This Week's Headlines

Annual South Belt cook-off nears

Early school voting begins April 22

Harris County holds public flood meeting

Crews respond to Morris scare

City launches new alert system

HCAD offers property tax workshops

Garcia reopens Precinct 2 parks after water, soil results

Pasadena Independent School District board election candidates answer questionnaire

Clear Brook City Municipal Utility District Election Notice

Benson achieves perfect ACT score

JFD spring football to kick off April 23

22-6A softball race one for the ages

Atascocita sweeps District 22-6A track championships; JFD athletes advance

San Jacinto College softball now has won four straight

SBGSA teams excel at Trophy Hunt

PISD Athletics Hall of Fame welcomes Christmas-Kelly

SJC baseball moves to 31-13 overall

LSA Pioneer track controls 7-5A event


Annual South Belt cook-off nears

Dozens of cooking teams are eager to show off their culinary skills at his year’s annual South Belt Spectacular Cook-off, set to take place Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, April 27, at El Franco Lee Park, located at 9400 Hall Road. (Thursday will be primarily for cookers, while Friday and Saturday will be open to the public.)

Teams will be competing for prizes in a number of different categories, including best brisket, chicken, ribs, beans, chili, chef’s choice and margaritas.

Now in its 23rd year, the event is the lone fundraiser for the annual South Belt Fourth of July fireworks display, also held at the area park. Any remaining funds will go toward local charities and future firework displays.

A crawfish boil will once again take place on Friday night.

On Saturday afternoon, children 12 and under will be admitted for free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On that day, children will have access to a wide variety of free activities, including inflatables, rock climbing, pony rides, a petting zoo, a train ride, a coin-in-a-haystack game, an obstacle course, a giant bungee trampoline, face painting, hair braiding, Disney princesses and superheroes, a police helicopter and cruiser, a fire engine and ambulance display and photos with a live Watusi bull named Oliver.

A live auction will also take place Saturday night when the cook-off winners are announced.

A few cooking spots were still available at press time. A 40-foot-by-40-foot spot costs $225. Sponsorship opportunities are also still available at various levels.

To reserve a spot, contact event organizer Linda Arnone at 281-484-4325.

For additional information, visit or

Early school voting begins April 22

Early voting for the local May 6 school board elections will begin Monday, April 22, and continue through Tuesday, April 30.

While both the Pasadena Independent School District and the Clear Creek Independent School District will still hold elections, the San Jacinto College District will not, due to a lack of filing.

Voters will decide who will fill three Pasadena ISD seats and one Clear Creek ISD seat.

Pasadena ISD
Open positions in Pasadena ISD include the Position 5 seat, currently held by Kenny Fernandez; the Position 6 seat, currently held by Marshall Kendrick; and the Position 7 seat, currently held by Vickie Morgan.

All three incumbents have filed to seek re-election, and all three have challengers.

Fernandez is being challenged by Jose A. Cazares and Chad Sullivan, the grandson of Pasadena ISD board member Nelda Sullivan.

Kendrick will be challenged by Albert Bledsoe.

Morgan is being challenged by Ted Capistran and Yen Rabe.

Terms are four years.

Early voting will take place at the John Phelps Courthouse, 101 S. Richey in Pasadena; the South Houston Municipal Court, 1019 Dallas in South Houston; the San Jacinto College Central Campus Library, 8060 Spencer Highway in Pasadena; the Harris County Scarsdale Annex, 10851 Scarsdale; and the Freeman Branch Library, 16616 Diana Lane in Clear Lake.

Early voting hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 22 through April 27; 1 to 6 p.m. April 28; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 29 and April 30.

Clear Creek ISD
Up for grabs in the Clear Creek ISD election are the District 1 seat currently held by Dr. Laura DuPont and the At-Large Position B seat currently held by Ann Hammond.

While both current board members are seeking re-election, only Hammond will face a challenger, as chemical engineer Scott Bowen has filed to run against her.

Terms are two years.

Early voting will take place at the Education Support Center, 2425 E. Main St. in League City; the Learner Support Center (previously Clear Lake Ninth-Grade Center), 2903 Falcon Pass in Clear Lake; and Clear Brook High School, 4607 FM 2351 in Friendswood.

Early voting hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

San Jacinto College
There will be no election for the San Jacinto College District, as both candidates are running unopposed.

Position 3 incumbent Marie Flickinger and Position 4 incumbent Larry Wilson will both retain their seats.

Terms are six years.

Harris County holds public flood meeting

Harris County officials held a public meeting Monday, April 15, to discuss the progress of two ongoing projects to limit flooding in the South Belt area.

Both the Clear Creek Selective Clearing project and Phase 3 of the South Belt Stormwater Detention Basin project are being funded with bonds approved by Harris County voters in August 2018.

Clear Creek Selective Clearing
The Clear Creek Selective Clearing project (Bond Project CI-001) is a major maintenance project involving the north bank of Clear Creek starting at Dixie Farm Road and extending downstream potentially as far as the Gulf Freeway.

Selective clearing as practiced by the Flood Control District involves identifying and removing downed trees or trees at imminent risk of failure.

The primary focus of this operation is to ensure that natural channels function at peak capacity to convey stormwater.

A secondary focus is to leave as much of the native understory as possible, while providing maintenance access and clearing non-native species. This work is in addition to the Flood Control District’s cyclical mowing and maintenance program.

The work in the channel and on channel slopes is performed by hand, using chainsaws, machetes and ropes. Contractors travel the channel mostly on foot. Access to the work areas will be via public easements or where the Flood Control District has established a right of entry with private landowners.
Selective clearing encourages the growth of healthy native tree and vegetation species that help minimize bank erosion and provide environmental benefits such as wildlife habitat. Selective clearing also supports regular channel maintenance.

Work began on the project Tuesday, April 16, and will take approximately five to six weeks to complete. Officials said work on the project will be complete before hurricane season begins on June 1.

The project is estimated to cost $200,000.

For additional information or to leave a public comment on the Clear Creek Selective Clearing project, visit

Stormwater Detention Basin
Bond Project C-05 involves the design and construction of Phase 3 of plans to expand the South Belt Stormwater Detention Basin.

Stormwater detention basins reduce flooding risks and damages during heavy rain events by safely storing excess stormwater and slowly releasing it back to the bayou when the threat of flooding has passed. The basin provides stormwater storage needed for mitigation of expected increases in stormwater flows resulting from future channel improvements to Beamer Ditch (HCFCD Unit A120-00-00, also known as Mud Gully), Turkey Creek (HCFCD Unit 119-00-00) and other projects.

The basin is ultimately designed to hold up to 1,550 acre-feet or 505 million gallons of stormwater.

This project is located on a 174-acre site on Beamer Ditch/Mud Gully, near the intersection of Beamer and Dixie Farm roads in the Clear Creek watershed of southeast Harris County.

Phase 3 of the basin excavation is currently in the design stage, which is expected to be complete by mid-summer.

Construction is expected to begin in fall 2019 and be complete by winter 2021.

Project milestones

Phase 2
• This phase expanded the basin to include basin compartments south and west of the Phase 1 compartment.
• Construction began in November 2016 and was substantially complete in 2019.
• Harris County Commissioners Court awarded a $15.78 million construction contract to James Construction Group LLC for Phase 2 of the basin project.
• The project continued the partnership between Harris County Flood Control District and Galveston County.

Phase 1
• This phase included excavation of the basin compartment northeast of Beamer Ditch/Mud Gully.
• Construction began in late September 2014 and was complete in 2018.
• Harris County Commissioners Court awarded an approximately $3.46 million construction contract to low bidder Trans-Global Solutions Inc.
• The project was a partnership between the Harris County Flood Control District and Galveston County. Galveston County pledged up to $10 million of total basin construction costs.
• Construction costs for Phase 1 were shared equally by the Flood Control District and Galveston County.

For more information or to leave a comment on Phase 3 of the South Belt Stormwater Detention Basin project, visit


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