50 years for stealing fajitas? Yes, Texas judge says

Gilberto Escamilla had stolen more than $1.2 million worth of fajitas over the course of approximately nine years.

A Texas man who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1.2 million in fajitas while acting as a public servant has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Gilberto Escamilla, 53, was employed at the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center in San Benito, Texas, until August 2017 — when it was discovered that he had been placing orders for fajitas using county funds and then selling them for his own profit since December 2008, according to Cameron County Court filings.

When sentenced on Friday, Escamilla was also served with the maximum fine of $10,000 on top of the $1,251,578.72 he was ordered to pay back for the cost of the fajitas, officials said.

According to The Brownsville Herald, Escamilla’s scheme unraveled last August after a delivery driver with Labatt Food Service phoned the detention center to give kitchen employees a heads up that an 800-pound delivery of fajitas had arrived.

Employees immediately thought the delivery to be suspicious as minors at the detention center are not served fajitas, however, the delivery driver insisted that had been delivering fajitas to the detention center’s kitchen for the past nine years

Welcome home for Vietnam veterans: Residents invited to honor flight return

Honor Flight Houston is inviting the public to come to William P. Hobby Airport Saturday  night (October 20th) to welcome veterans back from the latest trip to the nation’s capital.

Honor Flight Houston is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans. The nonprofit transports Houston-area veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

The group is asking for anyone who wishes to attend the welcome back party to be at the airport by 7:00 p.m. and meet on the 2nd level near the Delta/Jet Blue ticket counter.

For more information, click here or visit their Facebook page Honor Flight Houston.

Brazoria County sees whooping increase in the whooping cough

Brazoria County is seeing an increase in the number of whooping cough cases in 2018, with 37 reported diagnoses reported through July compared to six the year before.

Of this years cases, 73 percent were for people under 19 years old, said Cathy Sbrusch, Director of Public Health Services with the Brazoria County Health Department.

The cases include some residents in the northern part of the county, Sbrusch said, but she could not cite how many.

Brazoria County posted an advisory on its website about the increase, saying the county is experiencing a higher than normal reports of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, in residents of all ages.

Symptoms of pertussis include coughing fits with a high pitched ‘whoop’ sound, vomiting after coughing, and exhaustion. The illness can last up to two months and can be fatal for infants and young children.

The most alarming thing about pertussis is the illness is almost completely preventable with proper immunization. The Center for Disease Control has these recommendations.

  • Pregnant women should receive a Tdap dose during the third trimester of pregnancy
  • Babies need DTaP doses at two, four, and six months of age. Another dose should be given between 15 and 18 months.
  • Children need another DTaP dose between the ages of four and six.
  • Children between seven and 10 years of age need a dose of Tdap if they’ve never been immunized.
  • Children between the ages of 11 and 12 should have a Tdap dose.
  • Adults need one dose of Tdap if they did not receive a dose during adolescence.

Click here to learn more.

 

 

ESD takes over Manvel EMS duties

Alvin Sun

Joshua Truksa Aug 28, 2018

Dozens of citizens and first responders showed up at Southview Baptist Church in Manvel on Aug. 21 for a town hall meeting with the commissioners of Brazoria County Emergency Service District No. 3.

The town hall was set up to answer concerns that citizens voiced during a previous ESD meeting soon after the absorption of Manvel EMS by the district.

ESD 3 Executive Director and Manvel EMS Director Dave Ferguson started by giving the public an overview of what an ESD is, how it functions, the history of the district and how Manvel EMS has changed with absorption by the district. 

An ESD is a political subdivision of the state of Texas that is largely independent of the county and is established as the authority for fire and EMS services within its boundaries, Ferguson explained. They are subject to limited county oversight by the fact that ESD commissioners are appointed by county commissioners. Brazoria County ESD No. 3 was created in 2004 by approval of the voters.

Prior to the establishment of the ESD, local agencies funded their operations through donations, fundraisers and county assistance.

ESD’s can also act as direct providers of emergency services, Ferguson said.

Brazoria County ESD No. 3 absorbed Manvel EMS on July 9 and became a direct provider, leading to many questions among citizens.

“Prior to July 9, the district contracted with Manvel EMS. July 9, Brazoria County ESD 3 absorbed Manvel EMS. That means they absorbed every one of its staff members,” Ferguson said, explaining that staff members perform everything that they did prior to the absorption in addition to new district functions.

Click here to read more.

Brazoria County group collecting flags for proper retirement

 

Just as there’s a proper method for folding an American flag, there’s a proper ceremony for retiring flags that have been weather-beaten and torn by the elements.

FlagRetirementFlyerFor the fourth year, the Fort Velasco Chapter, DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) will perform a flag retirement ceremony as part of the Texas Navy Day Celebration 2018 at the Stephen F. Austin Statue in Angleton.  Residents may take their battered flags to any Brazoria County Public Library before September 5th.

 

 

 

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“The retirement ceremony is important because we’re honoring the American flag and our country,” Constable and Navy Veteran James Brawner said. “It also shows our respect to our men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they’ve made for our freedom.”

 

The ceremony begins with costumed interpreters, on- site refreshments and a dignified flag ceremony begins at 5pm.

For information, contact Susan Chappell, corresponding secretary and flag retirement chairwoman of the Fort Velasco chapter, at 979-265-2338.

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In aftermath of Santa Fe, school struggles to hire patrol officers

While the City of Angleton announces their new police chief, Aaron Ausmus, former Internal Affairs Sergeant, the Angleton Independent School District struggles to fill its positions.
A source close to the school police department has told MBCN that former police chief Bryan Corb of Richwood has or will accept the job as a K9 handler with the district. Corb retired from Richwood earlier this summer after a short tenure with the city. It is believed that the school district is having trouble filling the four positions allocated to the department this summer after the Santa Fe school shootings.
Recently an officer from the city accepted a job with the ISD and reportedly only worked one day for the ISD and resigned, and was reinstated with the city.
Another longtime officer from Angleton PD and ISD left the department for greener pastures at Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office, and yet another left for Freeport police department. A longtime investigator from the Sheriff’s Office was hired by the ISD and handled the departments K9 but left to work at Clute PD.
With the high amount of turnover, it leads us to question why? Why can’t the district police department retain employees? Is the job to mundane, is it the salary, or is that officers just cannot and refuse to work for the current chief? The ISD police page boasts having a “working chief” a sergeant and 5 other full-time officers. The term working chief leads us to believe this chief sees himself as an elitist, someone that is better than other administrators in law enforcement.
A quick visit to the ISD careers page reveals that they are currently attempting to hire 4 police officers and 1 investigator. MBCN has made several attempts to contact Cheif James R. “Chip” Gayle to ask about the current state of his department this week, but calls have been left unreturned.
Residents of the district should be asking questions of how is the district police department going to keep their children safe when they cannot keep officers on the force?

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Click here to apply for professional opportunities with Angleton ISD.  

Brazoswood Goddard Rocket Team receives Inaugural PORT Award

By: AJOT | Jul 30 2018 at 11:20 AM | Ports & Terminals

FREEPORT, TX – During the commission meeting held July 19th, Port Freeport presented the inaugural PORT Award to the Brazoswood Goddard Rocket Team led by Mr. Dale Hobbs for their outstanding achievement in the SystemsGo Rocket Competition.

Members of the Rocket Team presented their project to the Port Freeport Commission and guests, highlighting the planning and design, construction, and obstacles overcome throughout the process leading to a successful launching of their rocket. Following the presentation, students and their guests were honored with a reception and opportunity to showcase the actual rocket that was launched.

“Every vessel begins its journey with the launching of a historic maiden voyage. Today, Port Freeport commends the Brazoswood Goddard Rocket Team on the momentous launching of their rocket with the presentation of The PORT Award,” said Port Freeport Executive Director/CEO, Phyllis Saathoff. “Leadership begins with a vision. It cultivates creativity, takes risks, and empowers for the future. Port Freeport proudly commends our leaders of tomorrow.”

The PORT Award recognized the team for their Perseverance, Originality, Resourcefulness and Technical excellence. In June, the Rocket Team, consisting of thirty students from Brazoswood High School’s Rocket Engineering II Class, successfully launched their 20-foot rocket to an altitude of over 28,500 feet traveling at a speed of Mach 2.2 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

“As a community, we couldn’t be prouder to have these students representing our area in this capacity and look forward to their continued successes,” said Port Commission Chairman, Paul Kresta.

Port Freeport is ranked 10th in chemicals, 26th in containers, and 23rd in total tonnage. The Freeport Harbor Channel serves Dow Chemical, Phillips 66, BASF, Tenaris, Vulcan Material, Mammoet, Freeport LNG, Riviana, Dole, Chiquita, Seaway, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Hoegh Autoliners

Port Freeport is committed to keeping the local community informed of our operation and results. If you have questions or comments about this article, please email or call Lauren McCormick, Public Affairs Manager.

Cupcakes and Canvases

Join the Brazoria County Historical Museum Thursday, August 2nd at 6 pm, for an evening of cupcakes and canvases with renown local artist Peihong Endris.

Parents, or grandparents, and children are invited to enjoy an evening creating a step-by-step painting while savoring delicious cupcakes. The Cupcakes & Canvases class is perfect for quality family time, inviting grandparents, and creating a special memory together. Sign up and come ready to create. A supply fee of $10 per person includes all art supplies, cupcakes, and punch. Museum members receive a discount.

Leading the class is Peihong Endris. Peihong’s works have been included in several art books. Her painting, “Fragrant Moonlit Night”, was presented by the Chinese Government to the French Government. She has had her work exhibited in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Beijing, and Tokyo to name a few. Since 1999, Peihong has made her home in the U.S., where she teaches Chinese brush painting and continues to develop her own style. Since 2002, she has taught various classes and workshops for organizations such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Rice University, Glassell School, and many more.

The Brazoria County Historical Museum is pleased to be able to host Pearland Art League member and world recognized artist Peihong Endris. With her almost twenty years of experience teaching classes, you are sure to walk out with a beautiful creation. To reserve your seat please contact the Museum at 979-864-1208 or email programs manager Jennifer Caulkins at programs@bchm.org. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Library book sale (August 9-11)

Does anyone actually remember the time when you first learned your ABC’s and 123’s, spelled your first word, and read a ‘b-o-o-k’?

I’m pretty sure that my love of reading started when I was 3 years old, in a closet at my grandma’s house holding the newest issue of Ranger Rick magazine. The family rumor has it that I wanted to read the magazine so badly  I learned to read overnight or something like that.

Regardless of this blurred fact, I have no doubt that from then on, I began a reading love affair into which I can silently glance into the mind of another person, maybe somebody thousands of miles away or somebody who died thousands of years ago or somebody who never existed actually.

If you’ve read this far, the chances are you’re a lover of the printed word and  someone who might be excited to know the Brazoria County Library System Foundation annual book sales begins August 9th.

Below is a release with more information from The Brazoria County Library System Foundation:

ShowImage-2Library Book Sale Set for August 9-11

The Brazoria County Library System Foundation will be holding a book sale at the Angleton Library August 9-11.  The semi-annual sale features books, audiobooks, and more – materials withdrawn from the collections of the twelve branches throughout the county, and items donated by the public.

Most items sell for $1 or less. Money from the sale is used to support the summer reading program and other exciting library projects. Cash and checks are accepted.

The sale begins Thursday, August 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be held at the Angleton Library, 401 E. Cedar Street.

Volunteers 16 years of age or older are also needed to help with the book sale and the set-up.

For more information or to volunteer please contact Mary Myers by phone: 979-297-5898 or email maryhmeyers@comcast.net.

 

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who never reads lives only one.” -George R. R. Martin

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