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2003: a year in review

By PJ Williams

January
• Top basketball players showed their skills at the M.O. Campbell center when the Academy National Tournament was held in Aldine.
• Gene Green was sworn into office for his sixth congressional term.
• Aldine ISD named a new school after long-time employee Jewell Simpson Houston.

February
• Fifteen AISD senior football players earned college scholarships.
• Aldine FFA students earned more than $78,000 at the 44th annual show.
• Shuttle Columbia exploded above Texas. Aldine residents were mixed on whether NASA should continue to send humans into space.
• Residents voiced opinions on possible war with Iraq, flooding, unemployment, and Medicare at Gene Green’s town meeting.
• Aldine YOUTH director Sylvia Bolling received recognition from METRO as an outstanding African –American and from Iota Phi Lambda as Outstanding Woman of the Year.

March
• AISD named a school after longtime trustee Doug Bussey and four administration buildings after former superintendent Sonny Donaldson.
• Aldine ISD’s desegregation order was lifted. The board studied challenges of “unitary” status.
• Representative Ken Bailey began hearings on HPD Crime Lab misconduct.


April
• The Harris County Health Department tore down 44 abandoned homes under the Nuisance Abatement Laws.
• Area residents voiced their opinions about the war in Iraq through “The View in the Northeast”, signs, flags, and ribbons.
• Aldine Improvement District (AID) kicked off a month-long Clean Aldine campaign, which featured “Art Trash Cans.”
• AID also installed 87 new streetlights along Aldine Mail Route to improve safety.

May
• Area residents re-elected three trustees to the Aldine ISD school board.
• Caraway Intermediate’s assistant principal Kathy MacLennon quit after Agbar the drug dog found an illegal substance in MacLennon’s car.
• Rep. Kevin Bailey and the 54 other democrats who left for Oklahoma to stop a vote on redistricting returned.
• Vandals damaged schools in Aldine and Houston ISDs. Two different groups destroyed over 50 windows in Aldine.

June
• North Forest ISD dismissed Superintendent Dr. Edwin Walker. The school board filled the position with Interim Superintendent Dr. Elaine Berry.
• Local agencies adopted the Freeport Exemption.
• AID approved new sidewalks along Aldine Mail Route.

July
• Governor Perry called a special session to address redistricting.
• Eastex Fire Department used a new Auto External Defibrillator to save Les Smith when he had a heart attack outside the Houston Shell Open.
• Fire destroyed 16 apartment units at a complex on Goodson.

August
• Congress people Gene Green, Chris Bell, and Sheila Jackson Lee visited Israel as guest of the American Israeli Political Action Committee.
• Area residents celebrated National Night Out with community block parties.
• A fire at the Rosewood Rehab Treatment Center on Crofton killed two residents.
• The nation’s largest computer virus affected Aldine ISD and Harris County Sheriff’s Department and local businesses.

September
• Area teens shot two horses and two mules at a stable on Furay Street.
• Oleson Elementary students were hurt when a bus from the Avella Company flipped after a collision on JFK.
• The sheriff’s storefront reopened on Aldine Mail Route after extensive remodeling.

October
• An acid spill closed I45 for several hours.
• A driver crashed into Thompson Elementary school.
• The sheriff’s police academy graduated over 25 citizens.

November
• Voters approved the extended METRO rail lines.
• Eisenhower graduate Sgt. Keelan Moss died in Iraq when the helicopter he was riding in crashed.
• Local politicians dedicated a new Veterans Memorial Park on Tidwell near the Hardy Toll Road.
• Heavy storms flooded area streets just a school ended. Many students waded home through knee high water and a few had to spend the night at school.

December
• METRO announced planned light rail extensions to Northline Mall as its next phase.
• Voters elected Bill White as Houston’s new mayor.
• Toys were stolen from a terminally ill teenager after he received a shopping spree. They were found in an apartment on Aldine Bender.