This Week's Headlines

Beamer @ BW8 to close this weekend

Rabid bat discovered at Weber

Deputies respond to area crime

Martin meeting addresses panhandlers, other issues

Time changes for Dobie ceremony

Challengers file for school elections

Kirkway apartments dropped

SJC set upcoming events

CCISD hosts community meetings

Harris County Appraisal District offers business personal property rendition aid

Education seminars set for families

Space Center concrete panels to be replaced

Investigation into man’s I-45 death

City Hall Farmers Market is back

All Stars perform at Sagemont Church

Workshops to help identify tax exemptions

Clear Creek ISD earns national recognition

Jewish-flavored carnival for everyone

RI President Germ visits Beta Academy

Students go to State VASE

Jaso, Branch duo to head athletics

Brook, Dobie boys’ hoops suffer bidistrict losses

San Jacinto College softball now 12-6

Dobie track starts strong at Brown Relays

San Jacinto basketball ranked third nationally

Lions, Bears compete at PISD track and field

JFD boys’ soccer commands 22-6A; CB in mix

Missed chances aside, hoops future is bright

Dobie baseballers to open ’17 season

 

Beamer @ BW8 to close this weekend

Beamer Road will be completely closed at Beltway 8 from 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, through 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 27.

This will be a full closure of the northbound and southbound lanes of Beamer under the beltway. Both U-turn lanes will also remain closed.

The measure is to ensure driver safety, as work on the beltway overpass is expected to cause debris to fall down on the Beamer thoroughfare below.

At least one inside lane on the eastbound Beltway 8 frontage road from Pearland Parkway to Beamer will also be closed daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Thursday, March 9.

The closures are associated with the ongoing project to widen Beltway 8 from Beamer to Highway 288 from two to four lanes in each direction.

Rabid bat discovered at Weber

A bat, later determined to be rabid, was discovered in the Weber Elementary gymnasium on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

The animal was spotted by a fifth-grade female student during physical education class. The student reportedly touched the bat but was not bitten.

Once aware of the incident, Weber coaches quickly cleared the area and notified animal control, which did a sweep of the entire campus. Animal control officials believe the bat entered through the exterior gym door.

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, test results from the Harris County Public Health (HCPH) department determined the bat was infected with the rabies virus. The student was examined by both county and independent physicians and determined to be free from infection. The student will continue to be monitored for several weeks, school district officials said.

Weber Principal Cheryl Chaney sent out two messages to parents notifying them of the incident – one immediately after the bat’s discovery and a second, lengthier one after the animal tested positive for rabies.

“As standard protocol, the campus will be monitored for a two-week watch period by trained school district personnel who will inspect the interior and exterior of the facility for any signs of bats,” the letter read in part. “School officials will take the appropriate actions and notify you if any more bats are found. We are committed to providing a safe environment for our children. Inspections to keep the campus free of pests are conducted throughout the year.”

Following the incident, county experts visited the school to educate the students about the possible dangers of bats and the rabies virus.

“I asked Dr. (Yvonne) Chu from the Harris County Health Department to talk to our fifth-grade students, who were in the gym yesterday, about what happened and what to do if you ever see a bat,” Chaney said. “Our district lead nurses, Jerri Stepp and Pam Alford, and I were present during today’s discussion. It was informative and gave students good information about safety precautions.”

Chaney urges parents to also discuss the issue with their children.

“It is very important for parents to talk to their children to find out if they have ever had contact with a bat or if a bat might have brushed up against them,” Chaney said.

“If you think that your child may have touched a bat, please call HCPH Veterinary Public Health (VPH) at 832-927-1143 as soon as possible. It is very important for HCPH to identify and talk to any student or adult who may have been exposed to the rabid bat.”

Residents near Weber are encouraged to be cautious, as the deadly virus can spread to humans and animals in rare cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while bats constitute around only 25 percent of reported cases of rabies in wild animals, their bites account for the vast majority of cases of the virus in humans.

Of the 36 cases of rabies reported in humans in the United States between 1995 and 2010, two were caused by dog bites, while the remainder were caused by bat bites.

Rabies is fully preventable if the patient is vaccinated before the onset of symptoms. However, bat bites may go ignored or unnoticed and hence untreated. Many victims may not realize they have been bitten, because bats have very small teeth and do not always leave obvious marks.

The most severe threat to humans and domestic animals comes from sick, downed or dead bats, which typically have a very high infection rate. Since they may be clumsy, disoriented and unable to fly, these stricken bats are much more likely to come into contact with humans.

For information, visit www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/bats.html.

Deputies respond to area crime

Deputies from Harris County Precinct 2 Constable Chris Diaz’s office have kept busy as of late responding to numerous calls and making multiple arrests.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, deputies responded to a criminal mischief call around 9 p.m. where a resident had witnessed someone smashing in a window at an apartment complex in the 10900 block of Highland Meadow Village Drive.

Deputies were able to track down the described vehicle, a white Dodge Charger with a female and two males, and the witness positively identified them as being the suspects.

A search of the suspects’ vehicle yielded multiple pieces of stolen property, including laptop computers, cell phones, DVD players, a ring display with jewelry, multiple Social Security cards and a sizable amount of yen currency.

Chelsea Thomas, 23, was arrested for having multiple open warrants in Harris County; Lance Minnieweather, 26, was arrested and charged with felony possession of stolen articles; and Jecobie Jackson, 23, was arrested on charges of criminal mischief.

According to Precinct 2 Sgt. Robert Sanchez, some of the stolen items were traced back to a burglary of a habitation the Houston Police Department was investigating.

Additional charges are expected to be filed, Sanchez said.

Deputies responded to multiple calls that were similar in nature on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 21, when two break-ins and one home invasion were all reported within just a few blocks of each other.

The break-ins occurred on Pigeonwood and Gullwood, while the home invasion took place on Waxwood.

In the Pigeonwood incident, several items were taken from the house. A dog at the Gullwood residence reportedly scared off the crooks before anything could be taken.

A woman was showering at the home on Waxwood when the crooks broke in. Again, nothing was taken from the home, as the crooks were scared off when the woman shouted for her husband.

Investigators believe all three incidents are related.

Surveillance footage shows the suspects driving an older model white Toyota, possibly a Corolla or a Camry. The suspects are described as three black males, with one of the men wearing a gray hoodie.

Anyone with any information about this case is urged to contact the Precinct 2 Constable’s office at 281-481-9189.

Deputies are also searching for a suspect(s) wanted for breaking into St. Luke’s Catholic Church in the 11000 block of Hall Road.

Investigators said the break-in took place between 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, and 6:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 20.

The church’s worship center, parish hall and administration building were all broken into.

According to investigators, the suspect(s) gained entry through an interior window of the administration building in the church’s courtyard.

Nothing was reported missing as a result of the break-ins. Deputies said they found multiple empty money bags in an administration office, but the money they once contained had already been safely placed in the church’s safe.

There were signs that the crook(s) had attempted to break into the church’s safe, but they were unsuccessful, investigators said.

Anyone with any information about this case is urged to contact the Precinct 2 Constable’s office at 281-481-9189.

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

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