This Week's Headlines

July 4th parade now registering participants

South Belt’s McCrutcheon easily wins HCAD

City OKs agreement up to $1.5B

Work stopped on motel?

Trent Lilley visits with Sen. Ted Cruz

Investigation leads to multiple arrests

SJC gala raises $680,000

Pct. 2 nabs Almeda shoplifter

City of Houston OKs $3.03 billion budget

Hobby gets top rating nationally

Drugs, guns collected

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Pasadena Memorial HS releases final 2023-24 student honor roll

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Once a bear, always a bear

Ashley Collier works her way to top of Beverly Hills

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Fitzmorris soaks in every moment as Dobie football coaching tenure starts

Free youth football camp hosted at Dobie July 12

UIL shifts to two playoff divisions across additional team sports

LSA’s Maldonado welcomes chance to play Southern softball

Former SJC star Williams at MCWS

Dickson to run 200 at U.S. Trials

Dobie volleyball hosts July 29-31 camp

Hulsey, Smith recognized

Benavides leads ETBU title push

Brook’s Norl ready for college game

Huerta, Ortiz pick NAU FB

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1998 CBHS tracksters sought

July 4th parade now registering participants

Area residents are gearing up for the return of the annual South Belt Independence Day parade, set to take place Thursday, July 4.

This will mark the second time the parade has happened since 2020 when the event was put on pause due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Houston City Council Member Carolyn Evans-Shabazz will serve as this year’s grand marshal of the parade.

The parade has been an annual event since 1988, except during COVID,
It is not too late to enter the parade, according to event organizers. All are welcome to participate in the event, including both commercial and noncommercial entries.

While it is not necessary to do so, participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles, trailers and floats. Prizes will be awarded to the most patriotic and most original entries in both commercial and noncommercial categories.

Community groups and nonprofit organizations may sign up for the parade at no charge, unless they wish to be eligible for a prize. Noncommercial entries competing for a trophy are required to pay $25. Commercial entries are required to pay $50, whether or not they choose to enter the contest.

The parade will depart from Beverly Hills Intermediate, 11111 Beamer, at 10 a.m. Participants are urged to arrive at least an hour early.

After leaving Beverly Hills, the parade route will then head north on Beamer to Fuqua, then east to Sabo/Hughes Road, before traveling south onto Beamer to the parade’s final destination of San Jacinto College South.

Due to the length of the parade route, participants are prohibited from walking it on foot.

Entry forms are available on Page 6 of this issue; visit the Leader Facebook at; online at (online forms are to be printed out); and the Leader office, located at 11555 Beamer. Forms can be emailed to

The forms are to be filled out and returned to the Leader before July 2. Once again, there will be no annual South Belt Fourth of July fireworks display this year, as it is funded by the South Belt Spectacular Cook-off, which has not been held since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Belt’s McCrutcheon easily wins HCAD

The results have been tabulated from the June 15 Harris County Appraisal District board of directors runoff election, with longtime South Belt resident Ericka McCrutcheon easily winning the At-Large Place 3 race.

In that contest, McCrutcheon – who serves as president of the Kirkwood Civic Club – took home 62 percent of the vote (28,786 total votes) to Pelumi Adeleke’s 38 percent of the vote (17,979 total votes).

In the At-Large Place 2 race, Kyle Scott handily defeated Melissa Noriega, receiving 57 percent of the vote (26,880 total votes) to Noriega’s 43 percent (20,106 total votes).

There was no runoff election for the At-Large Place 1, as Kathy Blueford-Daniels was able to defeat opponents Bill R. Frazer and Ramsey Isa Ankar by a 50-plus-percent majority in the May 4 election.

While McCrutcheon received approximately twice as many votes as Adeleke in the May 4 election, she fell just short of the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Although the HCAD board of directors is not directly responsible for assessing property values, the newly elected members will have significant administrative responsibilities.

Their role includes hiring the chief appraiser, appointing members to the appraisal review board, setting the district’s budget, and communicating with external stakeholders.

The winner of each contest will assume office July 1, 2024, and serve through Dec. 31, 2026.

City OKs agreement up to $1.5B

BREAKING: At press time, city officials announced they had approved a historic collective bargaining agreement. In the works since 2017, the landmark agreement is expected to cost between $1.2 and $1.5 billion, officials said. See next week’s Leader for more information.

This past week, City Council approved a $650 million bond to cover the cost of a back-pay settlement between the city and Houston’s firefighter union, along with a new HFD contract – the department’s first since 2017.

Under the new contract, firefighters with the Houston Fire Department will receive an 18 percent salary increase beginning July 1, with additional pay raises through 2029.

Additionally, the new contract will require HFD firefighters to take drug tests, a requirement that had been waived in previous agreements.

While a small faction of City Council – led by Council Member Edward Pollard – felt the bond issue should go before voters, Mayor John Whitmire stressed this would only delay matters and cost more in the long run.

“We’re playing with fire,” said Whitmire. “Any delay is going to gut this settlement and to start over is absolutely in my judgment and experts’, irresponsible. This has been going on for eight years. The public is tired of reading about it. They elected you – they elected us – to make a responsible tough decision.”

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