In Hempstead, LCRA employees painted fire hydrants throughout the city. City of Hempstead employees joined LCRA on this project.
Other Steps Forward Day projects ranged from laying sod at a park in San Saba to spreading mulch in Pflugerville to painting the public library in Waelder.
“Steps Forward Day is dedicated to giving back to the communities we serve across Texas,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said. “We know the pandemic has slowed or sidelined many projects, but through Steps Forward Day we’re able to mobilize hundreds of volunteers to help get these projects completed in a single day. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve these communities on Steps Forward Day and every day during the year.”
This year, LCRA employees volunteered to work on more than 30 projects throughout the LCRA service territory. Participating cities included Austin, Brenham, Burnet, Fredericksburg, Goldthwaite, Gonzales, Hempstead, Jonestown, Kempner, La Grange, Lampasas, Lexington, Llano, Lockhart, Luling, Marble Falls, Pflugerville, Rockne, Round Rock, San Angelo, San Marcos, San Saba, Schulenburg, Smithville, Waelder, Weimar and Wharton.
LCRA launched its Steps Forward employee volunteer program in 2015, and has held a Steps Forward Day every year since then but 2020, when the event had to be canceled because of the pandemic. LCRA works with its customers to identify service projects in their communities and supplies the labor and materials needed to complete the projects. For more information, visit lcra.org/stepsforward
Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature event, is coming to the Waller County community on Friday, May 7th right here in Waller! This will be the 16th year that we will join together to take up the fight against cancer. We will celebrate Survivors who have beaten cancer, honor those who have been taken from us, and recognize the caregivers who assist others each and every day.
Please come out and support our Relay For Life event. Most activities will be on Main Street, so you can sit in your car or stroll the Luminaria Trail around City Hall.
8:00 am-4:00 pm - Garage Sale - Parking Lot of Waller JH Stadium
4:00pm – Bake Sale – This and following events will be on Main Street in front of City Hall
6:00-9:30 pm - Music and Luminaria Stroll
6:00 pm – Survivor Parade – Survivors meet at the parking lot of the Waller Jr. High Stadium to line up for the parade.
7:00 pm – New This Year - Team Scavenger Hunt - Teams of 4 will meet at City Hall at 6:45 to register your team for $10. Instructions will be distributed at 7 and then it’s off to the Hunt! Prizes to the winners! Get your teams together.
8:00 pm - Team Recognition Parade down Main Street - Meet on Cherry Street in the Waller Baptist Parking Lot. Decorate your vehicle. Make some noise coming down Main Street!
9:00 pm - Luminaria Ceremony - Luminaria Trail will be open from 6 to 9:30. Luminarias may be purchased from your favorite participant for $5-$6 prior to the event. Remember and/or Celebrate someone that heard the words “You have cancer”.
There are lots of activities for the entire family. Help us celebrate life with others in our community. Please check this paper each week for upcoming information! Check us out on Facebook or at this website: www.relayforlife.org/wallercotx See you there!
A historic Hempstead Ladycats’ soccer season came to an end in March but not before the team picked up the program’s first-ever District 20-4A wins, and finished one spot out of the playoff race.
First-year Head coach Amanda Brandt praised her team during the season for building a team-oriented culture. HHS finished 7-12-1 overall and 6-8 in district play.
At season’s end, the Ladycats’ efforts did not go unnoticed by the district coaches. Hempstead earned eight all-district awards. Lucero Montero received the District Newcomer of the Year honor. Alejandra Valle picked up 1st Team All-District. Teammates Aneliz Rodriguez, Abby Compean, and Carolina Medina earned 2nd Team All-District honors. Daisy Orozco, Sara Alvarez, Natalie Lopez received honorable mention.
Ladycats Anna Brandt, Lucero Montero, Bhia’nay Martinez, Melany Salinas, Nallile Uvalle received Academic All-District awards.
Bobcat head coach Ryan Whinery led his Bobcats to a 3-9 overall and 2-7 in the district 20-4A race to finish sixth.
Freshman David Arroyo and sophomore Christian Osorio earned 1st Team All-District honors. Second-team All-District accolades went to junior Carlos Rosales and seniors Humberto Sesmas and Gabrielle Zotti. Sophomore Jefri Cabrera, junior Alexis Tellez, and senior Chris Ramos received honorable mention.
By Joshua McLain, Hempstead ISD Public Relations Coordinator
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is seeing an increase in unemployment insurance fraud.
Unemployment insurance fraud creates waste and impacts the employer-supported fund TWC uses to pay unemployment benefits to the claimants who need them.
TWC takes unemployment insurance fraud seriously and works with federal partners and other state unemployment agencies to identify, investigate, prosecute, and prevent it.
If you suspect unemployment insurance fraud, please access the Reporting Fraud webpage.
Bad actors are taking advantage of the availability of stolen personal information on the internet to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Personal information is often stolen through successful phishing schemes or by hackers breaching the databases of organizations; such as banks, online retailers, credit bureaus, and government agencies.
TWC has not experienced any data breaches, and the personal and business information of claimants and employers remains secure.
TWC routinely audits unemployment claims for signs of fraud. If we confirm fraud on a claim, we immediately lock the claim and begin an investigation.
TWC has also partnered with ID.me. ID.me is a federally certified identity provider and specializes in digital identity protection. If a claim appears suspicious, we lock the claim and require the claimant to verify their identity with ID.me.
To learn more about unemployment insurance fraud, please visit the Unemployment Benefits Identity Theft webpage.
TWC asks all employers to be aware of the threat unemployment insurance fraud poses, remember that employees are usually innocent victims, and take steps to help us discover and investigate unemployment insurance fraud.
If you receive a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits for one or more of your current employees or a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits for a Social Security number for one or more of your current employees but under a different name and/or address, respond to the notice that the claimant(s) is still working and then access the Reporting Fraud webpage immediately. We will lock the claim(s) and begin an investigation.
If you receive a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits for people who never worked for you, respond to the notice that the claimant(s) never worked for you and then access the Reporting Fraud webpage immediately. If one or more of your employees reports that they received material from TWC for an unemployment claim they say they did not initiate, access the Reporting Fraud webpage immediately.
If you have difficulties accessing the Reporting Fraud webpage, please send an email to TWC.firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642.
What’s the biggest financial mistake you can make? Choosing the wrong investments? Waiting too long to save for retirement? Underestimating the costs of retirement? All these are reasonable answers, but the biggest mistake you might make is not looking at your financial picture holistically – that is, not bringing into the picture all the elements of yourself.
Let’s consider some of them:
• Your views on helping your family – Your decisions about helping your family
are clearly going to be a major part of your financial strategy – and this is true at virtually all stages of your life. When your children are young, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to put away money for their college education, and, if so, how much, and in what investment vehicles. When they’re young adults, you may also need
to decide how much financial support you’re willing to provide for things such as the down payment on a new home. And when you’re drawing up your estate plans, you’ll need to consider how to distribute assets to your children, grandchildren or other family members.
• Your personal beliefs – As someone with civic, ethical and moral concerns, you want to positively affect the world around you. And that’s why you may feel compelled to make charitable gifts throughout your life and then make philanthropy part of your legacy. To accomplish these objectives, you’ll want to include gifting techniques in your financial strategy today and your estate plans for tomorrow. Of course, for the estate planning component, you’ll need to work with your tax and legal advisors.
• Your purpose in life when you retire – When you retire, you may be stepping off a career path, but you’re also entering a world of possibilities. How will you define, and live out, your new sense of purpose at this stage of your life? Do you seek to broaden your horizons by traveling around the world? Do you want to give back more to the community by volunteering? Can you spend more time pursuing the hobbies you enjoy? Each of these choices will carry different financial implications for how much you’ll need to accumulate for retirement and how much you will need to take out each year from your retirement accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k).
• Your health – Your physical and mental health can play big roles in your financial plans and outlook. On the most basic level, the healthier you are, and the better you take care of yourself, the lower your health care bills will likely be during retirement, which will affect the amount you need to put away for health care.
And you also may need to prepare for the costs of long-term care, which can be enormous – in fact, a private room in a nursing home can easily cost $100,000 per year, according to the insurance company Genworth.
It can be challenging to weave all these elements into a single, unified vision, so you may want to get some help from a financial professional. But, in any case, be prepared to look at your situation holistically – because, when putting together a lifetime’s financial strategy, every part of your life matters.
This article was submitted by Taylor Starnes your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
(WACO, Texas)—The president of the state’s largest general farm organization urged Texas House lawmakers today to give landowners an eminent domain process where they can legitimately negotiate a fair deal.
Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) President Russell Boening of Wilson County testified in Austin in support of the committee substitute for HB 901 (CSHB 901) at a public hearing of the House Committee on Land and Resource Management. The legislation by State Rep. DeWayne Burns of Cleburne includes language agreed to by TFB in 2019 to ensure landowners get a fair bona fide offer and required easement terms with the initial offer.
“Over the past four years of working for meaningful eminent domain reform, Texas Farm Bureau’s goal has been simple—give the landowner a process where they can legitimately negotiate a fair deal. A fair deal that gives them the compensation they have a right to under the Takings clause of the Constitution. A fair deal that results in an easement agreement that protects their property and other rights,” Boening said to the committee. “And, hopefully, make this possible without having to hire a lawyer, appraiser or other professionals whose costs the landowner cannot recover. The landowner has no right under the Takings clause to be reimbursed for those costs.”
Boening noted the goal of meaningful eminent domain reform and the legislation is not to stop or create unreasonable delays for infrastructure projects. When a private company armed with lawyers and other professionals has the authority to take private property, there has to be a process that protects the landowner’s interest, he said.
Under CSHB 901, a private entity with eminent domain authority has made a bona fide offer only if the initial offer includes the complete written report of the property’s value and the private entity’s basis for initial offer, including any damages to the remaining property. The value or estimate price must be determined by one of the following prepared by an appraiser or real estate broker—property appraisal, comparative market analysis, broker price opinion or market study.
The bona fide offer under CSHB 901 must also include the Landowner Bill of Rights and a conveyance document with the required minimum easement terms. Features of minimum easement terms include required terms for pipeline and transmission line easements; the required terms are negotiable after the initial offer; and the easement document must be filed with condemnation petition.
“Current law does not give the landowner a legitimate opportunity to get a fair deal without hiring a lawyer or other professionals. If you look at Section 21.0113 of the Property Code, you can see it. Under the bona fide offer, it requires a landowner to receive an initial offer in writing. That’s it,” Boening told to the committee. “So, a landowner gets an initial offer in writing and then has to try and negotiate a fair deal without any information on what the offer was based upon. And the landowner is given an easement document where the landowner has to negotiate technical legal terms to protect themselves, not knowing if what they are given is what most landowners receive.”
Following the conclusion of testimony, the committee withdrew CSHB 901 from consideration and left HB 901 pending.
For more information on landowner resources regarding eminent domain, visit texasfarmbureau.org/eminentdomain.
The Hempstead High School theatre class competed at the UIL One-Act Play at Bay City HS this spring and walked away with two individual acting awards. HHS performed Tracers, a story that takes place during the Vietnam War era.
Sophomore Trintin Hyden received an All-Star Cast award. Classmate Daniel Wong took home Honorable Mention.
First-year HHS director and alumni Gabriel Arias said the group pushed through COVID-19 regulations and the February snowstorm to put on the show.
“This was definitely a strange first year. Due to COVID protocols and the snowstorm, the students only had ten rehearsals in total before heading to the contest. With that said, they did amazing.”
Hempstead tied for fourth in the district standings with a young acting group consisting of only underclassmen.
“Most of these students have never been on stage so, I am extremely proud of them all. I cannot wait to continue to grow as a director and watch them grow as performers and artists.”
Arias has big plans for building back what was a state championship-caliber program during his days at HHS.
“Hempstead has a long tradition of an exceptional theatre program, and with these students, we will be back on the winning track in no time,” he said. “After this year, the students are hungry for success, and we are planning on a full season next year.”
By Joshua McLain, Hempstead ISD Public Relations Coordinator.
Donald Ray Potts, Jr. – Possession of Controlled Substance – Three (3) years Institutional Division, TDCJ; $320.00 Court Costs – 52 years old – Waller, Texas.
Dylan Gregory Brown – Evading Arrest/Detention with Vehicle - Two (2) years TDCJ, Institutional Division; Court Costs waived; concurrent with Montgomery County case – 37 years old - Hockley, Texas.
Fashara Punchard – Possession of Controlled Substance (plead to Misdemeanor Class A) – One (1) year Probation; $320.00 Court Costs; $500.00 Fine; $50.00 Crime Stoppers Fee; $100.00 Pre-Sentence Investigation Fee; $180.00 DPS Lab fee; Thirty (30) hours Community Service; Drug Offender Education Program; Random Urinalysis; Drug/Alcohol Evaluation/Treatment; Drug and Standard conditions of probation – 24 years old – Hempstead, Texas.
Bradley Ray Garcia – Possession Controlled Substance - Three (3) years Deferred Adjudication; $500.00 Fine probated; Court Costs and Court Appointed Attorney fees waived; Attend and successfully complete the Adult and Teen Challenge Program; Drug Offender Education program; Sixty (60) hours Community Service Restitution; $50.00 Crime Stoppers fee; $100.00 PSI fee; Random Urinalysis; Drug/Alcohol Evaluation/Treatment; Drug and Standard conditions of probation – 29 years old – Waller, Texas.
The HHS 4x200 Girls’ Relay team brought home gold for the Ladycats at the District 24-3A Track Meet at West Columbia High School. Members of the relay are senior D’Ny’Jzshia Wilson, sophomore Marlana Bryant, freshman JaNovia Kinsey, and junior Nikki London.
The Hempstead High School boys and girls track teams earned a combined 11 total area qualifying finishes at the District 24-3A Meet in West Columbia, April 5 and 8. The boys’ team finished fourth overall with 86 points while the girls’ squad racked up 39 points to place fifth.
The big spotlight for HHS came in the relay races. The Bobcats claimed the district title in the 4x100 relay and runner-up honors in the 4x200 race.
Members of the 4x100 relay are sophomore Andre Dixon, senior Alex Munos, senior Ken’Daylon Wilson, and freshman Floyd Ragston. The 4x200 team members are junior Cardarius Jeffery, Wilson, Ragston, and Tramain Auston.
The Ladycats grabbed the gold in the 4x200 relay. Members of the team are junior Nikki London, freshman JaNovia Kinsey, sophomore Marlana Bryant, and senior D’Ny’Jzshia Wilson.
Individually on the boys’ side, Munos captured the district title in the 400 Meter Dash and High Jump, Classmate Wilson took gold in the 200 Meter Dash. Dixon picked up second place in the 200 Meter Dash. He also finished third in the 100 Meter Dash. Jeffrey finished fourth in the Long Jump. Senior Cameron Parrish took fifth in the High Jump.
On the girls’ side, London continued her torrid pace by winning the 400 Meter Dash and finishing fifth in both the High Jump and 200 Meter Dash. Kinsey picked up fourth place in the Triple Jump and sixth in the 100 Meter Dash.
By Joshua McLain, Hempstead ISD Public Relations Coordinator.
The Bobcats’ 4x100 Relay took top honors at the District 24-3A Track Meet at West Columbia High School. Sophomore Andre Dixon, senior Alex Munos, senior Ken’Daylon Wilson, and freshman Floyd Ragston make up the relay team.