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Child Advocates of Fort Bend announces Magic Carpet Gala

Getting into the theme of it are (L to R): Harish Jajoo, Chair of Indo-American Forum of Fort Bend, Amy Mitchell, President of Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Child Advocates of Fort Bend Executive Director Ruthanne Mefford, and Al Gaylor, Vice President Industry Relations and Diversity of Sysco.

Child Advocates of Fort Bend (CAFB) invites you to join them for a Magic Carpet Ride on April 2, 2011 at Safari Texas Ranch. Presented by Sysco Corporation, Exchange Club of Sugar Land and the Indo-American Forum of Fort Bend, the evening promises to be glamorous and exotic while helping children whose lives have been torn apart by abuse and neglect.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available and range from $1,500 to $8,500. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, donating an auction item or attending the event, please call 281-344-5106 or visit for more details.

Child Advocates of Fort Bend serves children in Fort Bend County whose lives have been torn –more- apart by abuse or neglect through its Court Appointed Special Advocates Program and Children’s Advocacy Center. With a force of more than 200 trained community volunteer advocates, Child Advocates touches the lives of more than 400 children each month.

If you are interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate or Children’s Advocacy Center Volunteer, your chance is just around the corner. Volunteer Training begins January 31. For more information contact Volunteer Services at 281-344-5171 or go to

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County communication center opens for business

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office held an open house and grand opening on January 11 to showcase the new Emergency Communications Center.

The $4 million Emergency Communications Center houses 15 Call Taker stations, 12 Radio stations, and a training room. A portion of the renovation was paid with grant funds through the Department of Homeland Security and administered by the Texas Terrorism Task Force which were used to upgrade the radio equipment. The new center is state of the art and the Sheriff’s Office is proud to offer it’s services to the citizens of Fort Bend County.

During the open house, other vendors and organizations that attended included Greater Houston 911, Verint Technologies, Fisk, Turner Construction, and Motorola. Tours of the facility were given.

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Planned Community Developers
welcomes marketing and event manager

Planned Community Developers, Ltd. (PCD) announces the addition of Shana Sonnier as Marketing and Event Manager for Sugar Land Town Square, the 32-acre lifestyle development located at the intersection of Highway 59 and State Highway 6.

Sonnier’s new role will encompass producing events that make Sugar Land Town Square a destination location and contribute to the sense of community found in Sugar Land. By working with community partners, Sonnier will be able to bring exciting activities that represent the diversity and generosity of the community to the Plaza of Town Square.

“We are excited to have Shana join our team and bring a new level of event programming to the Plaza,” said Sugar Land Town Square’s Executive Director Wende Buckley. “In listening to feedback this past year from the community, we believe the 2011 event program will continue with a blend of our most popular events and incorporate some exciting new programs such as farmer’s markets, Opry on the Square and a junior edition of Sugar Land Superstar. Shana’s experience and enthusiasm will be instrumental in both producing events and spreading the news about all of the great things happening in Town Square.”

Sonnier’s previous experience includes 16 years as a marketing and promotions director in the radio industry where she created, produced and managed events of all sizes. She was also responsible for the successful marketing of radio programming features including contests, station ID’s and listener building promotions.

“Working with Sugar Land Town Square is an excellent opportunity to marry my event marketing and production skills with my love of bringing people together,” said Sonnier.

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House Appropriations Committee
recommends closing Central Prison Unit

The Texas House Appropriations Committee has introduced its suggested budget for the upcoming legislative session. As a result of Rep. Charlie Howard’s continued efforts, the committee has included a budget recommendation to close the central prison unit in Fort Bend County.

“This budget recommendation is a win-win for all Texans. It will help assist in balancing our state budget, while at the same time creating economic opportunity for the great people of District 26,” stated Rep. Howard. “If passed, this will provide additional business and industrial property for development which will bring more jobs and economic growth to Fort Bend County.”

Last March, the Texas General Land Office estimated the 325-plus acres that the prison occupies are worth more than $33 million. The prison also sits on land that is zoned, in part, for the expansion of the Sugar Land Regional Airport. As development continues to expand toward the land area of the prison, and our state faces a multi-billion dollar shortfall, it is both economically practical as well as governmentally efficient to move the operations of the prison elsewhere.

“This is an issue that I have been passionately working on with the city of Sugar Land for quite some time,” said Rep. Howard. “It is in the best interest of our state and my district to close the central prison unit and transfer its’ operations to another location. I am pleased to see our state’s leaders address this important matter.”

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New H.E.B. coming to Sugar Land

The Crossing at Telfair, a retail center under development in Sugar Land, will have a new H.E.B. in the area of State Highway 6 and U.S. 90A, where the Hilton Garden Inn is located, next to the Telfair subdivision. The retail center which currently includes the 200- room Hilton Garden Inn, is planned to have a future office building and bank, a Mediterranean restaurant by the name of Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill currently under construction, and a medical office building at that site.

Representing the first grocery-anchored retail development in Telfair, the H.E.B., according to developers, is expected to better serve the community in addition to offering greater convenience with retail shopping and family-centered amenities.

Announcements indicate that the H.E.B. store is scheduled to open in August and will be about the same size as the Sienna H.E.B. in Missouri City.

Recently, a little over 15 acres were sold to San Antonio-based grocery chain, H.E.B., by a local area commercial real estate company which originally bought the land from Newland Communities, the developer of Telfair. In addition to the land sold to H.E.B. for the new store, the real estate group is reported to have also purchased acreage from Newland planned for development this year. As announced, about 100 acres have been designated for another hotel, a boutique hotel. Also planned is an 800-seat performing arts theater and an entertainment complex with a 38-lane bowling alley and laser tag facility. Construction is expected to begin this summer for opening the following year.

In the same vicinity, the new minor league baseball stadium across the way on the opposite corner of US 90 and State Highway 6 will soon begin construction.


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December sales tax revenue up
for seven cities in Fort Bend County

The State Comptroller’s Office announce its latest state sales tax revenues for December and seven cities in Fort Bend County show an increase over the same period last year. Fulshear, Missouri City, Needville, Rosenberg, Simonton, Stafford and Sugar Land all show increases.

State Comptroller Susan Combs said that in Texas, the state sales tax revenue in December was $1.81 billion, up 9.4 percent compared to December 2009.

“This marks the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year improvement in sales tax revenues, with increases posted across the board,” Combs said about their latest accounts statewide. “There were increases in the oil and natural gas and manufacturing sectors reflecting recovering business spending,” she said. Combs also reports that sales tax in the retail trade and restaurant sectors were also up.

December state sales tax collections and January allocations to local governments represent sales that occurred in November.

For neighboring Houston, the State Comptroller’s Office shows a 13.13 percent increase in sales tax rebates over last year.

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