POCKET PARK NAMES FOR HELLUMS
Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle recently honored Judge Bonnie Hellums, who served for nearly 20 years as judge of the 247th District Court, by dedicating a Spring Branch pocket park in her name. Cagle recommended Judge Hellums for the honor because of her accomplishments as a family judge, lawyer, licensed counselor, and higher education administrator. A longtime Houston resident, Hellums earned a master’s degree in higher education administration and psychology from the University of Illinois before serving as dean of students at Rice University for 15 years. Hellums later returned to school to study law, earning her doctor of jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law in 1981. After working as a lawyer for a decade, Hellums served as judge of the 247th District Court from 1995 to 2014, where she started Harris County’s first Infant and Toddler Court and family drug court. Hellums now works as a senior district judge and is an active public speaker and community service advocate.
WALLS, FLOORS & MORE
Walls, Floors, and More is a small, (residential and commercial) flooring company that prides itself on customer service and a personal approach to meeting clients' needs with budget, design and scheduling in mind. The company – located in Atascocita at 4451 FM 1960 E, Suite G – is backed by more than 30 years’ experience in the general construction and flooring industry. They offer a wide variety of flooring: laminate, porcelain, stone, luxury vinyl plank, and hardwoods, along with various products and services to meet their clients' needs. They also do countertops in a variery of surfaces. “We will provide a personal touch and go the extra mile to ensure that each client receives a quality product and installation at an affordable price,” said owner Sid Shurtleff. For more information, call 713-256-9787.
BACK TO SCHOOL
The Crosby Huffman Chamber of Commerce will host a New Educators Luncheon to welcome new teachers to the Crosby and Huffman school districts Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Crosby American Legion Hall, 14890 FM 2100 in Crosby. Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $16.50. Call the Chamber at 281-328-6984 for reservations.
The Village Learning Center is offering shredding services to the general public at 3819 Plum Valley Drive in Kingwood, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. They are providing shredding as a community service project which in turn will provide a vocational training opportunity for their clients. All documents received will be kept secure until shredding occurs. Staff who work in the shredding area are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and all undergo criminal background checks as part of their employment. There is no shredding fee for this service, but the Center will accept donations if patrons are so inclined. Certificates of Destruction are available for a nominal fee of $1.The shredded paper will be used in the Village Learning Center's organic garden, chicken coop and compost pile or will be given to organizations and individuals who have a need for the material.
STATE TAKES IN $2.4 BILLION IN JULY SALES TAX
Texas sales tax revenue totaled $2.37 billion in July, 1.5 percent lower than in July 2015. Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in July 2016 is down 3.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales tax revenue is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 56 percent of all tax collections. Motor vehicle sales and rental taxes, motor fuel taxes and oil and natural gas production taxes also are large revenue sources for the state.
LONE STAR SAVES TAXPAYERS $81 MILLION
Lone Star College announced that it is saving taxpayers $81.35 million through early payoff and re-funding of previously issued construction bonds. LSC issued bonds in 2008 and 2009 for the construction of facilities built to accommodate the large student enrollment growth. Earlier this month, these bonds were refinanced at a better interest rate, saving $31.7 million over the life of the bonds. In addition, bonds issued in 2007 and 2012 were also refinanced and yielded $14.8 million in anticipated bottom-line savings over the life of these bonds. Finally, LSC paid off a number of bond issues early which results in an additional $34.85 million savings for LSC taxpayers. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.
HARRIS COUNTY TAX SALE A SUCCESS
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan is working to reclaim lost revenue for Harris County residents. Thousands of properties sit vacant throughout the county, creating unsafe conditions and lowering property values. Many property owners are delinquent, and for years they fail to meet their tax obligations. Each month, the county holds a tax sale. The goal is to collect delinquent taxes and put neglected properties into the hands of new owners. For the month of July, 2016, a total of 342 properties were posted for sale. Sullivan successfully reclaimed $3,125,502 for the citizens of Harris County. To date for 2016, the tax office has reclaimed $19,818,206 from the monthly Tax Sale.
Fidelis Partners is building a new retail center, Westlake Marketplace, on more than 65 acres at the northwest corner of the Beltway 8 and West Lake Houston Pkwy. intersection, in front of Summer Creek High School. The shopping center will provide 600,000 square feet of commercial retail and will include a movie theater and a Kroger as grocery anchor. Kroger plans to be "more than just a grocery store" by offering; fresh and organic products, housewares and small appliances, children’s essentials and a Baby World section, pet care, a pharmacy with two lanes for prescription pick-ups, fashion and apparel items, chef-prepared items, a Wellness area, an 18-pump fuel center, Murray’s Cheese shop, expanded craft beer and wine selection and a sit-down section for guests to enjoy a PanAsian bistro and prepared sushi. Kroger plans to employ 350 full-time and part-time jobs. Mama Fu's Asian House has leased 2,350 square feet in Westlake Marketplace and Marshall’s leased a 22,000-square-foot space.
Three separate commercial projects are taking place on the parcel of land situated on westbound side of FM 1960 between Deerbrook Park Blvd. and Townsen Blvd. One section will be a 50,000-square-foot trampoline park featuring a zip line, human hamster ball and more. Another development in this tract is a proposed 80,000-square-foot retail center, of which the particular tenants have not yet been announced. Hampton Inn Atascocita is being built at the intersection of FM 1960 and Moon Trail Drive in Atascocita, the official name of the property will be the Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Houston/Atascocita. “The property will have 73 rooms and is expected to open the first quarter of 2017,” said Tiffany Wilson, with Hampton Hotels. Summerwood Veterinary Clinic will break ground soon on a new location on West Lake Houston Pkwy at Beltway 8. The Shops at Breakwater, located at the northeast corner of West Lake Houston Pkwy. and Breakwater Path Drive near the FM 1960 overpass at the railroad tracks is being developed. The eastern portion (directly behind Harris Construction) was purchased by a company who shared conceptual plans to build a medical office facility. The western portion (near the railroad tracks) has tentative plans for a storage unit facility. A new Dick's Sporting Goods will open later this year at Deerbrook Mall. The new 38,000-square-foot Eagle Springs Neighborhood Walmart will create 90 jobs and offer added convenience to Eagle Spring and surrounding residents a quick and close place to purchase groceries without having to travel further away through heavily congested residential traffic in the area.
LIGHT OF THE WORLD CHURCH
Pastor Jerry Martin and his wife, Jackie, welcomed the community to their recent ribbon cutting and open house of their new worship center. Light of the World Church is located at 16161 Old Humble Road. Photo by Lawrence Kuslich.