Small Business Administration Loan Programs Available to Help Businesses Get Back on their Feet

Donald Fikes, public information for the Small Business Administration (George Slaughter photo)

By George Slaughter As Katy and its surrounding communities work to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers a number of loan programs designed to get local businesses back on their feet. Donald Fikes, a public information officer with the SBA, spoke about available loan programs and answered questions at the Katy Business Association meeting, held at Midway Barbecue, 6025 Highway Blvd., Wednesday afternoon. Three types of disaster loans are available. The […]

City Holds Two Public Hearings on Proposed Tax Rate

By George Slaughter The Katy City Council Monday night held its second of two state law-mandated public hearings on the tax rate to fund the 2017-2018 city budget. The city will have a larger tax base to work with this year, thanks to growth in housing. Estimated tax revenues are $9.7 million, a 12% increase from the current figure of $8.6 million. City officials said that, in legal language, the tax rate is increasing because […]

Katy Parks and Recreation Department Director Takes a Similar Position in North Texas

Brad Barnes

By George Slaughter Brad Barnes has resigned as Katy parks and recreation director to take a similar position in Midlothian, just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Barnes described Midlothian as a little bit bigger than Katy, but still a small community. It has a council-manager form of municipal government. “It’s kind of at the edge of the metropolitan community,” Barnes said. “If you go south, you’re out in the farmland.” The big change, and […]

Hurricane Recovery Efforts Continue at Mayde Creek High School through Amazon Wish List and a Donation Effort Led by Former Teacher

By George Slaughter People from around the country have followed the Texas Gulf Coast’s hurricane recovery efforts. For Sally Barnes, a Spanish teacher at Mayde Creek High School, the calls came from her hometown of Whitewater, Wisconsin. How could people help? So Barnes created an Amazon wish list, which she described as “essentially like a registry,” and listed such basic items she would keep for her students in her classroom—school supplies, toiletries, and so on. […]

Theatre Under The Stars Remembers Its Founder, Frank M. Young

Frank M. Young, founder of Theatre Under The Stars, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 20. A native Houstonian, Frank had a lifelong love of musical theatre. When he was growing up in Pasadena, he performed in productions at Johnny George’s legendary Theatre Inc. in Houston. After moving to California, and earning his BA in Psychology at UCLA, he came back to Pasadena, and used his life savings to produce his first show, a production […]

Mayde Creek Defeats Aldine Nimitz in 51-48 Thriller

Mayde Creek head football coach Mike Rabe.

By George Slaughter Mayde Creek’s dramatic 51-48 win over Aldine Nimitz proved the truth of the cliché that a team must play all four quarters. The winning play came with only six seconds left in the game, when quarterback Keyonte Fiakpul scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak to put the Rams ahead for good. The winning drive came about thanks to a poor snap from center on a Nimitz punt play. The Cougars turned the […]

Harvey Brings Important Life Lessons for KISD Student

Katy High School wrestlers Audrey Lynne, Maria Camona, Natasha Mendez, Angelina Viola, and Megan Thomas post after a recent match. Mendez and her family appreciate the help of friends such as these following Hurricane Harvey. (Natasha Mendez photo)

By George Slaughter It’s almost unimaginable to think of being flooded out of your home twice in two years as a positive thing. But Natasha Mendez, a Katy High School sophomore and daughter of Katy Ward B City Council Member Jimmy Mendez, can say as much. Mendez and her family, like others in her neighborhood, were affected by the recent hurricane. “I walked in, and there’s ankle deep water in my room,” she said. “We […]

Bond Package Proposal Submitted to Katy ISD Board of Trustees

By George Slaughter Katy Independent School District trustees heard a presentation for a $609 million bond package and a work study meeting held Monday night. Keith Carmichael, chairman of the Katy ISD Community Bond Advisory Committee, and Christopher Smith, the district’s chief financial officer, gave the presentation. They said the bond would not require a tax increase. Carmichael said that approximately $449 million, or 74%, is for six new schools. Of these proposed new schools, […]

U.S. Army Veteran to Receive a Mortgage-Free Home in Baytown

This marks the tenth home donated across the country through the partnership between U.S. Bank and Freedom Alliance. Baytown, TEXAS (July 13, 2017) – U.S. Bank, in conjunction with Freedom Alliance, is presenting the keys to a newly-renovated, mortgage-free home to medically retired Army Staff Sgt. Rodolfo “Javier” Munoz on Wednesday, July 26 at 10 a.m. This event is especially notable as this is the tenth home donated jointly by U.S. Bank and Freedom Alliance, a charitable organization […]

The Houston Launch Pad Receives $297,194 Job-Training Grant

  The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has awarded The Houston Launch Pad a $297,194 Self-Sufficiency Fund training grant. The Houston Launch Pad partnered with Almeda-Genoa Construction, Williams Brothers Construction and ISI Infrastructure Services to help 150 individuals transition into the workforce from either dependency on public assistance. The grant will help provide job training in carpentry, concrete finishing, construction and heavy equipment operator occupations. Grant funding from the Self-Sufficiency Fund will also assist in developing […]