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Russo named Citizen of the Year

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Community

RussoCOYA visibly humbled Ralph Russo thanks the audience after being named the Deer Park Citizen of the Year. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.

For his deep commitment and love for helping many endeavors in the Deer Park community, Ralph Russo was honored as the Citizen of the Year by the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement was made at Thursday's Chamber banquet. Known for his gift of gab, Russo was left speechless after the announcement, but gave a tearful "thank-you" to the audience's rousing standing ovation. He accepted his award with his wife Pat and a surprise visit from his children.

"Deer Park is a community of fantastic people and there are well worth honoring that are pillars and leaders in this great little community we call home," said Chad Burke, emcee of the evening's festivities.

A New Jersey native, Russo, pursued his dream of playing baseball and still cheers his beloved Houston Astros.

"Don't think his passion is only for baseball. He loves his country and he loves his community," Burke said. "He lives his life as a community servant."


APP opens The Addams Family Feb. 12

Written by staff. Posted in Community

addams family smallPhoto provided by the City of Deer Park.The creepy and kooky Addams Family from 1960s television will be brought back to life by the Art Park Players this month.

Join the Deer Park Parks and Recreation Art Park Players for eight special performances throughout the month of February, featuring iconic personalities, ghoulish hair and makeup and an incredible custom set!

"We are so excited to bring 'The Addams Family' to our patrons, and we cannot wait for our first production on Feb. 12," said Director Susan Mele. "Everyone knows the show from the 60s, and I think the writers of this production – Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice – did a great job bringing those characters to life with a modern twist.

"There's something for audience members of all ages in this charming show – from a lavish set design to an outstanding score, this has been a very fun production and we know our patrons will love it."

"The Addams Family" focuses on Wednesday Addams – played by Emmy Smith - who has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family.

DPPD receives CALEA accreditation before council

Written by Holly Galvan. Posted in News

CALEA presentationLouis Dekmar (center), CALEA assessor, presents members of the Deer Park Police Department with its accreditation proclamation. DPPD's accreditation came with a gold star for excellence, which is bestowed on less than 1 percent of accredited agencies. Of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the nation, less than 1,000 are CALEA accredited. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.

The Deer Park Police Department formally received its Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Accreditation Award-Gold Standard with Excellence during Tuesday's city council meeting.

The CALEA Accreditation with Excellence Award is intended to provide agencies the chance to be recognized for the effective use of over 400 mandatory and elective standards for enhanced public safety services and management professionalism. The agency must be in compliance with 90 percent of all applicable other-than-mandatory standards.

Less than 1,000 police departments are CALEA certified; and about 10 percent of those accredited agencies earn the gold standard annotation. DPPD Chief Greg Grigg and police staff accepted the accreditation proclamation.


City presents $10K for San Jacinto Day festivities

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in News

SJDayCheckPresentationDeer Park City Council presents a $10,000 check to the San Jacinto Museum of History Association. The association was represented by museum officials and Battle of San Jacinto re-enactors. The city's funds were matched dollar-for-dollar by the Houston First Corporation. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.

Deer Park City Council unanimously denied a rezoning request while unanimously passing all other items on Tuesday's agenda.

The rezoning request was from John Deisher to rezone 110 East 10th Street from Two – Family One (TF-1) to General Commercial (GC) for the purpose of selling the property. The Planning and Zoning Commission met in December to consider this request and subsequently voted to recommend denial.

Council approved the purchase of a garbage truck for the sanitation department; the purchase of services of Pinnacle Industries to rebuild blowers at the Wastewater Treatment Plant; the purchase of a rough mower for the Park Maintenance department; a contract with Emergicon, Inc. for EMS Billing Services; and an an ordinance amending and restating Ordinance No. 3776 authorizing the issuance and sale of the City of Deer Park, Texas, Certificates of Obligation, Series 2016.

Prior to the meeting, council presented a check to the San Jacinto Museum of History Association in the amount of $10,000.


Library plays match-maker at Blind Date With a Book

Written by Holly Galvan. Posted in Community

blinddatewithabookDozens of eligible books are waiting at the Deer Park Public Library's Blind Date With a Book event. Patrons will find select books wrapped to disguise the cover so that the book's contents are kept secret. Photo by Holly Galvan.

With February being the month of love, the Deer Park Public Library is hoping to pair up its patrons with a book at its Blind Date with a Book event. The library is located at 3009 Center St.

The event is for anyone 18 and older with a library card. The event lasts the entire month of February. There will be an assortment of wrapped books on display so no one knows which book they are checking out.

"There are a mixture of books. For the most part, I went with bestsellers from 2015, and then the staff added a few of their favorites," said Shelly Govea, the Deer Park Public Library's technical services supervisor.


Business Spotlight: Ocean Breeze Occupational Solutions

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in News

BizSpotOceanBreezeOcean Breeze clinical manager Melissa Elizondo tests a specimen in the facility's lab. For five years, Ocean Breeze has worked to help employers and families find peace of mind in a safe, drug-free environment. Photo by Bobby Vasquez. A drug- and alcohol-free environment is a setting the Touchton family takes very seriously. After seeing their personal and professional lives affected by drugs, they wanted to do something to maintain safety and peace of mind.

Five years later, Ocean Breeze Occupational Solutions is fulfilling that goal.

The Touchtons were assisting with the clean-up of 2010's BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the Louisiana coast when they realized their calling. They assisted with an on-site drug screening.

"Of the 400 contractors that were screened, 203 kept their jobs," said Jaylynne Touchton, Ocean Breeze co-founder. "We saw the need and began researching the industry."

She joined the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce and quickly realized the city was the perfect place for their business and family to call home. In 2011, Ocean Breeze moved into 2106 Center St. and after a year-and-a-half, the company expanded into the adjacent building. In 2014, the company grew again, expanding into Freeport.

Touchton and her husband Charles operate the Deer Park location while her parents operate the Freeport facility.

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