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Posts published in “Day: September 18, 2001

Seawall Parade

Corey Rilnour and Robert Shumake of Galveston, took up their flags to lead an impromptu parade on the Seawall from one end of the island to the other last Tuesday in the wake of the devastating terrorist attack on America. As the two men marched waving Old Glory high in the salt air, beachgoers and area residents slowed to watch, honking, calling out “God Bless America” and stopping to offer thanks and encouragement.

Football takes a back seat after events of 9-11

It’s hard to even think about anything else these days after we watched with horror the events that unfolded on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in New York and Washington, D.C. The senseless acts of violence aimed at our country will never be forgotten and our thoughts and prayers go out to all who lost loved ones and friends.

But as we have done following other national tragedies, we will rise from the ashes, rebuild, move on and be a stronger, more united nation, but I hope for our sake, that none of us ever forget what transpired on Sept. 11, 2001.

This column has been a joy to write over the years, so I’ll apologize beforehand if this week’s edition doesn’t have it’s usual dash of humor. I hope you’ll understand.

The third week of the high school season is upon us and that means the final tune-ups before District 21-5A play begins for Aldine ISD’ s four varsity program next week. Before we take a look at this week’s game, let’s review the results of the first week, which produced an 8-4 record (66 percent).

Aldine vs. Spring: The Mustangs had a rough start to the season, losing by three touchdowns to Madison. In that game, the Mustangs saw what a talented player quarterback Vincent Young is as he ran and passed his team past Bill Smith’s bunch. This week, Aldine will go up against another top QB in Spring’s Adam Karas, a team that favors the pass to the run. The Mustangs secondary will have to be on its toes this week and solid play by the defensive front is a must. Something tells me Smith will right the ship and have his troops ready for 21-SA play. My pick, Aldine 31, Spring 23

MacArthur vs. Hightower: The Generals got off to a good start with a 24-22 win over Conroe two weeks ago and this week they’ll be looking for more pay back when they take on Hightower. Terry Forga and his team want to go into league play with momentum at its back and winning on the road would do a lot for the team’s confidence. My pick, MacArthur 26, Hightower 14

Lufkin at Eisenhower: This is one of the featured game in the state as the No. 3-ranked Panthers and star quarterback Reggie McNeal (6-3, 185 pounds, 4.4 speed) pays a visit to Thorne Stadium to take on Richard Carson’s No. 4-ranked Eagles. Eisenhower looked in midseason form in its opener against Willowridge as the Eagles recorded a 28-0 victory, but things will get decidedly more difficult this week when Lufkin comes to town. A year ago, Ike returned from Lufkin with a victory and a win over a highly-ranked team will send a message to the rest of 21-SA that the Eagles are serious about defending their league title. This should be a great game to watch. My pick, Eisenhower 23, Lufkin 20

Washington at Nimitz: A year ago, the Cougars had a tough time against Washington, but it appears that Randy Rowe’s team is better defensively this year, as evidenced by their 16-3 season opening win over LaPorte two weeks ago. Nimitz is a team that the rest of 21-SA had better be aware because they have enough talent on hand to contend for not only a playoff spot, but for the league title. You’d better believe that the Coogs will have revenge on their mind when they entertain Washington this week. My pick, Nimitz 30, Washington 7

Now let’s take a look at the key games in college football this weekend.

Oklahoma State at Texas A&M: The Aggies are off to a 2-0 start, but the wins have not been impressive enough for some Aggie fans. The Internet chat rooms are full of R.C. Slocum bashers, so it’s imperative that the Ags get off to a solid start in their Big 12 opener against a much-improved OSU squad. A&M’s running game has been missing for almost two years now and it’s time Slocum named a starter and sticks with him. This is the type of game the Aggies must win, and win convincingly and they can’t allow themselves to look ahead to Notre Dame’s visit the following weekend. If they do, they just might make things uncomfortable for their head coach. My pick, A&M 31, OSU 14

Mississippi State at South Carolina: A key game in the SEC as Lou Holtz’s Gamecocks host Jackie Sherrill and his talented Bulldogs. MSU has enough talent on hand to win the SEC West, so South Carolina had better bring its A game on Saturday. Holtz has turned the program around in a short time and a win over MSU would convince many that last year’s 8-4 record was no fluke. Look for a tight, defensive struggle in this one. My pick, South Carolina 13, Mississippi State 10

Ohio State at UCLA: Another Big lO-Pac 10 meeting in what should be a good football game to watch. UCLA is one talented football team. They rolled the Tide in Alabama in week 1 and then ran roughshod over Kansas the following week. The Bruins are loaded on offense and have speed to burn on defense. Ohio State looked OK in its 28-14 win over Akron in head coach Jim Tressell’ s debut, but they will get their first real test this Saturday in the Rose Bowl. Tressell should know more about his team after this game, and he might not like what he sees after the Bruins get through with the Buckeyes. My pick, UCLA 34, Ohio State 17

USC at Oregon: A key Pac 10 game as the Ducks open their Pac 10 season against the improved Trojans. Oregon has looked sharp in its first two outings (wins over Wisconsin and Utah), while the Trojans have split their first two games under first-year head coach Pete Carroll. Oregon QB Joey Herthington is a Heismann Trophy candidate, but he’s not the only talented player in Duckland. The Trojans will find that out the hard way this weekend. My pick, Oregon 27, USC 10

Now let’s take a look at what the NFL has to offer this weekend.

Oakland at Miami: This could be a preview of the AFC Championship game. Both teams got off to good starts in their openers, but the Dolphins’ 31-23 win at Tennessee was much more impressive than Oakland’s 27-24 win at Kansas City. Miami’s defense played well in the win over the Titans, but it was the offense that opened a lot of eyes around the NFL. The once conservative Fish were filling the air with passes and running back Lamar Smith proved he’s a threat as a runner and receiver. Look for these two to play it close to the vest and in games like that, always go with the home team. My pick, Miami 20, Oakland 17

San Diego at Dallas: Just when you thought this would be one of the Cowboys’ two wins on the season, the Chargers jump up and whomp Washington 30-3 in their opener, so Dallas had better not think this one is a gimmie. The Chargers are a young and talented group and quarterback Doug Flutie and rookie running back LaDanian Tomlinson have breathed new life into what was a drab offense a year ago. The Cowboys played hard in their opener, but rookie quarterback Quincy Carter looked overmatched against the Tampa Bay defense. Dallas must keep up the defensive intensity it showed in the opener because you can bet the Chargers are hungry to erase the memories of last year’s 1-15 campaign. My pick, Dallas 17, San Diego 13

St. Louis at San Francisco: Get out the calculators for this one. Both of these teams can score with any team in the league, but it appears both have improved their defensive play if Week 1 is any indication. The Rams looked solid in their 20-17 overtime win at Philadelphia, while the 49ers earned a hard-fought 16-13 OT win over Atlanta in their opener. These two teams do not like one another, so expect a hard-hitting affair by the Bay on Sunday. The nod goes to the Rams in this one because of their overall team speed on offense. My pick, St. Louis 33, San Francisco 26

Washington at Green Bay: Wasn’t it a joy to watch little Danny Snyder’s ‘Skins get trounced by San Diego two weeks ago? Yes it was. The Redskins, two years removed as NFC East champs, looked like an old football team in the first week of the season. Jeff George is up to his old tricks of pouting (and throwing interceptions) on the sidelines, while the defense was pushed all over the field by the upstart Chargers. Green Bay, on the other hand, looked in midseason form in its 28-6 win over Detroit. Quarterback Brett Favre was sharp and running back Ahman Green proved he is developing into one of the league’s elite backs with two long touchdown runs and 177 yards of total offense. Look for the Pack to light up the ‘Skins on Monday night. My pick, Green Bay 31, Washington 14.

On the Fly… Early Teal Season is in Full Swing

For the avid Texas wingshooter, September is life in the fast lane. It opens quickly with dove – arguably one of the swiftest of all gamebirds – and picks up speed when teal roll through the state.
If you missed the opening day of early teal season last Saturday, it may be that it flew by as fast as did the little ducks.

While dove hunting usually takes center stage in September, Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists say hunters shouldn’t overlook the opportunity, not to mention the challenge of teal hunting.

The wet late summer was bad for the opening of dove season, but all the water has been good for the early arriving teal. It seems a little unusual to be sitting in a duck blind in short sleeves in mid-September, sweating and swatting at mosquitoes between flights of clustered teal.

Last year, about 30,000 hunters took advantage of the early season. According to Dave Morrison, TPW waterfowl program leader, hunters harvested about 95,000 birds. “As is the case with all duck hunting, water is the key to success,” says Morrison.

“Teal are showing up on ponds, which is earlier than usual, Morrison noted. “It’s still pretty dry across most of the state, but where there is water, you are probably going to see some birds this year.”

There are three species of these small puddle ducks. Although green-winged and cinnamon teal show up in the bag, blue-wings make up about 96% of the teal harvest during the early season. Like mourning dove, blue-winged teal migrate early, coming through Texas from late August through October. Early teal season was established to provide hunting opportunity on a species that was lightly harvested because its migration is earlier than other ducks.

Because teal numbers remain well above the long-term population goals in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, Texas is allowed to conduct a 16 day early hunting season. The U.S. fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are 5.8 million blue-wings in this year’s breeding duck population. This year, the early teal season runs September 15-30 statewide. Legal shooting hours for teal are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is four, and the possession limit is eight ducks.

“Hunting teal is usually hit or miss, depending on weather conditions,” said Morrison. ‘What impacts teal season the most is the timing of the cool fronts in September. With a 16 day season, we have the opportunity to bracket the fronts coming through later in the month.”

Hunters along the coast can also take advantage of fall equinox tides that typically arrive in September, according to TPW biologist Todd Merendino in Bay City. “We’re holding some fresh water on Peach Point (Wildlife Management Area) and prospects for big ducks at Mad Island WMA during the general season are looking pretty good. Overall, once the equinox tides start coming in, we should have a pretty good season.”

In addition to the above-mentioned sites, almost 50 other units of public hunting lands covering more than 500,000 acres are available during the September teal season. A $40 Annual Public Hunting Permit is required. These permits are available wherever hunting licenses are sold. A map booklet and dove supplement detailing location and hunting restrictions on public lands will be issued upon purchase of the annual hunting permit from a TPW office or mailed within two weeks if the permit is bought at a retail license outlet.

Teal hunters are also reminded that a $7 special Texas Waterfowl Stamp and a $15 Federal Duck Stamp are required to hunt teal. In addition, certification in the Harvest Information Program is mandatory in order to hunt any migratory game bird in Texas. HIP certification is free of charge and is completed at the time of hunting license purchase. Hunters are asked a few simple questions about their migratory bird hunting activity last season and about their plans for hunting doves, ducks, geese and sandhill cranes this year.
Before the early teal season ends, I intend to take advantage of the brief season to test my shooting skills at hitting the speedy blue-wings.

I’ll have to hurry to make a hunt, and I may have to speed up my shotgun swing to have a chance at a tasty duck dinner.

Delinquent parents risk seizure of Federal tax rebate checks

Q: I heard that the Attorney General’s office can seize federal tax rebate checks from parents who are not making child support payments. How does this work?

A: The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program allows the Office of the Attorney General to seize tax refund and rebate checks from parents who are behind on their court-ordered child support payments. If you are working with the Office of the Attorney General on child support payments, my office will submit your case for IRS offset according to federally specified criteria. If the parent who owes child support is due a refund, the amount of past due payments is taken out of the refund check and sent to the Attorney General’s child support division. In Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) cases, the State keeps the money to help pay for TANF payments.

In non-TANF cases, the State gives the money directly to the parent and the child(ren).
Cases eligible for a tax refund offset are ones that have delinquent child support orders. For cases receiving TANF, the amount owed by non-custodial parents must be at least $150, and the parent who owes support must be at least three months behind in child support payments.

For non-TANF cases, the amount owed must be at least $500. The case must also involve a child who is less than 18 years of age, or an adult disabled child.

If the parent who owes child support does not file taxes, or is not due a refund or a rebate, there won’t be a collection to repay the child support.
This month, rebate checks resulting from President Bush’s tax reduction plan were intercepted along with IRS refund checks that are collected on a regular basis through-out the year. This year, of 456,957 names submitted, the Office of the Attorney General has collected $103.7 million in IRS rebate and refund checks involving 108,514 delinquent parents.

An estimated $3.3 million came from the intercepted rebate checks alone.

In addition to IRS interceptions, our office uses measures such as income withholding, license suspension and passport denial to compel non-custodial parents to pay.

In the last two years, child support collections by our Child Support Division have increased from $757 million in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 1998 to $1.029 billion in SFY 2000, a 36 percent increase in only two years. The $161 million increase from SFY 1999 to SFY 2000 is the largest dollar increase in child support collections in the history of the Texas program.

We expect to have another record setting year in SFY 2001 ending August 31.

Q: I have to pay school tax, county tax, income tax and nothing is left but bills. Child support is excessive if you have a wife and other children. How can you expect me to pay this?

A: While I appreciate your situation, you must understand that you have both a legal and moral obligation to all of your children, not just the ones in your new family.

State law outlines how much non-custodial parents are required to pay for child support. It is a standard percentage of your income based on the number of children involved. This is not an arbitrary decision meant to punish you.

I understand that you have a new family to support, but you can not turn your back on the children you owe child support to because your relationship with their mother did not work out.

All of your children, not just the ones you live with, need and deserve your support, both financial and emotional.

Legally, you are obligated by court orders to continue your payments. If you stop making payment, you may face legal actions such as a mark on your credit report, a suspended driver’s license or, worse, jail time.

For more information on child support services offered by our office, call us at (800) 252-8014 or visit our Web site at

Pet of the Week

This week’s featured pet is a five-year-old, female Japanese Bob-Tail mix. She is silver and white with grey tabby stripes and a white bib.
Like all the animals at the shelter, she has been spayed and has received all her vaccinations.
If you would like to adopt her or any of the other companion animals that are available at the Harris County Rabies/Animal Control Shelter, go to 612 Canino west of Hardy or call 281-999-3191 for hours and information.

Aldine Ninth Grade takes part in ‘Bone Up On Calcium’ week activities

Aldine Ninth Grade School principal Doris Delaney and student Bruce Kees display Kees’ milk mustache during “Bone Up for Calcium Week.” held at the school the week of September 10-14. Aldine Ninth Grade School was one of 50 schools nation-wide that was selected to spread the word on the importance of students getting more calcium in their diets.

Aldine Ninth Grade principal Doris Delaney and her school were one of 50 schools nationwide selected to spread the word on the importance of students getting more calcium in their diets when the Aldine ISD school participated in “Bone Up On Calcium” week, September 10-14.

“Bone Up On Calcium” week is a new calcium campaign between the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Got Milk?/Milk Mustache campaign.

Delaney pledged to help promote the importance of getting the recommended daily intake of calcium by encouraging students to choose milk more often.
“As educators we know kids do better in school when they’re nourished. So, I’m pledging my ‘calcium commitment’ by asking my students to make calcium count everyday and to do what I can to show kids that milk is cool,” Delaney said.

At school, lunchtime used to be milk time, but these days that is not always true. In fact, teenage diets are dangerously low in calcium. Nearly 90 percent of teenage girls and almost 70 percent of teenage boys fall short of current recommendations: 1,300 mg per day, or the equivalent of about four glasses of milk. Health professionals, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, are concerned this chronic calcium deficiency is creating lifelong damage, including the risk of stress fractures now and osteoporosis in the future.

The campaign began at Aldine Ninth Grade School on September 10 at when Delaney unveiled her own milk mustache poster. Other events during Monday’s kickoff included Aldine Ninth Grade students being treated to a Got Milk? lunch period. During this time, they received their own milk mustache photos, Got Milk? T-shirts, pens, key chains and celebrity posters. Additionally, students competed in two contests; one contest was “Show Me Your ‘Stache,”’ where students created their own milk mustache poster and told why they should make calcium count, and the second contest was for the best Got Milk? jingle.

Distinguished Gentlemen looking for sponsors

Pictured from left to right: Back row, Rassium Franklin, Parish Johnson, David Galston, Jonavan Payne, Garrett Gradney, Ronald Brooks, Marcus Haynes, Kevin Mcclain and Carolyn A. Figaro, Assistant Principal. Front Row: Marquis White, Alex Harris, Kehinde Prince, Jose Ibarra, Christopher Ray, Johnny Dominguez and Jesus Marin.

Eckert’s Distinguished Gentlemen are busy planning for this exciting school year. The president, Joshua Turner, officers and sponsors agreed to focus on peer pressure, conflict resolution, improving self-discipline, and making appropriate choices. Every Wednesday, each member is required to wear a long-sleeved white shirt and tie.

Eckert’s Distinguished Gentlemen are looking for more sponsors. They meet every Thursday at 4:00 in the gymnasium. If you are interested, please call the school at 281- 985- 6380.

Aldine Community Improvement District Meeting Tonight

The Aldine Community Improvement District will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors on September 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Jed’s Ace Home Center, 5415 Aldine Mail Route.

The meeting is to consider, discuss and adopt such orders, resolutions or motions, and take other direct or indirect actions as may be necessary, convenient, or desirable.
The public is invited to attend the meeting.

CHIP Day at Fiesta to enroll Houston children in low-cost health insurance

More than 77,000 children in Harris County have been enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) since it began on May 1, 2000. Yet, more than 175,000 of the County’s children continue to lack health insurance.

For that reason, the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas, the Gulf Coast CHIP Coalition, and local CHIP outreach organizations will hold the sixth Houston area Fiesta Supermarket CHIP Day on Saturday, September 29 from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Trained volunteers will be on hand to assist families in applying for CHIP and children’s Medicaid at the following 11 Fiesta Supermarkets:
4711 Airline, 11006 Airline, 10401 Jensen, 1020 Quitman, 2300 N. Shepherd, 800 South Wayside, 8320 FM 1960 West, 1603 Spencer Highway, 6200 Bellaire, 2323 Wirt Road, and 3707 Avenue H in Rosenberg,

To apply for CHIP and Medicaid, families should bring ONE of the following proofs of income:

• One check stub from the employer, OR

• Copy of the most recent tax form, OR

• A letter from an employer, verifying the wage earners income.

Services covered by CHIP and Medicaid include regular checkups and doctors office visits, shots and immunizations, eye exams and glasses, dental care, hospital care, and mental health services. Most families will pay no more than $18.00 per month to insure all of their children.

To obtain an application for CHIP and Medicaid, families may call 1-800-647-6558 or download an application from the internet at

The mission of the Children’s Defense Fund is to Leave No Child Behind® and to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

Northside Law Enforcement Expo provides free family education, fun

Community supporters join area law enforcement agencies to educate residents at the 17th Houston annual Law Enforcement Expo set for September 22 at Greenspoint Mall. From left are HPD Officer M. Wisnoskie, Henry Vogel, Officers R. Munguia, and C. Bertels, the mall’s Julie Drinkwater, North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce’s Phyllis Oustifine, Harris County Sheriff’s Department”s J. Soleau, Jerry Lowry, Deputy K. Alee, Jesse Fannin and Deputy C. Gwosdz.

The North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce will provide Houstonians of all ages the opportunity to be up close and personal with the city’s dedicated crime fighters at the upcoming Law Enforcement Expo set for September 22.

“We’re pleased to spotlight the law enforcement agencies who are here to help us,” said Suzan Deison, chamber president. “It’s also a great opportunity to show how much we appreciate them and to inspire our young people to trust law enforcement.”

Each year, this free community event brings together 50 different law enforcement agencies to educate families on the law enforcement resources available to them.

Among the attractions are various vehicles from bicycles to helicopters, emergency medical demonstrations, mounted patrol, K-9 units and drug/bomb detection, as well as video and live presentations for children, fingerprinting and Gizmo the Harris County Sheriff’s Department robot.
The Law Enforcement Expo is set Saturday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Greenspoint Mall.
“We are excited to once again host this annual event,” said the mall’s Julie Drinkwater, director of marketing, Alliance Retail Group. “It gives the community an opportunity to better understand the dedication and commitment of law enforcement officers and thus improve community relations.”

Law enforcement displays will be available inside and outside the mall. This event also gives everyone a chance to make new friends with those who put their lives on the line every day.
An official ceremony with area dignitaries, including Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole, a color guard and proclamations, will be held at noon.

For information, call the Greenspoint Mall at 281-875-4201.