This Week's Headlines

South Belt recovering from historic winter storm

Charter school meeting still on hold

City, county establish storm relief fund

Water boiling notices lifted

County urges price gouging reporting

Effort to warm dogs causes house fire

Biden declares area a major disaster

Walgreens pharmacy burglarized

Coach Carlos Morgan pleads guilty

Abbott sets 4 storm priorities

Museum to host free day

City urges residents to report damages from winter storm

61st annual Science & Engineering Fair results

Robotics students compete at BEST state competition amid COVID constraints

NASA partnership allows students to send items to space

West Brook hoops completes sweep over JFD

Clear Brook boys’ basketball moves ahead

Defending champs refuse to give up crown

Track and field teams slow out of the gates

San Jacinto teams eye return to action

Despite layoff, Julks confident in MiLB restart; Corpus aims at May 4

SNAP storm benefits announced

City of Houston distributes bottled drinking water to community

Area schools recognized

PPD offers Explorer program


South Belt recovering from historic winter storm

Roughly one week after a historic winter storm ravaged the South Belt area, the community is slowly regaining a sense of normalcy.

At press time, nearly all power and water had been restored to area residents, and the City of Houston and local MUDs had lifted their respective water-boil notices. See related story on this page.

Despite the utility restorations, several residents experienced busted pipes and other plumbing issues, leaving them still without working water.

To address this issue, multiple local officials and organizations held events to distribute clean drinking water. See related story on Page 8.

Due to the number of people needing plumbing work done, wait times for service now often exceed two weeks, and plumbing supplies are scarce at local stores.

Both Pasadena ISD and Clear Lake ISD remained closed Monday, Feb. 22, due to problems associated with the hard freeze. Pasadena ISD was also closed Tuesday, Feb. 23, for face-to-face instruction, with the day serving as a remote-learning day only.

While March 1 was originally scheduled to be a teacher-planning day, it has now been designated as a regular school day by Pasadena ISD officials.
Curbside meals were provided for students at all of the school district’s comprehensive high schools.

Both Harris County Commissioners Court and Houston City Council held special emergency meetings this past week to address the problems.

Several residents have complained about having received excessive energy bills following the recent power outages, with some people reporting bills as high as $17,000 for just one week of energy usage.

State Rep. Dennis Paul has pledged to address the issue with other lawmakers.

“Like many of you, I spent several days without power and water and I find the current state of our electric grid to be entirely unacceptable,” Paul said in a press release. “Please know that I, as well as the legislature, will be investigating every facet of this failure, and the people and entities responsible will be held to account.”

The House Committees on State Affairs and Energy Resources will hold a joint hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, to discuss the matter. The event will be livestreamed at To submit public comments, visit, See related story on this page.

Charter school meeting still on hold

Due to the recent hard freeze, plans for the public meeting to discuss the future of the proposed charter school in Riverstone Ranch have still yet to be finalized.

To be hosted by state Rep. Dennis Paul, the event is tentatively scheduled to take place at Melillo Middle School, but no date had been set at press time.

Making arrangements for the function had already proven difficult prior to the winter storm, as officials from the charter school have been reluctant to agree on specific details, often even ignoring calls from Paul’s office.

Originally to be built on a nine-acre site on Riverstone Ranch Road at Kirksage, the Elite College Prep Academy - Riverstone, a branch of Houston Gateway Academy, has remained half-constructed for several years, causing complaints from residents who view the property as an eyesore.

Construction of the area campus has been fraught with problems since work began on it in 2015.

In April 2019, Houston Gateway Superintendent Richard Garza, along with an IT tech from the school, was indicted on multiple federal charges, accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

See future editions of the Leader for additional information about the public meeting.


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