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Posts published in October 2019

Disaster Recovery centers open in Harris County to help Imelda Survivors

What is the danger?

Two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open in Harris County to help residents affected by Tropical Storm Imelda.

Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), local and state agencies will be at the centers to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance.


IT May Community Center
2100 Wolf Road, Huffman TX 77336
Seven days a week, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Harris County Social Services
9418 Jensen Drive, Houston TX 77093
Seven days a week, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.


FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) program is for homeowners and renters who may be eligible for grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other assistance programs. Apply now for IA:


– PHONE: 800-621-3362

County Attorney Vince Ryan hosts symposium to address environmental disasters

County Attorney Vince Ryan welcomes the participants at the “Environmental Disasters in Harris County” symposium on Oct. 10.

At a conference hosted by County Attorney Vince Ryan last week, experts described the environmental challenges facing Harris County when storms like Hurricane Harvey strike the Texas coast, the home of hundreds of chemical companies and oil refineries. The symposium titled “Environmental Disasters in Harris County,” held on Oct. 10 featured scientists, lawyers, and other experts who discussed what government and industry were doing and could do to prevent the loss to life and property from flooding and severe weather events.

“Our office is willing to take the lead in protecting our community with respect to the environment,” said County Attorney Ryan. “This symposium was a great effort to keep all parties focused, engaged, and up-to-date with the latest information and efforts by our office and other agencies.”

East Aldine Native dedicates career to serving community

Deputy Jesse Leal, left.

By Christina Autry

As a native of East Aldine with 29 years of experience in the police force, Deputy Jesse Leal now serves the community at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office storefront in the East Aldine District. This storefront is an easy contact point for people to quickly seek assistance, or ask questions, as an alternative to contacting a police station. With his deep understanding of the area and a passion for helping the community, Jesse Leal is a great resource for both adults and youth in East Aldine.

Leal’s enthusiasm about connecting with the community allows him to support individuals in more ways than with just criminal matters. “I answer all kinds of calls in the district,” says Leal. “Some people ask how to register their kids for school, or how to get a Gold Card for healthcare. I determine whether their need is a criminal or civil issue, and I connect them with the appropriate services,” he explains.

From day to day, Leal does everything from helping victims of domestic violence, to helping a new mother install a car seat. “In domestic situations, I take everything into consideration. I determine if they need a shelter, or other resources around the city,” he explains. Leal works with the non-profit Safe Kids to provide parents with free car seats and installation. Individuals can simply stop by the storefront if they are in need of help regarding car seats.

Free movie nights, laser tag, or school presentations organized through the Community Relations Department of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) are just some of the relationship-building activities that Leal, an Aldine ISD graduate, participates in with the youth of East Aldine. “The kids realize that we’re not robots,” he laughs. “We’re human; we laugh, cry, and get scared just like they do.”

Early Voting starts October 21

Constitutional Amendments, METRO, Aldine ISD Trustees on Ballot

Monday Oct. 21 is the first day of Early Voting in the General Election. Aldine area residents will vote on 10 constitutional amendments, METRO’s MetroNext bond issue, and Aldine ISD school board positions. Early voting continues through November 1, and you may vote this year at any election location. The General Election is scheduled for November 5.


There are four open positions on the Aldine School Board this year. For Trustee Position 1, Steven Moore, Jimmy Edward Morales, Jamail Johnson, and William “Randy” Bates are running. For Trustee Position 2, incumbent Paul Shanklin is running unopposed. For Trustee Position 6, Kimberly Booker, Danny Spears, and Rickey Tezino are running. Booker is the incumbent. For Trustee Position 7, Viola Garcia, Terkara Cormier, and Nico Mathews are running. Garcia is the incumbent.


Proposition A on the ballot would authorize a $3.5 billion bond issue, to be used for METRO street improvements, mobility projects, and other facilities. Funds for this work would come from the existing Sales Tax, and there would not be any additional taxes required. Projects included in this proposal are a new MetroRapid Bus System, more HOV lanes, and extension of the MetroRail system.


Texans will vote on 10 new Constitutional Amendments on November 5th. The issues addressed include a state income tax, creating a flood infrastructure fund, and funding for the Cancer Research and Prevention Institute of Texas. The League of Women Voters of Texas (LWVTX) conducts research on each amendment to provide fair and unbiased information to Texas voters.

“The Texas Constitution is among the longest in the country. Since it was adopted in 1876, 498 amendments have been approved by Texas voters. You decide which of the 10 proposed amendments will become part of the Texas Constitution,” says LWVTX president Grace Chimene.

The League’s Voters Guide is available online on the LWVTX website and Texas voters can review their ballot, make choices, and print out their choices from

Jensen Jubilee Parade & Festival

The Jensen Jubilee supporters included these speakers: L to R, Mike Knox, Armando Walle, Carol Alvarado, Karla Cisneros, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Sylvia Garcia, Yuroba Harris, and Pastor David Smith, NECDC president.

NORTHEAST HOUSTON – Warm sunny weather brought out hundred of people from the Northeast Houston community, to view the parade and take part in the festivities. The weather was a marked contrast to last year, when heavy rain dampened everyone’s spirit.

The parade consisted of floats, marching units, and several equestrian groups. Units were from local schools, churches, the police, sheriff, and Houston fire department, and local politicians. The terminus of the parade was Shady Lane Park on Parker Road, where free food, and information booths from local service agencies were set up under the roofed pavilion.

After a round of welcoming speeches highlighted by Mayor Turner, who voiced his commitment to the Jensen neighborhood, and Pastor David Smith, head of the NECDC who organized the parade, the main sponsor U.T. Physicians took the stage. Andrew Casas, COO of U.T. Physicians, presented $2000 scholarships to two high achieving students from Sam Houston high school. Receiving the awards were DeAnn Mendoza, and David Gone.

Harris County Emergency Corps paramedic hit by foul ball

Brian Cariota

HOUSTON, October 15, 2019 – Brian Cariota, Paramedic with Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) was injured during Game 2 of the AL Championship Series by a foul ball.

Cariota was discharged from the hospital to continue his recovery at home. He and his family are thankful for the outpouring of support, especially from the Houston Astros. He plans to cheer for the Astros as he continues to recover from his injuries.

“Brian is a top-notch paramedic and supervisor,” said Jeremy Hyde, CEO at HCEC. “Our HCEC family continues to keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers as he recovers.”

45th Texas Renaissance Festival now open thru December 1st

The Texas Renaissance Festival is the nation’s largest and most acclaimed Renaissance-themed event. Established in 1974, the event attracts more than half a million visitors each year to its 55- acre recreation of a 16th century European village.

This immersive experience features world-renowned live entertainment, works by master artists and craftspeople, award-winning food and drink, hand-powered rides and games, and over 100 interactive characters during its nine themed weekends from Oct. 5 through Dec. 1, 2019.

The festival and the adjacent Fields of New Market Campground are located in Todd Mission, Texas, 50 miles northwest of downtown Houston. For more information, visit

State, City spar on speed of flood mitigation

HOUSTON – Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner are reportedly at odds about the plan to administer all flood recovery funds by the state. An Abbott spokesperson said, “Houston and Harris County have proven that they are unable to ensure victims are receiving resources in a timely manner,” John Wittman said Friday. At stake is $4 Billion allocated to Texas by FEMA.

Mayor’s statement:

“The city will receive a direct allocation of $60 million of these flood mitigation funds and we are moving ahead with projects that will protect the lives and property of Houstonians. The city will continue to work closely with the General Land Office, including an effort by Houston and Harris County to receive $2 billion of the next $4 billion, reflecting the damage done by Harvey to our local communities.