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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


 

Since the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department isn’t on my “official beat” I had no clue that our official reporter was not getting press releases from the SO. Apparently no one is now unless specifically requested.

For years and years press releases were automatically generated out of the Sheriff’s Office every morning thus giving the local media and the citizens of the county an idea of what was happening that would impact them.

Now, they don’t. I’ve been told it is because the SO doesn’t want the "Fort Bend Star" to have the information that is given to the other newspapers and media outlets.

This week I had my first exposure to this and it does seem to ring true.

Local papers were carrying a story on a newspaper guy out in Katy getting into hot water (but not arrested) over some allegedly nasty stuff on his computer.

The Katy Times, where he worked and the stuff was found, is owned by Hartman Newspapers, the same group that owns the Fort Bend Herald.

Everything remains, I guess, under investigation by the sheriff’s office. Everything apparently also remains a secret.

I sent the Public Information Officer a request for a press release or information on the pending case.

I still haven’t had a response.

So, I guess the rumors about our newspaper being cut out of the media circle are true.

I haven’t a clue as to what the official press release might say. Coffee shop clatter however indicates that a former interim publisher and sports editor by the name of Nick Georgandis is under investigation.

Supposedly a warrant was issued last week sometime and this guy’s computer was seized by authorities. And supposedly, until last week, Georgandis was employed by the Katy Times.

Georgandis reportedly posed as one or more Katy High School football players and got into some kind of online chatter with young girls on line. Apparently the conversations were a bit more risqué than sharing football scores.

The New Territory residents are up in arms over a possible contract that will allow T-Mobile to place a 120 foot tower in the New Territory subdivision. The tower will be towering over dozens of homes adjacent to the maintenance land that it will be placed on.

Not everyone is happy and I really don’t blame them. After all, safety, health, and property values, could be impacted by the tower.

And, if nothing else, I would be a little upset that this negotiation thing has been going on for years and no one seemed to be sharing the information on it.

When a resident broached the board about the contract, the first reaction was “how did you find out about this?”

That is a dumb question to ask; especially if you later want to claim the negotiations were no big secret.

The whole thing is confusing but I have a feeling that the homeowners are going to give the board of directors some serious grief over the next few weeks.

It is going to be fun to watch.

Everyone at the county courthouse is very concerned about the well being of Justice of the Peace Gary Geick. We all are.

But they are more than a little upset too.

Quite a few of the elected officials, especially those who are Republican, think Gary could have removed  himself from the ballot when he was had the stroke in November.

Now the dilemma could result in a Democrat seizing the office held by a Republican.

And, regardless of how much they love Gary this doesn't set well.

They seem to think hanging on to the office was "selfishness."

For those who are concerned about health and health only, the general consensus is that Gary is in very poor condition. I don't know if this is based on factual information or just the result of no one being able to get information from the family or his office.

When he first had his stroke in Nov., the office would send out regular updates via county e-mail.

Now all who know anything are mum.

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Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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