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Fort Bend’s most in-depth news coverage • Check our website FortBendStar.com Volume XXXVI • No. 24 Fort Bend ISD art students advance to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ School Art Contest Fort Bend ISD students produced western-themed art pieces to showcase in Fort Bend ISD’s annual art show. Judges from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ School Art Committee selected 11 students to advance to the rodeo’s school art competition, where their art will be further judged and exhibited at the Reliant Center. See related article on page 2 Wednesday, February 5, 2014 Sugar Land City Council to revisit red light camera issue next month second to the yellow light length time would improve Changes could be coming to safety; evaluating signage to Sugar Land's controversial red better inform drivers; review light camera program when the current fine assessment and city council revisits the issue to review the current wording next month. in the “notice of violation” to At a workshop January 28, make sure it is accurate and the city council was updated non-threatening. on four proposed modifications Sugar Land's Police to the program that were Department has been studying recommended in November the changes and was given 45 after a citizen-appointed task days to present their findings. force studied the issue. The city council did not take Those changes included any action at the workshop but whether the addition of onethe matter will be brought up By Betsy Dolan Best of Show artwork by First Colony Middle School student, Vanessa Ju. again at the March 4 regular meeting. Chief of Police Doug Brinkley told the council that RED LIGHT, continued on page 8 Stafford MSD CFO finds new money for District office approximately two weeks to comprise. Every Wednesday, At the first joint budget a “ridership count” of the kids meeting of 2014 between that ride the bus is documented. the City of Stafford and Additionally, mileage, hazardous Stafford Municipal School routes, and salaries are factored District—a meeting that is to into the written report. CFO largely informational—CFO Merka said, “Through due Carla Merka announced that diligence for taking the time to do $213,015K was earned and the report we have strengthened recaptured through her office. our transportation department The Transportation Allotment on the way we submit reports.” revenue is considered new money The amount for 2012/13 was to SMSD because it had not $125,150; the remaining $87,865 been applied for in the past. This was applied to 2011/2012. complex report takes the budget Mayor Scarcella spoke of By Karen Daniels Best of Show artwork by Michelle Huang of Dulles High School. Best of Show artwork by Glover Elementary student, Chaise Brooks. Sugar Land P & Z asks for other options in St. Laurence expansion plan By Betsy Dolan Its back to the drawing board for St. Laurence Catholic Church after their request to build a larger building for their religious education and day care program prompted concerns by neighbors whose homes back up to the proposed site. Sugar Land's Planning and Zoning Commission did not deny the church's request but asked for other options after listening to Traffic accident leads to shooting By LeaAnne Klentzman Sugar Land police responded to a shooting call that occurred in the area of Cotton Stock and Planters near the Saint Lawrence Catholic Church in First Colony area of Sugar Land, at about 6:30 on Friday evening, January 31, 2014. According to Sugar Land police spokesman Doug Adolph, the victim told police that he and his family were driving to dinner when they were involved in an accident. Adolph said the vehicle that hit the family fled the accident scene, so the man, with his family, followed that vehicle coming to a stop in the area of Cotton Stock and Planters. As the two vehicles were stopped, squared off with one another, someone in the car that hit the TRAFFIC, continued on page 8 new building requires a CUP because the property now sits in a standard single-family residential district. The proposed 2-story building would sit on the rear of the lot and would be 137 feet from the back yard property line of some homes By Elsa Maxey and 78 feet from others who live in the Colony Park subdivision, Sugar Land City Manager where many of the residents are Allen Bogard along with four St. Laurence parishioners. others has been nominated for the Houston Metropolitan Area EXPANSION PLAN, continued on page 8 Public Official of the Year award. Next month the 3rd annual Public Official of the Year Ceremony will be held, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the University of it seemed to be a good idea to Houston Hilton- Waldorf Astoria By LeaAnne Klentzman burglarize a daycare and then Ballroom. Stealing a bus from a daycare; take their baby bus for a joy That’s when the winner of now that will get ya’ match duty ride… Mullet man got so caught the prestigious award will be at the gates of the forever up in the joy that he forgot announced. But Dr. James flame’n dude! AND if to stop his ride… at a Thurmond, University of the flames don’t get ya’, stop sign… no problem, those teachers that were because he had just the left trapped with all those right answer for the nice CRIMINAL little children….umm OF THE WEEK officer, it’s no big deal... hum, they will! I’m on my way to take it As we know it, this Rosenberg back... it’s almost outta’ gas! mullet caught himself over in Richmond. For some reason KING’S, continued on page 8 homeowner complaints during a public hearing that lasted nearly four hours. The original plan called for the demolition of two older buildings on the southeast corner of Austin Parkway and Sweetwater and a 79,521 square foot building to be put on the site. The existing buildings were in operation prior to the land being annexed by the City of Sugar Land and did not require a conditional use permit. But the And the winner is... Not the grammys, emmys, but metro area’s public official award King’s X DUMB Houston director of the Master in Public Administration (MPA) program, said it is an honor Allen Bogard to have them all as finalists. “In addition to emphasizing trust, accountability, performance, ethical decisionmaking, and crossing boundaries to solve problems, the MPA program encourages its students WINNER IS, continued on page 8 earlier times, “some 38 years ago…this is what started the dispute with FBISD.” He was speaking of transportation. Back then there wasn’t a “hazardous” provision by the State. The rule was simply two miles or less and schools did not have to provide bus service. The trouble with the two miles in Stafford is that it required kids to cross busy roads and train tracks. According to the Mayor, FBISD thought the city of Stafford would simply go out and purchase new buses. They had no idea of the historical breakaway that would ensue. Though the reporting cycle is not yet complete for next year, Carla Merka predicts the amount the District receives will go up. In other budgeting news, Superintendent Dr. Lance Hindt briefly covered topics that will be covered during the ongoing months of joint budget meetings; strategic planning achievements and completions, the rising cost of insurance rates, the potential for ½ day preschool-3, the replacement of 10 year-old band uniforms, results from a capacity report, the need to enlist parents, and enhance area business connections, and creating an incentive program to retain great teachers. There is residual money from the bond that can be used toward some of these programs. Cub Scout Pack 1133 donates to Bethel Ministry Community Garden in the works for Meadows Place By Karen Daniels Periodically the City of Meadows Place conducts surveys on their website for residents to voice their opinions. The first question: How important is it they set themselves apart from neighboring cities, 62% said it was very important and 22% said it was important. The question concerning community gardens, asking about an increase of community spirit and pride, as well as educational benefits, 45% strongly agree and 24% somewhat agree. Varying degrees of disagreement totaled 20%. And for an increase to property values in Meadows Place 84% shared a level of agreement. If built, the optimum time, according to Mayor Charles Jessup, would be spring. The perfect place would be the COMMUNITY, continued on page 8 Every year Cub Scout Pack 1133 participates in the Souper Bowl of Caring food drive to benefit families in Fort Bend County who don’t have enough to eat. An important aspect of Scouting is service to others and they are proud to help with hunger relief in our community! This year Pack 1133 collected 1,370 food items and donated them to Bethel Ministry in Stafford. Great job Pack 1133 – what an outstanding contribution!