This Week's Headlines

Beverly Hills student caught with gun

Hurricane season begins June 1

Thompson relocates to Riverstone

Hartwell memorial cross removed

Kingspoint warehouse catches fire

Runoff election results tabulated

Chamber accepting hero nominations

City still operating Harvey centers

Man charged in Gulf Freeway crash

Fox to serve as justice of the peace

PISD holds May Chess Championship

UHCL announces calendar briefs

THECB appoints SJC student to state board

Symphony announces 10 family-friendly free summer concerts

San Jacinto Museum of History Association announces its participation in Blue Star Museums program in 2018

Olson Acts To Expedite Study To Protect Texas Gulf Coast

For San Jacinto sports quartet, 2017-2018 represents the finale

Gator baseball to seek elusive national title

Dobie’s Mitchell repeats as 22-6A soccer’s defensive MVP

HABCA all-stars to include local players

Brook boys’ basketball expected to hire Janak

Dobie’s Berneathy encourages summer participation

Lajaunie tourney board awards JFD scholarships

Coaches set local sports camp dates

 

 

 

Beverly Hills student caught with gun

A male student at Beverly Hills Intermediate was arrested for bringing an unloaded gun to school Wednesday, May 23.

The incident comes fresh on the heels of the recent school shooting in Santa Fe that killed 10 and wounded 13 others.

School officials were alerted of the weapon by an anonymous tip from a fellow student. Pasadena Independent School District Associate Superintendent Alyta Harrell credits the school’s See Something, Say Something campaign for bringing the issue to light.

“It seems to be working,” Harrell said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Per school policy, the student will not be allowed back on campus for one calendar year, Harrell said.

A letter was sent to parents notifying them of the incident.

A previous letter had already been sent to parents following the Santa Fe shooting, notifying them of increased security throughout the school district and offering suggestions to keep current students safe and to prevent similar incidents from taking place in the future.

“As we return for our last days of school, I want to share with you that we will have increased security around the district throughout the remainder of the school year,” PISD Superintendent DeeAnn Powell said in a letter to parents. “You may receive communication from your campus about additional safety requests such as no backpacks, enforcement of IDs or limited visitors during these last few days. Please know that we will have officers placed strategically in the district around the clock in the coming days. So please remind your students that this is not a time for senior pranks or activity that would lead to criminal charges. I request that you monitor your child’s social media and text communication and alert us of anything you feel is not right. We will take all threats toward school safety seriously regardless of intent.”

While the Clear Creek Independent School District had already stepped up its security following the February school shooting in Parkland, Fla., it will now take additional measures, according to Superintendent Greg Smith.

“In February, we added five additional security monitors to the high schools,”

Smith said in a statement to parents and staff. “These full-time monitors patrol the exterior of the school building to make sure all doors are locked and report any suspicious activity. This extra set of eyes at the high school level has been a welcome addition to our security protocols. In light of the Santa Fe High School shooting, we will be bringing in additional police officers. This heightened police presence will remain through the last day of school, May 31, 2018. We are working with the Galveston County Sheriff School Liaison Division to secure an additional officer at each high school and each intermediate school. These additional officers will also patrol their nearby elementary schools. We have also reached out to our local municipalities to ask for their assistance to provide an extra layer of police presence at our elementary schools until the end of the school year.”

Smith further said that students’ backpacks may be subject to search for additional security.

Both school districts have stressed the need for parents to monitor their child’s social media activity.

“As adults, we know children gravitate to social media as a means of communication and collaboration,” Smith said. “We also know this is a place where threats, credible or not, are created and shared quickly. Please monitor your child’s social media account and remind them of the tenets of positive digital citizenship. In the event they see a post that is suspicious or threatening, tell them not to share it but rather report it immediately to you or a trusted adult. All threats will be investigated by law enforcement and criminal charges will be pursued when appropriate. Making a terroristic threat involving a school is a felony offense, as is possessing certain unlawful weapons, including firearms, on school premises.”

To make an anonymous tip in PISD, visit https://asp.schoolmessenger.com/pasadenaisd/quicktip.

To make an anonymous tip in CCISD, call 281-284-TIPS (8477) or email crimestoppers@ccisd.net.

Both districts have additional counselors available to students in need.

Copycat incidents
There have been multiple other arrests throughout the Greater Houston area since the Santa Fe shooting, where students have been charged for making terroristic threats. At press time, there had also been arrests in Friendswood, La Porte, League City, La Marque and Huffman.

While a gun was involved in at least one of the incidents, no shots were fired, and no one was injured.

Local connection
At least one of the victims in the Santa Fe shooting has close ties to the South Belt community.

Flo Rice is one of three gunshot victims being treated at UTMB Galveston. Rice was shot multiple times and had to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur.

Rice is the wife of former South Belt resident Scot Rice and the daughter-in-law of longtime South Belt resident and Sagemont Church member Mary Rice.

Rice’s injuries are not life-threatening, and she is reportedly recovering well.

“Flo Rice is making steady improvements and is expected to make a full recovery with determination and lots of physical therapy,” Scot Rice posted on his Facebook page. “She looks forward to returning to Galveston, not in an ambulance this time but to do her favorite hobby – running on the beach.”

Hurricane season begins June 1

The 2018 hurricane season will begin Friday, June 1, and continue through Nov. 30.

In their annual forecast, meteorologists with The Weather Channel Professional Division have predicted a total of 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), six hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher) and two major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher) this season.
The 30-year average is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

South Belt residents should plan accordingly, in the event that a major storm should strike the area. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (OHSEM), working in conjunction with the City of Houston and the State of Texas, have issued evacuation routes for community members, should the need arise to leave town.

The South Belt area, including ZIP codes 77089 and 77075, are located in what the OHSEM refers to as ZIP-Zone C.

In the case of a Category 4 or 5 storm, those residing in ZIP-Zone C are urged to evacuate by traveling west on Interstate 10 or by heading north on Interstate 45 and highways 290 and 59.

The OHSEM warns against traveling east, as it will take evacuees closer to the coast and into the more vulnerable ZIP-Zone B.

Should the Texas Department of Public Safety issue a mandatory evacuation, contraflow operations will likely be put into effect to expedite the flow of traffic.

On Interstate 10, eastbound lanes would be reversed at FM 359 in Brookshire, just east of Sealy. The contraflow lanes will end at Loop 1604 in San Antonio.

Southbound lanes on Interstate 45 would be reversed north of Highway 242, just south of Conroe. The contraflow lanes will end at US 287 near Ennis, 40 miles south of Dallas.

On Highway 290, contraflow operations will begin just west of FM 1960. Northbound traffic from State Highway 6 will be able to turn west onto 290 contraflow lanes. Contraflow operations will continue to FM 1948 near Burton.

Contraflow operations on Highway 59 will begin just south of Kingwood Drive and continue to Nacogdoches.

County officials recommend each household assemble a disaster relief kit that includes key items such as flashlights, cell phones, extra batteries, battery chargers, a portable radio, a first aid kit, emergency water and food, medical supplies, a nonelectric can opener, a highway map, and important documents, such as driver’s licenses, passports, insurance policies and health cards.

Residents are urged to cover windows with shielding materials and to secure or put up any loose items around homes.

Evacuees should fill vehicles with gasoline as early as possible and take only one automobile, as extra cars create traffic congestion.

Those leaving town are encouraged to bring extra cash in case banks are closed and ATMs are not working. Fleeing citizens are also urged to notify family and friends (especially those out of the area) of their plans and destinations.

Disabled individuals and seniors who require assistance leaving the area should call the state’s help line at 211 or visit www.211texas.org/211.

For details or to utilize an interactive evacuation map, visit www.hcoem.org.

Thompson relocates to Riverstone

The Pasadena Independent School District Board of Trustees recently approved relocating Thompson Intermediate to a new campus that is to be built near the Riverstone Ranch subdivision on a piece of property already owned by the school district.

The land was originally to be used for an 11th PISD intermediate campus, but other options were evaluated after Thompson suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Harvey.

Following the historic storm, Thompson students were temporarily housed at Beverly Hills Intermediate for five months, while school officials and an independent committee studied the issue.

PISD Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell said the existing Thompson campus will still be utilized for programs that have yet to be determined.

The new campus is expected to open in August 2021. See future editions of the Leader for additional information.

 

E-mail mynews@southbeltleader.com with news items of interest.

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