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Star-Courier News

Train-truck crash in Huffman kills driver

AERIAL VIEW of the accident scene shows remains of the truck, upper left, under the train. The cab of the semi truck was severed, and came to rest in the wooded area at the lower left. (Photo courtesy KHOU)

HUFFMAN, Texas — One person was killed in a collision involving a Union Pacific freight train and an 18-wheeler in the Huffman area early Wednesday, September 8 according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Deputies responded to 12299 FM 1960 Road at FM 2100 before 8 a.m. where the crash was reported.

After the collision, the big rig reportedly burst into flames.

“The driver of the 18- wheeler/flat-bed trailer has been confirmed dead on scene,” Sheriff Gonzalez later tweeted. “No chemicals were being transported, however diesel fuel spilled onto the tracks after the collision. The fire has been extinguished.”

Abbott signs Briscoe Cain legislation

Local State Representative Briscoe Cain, right, authored Censorship bill with Senator Bryan Hughes, left. At center, Governor Abbott displays signed bill.

Law Protects Texans From Wrongful Social Media Censorship

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 20 into law, which protects Texans from wrongful censorship on social media platforms. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by Senators Bryan Hughes and Representative Briscoe Cain, the bill’s authors, as well as Senators Charles Perry, Dawn Buckingham, and Angela Paxton. The Governor named social media censorship legislation as an agenda item for the second special legislative session in August.

EPA says remedial work can commence on Waste Pits southern empoundment

The Southern Impoundment area will start logistical work this year, and actual remediation construction will take place in 2022, according to the Environmental Protection Agency

Waste Pits take a major step forward in Superfund process

By Jackie Medcalf

On September 2nd, the EPA finalized the Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) for the clean-up of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site’s southern impoundment.

This is a major step towards physically addressing the contamination south of Interstate 10.

The order allows the clean-up to move into the Remedial Action phase of the superfund process, which begins with creating work plans, procuring materials, and securing contractors. These steps are anticipated to take place over the next year, setting the groundwork for construction to start in the fall of 2022.

Chambers County to offer economic assistance for food, rent, and more

Chambers County Indigent Healthcare is now accepting applications from Chambers County residents who wish to participate in the Brazos Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP).

This is a first come, first served program that provides assistance for food, utility, rent and mortgage payments. It is open to residents whose income level does not exceed 125 percent of poverty level. Specific household size to monthly income ratios are provided in the attachments.

Applications are accepted by appointment only. Please call Chambers County Indigent Healthcare at 409-267- 2770 to schedule your visit.

Beginning September 7, Chambers County Indigent Healthcare will begin accepting applications from Chambers County Residents who wish to participate in the Brazos Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP).

BVCAP is a first come, first served program that provides assistance for food, utility, rent and mortgage payments.

Community members concerned about new “Permitless Carry” law

Participating in the on-line discussion were (L-R) Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite, Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia (a former Harris County Sheriff), and Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Edison Toquica. The public was invited to call in with their views also.

Commissioner Garcia moderates discussion with law enforcement

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia led a discussion last Wednesday, September 1 on the concerns surrounding the new law. The panel consisted of law enforcement officials and domestic violence advocates, among others.

Law enforcement officials want people to make sure they understand the law before doing anything that could put themselves or others in danger.

“Make sure that you understand the law and make sure you get trained to use that weapon,” Harris County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Toquica said.

“With permit-less carry officially going into effect September 1, the state’s record shows loosening weapon restrictions only make living in Texas more dangerous.”

Huge Refinery vessel moved thru Highlands

Moving through Highlands on Main Street, in front of Foodtown.

HIGHLANDS – Residents and drivers were surprised last Saturday morning, September 4, at about 2:00 am, to see a huge refinery vessel being transported through town on Main Street.

Police, utility trucks, and escort vehicles made up a parade of sorts, as they slowly proceeded down Main Street, lifting traffic lights, and moving power lines and street lights that were obstructing the clearances required for the huge vessel.

Traffic was closed on both the northbound and southbound sides of Main Street for about an hour as they headed for La Port and the refinery that would receive the vessel.

School heads to hold public forum Sept. 17

The community is invited to join a virtual Back to School Panel presented by Lake Houston Area School Districts Update on Friday, September 17, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Local school superintendents will be among six area district leaders invited as special guest speakers. Superintendents include Paula Patterson of Crosby ISD, Dr. Benny Soileau of Huffman ISD, Dr. Elizabeth Fagen of Humble ISD, Kristi Shofner of New Caney ISD, Dr. King Davis of Sheldon ISD, and Dr. LaTonya Goffney of Aldine ISD.

The discussion will center on new schools and initiatives this school year, what came out of the legislative session, and more.

Rotary sets 9/11 for Washer Tournament

Highlands Rotarians invite you to the 14th Annual 3-Hole Washer Board Charity Tournament. In this photo they demonstrate throwing techniques that will be used in the tournament on Saturday, September 11th. 50 teams of two players will compete for prizes, and bragging rights. The Charity event this year will honor Patriot Day “We Will Never Forget 9.11”, and benefit the Rotary Foundation.

Benefit event returns with Patriotic theme

HIGHLANDS – Rotarians are practicing their washer throwing techniques in preparation for the upcoming 14th Annual 3-Hole Washer Board Charity Tournament, to be held next Saturday, September 11th at Charlie’s Ice House. Charlie’s is at 906 N. Main Street in Highlands, and the tournament starts at 1:00 pm sharp, lasting until about 5:00 p.m.

This year the proceeds from the charity event will benefit Polio worldwide, in a Rotary program known as Polio Plus.

This event has become a city-wide tradition, with two-person teams coming from various clubs around the Rotary 5890 District, as well as local Highlands folks, to compete for bragging rights and the three top positions in the double elimination tournament. Teams are also expected from North Shore and Baytown clubs. The public is invited to field a team, also. You are welcome to come and watch if you don’t play, and there will be refreshments, and live and silent auctions.

Voter Regulations bill passes, Abbott ready to sign controversial legislation

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement following the passage of Senate Bill 1, which Republicans say will protect the integrity of elections in Texas:

“Protecting the integrity of our elections is critical in the state of Texas, which is why I made election integrity an emergency item during the 87th Legislative Session. I thank Senator Brian Hughes, Representative Andrew Murr, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dade Phelan for stepping up to ensure that this bill made it to the finish line during the second special session. Senate Bill 1 will solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1 into law, ensuring election integrity in Texas.”

Senate Bill 1 creates uniform statewide voting hours, maintains and expands voting access for registered voters that need assistance, prohibits drive-through voting, and authorizes poll watchers to observe more aspects of the election process. The bill also bans and penalizes the distribution of unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots and gives voters with a defective mail-in ballot the opportunity to correct the defect.

UPDATE ON BILLS MOVING THROUGH THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE DURING THE SPECIAL SESSION

Report by State Representative Mayes Middleton

Special Election For Constitutional Amendments

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation setting Tuesday, November 2, 2021 as the special election day for eight proposed constitutional amendments in Texas. The eight proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot are:

PROPOSITION 1: The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.

PROPOSITION 2: The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.

PROPOSITION 3: The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.