This Week's Headlines

Tylka, chief 12 years, retires; Cino takes reins

Graduation ceremonies start July 30

South Belt Hurricane information

Area ISDs plan opening under COVID

St. Luke’s CDA urges 1-minute prayer

COVID-19 concerns addressed

TxDOT to conduct I-45 survey

Turner hosts BTS festival

Multiple arrests in Edgebrook robbery

Martin announces area street projects

Sales tax holiday set for Aug. 7-9

Flood control district advises, monitors severe weather

Kannappan of Sagemeadow will serve on architectural control

Harris County Public Library presents Authorama

Fall sports across Houston area facing long odds

UIL leaves basketball preseason, start same for now

SBGSA opens fall sign-up; coaching spots still available

Lajaunie tennis now coming Oct. 9-11

Coronavirus concerns wipe out prestigious McDonald’s, Pearland tournaments

Court Blocks Texas General Land Office, control of Harvey recovery funds set for trial

A&M tapped to produce vaccine


Tylka, chief 12 years, retires; Cino takes reins

Longtime South Belt resident Chuck Tylka recently retired as chief of the Southeast Volunteer Fire Department after serving more than 45 years with the organization, 12 as chief.

“This took a tremendous amount of soul searching, but I think it’s for the best,” Tylka said. “I had accomplished the goals I set early on, and it’s time for a new face to lead us into the future. I have been with the department for 46 years and plan, God willing, to be here when we celebrate our golden anniversary next year.”

David Cino, a 38-year SVFD veteran, has been tapped as Tylka’s replacement. Tylka will remain with the department during the transition.

While not an original member of the Southeast Volunteer Fire Department (initially dubbed the Sagemont Volunteer Fire Department, before the city’s annexation of the area subdivision), Tylka ranked third in seniority at the time of his retirement, behind only founding members Ed Baker and Jerry Terrell.

Tylka began his tenure with the group as a volunteer firefighter. He had been introduced to the organization by charter member George McKown, who at the time served as Tylka’s boss at JC Penney at Almeda Mall.

After one early response call hit particularly close to home, with Tylka’s mother-in-law suffering a heart attack and no SVFD crew members knowing CPR, McKown offered to pay for his underling to undergo emergency medical training.

“I didn’t want to be helpless again,” Tylka said.

In addition to working as both a firefighter and an EMT, Tylka also served as treasurer and president of the SVFD board of trustees, spending 10 years in the latter position.

A fellow longtime member of the department, Cino has also served in multiple positions prior to becoming chief, including lieutenant, captain and assistant chief.

A lifelong South Belt resident, Cino attended Stuchbery Elementary, Thompson Intermediate and Dobie High School, where he graduated in 1981. Cino also attended San Jacinto College.

He joined the Southeast Volunteer Fire department in 1982. That same year, he also started working at Spectrum Corporation, where he is still employed as an outside salesman.

Cino holds Tylka in the highest regard.

“Chuck has done a wonderful job,” Cino said. “I’m so glad he’s staying on as a board member and liaison, and as special project manager. He’s going to be hard to replace.”

An active member of the South Belt community, Tylka also serves on the boards of the Clear Brook City MUD and Sageglen HOA, where he will continue to serve in both capacities. Tylka said he also plans to continue his work with the annual South Belt Spectacular Cook-off, of which he is a primary organizer.

Always quick to lend a hand, Tylka spent one of his last days with the department doing a job few would envy.

Multiple Sagemeadow residents had complained to the Leader about a stench coming from a septic swimming pool that was being illegally emptied into the street. While not necessarily a job for the fire department, the Leader turned to Tylka, who obliged to help.

“It was loaded with solids,” Tylka said. “There was a horrendous stench. It was very aromatic.”

With other SVFD volunteers busy Tylka, was forced to do the work himself, spending more than two hours, hosing down the street in the 100-degree heat. The job required three loads of water on the department’s pumper truck, as a hydrant was not within reach.

“It was not one of my favorite things I’ve done, but it helped the neighborhood, and it’s a good neighborhood with good people,” said Tylka.

Tylka also recently retired from his other professional career as the owner of an industrial chemical distribution company.

Tylka said he had originally planned to spend his new free time traveling, but those plans were put on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He also plans to spend more time with his two daughters and his grandchildren, who also live in the area.

In March 2017, Tylka lost his wife Donna after nearly 50 years of marriage.
“Forty-eight years, six months and 12 days,” Tylka fondly remembered.

Tylka credits his wife and the family of other SVFD members for the sacrifices they also make.

“My wife was always there for me,” Tylka said. “Unlike most people, we (firefighters) give up a lot to our family. We might have to go out on Christmas morning, Saturday afternoon or during a hurricane.

“Whenever that bell rings, we’ve got to go. And I’m just one of many. A lot of people don’t realize what it takes behind the scenes. They think you just call 911, and someone will be there. These guys risk their health and safety to help others.”

Tylka urges anyone who wants to volunteer for the fire department to visit SVFD Station No. 1, located at 10510 Scarsdale, any Thursday at 7 p.m. No experience is necessary.

“It can be a life-changing and rewarding experience,” Tylka said.

Graduation ceremonies start July 30

The Pasadena Independent School District is moving forward with its graduation ceremonies, set to take place Thursday, July 30, through Monday, Aug. 3, at Veterans Memorial Stadium, located at 2906 Dabney in Pasadena.
The events were originally set to take place at NRG Stadium but were moved out of COVID-19 fears.

According to Pasadena ISD officials, NRG Stadium could not meet the school district’s needs, as the facility would not have time to properly disinfect the establishment between planned ceremonies, given the number of expected guests.

Dobie will hold its graduation July 30; Memorial will hold its graduation July 31; Pasadena will hold its graduation Aug. 1; Sam Rayburn will hold its graduation Aug. 2; and South Houston will hold its graduation Aug. 3. Lewis Career and Technical High School held its graduation July 28, and Tegeler Career Center held its graduation July 29.

All graduation ceremonies are set to begin at 8:30 p.m.

The school district will take all necessary safety precautions, and families will be seated in accordance to the latest social distancing guidelines.

The amount of tickets distributed to families will be based on the latest social distancing guidelines. The event will be livestreamed for all of those unable to attend the event in person.

For the latest on Pasadena ISD’s 2020 graduation information, visit


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