This Week's Headlines

SJC South art gallery to open

JFD student performs at inauguration

Dogs stolen from local pet shop

Truck size increases; traffic decreases

Residents warn of potential scam

Area charter school breaks ground

City holds rate increase hearing

New way for parents to stay in the loop

Sullivan appointed director of governmental, public affairs

Identity theft, scams, fraud, elder abuse, topics at Triad

LSA hosts open house

167 nurses graduate from San Jacinto to Houston’s health care

AARP Webster area meets on Jan. 20

PLT presents The Cover of Life

Pasadena ISD students chosen for all-state musical ensemble

County taxes could be postponed

Caldwell named SJC Chief of Police

Atkinson Principal Week Awards announced

CCISD students earn top Texas music honor

Clear Creek will host job interview event

San Jacinto registration still available for classes

San Jac students get grant for nursing training

Moore lists honor, merit, attendance rolls

PISD’s Powell recognizes board

Wilson’s no-give, no-quit outlook pays off with UMHB

Dobie girls’ track and field’s Knight-Gray off to Goose Creek ISD

Dobie grads named all-academic at UMHB

Brook, Dobie basketball teams score big wins

Defense keys Dobie’s 5-0-1 soccer start

Pasadena ISD officials close in on candidates

Lady Longhorns go 2-2 at PNG

San Jac softball sets 2017 schedule

SJC South art gallery to open

There will be a grand opening celebration for the new art gallery at San Jacinto College South on Friday, Jan. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The gallery’s first exhibit opened Jan. 17 and will run through Feb. 16.

A joint project with the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS), Lithic is an interactive art exhibition featuring a collection of ancient stone tools from the HMNS permanent collection.

“Since last summer, we have been working on building a museum-quality exhibition for the San Jacinto College community,” said San Jacinto College South Campus Gallery curator and art professor Jeff McGee. “Some of the artifacts on display are around 400,000 years old and come from all over the world. Stone tools are the first step in a long chain of technological advances leading up to our modern, tech-driven world, so this exhibition really highlights the beginnings of human ingenuity. Our intention is to expose our students and visitors to the offerings made available to them in the Houston area, to bring a bit of the museum experience to their front door, and ultimately make the museum a destination. I am very excited to host the HMNS here at the South Campus Gallery.”

The exhibition will feature artifacts, live demonstrations, videos and interactive activities aimed at highlighting the manufacturing of stone tools as a creative endeavor from ancient peoples across the globe.

Live flintknapping demonstrations will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursday, Feb. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. Flintknapping is the process of chipping away material from high silica stones, like flint, in a carefully controlled manner with special tools to produce sharp projectile points or tools.

Lithic runs Tuesday, Jan. 17, through Friday, Feb. 17, at the San Jacinto College South Campus Gallery, room S15.143 in the Marie Spence Flickinger Fine Arts Center (building 15).

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Local independent school districts, colleges and universities are invited to bring their classes to the exhibition, and if interested, are asked to contact Jeff McGee at

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. A closing reception will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m.

JFD student performs at inauguration

Dobie High School junior Garrett Barrientos has been chosen to perform with 12 members of the Virtuosi of Houston for some of the biggest names in office during the presidential inauguration.

An oboe player for the Longhorn band, Barrientos, 16, will perform at the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Gala. Barrientos began playing the oboe at the age of 10 and has had multiple placements at region competition since sixth grade and at area competition during his sophomore year.

“To be part of the few that are representing Pasadena ISD and Dobie High School is a huge honor,” Barrientos said. “It’s surreal to think that I will be doing what I love at such a historical event.”

Virtuosi is comprised of some of the top young musicians in town. The students will provide music at a private reception and candlelight congressional dinner, leading up to the inauguration.

The performance was arranged by Virtuosi board member Monzer Hourani of MediStar Corporation, who is co-hosting the dinner and helping to fund the trip, along with Dr. and Mrs. Garrett Peel and Glenda Perryman, supporters of Virtuosi of Houston who wanted to give the young musicians this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“We recognize that the youth of today are growing up in a smaller, globally and politically connected world,” Zarine Boyce, president and CEO of Virtuosi of Houston said. “Understanding our political process and experiencing an Inauguration by being there is crucial to developing a child into a responsible citizen.”

The musicians – ranging in age from 11 to 18 – will also be present during the swearing-in at the Capitol.

Garrett Barrientos is the son of Raul and Kari Barrientos and resides in the Kirkmont subdivision.

Pasadena ISD drill team members Aylene Espinoza and Karla Hernandez, from South Houston and Sam Rayburn high schools respectively, are also scheduled to perform at the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Gala.

Dogs stolen from local pet shop

Three valuable dogs were stolen from the Pet Place pet shop, located at 13730 Beamer across the street from San Jacinto College, during a break-in the night of Saturday, Jan. 14.

Two English bull dogs (valued at $3,500 each) and one Maltese (valued at $900) were taken during the burglary.

According to investigators, the incident took place shortly before 9 p.m. Surveillance footage shows a male being dropped off at the pet store shortly before the break-in. The male is then shown finding a large rock, which he wraps up in a cloth, before smashing in the front door glass in once the coast appears to be clear on Beamer.

Once inside the shop, the crook went straight to the dogs, before fleeing the store with the animals and meeting back up with the getaway driver.

“I’m pretty sure he’d done it before,” said Pet Place owner Christie Vaughn. “It looked like he knew what he was doing.”

Vaughn is confident the thief had visited the store with a female earlier in the day to look at the dogs.

“I’m 99.9 percent sure it’s the same guy,” Vaughn said. “They were here for over an hour. They kept going outside to the car, then back inside. I thought they were going to try and sneak off with the dogs. It just seemed flaky.”

Investigators agree with Vaughn’s assessment, saying the suspect in the surveillance footage appears to be one of the same people in the store earlier that day.

Both suspects were described by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as being white and between 25 and 30 years old. The male suspect was reportedly wearing a blue Houston Texans jersey, weighing between 150 and 160 pounds and had a tattoo above his right eyebrow. The female suspect was said to be wearing a red Texans jersey. Their vehicle is described merely as a white four-door compact car of unknown make or model.

Vaughn said this was not the first time a dog had been stolen from the store.
“It’s not the first time, but this was a little too much,” Vaughn said.

The store owner is hopeful the episode will serve as a warning to others.
“People should be careful,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn is grateful for the fast response from law enforcement officers, who rushed to the scene after receiving an alarm call.

“I appreciate the sheriff’s deputies and the constable’s office for getting here so quickly,” Vaughn said. “They were here within a couple minutes.”

In addition to the surveillance footage, deputies were also able to retrieve fingerprints from the crime scene. Authorities said the crime is being treated as a felony theft due to the large amount of money involved. The investigation was ongoing at press time.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Burglary and Theft Division at 713-274-9100.

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