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Three incumbents returned to AISD Board; Randy Bates elected to Position 1 seat

Voters in Aldine ISD went to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5 and returned incumbents Dr. Kimberley Booker, Dr. Viola M. Garcia and Paul Shanklin to their respective seats on the Aldine ISD Board of Education and elected Randy Bates to the Position 1 seat.

Bates, an attorney, defeated Jamail Johnson by 28 votes (3,168 votes to 3,140 votes) to claim the Position 1 seat that was previously held by Patricia Ann Bourgeois. Bourgeois did not seek re-election. Candidate Steve Moore garnered 2,213 votes and Jimmy Morales received 1,875 votes in the Position 1 race. Aldine’s school board election follows plurality rules and candidates with the most votes wins the election. There were 10,396 votes cast in the Position 1 race.

Shanklin ran unopposed and was returned to the Position 2 seat. He received 8,156 votes.

Dr. Booker received 6,881 votes and defeated Danny Spears (1,925 votes) and Rickey Tezino (1,235 votes) in the Position 6 race. There were 10,041 votes cast in the Position 6 race.

Dr. Garcia received 4,668 votes and defeated Terkara Cormier (2,983 votes) and Nico Matthews (2,510 votes) in the Position 7 race. There were 10,161 votes cast in the Position 7 race.

All four will be sworn in at the Nov. 19 board meeting. The results will be official once the votes are canvassed on Nov. 18.

Crowds enjoy East Aldine Fall Festival

Crowds lined the pavement to watch the colorful Flamenco Dancers from Aldine ISD. Music and Dance, food and fun were spread through the day.

EAST ALDINE – The Annual Fall Festival, hosted by the East Aldine District, attracted a large crowd of adults and children, enjoying music and dancing, contests and raffles, and lots of exhibits and information booths from local agencies and organizations.

The Festival took place at Town Center this year, next to BakerRipley campus. The theme for the event was observance of “Dia De Los Muertos” and there were lots of costumes and face painting with that theme.

Costumes and make-up highlighted the theme of Dia de los Muertes. Contests included the Sugar Skull Face competition, above, and a Kids’ Dance Contest.


Dia de los Muertos observed at Brookside

Hundreds celebrated Dia do Los Muertos at Brookside Funeral Home and Memorial Park last Saturday.

Festivities included a Celebration of Life, Costume contest, Games, Raffles, Face Painting, Ballet Folklorica, Mariachis, and crafts and vendors. Prizes were awarded in a raffle, including bicycles for kids and a television for adults.

Father Villareal gave a message on the meaning of the day, and blessed the altar with family remembrances.

See more photos of Day of the Dead on page 8 of the print or PDF edition.

Voters head to polls on Nov. 5

HARRIS COUNTY – For those voters that have not cast an Early Ballot, the polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 7 am to 7 pm. Major issues on the ballot are 10 Texas Constitutional Amendments, a city of Houston election of Mayor, Comptroller, and Councilpersons, a $3.5 Billion bond referendum for METRO, and in Aldine the election of new school Trustees in four positions. For the first time, votes may be cast in any location, not just your neighborhood.


There are four open positions on the Aldine School Board this year.


Judge Hidalgo, Sheriff Gonzalez announce measures to reduce Gun-Related Violence

Commissioners Court Considers Expansion of “Safe Surrender” Program to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence

Harris County, Texas – October 29, 2019, The expansion of a weapon-surrender program designed to protect victims of domestic violence was among several gun-safety initiatives announced by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez Tuesday at Commissioners Court. The proposal would extend the “Safe Surrender” program to all 22 felony district courts.

The program, which was piloted in the 280th family court, requires those charged with domestic violence to surrender their weapons to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, which will test and safely store the weapons until the case is resolved. With 45 percent of domestic violence homicides occurring within 90 days of separation, the program seeks a measure of protection for victims and their families during a vulnerable time period.

“Elected officials at the state and federal level have failed to meet their basic obligation to take meaningful action to protect us from gun violence,” Judge Hidalgo said. “Here in Harris County, we won’t sit idly by and do nothing as this epidemic continues to steal lives all around us. We know county government can be an agent for positive change, working around barriers and unfunded mandates to keep our communities safe. The measures we are announcing today are real, common-sense actions that will save lives and protect some of our most vulnerable residents, including victims of domestic violence and children.”

“While action to address gun violence stalls at the state and federal level, I’m proud of the actions that Harris County is taking at the local level to protect vulnerable members of our community from gun-related domestic violence,” said Commissioner Rodney Ellis. “We must always do what we can to prevent and reduce all forms of gun violence in our communities.”


Community Engagement Meeting for Halls Bayou Tributaries

The Harris County Flood Control District will hold a Community Engagement Meeting for Tributaries P118-23- 00 and P118-23-02, located west of Hardy Toll Road and south of Halls Bayou, and Tributaries P118-25-00 and P118- 25-01, located west of Hardy Toll Road and north of Halls Bayou, as pictured.

The purpose of this meeting is to inform residents about the status of the feasibility level alternatives analyses completed for these tributaries and to gather public input on the recommended project alternatives that will progress into the next stage of the project lifecycle.

The tributary projects mentioned here focus on reducing flooding risk by identifying options to improve the channel conveyance capacity and provide additional stormwater detention basin storage within the project area communities.


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.”