Pictured: Michal Wagner is the new garden center manager at Warren's Southern Gardens in Kingwood. He brings more than 30 years of experience in lawn and garden, as well as extensive knowledge in plant identification, as well as fungal and insect problem identification and control.

NEW STAR ON TEXAS LICENSE PLATES
There’s a new star on Texas license plates! The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board recently approved the addition of a new star symbol as an option on all personalized specialty license plates in Texas. It will be offered in addition to existing symbols that include the Texas silhouette, heart, period and dash. My Plates also recently introduced a new price reduction in Texas to further broaden the appeal of its specialty plates for all Texans. Since November 2009, Texans have purchased more than 214,000 My Plates, putting more than $27M in the general revenue fund, which helps pay for services for all Texans.

ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
The Crosby Huffman Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual awards gala Feb. 20 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Crosby. For reservations and information, call the chamber at 281-328-6984.

TOWN HALL MEETING SET
Houston City Council Member Dave Martin is hosting a joint Capital Improvement Project (CIP) and Town Hall meeting Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Kingwood Community Center from 5:30-8 p.m. The meeting is to encourage residents to participate in the CIP process by contributing questions, comments and suggestions to the respective city department regarding project planning and delivery in the council district. The CIP is a five-year document outlining the city's infrastructure improvement strategy and is organized by priority, project capacity and timing constraints. Additionally, funding sources are identified for all proposed projects. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 832-393-3008.

GILROY HONORED WITH SCHOLARSHIP
Former Kingwood resident Heidi Gilroy, MSN, RN, APHN-BC, will receive one of four prestigious scholarships given by Texas Woman’s University at the 13th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon. Gilroy is a Ph.D. candidate in nursing science at Texas Woman’s University with a 4.0 GPA with plans to graduate in 2015. At TWU, Gilroy is testing a theoretical model of economic solvency in abused women, which will serve as an evaluative tool for future economic interventions for intimate partner violence. The Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon will be Feb. 19.

VALENTINE'S DAY IS BIG BUSINES
The estimated value of shipments in 2011 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products was $13.5 billion. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was an estimated $8.4 billion industry. Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

MICHAEL'S COFFEE AND WINE
Michael's Coffee and Wine, a locally owned family business, is hosting a ribbon cutting Feb. 11 from 10-10:30 a.m. The shop was designed to be something for everyone. For the coffee connoisseur, they have handcrafted coffee drinks made with locally owned and roasted coffee beans from Amaya Roasting Company. For the wine lover, they have a taste-tested, hand-picked wine list designed to broaden and encompass you. For the beer aficionado, they offer a vast selection of craft beers from Texas breweries for every mood. The atmosphere is custom tailored and decorated with amazing photography from Michael as well as local photographers. Please join them for some great coffee and conversation. Michael's Coffee and Wine is located at 9502 N Sam Houston Pkwy E, Suite 114 in Fall Creek.

BIZCOM-SUMMER CREEK SET FOR FEB. 12
The Summer Creek BizCom meeting on Feb.12 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. will feature Nolan Correa, Summer Creek High School principal; Tammy Zepeda, SCHS Project Graduation volunteer leader; Steven D. Timms, HGA President/CEO and president of First Tee; Doug Earle, executive director of the First Tee of Greater Houston; Jess Fields, owner of Rosewood Funeral Home and Cemetery; Erica Johnston, marketing director for Fall Creek Chick-fil-A; Ken Williams, owner of Christian Brothers Automotive in Atascocita. All are welcome to attend. The event is free of charge provided an RSVP is made. A complimentary lunch from Chick-fil-A Wilson Road/Beltway 8 is in included. To RSVP, call 281-446-2128.
 

SPARKS INSURANCE GRAND OPENING
Please join Sparks Insurance for a re-Grand Opening at their new location in Huffman. Sparks Insurance has been serving the Lake Houston Area since 2003. The ribbon cutting is scheduled at noon and a light lunch will be provided. The new location is 25103 FM 2100 in Huffman.

 

FRED ASTAIRE HOLDS OPEN HOUSE
All are welcome at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio open houses, typically held every Friday night. The next open house will be Feb. from 7:45 to 9:15 p.m. The studio is located at 18321 W. Lake Houston Pkwy., suite #440 in Atascocita. Call 281-913-2623 for more information. Check FredAstaireLakeHouston.com for upcoming events and monthly calendar.

LEADERCAST LAKE HOUSTON
Leadercast 2015 presents 'The Brave Ones' Friday, May 8, at Second Baptist Church in Kingwood. 'Brave Ones' have existed throughout history. Some are unforgettable icons, others are names that will never be remembered. They exist across all industries, societies, and at every level of leadership. Join Leadercast Live in 2015 as they explore The Brave Ones and learn what it means to lead in such a way that create bold cultures, builds faithful employees and produces high achievement. The program will begin at 8 a.m. (breakfast will begin at 7 a.m.) $89 until May 1; price increases to $99 on May 1. Group tickets (4 or more) are $75/ticket. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and conference materials included. Raffles and drawings throughout the conference. Speakers include Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Ed Catmull, president of Pixar & Disney Animation Studios; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, Peyton Manning, NFL football player, and many more. Go to leadercast.com/location/lakehouston to register and for more information.

SAN JACINTO RIVER AUTHORITY APPOINTEES NAMED
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three members to the San Jacinto River Authority Board of Directors for terms to expire Oct. 16, 2019. Jim Alexander of Magnolia is president and CEO of RSH Energy LLC. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of the Pipeliners Association of Houston. Mike Bleier of Montgomery is a retired certified public accountant and past president and owner of The All Seasons Travel Group. Lloyd Tisdale of Conroe is past president and past CEO of Tisdale Company Inc. He is president of the San Jacinto River Authority and a past member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers and National Institute of Certified Engineering Technicians.

SUDDENLINK OFFERS 150-MEG SERVICE
Suddenlink has launched a new high-speed Internet service with a download speed of 150 Megabits per second (Mbps) and an upload speed of 7.5 Mbps in Kingwood and Porter, and announced that Internet speeds for its existing customers have been increased at no additional charge. Customers with 15, 30 and 50 Mbps services are being upgraded to faster speeds and are being notified directly about those new speeds. Suddenlink also is introducing a 100 Mbps service option. Nearly half of the planned 1 Gigabit launches are expected to be completed in 2015 and most of the remainder the following year. In addition, while Suddenlink already offers its business customers a range of custom services capable of multi-Gigabit speeds, the company also plans to enhance its standard commercial services through this project. Suddenlink will communicate additional details to customers in the area as the investments continue and again when 1 Gigabit speeds are available. More information is available at Suddenlink.com.

AARP OFFERS TAX HELP
Understanding new changes to deductions, claims, dependents and tax laws can make filing taxes worrisome for some people this time of year. Through Lone Star College-Kingwood’s Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL), the AARP Tax-Aide Program will help individuals prepare and electronically file their federal income tax returns at two locations. Services are available on a first-come, first-served basis and appointments are not accepted: Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at LSC-Kingwood, EMCID Building, 21575 Highway 59 North in New Caney. Phone: 281-312-1750 (Closed March 9-14 for spring break.) Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at LSC-Atascocita Center, 15903 W. Lake Houston Pkwy. in Atascocita. Phone: 832-775-0816 (Closed March 9-14 for spring break.) The nation’s largest and free volunteer-run tax counseling and preparation service is open to everyone regardless of their age or income. Clients are asked to bring their 2014 tax documents, last year returns, Social Security card, and a blank check for refunds to be deposited directly into their bank account for a faster refund. Volunteers are trained using IRS and AARP developed materials and must pass a comprehensive test with 80 percent correct in three categories: basic, intermediate and advanced tax scenarios.

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