This Week's Headlines

PISD graduation rate tops 90 percent

Wings over Houston takes flight

Early voting to begin Oct. 23

South Belters celebrate fall, Halloween

CCISD honors distinguished athletes

City debris ending; recycling returning

Ensemble puts Texas composers on center stage

State committee to chat hurricane

Nonprofit reimburse deadline approaches

DPS highlights school bus safety efforts

Judge Risner Golf Tournament set

Griffin brings experience to SJC

Malone to speak at NASA Aglow

Beverly Hills Intermediate announces honor roll for first six weeks

JFD X-country’s Singleton reaches regionals

Longhorns look ahead to Rayburn football

Dobie grad Grant gets up-close experience during Astros’ late-season push

Friendswood slows Wolverine football

Atascocita ousts Dobie tennis

SJC soccer wins ninth straight

Lady Longhorn VB near playoff berth

SJC volleyball now to 19-4; 15th in nation

Ole Miss baseball lands Tyler Myers commitment



PISD graduation rate tops 90 percent

In 2007, the Pasadena Independent School District’s graduation rate barely peaked above the 65 percent mark. In just nine years, the district has now boosted its graduation rate from 67.2 to nearly 91 percent.

“When our graduation rate was hovering around 67 percent, we knew that we needed to address the issue and make a paradigm shift,” said Dr. DeeAnn Powell, Pasadena ISD superintendent.

That is just what they did. Through various innovative programs, PISD administrators, counselors and teachers rolled up their sleeves and focused their efforts on helping students graduate on time.

Pasadena ISD’s graduation score has continued to rise ever since. In 2009, the district reported a graduation rate of 71 percent, an increase of over 4 points since 2007. By 2011, the graduation rate rose to 86.2 percent and continued to grow to 88.8 percent by 2012.

When House Bill 5 legislation passed in 2013, Pasadena ISD adopted college and career readiness programs as a means of helping students graduate.

These programs include:
• Early College High School,
• Community School,
• Tegeler Career Center,
• Lewis Career and Technical High School.

For the next two years, PISD’s graduation rate increased to 89.4, parallel to the state average. In 2016, PISD shattered the state average and reached an all-time high of 90.9 percent.

District officials expect the graduation rate to continue to rise as they develop more programs aimed at fitting the learning style of all students and giving them the power to choose their own path to a high school diploma, college and a career.

For more information, visit

Wings Over Houston takes flight

The 33rd annual Wings Over Houston Airshow will take place at Ellington Airport Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will once again headline the event. Sugar Land native Lt. Col. Jason Heard will serve as commander of the unit.

“Despite Hurricane Harvey and all of the challenges facing our area, our show will go on exactly as planned. We’ve been a Houston family tradition for 33 years, and in times like this, our show is a real boost for all of us,” said Wings Over Houston Director Bill Roach. “We will have several new performers, a lot of our fan favorites and some really fun ground activities including exotic cars and motorcycles. Of course, we also feature one of the largest assemblies of vintage aircraft of any show in the country.”

Organized by the Commemorative Air Force, the airshow will also feature a dramatic Vietnam War Tribute demonstration by a F-4 Phantom II, F-100 Super Sabre, MiG-17, Huey Cobra and other aircraft. A special commemorative fly-by of a B-25 will recognize the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid in World War II and honor the last living Raider, Lt. Col. Dick Cole, who just celebrated his 102nd birthday. Cole will also be available to meet fans in the Legends and Heroes Autograph Tent.

The show also will recognize the U.S. Coast Guard for its heroic rescues following Hurricane Harvey and include a demonstration of the Dolphin MH65D helicopter.

In addition to the Thunderbirds, modern military aircraft performances include a roaring show kickoff by an F-16 Fighting Falcon of the Air National Guard 138th Fighter Wing of Tulsa in a full afterburner takeoff. The U.S. Navy will also present a tactical demonstration of the F-18 Super Hornet VFA-122.

Aerobatic pilots Elias Corey with Suzuki Airshows and Michael Wiskus of Lucas Oil Airshows will both make their Wings Over Houston debuts, while fan favorite and world aerobatic champion Debbie Rihn-Harvey will also perform.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight will feature a World War II-era P-47 Thunderbolt and its newer namesake, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, also known as the “Warthog.” Also flying together in an airshow for the first time will be the world’s first jet fighter, a replica German ME-262, and another famed single-engine jet fighter, the British de Havilland DH-15 Vampire. Randy Ball returns to pilot the MiG-17 in a solo demonstration and will also fly in the Vietnam War Tribute.

Ace pilots, distinguished military veterans and a record-holding astronaut will meet fans in the Legends and Heroes Autograph Tent. Honored guests include Lt. Col. Dick Cole, Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, Col. Dean Caswell, Col. Joe McPhail, Capt. Royce Williams, Brig. Gen. Steve Ritchie, Maj.Terry Pappas, Col. Jerry Ross and many others.

Other performances and activities will include the Vietnam War Tribute featuring F-4 Phantom II, F-100 Super Sabre, MiG-17, A-4 Skyhawk, Huey Cobra and Skyraider 02, as well as ground action by re-enactors from the 6th Cavalry of the National U.S. Forces Museum and others.

The show will also feature vintage aircraft performing and on display from various units of the Commemorative Air Force, Lone Star Flight Museum, Vietnam War Flight Museum, Lewis Collection, Cavanaugh Flight Museum and Collings Foundation. To see all these aircraft up close and on the ground, arrive at 8 a.m. and go to the warbird ramp. The area is always open until 10 a.m. but often stays open as late as 10:30 or 11 a.m., depending on show scheduling.

A large assembly of modern and vintage military aircraft will be on static display all day, including the specialized EA-18G Growler, reliable B-52 Stratofortress, the massive C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane, the multi-role F-16C Fighting Falcon, the impressive AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the huge U.S. Coast Guard HC-130H search and rescue plane and more.

The RE/MAX Skydiving Team will open the show, bringing the American and Texas flags to the crowd during the National Anthem.

Precision Exotics will also bring a collection of exotic vehicles to the tarmac for display. Aerobatic pilot Elias Corey of Suzuki Airshows will perform both in the air and on the ground, utilizing Suzuki’s full range of motorcycles. The custom-built Shockwave Jet Truck, powered by three massive J34-48 Pratt & Whitney jet engines, will scream down the runway at chilling speeds.

Before the airshow starts, Texas City Radio Control Club will demonstrate scale model radio-controlled aircraft.

Members of reenactment and historical organizations set up camp, complete with authentic military vehicles, equipment and uniforms.

Other on-the-ground highlights include food, merchandise booths, a children’s carnival area, aircraft simulators and more.

Fans are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for donation to the Houston Food Bank, as it continues to provide disaster relief to people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 888-4-FLYSHOW.

Early voting to begin Oct. 23

Early voting for the Nov. 7 special elections will begin Monday, Oct. 23, and continue through Friday, Nov. 3.

To be decided are two propositions from the Pasadena Independent School District, seven propositions from the State of Texas and six propositions from the City of Houston.

Pasadena ISD
Voters in PISD will decide on Proposition A, a no-tax-rate-increase bond election seeking $135 million in funds for new construction, and Proposition B, a Tax Ratification Election (TRE), which asks voters to approve a 13-cent tax increase to cover the district’s growing maintenance and operational costs.

For information on the proposals, see last week’s Leader or visit

State of Texas
Seven state amendments will also appear on the ballot.

Proposition 1 reads “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.”

Proposition 2 reads “The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.”

Proposition 3 reads “The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate after the expiration of the person’s term of office.”

Proposition 4 reads “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.”

Proposition 5 reads “The constitutional amend-ment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.”

Proposition 6 reads “The constitutional amend-ment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

Proposition 7 reads “The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.”

For more information on the proposals, visit

City of Houston
The City of Houston will hold five bond elections, including Proposition A, which would provide more than $1 billion for pension obligations.

For more information on the city proposals, visit

Polling locations
South Belt residents may once again utilize the new early voting location at the Harris County annex at 10851 Scarsdale and Beamer. The new site replaced the polling location at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Hall No. 66 on Allen Genoa that was formerly the nearest place for South Belt residents to cast their early votes.

Other nearby early voting locations include the Kyle Chapman Activity Center at 7340 Spencer Highway in Pasadena and the Freeman Branch Library at 16616 Diana Lane in the Clear Lake area.

Polling hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Oct. 27; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 28; 1 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 29; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 30 through Nov. 3.
For more information or to see a complete list of polling locations, visit

South Belters celebrate fall, Halloween

Fall has arrived, and with the cooler temperatures comes a variety of local activities for South Belt residents to enjoy.

• The Southeast Volunteer Fire Department, 9830 Hughes Road, will host its annual Halloween party Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Children are encouraged to dress in costume and will be allowed to climb on the department’s fire engines and play on moonwalks. The event will feature free hot dogs, candy and sodas until supplies run out.

• San Jacinto College South will hold its annual Fall Fest Friday, Oct. 27, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the parking lots outside the gym and soccer field. The event will feature a petting zoo, games, face painting, crafts, a bounce house, a rock-climbing wall and many more fun festivities. There will also be a costume contest held in the gym beginning at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be available for purchase. All games are free and open to the public.

• Stuchbery Elementary, 11210 Hughes Road, will host its annual Trunk-or-Treat event on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the front parking lot of the school. The event will feature activities, games and candy. The event is free and open to the public. Children are encouraged to wear costumes.

• Jessup Elementary, 9301 Almeda Genoa, will host its annual fall carnival Friday, Oct. 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. The family event will include games, prizes and many other fun activities. The event is open to the public.

• Christ Church Apostolic, 12815 Fuqua, will host its annual Trunk-or-Treat event Saturday, Oct. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m.

• South Belt Church (formerly Easthaven Baptist Church), 13100 Beamer Road, will host its annual trunk-or-treat event on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. This event will be held indoors and will take place rain or shine. The event is free and open to the public.

• CrossRoads UMC (formerly Cokesbury United Methodist Church), 10030 Scarsdale, will host its second annual Fall Fest on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. The event will feature games, music and prizes. A costume parade will take place for children 10 years of age and under. The church’s annual pumpkin patch will also be open daily through Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Almeda Mall will host its annual trick-or-treating event Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 6 p.m. until supplies run out. The Morris Middle School choir will perform at the center court at 6 p.m. While children are encouraged to wear costumes, no masks will be allowed for adults.

E-mail with news items of interest.

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