SPRING KLEIN EDITION
2021 H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N
VOLUME 8, ISSUE 3 JUNE 19JULY 16, 2021
Spring-areahospitals, educators tacklenursing shortageamidpandemic
The Texas Department of State Health Services projects the Gulf Coast region’s demand for full-time registered nurses will outpace the region’s supply over the next decade.
Supply and demand of Gulf Coast registered nurses Projected demand Projected supply Percentage of demand unmet
Projected unmet demand for registered nurses by 2032
BY DANICA LLOYD
Hospitals in the Greater Houston area and across the country reported higher rates of turnover and sta burnout during the pandemic as nurses faced heavier workloads and treated critically ill COVID-19 patients, according to a February study from the U.S. Oce of Inspector General. At the same time, local educators training the next generation of nurses said programming was temporarily paused, already-limited capacities in clinical programs became even more restrictive and graduations were delayed. But hospitals across the state have faced nursing shortages since long before the pandemic, health care ocials said. The Texas Department of State Health Services projects the Gulf Coast region will have a decit of 21,400 registered nurses by 2032 as the growing demand continues to outweigh supply. “Health care workforce shortages existed before the pandemic. We didn’t have enough doctors; we didn’t have enough nurses, and the pandemic has denitely exacerbated that problem,” American Medical Association President Susan Bailey said. The median turnover rate for registered nurses in Gulf Coast hospitals was 17.5% in 2019, according to DSHS data. Since the pandemic began, many nurses have considered leaving the profession between the anxiety over bringing COVID-19 home to their
1 Panhandle: 0% 2 West Texas: 4.2% 3 South Texas: 6.7% 5 East Texas: 17.9% 4 North Texas: 14.7%
6 Central Texas: 19.8%
7 Gulf Coast: 21.9% 8 Rio Grande
2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032
The pathway to becoming a registered nurse in Texas requires a degree, passing a licensing exam
and continuing education. BECOMING A REGISTERED NURSE
EARNA BACHELOR’S DEGREE INNURSING OR ASSOCIATE DEGREE: Admission to programs may require an admissions exam, criminal background checks, drug screenings, certain immunizations and CPR certication.
PASS THE NCLEXRN LICENSING EXAM: Once a nursing student earns a degree and is issued an authorization to test by the Texas Board of Nursing, they are eligible to take the national licensing exam.
TAKE CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES TOMAINTAIN LICENSE: Texas requires continuing education every two years.
SOURCES: HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY, LONE STAR COLLEGENORTH HARRIS, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
CONTINUED ON 26
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION • JUNE 2021
W. RAYFORD RD.
Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding
SPRINGWOODS VILLAGE PKWY.
OLD TOWN SPRING
SPRING STUEBNER RD.
COURTESY SWEET INSPIRATIONS
six-week phlebotomy course and a four-week certied nursing assistant course in July. 832-286-4271. www.dotsonhealthcareinstitute.org 6 Sulcata Psychiatry opened June 1 inside The Work Lodge, located at 118 Vintage Park Blvd., Ste. W609, Houston. The practice is led by Stoni Johnston, a licensed and board-certied psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and oers psychiatric evaluation, diagnosis and treatment planning, follow-up treatment and medication management. 281-747-8588. www.sulcatapsychiatry.com 7 Austin-based Ally Medical Emergency Room opened a new 8,000-square-foot facility in Spring June 1. Located at 2490 FM 2920, Spring, the new emergency room is equipped with diagnostic equipment to perform ultrasounds, X-rays and computed tomographies, or CT scans. The new location also features a dedicated pediatric suite, spacious patient rooms, and provides on-site testing and imaging services and boasts inpatient capabilities. 281-353-0911. www.allymedical.com Christe Cantu launched Balloon Mama out of her Spring-area home March 30. The business oers custom balloon garlands and balloon mosaics for special occasions that can be delivered across the Greater Houston area. Balloon Mama also oers garlands to go. 713-447-5301. www.theballoonmama.com COMING SOON 8 Conroe-based Magnolia Outdoor
COMPAQ CENTER W. DR.
VINTAGE PARK BLVD.
CORNERSTONE VILLAGE DR.
BAMMEL N. HOUSTON RD.
MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
NOWOPEN 1 Stacked Pickle , an Indiana-based sports bar, opened its rst Houston location June 11 at 6944 FM 1960 W. Known for its burgers, wings and beer, the restaurant also oers healthier options, including wraps and salads, as well as a children’s menu and a full bar with signature cocktails. 832-775-8353. www.stackedpickle.com 2 Sweet Inspirations opened April 26 at 6054 FM 2920, Spring. Owned by Tami Zimmerman, the tea room, cafe and gift
4 Blended Paradise Energy & Nutrition celebrated its grand opening May 1 at 16716 Stuebner Airline Road, Spring. The new business oers a variety of fat-burning energy teas as well as protein shakes and protein coee drinks. 346-808-7300. www.facebook.com/ blendedparadisetx 5 Dotson Healthcare Institute , a locally owned nonprot, began oering medical courses at 14300 Cornerstone Village Drive, Ste. 226, Houston, on May 17. Owner Nicole Dotson said the facility oers a 20-hour accelerated phlebotomy course, and she hopes to begin oering a
shop oers hot and iced teas as well as homemade desserts, sandwiches, soups, salads and quiche. The cafe also oers take-and-bake casseroles and specialty desserts. 346-351-2144. www.mysweetestinspiration.com 3 Caddy Shack Bistro celebrated its grand opening May 22 at 8714 Spring Cypress Road, Ste. 100B, Spring. The locally owned eatery features Anthony Bourdain-inspired tapas plates paired with craft cocktails, ne wines and local brews. 832-559-7030. www.facebook.com/caddy-shack- bistro-109100004604253
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11177 Compaq Center W. Drive, Houston. The new 250,000-square-foot facility contains a warehouse for the company’s direct imported products as well as a temperature-controlled warehouse for its liquor, wine and beer inventory. 713-979-0066. www.mexcor.com 12 Next Day Access North Houston relocated June 7 from 10081 Windfern Road, Houston, to 21621 Rhodes Road, Ste. H, Spring. Owned by Brian Week, the business is a Certied Aging-In-Place Specialist that oers wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, grab bars, bathroom safety products and vehicle lifts, among other residential and commercial accessibility and mobility products. The business also oers product installation services, in-home safety consultations, home and bathroom modications, rental and rent-to-own programs for non-custom products, and nancing options. 281-362-5274. www.nextdayaccess.com/ north-houston-tx EXPANSIONS 13 SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship broke ground on its new education and visitor center June 8 at 4610 Sloangate Drive, Spring. Founded in 1983, SIRE aims to improve the quality of life for disabled people through therapeutic horsemanship activities and educational outreach. The education and visitor center will feature indoor and outdoor spaces for observation, a multipurpose lounge, a kitchen, a classroom, a conference room and oce space. The new addition is just one component of a $3.5 million project to renovate the nonprot’s 37-acre Spring campus. 281-356-7588. www.sire-htec.org NAME CHANGES 14 Northwest Assistance Ministries, located at 15555 Kuykendahl Road, Houston, has changed the name of its adult learning center to the NAM Learning & Vocational Training Center . According to a May 21 news release, the nonprot’s learning center aims to help adults gain the necessary skills to chart a career path that will lead to nancial stability. 281-885-4523. www.namonline.org/learning
SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship
LOCAL HOT SPOT
Old Town Spring
COURTESY SIRE THERAPEUTIC HORSEMANSHIP
Living will open its second location in late June at 3416 FM 2920, Ste. 100, Spring. The business boasts outdoor furniture by Berlin Gardens in Texas, which is Amish-built furniture made out of lumber from recycled milk jugs. Furniture pieces range from chaise lounges and outdoor table sets to rocking chairs, gliders and swings. 832-521-5929. www.magnoliatexasoutdoorliving.com RELOCATIONS 3624 FM 2920, Ste. 1, Spring, on May 5. The business sells intention and herbal candles, crystals and stones, incense, jewelry, smudge, and other items used in meditation practice and energy work. Additionally, Evolve Alchemy oers 9 Evolve Alchemy moved from FM 2920 to a new, larger space at reiki, crystal sessions, akashic readings, and intuitive and life coaching readings. It hosts reiki and spiritual connection classes and workshops. 281-719-0960. www.evolvealchemy.com 10 Billiard Factory , a Champions-area business, will relocate this summer from 6911 FM 1960, Houston, to 7210 N. Grand Parkway W., Ste. B, Spring. The business oers a selection of home entertainment furniture, including pool tables, foosball tables, air hockey tables, shueboards, and bar and game room furniture. 281-444-5740. www.billiardfactory.com 11 Mexcor International , a spirits importer and distributor, announced May 24 the relocation of its corporate headquarters from 8950 Railwood Drive, Houston, to a 28-acre facility at
COURTESY GOODWOODS BRITISH MARKET
The historic Old Town Spring has had new businesses open as well as others relocating or gaining a new owner. NOWOPEN 1 House of Roux celebrated its grand opening May 15 at 317 Gentry St., Spring. The new cafe oers Cajun cuisine ranging from boudin balls to gumbo pot pie—a House of Roux original. Owned by Abbey Hebert and Cody Nicholson, House of Roux’s dishes are inspired by the avors found in Hebert’s hometown in Louisiana’s Acadia Parish. 346-351-1099. www.houseofroux.com 2 Vintage Chicks Old Town Market celebrated its grand opening May 22 at 123 Midway St., Ste. D, Spring. The boutique oers handcrafted home decor, painted furniture, clothing and accessories. 281-671-0086. www.facebook.com/chicksmkt 3 The Fellow Cavern celebrated its grand opening May 22 at 123 Midway St., Ste. B, Spring. The new business oers a variety of antiques, records, clothing, collectibles and home decor. 346-308-0645. www.facebook.com/ the-fellow-cavern-109407884632171 RELOCATIONS 4 POPPS opened in its new, larger location at 216 Midway St., Spring, on April 29. Formerly located at 317 Gentry St., Spring, the business
G E N T R Y S T .
boasts more than 30 varieties of small-batch, artisan popcorn with avors ranging from dill pickle and barbecue bacon to caramel pecan and cinnamon red hot. POPPS also oers candy, cotton candy, slushees and ice cream. 346-351-1391. www.poppstexas.com NEWOWNERSHIP 5 Alix Attaway took ownership of Goodwoods British Market on May 15 following the retirement of her father, Richard Goodlad. Goodlad opened Goodwoods British Market at 220 Gentry St., Spring, in 1991, oering food items from the United Kingdom ranging from meat pies to pasties and tea. Attaway, who has worked at the British grocer since she was 13, shadowed and trained under her father for two years prior to taking the reins. Attaway completed a full remodel of the store in May. 281-419-7540. www.goodwoods.com
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION • JUNE 2021
June & July events
COMPILED BY HANNAH ZEDAKER
22 SHOWOFF ‘THE OFFICE’ KNOWLEDGE CityPlace at Springwoods Village hosts a trivia night on the plaza focusing on the NBC television series “The Oce” as part of a summerlong series. 7:30 p.m. Free. CityPlace at Springwoods Village Plaza, 1250 Lake Plaza Drive, Spring. 713-840-2700. www.cityplacespringwoods.com 24 CHECK CAR SEATS Spring Fire Department hosts a child car seat safety check event in partnership with Safe Kids Greater Houston led by Texas Children’s Hospital. Appointments can be made by calling 832-824-3481 or emailing email@example.com. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Spring Fire Station No. 74, 23803 Aldine Westeld Road, Spring. 281-355-1266. www.springfd.org JULY 04 ENJOY AN INDEPENDENCE DAY PICNIC Trinity Klein Lutheran Church hosts a churchwide picnic following Sunday service July 4 featuring the music of Lyle Lovett and a tribute to veterans and members of the armed forces. 10-11:30 a.m. (church service), 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (picnic). Free. Trinity Klein Lutheran Church, 5201 Spring Cypress Road, Spring. 281-376-5773. www.trinityklein.org 14 DONATE BLOOD The Spring Fire Department hosts a blood drive in partnership with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. 8:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Spring Fire Station No. 71, 656 E. Louetta Road, Spring. 281-355-1266. www.springfd.org
LIVEMUSIC VINTAGE PARK 110 Vintage Park Blvd., Ste. 270, Houston 281-655-8000 www.vintageparkhouston.com June 19 Twin Connection, 7-10 p.m. 24 Yelba Heaton Band, 7-10 p.m. 25 Adrian Michael, 7-10 p.m. 26 Gary Michael Dahl Band, 7-10 p.m.
WATCH ‘ALADDIN’ KICKERILLOMISCHER PRESERVE
Families are invited to bring blankets, chairs and snacks to watch Disney’s animated lm “Aladdin.” The event includes take-home craft kits, and while registration is not required, space is limited. 7 p.m. Free. Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, 20215 Chasewood Park Drive, Houston. 281-353-8100. www.hcp4.net (Courtesy Harris County Precinct 4)
15 LEARNABOUT THE STATE OF HEALTH CARE The Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual State of Health Care panel discussion as part of its monthly Keynote Speaker Series. Panelists include Keith Barber, CEO of Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital; Scott Davis, CEO of HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest; and Mario Garner, president of CHI St. Luke’s Hospital-The Vintage Hospital. The virtual event will be hosted via Zoom. Noon-1 p.m. Free. 281-440-4160. www.houstonnwchamber.org 15 THROUGH 17 SHOP FOR A CAUSE St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Community hosts a three-day garage sale, the proceeds from which will benet its Community Outreach Ministry. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Free. St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Community Christus Center, 7810 Cypresswood Drive, Spring. 281-370-3401. www.ignatiusloyola.org
JUNE 19 GO FISHINGWITHDAD
Harris County Precinct 4 hosts a Father’s Day shing event, during which participants can visit the Trails As Parks information booth to nd sh ID cards and borrow poles and bait, which are available on a rst-come, rst-served basis. Participants age 17 and older must have a valid Texas shing license. 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Dennis Johnston Park, 709 Riley Fuzzel Road, Spring. 713-274-4201. www.hcp4.net
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COMPILED BY VANESSA HOLT & HANNAH ZEDAKER
$8.1MGoslingRoad bridge project goes out for bids An $8.1 million project to widen
BURROUGHS PARK RD.
shoulder will also be included on the southbound side, ocials said. “We are excited to get this very important connector between Harris County and Montgomery County built,” Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said in a news release. “This is one of the most utilized routes between The Woodlands and Harris County and will greatly improve both safety and mobility for motorists traveling on Gosling.” Another element of the project will include restriping northbound Gosling at Creekside Forest to allow two through lanes of trac and a left-turn lane, according to the release. Additional adjustments will be made at the emergency trac signal for The Woodlands Fire Station No. 8 to accommodate the new southbound lanes. The project is one of the last to be funded by Montgomery County’s $280 million road bond from 2015 and while there is not yet a timeline, it will take 429 days to complete.
OUT FOR BIDDING Bidding for a project to widen a portion of Gosling Road to four lanes will end June 21.
Gosling Road north of the Spring and Klein area went out for bids May 28. The project will be a joint eort between Montgomery County Precinct 3 and Harris County Precinct 4 with Montgomery County providing $4 million, about half of the total cost. Bidding for the project is expected to end June 21, Precinct 3 ocials announced May 25. Additionally, the Howard Hughes Corp. donated 8 acres of property on June 1 needed for the project to meet detention requirements. The scope of the work will include widening Gosling Road to four lanes between Creekside Forest Drive and Gateway Reserve Lane, crossing the county line. It will also include building an 1,817-foot bridge over Spring Creek for the new southbound lanes with existing bridge lanes forming the two northbound lanes. The existing 8-foot shoulder and sidewalk will remain, and a safety
LAKES AT CREEKSIDE DR.
YOUR HOME SELL said the project is expected to take about eight months to complete. Timeline: May 5, 2021-January 2022 Cost: $4.3 million Funding source: Harris County Precinct 4 ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 1. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SKLNEWS COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Hufsmith Road improvements (Phase 1) Harris County Precinct 4 began construction in May on a project that will upgrade Hufsmith Road between Burroughs Park Road and Lakes at Creekside Drive by adding a second access road to Burroughs Park and incorporate intersection improvements and trac signal modications as needed. Victoria Bryant, assistant director for Harris County Precinct 4’s Capital Improvement Projects Division,
THE WOODLANDS FIRE STATION NO. 8
GATEWAY RESERVE LN.
CREEKSIDE FOREST DR.
Timeline: TBD Cost: $8.1 million
Funding sources: Montgomery County Precinct 3, Harris County Precinct 4
SOURCE: MONTGOMERY COUNTY PRECINCT 3 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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GOVERNMENT Harris County, Houston continue to fight for flood funds
FLAWED FUNDING The Harris County Flood Control District anticipated it and the city of Houston would receive about $1 billion each in federal funds for flood-mitigation projects.
BY BROOKE ONTIVEROS
$2 billion would be allocated and split between the county and Houston. County officials said they believe the GLO initially allocated no funding to Harris County because the office’s scoring metrics discriminated against large, urban areas as counties with higher property values and smaller populations scored higher for aid. According to Harris County officials, of all counties damaged by Hurricane Harvey, 40% of the $125 billion in damages occurred in Harris County. Additionally, 35 of the 68 total fatalities from Harvey also occurred in Harris County, Hidalgo and Turner said. After passing a $2.5 billion flood $1.4 billion deficit due to a lack of matching funds for projects. Hidalgo and Turner said the $750 million allocation will not be enough to fill the gap and asked Fudge to view the initial funding as a “down payment.” bond program in 2018, Harris County now finds itself at a
allocated in February of 2018, the rules were promulgated in August of 2019, and hurricane season has already begun for 2021, HUD should require the GLO to submit this amendment within the next 30 days,” Hidalgo and Turner wrote in the letter. However, Brittany Eck, GLO director of communications, said in an email June 14 it is not possible to submit the action plan within 30 days to HUD as the document must first be translated into five languages before the GLO can begin the public hearing period—which typically takes place over 45 days— and respond to comments before sending the plan to HUD. However, Eck later said in an email June 15 public hearings are not required for substantial amendments. Instead, the GLO must open public comment and issue responses, which typically takes 30 days. The Harris County Flood Control District originally predicted
Following a request from Harris County and Houston leaders, the Texas General Land Office said a 30-day timeline is “not feasible” to draft an action plan amendment that would include a request for $750 million in federal flood aid. The GLO announced Harris County would receive nothing from the Hurricane Harvey flood mitigation fund on May 20. However, on May 26, GLO Commissioner George P. Bush requested a $750 million direct allocation to Harris County for flood-mitigation projects from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a letter sent June 11, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked U.S. Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge to ensure Bush formally requests the $750 million direct allocation within 30 days. “Given this matter involves funds
August 2017: Hurricane Harvey causes $125 billion in damages in the Gulf Coast region; 40% of the damage occurs in Harris County. February 2018: $4.3 billion in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is earmarked for Texas. January 2020: HUD sends money to the Texas General Land Office for competitive grants. October 2020: Harris County applies for $915million in GLO grant funding for flood projects. May 2021: The GLO awards the $1 billion first round of Harvey relief funds May 21; none are awarded to Harris County nor Houston. GLO Commissioner George P. Bush requests HUD send $750million directly to Harris County on May 26.
SOURCES: TEXAS GENERAL LAND OFFICE, HARRIS COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
SPRING - KLEIN EDITION • JUNE 2021
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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
AT THE CAPITOL Bills passed in legislative session aimto tackle criminal justice reform
BY WESLEY GARDNER
pass, said there was still more work to be done. She represents a portion of the Spring and Klein area. “It was not a good session for criminal justice,” Senfronia Thompson said. “I think there was some change that we can build upon in the future.” A closer look Among the bills that passed are a ban on certain police chokeholds and neck restraints and a requirement for officers to intervene when they witness their colleagues using excessive force. Additionally, Huffman lauded a pair of bills, House bills 492 and 929, which address no-knock warrant limitations and procedures for police officer body-worn cameras, respectively. She said she was proud of the Senate’s work this session. “[While] there were other bills that did not have the votes to pass, I am hopeful that these bills will continue to strengthen the crucial relationship between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” she said. However, Sandra Guerra Thompson, director of the University of Houston Criminal Justice Institute, said HB 3712, which prohibits chokeholds, has limited reach because many agencies already prohibit chokeholds. She also cited concern over requiring officers to intervene if they see another officer use excessive force, noting exceptions exist if the officer deems the force is necessary to get the person into custody. “There’s only a duty to intervene if the officer knows that excessive force is being used that’s illegal,” she said. “All of those things are judgment calls.”
LEGISLATIVE RUNDOWN A number of bills aimed at reforming Texas’ criminal justice system were penned during the 2021 legislative session. Here is a look at how they fared. Awaiting governor action* Criminal justice bills
Lawmakers in Texas rounded out the 2021 legislative session in late May, passing several bills aimed at addressing police conduct. While some Houston-area elected officials believe the passed bills marked significant improvements in the criminal justice system, others believe more is needed to enact substantial change. Criminal justice reform was a prominent issue this session after Houston native George Floyd died last year, although numerous bills failed to gain approval in both the House and Senate. Floyd died last May after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, sparking protests and demonstrations nationwide calling for reform. Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second- degree manslaughter, according to verdicts issued at the Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota. State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who served as chair of the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence, said the Senate worked with law enforcement and community groups to develop and pass key reform bills. “The Senate has worked diligently on criminal justice reforms designed to instill public confidence in the justice system, ensure accountability and preserve public safety,” she said. However, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, who authored several bills pertaining to criminal justice reform that did not
Stalled in a Senate committee
House Bill 929 would require police officers to activate body cameras during investigations. They can only deactivate cameras if they encounter a person unrelated to the investigation. HB 492 would limit no-knock warrants, in which officers can enter a home without announcing themselves. The bill would only allow judges to sign warrants approved by a police chief or sheriff. Officers must be in uniform to execute the warrant. HB 3712 would prohibit chokeholds unless an officer believes the restraint will prevent serious bodily injury or death. It would require officers to prevent others from using excessive force and aid a person who has been seriously injured. HB 829 would have required law enforcement agencies to adopt a set schedule of disciplinary actions to impose on officers based on the current wrongdoing and the officers’ prior record. HB 830 would have limited officers’ ability to arrest individuals for traffic offenses that would have at most resulted in a fine.
*BILL HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE HOUSE AND SENATE AND IS WAITING FOR THE GOVERNOR TO TAKE ACTION SOURCE: TEXAS LEGISLATURE ONLINE/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Meanwhile, a pair of bills authored by Senfronia Thompson that failed to pass would have required law enforcement agencies to adopt a set schedule of disciplinary actions for officers and eliminated qualified immunity for officers being sued over issues including the use of force.
Sandra Guerra Thompson said she believed those bills would have had a greater effect in instituting substantial change. “Those kinds of bills would definitely have changed the culture in terms of forcing more accountability,” she said.
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SPRING - KLEIN EDITION • JUNE 2021
SCHOOL & COUNTY
News from Harris County & Spring, Klein & Cy-Fair ISDs
Racial disparities identified in use of force, citations from lawenforcement
DISSECTING THE DISPARITY
BY DANICA LLOYD
on Law Enforcement annually. “Overall, [the department] did not identify significant disparities in most comparisons,” JAD Research Policy Analyst Matthew Sweeney said. “However, we did identify disparities in citations, incidents involving force resulting in bodily injury and limitations in complaint submission.” For instance, Hispanic drivers were more likely to receive citations in most departments, and Black drivers overall were more likely to experience bodily injury as a result of use of force than other racial and ethnic groups. Black and Hispanic drivers were also more likely to be arrested in a traffic stop. However, Sweeney said there were many limitations in the data. Law enforcement agencies did not always report incidents by racial demographics, and population demographics cannot be used as a comparison because constable precincts are not within measurable areas.
HARRIS COUNTY The Harris County Justice Administration Department presented a report to Commissioners Court on June 8 following a unanimously approved motion for the department to “analyze existing racial profiling data produced by law enforcement” approximately one year earlier. “It’s not about trying to catch anybody or have any gotchas, but obviously, we should know if there is a challenge, and if there is, we ought to work to take steps to correct it,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. Analysis in the report included racial demographics in instances of consent search, contraband discovery, traffic stops that led to arrests, types of citations or warnings, and use of force. According to the report, the department analyzed data pulled from racial profiling reports publicized by the Texas Commission
An average of data collected throughout 2020 from all eight Harris County constable precincts and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Black and Hispanic drivers were more likely to be arrested in a traffic stop.
Asian and Pacific Islander
ARRESTS MADE IN TRAFFIC STOPS
HARRIS COUNTY JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT, TEXAS COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Recommendations from the JAD included updating the county’s data-collection process to include more mandatory fields in an attempt to reduce missing data. Officials also said agencies should establish an accessible online platformwhere the public can submit
complaints or commendations about law enforcement interactions. Most departments currently do not have online submission forms and/or forms in multiple languages to file racial profiling complaints, Sweeney said. To view the full report, visit https://jad.harriscountytx.gov.
ExecutiveDirector Russ Poppe announces resignation fromHarris County Flood Control District
HARRIS COUNTY After nearly 15 years of service as the executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District, Russ Poppe announced his BY BROOKE ONTIVEROS
associated with these efforts have adversely affected the quality of my personal life to a point I can no longer sustain,” Poppe wrote. “I am humbled by having worked with very professional and devoted public servants in my 15-plus years here and wish all of you the best in your continued service to Harris County.” The Harris County Commissioners Court will likely discuss his replacement at its June 29 meeting, HCFCD Deputy Executive Director
Matt Zeve said in an email June 14. As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper , following pushback against the Texas General Land Office’s announcement that Harris County would receive nothing from the Hurricane Harvey flood mitigation funds May 20, GLO Commissioner George P. Bush said less than a week later he would seek a $750 million direct allocation from the federal government to the county. Harris County had not yet received
the direct allocation as of press time June 16. “I am committed to working with the Budget Management Office and [HCFCD] staff on finalizing our recommendation to address the district’s bond program backstop funding for presentation at Commissioners Court on June 29,” Poppe said. “However, I will begin transitioning over the next three weeks out of my leadership role at the district.”
resignation June 11 amid an ongoing push to secure $750 million in flood control aid as Texas gears up for another hurricane season. “The growing expectations
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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS SPRING ISD At a June 3 meeting, the Spring ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a one-time supplemental payment to all full-time and half-time benefit- eligible employees who are returning to work for the district next year. Payments of $1,000 will be given to full-time staff members, and payments of $500 will be given to half-time staff members. District officials said the payments would be made on June 25 paychecks. KLEIN ISD The Kailee Mills Foundation installed 50 seat belt safety signs across Klein ISD’s middle and high school parking lots in late May as part of the Spring-based nonprofit’s ongoing efforts to promote seat belt safety awareness. The Kailee Mills Foundation was formed by family members after KISD student Kailee Mills died in a car collision Oct. 28, 2017; Kailee was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The recent sign installation initiative is part of the nonprofit’s ongoing efforts to promote seat belt safety awareness and support other families with financial assistance and counseling services. Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. June 21 and 24 at 10300 Jones Road, Houston. 281-897-4000. www.cfisd.net Klein ISD board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. June 28 at 7200 Spring Cypress Road, Spring. 832-249-4000. www.kleinisd.net Spring ISD board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. June 22 at 16717 Ella Blvd., Houston. 281-891-6000. www.springisd.org Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. June 29 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. 713-274-1111. www.harriscountytx.gov Meetings will be recorded or livestreamed. MEETINGSWE COVER
Maintenance project begins in Cypress Creekwatershed
BY HANNAH ZEDAKER
Cypress Road and Cypresswood Drive in the 77379 ZIP code area. Construction activities include silt removal; erosion repair; the replacement of outfall pipe, manholes, and concrete channel lining; excavation and off-site disposal; and site restoration. The project contractor, LECON, is expected to complete Phase 1 construction by fall 2023, according to the HCFCD website. Construction on Phase 2, which will include project sites located along Hwy. 249 between Northpointe Boulevard and FM 1960, is expected to begin this fall and wrap up by winter 2023. Timelines for the project’s remaining phases had not been announced as of press time.
CREEK CONVEYANCE The first batch of project sites are located between Spring Cypress Road and Cypresswood Drive.
HARRIS COUNTY In June, the Harris County Flood Control District will begin construction on the first phase of Bond Project CI-012, also known as Major Maintenance of Cypress Creek and Tributaries. According to a June 8 release, while the project will not widen or deepen channels, it aims to restore channel conveyance capacity along Cypress Creek and its tributaries. The $13.4 million project is part of the district’s $2.5 billion flood bond program approved by voters in 2018. According to the release, the project will be constructed in six to eight phases with the first phase targeting repair sites between Spring
Major maintenance in the Cypress Creek watershed
SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER N
Harris County attempts to raise vaccination rates
Lacking state funding, districts nix virtual learning
Spring, Klein and Cy-Fair ISDs canceled plans to launch virtual learning academies in 2021-22 after the Texas Legislature did not pass House Bill 1468, which would have provided funding to allow public schools to continue offering remote learning in the 2021-22 school year. “We know that this news may be disappointing to your family, and we share your disappointment,” KISD Chief Academic Officer Amy Miller wrote in a letter June 15. “We appreciate your patience and understanding as we await further guidance and legislation regarding the future of virtual learning in Texas beyond the 2021-22 school year.” BY WESLEY GARDNER, DANICA LLOYD & HANNAH ZEDAKER
HOUSE BILL 1468 This bill would have provided funding to allow public schools to offer remote learning in 2021-22. SOURCE: TEXAS LEGISLATURE ONLINE/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Spring and Klein ISDs previously planned to launch stand-alone virtual learning academies in the coming school year for students in grades 3-12, while CFISD planned to launch a virtual academy for students in grades 4-12. “We will continue to look at ways to expand opportunities for students to learn through online and blended learning in the future,” SISD officials said in a statement June 16.
BY DANICA LLOYD
HARRIS COUNTY Harris County announced June 3 that it will award a $5,000 scholarship each week to one student who receives his or her COVID-19 vaccine from a Harris County Public Health site. Raffle candidates must be Harris County residents who were under the age of 18 at the time of their initial doses. On June 8, Harris County Commissioners Court also approved county officials finalizing a contract with Elevate Strategies for one year of targeted community vaccine outreach. If approved, the firm would engage with residents through canvassing, focusing on areas hit hardest by COVID-19.
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