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Star-Courier News

Chinquapin to celebrate 50 years

Chinquapin Speakers at the Rotary Club luncheon were Laura Hipps, Development Director; junior student Kihana Wilson; and Laura Henry, Director.

HIGHLANDS – Laura Henry, Director of the Chinquapin Preparatory School, gave a talk to the Rotary Club on the history and current status of the private school, located on Wallisville Road in Highlands.

A site that was once a chicken farm has become an exemplary school for kids that are college bound. Founded in 1969 by Bob and Maxine Moore, Bob Moore was head of the English Department at St. John’s School in Houston. They saw the need to provide incentive for students who had have high potential, but limited opportunities. With a grant from the Brown Foundation, they started the school which has now grown to about 160 students, grades 6 through 12. Originally a boys school, in 1978 it became co-ed. Some students are bused from the city, and high school students live on campus five days a week.

Henry said that 83% of the students are economically disadvantaged, and 87% are Hispanic. The teacher/students ratio is 8 to 1. Each year the school accepts about 35 new students of the 200 who apply. 100% of the students must go on to a 4 year college, and 36% take post-graduate studies.

Rotary sponsors an Interact club with about 2/3 of the students participating as members.

Costs per student are about $16,000 yearly, Dr. Henry said, but most of that is paid for by contributors. The student is expected to pay only a small sum, often only $50 to $400 per month. The yearly budget for the school is about $2.4 million.


Eastside Veterans hold salute to military

The Eastside Veterans Celebration hosted another fabulous outing for Veteran’s Weekend on the day before the Centennial Signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, the War to End All Wars. Veteran’s and first responders were treated to a meal in honor of their service, a bake off was held for desert, ceremonies were held in commemoration and local school kids came out and put on entertainment inside the David H. McNerney Crosby American Legion Post 658. The highlight of the day was a short parade that left out from the Middle School and returned from Wahl St. that saluted veterans and displayed the marching acumen of the Big Red Machine, Crosby’s High School Marching Band won the Parade recognition.

WWI commemorated at Battleship TEXAS


Texas Parks and Wildlife commemorated the 100th Anniversary of World War I armistice aboard Battleship TEXAS, the last remaining U.S. battleship to have served in World War I and the largest remaining artifact from World War I in the State of Texas.

On Saturday, November 10, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors participated in a number of family-friendly activities that commemorate the World War I Centennial, including special guided tours, a community “Flanders Field” poppy mural, and a presentation by University of Sheffield (England) professor Dr. Jonathan Rayner.


Election results: Emmett, Morman defeated in upset

Winners include Sylvia Garcia; Ted Cruz; Lina Hidalgo; Adrian Garcia

HARRIS COUNTY – With 100% of the results counted, political experts are declaring winners in Tuesday’s election.

In the national Senate race, incumbent Ted Cruz had a strong statewide win, defeating popular Beto O’Rourke by 51% to 48%. However, Beto carried Harris County with 58% of the local vote. Other statewide results included Governor Greg Abbott winning 56% of the vote against Lupe Valdez; and AG Ken Paxton receiving 51%.

Harris County’s straight ticket voting showed 44% Republican, and 55% Democratic. This might explain two major upsets: County Judge Ed Emmett, the popular incumbent, was defeated by Democrat challenger Lina Hidalgo who received 49.62% of the vote, to Emmett’s 48.32%, with a third candidate, Libertarian Eric Gatlin receiving 2% of the vote. About 5000 votes separated the top two candidates, but Gatlin received 24,085 enough to swing the election to either of the other two contenders.

Republican County Commissioner Pct. 2 Jack Morman was defeated by Democrat and former Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who had 50.11% of the vote, versus Morman’s 49.89%. The difference was a mere 490 votes.

History was made in Congressional District 29, where the first Hispanic woman from Texas won a seat in Congress. Sylvia Garcia, formerly a Texas State Senator and Harris County Commissioner, received 75% of the vote against her Republican challenger, Phillip Aronoff.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was returned to office in District 18, with 75% of the vote, versus her opponent Ava Reynero Pate with 21% votes.

In Congressional District 2, formerly held by Congressman Ted Poe, Dan Crenshaw received 53% of the vote, and Todd Litton 45%.


Crosby supports Big Red Machine sojourn

Invited to the “Midwest Clinic: International Band and Orchestra Conference” After an extremely rigorous audition process, Crosby is one of only five high school bands in the entire nation selected for this honor.

CROSBY – “The Crosby High School Symphonic Band was chosen as one of only 5 high school bands in the country to perform at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, which is the largest and most prestigious instrumental music conference in the world.” explained Kevin Knight, Crosby ISD Director of Bands concerning why locals are asked to come out to the Crawfish Shack on Nov. 17 and support students going on a prestigious band trip.

“This is a very important trip because I feel it’s critical to keep the spirit of our students up through this financial crisis. The kids have nothing to do with the state of our finances and they are not looking for a handout. They have raised the majority of the funds for the trip on their own and now need some help. That’s what we do in Crosby. Crosby takes care of its own. We are resilient community and we will come back stronger than before,” chimed in initiate sponsor Dan Meaux, owner of the Crawfish Shack voted the Best Cajun Food Restaurant in Greater Houston.

“The school was going to help with the cost of the trip but because of the district’s financial problems, they are having to raise 100% of the travel expenses on their own. The total cost for the 56 students and directors is $110,000. They have raised $73K on their own and we are hosting this big fundraiser at the shack to fund the final $37K.” said Knight. “We are selling chopped beef sandwich meals for $10 from 12-5p.m. and the ‘Community Bash for Big Red Machine’ at Crawfish Shack on Nov. 17 is from 5-9:30 p.m. We’ve received great community support. It’s $20 for adults and $10 for students/kids, and small kids are free. We are serving homemade Chili, prepared by Hungry Jack. The band will perform from 5:30-6 p.m. There is to be Live and Silent auctions, dance from 8-9:30 p.m. Lots of stuff for kids. We will have face painting, bouncy jump, photo booth, snow cones and popcorn. We have a Facebook page set up for more info. It’s ‘Community Bash for Big Red Machine.’ Anyone can also contact Marvin Webb at 346-282-3867 or Dan Meaux at 281-536-1481 for more details or to buy tickets.”


Crosby ISD cuts Pre-K school hours

In a further attempt to cut their budget and control costs, Crosby ISD announced last week that the hours for Pre-K classes would be reduced in January to one-half day.

Crosby ISD is currently facing a deficit in their budget of several million dollars, and have cut staff and put off other expenditures to try to make up the difference.

Currently the district offers a full day of Pre-K as an option. The new plan is to offer two half-day options. The morning session will run from 8:20 to 11:20 AM, and the afternoon session from 12:15 to 3:45 PM. The change will affect about 230 students in the Pre-K program.

According to CISD administrator Viviana Killion, the state of Texas reimburses the district $660,000 for the program, or $2800 per student. However, the cost of 12 teachers alone is $780,000, causing a deficit of $120,000 if the current arrangement were to continue. Given the financial condition of the district, it was deemed impossible to continue the full-day program.

The announcement of the change came on the district’s Facebook page, which many parents thought was not an appropriate manner. Parents also were unhappy with having to make arrangements to care for their children the other half-day when they are not in class at Pre-K.


Veterans’ Celebration ready, donating

Bob Ward hands Kevin Knight and Michael Lehew a check for $500 to help enable the band to attend a special event in Chicago later this year.

CROSBY – This Veteran’s weekend is the Centennial of the signing of the Armistice that ended the War to End All Wars and the Eastside Veteran’s Celebration (EVC) is keeping their Veteran’s Day celebrating active by hosting a parade, ceremony, dinner and bake off on Saturday, Nov. 10.

In the interim as they made plans, they raised funds for two Crosby High School activities that needed support. Eastside Veteran’s Celebration donated $500 to the Crosby Band trying to raise funds to go to a special band event in Chicago and $500 to the Crosby High School JROTC. Eastside Veteran’s Celebration curtailed their annual cook-off and will do without the Red, White and U ceremony done by Crosby High School.

Starting anew annually, EVC is intent on building for the future with Liberty and Justice two Piggy Banks seeking donations to build a permanent veteran’s memorial.

Those that would like to help are asked to attend the $10 dinner on Nov. 10 and purchase raffle tickets from members of EVC or at ACE Hardware for a military engraved M1911 Springfield .45 Caliber A.P.C., a $2,000 vacation voucher or a $500 gift card. Tickets are $10 or 3 for $25. Another raffle is for a quilt is $1 per ticket or $5 for 7.


Highlands student struck by car on way to school

HIGHLANDS – A 16 year old student of Goose Creek Memorial High School is recovering from injuries sustained when hit by a car that allegedly was passing a school bus on Wallisville Road at Hasty Lane. The victim, Tiffany Alanis, is a junior at GCMHS.

The accident occurred on September 19. The Goose Creek CISD bus had a Stop Sign extended, and red flashing Stop lights, when a 25 year old driver of a black suburban allegedly passed the bus and struck the student.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office changed an official report of the incident 35 days after it occurred, according to Alanis, who feels that justice should have acted quicker.

Apparently the HCSO was trying to get answers and interview witnesses as to why the driver of the suburban passed the bus. Alanis was struck while trying to board the bus, she said. Those familiar with the case said that the HCSO revised the initial report to correct discrepancies in the investigation.

Goose Creek CISD has a video showing the incident, but reportedly the video has not been viewed by authorities.


Crosby ISD cuts more staff; has 4 trustees on ballot

CROSBY – The new superintendent of this district, Scott Davis, continues to hunt for ways to solve the financial crisis the district found themselves in recently. After announcing an initial staff cut of 33, the number has now risen to 129, including 95 lay-offs and 34 retirements.

The district is currently trying to find several million dollars to balance their operating budget and reserve funds. These were tapped into when construction costs for new schools grew beyond estimates. As a result, the state has given the district the lowest financial rating.

Early voting, and the general election on November 6th, will seat 2 new school trustees, and see 2 more returning without opposition on the ballot.

Kasey Lewis and Sharon Eavon Fain will vie for Position 2 in the only contested position. The Atlarge Position is to continue with John Warren Swinney.

Position 1 will be retained by Tanya Eagleton.

Joseph R. Humphries is the only candidate that applied for Position 3, now held by John Lindsey for over 10 years. Humphries raised questions early concerning the last bond election and the financial disposition of the school district. Running unopposed, he will be taking over John Lindsey’s post at Position 3 in January. These new board members, and the remaining board, will be faced with helping Superintendent Davis bring financial stability back to the district.

After the last round of cuts, Superintendent Davis issued a statement, of which this is a part:

“We knew these days were coming, and yet, no amount of emotional preparation could have fully prepared us for the most difficult and necessary step of informing our beloved employees that they would no longer be working for Crosby ISD. … Any new vacancies from this point forward will be posted and any of our employees whose positions were dissolved may apply.


Early Voting now thru November 2

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters can start to begin to cast their votes starting this Monday, October 22. This mid-term election is considered by most political observers to be an important statement about the current Republican control of the White House, Congress, and the Texas government.

Although the president is not on the ballot this time, many important seats in Congress and Texas will be decided. In addition, a number of local Harris County positions are on the ballot, and an important choice in the city of Houston regarding pay for firemen.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, but Early Voting will start on Monday, October 22 and continue through Friday, November 2. Hours that the polls are open are as follows:

Oct. 22-26 8 am – 4:30 pm

Oct. 27 7 am – 7 pm

Oct. 28 1 pm – 6 pm

Oct. 29-Nov 2 7 am – 7pm

The election for U. S. Senate has probably gained the most attention, both in Texas and nationally, Incumbent Senator Ted Cruz has seen a strong challenge from Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, who has raised much more money than Cruz in his campaign, and seems to have an enthusiastic grass roots support among the public. A visit last Monday by President Trump on behalf of Cruz is thought to boost his chances for re-election.

A number of U. S. Representatives seats are open for election, including District 2, formerly held by Ted Poe, who retired. Candidates in this district include Dan Crenshaw and Todd Litton; District 6, with incumbent Kevin Brady vs. Steven David; District 18 with incumbent Sheila Jackson Lee vs. Ava Reynero Pate; and District 29, where long term Representative Gene Green has retired, and State Senator Sylvia Garcia is running against Phillip Aronoff.

Governor Abbott is defending his seat against challenger Lupe Valdez, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is running against challenger Mike Collier. Another state race that has gathered attention is Attorney General, where the beleaguered incumbent Ken Paxton is running against Democratic challenger Justin Nelson.

In state Senate races, in District 7 incumbent Paul Bettencourt vs. David Romero; and District 15, Randy Orr is challenging incumbent Democrat John Whitmire.

A number of State Representatives are running unopposed, and therefore will be re-elected. These include Brisco Cain in District 128; Armando Walle in District 140; Senfronia Thompson in 141; and Ana Hernandez in 143.


Huffman to Crosby is first flood project

Harris County Flood Control District will launch the first phase of a multimillion-dollar maintenance project in November 2018 to selectively clear trees, remove vegetative debris and improve stormwater flow along Cedar Bayou from Interstate Highway 10 to near Huffman-Eastgate Road.

This relatively rural bayou forms the eastern boundary of Harris County with Chambers and Liberty counties. The Flood Control District has conducted selective clearing over the last few years along forested tributaries of Cedar Bayou within Harris County and recently completed a post-Hurricane Harvey debris removal effort on Cedar Bayou focused mainly on removing channel debris near major bridge crossings. This new effort will involve a comprehensive selective clearing of the main Cedar Bayou channel itself.

With Harris County Commissioners Court approval, a $500,000 first phase of the project from IH-10 to just south of the Liberty/Chambers County line will begin in November and last about two months. This phase includes nearly 8 miles of Cedar Bayou and will be funded through the Flood Control District’s annual operations and maintenance budget.

A 14.5-mile second phase of the selective clearing project, from near the Liberty/Chambers county line to the Huffman/Eastgate area, will follow in 2019 and is estimated to cost approximately $1 million, for a total project cost estimated at approximately $1.5 million.