This Week's Headlines

Houston police offer jugging prevention safety tips

City plans new area thoroughfare

Special election called to replace Garcia

CCISD seeks input on calendar

HPD cancels 2 PIP meetings

HPL sponsors Citizenship Month

SJC releases calendar briefs

South Belt Chamber of Commerce honors outstanding students for October

Welder turned physicist fuses technical, academic education

UHCL schedules calendar briefs

CCEF hosts annual awards presentation, gala

SJC aims at opening new facility in 2020

San Jacinto nabs Excalibur, Medallion awards

Dobie football secures Beltway title, playoff berth

Dobie’s Pleasants named 22-6A MVP

Despite loss, CB football advances; Wolverines to take on Strake Jesuit

Barry Harris scholarship funding efforts underway

Sagemont Cowboys sophomore team headed to BAFL Super Bowl

JFD, Clear Brook boys’ hoops to open

 

Houston police offer jugging prevention safety tips

With the recent surge in “jugging” crimes, the Houston Police Department is offering the following 10 ATM safety tips (police define jugging as a robbery/theft, in which crooks following victims from a bank or ATM):

1. Always pay close attention to the ATM and surroundings. Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building — corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do automated banking in a public, well-lighted location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.

2. Maintain an awareness of surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM, make sure no one is following. However, if being followed, drive or walk immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lighted location or business. If one feels one is in danger, call 911.

3. Do not use an ATM that appears unusual or offers options with which one is not familiar or comfortable.

4. Do not allow people to look over one’s shoulder as the PIN is being entered into the ATM. Memorize your PIN; never write it on the back of your card. Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM eats your card — contact a bank official.

5. Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the assailant.

6. Never count cash at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure place.

7. When using a drive-up ATM, keep the vehicle engine running with doors locked, and leave enough room to maneuver between one’s car and the one ahead in the drive-up line.

8. Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in one’s car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.

9. Closely monitor one’s bank statements, as well as balances, and immediately report any problems to one’s bank.

10. If there is a confrontation with an assailant who demands money, comply.

City plans new area thoroughfare

The City of Houston Planning and Development Department is moving forward with plans to construct a new thoroughfare near Ellington Airport between Old Galveston Road and Interstate 45.

To be referred to as Ellington Road, the new street will be located between the Dixie Farm Road and FM 2351 exits along the Gulf Freeway.

This past September, the project was placed on the city’s Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan (MTFP). The MTFP identifies right-of-way needs and proposes roadway alignments within the city limits of Houston and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

It is important to note, the MTFP does not initiate the timing of right-of-way acquisition or construction activities related to the roadways, and design and construction will not occur immediately if passed. Ellington Road between Space Center Boulevard and Old Galveston Road was added to the MTFP in 2003.

While the endeavor has been in the works for more than a decade, Houston City Council member Dave Martin said at an Oct. 16 town hall meeting that the project was put on the fast-track to dissuade construction of a crude oil storage facility on the same piece of land.

Property owners abutting the proposed road alignment should receive written notification of the amendment process. Details including an online comment form will be available on the Planning Department website.

To date, two separate public hearings have been held to discuss the proposal. The first such hearing was the aforementioned Oct. 16 town hall meeting held by Martin, while the second was held by the city’s Planning Commission on Oct. 25.

The measure was subsequently approved by the Planning Commission at its Nov. 8 meeting and will now advance to City Council for consideration. A final decision on the project is expected by the end of the year.

Fore more information, contact the Planning and Development Department at 832-393-6660 or mobility.planning@houstontx.gov.

Special election called to replace Garcia


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday, Nov. 9, called for a special election to fill the state Senate District 6 seat being vacated by Sylvia Garcia.

The election for the district, which encompasses much of the South Belt community, will take place Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, with early voting beginning on Monday, Nov. 26.

Candidates wanting to run for the position must file their applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16.

Abbott set the special election just hours after Garcia officially resigned from her state senate seat, having easily won her congressional bid for U.S. House District 29 in the Nov. 6 general election.

“I will submit to Gov. Abbott a letter of resignation effective one minute after noon today,” Garcia said at a press conference Friday. “As I’ve always stated, my goal has been to ensure the people of Senate District 6 have seamless and high-quality representation. By resigning at 12:01 p.m., it allows the governor to call an election with enough time for my successor to be elected, sworn in and ready to start the legislative session from Day 1.”

Garcia had submitted an earlier resignation letter to Abbott in August, requesting that the governor call the special election on Nov. 6 to coincide with the general election, saving Harris County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Abbott, however, refused, citing ambiguous language in Garcia’s resignation letter, as she merely stated her “intent to resign” rather than a full resignation.
Garcia’s Nov. 9 resignation at 12:01 p.m. coincided with the start of the state’s “expedited election period.”

A provision of the Texas Election Code, the expedited period is intended to speed up special elections for vacancies that occur near a legislative session. The period begins 60 days prior to a legislative session, which, in this, case begins at noon on Jan. 8.

Under the expedited guidelines, Abbott must set a special election on a Tuesday or Saturday, 21 to 45 days after his Nov. 9 proclamation, meaning he could have scheduled it on any corresponding day between Dec. 1 and Jan. 19.
If a runoff is necessary, state law dictates it must be held on a Tuesday or Saturday between 12 and 25 days after the special election.

Garcia said she hopes to reach across the political aisle to work on issues important to all Texans.

“From fighting human trafficking, to making sure Texas gets what it needs at a time of disaster, to our common goal of high-quality early childhood education, we have found common ground before, and I hope we find it again,” Garcia wrote in her resignation letter.

Multiple candidates have expressed an interest in filling Garcia’s current District 6 seat, including two local Democrats presently serving in the Texas House: state Reps. Carol Alvarado and Ana Hernandez. Both candidates were recently re-elected to their respective positions, with Hernandez running unopposed, and Alvarado facing only a third-party challenger.

Alvarado had previously run against Garcia for the position in 2013, when the congresswoman-elect first took the reins.

Both Alvarado and Hernandez issued statements following the governor’s announcement.

Like Garcia, Alvarado, who currently represents state House District 145, touted her ability to work with Republicans.

“I have a good track record of working across the aisle, working in a bipartisan way, but never compromising the values that I hold near and dear to my heart and that are important to my district,” Alvarado said. (See related letter on Page 2A.)

Hernandez, who serves Texas’ House District 143, said she hopes to continue Garcia’s legacy in the senate.

“Sen. Garcia has been a tireless champion for our communities in Austin,” Hernandez said. “As she prepares to fight on our behalf in our nation’s capital, I hope to continue her legacy in our state government on the Senate floor.”
Should either Alvarado or Hernandez win the Senate District 6 race, a second special election will need to be held to fill their vacancy in the House.

Garcia will replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Gene Green, who recently resigned after serving for more than two decades in Congress.

 

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