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San Jacinto College Foundation hosts 14th annual tournament

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

The San Jacinto College Foundation will host the 14th annual San Jacinto College Foundation Golf Tournament, with guest host Andy Pettitte, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 at the Battleground Golf Course in Deer Park.

Monies raised from this event are dedicated to student scholarships. To date, the Foundation golf tournament has raised more than $892,000. In fact, for the 2008-09 academic year, the Foundation awarded over 600 scholarships totaling more than $265,000.

CPA: Deer Park not immune to child abuse, sex offenders

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Editor’s note: This is part six of a series covering the Deer Park Police Department's Citizens Police Academy. Editor/Publisher Bobby Vasquez is a participant in the academy.
When detectives investigate crimes and crime scenes, they don't gather evidence in hopes that 60 minutes later (including commercials), their suspect is signed, sealed and ready to stand trial. Honestly, what we see on crime investigation televisions shows couldn't be further from what really happens.
"If you believe what you see on CSI, then you should go look for the pineapple under the sea," said DPPD detective Jason Meredith. "It's all Hollywood."

Student says applying for scholarships ‘not hard or complicated’

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

San Jacinto College student Natasha Howard’s message to others about scholarships: “There is money out there to help you. All you have to do is apply.” Photo provided by San Jacinto College.

Scholarship funds administered through the San Jacinto College Foundation are helping Natasha Howard fulfill her educational and career dreams. Howard plans to graduate from San Jacinto College Central in autumn 2010, earning an associate degree in business administration. She then plans to transfer to Sam Houston State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, and her career goal is to become a successful minority businesswoman.
Howard applied for and received three scholarships through the College’s Foundation that have helped her tremendously — the Book Scholarship (which helps to purchase textbooks), the Stars Scholarship (granted on the basis of financial need), and the Don and Barbara Carpenter Scholarship (for business students).
To show her gratitude, Howard recently sent a letter of appreciation to scholarship contributors John and Rose Moon, in which she stated: “Thank you for investing in my future and supporting the students at San Jacinto College. I will remember your unselfish acts of kindness forever with hopes that I too will one day be able to touch a young person’s life and inspire others to give back to the community just as you did.”

Preliminary numbers show enrollment jump at San Jacinto College

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

Preliminary enrollment numbers indicate an increase in San Jacinto College students this fall.

An approximate 10 percent increase has been reported from across the district in student enrollment, as well as an approximate 14 percent increase in funded technical education contact hours and an 8.5 percent increase in funded academic contact hours.
Robert Merino, director of financial aid services for the College, suggests that changes in regulations for financial aid may be one reason for the significant increase.

Funds from successful Gumbo Gala go to San Jacinto College student scholarships

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

Pct. 8 Constable Bill Bailey’s 25th Anniversary Gumbo Gala was a huge success, with all proceeds donated to the San Jacinto College Foundation, which provides scholarships to students.

Employees of the Pct. 8 Constable’s office, known as the 8-Team, served approximately 1,500 bowls of seafood gumbo to area residents at the event, which was held recently at the Pasadena Convention Center.
“To date, the gala has brought in more than $30,000 and we are still awaiting final checks,” said Susan Arscott,
SJC's vice president of resource development. “This could not have happened without the amazing and generous support of Constable Bailey, his wife Janis, and Precinct 8 employees. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey’s unwavering support of the Foundation and our students is a truly wonderful gift for which I am extremely grateful.”
Proceeds from the gala will help SJC students such as Braddrick Price, Julie Wren, and Jose Moreno, who were recognized at the event, and who were recently awarded scholarships through the Foundation’s Milton O. Stanley Jr. Endowed Scholarship. With the help of friends and relatives, the Baileys set up the Milton O. Stanley Jr. Endowed Scholarship in 2005 as a tribute to their son.
Price, who is working toward earning a process technology degree from SJC, expressed sincere gratitude for the scholarship. “Aside from supporting my family, I have a 94-year-old father to look after,” he said. “A lot of people are depending on me, including my wife and four children, and I cannot let them down. We are so thankful to the Bailey family for their generosity.”
The San Jacinto College Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to enhancing the level of student achievement and excellence at SJC. Its purpose is to raise receive gifts, bequests, and donations, and to raise private funds to benefit the people of East Harris County, Texas.
Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. For more information or to make a donation, please visit, or call 281-998-6104.
SJC serves more than 27,000 students in over 140 degrees and certificates in university transfer and technical programs. The College also serves the community through workforce training.

Deer Park goes out against crime

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

For one night, Deer Park's fight against crime takes to the streets. Tonight is National Night Out, and communities across Texas will unite to show solidarity against neighborhood crime.

"It's a great opportunity for neighbors to come out of their homes and get to know each other," said Sheila Plovanich, community liaison at the Deer Park Police Department. "A lot of times we don't even know the people across the street or in the neighborhood."
Traditionally celebrated the first Tuesday in August, Texas hosts its National Night Out the first Tuesday in October. Neighbors gather and throw block parties to generate interest and friendship throughout their neighborhood.

CPA: The finer points of cuffing

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Editor’s note: This is part five of a series covering the Deer Park Police Department's Citizens Police Academy. Editor/Publisher Bobby Vasquez is a participant in the academy.

Here's a little secret: cops hate COPS – not each other, but the television show. It may be fun to watch some chump chased and cuffed while singing "Bad Boys" and bobbing your head to the beat, but most police officers cringe watching that footage. Why? Technique. 

Most of the time, the arresting officer is putting his or herself in danger simply by using improper technique. On COPS, officers put the suspect against a wall or the police car as they apply the handcuffs. If the suspect has a place to lean, then they have leverage and a balancing point. A properly trained Deer Park Police officer will not make that mistake, said Sgt. Earl Morrison, who teaches defensive tactics in the Deer Park Police Department.
When it is necessary for an officer to apply handcuffs, the officer keep the suspect's, witnesses' and his or her own safety in mind, Morrison said. By removing balancing points from the suspect, the officer has less of a chance for the suspect to run or fight.
Police officers also have newer, better equipment for faster cuffing and more control of a cuffed suspect. A short chain links older styles of handcuffs. This can be extremely dangerous, and in a recent case involving a Houston police officer, fatal. The chain allows for more movement by a suspect. If he or she has a gun on their waistline, and the officer does not find it, there is enough give in the chain for the suspect to reach around and grab the gun.

FFA students take center stage at Pasadena show

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Long before the majority of his classmates are awake, Deer Park High School sophomore Mike Osburn has more accomplished than many people do in a full day. Like many FFA students, his schedule starts in the predawn hours and ends well into the night.

"Crazy," he said. "Our schedules are just crazy. We don't really have any free time because we are always on the go. We are almost always either here at the barn or in school."
Knowing he has a busy school day ahead, he plods to the barn where his chickens, pig, goat and turkeys wait. He could have slept in, but would mean his animals would go unfed and their stalls uncleaned. A few other students are there, many with the same responsibilities. There's not much time for a lot of conversation or playing around. Once his animals are fed, watered and their stalls cleaned, he heads for his first period class.
It's a busy life, but Osburn and the rest of Deer Park FFA wouldn't have it any other way.

Cenikor honors outstanding contributors

Written by from Staff reports. Posted in Latest

Last month, community members of the Deer Park and Houston areas attended the Change of a Lifetime Luncheon at the Junior League Ballroom in Houston, raising approximately $25,000 for Cenikor’s Deer Park facility. The luncheon honored community businesses, religious institutions and politicians making a significant impact on Cenikor in 2009. KPRC Channel 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley emceed the luncheon and Dale Smith, pastor of Deer Park First Baptist Church led the event’s invocation.

Cenikor, an 18-24 month residential program which uses peer influence and clinical counseling to treat addictive behavior, has been in existence since 1967. Cenikor teaches techniques that help residents change attitudes and behaviors associated with substance abuse.
The Community Leader Award was given to Church of the Living Water of Deer Park. Church members Diane Ramirez and Crystal Fuller accepted the award on the church’s behalf. Ramirez and Fuller organized and led many events for female Cenikor residents in an effort to build self-esteem. The church also assisted Cenikor by having a laundry detergent and paper drive to reduce the facility's expenses.
The Philanthropist Award was given to The John P. McGovern Foundation-a faithful supporter of Cenikor since the mid 1980s. In 2009, The John P. McGovern Foundation awarded the Deer Park facility a grant to provide quality medical services to Cenikor residents. With grant awards well over $9 million, The John P. McGovern Foundation is one of Houston’s top contributors to non-profit organizations.
The Community Business Partner Award went to Turner Industries, an industrial construction, maintenance and equipment services company. Brian Daigle, vice president-plant manager of Turner Industries, supports Cenikor, personally interviewing and hiring residents to work at Turner on a full-time basis upon graduation from the program.
The Elected Official Award was presented to Texas Representative Garnet Coleman’s office. Coleman has a reputation as a diligent leader in the areas of health care, economic development and education and is a faithful supporter and champion of Cenikor’s mission and values.
Keynote speaker, Rep. Scott Hochberg (Texas-137) spoke about the State of Texas’ need to rehabilitate offenders while incarcerated to reduce the rate of recidivism in our prison system.
A proclamation was awarded to Cenikor from Houston Mayor Bill White. This proclamation, presented by Conya Barreras from the city's community liaison office, congratulated the Deer Park facility for 15 years of great success in its efforts to rehabilitate those with substance abuse issues. Barreras said approximately 6,800 people have been assessed in the facility’s admissions department. The Deer Park facility was also recognized as being the Harris County Department of Education’s program with the highest number of GED graduates for the fiscal year 2009.

For information on volunteering or donating goods and services to Cenikor’s Deer Park facility, contact Roni Archer, Community Resources Manager, at 281-476-0088 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

DPPA hosting second annual raffle

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

The grand prize in the Deer Park Patrolman's Association raffle is a 2010 Yamaha Grizzly 350 similar to this one. The DPPA uses these fundraisers to help officers and citizens through troubled times. Some members of the Deer Park Police Department are looking to give back to the community in a big way. The Deer Park Patrolman's Association is raffling a 2010 Yamaha Grizzly 350 automatic 4-wheeler.

Tickets are $5 and are available for purchase from the DPPA. The drawing will be at noon, Dec. 21 at Frontline PSE, 3428 Center St. Other prizes include a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun and a Remington .270 bolt-action rifle.
This is the second year the DPPA has hosted a raffle. Citizens can contact Deer Park police officers, who can give them more information about purchasing tickets.

DPPD offers more services to citizens

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Although the Deer Park Police Department is sworn to serve and protect the community, their scope of service reaches much further. Sheila Plovanich, DPPD community liaison, was this week's guest speaker at the Deer Park Rotary meeting.

As community liaison, Plovanich is in charge of different types of communications and outreach for the department. Although she is a civilian instead of a sworn officer, she plays a vital role in the department, coordinating events like the Citizens Police Academy, its alumni association and Deer Park's National Night Out, registering the city's registered sex offenders and organizing volunteer efforts.
Over the years, DPPD has tried to become more proactive in the city through community oriented policing, which builds relationships between residents, business owners and the police officers.

Doctors, volunteers deliver "miracles" south of the border

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Latest

Deep in the Sierra Madre region of Mexico, where poverty reigns supreme, a couple of Deer Park residents, illuminate rays of hope. With the support of Deer Park Rotary and other clubs and the Crystal Foundation, Dr. Merlyn Harger and other medical professionals provide treatment, care and supplies to a small clinic in Guerrero, a small town in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.