This Week's Headlines

South Belt students return to school

2 teens accused of 3 murders in 12 hours

Local pool schedules

PISD welcomes new teachers

Person of interest sought in stabbing

Pct. 8 stop yields drugs, gun

Traffic stop leads to felony charges

Dobie High military officers named

Dobie names social committee

Chamber holds monthly meeting

Donna Rizzo retires after prosperous career

County helps familes obtain birth certificates

Martinez vacations in Greece

PISD admininstrative council hosts annual meeting prior to start of school year

Merrill wins Waynesburg Christian Life Scholarship

Thompson construction makes headway

Pearland completes new section of Hughes

Sanchez to oversee Dobie girls’ soccer

Dobie, Brook VB open 2022 season

Intermediate sports making early plans

Football drills ongoing, scrimmages arrive Aug. 18

Bay Area Football League kicks off

Cross-country teams begin preseason prep

Mallard Smith medals

Dobie graduates lead Celts’ programs

Dobie’s Harris scores at AAU Junior Olympics

Newsome rejoins Southeastern La. VB

Thompson competes at AAU JOs

Dobie standout Ballard ready at UTEP


 

South Belt students return to school
Classes begin Aug. 16 for most students in a year of many firsts

Summer is coming to a close, and that means it’s time for South Belt students to return to school.

With the exception of incoming freshmen, students in the Pasadena Independent School District will return to class Tuesday, Aug. 16. To familiarize ninth-grade students with high school campuses before halls become crowded, they will begin class the previous day on Monday, Aug. 15.

Clear Creek ISD will start the 2022-2023 school year on Monday, Aug. 15, with transition grades only, i.e. prekindergarten (including special education prekindergarten), kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade. This day is designed to allow time for students to get to know their new school. The remaining grades will return on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

In Pasadena ISD, elementary students will attend school from 7:45 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.; middle school students will attend school from 8:40 a.m. to 4 p.m.; intermediate students will attend school from 8:10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and high school students will attend school from 7:15 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. Students are tardy if they are not in class by the official start time. To prevent tardiness or disruption to the classrooms, students should arrive 15-30 minutes earlier than the start time.

During that time they may eat breakfast, visit with friends and arrive at the classroom on time to put away supplies and prepare for the school day.

Vickie Morgan will serve as Pasadena ISD board president for the academic year after being selected at the school district’s last monthly meeting.

Morgan is a homemaker and the mother of three children, who graduated from Pasadena ISD schools.

She has been honored with two Texas Life Memberships (1982, 1988), a National Life Membership (1989), and an Extended Life Membership (1991) from the PTA; was named Leader of the Year by the Girl Scouts of America (1984); and Outstanding Young Woman of America (1983).

Morgan currently serves as secretary to a city-appointed board of directors for the Pasadena Second Century Corporation, which is a nonprofit industrial development corporation. Morgan is involved in the Girl Scouts of America, the Parent Teacher Association, and is an active member of South Main Baptist Church, where she serves as Sunday School and Vacation Bible School director and greeter.

She was first elected to the Pasadena ISD board in 1986. Her current term expires in 2023.

Nelda Sullivan will serve as vice president; Casey D. Phelan will serve as secretary; and Kenny Fernandez will serve as assistant secretary.

Marshall Kendrick, Crystal Davila and Paola Gonzalez Fusilier will all serve as members of the Pasadena ISD board.

Former Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Karen Engle will begin the 2022-2023 school year as interim superintendent following Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Eric Williams’ unexpected departure.

Williams announced his early resignation at a closed-session board meeting Monday, July 11.

The hiring of Williams last year drew the heat of many conservative parents in the district, who accused the superintendent of indoctrinating students with “critical race theory” at his previous position in Virginia.

While critical race theory is not in Clear Creek ISD’s curriculum, several parents took issue with the district’s Character Strong initiative, which is designed to teach children social and emotional learning.

The Clear Creek ISD board unanimously accepted Williams’ resignation, set to take effect Jan. 31, 2023.

Williams began a leave of absence Tuesday, July 12. He is to eventually return and help locate and train his replacement.

Clear Creek ISD is introducing a new off-campus learning opportunity for high school students for the 2022-2023 school year.

Flexible scheduling is now being offered for a variety of courses at each grade level. Students can choose to sign up for these computer-based courses for either their first period or seventh period of the school day. Students who participate will need to have transportation to or from school if they choose this option.

“We understand our students and families have a variety of needs, so we are trying to meet the individualized learning requests of our students,” said Dava West, director of counseling and student services.

“Students can choose to focus on what they need during that period, whether it is other schoolwork or even choosing to wake up a little later if that works for their schedule.”

The flexible courses being offered include world geography, personal financial literacy, English 4, psychology, government and economics. All classes will be taught by a certified district teacher through CCISD curriculum and count toward a student’s GPA.

“There will have to be a certain number of students who sign up for the flexible scheduling class on their campus for it to be offered next year,” said West. “We encourage students to give it a try to see if they would be successful through this option. They will also have the option to transfer back to the on-campus class if they find the flex scheduling is not working for them.”

Online learning is not new in CCISD. Prior to virtual learning during COVID-19, the district offered opportunities through Clear Access for students to get ahead or recover credits, and also through the Dual Credit courses with Clear Creek ISD’s local community colleges.

School districts will no longer be providing free meals to all students. Free and reduced meals will be distributed to eligible students only.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized spending that allowed schools to serve free meals for all students.

Those funds are not authorized for the current school year.

As a result, Beta Academy must return to charging for school meals and offering free and reduced-price meals based on student eligibility.

Starting now Beta Academy will begin distributing letters and applications to households of children in the district about eligibility benefits.

Families should complete and submit the Application for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals online at www.schoolcafe.com/betaacademy (registration required).
Paper applications are available at both campuses’ front offices or to print at www.betaacademy.org/print-documents.html.

Completed paper applications may be returned to Beta Academy’s front office at 9701 Almeda Genoa Road or emailed to cnp@betaacade my.org.

Children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if their household income is less than or equal to the Income Eligibility Guidelines. The guidelines are effective through June 30, 2023.

The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:

– Income: Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels.

– Categorical or automatic eligibility: Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations Program Participant.

– Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster.

– Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start.

For the 2022-2023 school year, students at Dobie High School and the Dobie Ninth Grade campus must use clear or mesh backpacks.

Students can carry a non-clear pouch no larger than 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches to hold personal items, such as cellphones, money and hygiene products.

According to campus administrators, this change is part of a comprehensive safety plan that addresses campus security in several ways.

“The complexity of keeping our students safe is one of our most significant challenges as school leaders,” said Jorly Thomas, principal.

“It is crucial to remember that no decision we make about school safety will be a guaranteed fix to the problem, but we will always err on the side of safety with every decision we make.

As a school, Dobie is committed to putting school safety at the top of our priority list, which will mean adjusting along the way. I want to invite our community to help support our efforts in keeping our students safe by being our eyes and ears, but more importantly, by partnering with us as we take small steps to be at least taking the right direction.”

The Pasadena ISD bond 2022, which passed in May, included funding for improved video surveillance equipment, parking lot lighting upgrades, and enhanced intrusion alarm systems.

Additionally, Pasadena ISD will continue to post two police officers at every high school, including Dobie.

“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and our district is working hard to give us the resources to maintain safe schools,” said George Cervantes, Dobie9 Principal.

Moving to clear or mesh backpacks at Dobie follows similar decisions by other school districts around Texas, including Dallas ISD, the second largest district in the state.

Thomas said, “this is a common sense step being taken by schools and at public events around the country.” Seguin ISD; Southside ISD in San Antonio; Harper ISD, about 90 miles northwest of San Antonio; and Ingleside ISD near Corpus Christi all made similar decisions in recent weeks.

Clear Creek ISD officials are also taking security seriously this year.

“CCISD believes each person deserves to be physically and emotionally safe,” a message on the school district’s webpage states.

To this extent, the district has developed a comprehensive school safety program. This program includes the following:

– A robust team of School Laison Officers (SLOs) from the Galveston County Sheriff Department and school security personnel.

– Counseling, youth mental health support, and drug and alcohol prevention education.

– A full-time staff who monitor surveillance cameras and work with area law enforcement officers on matters of safety.

– An anonymous two-way encrypted tip reporting system that allows students and staff to report concerns including bullying, school threats, drug activity, etc.

– Training of staff and students on the Clear Creek ISD Standard Response Protocol in the event of a school emergency.

– A state-of-the-art mass communication system to provide families, staff, and the community timely and frequent information in the event of an emergency.

Pasadena ISD has also established an anonymous tip line to report suspicious behavior.

To report suspicious activity, students and parents may visit report.anonymou
salerts.com/pasadenaisd
.

Tipsters will receive a confirmation once their information has been submitted to the school district.

False reporting will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

2 teens accused of 3 murders in 12 hours
Suspects charged in Pearland, Houston killings; bail set at $3 million each

Two teens are accused of three local murders in a 12-hour killing spree that began the afternoon of Sunday, July 31.

Evan Scott Redmond, 18, and Camren Keith Johnson, 19, were each charged in the murders. Both were arrested shortly after the spree.

The first homicide took place around 3 p.m. Sunday on Blakely Grove Lane off Pearland Parkway.

The victim was identified as Nathaniel Alaniz, 19.

Pearland police initially responded to reports of gunshots coming from the area of Blakely Grove Lane and Laurel Leaf Lane. After speaking to witnesses and checking the area, a male was located inside a residence in the 1400 Block of Blakely Grove Lane and was confirmed dead.

Due to the collaborative work of neighboring law enforcement agencies and assistance from concerned citizens, Pearland police were able to quickly identify Redmond and Johnson as the suspects in the case and bring it to a close, charging them each with murder. Their bonds have been set at $3 million each.

The investigation has revealed there are no other known suspects in this case.

This is an active investigation, however, and the Pearland Police Department is asking anyone with information about this case to contact the Pearland Crime Tip Line at 281-997-4211 or email crimetips@pearlandtx.gov.

Based on the investigation, there is no known threat to the surrounding community, Pearland police said. Neighbors said the gated community is typically quiet.

Less than 12 hours later in Houston, the pair of suspects allegedly murdered two more people near Fuqua and Monroe.

According to Houston police, the other two killings took place about 1:35 a.m. Monday, Aug. 1, in the 10600 block of Monroe.

The identities of the male victims, 20 and 22, were pending notifications to family members by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences at press time.

According to Houston Police Department officials, patrol officers responded to a shooting call at a convenience store at the above address and located a male victim inside the business. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Houston Fire Department paramedics transported the man to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives learned the victims were inside a white Mercedes Benz in the parking lot. The suspect, Redmond, exited the front passenger seat of a black Nissan Altima and entered the Mercedes.

Surveillance video evidence indicated at least one shot was fired. One victim exited the driver’s seat of the Mercedes and ran into the business. The Nissan fled the scene, followed by the Mercedes, stolen and being driven by Redmond.

Officers located the second victim on the roadway in the 1000 block of Pearland Parkway. It appeared he was thrown from the Mercedes. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Pearland Fire Department paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Patrol officers later observed the stolen Mercedes and attempted a traffic stop. The driver failed to comply and a pursuit ensued. It ended when the Mercedes rolled over and crashed in the 2200 block of Dixie Farm Road.

Redmond was in the driver’s seat of the stolen vehicle. Paramedics transported him to an area hospital with minor injuries. Redmond admitted to his role in the shooting and subsequent incidents.

HPD officers later located the Nissan Altima at a residence in Pearland. Officers took Johnson into custody without incident. He later admitted to being the driver of the Nissan.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office was consulted, and both suspects were charged for their roles in the incident. Each of the suspects was charged with capital murder in the 208th State District Court.

Local pool schedules

All area pools will be closed for cleaning on Mondays (with the exceptions of Labor Day).

Clear Brook Meadows’ pool hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Sageglen pool hours will be from noon through 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The Riverstone Ranch pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on Sundays, when hours will be from noon to 8 p.m.

The swimming pool at Riverstone Ranch at Clear Creek will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Ashley Pointe’s pool hours will be from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 1 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Highland Meadows’ pool hours are 3 to 8 p.m.

City of Houston
Due to a nationwide lifeguard shortage, both the Sagemont and Beverly Hills swimming pools will be closed until further notice.

The nearest open City of Houston swimming pool will be located at Wilson Memorial Park, located at 100 Gilpin near Highway 3 and Edgebrook. The pool will only be open three days a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 1 to 8 p.m.

The shortage is due, in part, to the pandemic and the cancellation of J-1 exchange work visas.

According to City of Houston officials, the 2022 Summer Aquatics Center modified operational plan will provide an opportunity for a minimum of one pool in each Council District based on 24 available lifeguards. To accommodate the most possible users, pool openings were prioritized based on historical attendance and geographic distribution.

As more lifeguards are processed and come on board, the city will add additional days and pools accordingly.

Because of lifeguard staffing issues, the Parks and Recreation Department is operating under a phased opening of swimming pools to equitably distribute the workforce.

All pools will be closed on Mondays for regular maintenance. Residents should note that as more lifeguards are processed and come on board, additional swim days will be added to the schedule.

For more information, visit the city’s complete 2022 pool-opening schedule at www.houstontx.gov/parks/swimming.html.

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