s Umbrella Alley is one of the finalists for the Texas Downtown Association Spirit of Downtown Award. The Baytown Tourism Division on behalf of the Baytown Pubic Art Visioning Committee unveiled the beautiful Umbrella Alley in the Downtown Arts District in early May 2018. This Public Art Visioning Committee is made up of individuals from the downtown business area including the Art League of Baytown, Lee College Art Department, Sterling Municipal Library, and other local influencers who hold Baytown’s best interests at heart. In the past, the alley was filled with broken concrete and graffitied walls, but now the Umbrella Alley is occupied with colorful umbrellas that swing back and forth in a whimsical limbo, casting dancing shadows along the alley walls and ground; the alley walls are getting a splash of color as a mural comes to life that focuses on the highlights of Baytown. The artists working on this mural are students from the Lee College Art Department which is located at the end of the Downtown Arts District. This collaboration among downtown partners has garnered regional response, and brought special attention to the Downtown Arts District area and the business’s that are located there.

“We are proud of the Umbrella Alley project, and the excitement it has garnered for our downtown,” says Anna Yowell, Tourism Coordinator. “We look forward to doing more Public Art projects in the future.”

Winners will be announced on November 7 at the Awards Gala held in conjunction with the 2018 Texas Downtown Conference in Corpus Christi. (more…)

Barbers Hill ISD students earn National Merit Scholars recognition

Barbers Hill High School seniors Kathryn Hok and Kaitlyn Robinson were named 2019 National Merit Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation this month.

Both students are ranked in the Top Five of the Barbers Hill Class of 2019.

“To get to this level of academic achievement requires determination, hard work, and a willingness to stretch themselves by taking advanced level courses,” said Asst. Supt. of Curriculum and Instruction Sandra Duree. “I’m so proud of these students and the amazing BHISD staff. Working together toward a common goal helps us move forward in our quest for excellence for all students.”

Robinson plans to attend Texas A&M University next year, and Hok is considering several university options.

Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation will be recognized for their exceptional academic promise.

National Hispanic Scholars

The College Board in September named three Barbers Hill High School students as National Hispanic Scholars.

Barbers Hill seniors Jade Meador, Adriana Torres-Rodriguez, and Isaac Recio were named Scholars in the program based on their scores on the PSAT/NMSQT in this region. Scholars must score in the top 2.5% of Hispanic test-takers in the region during their junior year, as well as achieve a minimum 3.5 GPA.

“We are very proud of these three students,” said BHHS Principal Rick Kana. “They have pushed themselves academically and stand out as leaders on our campus. They are so deserving of this recognition, and we are proud to have them at Barbers Hill High School.”

Each year, the National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes approximately 5,000 students nationwide out of over 250,000 Hispanic students who take the PSAT/NMSQT.


By Michael W. Palmer

On August 21, The P&Z Commission approved the request for installation of eight; “No Parking,” and one No U-Turn sign and “No Standing Signs” which will be permanent placement signs on Market Street, Carnegie Street, and Gentry Street.

The meaning of “Stand” or “standing” means to halt an occupied or unoccupied vehicle, other than temporarily while receiving or discharging passengers.

“Carnegie Street can hold six lanes of traffic comfortably,” said Matthew Johnson – Traffic Engineer for the City of Baytown. He also said, “The identified safety concern was that drivers were queuing up in the eastbound lanes of Market Street starting from the high school parking lot driveway. This situation is an unsafe condition due to the queue terminating near the end of a blind curve on a bridge. I am pleased that the plan is moving forward.”

Police Chief Dougherty said, “I am in favor of anything that the city may implement that will improve our quality of life and make our streets safer for our motoring and pedestrian public.”


GatorFest Cook Off – Sep. 7

Texas GATORFEST, the Lone Star State’s most unique festival, would like to invite you to participate in the Annual Texas GATORFEST Barbecue Cook-Off to kick off this year’s festival. The family oriented festival is one of the fastest growing festivals in Texas. It has established a reputation for being “good old fashioned Texas fun” and providing visitors with a variety of entertainment. The celebration of the alligator and its wetlands habitat has something for everyone!

The cook off will be held the weekend before Texas GATORFEST 2018 – September 7 & 8th, on the festival grounds in historic Fort Anahuac Park.

George Dearborne and Branded live Friday, Sep. 7 at the Texas Gatorfest BBQ Cook-off Street Dance.

Participants and visitors alike will enjoy the entertainment throughout the day on the Gator Pit stage located within the cook-off area.


Mayor of Baytown speaks on growth

Mayor Stephen DonCarlos of Baytown spoke recently to the Rotary Club of Highlands, reviewing the upcoming economic development plans for the city, and other projects.

DonCarlos has been mayor of Baytown since his election in 2006, and has seen growth in population and the economy. But he says that plans for future projects promise much more.

The XL pipeline, and the shale oil it will bring from Canada, will drive the need for expansion projects at the four major refineries in Baytown, ExxonMobil, ChevonPhillips, Enterpise, and Bayer. What is unusual about the construction plans of these industries, he said, is that their growth will be simultaneous. He forsees that in the next 3 to 4 years, Baytown will need 22,000 construction workers, and will eventually have 1500-1700 permanent jobs related to this expansion. The need for housing will burgeon, and include Highlands as well as surrounding cities. Lee College is busy preparing new courses for these workers, he said. These jobs will be well paying, as much as $70,000 or more per year.

Related to this, Enterprise has purchased 2200 acres for expansion, and Chevron plans major expansion at Sjolander and I-10, with new buildings and roads.

Chambers County Patriotism is alive

Barbers Hill Lions Club volunteers have place over 200 flags at neighbors‘ yards on patriotic holidays; and this November 11, flags will be erected again to celebrate Veterans Day.

The Barbers Hill Lions Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services in the local community and to Lions projects worldwide. Some of the local Lions projects include:

•Providing eye glasses for Barbers Hill students in need

• Assisting the Mont Belvieu Food Pantry

• Supporting children with disabilities to attend the Texas Lions Camp

Lion volunteers place flags throughout West Chambers County on patriotic holidays to raise money to support their services to the community. The beautiful American flags are placed in front of homes on Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Flag Day, Labor Day through Patriot Day (Sept. 11) and Independence Day.

The Barbers Hill Lions volunteers set up the flags before these patriotic holidays, remove them afterward, and store them all year for residents for $35.00 per flag per year.

For more information about the Barbers Hill Lions Club Flag Program call Gary Nelson at (281) 576-2243.

BH announces football ticket sales and pre-game activities

Season tickets for Barbers Hill’s six varsity home games of the 2012 football season will be offered for sale beginning August 13.

The first two weeks of ticket sales are reserved for current season ticket holders who wish to purchase the same seats for the upcoming season at $42 per seat for the season.

Tickets will be available to current ticket holders August 13 – 16 and August 20 – 22, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 4 p.m. at the BHISD tax office at 9600 Eagle Drive, Mont Belvieu. Extended hours for ticket sales will be offered August 23 from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tickets must be purchased during these times in order to reserve the same seats purchased last year.

Reserved season tickets for first-time buyers will be available beginning Monday, August 27, at 8:00 a.m. at the BHISD tax office. No reserved tickets will be sold at the gate.

Pre-sale tickets for single games

General admission pre-sale tickets will be sold for each home and away game. Ticket sales will start on Wednesday and end at noon on Friday of each week. Adult tickets are $5 and student tickets are $3 and will be sold at the High School, Middle School, Intermediate School, and BHISD Tax Office.

All tickets purchased at the gate by adults or students will be general admission at a cost of $6 each.

Pre-game activities

Guests are invited to come early before home games to enjoy dinners provided by district student organizations.

Aug 31 – Steak Finger Dinner

Sept 7 – To Be Determined

Sept 21 – Chicken Strip Dinner

Oct 5 – Homecoming BBQ Dinner

Oct 26 – Tailgate Party, Hamburger Dinners

Nov 9 – Fish Fry

All events except the Tailgate Party will be held inside the Middle School cafeteria and tickets may be purchased at the door. The Tailgate Party will be held behind the Central Administration Building. For more information, visit or call the tax office at 281.576.2221 x 1205.

Anahuac faces a budget crisis

By Christine Nguyen

After what seemed like one unfortunate event after another after another, officials at the City of Anahuac are working tirelessly to dig themselves out of a debt crisis.

Issues snowball

Although the city’s financial situation is a result of a number of factors, the crisis itself started when Anahuac’s water plant broke down in October 2010, mayor Cheryl Sanders said.

To provide water for its residents the city then signed a contract with Trinity Bay Conservation District. Sanders said Trinity Bay served the city at a reduced rate for months but later raised the charge to the normal bulk cost, which came out to almost four times the previous rate.

After looking into other options, the city then decided to go with a company called “Rain for Rent” to handle the city’s water.

“We were presented with a proposal that would cost us $30,000 a month,” Sanders said. “That was something we could afford.”

Unfortunately, the water ended up costing them twice as much as the initial estimate, and now the city has returned to Trinity Bay. But during this, the city was still charging customers less than what the water cost the city.

Sanders said this had gone unnoticed for so long because then-administrator Lance Nauman had been providing “misinformation” to the council. Nauman resigned in July and the Barbers Hill Dayton Press was unable to get in touch with him Tuesday.

Now, council members do not know how exactly how deep city’s debts are, but are scrutinizing its financial records and will hold several budget and public hearings in the next months to determine where to take action.

“It was the city council’s responsibility,” council member Danny Thompson said. “But we’re taking steps to ensure it won’t happen again.”

Problems with water and infrastructure

Although the city has yet to increase its water rates, Anahuac residents have complained about high water bills.

“Water was expensive as heck,” said former Anahuac resident William Bennevendo, who moved out of the city a year ago. “But the price didn’t bother me as much as the quality. I’ll put it this way. I didn’t drink it. Everyone I know personally [in Anahuac] either buys it or has it delivered.”

Sanders says this is because of the city’s rusty pipes, some of which have been in the ground for decades.

“The big issue is the sluffing off of minerals in the pipe,” she said. “With Trinity Bay, the flow is going in the other direction in the pipes [of how it used to go.]”

However, the Anahuac’s pipes are only indicative of a larger issue, that being the city’s infrastructure in general. Aside from debts the city has recently incurred, Sanders said the council still has to set aside money for capital improvements — including replacing the city’s 50-year-old water meters — as well as debt obligations from 1999 and 2003.

Looking forward

Despite this, Sanders said she is confident that the city can make up its debts, and if all goes well, hopes the city can be in good financial shape by as soon as December.

The city has secured a $1.2 million grant to fix its water plant, although it has not been released yet.

Sanders says because of diligent work on the part of city officials, residents haven’t felt the brunt of the debt burden. The city has reduced its positions through attrition, meaning employees who resigned or retired have not been replaced. There are currently only 10 city employees.

“This is all volunteer work,” Sanders says. Council members, most of whom have other jobs, have waved their checks, and many city employees are doing more than in the job description. Sanders herself said she has not seen a paycheck since she took office in May.

“We’ve got a full plate, but we’ve got a great council [who are] wonderful citizens committed to helping the city.” Sanders said. “This is our city too. We want it to be a great place to live, and we want it to be affordable.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the City of Anahuac had received a $350,000 grant for the repair of the city’s water plant. That grant is actually $1.2 million. The $350,000 is for a project to replace old sewer lines.

San Jac hospital receives Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

BAYTOWN – (July 10, 2012) – San Jacinto Methodist Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for the second consecutive year.

The hospital received the Silver Achievement Award in 2010 and the Bronze Achievement Award in 2009.

The award recognizes San Jacinto Methodist’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

To receive the award, SJMH achieved of 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality Measures, which are reporting initiatives to measure quality of care.

These measures include aggressive use of medications, such as tPA, antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, DVT prophylaxis, cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation, all aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates San Jacinto Methodist Hospital’s commitment to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” said Donna Gares, president and CEO of San Jacinto Methodist. “We are honored to have received the Gold Plus award for two consecutive years, and will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients.”

“San Jacinto Methodist Hospital is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee and director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

San Jacinto Methodist Hospital has also committed to having the best possible outcomes for victims of in-hospital cardiac arrest by participating in the American Heart Association’s latest Get With The Guidelines module, GWTG- Resuscitation.

The goal of this program is to help hospital teams save more lives threatened by cardiopulmonary emergencies through consistent application of the most up-to-date scientific guidelines for in-hospital resuscitation. For more information on services offered at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital, call 832-556-6543.

BH ISD Superintendent named 2011 Person of the Year

Barbers Hill ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole was named 2011 Person of the Year by the West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce during their awards banquet this week.

Pictured with Poole are Missy Malechek, President of WCCCC, State Representative Craig Eiland, who was 2010 WCCCC Person of the Year, and Joey McWilliams, 2011 WCCCC Chairman of the Board.