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Posts published in January 2012

METRO cancels bus routes; Aldine is on the list

NORTH HOUSTON– METRO released a statement last Thursday, stating that a number of bus routes would be discontinued, including three that service the East Aldine area: 39, 59, and 60.

Contacted by the Northeast News, community leaders Congressman Gene Green, and State Representative Armando Walle, indicated this was not an acceptable plan, and would contact METRO for alternatives.

The Route 59 services a number of facilities which the public needs access to, including the Social Security offices, the Harris County Health Clinic, MacArthur High School, and High Meadows Library. Many persons do not have alternate means to reach these locations.

On January 26, 2012, The Metropolitan Transit Authority released the following statement:

Metro Board approves February service changes

The METRO Board of Directors approved service changes today and retained three routes originally proposed for discontinuation: 30 Clinton, 48 Navigation (Pleasantville branch) and 49 Chimney Rock.

“The new METRO is very serious about listening to the community in order to provide first-class transit. This process is a perfect example of that spirit,” said METRO Chairman Gilbert Garcia.

METRO held three community workshops to discuss possible service solutions for the aforementioned routes, which generated a high number of comments at the agency’s Dec. 5, 2011, public hearing. The sessions, strongly attended by 320 persons, combined, resulted in the submissions of more than 140 comments. Staff will continue to work with the impacted communities to come up with efficient service that fits their needs and the agency’s, but moving forward, the current routing of the 30, 48 and 49 will remain the same.

“I appreciate everyone who came out to our workshops so that we could hear their suggestions. As the community changes, we need to change to meet the needs of the community,” said George Greanias, METRO president & CEO.

The service changes originally scheduled for January will go in effect February 26, 2012. The changes include adding or deleting stops, adjusting routes and the discontinuation of seven consistently low-performing routes: (which includes Aldine’s 39, 59 and 60)

•35 Fairview

•39 Parker Road

•59 Aldine Mail Crosstown

•60 Hardy

•286 West Little York/Uptown-Greenway

• 313 Allen Parkway

•500 Airport Direct (ended August 2011)

Information regarding the service changes will be placed on all buses, impacted bus stops as well as METRO’s website.

METRO evaluates, adjusts and implements service changes three times a year to provide reliable and efficient service. Service changes in Fiscal Year 2011 were a key factor in boosting METRO’s ridership, now in a fifth consecutive month of increases. December 2011 ridership rose nearly 2 percent to 6,014,507 boardings compared to the 5,903,391 boardings in December 2010.

53rd annual Aldine ISD Livestock Show & Sale set for Feb. 1-3

The 53rd annual Aldine ISD Livestock Show and Country Fair will be held Feb. 1-3 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, AISD FFA (Future Farmers of America) students will display a variety of projects, ranging from art, horticulture to animals, with hopes of earning the designation of “grand champion.” Project judging will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, beginning at 7 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. in the Campbell Center Arena.

On Thursday and Friday, all projects will be on display to the public throughout the day. The Sale of Champions, which produced $176,000 in sales in 2011, will be held Friday evening at 7 p.m. and will also be held in the Arena.

On Friday morning, the third annual Art Breakfast and Auction will be held in the foyer of the Campbell Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. AISD art students will have their art projects on display and individuals who attend the breakfast will have the opportunity to bid on the artwork.

Additionally, barbecue plates will be on sale Thursday and Friday in Room 104 of the Campbell Center.

For more information, contact Aldine ISD’s career and technical education department at (281) 985-6646. The M.O. Campbell Educational Center is located at 1865 Aldine Bender Road.

Aldine ISD 53rd Annual

FFA Livestock Show Calendar

Monday – Tuesday, January 30 and January 31, 2012: Livestock Show Set-up.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

4-7 p.m. Check-in Livestock, Horticulture, and Metal; Fabrication Projects and FFA Livestock Art Show

Thursday, February 2, 2012

8 a.m. Broiler and Turkey check-in, sift, and show.

9 a.m.Goat Show

10:00 a.m. *Sheep Show (immediately following Goat Show)

1:00 p.m. *Swine Show

4:00 p.m. Horticulture Show Results Announced, Steer Show and Heifer Show immediately following Steer Show

*Times are subject to change.

Friday, February 3, 2012

7:30 a.m. Art Auction and Breakfast

8:00 a.m. Horse Show and Ag Metal Fabrication Show

9:00 a.m. Sale Meeting- (Student Meeting)

5:00 pm. Buyers Dinner

7:00 p.m. Sale of Champions

Saturday, February 4, 2012

8:00 a.m. Clean-up.

Lone Star College SBDC awards five Businesses of the Year for 2011

HOUSTON (Nov. 22, 2011) — The Lone Star College System Small Business Development Center and its Advisory Council has named five 2011 Small Business of the Year Award winners.

The winners, one from each of the five Lone Star Colleges, were honored on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the LSCS SBDC 25th Annual Small Business of the Year Awards Banquet held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott.

This year marked the silver anniversary of the Small Business of the Year awards.

As the winners were announced by each of the LSCS college presidents, the recurring theme was that all of the finalists were worthy of the award but only one could be the winner.

The 2011 25th Annual Small Business of the Year award winners : The Backyard Grill, Mark McShaffry, representing the LSC-CyFair area; Skylla Engineering, Gabriel Beltran, Robert Hill and Mark Perlioni, LSC-Kingwood; Milstead Automotive, Amy and Dick Milstead, LSC-Montgomery; All About Doody Pet Waste Removal Service & Products, LLC, Nathalie-Claire Bland, LSC-North Harris; and Outback Western Wear, LLC, Michelle and Chris O’Rourke, LSC-Tomball.

Each year, the LSCS SBDC Advisory Council recognizes successful small businesses that make an impact in the local community. More than 200 nominees were gathered from the community this year and narrowed down to the 15 finalists. The finalists were selected by 25 members of the advisory council on the basis of leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, business growth and contribution to the community.ÿ

The winners for each college service area are then named from the list of 15 finalists.

“The diversity of the businesses chosen as finalists is amazing,” said Sal Mira, executive director of the LSCS SBDC. “Each owner’s passion to succeed especially in these times is inspiring and their generous commitment to serving the community is unselfish. In my mind they are all winners.”

Ray Laughter, LSCS vice chancellor of external of affairs, was also honored as part of the event for his many years of outstanding leadership of the LSCS Small Business Development Center and in the region’s sustained economic growth. Laughter began his LSCS career in 1987 with the SBDC.

The LSCS SBDC works with existing companies to help them get started, grow and compete in today’s global economy. SBDC services are available for companies in every phase of the business life cycle, helping entrepreneurs make sound decisions and succeed. For more information about the SBDC visit sbdc.LoneStar.edu

North Forest HS shooting incident mars attempts at district progress

NORTH FOREST– Police responded last Tuesday to a shooting inside North Forest High School. Incidents continue to happen at North Forest High School, possibly affecting the District’s appeal of closing the district. This time a student was shot by another student, who had a gun apparently to protect himself from others who were “bullying” him.

An 18-year-old, Warren Lewis, shot a16-year-old freshman in the leg in the middle of a second floor hallway around 12:30 p.m. The incident “was apparently the result of a dispute between a group of students that started off-campus and continued onto the campus,” said Sue Davis, spokeswoman for North Forest ISD. “The 16-year-old was not part of the dispute, so he was not the intended target of the alleged shooter.”

A nearby teacher, in a government class, who happened to also be a deputy constable, apprehended the shooter. Lewis has been charged with aggravated assault while the 16-year-old boy is in stable condition at a local hospital. In court Wednesday, prosecutors said that he actually fired the gun 5 times, and filed additional charges of carrying a gun on campuse.

This is the second incident within three months at North Forest High, back in October, two students were expelled after they attempted to hide a gun that one of them had brought to class.

North Forest ISD recently received final orders from the state Education Commissioner to close down and merge with Houston ISD by July, which they are appealing.

Statement from Edna Forté, Superintendent, North Forest Independent School District:

January 10, 2012

At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, an 18-year-old 12th grade student allegedly shot a 16-year-old 9th grader at North Forest High School. The 9th grader was shot in the leg and taken to hospital in stable condition. The alleged shooter was apprehended at the school and turned over to the Houston Police Department. The school was put on lockdown until it was determined the situation was over and then students were allowed to return to class after about 30 minutes. The parents of both students have been notified.

The ensuing investigation by school officials has determined the incident was apparently the result of a dispute among students that started off-campus. The student who was shot was apparently not the target of the alleged shooter.

While the high school has metal detectors, it is still under investigation as to how the alleged shooter got the gun into the school. As a result of this incident, the school district has determined to keep the metal detectors in operation longer each day.

The district has also decided to ban backpacks that are not transparent at the high school. The district will purchase clear backpacks for all the students and hopes to have them available by next Tuesday.

North Forest Post Office closing raises community concern

By Julieta Paita

NORTHEAST– Local residents are concerned about the permanent closing of the East Houston Post Office Station located at 9604 Mesa.

“There is a sign at the door that says they will close permanently on January 13,” said Sylvia B. Williams, North Forest School Board member, who has contacted several community leaders including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to resolve this issue but until now, there are no positive results.

Mrs. Williams said this is a community concern because there will be no post office in their area, the closest one is Roy Royal, “we can ride by bus but still far from here,” she added.

The rumor of the closing of East Houston Station goes back to May, 2011 when unofficial reports from several sources indicated to the Northeast News that the future plan included closing the East Houston Station. Now, Postal officials have officially posted a sign to the public about the changes.

The sign read as follows:

Effective: Friday, January 13, 2012 The East Houston Station will permanently close their Retail Lobby for operations at 5 p.m. P O Box Service will continue at this location until further notice. Dutch Door Service is also available for pick-up of certified, packages, etc. from 6:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here is a list of alternate locations to buy stamps and mail packages:

Roy Royal Station, 4206 Little York Rd. Houston, TX 77016-9998. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Granville Elder Stattion, 550 Maxey Rd. Houston, TX 77013-99998. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jed’s Hardware, 5425 Aldine-Mail Route, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.