By Trishna Buch

As part of Red Nose Day, several celebrities have travelled to different cities in Africa to learn about the living conditions and plights of the children and families that the Comic Relief charity seeks to assist. From the band One Direction to television personality, Kimberly Wyatt to presenters Davina McCall and Johnathon Ross; these celebrities have made the trip to witness the difficulties first hand.
They have visited hospitals, met with residents and some, such as One Direction with their cover of “One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)” have released charity singles for Comic Relief. Charity singles are called as such, because a portion of the funds from the single sales are donated to the charity. Each of these celebrities request the public to donate to the charity, in order to help those in need.
But one celebrity who went above and beyond his call of duty was British singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran. Sheeran travelled to Liberia in March and was met with a shock when he met a 14-year-old orphaned child named JD. According to an article by the Daily Mail, JD lived on the streets of Liberia and slept in a canoe on the beach with a few friends, who had all been or were at the risk of being sexually assaulted.  Sheeran was so emotionally affected by JD’s conditions that, according to an article by the Daily Mail, he “refused to leave the boy’s side until he was taken to a safe house,” even offering to pay for a hotel for JD and his friends to sleep in.
According to the Daily Mail, JD is now living in a safe house with four other children and a woman he calls “Ma”. These arrangements were made thanks to the charity Street Child, which took action after Sheeran’s plea to help the children. Street Child has been helping children across West Africa and Nepal since 2008.
“These kids, you give them an education, you give them hope,” Sheeran said.
“I think that’s the main thing, I don’t even think it’s a financial thing. I think it’s just someone saying “you can be this” and fulfilling the promise.”


Once upon a time, a young movie director decided that caring celebrities and the power of mass media could be a tremendous force for good. And so it was that on Christmas Day in 1985 Live Aid morphed and Comic Relief was born. The show was launched live from a refugee camp in the Sudan and thirty-plus years later, they are feeding hungry children all over the world; even through our own Galveston County Food Bank.

Last year Texas City joined with Walgreens and Wyatt Real Estate to make May the official Red Nose Month. This year La Marque Mayor Bobby Hocking, donned his own Red Nose and issued a proclamation declaring the month of May Red Nose Month, urging “all citizens, businesses & schools to help inspire young children to learn more about poverty and encourage all to help end it.”
When you purchase a Red Nose at Walgreens, you are ensuring one meal for a hungry child. Buy a nose, a bracelet, pen and lapel pin and a child with pneumonia will get lifesaving antibiotics. 15 noses can keep a child off the street for a week. Simple lack of nourishment can limit a child’s ability to learn, make him or her more susceptible to disease and even result in social, emotional and behavioral problems. When we think of real poverty, we think of third world countries. Yet about 15 million children in the United states live in families that fall below the federal threshold for poverty.
So Noses On Galveston County! Let’s do our part to end child poverty in our own neck of the woods!
Comic Relief, the charity behind Red Nose Day, was launched on Christmas Day in 1985 by movie writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) with a live broadcast from a refugee camp in Sudan. It was created out of the firm belief that the power of mass media and high-profile celebrities can raise awareness on issues of poverty and save millions of lives.
‘Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief Inc., a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity.’

PLEASE VISIT and be sure to watch the special on May 25th on NBC.

By Trishna Buch 

Angel Garza is a bright-eyed and passionate student at Texas City High School. I had the opportunity to sit down with him earlier this week and hear about the Christian club he was able to start at his place of study.
Garza told me that he found the inspiration to start this club when he attended a church camp over the summer and learnt about an organization known as Project 7 Clubs, which teaches students how to start Bible clubs on high school and middle school campuses.
“At the camp they were preaching and, after camp, they had a booth that said if you want to start a club at your school, sign up here.”
Garza’s curiosity drew him to the booth and he signed up for the club. He told me that, after signing up, he was given lessons on the lessons to include in his own club and gave him several resources and programs to use to teach in the high school.
“This is what gave me the influence to start.”
But staring the club at the school was not a simple task. He told me that it took him a month to get the club started at the school, stating that there was already a bible study club operating at the high school.
“They told us that we had to join them,” he said.
“But I was friends with the kid who was the leader of the other Bible study club and he had too much to do and didn’t have any back-up to support him and the club, so he gave me ownership of his club and I changed the name to P7.”
Garza told me that the club was started in the current 2016-2017 school year and that member numbers have been fluctuating throughout the year. While the club started out with 20 members, the numbers decreased to ten around December when the holidays came and students began joining sports, but—by April—the number was back up to about 15 students.
The club meets on Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30pm. The club mainly consists of a prayer followed by a lesson.
“We also have guest speakers who come in sometimes, such as my youth pastor,” he told me.
Garza told me that he tries to advertise his club at the high school as much as possible; by passing out flyers during the school day. And while the club is only for Texas City high-school students, he did tell me that parents of current students are also invited to join or visit.
And the club members are also heavily involved in their community. He told me that, in December, the members visited a local retirement home, sang Christmas carols and gave a Bible lesson.
After graduating, Garza plans to attend Indiana Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana. His career goal is to become an Evangelist or a Pastor. Although currently a junior, he already has plans to pass the club on to a member when he graduates, and wants to see it grow and reach great heights.
“Our main objective is to get people from the darkness and show them to the light,” he said.
“We want to show them what the truth is and I want them to know that there is hope, no matter what they are going through
“I want them to know that there is a God who loves them.”

Friendswood ISD selects superintendent finalist  By Trishna Buch  

The board of trustees at the Friendswood Independent School District unanimously approved Thad Roher as the finalist for the district’s superintendent.
Roher will take the place of current superintendent, Trish Hanks, who announced her retirement in early February. Hanks has been superintendent of FISD for the past 15 years and will be leaving in June.
The district’s search for a new superintendent began in February, shortly after Hanks announced her retirement. In that month, the Texas Association Of School Boards executive search services were hired to conduct the superintendent search and, in March, consultants from TASB met with district staff and members of the community to come up with the characteristics the new superintendent should have, as well as to create an online survey for the public to complete. The board members and consultants from TASB used the information gained from the meetings and online surveys to create a profile, and used that profile when interviewing and evaluating the people who had applied for the position.
The board, who will vote to offer a contract to Roher on June 6, initially
selected six applicants to be interviewed.
“Thad came out as the clear candidate in this process and it lets our community know Mr. Roher will lead FISD into its future,” Rebecca Hillenburg, FISD board president said in a press statement.
“I can’t wait to see Thad Roher roar!”
Roher, who graduated from Friendswood high-school in 1986, earned his bachelors of science degree in elementary education from Barclay College in Kansas and his master of science in education administration from Fort Hays State University, also located in Kansas.
His educational career as a whole spans 26 years and, this year, he completes 20 years of education administration service. He started at Haviland, Kansas as principal for kindergarten to grade 12 before coming to Friendswood and starting as an assistant principal at Friendswood high-school, becoming an assistant superintendent of curriculum for elementary and secondary and then serving as deputy superintendent for the district.
Roher is married with two children, one who attends Texas A&M University in College Station and the other who is currently a senior at Friendswood high-school and will be graduating in June.

By Lora-Marie Bernard


Galveston County Commissioners Court voted last week to unanimously approve a resolutions that expands the territory of the Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority and gives it more authority to manage with a regional approach.
The resolution supports Texas House Bill 4308 and dovetails into other efforts related to the proposed coastal barrier spine.  The bill would expand the territory and powers of the Gulf Coast Water Disposal Authority to include the upper Gulf Coast Region, as opposed to only Chambers, Galveston and Harris counties.
“Being how Galveston is prime for a storm surge, we need to act quickly and show the federal government that we’re on the same page with the rest of the state,” said Commissioner Joe Giusti at the meeting.
The district would be an instrument to operate and maintain “a coastal barrier constructed with federal funds to protect the upper Gulf Coast region in this state from hurricane-induced storm surges,” according to the bill.
Rep. Wayne Faircloth introduced the bill in the Texas House of Representatives on April 4. It was referred to the special purpose districts last month where it remains. A public hearing was conducted on May 4. Texas Sen. Larry Taylor filed a companion bill in Texas Senate.
Commissioner Ken Clark, who presided at the commissioners’ court meeting on May 9 in place of County Judge Mark Henry, asked about the status of the House bill and noted the companion bill had passed.
According to the Senate Journal, the chamber dispensed with the required readings of the bill and approved it by a unanimous vote on May 3. It is now in the special purpose district committee with Faircloth’s bill.
Guisti said he wasn’t sure if there would be changes to the House bill or not. He was anxious to see the county resolution adopted as a show of quick support for the effort. He said the resolution was related to receiving federal funds to build the proposed barrier.
“There’s time for changes to be made even if not this session,” he told Clark. “Right now we need to show solidarity that this needs to happen for our county.”