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

Committee report recommends keeping Robert E. Lee High School name

The committee recommended leaving the Robert E. Lee name on the high school.

BAYTOWN – A 42-person advisory committee charged with recommending name changes for Goose Creek CISD schools, has issued their final report. The result was a recommendation to keep all the school names, but transfer one name, Green Center, from an existing facility to a new school under construction.

The committee was formed last year, after a public debate over the removal of Confederate names on buildings and public facilities all over the nation. The issue surfaced in a GC CISD board meeting, and evoked much discussion over the ensuing weeks. The initial public sentiment seemed split on changing the name of Baytown’s oldest high school, Robert E. Lee HS.

The advisory committee ended up not only dealing with the name on Lee high school, but advocating a whole new district-wide policy for naming buildings. The committee recommended that facilities be named after geographic areas, landmarks or physical attributes, or the instructional focus of the school. The report also said naming should include the principal’s legacy, and be sensitive to the diverse community they serve.

Catastrophic Winter Storm Power Disruptions

By Mayes Middleton

Millions of Texans were without power for days, with lives lost and many more put at risk. The words anger and frustration do not do justice to what we are experiencing. Over the last several days, I have been working with CenterPoint, Entergy, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to improve our power situation in Galveston and Chambers Counties.

There are two major failures. First, ERCOT has clearly failed. Our state’s electrical grid operator has shown unparalleled incompetence during this critical time and Texans are paying the price. The “R” in “ERCOT” is for “reliability” and that did not happen.

Second, CenterPoint energy’s rolling blackouts were not made in a fair “pro-rata” manner. Instead, Galveston and Chambers Counties have disproportionately suffered. Centerpoint is in control of which areas are turned on and which aren’t. Overall, Galveston County was 88% out and the west side of Chambers County was 76% out, while Harris County was just 16% out at times. Some communities were hit even worse, Galveston and San Leon/Bacliff approached 100% outages. Centerpoint said 1.2 million of their 2.5 million customers were out and that only essential circuits were left on, so the question remains why are so many homes in Harris County on essential circuits and so few in our area?

BARBERS HILL HIGH SCHOOL: Racist sign throws school into controversy

MONT BELVIEU – Kids write the ‘darndest’ things on campus walls especially after a series of contentions and uncertainty locally and nationally has drawn taunt racial relations.

Barbers Hill High School had some graffiti painted on the wall that read “Black Lives Don’t Matter,” and some other incidental forms of protest are spoken of as happening not long after the November 3 election. Some parents want something done.

Fresh on the mind of many locals is the controversy of dreadlocks in Barbers Hill after each attending students had signed off on accepting the dress code to attend but two students were determined by the Superintendent to be in violation due to the length of their dreadlocks. The district suspended the two students. The issue went viral.

New mayor takes office in Beach City

New Beach City Mayor Ryan Dagley and family: Isis, Kayla, and R.J. Dagley

Hello, BEACH CITY and Fellow NEIGHBORS!

MY FIRST NEWSLETTER AND ANNOUNCEMENT

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am your new Mayor Ryan Dagley. I am extremely humbled by the opportunity to serve our great city. I have been married to my wife Isis for nearly 19 years and we have two beautiful children RJ (sophomore at BHISD) and Kayla (7th grader at BHISD). As a Rotarian, I believe in Service Above Self. I have been a Rotarian for 14 years, most recently serving as President of my Rotary Club. I currently serve on the board for the Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation, active on other charitable boards in the community, was CoChairman of the recent BHISD Bond committee, and currently serve on the DEIC committee at BHISD. My parents raised all four of their children as living examples of service to the community you live in. I felt from a young age that serving others was a way for me to leave things better than when I found them.

Panel to study name for Lee High School

BAYTOWN – A committee to look into the name of Goose Creek Consolidated ISD facilities will be formed according to specifications laid out by certain administrators at the school trustee meeting last week.

Robert E. Lee High School is obviously named for the general that swore he wished he had never participated in the American Civil War in retirement with his property confiscated, under house arrest for treason and having witnessed the deaths of most of his best friends and students. But that little bit of history is often forgotten in the current sensitivity to the Confederacy and horror of the great American sin of slavery.

The committee was given directives by members of the administration in deciding if names will remain as they are or be changed. “This committee is tasked with reviewing data and providing input to the school board concerning potential facility name changes.” stated Matt Bolinger.

Bolinger and others asked the committee to investigate how much a change will cost, which facility will be renamed, how did the school get its name, why and if a renaming would be needed, when would renaming be optimal, and how such renaming impacts students.

Body found floating in Dutton Lake

CHAMBERS COUNTY – Sheriff Brian Hawthorne reports that October 13, 2020, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Chambers County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and Patrol Division responded to the 15000 block of FM 2354 in Beach City, Texas, in reference to a deceased person in the waters of Dutton Lake (Cooling Pond).

Initial investigation reveals that foul play may have been involved in the death of the victim. The victim appears to be a white or Hispanic male, unknown age, and large in stature. The investigation is in the very early stages and the cause of death is unknown at this time. An autopsy is pending at the order of Justice of the Peace Precinct 6, Larry Cryer.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne asks that anyone with information regarding the deceased person or any missing persons in the area, please contact Detective Kalyn Perry at the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office at (409) 267- 2500.

Judge rules Barbers Hill ISD’s dress code discriminatory after 2 Black students suspended over length of dreadlocks

KADEN BRADFORD & DE’ANDRE ARNOLD

Barbers Hill ISD Student Hair Controversy

HOUSTON – After three days of consideration, a judge ruled Monday night that the Barbers Hill Independent School District’s dress code is discriminatory after two Black students were suspended over the length of their dreadlocks.

A U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas made the ruling Monday night.

According to court records, “The Court held an evidentiary hearing on the motion over the three days spanning July 22, 2020, through July 24, 2020. After careful consideration of the parties’ written submissions, the extensive evidentiary record developed at the hearing, and the other filings in the case, K.B.‘s motion is granted.”

The lawsuit was filed after Deandre Arnold, a former Barbers Hill High School student, was suspended his senior year over the length of his hair. Arnold, his mother and other family members, filed the lawsuit against the district, alleging the following causes of action: intentional race discrimination, intentional race discrimination, sex discrimination, retaliation in violation of the First Amendment and several other violations under the U.S. Constitutional Amendment.

How the dreadlock controversy began

Dayton Man charged with shooting 5, Killing 3

Liberty County Sheriff’s deputies and Dayton police investigating one of the shooting scenes on County Road 4901.

DAYTON – A man is being charged with capital murder for shooting five people at three successive scenes in the vicinity of County Road 4901 that all began about 11:00 a.m., on Monday August 17.

Michael Wettstein, 60, that lives in a nearby cul-de-sac is jailed without bond pending arraignment for capital murder. He was said to have a swastika drawn on his forehead when taken into custody.

Michael Wettstein

According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Captain Ken DeFoor a lengthy investigation will be necessary to sort out many of the details. He also acknowledged the help of Dayton Police Department when taking Wettstein into custody.

Early on, reports indicated that Wettstein had telephoned the Sheriff’s office and claimed responsibility for the shooting. But when deputies arrived at the residence he was found hiding in the woods. He surrendered to officers without incident.

Barbers Hill ISD set to open classes Aug. 17 amidst controversy and concern

GREG POOLE, BHISD Superintendent

CHAMBERS COUNTY – Parents in the Barbers Hill school district seem ready to send their children back to school, in spite of the threat of the COVID-19 virus rampant in the state.

Many parents are comfortable with the in-person option but the issue is causing tension between the superintendent and the Chambers County Public Health Department.

The department on Wednesday August 5th posted a letter saying it had “urged” local school boards to “take further action to protect their staff and students by delaying in-person instruction until September 8th at the earliest.”

Classes are scheduled to begin August 19 with parents having the option of starting kids online or at home, per TEA guidelines.

“With them giving the option to home school or send the kids to school, I think that eliminates a lot of the number of kids in school, which makes it easier for them to social distance,” said one parent.

The advisory applied to all school districts in Chambers County, but they have all chosen to open before the suggested date of September 8.

Barbers Hill teachers actually reported for training this week, on Monday August 10.

Other Chambers County districts include Anahuac, who will start on Wednesday August 13, and East Chambers starting on Monday August 17.

Explosion, Fire at Mont Belvieu facility

First on the scene, Mont Belvieu Fire Dept. arrived shortly after 4:50 p.m. to stop the spread of flames from a wellhead said to have begun when a contractor hit a pipeline.

MONT BELVIEU – An explosion Wednesday, July 29, at an industry facility is blamed on a contractor hitting a line.

The Mont Belvieu Fire Department was working with other first responders to control the fire that broke out after the blast. According to Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne the fire was quelled about 7 p.m.

Flames were visible from Interstate-10 shortly after the explosion Wednesday afternoon. Traffic was halted on nearby roads to aid firefighters from Mont Belvieu and surrounding areas battle to flames.

A wellhead burned itself out; the entire plant was not involved in the fire. Roads in the area around the Lone Star NGL Facility in remain closed after an explosion and fire on Wednesday afternoon.

GC CISD hears Lee H.S. name change

BAYTOWN – Goose Creek Consolidated ISD held a virtual meeting on Monday night, during that meeting the subject of a possible name change of Robert E. Lee High School became a hot button issue.

Hours of meeting was held on-line taking on hearing from two differently opinioned groups considering the current name being from Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Some 450 people tuned in to hear 29 speakers give opinions; 20 being for changing the name and 9 opposed. This comes at a time when a wave of Confederate monument removals across the country have taken place.

The board will meet with the Baytown United Coalition for Change, Baytown Gander Black Alumni Group, Save Robert E. Lee High School Baytown Texas, RAZA Alumni Group and the Baytown Robert E. Lee High School Improvement Allies.

According to Trustee President Jessica Woods, the school board is dealing with a restrictive process by state law amid technical problems with the WebX platform and having received literally hundreds of emails concerning the issue. A lot of the emails did not get read into the public record since they did not ask to be but the trustees did receive them in a binder to review.

“This is such a potentially divisive issue in which the whole community needs to be involved. I think that it is the burden of the taxpayers to fund so why shouldn’t it be their decision?