Lots of stuff happens every day in our community, and we don’t have the staff to cover everything. And sometimes we don’t even hear about it here at Oak Ridge Now until we read it somewhere else. But you might not have heard about it either, so we once again bring you another edition of In Other News.
It looks like the most important thing to happen in our area over the past week or so, at least in my wife’s estimation, is that Kirkland’s has finally opened in Wood Ridge Plaza on I-45. It is where the Lone Star Scrapbook store (whose mention is customarily followed by a moment of silence in my house) used to be. They opened just in time for the holiday decorating and holiday shopping seasons. My guess is that some stuff is already on sale, so be sure to go get your Kirkland’s on.
This pales in comparison to the big Kirkland’s news, but I have also heard we’re having a pretty big election next Tuesday. The Villager reports that nearly 472,000 residents are registered to vote in Montgomery County. The article also lists all the forms of ID permissible to bring to your polling place (the voter ID measures passed by the Texas Legislature are currently under review by federal courts) if you don’t have your driver’s license or voter registration card. Yes, a copy of your utility bill will do just fine. On a side note – 472,000! – how many of you remember when Conroe and The Woodlands, the two largest population centers in the county at the time, each contained less than 30,000 residents?
Of those 472,000, over 122,00 folks have already cast their ballots in early voting, which closed yesterday. If you have yet to vote, be sure to exercise that right this coming Tuesday. No matter if we are not a swing state. No matter if the Senate race is projected to be a landslide. No matter if many folks are running unopposed. The right to vote has been denied to so many people in so many places over the years, and so many people have died fighting for us to have that right today. Vote.
A man was electrocuted and killed last week while allegedly trying to steal copper wire from an electrical substation on I-45 just north of Rayford. There are a number of pithy things that could be said here, but the man was somebody’s son, and possibly somebody’s brother, father, or friend. Our prayers go out to his family.
The dedication ceremony for Irons Jr. High School took place last week. The school’s namesake, Gerald D. Irons, Sr., was on hand to take part in the festivities. Irons served on the Conroe ISD School Board for 21 years. He credited his parents for instilling a strong work ethic in his youth and stressing the importance of education. “If you work hard and you study hard, you can accomplish your dreams,” Irons said. “You always win when you never quit.”
Commuting from our area to Houston has never been easy. I-45 has been under construction somewhere for the better part of the last 30 years. The Houston-Galveston Area Council, the Texas Department of Transportation, and Federeal Highway Administration are looking into possible long-term solutions to alleviate traffic congestion along I-45. Short-term, the existing HOV lane will be extended from 1960 to Conroe, and the Grand Parkway may possibly take some traffic. Long term possibilities include high-speed passenger rail (we’ve all heard that off and on for 30 years), making a section of the freeway elevated (double-decker style) and building a tunnel under I-45. Because, you know, flooding is never an issue.
The Oak Ridge High school Air Force Junior ROTC Booster Club is conducting its annual poinsettia sale. You can purchase one four different colors of poinsettias for $12.00 apiece (order form at the bottom). Proceeds from the sale go to fund scholarships for graduating seniors. Hurry and get yours, because the deadline is next Tuesday, November 6.
Finally, this week’s restaurant report showed Pizza Hut on I-45 and Babin’s pass their inspections with flying colors. Popeye’s on I-45 north of 242, not so much – three demerits for inaccessible hand wash facilities. Yes, we all love that chicken at Popeye’s. We’d love it more if the employees are able to wash their hands there once in a while.