Press "Enter" to skip to content

Star-Courier News

Crosby golfer competes in world amateur competition

MYRTLE BEACH, SC — Steve Coon of Crosby, TX will participate in the 20th anniversary DuPontT Coolmax* World Amateur Handicap Championship Aug. 25 through Aug. 29, 2003 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The DuPontT Coolmax* World Amateur Handicap Championship, the world’s largest single-site golf tournament, annually attracts 4,000 golfers from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries to the Grand Strand.

The tournament is played on more than 70 Myrtle Beach area courses and is open to any amateur golfer with a verified United States Golf Association handicap or the foreign equivalent for international players.

Players are flighted according to their handicap. Nearly 100 golfers play in each of the tournament’s approximately 50 flights, with the flight winners advancing to compete in the 18-hole world championship playoff.

“We are thrilled that Steve will be joining us for 20th anniversary DuPontT CoolmaxR World Amateur Handicap Championship,” said tournament director Steve Mays. “This is the world’s greatest and most inclusive amateur golf tournament, and we are proud to host it hear in Myrtle Beach, the Golf Capital of the World.”

Entry into the 72-hole tournament includes four rounds of golf, a gift bag with more than $150 worth of merchandise, and access to the World’s Largest 19th Hole, the tournament’s nightly party that features free food, an open bar, live entertainment and a golf expo. Participants also compete for the right to be crowned “World Champion” and have a chance to win some of the more than $400,000 in prizes given away at the tournament.

The championship is sponsored by DuPont and Coolmax* Performance Fabrics and is backed by a strong line-up of big name presenting sponsors including La Mode, Datrek Golf Bags, Golf Dimensions, Top-Flite Golf Company and Brown-Forman Beverages Worldwide.

Crosby High sets sites on first Project Graduation

CROSBY—The graduating class of Crosby High School has decided to celebrate their graduation on May 27, 2004 with an all night; chemical-free graduation party to assure that none of the class of 2004 will be injured or killed in alcohol-related accidents. The party will be a well chaperoned.

“Nationally, more young people between the ages of 16 and 20 are injured or killed between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. in May and June than during any other time of the year,” said Richard Dreyton, principal of Forest Hills. “We want to make sure that all of our seniors have a chance to attend their 10 year reunion.” The death rate is higher today than it was 20 years ago because of drunk driving crashes. But, with Project Graduation, we’re fighting back.

This will be Crosby High School first “Project Graduation,” the name used across the country for chemical-free graduation parties. It will be held at the high school, which will be open to seniors only for that night. A variety of activities has been planned for the night, including a casino night, karaoke, magic shows, fortune teller, volleyball tournament, photographer, food and lots of entertainment. At this time we are working on a car as a give away at the end of project graduation in which you have to attend to be able to win the car.

To make Project Graduation the biggest and best party ever, we ill need your help. We are in need of parents to help chair numerous committees.

It also takes junior parents as well so that we can walk them through it this year for their coming year. This will be the first year and hopefully more to come so therefore we are reaching out to our community for your support. Donations of money, services, or merchandise for prizes are now being accepted.

There will be a garage sale this fall and in the spring so don’t get rid of them please hang on to them or call me and we can make some arrangements to get them picked up.

If you would like to help with this event or chair a committee please contact Pam Johnson @ 281-328-3984 or Connie Marek @ 281-328-9615.

Star-Courier Opinion Poll sets record response

The current poll in the newspaper, and on the Star-Courier website,, has received a record number of responses, to date 82 votes. This is in spite of the fact that the poll has only been online for a few days. The results are very lopsided, too. 95% voted YES, the Texas Democratic Senators should have walked out to deny a quorum. Only 5% voted NO, they should have stayed.

Major accident on FM2100 sends two to hospital by LifeFlight


CROSBY – A horrific accident involving two passenger cars and a panel truck, drew two Lifeflight Helicopters to the Heathergate Intersection of FM 2100 at about 1:30 P.M. on Monday.

This marks the second time in as many weeks that there has been an accident near this intersection, although investigators can find no reason to attribute road factors to the wrecks. All three of the drivers were taken to hospitals. Two, who were apparently critically injured, went by Lifeflight helicopters while the driver of the panel truck was transported by ambulance.

According to Harris County Sheriff’s Traffic Investigators, John Gilbert, 25, was apparently driving north on FM 2100 in his 2003 Monte Carlo on August 4. For reasons unknown, he crossed the center line, investigators determined. The Crosby resident apparently continued to travel North for a short distance in the Southbound lane until his car collided head-on with a panel truck at the truck’s front bumper toward the left side.

The impact hurled Gilbert’s Monte Carlo counterclockwise and into the path of Fabio Berrio’s 1994 Mazda Navajo, an SUV. Apparently, Berrio, a Kingwood resident, had been close behind the panel truck at the time of the accident. Evidence indicates that Berrio attempted to avoid the wreck by veering into the Northbound lane and struck the left rear of the Monte Carlo as it ricochetted off the panel truck.

The SUV following this impact was turned right and rolled into the ditch in front of the Community Baptist Church. The SUV rolled over onto its roof, coming to rest facing West from the ditch and onto the church’s lawn.

According to the report, the International truck, belonging to Wenco Distributors, approaching the Heathergate Intersection attempts to avoid the wreck by swerving to the right. The truck lopped into the Southernmost ditch of the Heathergate Intersection. Larine Houston, 59, the driver of the truck was taken to a local hospital.

Drowning death in River


HIGHLANDS – The body of a man was recovered by deputies some four hours after he apparently drowned swimming from Magnolia Gardens to Highlands on Saturday.

Daniel DeLa Torre, 29, had left Beach Drive and entered the water before going under around 10:20 a.m. on August 2. Witnesses tell officials that he was attempting to swim the three quarters of a mile channel and disappeared from sight.

A Magnolia Gardens Security Officer attempted to rescue the man, according to deputy reports, but was unable to reach him. The body was recovered at about 3:35 p.m. by a recovery boat some 100 yards up stream from where witnesses had reported it going down.

Homocide Detectives investigated the incident. Witnesses said the body was bruised. The incident was ruled accidental. It was determined the hooks of the recovery boat caused the bruises.

Public turns out to support YMCA in Crosby


CROSBY – About 46 people attended a town meeting on Thursday, July 31, sponsored by the Crosby/Huffman Chamber of Commerce at Newport Elementary School about the potential for bring a YMCA program to Crosby.

The meeting was opened by Rev. Dr. Larry Koslovsky of Crosby Brethren Church and Doug Earle, Vice President of Operation and Steve Gimenez, Executive Director of the Wendel D. Ley YMCA made presentations.

Koslovsky would explain later, “We [the C/HCC] are putting on this meeting to introduce the possibilities of a YMCA. We don’t feel it is the responsibility of the Chamber to encourage or discourage things like this.”

According to Mr. Earle, the YMCA is founded upon John 17:21 “That we may all be one.” with a mission to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Mr. Earle proposed three models of YMCA starting programs in a community. The first model is based on existing YMCA Chapters to start programs at the behest of residents with the ultimate goal of fund-raising for buildings to begin as the programs and memberships grow. The second model is like that of Liberty County, asking that programs be started if a sufficient amount of money can be raised to support the programs. Earle adds that Liberty County has netted $300,000 from such a program. The third model, he called the Mike Godsey Model, ‘We want to build YMCA in our community last week, what will it take to get it done?’

Quipped Earle, “If you can get someone to donate 15 acres of land, and someone to write a check for $5 million dollars – we can start almost immediately. But you never know until you ask the question what the answers will be.”

Earle moved on distinguish YMCA programs from other programs citing their sports programs gets every child a chance to play. Citing the overall philosophy as serving the entire community, being open to everyone, no one is turned away due to inability to pay and being a charitable not-for-profit organization. Core programs were listed as Youth Sports, Parent-Child activities, After School Child Care, Camping, Aquatics, Teen Leadership, Wellness, and Active Older Adults programs.

Pat McPhee, a member of the advisory board for the YMCA in Channelview, informed attendants that the YMCA is the largest employer of teenages in the country. He also asked the speakers to expound on daycare programs.

Steve Gimenez indicates that the first step in starting a YMCA program in the area is to inform the YMCA staff what the community is looking for. Gimenez expounded “The YMCA has a program for everyone in the country and financial assistance is available.”

Any Hoehner asked if there is a need for an after school program and no existing facility would they be put on a waiting list?

Stacy Beard asked “What do memberships generally costs?”

The response was that family memberships generally run $40 to $50 while individual adult memberships run about $36. Membership discounts on programs get members Family Nights, Aerobics, Child Watch or baby-sitting while one works out. There is a sliding fee scale for members.

Attendants learned that their are possibilities for using existing facilities for programs.

Velma Ellison asked, “Are there additional fees for other programs?”

There is generally a user fee for other activities and facility usage, was the response.

Luke Morgan of Millennium Reconditioning Services Inc. asked questions concerned with finance of a building. Apparently, YMCA gets total financing of a building before construction is begun.

Irene Powers asked about the requirements for after school programs and learned that their are 237 such programs in the Greater Houston Area and all that is needed is that sufficient members commit to start the program, required is about 20 to 25 kids in need of services. Of about 140 children at a school some 20 to 25 have to participate and “to make the program viable, the schools has to embrace the idea.”

Anne Prokosch asked what happens if there are competitive facilities, can the YMCA interface with competition? Well, the answer was yes. There was mention of membership fee reduction for competitors.

Most attendants resolved to hold further discussion at a YMCA follow-up meeting at the Crosby Brethren Church on Tuesday, August 5.

Huffman finally gets action from City of Houston Water


HUFFMAN – Lakewood Heights residents are at last getting some work done on yellow drinking water and a broken sanitary sewer line from their provider, the City of Houston.

The residents have been complaining of extremely bad City of Houston water for at least the last six months in the subdivision. Residents offer as proof pots and pans of collected water that have a yellow, metallic appearing residue once the water evaporated.

Jack Ervin, director of Maintenance at Huffman ISD acknowledged that Huffman schools on Lake Houston Parkway, such as Ben Bowen Elementary are hooked up to City of Houston Water lines but indicates, “We haven’t seen the discoloration in school water that the residents have in the neighborhoods. If I had, I would have been even more aggressive with the City than I have been.”

Ervin said, “Addie Wiseman came out to a public meeting held at the Lakewood Heights Civic Club and talked to residents about discoloration in the water. She went back to City Council Tuesday was a week-ago at a Pop-Off Session and offered a drink of awful looking water to the Mayor and then offered some to her colleagues. That little visit from Addie got visits from the Deputy Director of Public Works to the sewer line that has broken on Huffman Eastgate Rd., our drainage problems at the school, and to check on problems with city water over here. If you come out today you will see a lot of Houston City Trucks in the Lakewood Subdivision.”

Councilwoman Addie Wiseman said, “It’s the same story from the City of Houston all the time. For two years now the people of Huffman had to deal with atrocious water not to mention a broken sewer line. So, I had to drag out the public works department people out there to see what people were dealing with that really is part of the City of Houston. The problem was that when I would bring up problems in Huffman, the relevant people would say ‘Well, Huffman isn’t part of the City.’ I hope I’ve cleared up that notion now.”

Jack Ervin had met with former Mayor Lanier to come to an understanding of the needs of the crossover of Huffman East gate Rd. Sanitary Sewer Line to East Lake Houston Parkway schools. The school districts must interact with three distinct jurisdictions over roadway, the Texas Dept. of Transportation, Harris County and the City of Houston on various projects.

Ervin said, “We get a lot of support from Sally Wegman’s Office at TXDoT. We work well with Jerry Eversole’s people. Addie Wiseman has now spent lots of time meeting with us on our concerns with the City of Houston.”

“That’s just it, there is a lack of planning and coordination in the City’s approach to working on projects that effects people’s lives.” responded Wiseman to reporter inquiries into City of Houston priorities.

The ruptured sanitary sewer line is a 13 inch main on Huffman-Eastgate that broke Nov. 3, Ervin’s written co-respondence did not receive a response until Feb. 10, stating that items on the list would be taken care of in 180 days. Ervin sees the time from Nov. 3 until July as a “slow turn around.” On Wednesday, July 23, the Public Works Director came out to work with residents and view local problems.

H.E.B. will close Crosby store


CROSBY— And then there were two. As of Sept. 29 Crosby will see the number of grocery stores fall from three to two, with the closing of the HEB Pantry store on FM 2100.

A fixture in the Crosby community for the past 13 years, HEB’s corporate office said they are closing the store because of slow sales. “Unfortunately, a combination of a slowing economy and changing market conditions impacted our sales volume,” said Hal Collett, senior vice president of the HEB Houston Division.

HEB refused to say that the planned opening of a Super Wal-Mart in Crosby next summer was the cause of the closure, citing that the term “market conditions” was a wide umbrella that could include many factors.

While the fate of the store is known, what will happen to its 51 employees is not known. Management of the local store refused to answer any questions concerning the closure, referring all inquiries to corporate. Fred Smith, vice president of Human Resources for HEB, said that employees would be given the option of transferring to other locations. As of press time, HEB has not said how many employees have accepted the transfer offer. A spokesperson for the HEB Pantry in Baytown said they have no idea how many employees would be transferred to their store.

Bill Dybala, with Crosby Finer Foods, said that he expects their sales to increase with the closing of HEB. This increase, he said, would only be temporary until the Super Wal-Mart opens. Dybala said that he wasn’t surprised by the HEB announcement, noting that it was typical of the company to close low-performing Pantry stores while concentrating on their larger core stores.

Management of the local Kroger store refused to answer any questions related to HEB, referring all inquiries to their consumer affairs office in Houston.

Town Meeting on YMCA Thursday will gauge community interest


CROSBY— How bad does Crosby want a YMCA and what are they willing to do to get one. These are some of the questions that organizers hope to get a handle on when they hold a public meeting July 31. The Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce is hosting the meeting at Newport Elementary beginning at 7 p.m.

Despite the presence of youth programs at the Texas Sports Ranch, the Crosby Sports Association and a swimming pool in Newport, the chamber of commerce’s economic development committee has begun investigating the possibility of a YMCA in Crosby.

Speaking at the meeting will be Doug Earle, vice president of operations for the YMCA.

In June, Earle met with members of the economic development committee. At this, meeting he said that in order for Crosby to get a full-service facility, a number of actions must be taken. The first, he said, would be to charter a branch. The Houston Area YMCA would require Crosby to have an operating budget of $500,000, serve 2,000 people through their programs and have an ongoing support campaign which could contribute at least $25,000 annually to the local branch.

To build a facility the YMCA would have to acquire about 15 acres of land and $5 million. Since this is not often feasible at the start, Earle said that it is more likely that Crosby could begin a satellite office, from which they could run their programs. “Most of the things we can do without a building, although most communities want a building,” said Earle.

To operate a satellite office, Earle said that the community would have to provide at least $150,000 in program fees. Currently, those wishing to participate in YMCA programs have to go to either the Wendel D. Lay Branch in North Shore or the Baytown branch.

Earle said that he didn’t think a YMCA would have an adverse effect on existing youth programs in the community because their programs are less competitive and experience has shown that parents will supplement existing programs with the Y’s programs rather than replace they outright.

Improved ISO rating will lower insurance for Crosby/Barrett

By CHRIS BLACK, Assistant Fire Chief, edit. by LEWIS SPEARMAN

CROSBY – Completion of a three year project by Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. and Rural Fire Pretection District #8 will result in lower insurance premiums for residents and business owners in Crosby and Barrett Station.

Crosby VFD, in conjunction with RFPD #8, achieved the second best rural department ISO grade in the United States and also tied for the second largest one step drop in ISO classification in the country.

The Insurance Service Office rates fire protection classification on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being best rating and 10 being worst. Using this rating classification, Crosby/Barrett Station was multi-rated 6, 9, 10. If a building was within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant maintained by one of the five water municipalities in the fire district, the building was rated an ISO Class 6. If the building was outside of that 1000 feet but within five driving miles of a fire station, it was rated as an ISO Class 9. If the structure was outside that five mile drive distance, it was rated as an ISO Class 10.

Effective August 1, 2004, the entire fire district that encompasses the Crosby/Barrett Station area (approximately the same boundaries as Crosby ISD) will become an ISO Class 4. This translates into significant savings for residents and business owners on their insurance premiums. The departmental goal was originally a district wide ISO Class 5, but as we got further into the process, we realized that we had the potential to exceed that original goal and put forth the extra effort to achieve the Class 4.

The following table of potential savings was pulled from the Texas Department of Insurance web page ( The table was summarized here to reflect the ratings relevant to Crosby and Barrett Station.

Numbers shown in the table are not necessarily reflective of savings a resident can expect. Savings may depend upon the value of the home, the levels of coverage selected, deductibles, the specific insurance company the resident has, etc.

“While I’m not an insurance professional, it’s my understanding that insurance companies aren’t required to re-evaluate a policy while it’s still in effect. Each policyholder should contact their agent to determine if they are eligible to realize the savings immediately or if they must wait until their policy renews.” explains Assist. Chief Chris Black, the ISO Project Facilitator.

“We knew it was going to be a huge project for us to tackle with our available resources,” said CVFD Fire Chief Alan Kutak. “But we were able to identify some avenues that we had not pursued in the past.”

“The biggest, single contributing factor to us being able to improve our ISO rating was the community voting to support a property tax in May 1998,” continued Chief Kulak. ‘That provided us with a more reliable and consistent funding source so we could secure loans and rental agreements for the equipment and resources we were going to need. If it hadn’t been for the residents of Crosby and Barrett Station giving us their show of support, we never would have been able to do this.”

“A tremendous thanks to all firefighters who participated in the multiple timed trial evolutions while under the scrutiny of a video camera, repeated the necessary tasks again and again until we felt we couldn’t do it any better, and didn’t complain until after picking up the thousands of feet of large diameter hose that we have tested and laid out in various drills.” added Black.

Assistant Chief Chris Black concluded, “Finally, thank you to the citizens of Crosby and Barrett Station for being patient with us while we worked our way through this endeavor. I know that many of you have been wondering and asking about when their insurance was going down, and I apologize for it taking so long for us to bring this to completion. But, in spite of us working through the surprises that arose during the process, me making multiple changes in the scope and plan, and some uncontrollable delays in the ISO offices, we made it! Congratulations!”

Highlands employee charged with stealing

HOUSTON – A Highlands woman was arrested Friday, July 26, in connection with stealing several thousand dollars from a Cloverleaf marine business.

Janet Perez, 43, faces charges of felony theft based on allegations from the owner of GV Marine Services. Perez had been the office manager of the business, until last week.

The owner of the business reported to deputies that he had approached Perez concerning a discrepancy in accounting books she kept. Perez reportedly told the business owner she was going to the bank to correct the error but never returned to the business.

When the owner began to review the books, he noticed several checks were missing. The checks were tracked to a liquor store on Woodforest Drive.

Perez has posted $20,000 bond and has been released from Harris County Jail.