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Shell FCU awards local student

Written by staff. Posted in Community

shellfcuBritney Samperi, iLife Innovator, presenting Jasmine her prize. Photo provided by Shell FCU.

In April each year credit unions around the country celebrate Youth Week. At Shell FCU, we celebrate Youth Month in an attempt to raise awareness and teach young adults the importance of financial literacy.

To celebrate Youth Month this year, Shell FCU held a special promotion for those between the ages of 15 and 24. More than 66 young adults opened a checking account, iSave account, or iDrive account to be entered to win a $250 Apple gift card. Plus, they received the new iLife design t-shirt as a gift of appreciation.

Jasmine Vega was the lucky winner of the $250 Apple gift card. She opened her account during lunch at Sam Rayburn High School when the iLife Team was there promoting the youth month contest.

Shell Federal Credit Union provides services to over 54,000 members and manages more than $525 million in assets. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Harris County Texas. To learn more about iLife, visit

It's here!

Written by staff. Posted in Community


Deer Park-area citizens can officially "Eat Mor "Chikin" as Chic-fil-A officially opened its doors this morning. The 4,500 square foot restaurant is on the northeast corner of East Boulevard and Spencer Highway (next door to NTB Tire).  Since 1967, this privately held and family owned organization has steadily grown to become the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States.

Celebration for state champs set for June 12

Written by staff. Posted in Community

DP LogoeditedThe Deer Park Independent School District and the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce will present a Celebration honoring the 2012 5A State Champion Deer Park High School Lady Deer Softball Team on Tuesday, June 12. The events will begin at 7 p.m. with a celebratory drive down Center Street atop two Deer Park Fire Department ladder trucks. The team will depart DPHS-North Campus and head south to DPHS-South Campus, arriving at Doll Forrest Field at approximately 7:15 p.m. They will be welcomed by DPHS Cheerleaders, band members, parents, and members of the community.

The program will include a welcome from Superintendent of Schools Arnold Adair, presentations of proclamations and resolutions honoring the team by local, state, and national elected officials, and comments from Coach Carrie Austgen and players from the team.

Members of the community are encouraged to join the Celebration honoring the team and the coaching staff, who have represented Deer Park so well on and off the field this season. "It's been 57 years since we've had a state championship in Deer Park," Adair said. "That's almost six decades of catching up to do, but I'm confident that the Deer Park community will join us in showing these young ladies and their coaches how proud we are of them."

DPHS grads from the past hope to inspire grads in the future

Written by Courtney Mouton. Posted in Community

scholarship pic_3Members of the Ladies of 79, (left to right) Debra Dunn-Kurzadkowski, Catheryn Gardner-Sanders, Teresa Iraggi, and Cheryl Gardner Kennedy were on hand to present two scholarships at the DPHS awards ceremony last week. By giving the scholarships, the DPHS graduates hope to inspire future graduates to give back to other students. Photo by Courtney Mouton.What started as $10 individual donations from Deer Park High School alumni has turned into two $1,250 scholarships. The Ladies of 79, a group of 150 women who graduated from Deer Park in 1979, presented seniors Heather Walker and Whitney Whiteman their scholarships last week.

"Me and the other ladies involved in our group felt a real need for comradery, a need to give back to the place that gave us our beginning," said Debra Dunn-Kurzadkowski, a founding member of the Ladies of 79 Scholarship Foundation. "We knew we had the opportunity to do something good, to really make a difference for someone and we couldn't pass that up."

City pool opens Saturday with luau

Written by Courtney Mouton. Posted in Community

pool pic_2Dormant for now, the city pool at Dow Park will be buzzing with activity all summer as residents try to keep cool. Photo by Courtney Mouton.

As the school year ends and summer heats up, the Deer Park Parks and Recreation Department is offering residents plenty of ways to keep cool at the city pool.

The Deer Park City pool will start the summer season off with a luau Saturday from 1-9 p.m. and Sunday from 2-6 p.m. The pool will be open regularly from 1-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2-6 p.m. on Sundays.

"Going to the pool during the summer provides a safe way to have fun for families and kids looking to get out of the hot Texas sun." said Brad Harrington, Marketing/Technical coordinator for Parks and Recreation.

DPEF distributes grants across district

Written by Courtney Mouton. Posted in Community

edu pic 3The Deer Park Education Foundation awarded more than $106,000 over the last days of school to teachers across the district. Photo by Courtney Mouton.This year, the Deer Park Education Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary and provided its one millionth dollar toward educational programs in the Deer Park Independent School District.

Sheri Brown, director of the Foundation, attributes a majority of the foundation's success to the community involvement in Deer Park.

"We're more than thrilled to work with such great partners to make this foundation and its efforts something impactful for DPISD students."

This year's impact was in the six figures, she said.

Shell presents Foundation with proceeds from fun run

Written by staff. Posted in Community


Shell Deer Park presented the proceeds from its third Strides for Schools 5K Fun Run – a total of $35,000 raised for the Deer Park Education Foundation, a non-profit organization providing special grants for teachers in the Deer Park Independent School District.

At a recent Deer Park Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Bill Wendes, Shell Deer Park Engineering Manager and Board Member of the Foundation, officially announced the total funds raised, which included race registration fees from more than 800 participants, Shell’s matching of those fees, and company sponsorships. He paid special thanks to local community partners, including the Chamber, the Deer Park Parks & Recreation Department, and Deer Park Police and EMS, for their contributions to ensure a safe event, the small army of volunteers, and a hard-working planning committee that committed its time to orchestrate the race. In three short years, Shell’s Strides for Schools 5K has generated more than $100,000 and has become the Education Foundation’s largest fundraiser.

DPCAC hears issues concerning storm surge solutions

Written by staff. Posted in Community

dpcaceditedThe community and industry members of the Deer Park Community Advisory Council were recently introduced to four proposals for reducing the risk of hurricane surge. The presentation was by Philip Bedient, Ph.D., director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters Center at Rice University. SSPEED unites universities and public and private entities to advance severe storm science. Of particular interest to DPCAC were short term and long term proposals to reduce surge risk with both structural projects like gates and non-structural options like park creation and real-time warning systems. Bedient's slides may be viewed at

The SPEED Center has developed a computer model that allows researchers to predict the effects from storms of different intensity and landfall locations as well as the impacts of explosive rainfall and inland flooding as they interact with storm surge.

Gospel Mass set for Monday

Written by staff. Posted in Community

dr ray_portraitRobert RayThe Deer Park High School Choral Department will perform Dr. Robert Ray's Gospel Mass at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 21, in the Deer Park High School Performing Arts Center. Executive Director of Fine Arts Barry Talley said the community is sure to enjoy this special evening of great music.

"Audiences have loved the Gospel Mass each year it has been presented, and this year's performance will be equally as special," Talley said. "Over 300 DPHS singers will join to sing together as the choir welcomes Dr. Ray back for the eighth time to Deer Park."

Tickets for the Gospel Mass can be purchased at the door for $5 adults and $3 for students. Children five and under are free.

Ray's Gospel Mass was composed in 1978. Its premier performance was sung by the University of Illinois-Urbana Campus Black Chorus. It was written while Ray was a liturgy team member of the National Office of Black Catholics. The Gospel Mass was created out of a need from these workshops. It has become a standard part of the choral repertoire and is performed by churches, colleges, universities, orchestras and civic choral groups nationally and internationally.

Letter to the Editor: Family gives thanks after fire destroys son's room

Written by Letter to the Editor. Posted in Community

At the beginning of this year, we did not start off on a good foot; on Jan. 28 my family experienced a fire to our home. We are fortunate enough to have our home still standing and the majority of the disaster occurred in my son's bedroom. The room was destroyed along with all of his belongings. The house was covered in smoke and soot was everywhere, but what saddens us most is the loss of our family dog Honey, who did not make it.

My family and I are writing to the Deer Park School District, Rotary Club and community to tell all of you how thankful and blessed my family are to live in a community like Deer Park. I understand that home fires occur all the time and even worse ones than ours and I know that our experience shouldn't be different from any others. But the thing is my husband and I grew up in a part of Houston that you would rarely see this type of generosity and caring in a community and we are just amazed and thankful to see the affection Deer Park has displayed to us.

Dow employees help restore wetlands

Written by staff. Posted in Community


Dow employees from the Houston area's manufacturing sites became official "Marsh Maniacs" on May 5 when they joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in planting stems of smooth cordgrass to create and restore wetlands at the Baytown Nature Center. Dow was a major sponsor of this year's Marsh Mania event, which involves local citizens in hands-on wetlands restoration activities while increasing their awareness and appreciation of wetland habitats and functions.

Marsh grass is essential to keeping Galveston Bay's eco-system healthy. It serves to protect the shoreline from erosion as well as provide habitat for fish and wildlife. In the case of a storm, it protects communities by breaking up wind and wave energy coming into the shore. Solid marsh is important not only to our eco-system, but also to the Texas economy. About 90 percent of the seafood consumed locally spends some part of its life in a marsh.

Letter to the Editor: Golf course funding still questioned

Written by Letter to the Editor. Posted in Community

Deer Park City Council unanimously rejected bids for repairs to the Battleground Golf Course's Pratt Truss Bridge at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

The City Council has targeted $300K for the repairs in a previous meeting and the Mayor has touted that the money comes from the hotel motel tax fund and not the general funds; so why were they so concerned when the bid was well below the $300K?

Is this just putting off the hot potato issue until after the election or is this the old rope a dope routine? Mayor Wayne Riddle also said that he didn't want the tax payers to pay $80K for an alternative bridge from the General Fund; so why does he and most of the city council allow the Republic Grill to continue to operate at a net loss of over $200K ever year; $250,000.00 or more if you include benefit costs that comes from the General Fund?

Letter to the Editor: Your vote matters

Written by Letter to the Editor. Posted in Community

I write this letter as a resident of the City of Deer Park and a tax Payer, not as one who has served on City Council.

I have often wondered why more of us do not vote in Deer Park. After all, we have over 19,000 registered voters in the City of Deer Park with a population of just under 33,000 residents. Yet, most of the General Elections held in Deer Park show that less than 1,500 come to the polls to cast a vote for the candidate of their choice for the next 2 years on City Council.

Could it be that most of us in our city are happy with the ways things are? Is it too time consuming, inconvenient or do our residents not want to get involved? Are they uninformed? Is voting perceived as a cost in time, effort, and lost productivity with no discernible payoff except some vague sense of having done their "civic duty"?

The reason I have heard the most is "My one vote will not make difference". I'm glad not all of our registered voters feel that way. Whatever the reason, I believe we should look at voting in our General Election in Deer Park the same as we do in the County, State and our Country. It is an honor, a privilege and a right that was fought for in the past and present by brave men and women who serve in our Armed Forces, many of whom are from here.