Lake News

Fishing Tournament Results

By at April 18, 2018 | 3:26 pm | 0 Comment

CONROEBASS Tuesday Tournament 4/10/18 at Pier 105 45 Teams 1. David Hall and Ross Johnston - 14.82 pounds 2. Kenneth Lake and Chris Wieder - 14.57 pounds 3. Jamie Yancy and Clint Powell - 13.50 pounds 4. Barry Baker and Mike... Continue reading

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Lake Conroe Fishing Report

By at April 18, 2018 | 3:23 pm | 0 Comment

The fishing on Lake Conroe is good if you can dodge the winds and get out before the next weather front comes through. The fishing guides had to cancel trips because of the strong winds last week. The water temperature in th... Continue reading

Lake News

ATHLETICS: Girls track team leads celebratory Signing Day at Conroe High

By at April 17, 2018 | 4:52 pm | 0 Comment

It was a Signing Day ceremony quite unlike any Conroe High School one in recent memory Tuesday afternoon at The Pit Gymnasium. In front of a large crowd of supporters, 13 Conroe athletes made their college intentions officia... Continue reading

Lake News

Funding an issue for Woodlands drainage groups

By at April 14, 2018 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

Residents who were flooded out of their homes during Hurricane Harvey could see drainage relief in their neighborhoods should their taxing entity choose to take advantage of a federal program that offers financial assistance... Continue reading

Lake News

Art Feel: Bayer’s artistic genius on display at Guitar Heroes

By at April 13, 2018 | 12:00 am | 0 Comment

An art maven’s weekly fix of the local arts scene: what to see, what to hear, what to do, who to meet and musings about how art makes people feel—their ArtFeel. For one night, the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, John Williams... Continue reading

Lake News

Fishing Tournament Results

By at April 11, 2018 | 2:05 pm | 0 Comment

CONROEBASS Tuesday Tournament 4/3/18 41 Teams 1. Tommy Feuge and Phillip Pichotta - 17.94 pounds 2. Travis Signorin and Daniel Streeter - 16.82 pounds 3. Joe New and Greg McCullough - 15.23 pounds 4. Chad Mrazek and Joe Beeb... Continue reading

Lake News

Lake Conroe Fishing Report

By at April 11, 2018 | 2:00 pm | 0 Comment

Fishing on Lake Conroe has been good even though the weather fronts keep coming through with the rain and wind. The water in the main lake is stained and the water temperature is 65 degrees at the dam according to the San Ja... Continue reading

Lake News

Glass sculptor nabs ‘Best in Show’ honors at Waterway Arts Festival

By at April 9, 2018 | 7:47 pm | 0 Comment

The unseasonably frigid and overcast weather on Sunday didn't stop Nolan Prohaska's glass garden from blooming at The Waterway Arts Festival.And the crisp, humid morning also did little in the way of keeping area residents from... Continue reading

Lake News

Police seek ID for ‘New York Billy,’ who was found floating with cement blocks in Crater Lake

By at April 5, 2018 | 9:21 pm | 0 Comment

Police are asking for the public's help to identify a body, three decades after it was found floating with two concrete cinder blocks and an electrical cord attached to it in Crater Lake.The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office s... Continue reading

Lake News

LeBlanc: Sailboats, the crafts that require no batteries

By at April 5, 2018 | 2:10 pm | 0 Comment

In today's world of electronic and throwaway everything I wonder how many have thought about what happens when we run out of materials to make more throwaways or when the batteries run out, or when a baseball size piece of tras... Continue reading

Lake News

Fishing Tournament Results

By at April 5, 2018 | 2:05 pm | 0 Comment

CONROEBASS Tuesday Tournament 3/27/1846 Teams1. David Bozarth and Russell Cecil - 18.16 pounds2. Joe New and Greg McCullough - 15.40 pounds3. Jamie Yancy and Clint Powell - 12.00 pounds4. Chad Mrazek and Joe Beebee - 11.66 poun... Continue reading

Lake News

Lake Conroe Fishing Report

By at April 5, 2018 | 2:00 pm | 0 Comment

Fishing on Lake Conroe is a little slow after the rain last week. The water in the main lake is stained and muddy in some of the back waters. The water temperature has been 65 degrees at the dam in the morning according to the ... Continue reading

Lake News

GIRLS GOLF: Three local teams in race for District 12-6A title

By at April 3, 2018 | 6:45 pm | 0 Comment

MAGNOLIA - High Meadow Ranch Golf Club has been good to Hailee Cooper.After winning the District 12-6A championship here a year ago in a weather-shortened 27-hole event, the Montgomery senior began her march toward another titl... Continue reading

Lake News

Rendez-Vous Houston in 1986 brought Guinness record sound, light show to downtown

By at April 3, 2018 | 10:05 am | 0 Comment

More than 1.3 million turned out on an overcast Saturday night on April 5, 1986 to see French composer Jean-Michel Jarre's "Rendez-vous Houston: A City in Concert." The concert landed the city in the Guinness Book of World records and made enduring me... Continue reading

Lake News

BOYS HOOPS: Quentin Grimes is The Courier’s Player of the Year

By at March 31, 2018 | 6:00 pm | 0 Comment

There is no place quite like a hallway following a high school basketball game.

They are the spaces between the sanctity of the team locker rooms and the battle grounds of the gymnasium courts emblazoned with school colors and various patterns of polished hardwood.

Hallways are where coaches loosen their neck ties and wipe any remaining beads of the sweat from their foreheads. It's where they take a moment to breathe and reflect on the preceding 32 minutes of game action. It's where they speak in solitude with their assistant coaches and formulate postgame messages to deliver to their teams - whether it's positive reinforcement from a job well done or a wakeup call designed to ignite a fire for the next game.

Hallways can be important for coaches. But they are also important for us reporters because they are the spaces where we most commonly conduct our postgame interviews. From the very beginning of the season, our team at The Courier has been in those hallways, listening as the basketball coaches of Montgomery County expressed pride after a gritty victories or disappointment following tough losses.

We also listened to them speak about the standout performances from certain players, many of whom will move on to compete at the college level and have their current and future accomplishments forever immortalized in the trophy cases located along the walls of - yes, those same hallowed hallways.

Many of those same players stood out among the best in the area throughout the season, leading their teams to playoff appearances and producing some eye-popping statistics. Here are The Courier's selections for the annual All-Montgomery County superlatives:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Quentin Grimes, Sr., College Park

As College Park coach Clifton McNeely watched Kansas advance to the Final Four last week, he couldn't help but think about next season.

Following an 85-81 overtime victory against Duke, the Jayhawks slipped on their commemorative t-shirts and hats, cut down the nets and the hoisted their regional championship trophy amongst a shower of confetti at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. McNeely knows that his star pupil, senior guard Quentin Grimes, could be experiencing that same type of moment next season as a highly-touted freshman.

"It's going to be exciting to see how he grows and how he develops, both at Kansas and beyond," McNeely said. "I'm excited because after four years, I won't be coaching him anymore and I can just be a Quentin Grimes fan."

The accolades for Grimes have been continuously rolling in this year, and The Courier is heaping one more onto the pile. He has been selected as the All-Montgomery County Player of the Year for the second straight season.

Other honors for the 6-foot-5 guard include McDonald's All-American, Jordan Brand Classic All-American, Naismith All-American, Gatorade Texas Player of the Year, All-Greater Houston Player of the Year and District 12-6A Most Valuable Player.

Grimes' senior season was his best yet as he averaged 29.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game for College Park, leading the Cavaliers to a 21-13 overall record and a share of the district championship.

College Park went on to defeat North Mesquite in the bi-district playoffs before falling to Dallas Jesuit in the area round.

Grimes shot 57 percent from the floor - including 68 percent inside the arc - with an adjusted field goal percentage of 64 and a 3-point shooting clip of 40 percent.

Grimes scored a career-high 50 points against Montgomery in early February and finished with at least 41 points on five other occasions. He collected 14 double-doubles and a pair of triple-doubles, and his scoring and rebounding numbers went up during district play as he averaged 32.1 points and 9.9 rebounds over those 10 games.

"There wasn't a single night that we played that he was not absolutely the best player on the floor," McNeely said. "He simply made everybody around him better. You can look at the number of points he scored, but then you take into consideration that he would dish out five or six assists as well, and that was another 10 to 15 points that his teammates scored that made us that much better."

While his offensive numbers stand out, Grimes could also be a menace on the defensive end of the floor with his ability to jump into the passing lanes or run down opposing players in transition for a basket-saving block. According to McNeely, when the competition level was at its highest, Grimes was at his very best.

"He continued to get better and better each and every night defensively, and by the end of the season, he knew when the game was on the line, he had to go guard the other team's best player," McNeely said. "He stepped up and took it as a challenge that he had to do things on both ends of the floor - not just offensively."

Grimes finished his high school career with 2,863 points, 854 rebounds, 582 assists, 213 steals and 127 blocks. But his legacy goes far beyond the numbers. McNeely said his influence and impact will be felt for years to come as younger players continue to derive inspiration from watching him at Kansas and potentially in the NBA.

"There's no doubt that he's going to walk out of here and be the best player that College Park has had in our 13 years," McNeely said. "He's going to walk out of this community in The Woodlands and CISD and be the best player that has ever come out of Conroe Independent School District or Montgomery County. He's going to be considered one of the top high school players ever in the state of Texas."

OFFENSIVE MVP: Jevon Burton, Sr., Porter

Asked how excited he was to see what Jevon Burton could do at the college level, Porter coach Tobin Reid jokingly replied, "Not very excited at all."

"I wish Jevon could stay here forever and ever," Reid continued. "He's the kind of kid that you don't want to graduate. You never want to lose your seniors because you have them in your program for a long time, and you build relationships with them and get to know them, and you hate to see them go. At the same time, you want to see them blossom."

Burton was named the District 21-5A Most Valuable Player, and he certainly lived up to that billing as he led the Spartans back to the playoffs for a second straight season. For his efforts, the senior jack-of-all-trades is The Courier's Offensive MVP.

Burton was the second-leading scorer in the county behind Grimes, averaging 26.7 points per game. But his presence was also felt in a variety of other ways as he posted 11.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.4 blocks while shooting 52 percent from the floor, 39 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line.

"Jevon has size, he has good length, he has great leaping ability, he has quickness, he's able to shoot from the outside, he's able to handle the ball, and he's able to go down and post up," Reid said. "So there's not really a position in high school that he can't play. He can play the point guard, he can play the wing, and he can play the post position inside. He can play all of those, and that made him a bigger threat for our opponents."

Burton's contributions were instrumental as Porter finished the season with an overall record of 26-11. The Spartans finished third in the District 21-5A standings before falling to Beaumont Central in overtime in the bi-district playoffs.

Burton was also a key player for Porter as a junior when the program clinched its first-ever postseason appearance. This time around, he was truly the Spartans' No. 1 option.

"They had to try to do something to stop Jevon because he was our go-to player, and we wanted to make sure the ball was in his hands as much as possible," Reid said. "When we did that and he was able to create his shot, great things happened for Porter."

Burton has not decided on a college destination just yet, but that will come before too long. Wherever he ends up, Reid will be watching with admiration.

"He's been a pleasure to be around, and he always has a great demeanor," Reid said. "Jevon has been able to make a major impact on the coaching staff here, Porter High School, and the men's basketball program in general. He will be sorely missed."

DEFENSIVE MVP: Darius Mickens, Sr., Willis

"Smooth." That's how Willis coach Michael Storms describes Darius Mickens.

Whether it's grabbing a defensive rebound and gliding down the court for a fast-break layup or driving into the lane and swinging a no-look pass to a teammate for a corner 3, the senior guard makes the game look effortless at times.

And while Mickens was a primary contributor for the Wildkats in so many ways this season, his sneaky defensive prowess once against stands out. For his efforts, he is The Courier's Defensive MVP for a third straight season.

"Darius is very smooth, and he's deceptively fast and sneaky and quick," Storms said. "After coaching him for four years, after people see him over and over, they realize it seems like he's everywhere. In open space, with his length, defensively and offensively, he's able to change games in numerous ways. He operates well in space, and teams would try to take that away from us. But when we got him in space, that was when he was at his best."

Mickens was selected as the District 20-5A Most Valuable Player following his final prep campaign in which he averaged 21.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 4.1 steals and 2.5 blocks per game. He and the Wildkats finished third in the district standings and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Mickens grabbed 8.1 defensive rebounds per contest for the entire season, but that number was closer to nine throughout district action. That effort in crashing the boards, paired with his ability to handle the ball and make plays in transition, proved to be dangerous.

"I can't tell you how valuable that is to have someone take the defensive rebound coast to coast and have that threat every time," Storms said. "Obviously, a lot of times, the defense is looking to get the ball out of his hands. But when it starts in his hands, it's kind of difficult for the other team, so that was a tremendous asset."

Mickens' top performance of the season came during a 60-50 win over Brenham in which he poured in 45 points and grabbed 21 rebounds. But he also scored 20 or more points 19 times, posted six games of 15-plus rebounds and totaled five or more steals on 13 occasions.

Mickens finished his Willis career with more than 1,800 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 steals, 400 assists and 200 blocks and continued to improve each season.

"His impact has been that everyone has seen him and what's he accomplished," Storms said. "He's more of a leader by example with going out and playing, and he's a quiet guy, and so by him just going to work every day and accomplishing what he has, that has kind of set the bar and lets the other ones know that are coming after him that they can attain that as well if they work for it."

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Evan Palmquist, Jr., Magnolia

The relationship between head coaches and point guard is an important one. For Magnolia coach Derek Cain and point guard Evan Palmquist, that relationship flourished this season as the two made the jump to the varsity level together.

Palmquist burst onto the scene like no other player in the county and was a key contributor to the Bulldogs' success in their first year under Cain. For that reason, he has been selected as The Courier's Newcomer of the Year.

"I knew he was good enough right off the bat," Cain said. "He went through some bumps early in the season, just trying to figure out the speed of the game, and then I really thought heading into the district part of the season, he just started taking over."

After playing under Cain at the junior varsity level last season, Palmquist rose to the occasion as he was entrusted with orchestrating the Bulldogs' offense this year.

He was the team's second-leading scorer at 16.1 points per game behind only senior Jackson Moffatt (25.3). But he also averaged 6.3 assists, consistently making smart decisions that led to open shots and easy baskets for his teammates. Palmquist also grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game and often times led the fast break after a defensive stop.

"With as many good shooters as we had spreading the floor, I think that helped him," Cain said. "Having a point guard like him who can get to the rim and beat his man off the dribble, we would just give him the ball and spread the floor out, and if they had to help off defensively, we were looking at an open 3."

Magnolia finished the season with a 23-10 overall record and was the runner-up out of District 20-5A behind a talented Huntsville team. The Bulldogs defeated Cedar Park in the bi-district playoffs before falling to Whitehouse in the area round.

Securing that No. 2 seed for the postseason was a challenge, but as Palmquist continued to mature on the court, Magnolia steadily improved as a team. When next season rolls around, he will be the main offensive weapon for the Bulldogs. According to Cain, Palmquist has what it takes to be one of the top players in the area as a senior.

"His ability to make plays, especially in late-game situations, was really a key to us winning a bunch of basketball games," Cain said. "For Evan, it's a year-round thing. He trains just as hard as anybody else. He's put in the work, and he was prepared, and that's why I think it all showed on the floor."

COACH OF THE YEAR: Tanner Field, TWCA

Novembers always seem to be rough for Tanner Field.

Historically, his teams tend to struggle at times during the first month of the high school basketball season, and it can be hard for him to imagine what the final product is going to look like by the time the playoffs roll around.

Even this past season, with an experienced team at The Woodlands Christian Academy that was coming off a TAPPS Final Four appearance, the Warriors took their lumps early on.

"When you look at all of the games I've lost over the course of my coaching career, I've probably lost 60 to 70 percent of those during the month of November," Field said. "My wife remembers one day I came home in November, and I was frustrated with things, and I showed her an imaginary box in my hand, and I said, 'OK, here's our state championship ring – I'm going to put it on the shelf until next year.'"

Four short months later, Field will need to visit the jeweler because that ring is coming.

TWCA captured its fifth state championship with a 79-76 double overtime victory against Grace Prep of Arlington in the Class 4A title game. It was the culmination of a season in which the Warriors entered with lofty expectations and met every single one of them.

For his team's accomplishments, Field is The Courier's choice for Coach of the Year.

"I think really overall, it was just the kids coming together," Field said. "We played such a tough schedule at the beginning of the year, and we did that intentionally to challenge them, maybe humble them in some regards. … We struggled here and there and we struggled coming together, but once we hit our stride into the Christmas break, we started to create an identity for ourselves."

Led by a trio of talented all-state players with Bakari LaStrap, Dawson Libonati and Nash Golaszewski, the Warriors were able to capture the TAPPS District 4-6A title and eventually finished the season with a 29-13 overall record after their championship run.

Many of the team's key players are coming back next season, hoping to make another trip to state and add a sixth banner to the decorated wall of the school gymnasium.

"You're extremely excited about winning a state championship because it kind of takes some pressure off," Field said. "But if you walk into our gym, our state championships have come in 2s. … My guys want to be mentioned with those teams. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility for my sophomore class to go to four straight Final Fours. I think they're definitely motivated to do that."

SUPERLATIVES

Player of the Year: Quentin Grimes, Sr., College Park

Offensive MVP: Jevon Burton, Sr., Porter

Defensive MVP: Darius Mickens, Sr., Willis

Newcomer of the Year: Evan Palmquist, Jr., Magnolia

Coach of the Year: Tanner Field, TWCA

FIRST TEAM

G - Romello Wilbert, Sr., The Woodlands

(12-6A First Team - 17 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.8 spg)

G - Bryce Cernosek, Sr., Montgomery

(12-6A First Team - 18.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

G - Jay Lewis, Sr., Conroe

(12-6A First Team - 20.6 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg, 3 spg)

F - Jackson Moffatt, Sr., Magnolia

(20-5A First Team - 25.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.2 apg)

F - Trey Wooldridge, Sr., Splendora

(21-5A First Team - 14.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 4.5 bpg)

SECOND TEAM

G - KeSean Carter, Sr., The Woodlands

(12-6A Defensive MVP - 11 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.1 spg)

G - Jonathan Casper, Sr. Covenant

(TAPPS 6-2A First Team - 12.8 ppg, 6.4 apg, 5.0 rpg, 2.2 spg)

G - Pierce Spencer, Soph., Porter

(21-5A Second Team - 15.5 ppg, 5.3 apg, 5.2 rpg, 3.3 spg)

G - Zion Childress, Soph., New Caney

(21-5A Newcomer of the Year - 14.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 apg)

F - Dawson Libonati, Sr., TWCA

(TAPPS 5-4A First Team - 14.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg)

VOTING RESULTS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1. Romello Wilbert, The Woodlands – 46.8 percent
2. Jackson Moffatt, Magnolia – 22.0 percent
3. Jevon Burton, Porter – 15.4 percent
4. Quentin Grimes, College Park 7.4 percent
5. Darius Mickens, Willis – 7.1 percent

OFFENSIVE MVP

1. Jackson Moffatt, Magnolia – 89.7 percent
2. Darius Mickens, Willis – 3.4 percent
3. Jay Lewis, Conroe – 3.3 percent
4. Quentin Grimes, College Park – 2.3 percent
5. Jevon Burton, Porter - 1.1 percent

DEFENSIVE MVP

 1. Trey Wooldridge, Splendora – 49.1 percent
2. Josh Larramendi, Magnolia – 44.2 percent
3. Darius Mickens, Willis – 2.0 percent
4. KeSean Carter, The Woodlands – 1.8 percent
5. Jevon Burton, Porter – 1.0 percent

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

1. Zion Childress, New Caney – 53.5 percent
2. Michael Phoenix, Conroe – 28.4 percent
3. Evan Palmquist, Magnolia – 16.0 percent
4. R.J. Keene II, The Woodlands - 1.9 percent
5. Griffin Datcher IV, Oak Ridge – 0.5 percent

COACH OF THE YEAR

1. Derek Cain, Magnolia – 20.9 percent
2. Darwood Heldmann, Covenant – 13.9 percent
3. Tanner Field, TWCA – 3.2 percent
4. Clifton McNeely, College Park – 0.4 percent
5. Dale Reed, The Woodlands – 0.3 percent

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Lake News

Art N Fashion Show: A unique experience benefitting local charities

By at March 30, 2018 | 4:25 pm | 0 Comment

Applause resounded through the room and cheers went up from the gathered crowd as models strutted down the catwalk during the inaugural Art N Fashion Show on Thursday.More then 150 people attended the first of its kind event on... Continue reading

Lake News

Why Lake Conroe is full of monster fish

By at March 30, 2018 | 9:17 am | 0 Comment

There are monsters lurking in Lake Conroe.

On March 20, biologists with Texas Parks and Wildlife caught a 42-inch blue catfish during a survey of the lake.

In 2016, the same team photographed a 52-inch beast that is likely still there, waiting for the right angler.

"The catfish fishery is phenomenal (on Lake Conroe)," said Mark Webb, district supervisor for TPWD's College Station-Houston Inland Fisheries Management District.

MORE BIG CATCHES: Best photos from South Texas Fishing Association

Webb said channel catfish, bottom feeders, are plentiful in the lake, but it's the blue catfish that are most likely to become monsters, because they feed on other fish, like shad.

"They get really big; they can easily go over 100 pounds," Webb said. "I think we'll just see more and more big ones as we go along."

Lake Conroe provides a perfect environment to grow giant catfish.

"The lake is just the right amount of richness, and it's absolutely full of forage fish," Webb said.

Fishing has also been good for crappie, large mouth bass and white bass this year.

Webb said large amount of rain in the Houston area has led to good spawn for those fish.

See some of the recent Lake Conroe catches documented by Webb's team and the TPWD Toyota Sharelunker Program in the photos above. 

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Lake News

Conroe ISD: All gun threats are taken seriously, investigated

By at March 29, 2018 | 8:22 pm | 0 Comment

A mother concerned over at least two recent alleged gun threats made by students is calling on the Conroe Independent School District to take action.

Heather Carrier, a mother with two children enrolled in Conroe ISD schools, addressed the district's board of trustees on March 20 demanding action in reference to two different rumors involving gun threats made by two separate children the week before spring break.

Carrier told the trustees she was terrified after hearing about an Irons Junior High School rumor regarding her oldest son's classmate threatening to bring a gun to school to "shoot people."

"I immediately got on the phone with the school the next morning in an attempt to verify what my 13-year-old had told me," Carrier told the board on March 20. "Initially, I was told that the school had only learned about the event that morning and in fact had detained the student. This was confusing because my son had heard it at school, the day before. It was later clarified to be two different instances with two different children only a few days apart."

Carrier said she did not begin to feel at ease until Jeff Fuller, the principal at Irons Junior High School, spoke with her for more than 30 minutes on a "personal level." But the conversation, she said, was only partially reassuring.

"Unfortunately, this has left me with even greater questions about continued security of not only my son's school but every school in this district," she said. "The children in question were searched on the days of the event and no gun was found. But what happens in the future, if they change their minds and decide to act on the threats. Is the staff going to search them every time in school until they graduate, until they are no longer a risk?"

RUMOR VERSUS REAL THREAT

Conroe ISD spokeswoman Sarah Blakelock responded to the two rumors Carrier told the trustees, both of which occurred at Irons Junior High School in early March. One student was arrested but no weapons were found in either case, Blakelock said.

In one instance, on March 7, a student used the social media app Snapchat to post a threat regarding an incident that occurred during lunchtime, Blakelock said, adding that rumors are always circulating but that the district investigates each one in order to separate between rumor and "real threats."

"First of all, if there is a real threat to campus safety, we are going to respond," Blakelock said, adding the district uses its police department to determine the impact of every rumor to a campus.

Blakelock said parents were notified via email and social media regarding the Snapchat incident.

Fuller sent a letter to parents about the incident.

"Campus administrators have identified the student and, in working with Conroe ISD Police, have determined the threat to be false and not viable," Fuller stated in the letter to parents on March 7. "There are no weapons. This matter, in addition to any other rumor or threat, are all investigated and addressed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct."

The student was not arrested in the previous case. But just days before, another student was arrested after making a threat at the same school, Blakelock said, noting she was restricted from giving out too many details regarding the incidents due to student privacy laws.

Carrier said she was not aware of the two incidents at Irons Junior High School until she started making telephone calls to officials herself.

Blakelock said the district will notify parents if an unfounded rumor evolves into misinformation, where it could have a serious impact on a campus, or if it is a real threat.

"The Conroe ISD Police Department along with district and campus administrators take these situations very seriously and do everything possible to make sure students and staff are safe, including meeting with parents and making home visits," Blakelock said. "If there is determined to be any validity to any rumor or impact to the campus, parents are notified."

Just three days after Carrier addressed the board, another rumor about weapons on campus began to circulate at another school in the Conroe ISD. Just 2 miles down the road at Oak Ridge High School on March 23, the district police department began conducting classroom sweeps with K-9 units.

While the rumors at Oak Ridge High School ultimately turned out to be false and no weapons were found, according to the district, parents were in a frenzy to pull their children out of school. One parent confirmed to the Villager her son had texted her about the rumors, but later she received a district message stating the campus was safe.

Oak Ridge High School Principal Tommy Johnson denied the rumors and in an emailed letter to parents on March 23 assured them that classroom sweeps with district police K-9 units were random and not in response to any real threat. There were no weapons found during the screenings, he added.

'A LAYERED APPROACH TO CAMPUS SAFETY'

Datren L. Williams, vice president of the CISD Board of Trustees, who has three children of his own in the district, said he became aware of the Irons Junior High School gun threats on the day Carrier came to address the board.

"Please keep in mind that we have over 60 campuses and over 60,000 students in CISD," Williams said, adding that he believes the administration has done an exceptional job in addressing safety incidents. "I am not aware of all the facts of this particular incident, specifically who knew what, when and what actions took place as a result. I do trust that the school district takes the safety of every student as the utmost priority."

According to Blakelock, the Conroe ISD has spent millions of dollars on "a layered approach to campus safety including the installation of secure entrances and vestibules along with adding security cameras throughout our schools."

At the most recent Board of Trustees meeting-the same day Carrier addressed the board-members voted to approve a $3.7 million district-wide safety and security upgrades project, which included security barricades, new strobe lights and fire alarms, surveillance cameras, as well as thousands of dollars' worth of other improvements to existing security systems in schools.

Since 2010, the district has reported 43 incidents involving weapons brought to campuses, including intermediate, junior high and high schools, according to data from the Conroe ISD. These incidents, which are reported to the state, include firearm possession, illegal knife possessions and incidents involving other prohibited weapons, according to compiled campus incident reports from the district.

"The district is continuously working on safety measures to ensure the safety of our kids," Williams said. "These measures include increasing vestibule security, key pads, speakers at the entrances used prior to letting visitors in, increased police presence, more robust communication systems for our officers…etcetera."

ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING

Blakelock said officials on district campuses "regularly review safety procedures, and periodically conduct safety drills which include lockdown drills."

With the third largest police department in Montgomery County, the district "regularly provides active shooter training to our officers as well as other local law enforcement agencies to better prepare our law enforcement community for an integrated response," she said.

In an interview with Conroe ISD police Chief Bill Harness last year, Harness said his officers patrol all campuses within the district day and night and can handle student incidents, as well as civilian incidents, in the areas they patrol.

The district board late last year approved an application for a state grant for assistance in purchasing rifle-resistant body armor that would help keep police officers safe during an emergency, such as an active shooter on campus.

Carrier said that recent events such as the Parkland, Fla., shooting where a former student is accused of killing 17 people with an AR-15 assault rifle, have left her with a feeling of dread in spite of increased police presence.

"All I can say to that is those exact measures did not stop 17 people from being murdered in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14," she told the board. "How many of our children and teachers have to die before we start to implement more formidable security measures in our schools?"

It's a feeling of concern that Williams said he understands.

"The concern I share goes beyond school shootings. It is a concern that I am not physically there to protect my kids," Williams said. "No matter the level of security the school provides or the county sheriff's department provides for the community, I will always have a concern for my kids' safety when I am not there to protect them."

Conroe ISD Board President Melanie Bush said she believes the multi-layered security measures and having such a robust police force are key to protecting schools.

"As a parent, I am grateful for every person who reports any potential threat," Bush said. "I appreciate that our administration takes every issue very seriously and investigates it fully."

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Lake News

Fishing Tournament Results

By at March 28, 2018 | 2:33 pm | 0 Comment

CONROEBASS Tuesday Tournament 3/20/18

47 Teams

1. Scott and Cody Young - 20.08 pounds

2. Robbins and Clint Lipham - 15.49 pounds

3. Steve Billings and Ken Robinson - 11.95 pounds

4. Gary Sanders and Dalton Weirach - 10.34 pounds

5. Michael Haworth and Dan Pinnell - 9.74 pounds

6. Wes Schubert and Russell Cecil - 9.57 pounds

7. David Hall and Ross Johnston - 9.26 pounds

8. Steve Cain and Scott Stephens - 9.19 pounds

9. Chad Mzarek and Joe Beebee - 8.70 pounds

10. Ronnie Wagner - 8.30 pounds

11. Mason McQuerry and Allen Harwell - 8.24 pounds

Big Bass

1. Cody Young - 12.10 pounds

CONROEBASS Thursday Individual Big Bass Tournament 3/22/18

25 Teams

1. Scott Offenbecher - 6.42 pounds

2. Colby Bryant - 6.18 pounds

3. Jason McClure - 3.80 pounds

4. Parker Greer - 3.51 pounds

5. Barry Baker - 3.38 pounds

6. Evan Carlson - 2.80 pounds

Anglers Quest Tournament Team #3 at Stow-A-Way Marina 3/25/18

31 Teams

1. Kyle Nitshke and Jason Bonds– 5 fish 23.02 pounds

2. Mark Hogan and Randy Harbour– 4 fish 19.55 pounds

3. Jason and Gary Griffin– 5 fish 17.73 pounds

4. Julian Clapper and Tony Murray – 5 fish 17.07 pounds

5. Ronnie Wagner and Trea Luedeke – 5 fish 17.02 pounds

6. Rick Bearden and Jason James – 5 fish 15.03 pounds

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Lake News

TRACK AND FIELD: Highlander relay is national leader after win at Rice

By at March 25, 2018 | 4:31 pm | 0 Comment

The Woodlands boys track team won the 36th annual Victor Lopez Classic at Rice University over the weekend.

The Highlanders finished with 95 points, almost 30 points ahead of second-place Atascocita.

A new national leader emerged when the 800-meter relay team of Alexander DeAngelo, Jake Lanier, Ethan Bonner and KeSean Carter sprinted to a 1-minute, 24.49-second race.

In the competitive field, The Woodlands got 60 of its points from six first-place finishers.

The 400-meter relay, comprised of the same quartet that ran the 800-meter relay, won in 40.50 seconds. According to MileSplit USA, that time is just 0.19 seconds off the national leader from American Heritage High School in Florida.

Carter and Lanier also won the 100- and 200-meter dashes, respectively. Carter crossed the finish line in 10.55 seconds and Lanier ran a 21.02-second race.

The Woodlands stacked up more points in the throwing events. Patrick Piperi and Sean Stavinoha took the top two spots in both shot put and discus.

Piperi won the shot put with a throw of 62-feet, 6-inches. Stavinoha's second-place toss was 53-feet, 3.5-inches.

Stavinoha won the discus with a 166-foot, 9.5-inch throw, while Piperi was close behind with a throw of 162-feet, 5-inches.

In the individual distance races, two locals had strong showings.

College Park's Bradley Pease was a medalist in both the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs. Pease placed third in the former with a time of 3:58.18 and second in the latter with a race of 8:37.36 – just 0.33 seconds behind the winner.

Gavin Hoffpauir, of The Woodlands, was second in the 1,500-meter run in 3:57.03 and fifth in the 3,000-meter run in 8:41.97.

In addition to Pease, College Park had two more medalists.

The 1600-meter relay team of Preston Diaz, Kyle Torrance, Adam Myres and Roger Ethridge placed third, just over a second behind the winner, with a time of 3:18.07.

Jake Dillow placed second in the pole vault for the Cavaliers with an effort of 14-feet, 9-inches.

TWO LOCAL GOLD MEDALISTS IN GIRLS MEET

The highest local team finish in the girls meet was The Woodlands in seventh place. Conroe was close behind in eighth.

There were two gold medalists in the girls meet out of Montgomery County.

Montgomery's Halena Rahmann won the 800-meter race with a time of 2:12.48 and was four seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Rahmann was also second in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:45.19.

Conroe's Jadyn Walden was the shot put champion with a 41-foot, 8-inch throw.

Nya Harmon of The Woodlands also had a successful weekend in the throwing events. She finished third in the shot put – just three inches off of Walden's winning throw – and was fourth place in the discus with a 134-foot fling.

Conroe's Kim sisters, Jznae and Jazzmin, made their presence known in jumping events.

Jznae took second in the long jump with an 18-foot, 10.25-inch effort. Jazzmin was the silver medalist in the triple jump at 37-feet, 8.5-inches. Jznae was fourth in the triple jump, less than four inches behind her sister.

The Woodlands' 800-meter relay team also was a medalist, taking second in 1:42.55. Makayla Hood, Autumn Goodrum, Caroline Morris and Ginni Okafor were just three seconds off the winning time.

Oak Ridge had one medalist from its girls team. In the 3,000-meter run, Sophie Laswell finished second in 9:56.46 and was about five seconds behind the winner.

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Lake News

Public officials discuss role, importance of Woodlands drainage task force

By at March 24, 2018 | 11:45 am | 0 Comment

After the flooding from the Tax Day Floods of 2016, The Woodlands Township officials decided they needed to do something about flooding in south Montgomery County. Their response was to create The Woodlands Township Storm Drainage Task Force, n entity which has grown from a dozen or so member groups to more than 30, said task force chairman Bruce Rieser.

Rieser, who is also a member of The Woodlands Township board of directors, said the organization was established as a way to pull together all agencies that have drainage responsibility for drainage systems and watersheds that impact The Woodlands.

"Although the Township does not have jurisdiction over these agencies or the drainage systems, the purpose of the task force is to create a forum to discuss drainage concerns and potential solutions," Rieser said. "By creating this forum, we also create an advocacy group to seek solutions and funding for the identified drainage issues."

The task force has held eight meetings since it was founded, and the group is scheduled to meet for the second time in 2018 at 3:30 p.m. on April 10.

Many of the members of the task force have expressed their appreciation of the team effort to tackle flooding and drainage issues in the area.

Jim Stinson, general manager of The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency, said the teamwork element of the task force is important to solving flooding issues, especially when many governmental bodies and communities are involved in one region like the greater Houston area.

"In most Texas communities, installing and maintaining storm drainage facilities is accomplished by multiple governmental entities. You typically have separate but similar responsibilities for major rivers; regional stream and creek floodways and floodplains; and local man-made open ditches and underground storm sewer pipe systems," Stinson said. "Collaboration with the government entities on drainage improvements for a particular region is very helpful."

Dan Kolkhorst, vice president of land development for The Woodlands Development Co., said the Howard Hughes Corp. is involved in the task force in order to have a greater understanding of the issues and potential solutions.

"Our participation in any solution will be dependent on the scope of the solution and how it impacts our communities," Kolkhorst said.

Alan R. Black, director of the engineering division at the Harris County Flood Control District, is also part of the task force. Black said the recovering from Hurricane Harvey could take more than 10 years, and he feels the task force and other entities like it will have a critical roll in flood mitigation moving forward.

Here are our questions and responses from the various members of the task force, including Rieser, Stinson, Black, Kolkhorst and Harris-Montgomery Counties MUD 386 General Manager Rich Jakovac.

QUESTION: How important a role do entities like the Woodlands Storm Drainage Task force place in mitigating flooding in the Houston region?

RIESER: The Woodlands area is served by a number of agencies that play some part in regulating the development and maintenance of drainage systems that serve our area residents. For example, Montgomery County and Harris County have responsibility for approving drainage plats within the County which are submitted by developers. The 12 Municipal Utility Districts that serve Woodlands residents have the responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the drainage systems that lie within their respective areas. The Harris County Flood Control District, San Jacinto River Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversee and approve proposed projects. As we well know, the major creeks that run though this area extend far beyond The Woodlands Township boundaries. Spring Creek runs from Waller, Texas to the West Fork of the San Jacinto River just west of Lake Houston. The creek traverses Waller, Grimes, Montgomery and Harris counties

KOLKHORST: The task force may play an important role as the community studies which options will best mitigate future flooding. By bringing together the various entities, information is more freely shared and hopefully this sharing will result in a cohesive solution to a regional issue.

BLACK: Having people engaged in the problem is extremely important as it relates to educating the general public and building support for the work that needs to be done.

QUESTION: How long have you been on the task force?

RIESER: I was appointed to the Drainage Task Force by the Township Board of Directors in December, 2016.

KOLKHORST: Howard Hughes has attended the task force meetings since July of 2016.

BLACK: Since December 2017

QUESTION: Can you envision the task force becoming permanent?

RIESER: The Task Force was initially created to address drainage issues that came about in the Tax Day and Memorial Day floods of 2016. Following the Hurricane Harvey event, it became apparent that we have a much larger regional drainage problem created by the Spring Creek Watershed Although we hope to secure the federal funding needed to initiate a study of the Spring Creek Watershed in 2018, I believe that the implementation of any mitigation solutions will take many years to plan, fund and implement as projects of this type involve many agencies such as the federal, state and county governments as well as other organizations and individuals who may or may not support a proposed project. It is for this reason that I believe that the Drainage Task Force or a similar organization, will need to be in place for the foreseeable future.

KOLKHORST: (That is) unknown, at least for the time being. We believe the task force is yielding results.

BLACK: The response to Harvey alone could stretch to 10 years or more. You could use the word permanent in the sense that there will always be flooding issues.

STINSON: The recent series of extreme event rainstorms impacting The Woodlands and Houston region has all drainage entities looking at ideas for reducing future flood-related risks. Having the various entities responsible for drainage meet on a regular basis may expedite some drainage improvement projects. I would certainly support maintaining the task force for the foreseeable future.

QUESTION: What benefits come from so many representatives banding together like this?

RIESER: The first benefit of getting this large group together is that we have created a regional forum and are able to get a comprehensive view of issues and mitigation efforts in a multi county area. There are some incredible people involved in the task force who bring storm water management expertise and historic knowledge to the group.

Perhaps the greatest benefit is creating an advocacy group of multi-jurisdictional agencies to become advocates for regional flood mitigation planning and flood mitigation projects. As noted earlier, the Spring Creek Watershed flows from a four county area and any flood mitigation projects will require the support of a large number of overlapping agencies as well as the relevant state and federal agencies.

BLACK: Like other organizations Harris County Flood Control District is involved with, the sharing of information is the biggest benefit.

STINSON: Having all parties responsible for the various segments of drainage for a community in the same room stimulates ideas, improves coordination and can result in a more efficient and timely project completion.

QUESTION: Have you seen any effects from the task force's work yet?

RIESER: Yes. The Woodlands MUD's through the Woodlands Joint Powers Agency, has made a number of local system improvements since 2016. As of January, 2018, the WJPA has bid / constructed over 54 local projects totaling in excess of $2.5 million and have another 13 project in design totaling over $820,000. MUD 386 has also been feverishly working on the planning and implementation of local system improvements.

QUESTION: MUD 386 has retained Moffat-Nichol as an engineering firm for studies, same as the Woodlands Township – what made that firm unique?

The Township sought to retain a highly qualified engineering firm to provide advice to the Township and the Township's Drainage Task Force on drainage systems planning and proposed improvements for the Woodlands area. The firm will act as the Township engineer to review and advise on improvements under consideration by the MUD's within the Township boundaries and will also advise on Spring Creek Watershed planning and mitigation proposals. We did not consult with MUD386 during the procurement process, but it is obvious that we both felt that Moffat & Nichol were deemed to be the best fit for our respective organizations.

KOLKHORST: The entities are each aware of the work each other is doing and several studies are underway. There has been an expressed intent to share data. Since we are not a part of the specific entities, we are unaware if any data has been shared to date.

BLACK: Their coordination and engagement with elected officials is impressive and I'm sure will yield benefits as we all work on efforts to reduce flood damages.

STINSON: For The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency MUDs, several cooperative drainage improvement projects with Montgomery County Precinct 3 and the San Jacinto River Authority were completed or implemented following the April/May 2016 storms. Two examples are the Lake Woodlands Drive/Herald Oaks project and the ongoing analysis of Bear Branch from Kuykendahl Road to Gosling Road.

QUESTION: MUD 386 arguably had the worst flooding from Harvey in The Woodlands, what progress has been made to stop that or mitigate it in the future?

RIESER: MUD 386 has retained Moffat & Nichol firm to independently evaluate the drainage system that serves the flood impacted areas. The firm is using data from a number of sources including both LIDAR mapping and resident interviews to develop a 2D model that simulates the flood conditions that occurred during the 2016 and 2017 events. The consultant will consider land use changes since 2002 to determine what impact this the new development may have had on the flooding that occurred in 2016 and 2017.

JAKOVAC: The number of homes flooded in MUD 386 in Harris County is roughly equivalent to the number that flooded in the rest of The Woodlands in Montgomery County which is served by MUDs that are part of The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency. In both cases, the flooding occurred in close proximity to Spring Creek. There were approximately 290 flooded homes in the Harris County portion of the Woodlands and approximately 250 flooded homes in the Montgomery County portion. MUD 386 has undertaken a leadership role among agencies and organizations concerning the active pursuit of possible solutions to future flooding. Our efforts have been documented in the local news media including The Woodlands Villager. We expect to be able to share details related to concepts aimed at flood mitigation with the public in April.

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Fishing Tournament Results

By at March 21, 2018 | 12:12 pm | 0 Comment

CONROEBASS Tuesday Tournament 3/13/18

44 Teams

1. Dawson Schnautz and John Jay III - 13.23 pounds

2. Scott Peterson and Robert Means - 12.47 pounds

3. Brad Lanier - 11.60 pounds

4. Tim and Evan Carlson - 10.60 pounds

5. Michael Haworth and Dan Pinnell - 10.56 pounds

6. Steve Billings and Ken Robinson - 10.30 pounds

7. Jimmy Cole and Tony King - 10.11 pounds

8. Jeff Winders and Johnny Keefer - 9.84 pounds

9. Cody Finkbeiner and Jason Annis - 9.68 pounds

10. Randy Gunter and Mickey Mueller - 9.56 pounds

CONROEBASS Thursday Individual Big Bass Tournament 3/15/18

16 Teams

1. Brad Lanier - 4.83 pounds

2. Garrett Gilmer - 4.22 pounds

3. Tim Carlson - 3.70 pounds

4. Evan Carlson - 3.42 pounds

5. Douglas Gilmer - 2.93 pounds

Stow-A-Way Sunday Tournament 3/18/18

21 Teams

1. Bryan Thilsh and Preston Wittenburg – 5 fish 20.12 pounds

2. Darrel Pietsch and Tray Dawson – 5 fish 17.75 pounds

3. Garrett Pierce – 5 fish 15.16 pounds

4. Josh Tatman – 4 fish 10.96 pounds

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Lake News

Fishing Tournament Results

By at March 7, 2018 | 3:38 pm | 0 Comment

Bass Pro Shop Conroe Big Bass Tournament 3/2/18 – 3/4/18

Top 10 Big Bass Hourly Winners

1. Langston Johnson - 11.92 pounds

2. Michael Burks - 11.32 pounds

3. Kevin Ekdall - 11.04 pounds

4. Nathan Byrd - 10.97 pounds

5. Kenny Barnes - 10.50 pounds

6. Brandon Sheridan - 10.16 pounds

7. Larry Green - 9.96 pounds

8. Kevin Mattlage - 9.90 pounds

9. Josh Scott - 9.59 pounds

10. Don Kemp - 9.48 pounds

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Lake News

Lake Conroe Fishing Report

By at March 7, 2018 | 3:38 pm | 0 Comment

Fishing on Lake Conroe is good even though we are still working around weather fronts. The water in the main lake is a little stained and is muddy in some of the back waters. The water temperature has been 62 degrees at the dam... Continue reading

Lake News

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