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Northeast News

Drainage project underway in Castlewood

GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONIES were held last Wednesday, Sept. 8th and included Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Castlewood’s Connie Esparza, Selina Valdez, and representatives of the HC Flood Control and Engineering Departments.

By Gilbert Hoffman

EAST ALDINE – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last Wednesday, September 8th to mark the start of construction for Subdivision Drainage project E-09 in Castlewood Addition Sections 3 and 4. This is one of over 100 subdivision drainage projects in the county that Harris County Flood Control District is undertaking with bond money from the 2018 Flood Bond issue.

Commissioner Garcia refers to these projects as turning into “smart communities” to mitigate future flooding.

The project will cost about $14.9 million dollars, including an additional $1.2 million to replace water lines not in the original plan.

Construction will start September 15, at Connorvale, and end up 14 months later at Woodgate.

Community members concerned about new “Permitless Carry” law

Participating in the on-line discussion were (L-R) Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite, Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia (a former Harris County Sheriff), and Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Edison Toquica. The public was invited to call in with their views also.

Commissioner Garcia moderates discussion with law enforcement

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia led a discussion last Wednesday, September 1 on the concerns surrounding the new law. The panel consisted of law enforcement officials and domestic violence advocates, among others.

Law enforcement officials want people to make sure they understand the law before doing anything that could put themselves or others in danger.

“Make sure that you understand the law and make sure you get trained to use that weapon,” Harris County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Toquica said.

“With permit-less carry officially going into effect September 1, the state’s record shows loosening weapon restrictions only make living in Texas more dangerous.”

Voter Regulations bill passes, Abbott ready to sign controversial legislation

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement following the passage of Senate Bill 1, which Republicans say will protect the integrity of elections in Texas:

“Protecting the integrity of our elections is critical in the state of Texas, which is why I made election integrity an emergency item during the 87th Legislative Session. I thank Senator Brian Hughes, Representative Andrew Murr, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dade Phelan for stepping up to ensure that this bill made it to the finish line during the second special session. Senate Bill 1 will solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1 into law, ensuring election integrity in Texas.”

Senate Bill 1 creates uniform statewide voting hours, maintains and expands voting access for registered voters that need assistance, prohibits drive-through voting, and authorizes poll watchers to observe more aspects of the election process. The bill also bans and penalizes the distribution of unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots and gives voters with a defective mail-in ballot the opportunity to correct the defect.

UPDATE ON BILLS MOVING THROUGH THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE DURING THE SPECIAL SESSION

AVOID EVICTION: Rent Relief available from Harris County

Money available for Residents Facing Eviction

HOUSTON — (August 27, 2021) — The Harris County Community Services Department has funds available for emergency rent relief for tenants living in unincorporated Harris County who are financially affected by COVID-19. The deadline to apply for aid was just extended to Nov. 30.

“People who find themselves in a bind right now may never have needed help before and they don’t know where to turn,” said Dr. Adrienne Holloway, executive director of CSD. “We want them to know we have resources and we are here to help.”

Special Election For Constitutional Amendments

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation setting Tuesday, November 2, 2021 as the special election day for eight proposed constitutional amendments in Texas. The eight proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot are:

PROPOSITION 1: The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.

PROPOSITION 2: The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.

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Lone Star College offers student debt forgiveness

Lone Star College students who owed money in fall 2020, summer 2020 and spring 2021 will have their debt forgiven, allowing them to register for fall classes.

Houston (Aug. 25, 2021) – Lone Star College has forgiven student debt and unpaid balances for students who owed money in fall 2020, summer 2020 and spring 2021, allowing them to register for fall classes. LSC used federal stimulus funds to pay the outstanding balance of $2.5 million for 4,028 LSC students.

“Lone Star College remains determined to remove obstacles students face so that they can finish their education,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “Making these funds available will allow students the opportunity to return to the classroom this fall.”

Aldine officer praised for Heroic effort to save two in fiery crash

CAPTAIN MARC HARRIS ALDINE ISD POLICE DEPT.

Aldine ISD Police Chief Paul Córdova recognized Captain Marc Harris for commendable actions at the Board of Trustees meeting on August 17.

Chief Córdova shared how on July 23, around noon, Harris was offduty and in plain clothes, driving north on I-45, when he noticed a severe traffic accident that had just occurred at the I-10 interchange.

Harris saw that both vehicles were on fire, and both drivers were still in their vehicles. He exited his vehicle and found that a female driver was conscious but unable to get out because the driver’s door had become inoperable due to the crash. Harris quickly broke out the passenger window and extricated the woman from the passenger side with the assistance of an unknown citizen.

He also noticed that the male driver remained in the other vehicle. He was unaware of the danger he was in as his vehicle was on fire. Harris removed the driver from his vehicle to safety before both vehicles became fully engulfed with a raging fire.

FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW, PART 2: UT, OU bolt for SEC, leaving rest of Big 12 wondering what’s next

Mike Tomlin’s Steelers won their first 11 games of the season, but lost four of their last five, including an embarrassing 48-37 home playoff loss to the Brown. Ben Rothlisberger (3,803 yards, 33 TDs) should have another big year, but if the Steelers are to be a serious threat in the AFC, their running game must improve. That’s why they drafted Alabama’s Najee Harris (1,466 rushing yards, 26 TDs/43 receptions, 423 yards, 4 TDs) to get things done on the ground.

Baltimore will once again by led by dual threat QB Lamar Jackson (2,757 passing yards, 26 TDs/1,005 rushing yards, 7 TDs). If Jackson improves as a passer, the Ravens could make a lot of noise in 2021.

Tennessee should battle Indianapolis for the AFC South title. The Titans are led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill (3,817 yards, 33 TDs) and running back Derrick Henry (2,127 yards, 17 TDs). The Titans added former Atlanta All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones (51 receptions, 771 yards, 3 TDs in 9 games) to pair with speed wideout A.J. Brown (70 receptions, 1,075 yards, 11 TDs). The Titans could be scary good on offense, and if they shore up the defense, they could contend for the AFC title.

Buffalo should be the team to beat in the AFC East. The Bills finished 13-3 a year ago and have a rising star in QB Josh Allen (4,544 yards, 37 TDs) and a big-play WR in Stefon Diggs (127 receptions, 1,535 yards, 8 TDs). Buffalo needs to improve its running game, but it has a solid defense and should hold off Miami and New England to win the AFC East.

Now we turn our attention to the 2021 college football season, where before a game has even been played Texas and OU made huge news with their announcement to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. The plan is for the league’s two major programs to join the SEC in July of 2025, but many believe both schools will depart well before that date and each pay the $80 million fee to depart early.

UT and OU’s move will make the SEC the first super conference with 16 teams. The SEC has not announced how it will restructure the league (four 4-pod teams or 2 divisions with 8 teams each). Texas’s joining the SEC will rekindle the UT-Texas / A&M rivalry and could move Alabama out of the Western Division to the Eastern Division (I’m sure the rest of the SEC East is excited about that prospect!).

So where does that leave the remaining Big 12 schools?

School is Back in Session; and Back to In-person Learning

Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney welcomes back students at Carmichael Elementary School.

By Leticia Fehling

ALDINE – Sixty-seven thousand students returned to campuses on August 16. Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney will be visiting schools throughout the first week.

“It is a joy to see all of our prekindergarten and high school students,” Goffney said. “They are our why. Our students are the reason we continue our mission of providing rigorous, enriching educational experiences that prepare every student for success in college, career, and life.”

As much as their teachers, it was apparent that students are happy to be back learning in classrooms and seeing their friends.