Tomball - Magnolia Edition | November 2020

TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 1  NOV. 21DEC. 23, 2020

ONLINE AT

Terms to know

crisis A local hunger Local ocials said the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity issues. In 2018, prior to the global health emergency, over 25,000 residents in the Tomball and Magnolia area were eligible for grocery assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

SNAP The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programoers grocery assistance to low-income families.

Food insecur i t y This is the condition of lacking consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life due to nancial constraints.

According to Feeding Texas, thousands of residents across the six Tomball-Magnolia ZIP codes are eligible for SNAP benets.

SNAP el igibi l i ty

IMPACTS

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The 14% of residents who are SNAP eligible include: locally

52%

6%

42% or 10,801 youth

or 13,286 adults

or 1,500 seniors

FM1488 WIDENINGTO BEGIN

med i an i ncome : $83,951

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 14.3%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

45%

med i an i ncome : $74,240

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 22.6%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

42%

TRANSPORTATION

13

1488

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 16.6%

Rece i ve SNAP :

med i an i ncome : $83,668

of that

Percentage of popul at i on el i g i ble for snap benef i ts

44%

10%-13% 13.1%-15% 15.1% and above

249

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med i an i ncome : $72,656

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 15.9%

Rece i ve SNAP :

med i an i ncome : $72,049

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 13.6%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

of that

SOURCES: FEEDING TEXAS, U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

VOLUNTEER GUIDE

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52%

53%

med i an i ncome : $99,276

SNAP e l i g i bl e : 12.8%

Rece i ve SNAP :

of that

INSIDE

26

27%

MAP NOT TO SCALE N

TOMAGWA looks to federal designation for sustainability

MARKER UNVEILED

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BY ANNA LOTZ XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX COVID19 KINDOF GAVE US APUSH TO SAY, ‘YOUNEED TO LOOKAT THIS DESIGNATION RIGHT NOW.

TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries—founded more than 30 years ago to serve uninsured residents in the Tomball, Magnolia and Waller areas—has grappled with treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, as all health care organizations have. But unlike some other providers, TOMAGWA has not had access to the same resources because it is not a federally qualied

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TIMIKA SIMMONS, TOMAGWA HEALTHCARE MINISTRIES CEO

CONTINUED ON 28

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www.kleinisd.net/ results

The Klein ISD Board of Trustees adopts the lowest tax rate in OVER 10 years.

$1.43 $1.43 $1.43

$1.41

$1.36

$1.39

$1.34 2020

65 & OLDER

Homestead Exemption Reminder Don’t forget - homestead taxes are frozen for our citizens with the over 65 or disabled persons exemptions unless the citizen is currently paying below their tax ceiling.

3

TOMBALL - MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

IS WORTH A SHOT PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY

Schedule your flu shot at BSLMG.org/FluSeason.

With no-wait appointments and locations across Greater Houston, it’s easy to protect friends and family this flu season. Keep those you love safe by booking an appointment with your doctor at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group today.

Find a location near you at StLukesHealth.org

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

6

Now Open, Coming Soon &more TODO LIST

FROMCHRISSY: This year has brought many new challenges to families locally, one of which is food insecurity, leaving many not knowing from where their next meal will come. One of our front-page stories explores how local nonprots are experiencing an increased demand from those in need along with an increased need for donations. Check out our volunteer guide (see Pages 20-21) for many ways you can help. Chrissy Leggett, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Chrissy Leggett, cleggett@communityimpact.com EDITOR Anna Lotz REPORTERS Adriana Rezal, Eva Vigh GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ethan Pham ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE April Halpin METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Matt Stephens ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE

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Local events and things to do TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 11

Local projects to follow TRANSPORTATION

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FM 1488 widening slated to begin in December GOVERNMENT Montgomery County to build $11.8M forensics center

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FROMANNA: This last month was one of celebration. While we celebrated the unveiling of the Montgomery County Historical Commission’s marker at a 100-year-old residence in Magnolia (see Page 22), we also celebrated a decade of serving you, our beloved readers. While our population has certainly changed from Magnolia’s 25 residents in 1900, the small- town heart has not. As we begin our 11th year, I look forward to continuing our vision of helping communities thrive. Anna Lotz, EDITOR

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THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

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Local sources 68

New businesses 7

Community events 12

16

GUIDE

20

Nonprots

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Commercial, residential market data IMPACT DEALS

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

www.anedny.com 5 Pet Supplies Plus opened at

MAGNOLIA

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27754 Business 249, Ste. 20, Tomball, on Oct. 30. According to owner Jocelyn Harris, the store oers a range of pet supplies and live animals, such as birds, sh and bearded dragons. Pet Supplies Plus also oers a pet wash station for customers to wash their pets in-store. Harris said grooming services are yet to come. In celebration of their opening, Pet Supplies Plus will host a grand opening event Nov. 21-22 beginning at 10 a.m. 832-698-1420. www.facebook.com/psptomball 6 Five Star Floors ’ fourth location launched in early August at 27030 Kuykendahl Road, Tomball. The Great- er Houston-area company, which also operates Pearland, Humble and League City stores, oers laminate, hardwood, vinyl, cork and carpet ooring options in addition to home remodeling and design consultation services. 281-913-7235. www.5staroor.com COMING SOON 7 Chill Milkshake and Wae Bar will open at 6606 FM 1488, Ste. 110, Mag- nolia, in December. According to owner Kassie Boyd, this will be the business’s second location in addition to Chill Milkshake Bar in Spring. The eatery oers a variety of milkshakes, such as butter beer, cookie dough and birthday cake, as well as a selection of food items, includ- ing dessert waes and grilled cheese. https://chillthemilkshakebar.com 8 Lousiana Fish House is slated to open its fth Northwest Houston location in Magnolia in early January 2021. The seafood restaurant will be located at 18252 FM 1488, Magnolia. Lousiana Fish House oers a variety of seafood dishes, such as sh tacos, fried catsh po’boys, cajun pasta and more. The business did not have a phone number or website as of press time. 9 Skeeter’s Dogs and Desserts is com- ing to Market Street in Tomball, according to owner Nicole Rich. The eatery is slated to open at 102 Market St., Tomball, in January 2021 and will oer gourmet dogs and desserts in addition to other items, such as panini and salads. Skeeter’s Dogs

1486

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TAMINA RD.

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RESEARCH FOREST DR.

COMMERCE ST.

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BURROUGHS PARK

STAGECOACH RD.

HUFSMITH RD.

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DECKER PRAIRIE ROSEHILL RD.

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NORTHPOINTE BLVD.

SPRING CYPRESS RD.

N. ELDRIDGE PKWY.

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TM; © 2019 COMMUNITY IMPACT CO. LICENSING, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 Pizza Inn Express opened in Septem- ber inside the Exxon Breaktime gas sta- tion location at 12131 Northpointe Blvd., Tomball. The franchise oers a variety of pizza options, such as chicken Alfredo, Hawaiian and taco pizzas. 346-336-6981. www.pizzainn.com/locations/tomball-tx 2 Raising Cane’s celebrated its grand opening at 10950 Louetta Road, Hous- ton, on Oct. 29. The Louisiana-based

eatery is known for its chicken tenders, crinkle-cut fries, coleslaw, Texas toast and signature Cane’s sauce. www.raisingcanes.com 3 After ve years of business, START Swimming opened its rst swimming instruction facility Oct. 5 at 17545 N. Eldridge Parkway, Tomball. According to owner Barbara Harold, the business oers swim lessons, training certications, aquatic aerobics, recreational swimming and swimming therapy. Harold said the

business is oering a 20% discount for swim lessons through the end of 2020. 713-469-2503. https://startswimmingnow.com 4 Anedny Portrait Studio opened a new studio location at 17903 Shaw Road, Cypress, on Oct. 1. Owned by photog- rapher Anedny Laubscher, the studio specializes in newborn portraits and also oers outdoor sessions for families and graduating seniors as well as maternity photo shoots. 713-277-8277.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ AND ADRIANA REZAL

and Desserts is owned by Nicole and her husband, John Rich; they also own local eatery Every-Bellies on Market Street. The couple has owned Every-Bellies for 12 years. The eatery did not have a phone number of website as of press time. 10 Tumble 22 , an Austin-based eatery, is planning to open in Vintage Park in the former location of PDQ, located at 10723 Louetta Road, Houston. Inspired by Nash- ville hot chicken, the new restaurant’s menu will oer chicken tender bites, jumbo chicken tenders, chicken sand- wiches and bone-in chicken with ve heat level options, from “Wimpy” to “Cluckin’ Hot.” The menu will also oer salads; family pack options; sides, such as the dirty mac-n-cheese, which is made with pulled hot chicken and ranch; and dessert options. A projected opening date has not yet been announced. 281-547-6300. www.tumble22.com RELOCATIONS 11 Defenders Martial Arts Academy relocated from Spring Cypress Road to 24922 Hwy. 249, Tomball, in early October. Owner Lance McDonald said the martial arts academy oers a variety of classes, including taekwondo, Brazilian jiujitsu and boxing, among others, for age 4 and up. 832-882-5425. www.defendersmaa.com 12 Family-owned automotive body shop Tomball Collision relocated Nov. 1 to 14010 Hirscheld Road, Tomball, according to owner Sabrina Kelso. Origi- nally located on FM 2920, the auto shop oers collision and body repair services. Kelso said walk-in appointments are welcome, and estimates are available free of charge. 832-559-1965. www.facebook. com/tomball-collision-106157230937155 13 All American Stone & Turf will relocate at the end of November, ac- cording to Site Manager John Matthews. Originally located at 5505 FM 1488, the landscaping business will relocate to 5145 FM 1488, Magnolia, and will feature a new building and yard. All American Stone & Turf oers a variety of landscap- ing products, including grass, stones and gravel in addition to soils and mulch. 281-259-1400. https://stoneandturf.com

7

Chill Milkshake and Wae Bar

COURTESY CHILL MILKSHAKE AND WAFFLE BAR

ANNIVERSARIES 14 Magnolia-based eatery Tressie’s Southern Kitchen celebrated one year of business Nov. 1 at 312 Commerce St., Magnolia. In addition to soups, salads and pizza, the restaurant also oers a Sunday brunch menu, featuring dishes such as the No. 99 Sandwich, a fried egg served with bacon and hash browns on a home- made bun; a wae sandwich with Belgian waes and fried chicken; and Texas-sized cinnamon rolls. 832-521-3417. www.facebook.com/tressies-south- ern-kitchen-2149605858675203 15 Market Street Cafe celebrated one year of business at 302 Market St., Tomball, on Oct. 13. The eatery’s menu includes a selection of burgers and sand- wiches, such as the Boudin burger, lamb burger and curry chicken salad sandwich, in addition to a variety of other entrees, side dishes and desserts. 281-597-1263. www.facebook.com/marketstreetcafe NAME CHANGES 16 Joy Love Burgers changed its name to JLB Eatery in mid-September. Located at 22625 Hwy. 249, Ste. 830, Tomball, the eatery’s menu includes a selection of Angus beef burgers, such as the bacon hamburger, avocado hamburger and dou- ble-meat cheeseburger, among others. In addition to hamburgers, JLB Eatery also oers chicken sandwiches, side dishes and Cajun wings. 832-953-2522. www.thejlbeatery.com/menu-tomball 17 Previously known as Service First Automotive, the car repair and mainte- nance service provider changed its name

Houston Morning Market Company launched its Tomball Morning Market in November.

COURTESY HOUSTON MORNING MARKET COMPANY

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN The Tomball Morning Market launched Nov. 8 at Shiloh’s Food Court, located at 32127 Hwy. 249, Pinehurst. Hayley Summers, owner of the Houston Morning Market Company, said with four acres to spread out, initial plans include live music, activities, space for 20 artisan and shopping vendors, and three food trucks—in addition to the food trucks already on-site at Shiloh’s Food Court. “At Shiloh’s, we’re really just wanting to focus on everybody in the family has something to do here all day long every Sunday,” she said. “We want to be able to expand as much as possible at Shiloh’s and really just give the community what they want.” The Tomball Morning Market is open Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. “The possibilities are so endless. I would love to see bounce houses and to Caliber Auto Care in mid-October. Caliber Auto Care oers oil changes, auto repair and inspections, among other ser- vices. The business currently operates lo- cations at 17A 26211 Kuykendahl Road, Tomball, and 17B 11922 Spring Cypress Road, Tomball. 281-205-3225 (Kuykend- ahl), 832-639-1508 (Spring Cypress). https://servicerstautomotive.com

water gun ghts, and I would love to see charities or nonprots come in and utilize the land to entertain our guests but also benet their business,” Summers said. “We do eventually want to transition into our Tomball market being all day Saturday and Sunday.” Summers also launched a market in downtown Houston in addition to the Heights Morning Market, which she currently runs, in late October and November. houstonmorningmarkets.square.site

DECKER PRAIRIE RD.

DECKER PRAIRIE ROSEHILL RD.

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CLOSINGS 18 GenuWine Tasting Room , a wine bar located at 6503 FM 1488, Ste. 401, Magnolia, closed Oct. 31 due to the un- certainty of the economy and pandemic, according to a Facebook post from own- ers Cassie and Ron Lochte.

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

Santa says, BE SURE TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEATING INSPECTION Merry Christmas from all of us at Crossway Mechanical

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

November-December events

COMPILED BY ADRIANA REZAL

NOV. 2829

WATCH ‘THE NUTCRACKER SUITE’ CONCORDIA LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL

DEC. 419

ENJOY THE HOLIDAY LIGHTS TOMBALL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

DEC. 518

MAKE HOLIDAY CRAFTS, SEE LIGHTS BURROUGHS PARK

Dance enthusiasts can catch one of three holiday performances of “The Nutcracker Suite” hosted by the Texas Academy of Dance Arts on Nov. 28-29. Tickets for in-person and livestreamed shows will be available for purchase on the organization’s website. 3 p.m. (Sat., Sun.), 6 p.m. (Sat.). $20-25. Concordia Lutheran High School, 700 E. Main St., Tomball. 832-663-5336. https://dancetada.com

Tomball United Methodist Church will host its Trail of Lights event, an outdoor walking trail decorated for the holidays. The trail will be open on Friday and Saturday evenings Dec. 4-19. Families can enjoy homemade cookies and hot chocolate as well as pictures with Santa and a 30-foot Christmas tree. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. 1603 Baker Drive, Tomball. 281-351-1249. www.tomballumc.org

Harris County Precinct 4 is hosting a holiday craft pickup drive-thru event on a rst-come, rst-served basis. Event attendees will have the opportunity to wave at Santa Claus as well as view the holiday lights installation at Burroughs Park. 6-9 p.m. (lights), 6-8 p.m. (craft pickup). Free. Burroughs Park, 9738 Hufsmith Road, Tomball. 832-927-4444. www.hcp4.net

05 GO CHRISTMAS CAMPING The Wilderness Campground hosts a celebration for campers and the public with holiday music, photos with Santa and a Christmas dessert table. In addition to hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows, the event includes a holiday movie showing outdoors. 6-8 p.m. Free. 14310 FM 1488, Magnolia. 281-804-8683. www.battlecryministries.org/wilderness 05 WAVE TO SANTA The Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce presents The Magic of Christmas Parade of Lights event in partnership with Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley and the city of Magnolia. The parade begins at Magnolia Junior High School on Nichols Sawmill Road and travels to Commerce Street, Sixth Street and Unity Park. According to Chamber President Sandy Barton, the parade will also honor local law enforcement agencies. The parade will feature a visit from Santa Claus. 5:30 p.m. Free. 281-356-1488. 31138 Nichols Sawmill Road, Magnolia. www.greatermagnoliaparkwaycc.org

05 TAKE PHOTOS WITH SANTA Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley hosts “Hometown Christmas,” a holiday- themed, family-friendly event with children’s activities, such as photos with Santa Claus, camel and pony rides, and face painting. 1-4 p.m. Free. Unity Park, 19450 Unity Park Drive, Magnolia. 281-259-6492. www.charlieriley.org 12 CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AT THE GROUNDS 1488 A holiday-themed event will be held at the creative community space The Grounds 1488. The event features music, vendors and Santa. 3-7 p.m. Free. 11512 FM 1488, Magnolia (behind Acton Academy). www.facebook.com/ thegroundsmagnoliatexas 19 SEND A CARD Decorate cookies, play games and win prizes at the Holiday Shindig event. In addition to free martial arts lessons and craft activities, children can make holiday cards for elderly residents in nursing homes. Noon-2 p.m. Free. 32818 Tamina

NOVEMBER 23 RECEIVE A HOLIDAY DINNER Local emergency assistance organization Society of Samaritans will distribute 500 holiday baskets to families in need on a rst-come, rst-served basis for its annual Thanksgiving dinner giveaway event. Holiday baskets contain food items for families to cook dinner. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Magnolia Bible Church, 31611 Nichols Sawmill Road, Magnolia. 281-259-8452. https://societyofsamaritanstx.org 25 ATTENDA FOOD DRIVE Families Feeding Families will host its 10th annual food distribution event for families in need. Event participants will be able to attend the drive-thru event to receive a hot meal and other assistance items, such as clothing vouchers, goodie bags and gift cards. The event will also oer faith-based assistance, such as prayer support. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 22601 Lutheran Church Road, Tomball. 281-351-8223. www.salem4u.com

DECEMBER 03 SIP AND SHOP FOR A CAUSE Adelyne’s will hold a “Sip and Shop” event, featuring snacks and drinks, in which 15% of every purchase will benet Tomball-based nonprot New Life Adoptions. Interested participants unable to attend the event can shop online during the event times and leave “New Life Adoptions” in the comments section. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free to attend. 11715 Spring Cypress Road, Tomball. 281-205-7421. https://shopadelynes.com 04 THROUGH 5 COOKOFF FOR A CAUSE The Tomball Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2427 is hosting its rst event after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The post will hold a cooko event with trophies for chicken, pork spare ribs and brisket. The event will also include a silent auction and other raes. 5 p.m. (Fri.); 10:30 a.m. (cooko) 5:30 p.m. (awards given) (Sat.). Free (entry). 14408 Alice Road, Tomball. 832-326-6909. https://vfwpost2427.org

Road, Magnolia. 346-345-7100. https://thewayfamilydojo.com

Find more or submit Tomball and Magnolia events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

FIGHTING THE FLU STARTS WITH YOU

This flu season brings with it a whole new set of challenges. But we can all do our part to keep Houston healthy and safe, and it starts with getting a flu shot. It protects you, your family, and our community. It also helps minimize the stress on Houstonʼs healthcare system. Plus, with the enhanced safety measures in place at Memorial Hermann facilities, you can get your flu shot safely and with peace of mind. PROTECT YOURSELF. PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY. GET YOUR FLU SHOT TODAY.

Advancing health. Personalizing care.

To schedule, visit memorialhermann.org/flu

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ

UPCOMING PROJECTS

ONGOING PROJECTS 1 Hwy. 249, Grand Parkway connectors Construction is on track for four direct connectors linking Hwy. 249 and the Grand Parkway on the intersection’s south side in Tomball. The project, fund- ed by the Harris County Toll Road Author- ity, is taking shape as columns are being constructed for the yovers and utilities are being adjusted. Drivers will continue to see pieces for the new connectors being erected in the rst quarter of 2021, according to the HCTRA. Timeline: March 17, 2020-June 2022 Cost: $92 million

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Holderrieth Road widening The Harris County Precinct 4 project will widen Holderrieth Road from a two-lane asphalt roadway to a four- lane concrete one between Hwy. 249 and Hufsmith-Kohrville Road with improved drainage. A trac signal will also be added at Holderrieth Road and South Cherry Street. The project is in the design phase. Timeline: TBD Cost: TBD Funding source: Harris County Precinct 4

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The Texas Department of Transportation project will widen FM 2978 from two to four lanes with a center turn lane from FM 1488 to south of Dry Creek—near Har- din Store Road—in Phase 1 and from south of Dry Creek to Hufsmith-Conroe Road in Phase 2. As of early November, Phase 1 was 56% complete, and Phase 2 was 86% complete. The timeline for Phase 2 was pushed from the third quarter of 2020 to the rst quarter of 2021. Timeline: September 2018-second quarter 2021 (Phase 1), January 2018-rst quarter 2021 (Phase 2) Cost: $21.5 million (Phase 1), $13.7 million (Phase 2) Funding sources: TxDOT, federal funds 3 Cypress Rosehill Road extension The joint project between Harris County precincts 3 and 4 was awarded Nov. 10 for construction. The project will widen and extend Cypress Rosehill Road to a four-lane concrete boulevard from Siedel Cemetery Road to north of FM 2920. Precinct 3 is managing construction. Timeline: November-TBD Cost: TBD Funding sources: Harris County precincts 3 and 4

TxDOTmarks 20yearsof daily roaddeaths With the last deathless day being

2920

deaths in Texas, and we can reach zero roadway deaths in Houston. It is up to us. It’s literally in our hands,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan said in a Nov. 5 release. “Let’s not let another Texas family down.” Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing trac counts to lessen by 40% earlier this year in the Greater Houston area, the death rate increased by 1% in the area during that time, according to a Nov. 5 release.

Nov. 7, 2000, the Texas Department of Transportation marked two decades of daily roadway deaths Nov. 7. An average of 10 people have died each day on roadways in Texas for the past 20 years, according to TxDOT. As such, TxDOT’s #Endthestreak campaign—a social media, word-of- mouth, grassroots eort—encourages drivers to adopt behaviors to avoid a fatal crash. “We can end the streak of daily

N

99 TOLL

Telge Road widening The project is in the design phase to widen Telge Road from just north of the Grand Parkway to FM 2920 in Tomball. The road would be widened to a four-lane concrete boulevard with appropriate drainage accommo- dations. Timeline: TBD Cost: TBD Funding source: Harris County Precinct 4

The Texas Transportation Commission adopted a goal in 2019 of having half as many fatalities on Texas roadways by 2035 and zero deaths by 2050.

The three deadliest driving behaviors include:

Impaired driving

Speeding

Distracted driving

1

2

3

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF NOV. 10. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT TOMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

In Houston, the leading cause of deadly crashes is failure to stay in the driver’s lane, which could be caused by the three driving behaviors.

SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATION TxDOT project widening FM1488west ofMagnolia to alleviate trac, pose business challenges

of Commerce, said the incoming construction has raised concerns among Magnolia business owners. Slated to begin early next year, the project is the rst part of a larger proj- ect to widen FM 1488 through the eastern city limits and beyond, which would extend construction up close to many of the city’s local businesses east of the railroad tracks. However, there is no current timeline set to widen FM 1488 from FM 1774 to west of FM 149, as this second portion of the project is still in the design phase, according to Black. “Widening those lanes and pro- viding a dedicated turn lane … will provide some relief to getting trac moved through Magnolia a little more quickly,” Barton said. “There’s a denite benet; it’s just that we hope that we don’t lose any businesses from the impact that the road’s construction is going to create.” Barton said some business owners have prepared to lose frontage due to the upcoming project, which, in some cases, has aected park- ing space near the properties. In addition to the loss of frontage, Barton said business owners are also concerned with how the projected two-year construction will aect business in the long term. “Once the construction starts, the biggest impact is going to be access and the fact that it is already dicult at times to come through the Magnolia community because of trac backups,” Barton said. “We’ve seen a number of businesses go out of business because customers have a tendency to avoid those construction areas. … Extreme delays for any small-business owner is a potential signicant impact to their ability to stay nancially viable.”

BY ADRIANA REZAL

The FM 1488 widening project, which will expand the road to four lanes with a continuous left-turn lane, begins at the Waller County line near Joseph Road and extends almost four miles to FM 1774 through the city of Magnolia’s western limits. WIDENING TO THE WEST

TxDOT data shows annual average daily trac counts on FM 1488 at FM 1774 in Magnolia rose by 30.87% from 2015-19.

Construction on a Texas Depart- ment of Transportation project to widen FM 1488 from west of the city to FM 1774 in Magnolia is expected to begin in the rst quarter of 2021, TxDOT ocials said. While the project is meant to alleviate trac congestion through the city, local leaders said they recognize the two- year project will pose challenges to business along the roadway. “We’ve got more cars, more people out here and more people driving, so obviously, the expansion of the road to get those trying to go through Magnolia ... quicker will alleviate issues of traveling within the city,” Mayor Todd Kana said. “There’ll be a few growing pains as we get there but I think it’ll be denitely best, in the long run, to alleviate some of the trac issues in town.” The $29.8 million project includes plans to widen FM 1488 from two to four lanes with a continuous left- turn lane beginning near the Waller County line at Joseph Road and extending almost four miles to FM 1774 through the west side of Magno- lia. TxDOT spokesperson Emily Black said the project is projected to be completed in the rst quarter of 2023. While the eort will be completely funded by the state, Magnolia City Administrator Don Doering said the city is still expected to contribute more than $1 million in construction and engineering costs to relocate utilities along the project limits. Kana said utilities will be relocated

2015

17,073

1774

2016

19,779

1488

2017

21,033

NICHOLS SAWMILL RD.

JOSEPH RD.

2018

23,780

N

Cost: $29.8 million Timeline: rst quarter 2021-rst quarter 2023 Funding source: Texas Department of Transportation

2019

22,343

SOURCE: TXDOTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

to get ahead of right now, instead of [trying to react] to.” TxDOT data shows average daily trac along FM 1488 at FM 1774 increased by 30.87% from 2015-19. “It’s got to be that there are so many people headed this direction, and it is going to be all of the wide- open spaces out north and northwest of Magnolia that [are] getting ready to go under development,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley said. “Anything that you can do to help try to get some of this trac through Magnolia is going to be a plus.” Business challenges Sandy Barton, president of the Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber

through a contractor to existing easements owned by TxDOT. “We have our utilities in [TxDOT]’s easements, and they will not build a new road over our pipes,” Kana said. “So, anytime we utilize their ease- ments for our utilities, when they expand, we have to relocate those utilities prior to the expansion.” As FM 1488 is a major crossing point from I-45 to Hwy. 290, accord- ing to Precinct 5 Constable Chris Jones, widening the road is a neces- sary response to recent growth in this area of Montgomery County. “We have a lot of subdivisions slated to be built out [in Magnolia],” Jones said. “The growth is something that I feel like we’re actually trying

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13

TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

PRESENTS FALL 2020

Star Educators

Bear Branch Elementary Lindsay Green (2) Rebekah Rogers Lori La Bone Raquel Stone Caitlin Greeson Magnolia Elementary Kodi Keith (2) Courtney Ranshaw Diddy Flores

Lyon Elementary Dean Nordt Lindsey Mathison (2)

Smith Elementary Allison Wells Holly Swonke Ruth Lott Katelyn Burris Stacey Payne Jay Ross Tammy Dehn Jamie Japczynski Williams Elementary Christi Pafford Ashley McClellan Christina Watson Magnolia Intermediate

Bear Branch Intermediate Elizabeth Bender (2)

Hannah Becker Kent Byers Magnolia Jr. High Alyssa Jackson Angela Price Heather Dalton (3) Karen Coldwell Magnolia High School Jennifer Franz-Melady Nicole Stout Thea Persinger Magnolia West High School Shauna Kling Samantha Armstrong

Melanie Hinman Ashley McDonald Amy Mitchell (2) Crissie Pierce Cari Sabo Cheri Mannen

Wendy Alford John Novosad

Robert Hawkins (5) Whitney Richardson Susan Cantu Deana Lemen Nicolette Dunlap Mindy Bielamowicz (2) Haley King Mary Davis Katie Tran Bear Branch Jr. High Tina Burge Cory Castillo Kent Byers Kevin Brewer Sheri Cantu Margge Eslick Alisha Wilcox Suzanne Haines

Jennifer Klatt-Reynaert Natashia Foglesong (2) Tyler Behrens Ellisor Elementary Georgetta Eason Erin Malia Megan Van Oost-McCarty Jordan Boyce Nikki Sherrod-Jones Magnolia Parkway

Donna Covarrubias Angie Lagunas (2) Amy Lauw Yasmin Alcoser Alison Love Nichols Sawmill Elementary Debby Durden (2) Valerie Engelke

Misty Thomas (2) Charlotte Callahan Randi Tamez

Elementary Victoria Lopez Angelia McKinley

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Congratulations to all of our Star Educators across the district. The MEF Star Educators were nominated by their students. This has been a unique year, yet our teachers continue to adapt, overcome, and persevere. A special thank you to these exceptional Star Educators for your dedication to always grow, support, and inspire! You can learn how to recognize a star educator and learn more about MEF and their mission at www.magnoliaisd.org/MEF/.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GOVERNMENT Montgomery County to build $11.8Mforensic center in Conroe

WE’VE RUNOUT OF SPACE IN OUR COOLERSONNUMEROUS OCCASIONS THIS YEAR. DR. KATHRYN PINNERI, MONTGOMERY COUNTY FORENSIC CENTER DIRECTOR

BY EVA VIGH

the county’s population grew and new hospitals opened, the workload skyrocketed, she said. “Our caseload has increased every year since then,” she said. “Since 2014, our caseload has completely doubled.” In December 2016, the Conroe Regional Medical Center—now HCA Houston Conroe—achieved Level 2 Trauma Center designation, open- ing it up as a major trauma center. Several major hospitals also opened or expanded in 2017, which meant the number of autopsies increased, Pinneri said. That same year, the forensic center was designated as an oce of death investigation to help justices of the peace handle their workload, which increased over 40% from 2013 to 2017, Pinneri said. Now, the center is stretched to the limit, she said. There are problems with the ventilation and air condition- ing. There is not enough oce space, so sta meetings are held outdoors. The coolers can only store about 20 bodies, so overow bodies are refrig- erated in shipping containers. “It just wasn’t built to handle the current caseload,” Pinneri said. “We’ve run out of space in our coolers on numerous occasions this year.” New facility Around 2016, county ocials began to seriously discuss the need for a new center, Riley said. They formed a committee, which he co-chaired, and held meetings with various stakeholders.

Montgomery County commission- ers approved seeking construction bids for a new $11.8 million forensic center during a Sept. 22 meeting. The center will better serve the county after years of burgeoning caseloads and a lack of space in the current facility, which has resulted in bodies being stored in refrigerated shipping containers, ocials said. Before the current forensic center was built in 2011 on Hilbig Road in Conroe, Montgomery County used to contract with other counties such as Harris and Dallas to perform autop- sies. The process of transporting bodies was tedious and costly, and years later, ocials still recall the emotional toll. “I had this poor grandmother call me every two weeks for nine months wanting to know why her child passed away, and she was crying, and I didn’t have an answer for her,” Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts said. In 2011, the county repurposed an old RV storage space to a forensic center. It was not originally designed to store bodies—morgues require special insulation and ventilation— but for a while, it worked, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley said. “We all knew … that this was a temporary solution,” Riley said. For the rst three to four years of operation, the center had about 400-540 cases annually, said Dr. Kathryn Pinneri, the center’s director, who came on board in 2016. But as

Existing location

HOLLOMAN ST.

336

The forensic center sometimes has to store bodies in refrigerated shipping containers when space runs out. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)

N

In September 2019, commissioners approved a $1.2 million contract with PGAL, an architecture rm. Riley said the county has budgeted $11.8 million from its Capital Improvements Projects for the rst phase. The rst phase is the creation of the new forensic center, which is esti- mated to take two years to build. The center, which will have up to three times the space, can be expanded with a crime lab and forensics lab, the other two phases, which could be built out in the next 20 or 30 years. The center will sit on an 8-acre prop- erty by the Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport, and other counties could potentially contract to use the center, Riley said. Entities such as the Montgomery County Sheri’s Oce, the Conroe Police Department and local re departments rely on the current forensic center to conduct indepen- dent death investigations. Mont- gomery County Fire Marshall Jimmy Williams said all re fatalities require autopsies because oftentimes the cause of death is not obvious. “We have found in some autopsies in the past this victim was found dead in the re, but they were shot or

GROWING CASELOADS

The new center is needed to provide more storage and space. Existing center opened in 2011, conducting 400-540 cases annually

Since then, caseload has doubled

Current storage units hold about 20 bodies

New center will have up to 3 times as much storage space

SOURCE: MONTGOMERY COUNTY FORENSIC CENTERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

stabbed,” he said. Pinneri said although the new facil- ity may seem costly, it is needed. “I know there’s been some push- back as to whether Montgomery County needs this new forensic center. I can tell you 100% we do,” she said. “Even though our work is with individuals who have died, we service the living.”

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Tomball & Magnolia ISDs

District purchases elementary site inAudubonMagnolia

TISDapproves stabonuses

MILL CREEK RD.

1488

BY ANNA LOTZ

BY ADRIANA REZAL

about 66% capacity as a whole, which is an improvement to the approximately 82% capacity the elementary schools were at overall before the district opened its two intermediate schools in August 2018. By drawing fth-grade students from the elementary campuses, another elementary school will likely not be needed for another few years, he said. “We know the growth is coming, but we do have a cushion there for a couple of years at least,” said Morris, referencing ve to seven years until the new facility could be needed. The board approved purchasing the site for $1.7 million, Morris said. The land purchase is funded by the district’s 2015 bond referendum. “This acquisition here will give us an elementary site on our west side,” Superintendent Todd Stephens said. “It’s going to be ready for us to roll

249

MAGNOLIA ISD With the rst homes anticipated in January, the Magnolia ISD board of trustees approved purchasing land in Audu- bon Magnolia, a master-planned development in the works, for a future elementary school Nov. 9. The 14-acre site is located along Hwy. 249 and FM 1488. Audubon Magnolia, spanning 3,300 acres, will feature 5,000 single-family homes as well as multifamily and commercial sites, district ocials said. “Obviously we anticipate some heavy increases in student enroll- ment growth when [the homes] do hit the ground, and we know they’re in the beginning stages of that now,” said Erich Morris, the MISD assistant superintendent of operations.

TOMBALL ISD Trustees approved a one-time retention bonus Nov. 10 for all Tomball ISD employees for work during the coronavirus pandemic. “We wanted to show our sincere appreciation to our employees in Tomball ISD for their commitment to high-quality instruction and adapting to the uncertainties that we have been faced with during the 2020-2021 school year,” Superintendent Martha Sala- zar-Zamora said in a statement. Full-time employees exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act will receive a $600 bonus, and full-time, nonexempt employees will receive a $200 bonus. “It’s the right thing to do to ... give [our sta] a pat on the back,” trustee John McStravick said in a Nov. 9 workshop meeting. “We’re trying to do what we can in still a very scally sound manner to recognize everyone on sta, not just our teachers.”

N

whenever we need to get out there. A lot of the infrastructure’s going to be in place.” Stephens said MISD purchased an elementary school site in the May Valley community long ago on the district’s east side to accommodate growth, but the site for a future elementary school to the west was divided by the construction of Grand Pines Road, a newly con- structed road connecting Nichols Sawmill and Sanders Cemetery roads that opened this spring. “I think we’re going to want our presence in Audubon. It’s going to redene what this side of Magnolia looks like, and we want a school in there,” Stephens said. “It’s nothing to sneeze [at]. It’s going to make a dierence in Magnolia ISD.”

Morris said the district’s elementary schools are at

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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