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Posts published in “Day: May 25, 2010

YES Prep expansion to include new North Forest campus

NORTHEAST — YES Prep Charter Schools recently announced a Phase II Growth Plan that will allow the local institution to grow to 13 schools and 10,000 students in the next ten years. They now have seven campuses serving 3,500 students, according to the information furnished to the Northeast News by school officials.

The next campus to be added, they said, will be at North Forest. Working with the school district, they have arranged to use the closed R.E. Kirby Middle School as their eighth campus, and to have 6th and 9th grade classes by August. This will eventually grow into a full seven-grade campus, with 800 students, the model they have followed on their other sites, according to Ryan dolibois, a YES spokesman.

Superintendent Adrain Johnson of the North Forest ISD stated that this new charter school will give students more options for their education, and praised the emphasis that YES schools place on college preparation.

In addition, YES stands for Youth Engaged in Service, and every YES student must put in 100 hours of community service during their years in school.

North Forest is planning a community meeting on Wednesday night, May 26, at 6:30 p.m., at Thurgood Marshall School on Winfield Rd. At that time, representatives from YES Prep will outline the plans for the new charter school, and solicit interest from students and their parents. Commitment letters will need to be submitted by the end of June, and special summer orientation classes will be held July 12-23, with regular classes starting in August.

There is no tuition to attend a YES Prep charter school. Money to run the school comes from state funding and private donations. All students may apply, regardless of their grades of behavior history. They are chosen in a lottery system, but officials also say that distance from the school is a factor, too.

Currently, 100% of YES Prep students go on to college, Bolibois said, and 80% of the college grads return to the Houston area for work and service to the community.

Dr. Johnson indicated that NFISD will have opportunities for collaborative training and professional development with YES Prep, aiding both school systems.

(This story has been truncated for the web. For the full version, please see our print edition.)

Professor turns 80

Math Professor Joe McMillian (left) with Dr. Steve Head, president of LSC-North Harris, celebrates his 80th birthday with his family, friends, and LSC-North Harris colleagues. McMillian has been a faculty member at LSC-North Harris since its opening in 1973, and will be teaching algebra this summer and fall in what is his 37th year at the college.

Murder suspect surrenders, alleged accomplice at large

HOUSTON — A Dayton teenager, charged with the capital murder of a truck driver in Northeast Houston, turned himself into Louisiana authorities last week.

Diamond Markee Godfrey, 18, has been charged with capital murder in the 338th State District Court. Godfrey was arrested May 12 by Louisiana State Police in Ville Platte, LA, and is awaiting extradition back to Texas.

Police say that on April 30, Godfrey and another actor ambushed Robert Butler as he was parking a tractor-trailer in the 5400 block of Bennington. Butler, who was shot in the face, later died at Ben Taub General Hospital.

Police are also looking for a second suspect, Damion Mann, age 19. Mann has not been charged in the crime.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mann is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Police said that Godfrey fled to Louisiana because he had family and friends in the Ville Platte area. There is a chance, however, that once Godfrey returns to Texas, officials in Louisiana may want to have more extended talks with him.

On May 11, the body of a missing teenager was found near Ville Platte. The victim was identified as 18-year-old Elizabeth Fontenot, who had been missing since May 10.

The Evangeline Paris Sheriff’s Office says that the Ville Platte Fire Department reported finding her green Mustang on fire. The body was found in a nearby barn with much of the clothing missing and heavy amounts of blood nearby.

The cause of death has not been determined.

Louisiana State Troopers say that they have not confirmed a connection between the two cases, but that on the day of Fontenot’s disappearance, Godfrey was believed to have been in the area as more than 50 law enforcement officers from Texas and Louisiana searched for him.

For a town of just more than 8,000 residents the death of one of their own and a manhunt for a suspected capital murderer was just too much of a coincidence.

Aldine ISD legend Flores retires after 49 years in the classroom

A legend retires from Aldine Independent School District as she continues her “carousel of dreams” in her life with her family and friends.

Cristela Castillo Flores is relinquishing the torch to her parent volunteers and teachers and staff at Keeble EC/PK Center. The school will not be the same without her constant “Hechale ganas y que salen con la cabeza humiando.” She always has a beautiful way of encouraging everyone around her.

She has been a teacher for 49 years and has been at Keeble EC/PK Center since its grand opening in 1997. Her volunteer program began in 1998 when she became Parent Coordinator. She has brought many parents to Keeble EC/PK Center, with an average of 50,000 volunteer hours per year.

She has been a pioneer, a legend, and an inspiration to parents, students, and her coworkers. She has left a legacy creating educational endeavors that are enriching many families and educators who will continue to hold the torch!

(This story has been truncated for the web. For the full version, please see our print edition.)

HPD officer dies in pursuit accident

A funeral mass was held in a northeast Houston church for a Houston police officer killed while pursuing a suspected car thief last week.

Officer Eydelmen Mani was killed May 18 just before midnight, when his patrol vehicle struck a guard rail while he was doing about 60 miles per hour in the 6100 block of North Freeway.

Mani had joined the chase of a suspected car thief. The chase, according to HPD, reached speeds of 90 miles per hour.

An HPD spokesman said Mani was in his patrol vehicle northbound on the North Freeway service road when, for reasons unknown, his vehicle veered left, went off the roadway into the grassy median, and then struck a guard rail. Houston Fire Department personnel extricated Mani from his vehicle and transported him to the hospital in serious condition.

Mani, 30, was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The investigation into the accident is continuing.

Mani was assigned to the North Patrol Division on West Montgomery Road and was a 7-year veteran of the HPD.

He is survived by his wife, Monica, and his 3-year-old son, Eydelmen Jr.

A funeral mass was held May 22 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church on Tidwell. The officer was laid to rest at Hollywood Cemetery on North Main.

Ronald Eugene Collins, 31, the subject of the chase, was eventually caught. He faces charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest.