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Rotary gets a peek behind the red shield

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Capt. Eddie Alonzo of the Salvation Army East Haris County Corps, said the institution is an international movement for service and worship.Through community support and spiritual direction, the Salvation Army has served East Harris County communities for decades. Capt. Eddie Alonzo of the East Harris County Corps, gave Deer Park Rotary a peek Behind the Red Shield.

Funds raised through the popular bell-ringing program are used for year-round programs at their facility on Cherrybrook at Preston in Pasadena, Alonzo said. He reminded Rotarians the Salvation Army is a non-denominational church where he and his wife Delia are ministers.
"It's not about the bell-ringing or passing out toys, it's about Jesus Christ," he said. "The Salvation Army is a center for worship and services. It's an international movement. We have people from different denominations, not just Salvationists."
Alonzo said the Salvation Army serves all ages from all backgrounds.
The East Harris County Corps serves 85 seniors daily. From 7:30 a.m. to noon, participating seniors receive breakfast, a snack and a nutritious lunch. There are also activities such as card games, pool and even a Senior Prom in May.

3 officers sworn in to DPPD

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

The Deer Park Police Department welcomed three officers to its force this week. Sworn in as Deer Park Police officers were William Paul Chaffin, Jr.; Lars Pinto Moe; and Nicholas Charles Thatcher.

Just before he administered the oath, DPPD Chief Greg Grigg told them this would be one of the most important events of their careers.
"This is a day you will remember for the rest of your career," Grigg said. That sentiment was punctuated by the amount of family, friends and on- and off-duty officers and administrators who attended their ceremony.
"More will be expected from you because you have a higher responsibility … toward citizens and the city," Grigg said.
The trio graduated together from the police academy at College of the Mainland Dec. 7 and come with outstanding accolades.

Surgical technology provides an additional route into the medical field

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The San Jacinto College (SJC) surgical technology program prepares graduates to become an integral part of a medical team in one of the fastest growing professions in the country.

Projected to grow 24 percent by the year 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, surgical technologists play a vital role in operating rooms during surgery, passing instruments and other sterile supplies to surgeons and surgeon assistants.
Decent average pay between $30,000-40,000 and a job in the medical field convinced 46-year-old Tina Wells to pursue a career in surgical technology at SJC after spending nearly eight years as a stay-at-home mom. 
"I started looking into medical field courses that would not take a lot of time to finish," Wells said. "I needed a job that would pay decent money to support myself and my two children. San Jacinto College is convenient, and quite honestly, the least expensive way to go. "
Wells said the SJC program has prepared her for work in operating rooms through strong partnerships with local hospitals for student clinical rotations.

SJC accelerates student support for college preparatory courses with Starfish

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Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of student success systems, announced today that San Jacinto College has adopted Starfish to streamline and standardize its approach to student tracking and success intervention for the institution's college preparatory courses.

As a Title V institution, the college works to enhance and expand its capacity to serve Hispanic and low-income students.
"Approximately 53 percent of the students at San Jacinto College are first-generation college students," said Niki Whiteside, vice president of educational technology at San Jacinto College. "We have a tremendous opportunity to introduce a whole generation to the benefits of higher education. At the same time, we have a responsibility to teach them how college works and how to get through the system. As a result, we need support tools to keep track of our students in a more efficient and effective way."

Winter Wonderland

Written by Photo by Holley Dupin. Posted in Latest

Snow covers the area surrounding Deepwater Elementary on Friday. Although the Deer Park Independent School District did not alter its school day, it cancelled all district evening events. Photo by Holley Dupin.

SJC Closed until 10 a.m. tomorrow

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*** San Jacinto College Weather Closure Alert ***

San Jacinto College closed at noon due to inclement weather. All activities of the college on Friday night are cancelled.  The college will reopen at 10:00 a.m. on Dec. 5.

Veteran engineer supports College through scholarship donations

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Veteran chemical engineer and successful businessman Dr. Bill Brookshire recently donated $100,000 to the San Jacinto College Foundation to endow five $1,000 annual scholarships for qualifying students majoring in the field of drafting, commonly called Engineering Design Graphics (EDG).

Prior to the recent donation, Brookshire contributed $20,000 to the SJC Foundation over the past two years to fund scholarships for EDG students at the College. Brookshire chose San Jacinto College to receive his scholarship donations for two main reasons — he attended a community college, and because of the lengthy and positive working relationship between the College and S&B Engineering (the company he co-founded in 1967).
"We have numerous employees who graduated from San Jacinto College, and they are good employees," Brookshire said. "We want to continue to work with the College so they can tailor their curriculum and continue to produce graduates who are ready to hit the ground running." S&B Engineering, based in Houston, provides a complete range of project services for petrochemical, refining, and chemical companies around the world.


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Due to inclement weather, all after-school activities in Deer Park ISD have been canceled for today, Dec. 4. Schools will dismiss today according to the regular schedule, and buses will also follow the regular schedule. Because after-school activities in Deer Park ISD are canceled, there will be no late bus today.


SJC instructor receives highest honor as a GM World Class Technician

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Greg Black, a San Jacinto College automotive technology instructor of more than 20 years, recently received one of the industry’s highest honors as a General Motors (GM) World Class Technician, a title held by less than 1,000 technicians across the globe.

To gain such status, Black completed nine Master Technician certifications and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications. He achieved his GM Master Technician status in 1983, a goal of many that he had set for himself over the course of his 45 years in the industry.
"I feel extremely honored to receive this award from General Motors," Black said. "To me, this award represents another completion of a lifelong goal. I have always set my goals to be reachable and then proceed to accomplish them, even when it means having to jump over a lot of hurdles to get there."

College’s aeronautical technology program only one of its kind in the area

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San Jacinto College Central is the only two-year college in the Houston area that offers a degree-granting aeronautical technology program, and the only two-year college in the area that maintains a partnership with Delta Connection Academy, the highly-acclaimed academy that has produced more certified pilots since 2001 than any other flight school in the nation.

Robert Willhoite, the College's aeronautical technology program director, is optimistic about the future for aviation careers in spite of the sluggish economy. "Even though the airlines and the economy are at a low point, the future is bright," Willhoite said. "Our students can be assured that when they are ready to work, the airlines will be hiring again. My observation is that people learn to fly because of the love of flying. Being able to get paid is just a benefit."

Taxes and planes: What goes up must come down

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

As the 2009 calendar dwindles to a close, many Deer Park residents are preparing their last-minute deductions for the tax year. Although tax returns are not due until mid-April, Deer Park Rotarian David Hoffman said it's a good idea to stay updated on the tax laws when preparing taxed.

He was the presenter at the Deer Park Rotary Club's luncheon meeting this week.
Hoffman, a Deer Park certified public accountant, said tax laws are constantly changing. "Some of these laws may have even been updated from the time I woke up this morning," he joked. "That's why it is so important to keep tabs on what is going on and how it effects you."
Among the new laws is the Making Work Pay program.
Extra credit
In 2009 and 2010, the Making Work Pay provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will provide a refundable tax credit of 6.2 percent of earned income up to $400 for working individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

With real snow possible, Parks and Rec prepares Winter Wonderland

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Houston area forecasters are not sure how much snow, if any, will fall in the Houston area on Friday. However, the Deer Park Parks and Recreation Department is guaranteeing snow at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center at the ninth annual Snow in the Park winter carnival.

"If we end up getting real snow from the skies, I think it would really add to the ambiance of the event," said Brad Harrington, recreation specialist. "Snow falling from the skies while everyone's playing in the snow areas would really be neat."
"I don't know how much of the real snow will stick to the ground, but it's going to be neat, like a real winter wonderland."
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