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Star-Courier News

New manager heads Crosby ambulances


CROSBY-– The Board of ESD#5 promoted a new General Manager of ambulances for Crosby, Barrett Station and Huffman.

Houston Hooper, an experienced field supervisor is now the General Manager for ESD#5’s pre-hospital emergency services. Hooper brings an impressive resume that includes being a teacher at San Jacinto College, full paramedical certification and years of experience in the Crosby area.

Cary Avey, the former General Manager, remains as a consultant to ESD#5 and still serves as a pre-hospital emergency provider in Crosby. His advise to the board continues to assure a smooth transition as it did in the burgeoning past two years (in which Crosby’s area of service grew to encompass Huffman, while crews coped with transformed entities and began operating at highest levels of service provision.)

Sources say Avey decided to pull back from the overall coordinator position at the present time. It was at Avey’s request and based on extensive hours as of investment and keep all other commitments.

In spite of the boards continued praise of Avey’s contributions, they issued a statement saying, “The changes will in no way alter the course toward improving the service in providing the community with the highest level of pre-hospital care.”

Hooper, a Channelview resident, seemed pleased with the promotion, “I’ve never worked for a better board, they are active and concerned with getting this community the best service possible.”
With Hooper’s extensive service record and qualifications however, one has to wonder why doesn’t he continue working for higher paying services as the City of Houston,

“What I like about working with this crew is that it is all teamwork. Everyone does what they are here to do. We get along without distinction of paid and volunteer staff.”

Pilot Club Collects $20,000 toward new library project


HIGHLANDS– While Harris County has adopted a wait and see approach concerning a new library in Highlands, one local service organization has begun taking a proactive stance in seeing the library become a reality.

According to Theresa Cashion, chairperson of special projects for the Pilot Club of Highlands, the club has secured over $20,000 in pledges and letters of intention to donate toward construction of the library provided that the construction begins within three years.

Cashion said that a new library in Highlands was identified by club members years ago as a critical need for the community when the club first formed. Since that time, she said, they began working with then-Commissioner Jim Fonteno to build the community a new library.

What was considered substantial progress was made this past September when the issue was put before Commissioners Court. At that time, County Librarian Cathy Parks requested $3.3 million for a 14,000 square foot facility. The current Stratford Branch Library which opened in the 1960s, is 2,900 square foot.

Before taking the issue to the Commissioners Court, the county applied for a community development grant to build the library. Parks said that the grant was denied because the income level of Highlands was too high.

At that time there was speculation that a new library would be located on North Main Street near Wallisville Road. Parks said that the Goose Creek CISD had indicated a willingness to donate the land adjacent to the walking track for the library. However, when the grant application was rejected, the offer was withdrawn.

Cashion said that at the September Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners tabled the item until after the November general election. Following the election the commissioners said that there were no specific funds available for the library. Cashion added that commissioners have expressed a willingness to consider taking the project from the capital improvements fund.

In March, the Commissioners Court is expected to adopt the county’s budget for the next fiscal year. Cashion said that until that happens the county has decided to adopt the wait and see policy.

Cashion said that the primary need for the new library concentrates mostly in the area of its reference section. She said that library has an excellent children’s program and book section but that the reference section needs expanding and that more computers are needed for those students who don’t have access to them at home.

Highlands students top winners in Barbara Jordan citywide contest

HIGHLANDS– Highlands Junior School students were a dominating force in this year’s Barbara Jordan speech and essay competitions sponsored by the Alley Theatre, winning first place in both categories as well as several other top honors.

The students, all seventh graders in Kerry Reinhackel’s gifted and talented education (GATE) class, were on hand for the finals of the speech competition and subsequent awards ceremony held on the Alley Theatre’s Large Stage on Feb. 3.

Jana Creel, daughter of Marylu and Dwayne Hill, emerged as the first-place winner of the speech contest with her four-minute speech inspired by a family visit to the Holocaust Museum. Competing against seven other finalists in the final round of the third annual contest, Jana compared the Holocaust with the September 11 tragedy, making suggestions for “what we can do to prevent something that horrible from happening again.”

In her speech, Jana described the museum’s rows of shoes representing the lives lost in the Holocaust and relating those to the baby booties left in memory of the mothers and fathers who died during the 2001 terrorist attack.

“Barbara Jordan told us that to create a harmonious society out of so many kinds of people, the key we need is tolerance. She called it the one value that is indispensable in creating community,” Jana said. “We can begin that community tonight, right here, right now. We can agree to walk out of here committed to not repeating the acts that leave us with museums full of lifeless shoes, and memorials where booties are left to those who will never see those little feet walk or run.”

Jana, the reigning Junior Miss Highlands and a sports enthusiast, aspires to be a pediatrician or forensic scientist when she grows up. She realone. Three other Highlands Junior students—Michelle Lamb, Felicia Young and Courtney Zink—earned recognition in the essay competition, receiving a letter of acknowledgement and a Barbara Jordan pin for their efforts.

Judges for the speech contest included Houston Comet Kelly Gibson; Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton; Texas Southern University president Dr. Priscilla Slade; and respresentatives from the Barbara Jordan Project community partners. Maria Todd of the 104 KRBE morning radio show served as mistress of ceremonies. Speeches were judged on presentation, articulation, organization, elaboration and passion.

Essays were judged by a panel of educators and volunteers from JPMorgan Chase on the originality of ideas, appropriateness of subject, insight, development of point of view and clarity of expression.

There’s no doubt that Reinhackel felt an enormous swell of pride at the awards ceremony as her four students walked across the stage to accept their awards.

“When Jana won the speech contest, and we’d already won the essay contest, I was just beside myself, knowing we’d swept the whole thing,” Reinhackel said, grinning at her students during a recent photo session.

“They’re awesome,” she continued. “You give them an assignment, and they just go after it!

Black History Month observed in Barrett Station


BARRETT STATION– Barrett Station’s rich cultural heritage and the important of church in developing that community are among the features of a Black History Exhibit currently on display at the Riley Chamber Community Center.

The display is open Monday through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of the month.

The Rev. Malcolm Barrett, director of the center, said that he was excited about this year’s exhibit. “It is fantastic,” he said. Among the items featured in the exhibit are elaborate survival tools such as a lantern, waffle iron and animals traps dating back to the 1920s.

The exhibit also features household items from the late 19th century as well as ornamental figurines which were often given as gifts.

The community’s strong ties with its churches are featured in a display of photographs of the community’s early pastors who led their parishioners in their spiritual development.

On Feb. 18, the center will host a Black History Program, beginning at 6 p.m. The program will feature the center’s Senior Citizen Choir wearing traditional Black History attire.

Bobbie Fae Yarbrough-Session will return to Barrett Station as the guest speaker for the event.

Session is a actress who made her professional debut in the 1986 ensemble production of “Long Time Since Yesterday.”

Other productions she has appeared in are “Shadow Box” “Gifted and Black,” “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

Sessions, a theatre arts teacher ay Forest Brook High School, is the founder and director of the group All God’s Children. She was also the assistant director of the film “Red Ink.”

Crosby’s Destin signs with TSU


CROSBY– One of the top wide receivers in the Houston area will soon be calling Texas Southern University Home.

This past week, on National Signing Day, Chris Destin committed in writing to play football at TSU. Destin, who also plays basketball for Crosby, is also expected to be a two-sport athlete at TSU as well.

A former free safety, Destin was moved to wide receiver by first-year Cougars Coach Larry Haynes. “Chris goes for the football, has great hands and great routes,” said Haynes, “The most important skill for a successful receiver is being a great route runner. He catches the ball at the high point and jukes a lot of guys out of position.”

This past season Destin, who was First Team All District for wide receivers, led the district in catches with 71, receiving yards with 1,188 and touchdown catches with 15.

Destin said that he chose TSU because it was close to home. “My family has always supported me since I was little. I’m sure they will now too. Most of my success is keeping God first. I just go out there and play my hardest.”

Haynes said that the athletic department was proud to see Destin earn the scholarship that comes with playing at TSU. “We feel good when a fine young man like Chris get a scholarship to help him continue his education.”

Challenging ‘So Dam Insane’


Hoooowwwdy! You must be late, cause I was suspecting you all an hour ago! Well, if you missed A Cowboy True, you really missed out! We had probably the best show ever done at San Jacinto College’s Monument Theater, and I’ve done two there before. That don’t even count the other stuff that was done there before.
There were a number of my pards in attendance, includin’: Dr. and Mrs. Cobb, Dr. and Mrs. Tasman, Joe Hausberger, Jr. and Sr., along with their lovely wives, Jim and Jeanine Hodges of the George Ranch, Dr. Bailey and his family, including his 91 years young dad, Dr. Peter Burland and Alice, Bobby, Bruce and their wives and friends, Johnny, Dr. Charles Grant and his better half, Dr. Pierce, Don Goldman and the Mrs., and my friend Debbie and her husband, Donna and Robert Orman with their two kiddos, Lindy and Amanda Murf (The Grass Man), and a whole lot of others too numerous to name. Great to see you all. Thanks to Mike for coming two nights and bringing his friend Bo the second time.
I want to thank my pards at Friendly Ford in Crosby for their sponsorship and support of the San Jacinto College’s Scholarship fund. They are great folks. I’m ‘a hopin’ my T’Bird will be ready soon so’s I can show you all my one-of-a-kind “gooseneck equipped T’Bird”.
Well, we will be in a war with So Dam Insane real soon. I hope it’s over quick. It could be a quick war if we simply built a big wall all the way around Iraq and filled it with water. We do that for rats sometimes and it seems to work. Good idea?
Everyone’s afraid of what will happen if we attack Iraq. Will they then come after us? Will they use Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’S) on us here in the USA? Will all Muslims declare war on the allies?
The answers to the above questions are: Already are; probably will try to and fail; and, No. I like to keep it simple.
However, for those still faint of heart and wanting to wait and “give peace a chance”, I say, “get the h— out of the way”. We are facing a mad dog that has already bitten someone and he must be “put down”, like the dog he is.
Our position will be amply validated when the war starts and Iraq uses the WMD’s they claim they don’t have. The u.n. (intentionally in small caps) will then put their own spin doctors to work to try and seem relevant, which we already know, they aren’t.
If we have learned anything in the last encounter with Iraq, it was that they are all talk. If they use WMD’s anywhere, then a small number of tactical nuclear weapons should do the trick.
Come to think of it, if we use those things, then they would have no place to go and they would probably want to carve a country out of Israel. So, let’s just go in and wipe the ground with ‘em!
I’m not a “war mongerer”, but I do believe enough is enough. Do it, and do it quick, and do it decisively.
Boss says I gotta go feed, so you all shut the gate and keep the peace! Howdy to Gene O’Quinn. Hang in there, pard, and “’till we meet again, Happy Trails, Lloyd

Rotary Chili Feast success story 28th year


HIGHLANDS– Twenty-eight years ago the Rotary Club held their first Chili Feast, to raise funds for community projects. It was not very successful, until they came up with the idea to include a limited ticket raffle of a new vehicle. Now, a tradition that the town looks forward to has seen another successful event.

Last Saturday, hundreds turned out for Chili, auctions, music, greeting old friends and new, and waiting for their ticket on the truck to be drawn and eliminated. If your ticket is drawn, that means you are out, and didn’t win unless you were the last one.

This year, Jim and Linda Hildebrand waited breathlessly, as the Rotarians came down to the last 10 tickets. Could they survive? Everyone gathered around, and one by one the ticket holders were eliminated. Except for two.

Irene Lindsey and Jim & Linda Hildebrand were still in the running. The next ticket was pulled by Miss Highlands. It was Lindsey’s, and the Hildebrands were the winner. Now the tension turned into joy, at least for that family, and for their many friends around them.

President elect Jesse Guillen, in charge of the Chili Feast, reported that this was a good year, with ticket sales and auction prices promising a top amount for the Rotary Club.

A complete list of prize winners follows:

1st ticket drawn, 35mm camera: Mike Fulghum; 50th, DVD Player, Ann Manning; 100th, Ladies Necklace, Charles Hagan/Russell Chandler; 150th, 19″ TV, Skully Moline; 200th, BBQ Pit, Kathryn Dunlop; 250th, Hand-held GPS locator, Elisabeth Manis; 300th, 5-pc wood patio set, Carla Stanley; 350th, $300 gift certificate, Donna White; 400th, Browning 7mm rifle/scope, Charlie Ramsey; 450th, $500 gift certificate, SJMall, Floyd Woods; 500th, 5 x 10 tilt trailer, Jeni Cobb; 550th, 32″ TV, Jim Jones; 599th, Computer w/printer, Irene Lindsey; 600th, grand prize 2003 Ford XL Pick-up, Jim & Linda Hildebrand.

News tradition continues with sale to new publisher

After 27 years of service to this community, Donna Mauldin has announced the sale of the Northeast News and associated publications to Gilbert and Mei-Ing Hoffman, who become the new owners and publishers.

The Hoffmans are the publishers of others newspapers on the east side of Houston. They publish the Highlands STAR-Crosby COURIER and the Dayton Barbers Hill PRESS. Also included in the sale were the Frugal Frog and the North Forest News. They plan to continue to serve the same readers of these papers as before. The combined circulation of all 5 newspapers now numbers 62,000.

The Northeast News has been published continuously since April 1977, when Donna Mauldin and her husband Vic Mauldin realized a dream to publish their own newspaper, after years of working in radio and for other newspapers. A relatively new concept, the free distribution newspaper delivered by adult carriers to homes, allowed them to start with a circulation of 25,000, which has grown steadily over the years. Vic was well known locally and in state press associations for his strong professional approach to community journalism, and the News won many State and National press awards. Both Mauldins have had a strong interest in the community they serve, and after Vic’s untimely death last year, Donna continued this legacy of service, both through the newspaper and community organizations such as the Aldine CID.

Specialty publications are a part of the Northeast News family, with the North Forest News serving 13,000 readers in that neighborhood, and the Frugal Frog distributed at drop stations with Classified Ads targeted to a geographic area not served by other publications in Northeast Houston. This area is from Antoine Drive to Mesa Road on the east, I-10 on the south to FM1960 on the north.

In addition to their newspaper business, the Hoffmans have other business interests, including a printing business that services local and national accounts, business, educational and cultural institutions, and government contracts. They print about a dozen high school and private newspapers around the city, as well as their own. Their government clients include the Post Office, the IRS, and several branches of the Department of Defense.

Another interest of the Hoffmans is their architectural practice. They maintain an active consulting architectural design practice, an outgrowth of years of work with some of the largest architectural firms in the city. Their work includes local banks, libraries, and medical buildings. They are currently consulting on the design of a classroom/engineering building for the University of Texas at Tyler, and a pharmacy college for the Texas A & M campus in Kingsville.
Hoffman indicated that his intent with the News is to continue the close contact with the community and the school districts, and to expand the news coverage and features. The publications provide complete coverage of the entire northeast quadrant of Houston, and the close-in suburban areas beyond. The five publications offer readers and advertisers a low-cost, effective way to build recognition, community acceptance and sales.


CHICKENPOX (Varicella)
By Patricia Henderson, MS, RN, C-FNP

Chickenpox (medical term is varicella) is a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It spreads from person to person by direct contact or through the air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing. The person with chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. It takes 10-21 days after contact with an infected person for someone to develop chickenpox. A person may get chicken more than once, but this is very uncommon. The infection is thought to offer lifelong immunity.

Symptoms of chickenpox include a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness and fever. The rash usually appears on the trunk and face first, but can spread over the entire body causing between 250 to 500 itchy blisters. Most cases of chickenpox occur in persons less than 15 years old. Before the use of the varicella vaccine, the disease had annual cycles, peaking in the spring of each year. Mild cases can be treated with anti-itching skin treatments and antihistamines.

Certain groups of persons are more likely to have serious symptoms with complications. These include adults, infants, adolescents and people with weak immune systems from either illnesses or from medications such as long term steroid use. These complications include secondary bacterial infections of skin, lungs, blood and bone.

Other complications are due to the chickenpox virus itself and can include bleeding, pneumonia, and encephalitis (infection of the brain). Chickenpox can cause death in previously healthy unvaccinated children and adults. It is never possible to predict who will have a mild infection and who will have a serious or even deadly illness. There are effective anti-chickenpox drugs available to treat active cases of the disease for those persons at high risk of complications, but the treatment must be started early in the disease to be most effective.

The good news is that chickenpox can be prevented by vaccination. The vaccine was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and is now widely available in private doctor’s offices and public health clinics.

Who should be vaccinated?
? All children between 12-18 months with one dose of vaccine.
? Children who have had chickenpox do not need the vaccine.
? Children between 19 months and their 13th birthday should be vaccinated with a single dose.
? Persons 13 years of age and older who have not had chickenpox should get two doses of the vaccine 4 to 8 weeks apart.

Vaccination precautions include:
? Pregnant women should not receive the vaccine, and non-pregnant women of childbearing age should avoid pregnancy for 1 month following vaccination.
? People who have serious reactions to neomycin or gelatin should not receive the vaccine.
? If you currently have a serious illness, are pregnant, or unable to fight off serious infection due to depressed immune function (cancer, long term steroid use, or HIV, etc.) it is best not to receive the vaccine.
? You should avoid the vaccine if you have received blood products (a transfusion, immune globulin, etc) within the past 5 months.

The chickenpox vaccine has a good safety record. The most common side effects are redness and soreness at the vaccination site or a mild rash and fever. These are generally mild and last only a few days. Severe reactions to the vaccine are rare (about 1 in 50,000 doses).

The vaccine is very effective and results in complete immunity for 8-9 out of 10 persons vaccinated. As with any new vaccine, the length of immunity can only be determined for as long as the vaccine has been tested. The dates gathered from the U.S. and Japan indicates that immunity lasts for at least 25 years.

The chickenpox vaccine is on the list of required vaccines for Texas school children. Exemptions are allowed only if there is written documentation that your child has had chickenpox. Exemptions can also be granted on religious or medical grounds.

For more information about the varicella vaccine or other immunizations call the National Immunization Hotline at (800) 232-2522. You can also log-on to the Center for Disease Control website at .

Patricia Henderson, MS, RN, C-FNP
Family Nurse Practitioner
Center for Family and Preventive Medicine
Affiliate of San Jacinto Methodist Hospital
14626 FM 2100, Ste. C, Crosby, Texas

AF Reunion: He loved his Town and Stood his Ground

Eighty—six year old James W. (Jim) Brazzil, of Highlands, has finally realized the fulfillment of a dream that he had held onto for almost 60 years.

That dream was to someday meet again with veterans of the 13th Jungle Air Force that he served with in the Philippines during the last phase of World War II. A staff Sergeant in the Public Relations Office, Jim worked as an enlisted news correspondent and editor, attached to the 13th Headquarters Squadron. At that time the unit was based on the Island of Leyte near the capital city of Tac1oban.

Little known in the early stages of the war, the 13th is now often remembered as a powerful, aggressive force in the Pacific War.

Jim is a new member of VFW Post 00912 in Baytown, and last year he was overjoyed to find a notice in the VFW Magazine stating that the 13th had scheduled a reunion for Sept. 12—15 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was packed up and ready to go when the terrorist attack on America occurred on Sept. 11. All flights were cancelled and the reunion was called off.

This year’s reunion was held Oct. 16-20 at Valley Forge, out of Philadelphia, PA. Jim was there, accompanied by his two daughters, Bonita Tankursley and Susan Adcox, who planned and carried out every detail of the trip for their dad.

It was a busy three days, with meetings, tours, entertain-ment, a banquet, and other activities. One of the highlights was a Memorial Service for departed 13th AF members, held on the bow of the Battleship New Jersey, docked in the.Delaware River.

About 70 veterans of the 13th attended the reunion, most of them accompanied by relatives and friends. Jim was reunited with two friends that he served with on Leyte, and a good number of other veterans that he had written about during the war. They had not seen each other in some 58 years. Jim came home with his pockets filled with photos, addresses, cards, and notes, reminding him to keep in touch.

Jim’s military career began in the fall of 1942, while working for a newspaper in west Texas. After a brief stay at Lubbock Air Force Base, he was transferred to Garden City Air Force Base in Kansas, where he spent two years as editor of the base newspaper, “The Dustbowl Flyer”.

His next stop was at the Air Force Base in San Marcos, Texas. He was editor of the base newspaper, “The Asterope”, for about a year before going overseas.

After the war ended, Jim worked for a number of Texas daily and weekly newspapers before coming to Highlands in the spring of 1955, where he and his brother-in-law Alton Neatherlin started The Highlands Publishing Company and The Highlands Star. During the almost 20 years that Jim was editor of the Star, he was quite well—known in weekly newspaper circles around the state as an enterprising Country Editor who loved his town and stood his ground.

The trip to Philadelphia on a Continental Airlines 737 was Jim’s first airplane ride since World War II. Upon his arrival back in Highlands, he was asked how it felt to once again climb aboard an airplane and fly off into “The Wild Blue Yonder”.

“A piece of cake”, he said with a grin.