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Posts published in June 2014

County Attorney expands ban on gangs in East Aldine – Court makes injunction permanent

EAST ALDINE–County Attorney Vince Ryan petitioned for an injunction on Monday, June 16, to keep 47 members of the Crips and Bloods gangs out of the East Aldine Safety Zone. The safety zone runs east of Highway 59 and south of Bush Airport. The safety zone is home of elementary schools, residences and businesses.

A judge has made the injunction permanent in a ruling on June 16.

During the court hearing, Harris County Sheriff’s Office gang specialists and the Houston Police Department testified regarding criminal activity in the area including the Haverstock Hills Apartment complex, which is located within the East Aldine Safety Zone.

County Attorney Vince Ryan said the members of these gangs regularly engage

in criminal activity in this community and pointed out that this puts residents in danger harming their quality of life. “This type of injunction is a proven way to remove dangerous criminals from a community, “ he added.

East Aldine District worked together with Attorney Ryan in the preparation of the court petition. East Aldine District is cooperating with the County Attorney’s office to pay for enforcement of laws in the district, and to investigate and prosecute infractions. This is consistent with their charter to improve the quality of life within the area. As such they also work with Asst. County Attorney Robert Soard, and Asst. County Attorney Celine Vinson to achieve these goals.

The injunction states that defendants [gang members] have been regularly involved in gang activity including weapons offenses, drug possession and criminal trespass.

This court order prohibits the 47-gang members from being physically present in East Aldine “Safety Zone.”

The Safety Zone started out just around the Haverstock Hills apartment complex, but because the criminal activity moved nearby, the safety zone has been expanded to include two other schools and other apartment complexes.

“HEAD TO HEAD” – Dr. Stephen Head to be new Chancellor at LSCS

HOUSTON (June 10, 2014) – The Lone Star College System Board of Trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to name Dr. Steve Head as the next chancellor of LSCS.

The announcement was made as part of a special board meeting that took place at the system office June 10. According to the board, Dr. Head was also the first choice of the selection committee.

Texas law requires a 21-day waiting period before a formal vote can be made to approve Dr. Head as chancellor. Board members will take a public vote at a date and time to be announced later in the board room of the Lone Star College Training and Development Center, 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77381.

“Lone Star College is poised for great things and Steve Head has the credentials and experience to continue to move Lone Star College in the right direction,” said Dr. David Holsey, LSCS board chair. “This college will be in very capable hands with Steve at the helm.”

Dr. Head has served as the president of Lone Star College-North Harris since 2007. At LSCS he has also held the position of executive vice chancellor, acting chief operating officer, and president of LSC-Kingwood, among other positions. Dr. Head received his Ph.D. in history from Texas Tech University, and M.A. and B.A. in history from Lamar University in Beaumont.

LSCS was assisted in its search by consultant Gold Hill Associates, which conducted open forums at each of the six Lone Star Colleges and system office to solicit recommendations and comments from faculty, staff and students, which was then recorded and presented in writing to the search committee.

The search committee, comprised of Chairman Holsey and Trustees Robert Adam, Priscilla Kelly and Ron Trowbridge, interviewed six semi-finalist candidates and selected two finalists based on those interviews. The other finalist, Dr. Michael Burke, informed Gold Hill Associates this weekend that he was withdrawing from the chancellor search for personal reasons.

Dr. Richard Carpenter, who served as chancellor since 2007, announced in February that he was retiring as chancellor this summer.

Neighborhood Centers speak to Optimist club

EAST ALDINE – The Aldine Optimist club heard a presentation last Wednesday at their lunch meeting, from Carlos Pax and Jose Rivera regarding plans for NCI to build a new building in the Town Center that would offer Aldine residents job training, academic classes, tax center, a credit union, small shops, and other services that residents are asking for.

The speakers explained that they are in the midst of 100 interviews of local residents, to determine what services are needed in Aldine, and them NCI will tailor their new facility to meet these needs along with partners.

Neighborhoods Centers currently has over 70 locations throughout the Houston area, but most of these are in conjunction with other agencies.

Types of facilities or services offered through NCI include Neighborhood Centers, Economic Development, Healthy Start, Early childhood Development, Charter Schools, Head Start Centers, School-based Head Start Centers, Workforce offices, Utility Assistance & Weatherization, Disaster Recovery, Veteran Services, and Senior Centers.

Rivera said that NCI currently operates two free standing neighborhood centers, and East Aldine would be the third.

Based on interviews that he had conducted to date, Rivera said that some of the services requested have been tax center, credit union, citizenship services, small retail shop space, workforce job provision and training, youth programs, and a “business incubator” a special type of space that would be flexible and help people start-up their own businesses.

NCI has indicated they will build a 20,000 square foot building on the Town Center site, and it will contain many of the services mentioned above as a need for the community.

Founder Sylvia Bolling resigns as active director at Aldine FHC

Sylvia Bolling has announced her retirement from Aldine YOUTH, the social organization she founded 24 years ago. Bolling issued the following statement:

Sylvia Bolling, a speech/language pathologist and sign language interpreter, founded Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. (Youth Organization United To Help) out of her home 24 years ago, in 1990. God gave her a vision to make a difference in the lives of youth here in our Aldine community.

Operating 5 years without a building, staff, funds, or needed equipment, she and her family along with a handful of committed volunteers, stayed faithful to that vision and planned a variety of activities which had a positive impact on many youth. She left her full-time job at Aldine ISD and dedicated her life to this mission.

In 1995, the organization was blessed to receive funds from Houston Endowment to pay the down payment on the 6.8 acres of land located at 4700 Aldine Mail Route and became the Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. Community Center. God provided everything needed to keep the Center operating, without government funding. Through partnerships with schools, churches, businesses, and agencies, the Center continued to flourish and today offers over 25 educational, vocational, social, and recreational programs and services to help transform and empower, not just the youth, but the whole family. Their board of directors, staff, volunteers, and donors, remained steadfast in helping to grow this much needed organization and touch the lives of so many people in our community. Along this journey, Sylvia and the Center were awarded a variety of local, city, state, and national awards for their valuable work and witnessed a positive change in so many lives.

In late 2010, Buckner International, a global Christian organization with corporate office in Dallas, visited the Center and was so impressed by the mission and effectiveness of what had been done, they requested that Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. be acquisitioned by them to become a part of their Buckner ministry.

After much prayer and counsel, an agreement was made and the acquisition was official in March 2012. This relationship with Buckner will ensure the sustainability and growth of services to our community and is truly a blessing. They renamed the center to the Aldine Family Hope Center, but kept the programs and services intact which were previously offered by the Center.

Sylvia Bolling explains, “God gave me this vision as an assignment to plant and nurture for the past 24 years. Now, my assignment is over at the Center in the role as director, and it is time for me to venture out and begin some new works. I have been so blessed to be used by God to witness His power and faithfulness and know that when He says something will be done, it will be done!! I want to thank the hundreds of people who have given so graciously of their time, money, prayers, and love to make sure that this organization became what God intended it to be. A special thank you to Shawna Roy, my daughter, who served as my Program Director for 9 years and had such a positive impact in the organization. She recently accepted a position as Club Director at the Havard Boys and Girls Club. To be able to establish such a wonderful organization, in spite of the fact we did not always have the funds needed, truly shows what can be done when people work together in one accord on behalf of making their community a better place for all, especially our children. To God be the Glory!”

Sylvia will now contract with Buckner International as a Community Liaison to continue to build relationships with community businesses, churches, schools, and agencies here in Aldine and also in Houston as a whole. She is so happy to be able to still be involved in the community and support the future growth of the Center and help and connect with other entities. Sylvia recently wrote her first book, “When God Gives You A Vision” to encourage others to follow their dreams and visions. You can learn more about her future plans and keep in contact with her by visiting her website at www.sylviabolling.com or email her at sylvia@sylbiabolling.com

“Ms. Alma DeAlejandro is the new director of the Aldine Family Hope Center. Please stop by and welcome her in this position and give her all the support she needs to carry on this mission”, Sylvia says. “There will be a lot of exciting happenings in the years to come, so I encourage everyone to continue to commit to being a part of the Center as it goes forth. Please continue to donate and volunteer, that will truly honor our legacy.”

For more information, visit the Center at 4700 Aldine Mail Rt. or call 281-449-4828.

Clerk killed in robbery of station on Eastex Freeway

NORTHEAST – A clerk was fatally shot in North Harris County on Sunday night, June 1 at a convenience store on US59, Eastex Freeway.

Police have arrested one person in connection with the crime, and are searching for the other men who fatally shot Satish Patel. Police said the shooting happened at a Phillips 66 located at 15615 Eastex Freeway (North U.S. 59) around 11:20 p.m.

Houston Police officials said three to four suspects wearing masks or hoodies entered the store and fatally shot the clerk during an altercation.

After the shooting, the suspects fled in a newer model four-door Dodge pickup truck with tinted windows, reported HPD Homocide Division Sergeant K. Tolls. The pickup truck was later found a short distance away in a residential neighborhood near the Eastex Freeway and Beltway 8 but there were no suspects. One of the suspects was also wounded and may possibly need medical attention.

Two months ago the same gas station was the scene of another robbery and shooting but that time the clerks shot and injured the suspect.

Satish Patel was 50 years-old, married and father of two kids. Satishkumar Patel, the late-night manager, was shot and killed during the robbery. After some investigation and checking the security cameras at the gas station, one of the suspects, a 17-year-old is in custody. Anthony Shannon Jamerson is in jail and has been charged with two counts of capital murder and being questioned about the killing of his accomplice.

Local 13 eyewitness news reported:

“Anthony Shannon Jamerson was encountered Wednesday, called to the scene of a homicide. In the backseat of a car, was the body of 18-year-old Jaylen Townsel. It’s believed Townsel, along with Jamerson, allegedly robbed the Philips 66 truck stop. Jamerson however, claimed he and his friend were robbed — displaying a gunshot wound to his finger he claimed he sustained in the robbery. A probable cause warrant states instead the injury was a result of Jamerson’s pistol accidentally firing during the truck stop robbery days before.

The teenager is also accused in the robbery murder of a guest at a north Houston motel last month. Ten thousand dollars was taken in that robbery.

Jamerson, also known as “Ant,” is being held without bond.” He made his first court appearance last Monday, June 9. The investigation continues.

Anyone with information on the identities of the suspects or about this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

HCC plans $40 million project in North Forest – New building to train workforce, academics; rebuild community

NORTH FOREST – Officials from the Houston Community College system held a Town Hall meeting with the North Forest community last Wednesday evening. The reason for the event, held in the previous public board room of the NFISD, was to show the community the plans for the new buildings on the NCC-NE North Forest campus, and to explain the programs that will take place in this facility and benefit the community as a whole.

Using funds from the HCC bond program approved by county-wide voters, HCC will build a new building of 92,750 square feet on a 43 acre campus at the corner of Homestead and Little York. The total program cost is about $40 million dollars, presenters Dr. Margaret Fisher and Dr. Cesar Maldonado said. This represents not only a commitment to HCC educational goals, but a very important commitment to the North Forest community, one that could turn around the economic base and social and crime statistics of the area.

Features of the design as shown on drawings, include a suite of rooms for workforce training, and automotive technology. There will also be academic classroom space, offices for administration and faculty, a library, student life center, and a conference center.

Dave Wilson, HCC board member for District II, spoke about what advantage this could bring to the North Forest community. Specifically, he said it would be a sparkplug to revitalize this community, and help to get businesses opening up. He envisions that working families will want to have their children come to this school, and said “It will be great for everybody.”

Also presenting at the town hall were project manager Marvin Daniels of Jacobs, and architects David Andrews and Jeanette DiCorcia of PGAL. Andrews presented a number of drawings of the design, and also spoke about the time it would take to build and then open. It is anticipated that construction will start by the end of 2014, and first classes will be in 2016.

East Aldine District luncheon showcases area organizations

East Aldine District held their quarterly networking luncheon last Thursday for all the organizations in the district. After welcoming remarks by chairman Gerald Overturff, each group introduced themselves and gave a brief update on their activities.

Major announcements were made by Lone Star College’s Johanna Boley, who confirmed that the college is proceeding with plans for a new building, and new workforce and academic programs, in the Town Center being planned on Aldine Mail Route. She said the campus will have its first classes there in the Spring of 2016.

District director of services Richard Cantu gave an update on public safety in the district, noting that the “bike” patrol is now also mounted, with deputies on horseback in the parking lots, parks, and trails of the district. This is in addition to the bikes and ATV machines they ride, he said. There are now 10 deputies and one sergeant working as contract deputies in the district, the largest contract group the sheriff has in the whole county.

The newest member of the deputy team was introduced, Brian Bevil, a MacArthur grad and previously a professional baseball player with the Kansas City Royals.

Cantu introduced the nuisance abatement officer, Jeremy Thomas, who has been working with the apartment managers in the area, and the assistant county attorney, Celina Vincent, to implement the SAFE program to clean up the apartments and enforce lawfulness and safety in them.

Cantu said a contract had been let for improvements in the medians at the entrances to the District, specifically at E. Mt. Houston at US59, JFK at the Beltway, and Aldine-Westfield at the Beltway.

New construction is underway for water and sewer lines in Zone 11, a large neighborhood with 1000 homes in the area east of US59 and north of Little York. A grant from the state for $10.5 million from the Texas Water Development board is paying part of the costs for this $20 million dollar project, which has great potential for economic development on the east side of US59. This project is a “first” for the state and the district to make use of new legislation for “urban colonia”.

Jose Rivera, of NCI, explained their planned partipation in the Town Center project, and invited everyone to an Optimist Club meeting at the EAMD offices on June 11th to hear about NCI.

Aldine ISD graduation ceremonies slated June 5-7

Aldine ISD will hold eight graduation ceremonies June 5-7, 2014. All of the ceremonies will be live streamed on the district’s web site, at www.aldine.k12.tx.us

Below is a complete list of times and locations of upcoming graduation ceremonies scheduled for Aldine ISD schools.

Thursday, June 5, Lane School Graduation, Hall Center for Education, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 5, Victory Early College High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center Arena, 7 p.m.

Friday, June 6, Hall Center for Education Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center Arena, 6 p.m.

Friday, June 6, Nimitz High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center Arena, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 7, Eisenhower High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center Arena, 8 a.m.

Saturday, June 7, Carver High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center Arena, 11 a.m.

Saturday, June 7, Aldine High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center Arena, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 7, MacArthur High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center Arena, 5 p.m.