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Posts published in “Day: May 27, 2014

Funeral for Gomez, as more details emerge

ALDINE – Funeral services were held for Jacqueline Gomez at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Lauder Road, on Friday. The 17 year-old MacArthur High School senior, Jackie Gomez, was found dead Saturday, May 17, in a hotel room by her boyfriend after her prom night.

Harris County medical examiner said nobody can be certain how Gomez died until autopsy results are completed. While authorities await for autopsy results, text messages have been reported by media sources, between a friend of Gomez’s and her date recount reactions.

Gomez’s date: “I woke up. I tried waking her but she wouldn’t….I was screaming and crying telling her to wake up. But she didn’t. She didn’t”, the text message is ended with faces with tears. He said she appeared “perfectly fine and happy” when they left the night of the prom and that she also looked happy when they went to sleep.

Allegedly he told authorities they had some alcohol, but also said in a text message sent to Gomez’s friend that she had also taken some painkiller pills, possibly hydrocodone. He denied knowing where shegot the prescription drug and texted “I should took them away and flushed them (face in tears). I miss my girl.”

When he was asked how many pills did Gomez take, he replied, “I have no clue.”

Family and friends of Gomez said they never saw her take or talk about drugs.

According to her date, they did not drink alcohol until they got to the room, but Gomez’s friend said earlier she noticed her eyes low, as if she was dizzy at the time they left the prom in the hotel.

Last Monday afternoon, May 19, friends and Kroger’s co-workers held a fundraiser outside the store where Gomez worked to help raise money for her funeral.

Authorities said her body had no signs of injury, after Monday’s autopsy but more tests are still pending.

Aldine ISD is assisting Houston police with the investigation. MacArthur students are getting help from counselors.

Westfield FD’s bravest named 100 Club’s “firefighter of the year”

May 16, 2014 – Westfield Fire Department firefighter Pedro Rodriguez was honored by The 100 Club of Houston 60th Annual Heroes Awards ceremony on May 14th. Rodriguez was nominated for the award by a fellow firefighter for his rescue, which took place on August 15th, 2013.

Rodriguez was leaving his shift at Westfield when he observed a vehicle on Beltway 8 leave the roadway and collide with a light pole head on. Rodriguez immediately stopped his vehicle and called 911.

While approaching the vehicle to check on the occupants, a fire began spreading quickly underneath the hood. Rodriguez opened the passenger door and assisted a female occupant out of the vehicle. At this point, Rodriguez noticed the male driver was pinned inside. Rodriguez was able to crawl into the backseat of the vehicle and pull the driver from underneath the dashboard. With the fire spreading rapidly, Rodriguez exited the vehicle and was able to pull the driver out through the passenger door.

“We are very proud of Firefighter Rodriguez ” said Westfield District Chief Chris Turrentine. “In an emergency situation, seconds count. Had Rodriguez not been in the right place at the right time, and acted with unyielding courage, the driver of the vehicle most certainly would have perished.”


EAST ALDINE – The East Aldine District board learned at their meeting last Tuesday night of major steps that had been taken, just that day, to further the plans for a 61 acre Town Center on Aldine Mail Route.

It was announced at the meeting that the Lone Star College System had voted to proceed with a new campus on the Town Center site, with tentative plans calling for a 65,000 square foot building to be an “advanced technology center” training students in trades such as welding, air conditioning, auto technology, machinists, and engineering technicians.

Additionally, word was received that the Aldine ISD board had also voted to approve an Early Colllege program to be part of the new campus. This would entail classrooms and shops for AISD totalling another 20,000 square feet.

Based on these commitments, the EAMD board voted to authorize their attorney Tim Austin to proceed with an agreement with LSC System for the new campus, and to convey land for the construction of the proposed building.

Also interested in building on this site are the district, the Harris County Sheriff’s office, and a new participant, Neighborhood Centers, Incorporated. Earlier in the day Tuesday, a workshop of the interested parties from the District, the Lone Star College, Neighborhood Centers, and the architects and planners had met to discuss their plans and involvement.

Lone Star College – North Harris president Dr. Stephen Head had outlined the need for workforce training in the Aldine area, and the college’s commitment to building on the site. At that time representatives from Neighborhood Centers, Inc., Ray Chung and Matt Starr, indicated their organization would like to build a new facility of at least 50,000 square feet, with classrooms, offices, community rooms and shops, and a unique workforce training and “incubator” area known as a Makers Room, for new business entrepreneurs. This community center would follow prototypes NCI has run in other areas of Houston, but also offer unique enrichment and skill development training for Aldine.

Neighborhood Centers, Inc. is a Houston based community social activist group, with a number of programs run in each of their centers.

They describe themselves as “a nationally recognized community-development agency that exists to keep our region a place of opportunity for all those willing to work for a better life.”

NCI runs a number of social and workforce programs, for the state and federal governments, and for local agencies, too. They have an annual budget of over $260 million dollars, which includes grants and contracts for Community Centers, tax centers, educational programs such as Head Start, charter schools, senior services, and they are a major provider of workforce services for the state of Texas.

NCI currently runs seven community centers in various parts of Houston, and they plan to bring many of these services to the East Aldine Town Center campus. In addition, they propose a new large “makers space” for innovative and flexible job training and business start-up opportunities.

Based on these new initiatives, the East Aldine District expects the Town Center to be on a fast track for development. Dr. Head has indicated that Lone Star College could have completed their building, and start classes by the Spring of 2016.