Loss of house, not home
Sep18

Loss of house, not home

By Rachael Hopson Contributing Writer The words house and home are usually synonymous, but to the residents of Memorial Hills, the word “home” has taken on a com pletely new meaning. This neighborhood on the northeast side of Houston stood together through the excessive flooding of Hurricane Harvey and after. People came from near and far to help the area with rescue efforts. Anne Mentlewski, a homeowner of 28 years in the neighborhood, was particularly worried about her neighbors in the hours prior to the flooding. She lives across the street from several elderly couples who she loves dearly. “I don’t see them every day, but I always know what’s going on in their lives.” As she watched the news and heard the forecast of water levels at eight feet above record, she couldn’t believe it, especially after they had survived hurricanes Alicia and Ike with no water damage. Throughout the weekend of Aug. 26, she continued to watch the drainage ditch in the center of the neighborhood. She always checked on it when flooding was a possibility, and knew that even if it filled, they should still be fine. It wasn’t until Sunday evening that she started to realize evacuation may be necessary. As the water continued to rise into her street, she decided she was going to leave, but first wanted to check on her neighbors and hopefully convince them to do the same. While some had already had their families pick them up, others decided that they would stay through the storm. Before Mentlewski left, she asked her brother-in-law to check up on them and rescue them if necessary. After Mentlewski safely got to her son’s house, rain continued to pour, and overnight, the water got high enough to reach the houses on her street. It was only after several feet of water got in their houses that two of the elderly couples decided they needed help evacuating. Since no vehicles could get through, Charlie Mentlewski found an inner tube and, one by one, rescued five people from their flooded houses over the next three hours. After everyone was safely out of the area, they had to wait to be able to re-enter the neighborhood and assess damage. It wasn’t until Wednesday that they were able to see their houses. “The worry wasn’t about the physical aspect of the damage, but about my neighbors and what they would have to deal with,” Mentlewski said as she spoke about seeing her street for the first time after the flood. While the devastation was incredible, the amount of love and support from everyone’s friends and families was even...

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Hurricane affects students
Sep15

Hurricane affects students

By Emily Mahan Contributing Writer Many students experienced hurricane damage to their homes. Sophomore Kirsten DeSpain’s home, which is located north of Houston’s city limits, was flooded. “I think that the majority of relief efforts are focused in Central Houston, but what people don’t realize is that other communities lost their homes, and it’s important to remember those towns and cities as well.” Many other students like DeSpain live outside of Houston’s city limits in smaller communities that saw the effects of the hurricane. However, much of the media coverage has been on the impact inside the city. Smaller cities that saw massive flooding include Lake Jackson, Alvin, and Freeport, which are located in Brazoria County. Evacuees of this county were sent to Bell County on buses when the flooding reached dangerous levels. Many students have volunteered to assist these evacuees who arrived in Belton, Killeen, Temple and Harker Heights. Students donated clothing, food, toiletries, and a variety of other items to Vista Community Church, who collected donations for the evacuees. In addition to dropping off donations, many students volunteered to help sort through and organize these items throughout the week after the hurricane. Some students volunteered to spend time with and prepare meals for the evacuees at local churches. UMHB junior Kelly Taylor spent time with the children staying at First Baptist Church Belton, which served as a temporary home for refugees. “Getting to play with these kids who have already lost so much and…just being able to distract them and love on them was really cool.” She developed a special bond with two little girls in particular, and enjoyed playing games with them throughout the week. “One of them was old enough to understand what was going on, but the other was too young. She was just upset that she had to wear an identification bracelet.” Taylor said that she is glad that she volunteered with the evacuees, because it gave her a chance to comfort children who had lost everything they owned. UMHB has offered to help students who were affected by the storm. Students requiring additional financial support because of the hurricane are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid office in order to discuss their situation. In addition, the school has resources available for students who need extra academic support, prayer or...

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‘RGV Navy’ rescue mission successful
Sep15

‘RGV Navy’ rescue mission successful

By Brianna Bullion Contributing Writer On Monday, Aug. 28 a team of 12 boat owners from the Rio Grande Valley went to help fellow Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey, just three days after landfall as they saw the need for help and ran to the rescue. Randy Bullion, a member of the ‘RGV Navy’ received a phone call as he was leaving church on Sunday, Aug. 27. A team of boaters was heading to Houston the next morning, and in response, Bullion gathered his things and left early Monday morning. “These people needed our help, and I couldn’t stand back and just watch,” he said. The team touched the lives of many families and were touched themselves by the generosity of those who had already lost everything. Bullion rescued a family from their home who were flying a Texas flag and an American flag that remained untouched by the destructive winds. Bullion asked if he could fly the flags on his boat, and the family responded with “Yeah! Texas rules,” and added, “Don’t bring them back, you can keep them.” The Texas flag now flies at the Bullion household. The ‘navy’ saved more than 1,000 people and a handful of pets from flooded homes. “The whole thing was awesome,” Bullion said. While Harris County faced the brunt of Harvey, several smaller areas received damage and needed help as well. Among these areas was Brazoria County, which is a ‘sister’ county to Bell. Evacuees from Brazoria County were welcomed into Bell County by several churches. Emily Mahan, a student at UMHB offered her help by sorting donations that came through Vista Community Church on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Mahan organized shoes, sorted clothes, and put together toiletry bags for the evacuees. She also donated items such as toys, diapers, and infant medication. “I felt that I needed to help because these people had lost so much, and I knew I needed to help in whatever small way I could,” Mahan said. She was glad to have gotten the experience, though she was saddened by the number of evacuees. “One lady came in with a newborn baby who couldn’t have been more than a few weeks old,” Mahan...

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Universities hit hard by Hurricane Harvey
Sep15

Universities hit hard by Hurricane Harvey

By Dylan Jones Contributing Writer Fellow Texas universities and their campuses felt the impact of Hurricane Harvey as well. While some students may have been content with delayed classes, the affected universities were dealing with much larger problems. Joe Miller, the Director of Community Outreach at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, said the university lost power, which included a failing backup generator. Along with losing electricity, the campus was hit with some wind and water damage. While the physical damage and long lasting effects may not have been terminal, the university faced complications involving students and faculty. “Personally I have talked to one student whose parents lost their home, and I have talked to one colleague who lived in Rockport and commuted to TAMUCC who lost everything,” Miller said. He also made note that the university instructed faculty to be flexible with students facing challenges. Miller said universities at risk of natural disasters use a common system to prepare for such an event. “When there is a crisis, we go into incident command mode.” Miller said. He adds positions like “incident commander” take presidence over positions like provost and president. TAMUCC classes were originally scheduled to begin Aug. 28, but were delayed until Sept. 5. The university is unsure of an extended semester. That decision will be made by the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board. Damage assessment teams went through campus to examine the impacts of the storm. Miller said that there was more damage to housing than classrooms and that an insurance company came through and has begun working on housing. Islander Athletics faced some hurdles as well. The girls’ soccer team had a contest in San Marcos at Texas State on Aug. 24, the day TAMUCC closed their campus. The Islanders were sent one day early and spent time in a hotel for an extra day before, and multiple days after due to the closing of the campus. The team also had to cancel a home game on Sept. 1, and an away game at Prairie View A&M was cancelled as well. Despite the damage they suffered. TAMUCC sent out UAVs to the Rockport area. The unmanned aerial systems center has been going to Rockport every day for assessments of the affected region. Having assets in the air to provide information in regards to chemical spills and damage to local officials has been a huge help for Aransas County. Many other universities have bn affected as well. Texas State, Texas A&M, University of Houston, TAMU Kingsville, Prairie View A&M, and Houston Baptist among others, have seen delays in classes and other issues around campus. “I essentially just...

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Welcome Week 2017
Aug23

Welcome Week 2017

First week at UMHB- Photo by Jasmin Ortiz First week at UMHB- Photo by Lauren Lum First week at UMHB- Photo by Madeline Oden First week at UMHB- Photo by Madeline Oden First week at UMHB- Photo by Madeline Oden First week at UMHB- Photo by Tori Van Hooser First week at UMHB- Photo by Madeline Oden First week at UMHB- Photo by Emma Spellings First week at UMHB- Photo by Katie Hennessee First week at UMHB- Photo by Emma Spellings First week at UMHB- Photo by Madeline Oden Photo by Madeline Oden Photo by Madeline Oden Photo by Madeline Oden Photo by Madeline Oden Photo by Madeline...

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