Regarding the Texas Gulf Coast, we are working with local emergency managers and partners to prepare for the storm:

  • Four shelters are on standby — in Vidor, Orange, Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island; (addresses are not available at this time)
  • Nine emergency response vehicles are activated and ready for use if there is a need to supply residents with food, water, hygiene kits or other much-needed items;
  • Red Cross team members are preparing to deploy to hard-hit areas if warranted; and
  • Members of our Leadership Team are prepared to deploy as well.

Right now we are carefully monitoring the situation and will keep you updated in terms of Red Cross preparation. Please do open the press release link above, which will give you information on hurricane safety, our free emergency app and more. If of use, here are links to some photos taken during last years’ storms and floods. They were taken primarily in areas surrounding Beaumont and Orange. You are welcome to download and use if you wish. Feel free to access the entire site and peruse March/April/May 2016 photo albums for more storm photos.

Houston, June 20, 2017Dr. F. Alex Schroeder, orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at West, threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Father’s Day Astros baseball game on Sunday, June 18. Schroeder’s wife and two children cheered him on as he threw a strike with ease.

Schroeder and his family have been fans of the Astros for as long as he can remember, so not only was he excited by this opportunity but was also impressed by the whole experience.

“I played baseball growing up, and I have spent a lot of time as an assistant coach for my kids’ select baseball and softball teams,” said Schroeder. “The key to staying on top of my game is remembering to stretch and properly warm up before and after physical activity. Despite my competitive spirit, I know it’s important to not throw too hard or too often because that can also lead to shoulder injuries.”

Shoulder overuse is a common injury for avid athletes and weekend warriors alike. In children and adolescents, overuse injuries usually occur due to overtraining in one specific sport. For adults, overuse injuries often occur when they do too much in too few workouts; improper technique and improper use of equipment are also both factors. Cross training, stretching, proper technique and consulting a trainer or physical therapist can help alleviate the risk of overuse injuries at all ages.

Schroeder is an experienced orthopedic surgeon with a focus on knee and shoulder problems. He provides minimally invasive repair and reconstructive procedures allowing for reduced pain and quicker recovery. To schedule an appointment at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at West, visit or call 832.522.BONE (2663).

About Houston Methodist West Hospital

Houston Methodist West Hospital is committed to leading medicine in the West Houston and Katy communities by delivering the Houston Methodist standard of high quality, advanced technology and personalized care. The growing campus offers nearly 200 beds and access to the most innovative medical and surgical care available, including robotic and minimally invasive surgery, full-spectrum heart care, state-of-the-art imaging, cancer care, labor and delivery with a level II neonatal ICU, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, outpatient rehabilitation, and 24/7 emergency services. For more information, visit

By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University Marketing and Communications

COLLEGE STATION, June 21, 2017 – It doesn’t take a hurricane to cause problems from a storm, and many residents along the Gulf Coast may be about to find that out the hard way.  Tropical Storm Cindy, formed just a few days ago, is expected to make landfall Thursday and it could bring a strong punch despite its non-hurricane status, says a Texas A&M University expert.

Robert Korty, associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M and a severe storms expert, says Cindy could still have a major impact, despite maximum winds of only 45 to 50 miles per hour.

“The biggest threat from this tropical storm is likely to be heavy rain.  It isn’t moving fast, and it has a large area of thunderstorms on its eastern side, so rain totals could reach as high as 10 inches in localized pockets,” explains Korty.

“I don’t expect much heavy weather to the west of where its center passes, so if the current forecast holds I think we are unlikely to see much in this area other than the possibility of some rain.  Louisiana and states farther east should get some good rain totals from this.”

Cindy may be remembered best for when she formed.

It is not every year that tropical storms develop in June, and this is very early in the season for the third named storm to have formed.

Even rarer is when two tropical storms form at the same time.  Tropical Storm Bret formed about the same time as Cindy and it is now making its way through the Caribbean.  That marks only the third time in the last 100 years that two Atlantic storms existed at the same time in the month of June – in 1909, 1959 and 1968 according to weather records.

With Texas experiencing another mild winter and warm spring, water temperatures in the Gulf could be a concern.

“Water temperatures across most of the tropical Atlantic are running a little warmer than average, which may help this season be more active than average,” says Korty.

“However, they are actually running slightly cooler than usual in the northern Gulf.  We do not expect Cindy to become a hurricane.  The storm will continue to face strong wind shear between now and the time it reaches the Texas and Louisiana coast.

The last hurricane to hit Texas was Ike, which killed 74 people in the state, caused $30 billion in damage and ruined the lives of thousands and it was only a Category 2 storm when it hit on Sept. 13 of 2008.

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The Seven Lakes Junior High Varsity Treble Choir has been selected to perform at the 2018 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention in San Antonio next February. This is the highest honor a choir in the state of Texas can achieve.
The SLJH Choir was chosen from over 180 schools that submitted recordings to this prestigious competition, and the only one to represent the Greater Houston Area. It has been 15 years since a junior high choir in Katy ISD was selected to perform at a TMEA Convention.
Katy ISD is very proud of these students as well as their Choir Director Mrs. Kristin Likos and Choir Assistants Mr. David Lee and Mrs. Jennifer Hart for their hard work and excellent tutelage towards these performers.

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Summer camp focuses on design thinking approaches

Schmalz Elementary was recently selected to participate in the 2017 Raising Family Partnerships Fellowship. The school is one of 20 from across the state selected to redesign and transform their family engagement plan based on best practices, personal experiences and lessons learned from other participants.
The year-long fellowship kicks off in the summer of 2017 with a design camp where school leaders will turn research into practice and engagement opportunities for their campuses during the upcoming school year.
Raising Your Hand Texas Leadership Program consists of an elite network of 1,000 Texas school leaders who contribute to creating a high-quality public school system that supports the success of all students. Following the design camp, participants will remain connected, working together to implement and improve their plans and to collaborate and provide feedback on ways to strengthen partnerships on their campuses.
Congratulations to the staff at Schmalz Elementary School.

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Nicole Lavrack

Rylander Elementary student Nicole Lavrack has been selected to travel this summer to Austin and San Antonio to participate in the 2017 Lone Star Leadership Academy camp. She was selected based on her outstanding academic success, demonstrated leadership ability, involvement in school and community activities, as well as her successful completion of a previous Lone Star Leadership Academy camp.

Nicole will join a delegation of outstanding students to develop leadership skills while learning about the great state of Texas and its leaders. As a participant of the academy, she will visit significant sites in the area, learn about future career and internship opportunities and will visit with her Texas State Representative and Senator, whom are well aware of Nicole’s accomplishments.
Education in Action is a non-profit organization which hosts the Lone Star Leadership Academy camp designed to empower young people to be informed and active leaders in their communities.

For more information about the camps visit

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw today was joined by members of the Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC), including PSC Chairman Steven P. Mach, as the department commissioned 122 men and women as the state’s newest Highway Patrol Troopers. Chairman Mach was the keynote speaker during the recruit graduation ceremony, which was held today in Austin.

“It takes a special kind of person to be willing to sacrifice their safety in order to protect others from danger,” Chairman Mach said. “In joining DPS, you have declared to the world that you intend to live a life of purpose serving and protecting the people of the great State of Texas. We are extremely fortunate for your dedication to duty and are proud of each and every one of you – our newest Texas State Troopers.”

The A-2017 class, which is the department’s 159th training class, included 15 women, 12 former peace officers and 48 military veterans. The oldest graduate is 49-years-old and the youngest is 21-years-old. The class also included a Trooper whose father, a Highway Patrol Sergeant, died in the line of duty in 2015. It was also the first (known) time two sisters graduated in the same class.

“These 122 graduates will join their fellow DPS Troopers as a first line of defense against a wide variety of threats in the communities they serve,” said Director McCraw. “We are counting on you to help make your communities safer, and to uphold the tradition and standards of the Texas Highway Patrol.”

The new Troopers will report to duty stations across Texas in the coming weeks and spend the first six months in on-the-job training.

The Troopers began the 23-week training academy in January of 2017. Instruction covered more than 100 subjects, including counterterrorism, traffic and criminal law, arrest and control procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid and Spanish. They also received training in use of force, communication skills, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, cultural diversity and physical fitness.

DPS is currently accepting applications for recruit classes scheduled for 2018. The next application deadline is Oct. 1, 2017, for the class beginning July 8, 2018. Are you up to the challenge? To apply or for more information about joining the legion of brave and outstanding officers at the Texas Department of Public Safety, visit

In addition, DPS schedules recruiting events throughout the year. To find an event in your region, visit

Additional photos of the event are posted at:

MTC Summer Theatre Workshop

Interactive and Educational Theatre Camp for 3rd – 6th Graders

When: August 1 – 5th

Times: 8:45 – 4:15 PM

Cost: $175.00 per child for the entire week

Where: Morton Ranch High School Performing Arts Center

Address: 21000 Franz Road, Katy TX 77449




Time and Agenda:

8:45 – 9:00 Drop Off @ MRHS

9:00 – 11:00 Creativity Classes

Each morning starts with warm-ups, students are divided into groups based on age and grade level, rotating through 4 different types of classes.

Classes include:

–          Costumes & Makeup

–          Movement & Dance

–          Games & Improv

–          Acting

11:00 – 11:30 LUNCH! Students must bring their own lunch.

11:30 – 11:45 Camp Meeting

11:45 – 3:45 Rehearsals

Each group works on a song and dance numbers for the play. Older MTC students will play the larger roles, but campers will create characters, make their costumes, learn makeup, learn lines, learn music, and learn the blocking for the final performance.

** Includes afternoon snack break

3:45 – 4:00 Wrap-Ups and Closing Activity

4:00 – 4:15 Pick Up @ MRHS

Register Today!!!! We want to help your child learn about theatre performing arts.




Hindus have welcomed public research institution Texas A&M University (TAMU) in College Station (Texas)

for opening a designated Prayer and Meditation Room in its Sterling C. Evans Library; said to be an all-inclusive worship area.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today; called this dedication of a quiet calming space for meditation, reflection and prayer for usage by the campus community—a step in the positive direction.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that with the presence of room for meditation and prayer, TAMU students would have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success after they graduated from here.

Rajan Zed thanked TAMU for recognizing the inter

section of spirituality and education. Prayer and Meditation Room would be another feather in TAMU’s cap in making it a top class and wholesome higher education institution.

Zed hoped that at least Bhagavad-Gita, Rig-Veda, Ramayana and principal Upanishads would be made available in this Room to start with; and more Hindu scriptures added in the near future. Zed suggested TAMU to make this Room available to campus community 24-hours and 365 days.

Rajan Zed urged all universities and colleges of USA and Canada to provide prayer-meditation rooms if they were serious in the all-round development of their students.

This Room, located on the northwest corner of fifth floor and lined up with windows, is reportedly open to all students, faculty, and staff of all faiths and none and includes “books that cover various religious and meditation-related subjects”. TAMU already had an All Faiths Chapel, which claims to serve “all denominations and creeds…to encourage the spiritual expression and development”.

“…any and all experiences in the room for prayer or contemplation will lead to better understanding and relationships among all Aggies,” David H. Carlson, TAMU Libraries Dean, stated in a release.

Opened in 1876, research-intensive flagship and oldest public institution of higher education in Texas, TAMU, on an over 5,200 acres campus with about 400 degrees, is home to about 66425 students. Charles W. Schwartz, John Sharp and Michael K. Young are Regents Chairman, Chancellor and President respectively.

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[Washington]—On June 9, thirty-one organizations representing our nation’s active duty service members, veterans, survivors, and military families wrote to Congress and the Education Department demanding immediate implementation, with no weakening, of the Borrower Defense rule, and stating that “any delay is an affront to defrauded service members, veterans, survivors, and military families.” Today, the Education Department announced that it is delaying implementation and rewriting that rule, leaving thousands of defrauded veterans without financial relief from federal student loans.

It has been widely documented that service members, veterans, and their dependents, families and survivors are targeted for fraud because of the 90/10 loophole. Predatory college recruiters not only use misleading advertising and recruiting to enroll veterans, but also sign them up for student loans, sometimes without the veterans’ knowledge.

Defrauded veterans not only deserve the loan forgiveness they are entitled to under Borrower Defense but also the protections provided by the Gainful Employment rule, which the Department also announced it planned to renegotiate. In February 2017, sixteen veterans and military service organizations wrote to Congress urging that the Gainful Employment rule but fully implemented as written.

While today’s announcement by the Education Department is good news for predatory colleges, it is terrible news for America’s servicemembers, veterans, and their families who honorably served the nation, and to the taxpayers who fund their GI Bill educational benefits.