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Ranked Bellville rolls past Royal Falcons, 42-0

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Brookshire Royal Falcon receiver DaShawn Adams (1) tries to hurdle a Bellville Brahma defender after making a catch on Friday night, Oct. 22, 2021. (Photo courtesy Terry Carter, UDPhotos.com)
Brookshire Royal Falcon receiver DaShawn Adams (1) tries to hurdle a Bellville Brahma defender after making a catch on Friday night, Oct. 22, 2021. (Photo courtesy Terry Carter, UDPhotos.com)

By Terry Carter
Sports Contributor

BROOKSHIRE — The unbeaten Bellville Brahma football team shut out the host Royal Falcons on Friday, 42-0, in a penalty-plagued 4A football contest.

Sixth-ranked Bellville (8-0, 3-0 in District 12-4A Division II) rushed for 305 yards and 19 first downs with senior running backs Richard Reese (15-158 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Robert Briggs (10-65 yards, 1 touchdown) leading the Brahma ground-dominated attack. Reid Vacek and Tanner Knode also rushed for scores, and Bellville quarterback Reid McCann (3-10 passing, 42 yards) threw one scoring pass to junior Tyler Fishbeck.

Editor’s note: For more photos, or to purchase prints or digital downloads visit UDphotos.com

The Brookshire Royal Falcons (3-5, 0-3 in district) played better defensively, despite the score, however 13 penalties cost the Falcons at key moments. Offensively, Royal struggled with false starts, challenging field position and time of possession. The Falcons remain in the playoff hunt however.

“You have to find the end zone in games like this, and we didn’t do that against Bellville. They don’t make big mistakes and turn the ball over,” Royal head football coach Theadis Reagins said after the game. “We still have a chance to get to the playoffs, but we have to beat Sweeny and Wharton.”

Royal plays Friday, Oct. 29, at Sweeny (3-4, 2-1) with kickoff slated for 7p.m. Bellville plays at La Marque (5-2, 2-1) at the same time on Oct. 29.

 

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Plane rolls through fence, catches fire in Waller County

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BROOKSHIRE — An airplane wrecked north of Brookshire this morning, however all 21 people on board got out of the plane with only two suffering injuries.

“A McDonnell Douglas MD-87 rolled through a fence and caught fire in a field while attempting to depart from Houston Executive Airport in Houston, Texas, shortly after 10 a.m. local time today,” according to a statement from the FAA. “Preliminary information indicates that 21 people were aboard and that all of them evacuated safely. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation.”

The Cy-Fair Fire Department provided a fire engine and two ambulances to assist with the multi-agency event.

“Cy-Fair Fire Department provided mutual-aid assistance to help our neighbors in Waller County,” said a CFFD spokesman. “Crews helped triage and evaluate patients. Fire crews assisted with suppression efforts and providing extra staff to help support the incident.”

The FAA stated the tail number of the aircraft is N987AK.

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Sora from Kingdom Hearts revealed as the final DLC fighter coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Sora joins the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster soon. (Nintendo)

Ever since the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game launched for the Nintendo Switch system in 2018, players have put more than 2.2 billion hours into the game’s many modes, composed of 11.7 billion offline matches and 7.8 billion online multiplayer battles. The all-star game has also welcomed numerous additional fighters, stages and pieces of legendary music from all throughout video game history as part of the robust Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass DLC.* On Oct. 18, standing next to fighters like Mario, Zelda, PAC-MAN, Sonic, Snake, and Cloud, the next beloved hero from the world of video games takes his place as the final addition to this historic lineup.

In a video hosted by Masahiro Sakurai, the Super Smash Bros. series director revealed that Sora from the KINGDOM HEARTS series will be the final DLC fighter added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Oct. 18, completing an extraordinary, nearly three-year journey of new fighters across video game history joining the game’s roster. Sora is part of the Challenger Pack 11 DLC*, which also includes a new stage and a selection of music tracks from the KINGDOM HEARTS franchise. The video presentation provided a deep dive into the new fighter’s move set, as well as a detailed look at the newly added Hollow Bastion stage. To view the video in its entirety, visit https://www.smashbros.com/en_US/.

Challenger Pack 11 is part of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2*, which can be purchased for a suggested retail price of $29.99 and also includes Min Min from the ARMS game, Steve & Alex from Minecraft, Sephiroth from FINAL FANTASY VII, Pyra/Mythra from the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 game and Kazuya from the TEKKEN franchise. Challenger Pack 11 can also be purchased separately for $5.99.

“Having a fan-favorite character like Sora join the ranks of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the perfect way to close out the Fighters Pass expansions,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Communications. “With a dozen fighters added since the game launched, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate now boasts 86 total fighters spanning the entire history of video games, giving players an unprecedented amount of gameplay choices and options.”

The protagonist of the KINGDOM HEARTS series is Sora, a young boy who wields the iconic Keyblade and traverses Disney and Pixar worlds, battling enemies known as the Heartless to overcome darkness and restore peace to the realms. His signature look and airborne moves from the KINGDOM HEARTS games transition perfectly to the battlefields of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, offering an approachable fighter with a unique feel that helps Sora stand out on his own.

Inspired by his moves in KINGDOM HEARTS, Sora excels at fighting in the air when playing him in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. His jumps are high and his movements are light and soft. While he is easily launched by opponents, Sora’s powerful, combo-based attacks using his mighty Keyblade make him a formidable challenger.

Using a series of intuitive button presses, Sora can perform all types of different combos with his Keyblade, be it straight-on attacks, aerial moves or side smashes. He can also use Magic, just like in KINGDOM HEARTS. Fans will recognize the Firaga, Thundaga and Blizzaga spells, which can be unleashed in various ways to cover the battlefield with a volley of impressive hits. Sora can also activate his Final Smash, called “Sealing the Keyhole,” to send his worthy opponents flying.

The new stage that players will receive in Challenger Pack 11 is Hollow Bastion. Fans of the KINGDOM HEARTS series will immediately recognize this familiar location, featured heavily in many of the franchise’s games. The dynamic stage contains one platform in its center, and, as the battle nears its close, players will travel to a special area inspired by Dive to the Heart with visuals featuring some familiar faces from the KINGDOM HEARTS series.

After downloading Challenger Pack 11, players will also receive nine music tracks from the KINGDOM HEARTS series. An additional music track, Dearly Beloved -Swing Version, will be added to this game for those who have played KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory. A new Spirit Board starring characters from KINGDOM HEARTS like Riku, Kairi and Roxas will also be added. Additionally, new paid in-game costumes for the Mii Fighter, including Doom Slayer, Octoling Wig and Judd Hat, will be available to enjoy separately.

Finally, the presentation also included a surprise announcement that several games in the KINGDOM HEARTS series will be coming to the Nintendo Switch system as cloud titles, including KINGDOM HEARTS – HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX – Cloud Version, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Cloud Version and KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind Cloud Version. More information about these games, including their release dates on Nintendo Switch, will be announced at a later date.

For more information about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, visit https://www.smashbros.com/en_US/, or https://smashbros.nintendo.com/buy/dlc/ to purchase the game’s Fighters Pass DLC.

Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit https://www.nintendo.com/switch/.

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Get your copy of the Cypress News Review!

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CYPRESS — The first issue of the Cypress News Review is available for download here.

“While we will continue with our local independent online news publishing, we have refocused to providing a better quality product, with the full intention of creating a print newspaper in our wonderful area,” said Creighton Holub, publisher of the Cypress News Review. “We look forward to growing and telling the important stories of the Cypress community, while also expanding our coverage into neighboring Waller County with www.wallernews.com.”

The Cypress News Review has been online for over three years, and Cypress Content Creation LLC created WallerNews.com in response to the tremendous interest stemming for our neighboring county.

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Board of Trustees candidate forum scheduled for Oct. 12, 2021

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(courtesy CFISD Communications)

 

CYPRESS — Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is scheduled to hold a Board of Trustees candidate forum for the upcoming 2021 election on Tuesday, Oct. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the theater of the Berry Center (8877 Barker Cypress).

The forum will give the CFISD community an opportunity to hear from candidates leading up to Election Day on Nov. 2.

The following candidates filed by the Aug. 16 deadline and drew for ballot position on Aug. 26:

Position 4

  1. Courtney Spradley
  2. Natalie Blasingame
  3. Grace Horner
  4. John Ogletree
  5. Todd LeCompte
  6. Xavier Leal

Position 5

  1. Ryan C. Irving, Jr.
  2. Don Ryan
  3. Chris Harrison
  4. Scott Henry

Position 6

  1. Michael V. Perez
  2. Craig A. Jacobs
  3. Bob R. Covey
  4. Lucas Scanlon

The forum will begin with candidates introducing themselves and providing relevant information concerning their candidacy, followed by a formal question-and-answer session moderated by Jason Culpepper, Houston Metro publisher for Community Impact Newspaper.

The candidate forum will air live on the district website and on CFTV (Comcast Channel 16). Stream the event live at https://livestream.com/accounts/6787727/events/9877417.

All questions must be submitted in advance by visiting https://cyfairisd.formstack.com/forms/board_candidate_forum_2021.

  • In order to cover a variety of topics, similar questions will be consolidated.
  • Questions may be reworded to ensure conciseness.
  • Questions will be randomly drawn by the moderator.
  • The number of questions asked will depend on time available.
  • Questions will be directed at all candidates.
  • Each candidate will have one minute to answer each question.
  • The deadline for submitting questions is Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.

The last day to register to vote is Oct. 4. Early voting for the Trustee Election will be held Oct. 18-29. Early ballot applications and early ballot mail votes may be sent to Isabel Longoria, Harris County Elections Administrator, Attn. Elections Division, P.O. Box 1148, Houston, Texas, 77251-1148. Applications for ballot-for-mail must be received no later than the close of business on Oct. 22. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Additional information including voting locations may be obtained by visiting www.harrisvotes.com.

Learn more about the candidates by visiting the Board of Trustees Election webpage.

 

 

 

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Texas schools have reported more coronavirus cases in two months than they did in the entire 2020-21 school year

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(courtesy CDC)

Texas schools have reported more coronavirus cases in two months than they did in the entire 2020-21 school year” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

Students in Texas public schools are facing another year upturned by COVID-19 as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, mask mandates are inconsistent and children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated against the virus.

Two months into this school year, the number of reported coronavirus cases among students has surpassed the total from the entire 2020-21 school year. Schools are prohibited from taking precautions such as requiring masks, though some are fighting the governor’s order banning mask mandates. Far more students are on campus, since most districts do not have a remote learning option.

Every Friday, the Texas Education Agency releases COVID-19 case counts for students and staff, as reported by the state’s school districts. Here is the latest situation for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 26:

State data on school cases is incomplete and likely an undercount. TEA suppresses some districts’ case counts to protect student privacy, and not all districts report student and staff cases to the state, despite agency guidance requiring otherwise. The agency also retroactively updates its data from previous weeks as more districts report cases.

Some large districts, such as Houston and Dallas, have not consistently reported cases to the state since TEA started tracking COVID-19 data on Aug. 2 for this school year. Many districts publish a COVID-19 dashboard that shows cases, and TEA recommends families check for the latest data there.

Entire districts, including Angleton and Lumberton, have closed temporarily without reporting cases to the state. These districts don’t necessarily report their closures, either, since they are not required to do so. TEA informally tracks closures based on media and district reports, said Frank Ward, an agency spokesperson.

Here are the 10 districts reporting the most cases for the week ending Sept. 26:

Going into the school year, districts had fewer options to slow the spread of the virus and keep students and staff safe.

Last year, school districts were permitted to require masks. This year, Gov. Greg Abbott has tried to prohibit mask mandates in schools. After remaining silent on the issue for weeks, TEA quietly updated its guidance last week to say school districts can’t require masks, which has drawn a federal investigation for possibly violating the rights of students with disabilities. Still, some districts have continued to contest or ignore the ban.

Before the school year began, the state did not fund online options. Instead, school districts either used federal relief dollars or dug deep into their budgets to provide remote programming for families.

But now, some families and districts may find relief, as Abbott recently signed into law Senate Bill 15, which expands and funds virtual learning. While advocates for the law say it is a step in the right direction, it excludes students who failed the STAAR test.

In the last school year, almost 40% of students did not pass their math assessment, and nearly a third didn’t pass reading. Those who failed were disproportionately Black and Hispanic.

If you appreciate reporting like this, you need to be at the all-virtual 2021 Texas Tribune Festival happening now through Sept. 25. Join as big names from politics, public policy and the media share what’s next for Texas and beyond. Explore live and on-demand programming, including dozens of free events, at tribfest.org.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/09/17/texas-schools-covid-19-cases/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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Matthew Dowd, former George W. Bush strategist, to run as Democrat for Texas lieutenant governor

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Matthew Dowd, former George W. Bush strategist, to run as Democrat for Texas lieutenant governor” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for George W. Bush’s presidential reelection campaign who later split with the former president publicly, is running for lieutenant governor as a Democrat.

Dowd also has worked for Bob Bullock, who in 1994 was the last Democrat elected as Texas lieutenant governor, and faces an uphill battle to unseat Republican Dan Patrick, the state’s second-highest-ranking official who has steered Texas politics into the far-right fringes of the GOP.

In a two-and-a-half minute campaign announcement video, Dowd said GOP politicians have failed the state, zeroing in on Patrick, who he called “cruel and craven” and denounced as a divisive figure who puts his political ambitions over the needs of everyday Texans.

“Enough is enough. We need more officials who tell the truth, who believe in public services, in common sense with common decency for the common good. … We need to expect more from our politicians,” Dowd says in the ad. “Dan Patrick believes in none of those and that is why I am running for the powerful office of lieutenant governor of this great state.”

In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Dowd said he started seriously considering running for office after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump who were trying to stop the certification of last year’s presidential election. But it wasn’t until after the state’s legislative session that Dowd really focused on Patrick as his target.

“Watching the legislative session and how horrendous it was — not only what the lieutenant governor didn’t do, but also what he did do,” Dowd said. “This summer, I started thinking maybe I should run and remove this guy so I don’t have to be embarrassed about our own state.”

Dowd said Patrick failed to lead on fixing the electric grid after millions of Texans lost power for days during winter storms in February and has refused to take action to address the cost of health care in the state, even as he made it more difficult for local officials to address COVID-19 by going against the recommendations of doctors and scientists.

Instead, Dowd said, Patrick pushed “culture war” issues such as an elections bill that opponents say will disenfranchise voters of color and a near-total abortion ban in the state. And following mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa in 2019, Patrick responded by pushing for a law that allows Texans to carry a handgun without training or a license.

Dowd would roll back all three of those laws, which he said were pushed by Patrick and the “5 percent” of people on the far right of the GOP who swing primary elections.

“Right now, Dan Patrick is a tyranny of the minority,” he said.

Dowd said he’s running as a “Bob Bullock, Ann Richards Democrat,” a throwback to the last two Democrats elected as lieutenant governor and governor of the state in the 1990s. If elected, he’d focus on fixing problems with the state’s electric grid and returning decision-making to local officials so they can tackle challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, local officials are banned from mask and vaccine mandates, among other measures intended to stop the spread of the virus.

Patrick pressured officials at the Public Utilities Commission to reverse $16 billion in electricity charges racked up during the winter storms. He pushed through legislation in the Senate toward that end, but the proposal died in the House.

Dowd also said he’d allow educators to teach history in schools without fear of repercussions, a dig at another law, the so-called “critical race theory” bills that Patrick supported during this year’s legislative sessions.

But several of the issues Dowd highlights in his campaign ad, like the elections bill and restricting the actions local officials can take, were pushed by Abbott. So why not run against him?

“Whoever’s running for governor can make that argument to what Abbott’s done,” Dowd said, adding that Patrick has pushed Abbott’s actions to the right, making him “unreasonable.”

“If he disagreed with those things he could have done something about it,” he said. “Dan Patrick has enabled this, facilitated it and made it worse.”

Dowd said he hopes a Democrat wins the governor’s seat and that he would “love to work with Beto” O’Rourke, the former El Paso congressman who has not declared his candidacy.

“But if it’s Greg Abbott, I’m gonna do everything I can to stop his continuous attack on Texans,” he said.

Dowd worked for former U.S. Rep. J.J. “Jake” Pickle and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, both Democrats, before joining Bullock’s staff. In 1999, he switched parties and helped run Bush’s reelection campaign for president in 2004, drawn by Bush’s bipartisan approach to politics during his tenure as Texas governor when he worked with a Democratic lieutenant governor and House speaker.

In 2007, Dowd broke with Bush, who he criticized for his handling of the Iraq War. He identified as an independent for several years and worked as a political analyst for ABC News until earlier this year when he again declared himself a Democrat to run for office.

During his campaign, he said, he wants to stay away from labels and focus on winning values. He believes the Republican Party in the state has been pulled so far to the right that voters face an existential battle between “team democracy” and “team autocracy” and Democrats can win the election but only with the right candidate.

To win, they’ll need high Democratic turnout, bigger margins of victory among independent voters and some crossover from “disenchanted” Republicans, Dowd said. He says his past experience in politics, as well as his personal choices in that realm, makes him the candidate who can deliver.

“Regardless of the consequences I try to say it [like it is]. I broke with President Bush in a very public way. I criticized Donald Trump in a very public way,” he said. “What I’m gonna propose is we as Democrats have to win because there’s too much at stake. I serve your values.”

Dowd said he doesn’t think he’ll match Patrick in the fundraising race, but he expects to have enough to run a competitive race.

Before he can get to Patrick in November, he’ll have to face other Democratic candidates in a March primary. So far, Mike Collier, the Democrat who came within 400,000 votes of unseating Patrick in 2018, has formed an exploratory committee and has been barnstorming across the state. One of his main issues is “fixing the damn grid” and he is expected to formally announce his campaign soon.

In a statement following Dowd’s announcement, Collier’s deputy campaign manager blasted Dowd for his previous work for Republicans.

“We welcome Matthew Dowd back to the Democratic Party,” Ali S. Zaidi said in a statement. “Mr. Dowd — you may notice things have changed a lot since you were working for Republicans. Democratic voters will be interested to hear how selling a false war, ensuring the deciding Supreme Court vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and leading the charge to pass numerous anti-marriage equality ballot measures have shaped your current views.”

Dowd said he knew Collier was exploring a run but it did not factor in to his decision to jump into the race.

He said he would not attack Collier or any other Democrat that gets in the race. Instead, he’ll focus on showing Texans why Patrick is out of touch with their values.

“From Day One, I’m gonna take this to Dan Patrick and that’s gonna continue for 405 days,” he said, referring to the number of days until next year’s general elections. “I’m gonna be unrelenting in telling the truth in showing how Dan Patrick has hurt Texans and hurt this state.”

The 2021 Texas Tribune Festival, the weeklong celebration of politics and policy featuring big names and bold ideas, wrapped on Sept. 25, but there’s still time to tune in. Explore dozens of free, on-demand events before midnight Thursday, Sept. 30, at tribfest.org.

Correction, Sept. 29, 2021: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of a former U.S. senator. It’s Lloyd Bentsen, not Lloyd Bentson.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/09/29/matthew-dowd-texas-lieutenant-governor/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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Waller Bulldogs flip Conroe Caney Creek in early league battle

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Hailey d'Happart, a Waller cheerleader, does a toe touch during the Bulldog's 41-14 victory over Conroe Caney Creek at Waller ISD Stadium, Friday night, Sept. 17, 2021. (Waller News photo by Creighton Holub)

WALLER — The Waller Bulldogs moved to 2-1 after decimating the Conroe Caney Creek Panthers, 41-14, last Friday night at Waller ISD Stadium.

The Bulldogs are only one game behind the three undefeated teams in Class 5A, Division I, District 8. Waller rolls into its bye week this Friday, and returns to action at Magnolia West’s Mustang Stadium (click for Google Maps) on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

Despite striking first, Conroe failed to keep up with the Bulldogs’ scoring machine helmed by senior quarterback Caleb Godfrey.

Editor’s note: For more photos, or to purchase prints or digital downloads visit HolubPhotography.com

“I think you didn’t see Caleb’s best tonight,” Head Football Coach Gene Johnson said, complimenting his passer. “We have two really good receivers on the outside. Caleb settled down and made some throws, and made some things happen for us. He is undoubtedly the leader of the team and he played well.”

The Bulldogs rattled off the entire 41 unanswered points until Conroe saved face with another touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The feat comes a week after a heartbreaking 31-6 loss to district rival Cleveland.

“We sure would like to be 3-0,” Johnson said. “But I’m absolutely proud of the kids for bouncing back.”

The infamous pandemic virus had struck Waller late in the preseason, forcing the cancellation of a scrimmage and what would’ve been the season opener in Week 1. With it, COVID-19 robbed the Bulldogs of much needed game experience early in the season.

“I’m just really proud of our coaches and kids,” Johnson added. “COVID-19 kind of decimated us. I was the seventh coach to go down and missed 10 days on COVID-19.”

He mentioned that the seven coaches included both of the Bulldogs’ offensive line coaches. The staff had to do patchwork to get the players ready for battle.

“Our depth is really worrisome to us, so we’ve got to continue to coach every kid in the program and have a next-man-up mentality,” Johnson said, echoing cues of the Texas A&M University’s legendary 12th Man. “I was really proud of our kids for responding from last week’s loss, but then we had some dings on the offensive line and had some young kids that had to go in. We needed to gain experience. So hopefully, we’re catching up with some of that.”

The community showed its support during the Bulldogs’ first district game at home this season. MaxPreps estimated the crowd at over 5,000.

There was over 5,000 in attendance for the Waller Bulldog’s battle with the Conroe Caney Creek Panthers at Waller ISD Stadium, Sept. 17, 2021. (Waller News photo by Creighton Holub)

“(The strong sense of community is) why I’m here,” Johnson said. “There’s not many one-horse-towns left where it’s a community school, and that was an appeal to me in coming here. Our fans, community, alumni and our school board, they’re all about Waller High School. That was our intentions of having one big high school, and not splitting up right now, is to keep that family together as long as we can; and it’s neat. We need to continue to grow that one-horse-town-community.”

The Bulldogs have their bye week this Friday, and return to the gridiron at Magnolia West’s Mustang Stadium (click for Google Maps) on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

 

 

 

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Army announces implementation of mandatory vaccines for Soldiers

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Spc. Tyler Boyer, a Hayden, Colorado native and medical specialist assigned to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, administers the COVID-19 vaccine at Fort Carson, Colorado Aug 3, 2021. The 4th Inf. Div. remains committed to keeping the Fort Carson community safe and healthy by offering mobile vaccinations centers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Andrew Greenwood)
Spc. Tyler Boyer, a Hayden, Colorado native and medical specialist assigned to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, administers the COVID-19 vaccine at Fort Carson, Colorado Aug 3, 2021. The 4th Inf. Div. remains committed to keeping the Fort Carson community safe and healthy by offering mobile vaccinations centers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Andrew Greenwood)

WASHINGTON — The Army outlined its plan today to fully comply with the Secretary of Defense’s order requiring all Service members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Army began implementing the Secretary of Defense’s order on August 24, following DoD and White House guidance. Before then, vaccines had been optional.

“This is quite literally a matter of life and death for our Soldiers, their families and the communities in which we live,” said Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General. “Case counts and deaths continue to be concerning as the Delta variant spreads, which makes protecting the force through mandatory vaccination a health and readiness priority for the total Army.”

While soldiers who refuse the vaccine will first be counseled by their chain of command and medical providers, continued failure to comply could result in administrative or non-judicial punishment – to include relief of duties or discharge. Soldiers have the ability to request an exemption from receiving the vaccine, if they have a legitimate medical, religious or administrative reason. Soldiers who are pending exemption requests will not be subject to adverse actions until the exemption is fully processed.

Commanders, command sergeants major, first sergeants and officers in Command Select List (CSL) positions who refuse to be vaccinated – and are not pending an exemption request – face suspension and relief if they refuse to comply. Prior to any adverse action, each would be notified of the suspension and potential relief from their duties. They would then be counseled and provided the opportunity to be vaccinated before they would become subject to removal from their positions by a general officer.

Officers and noncommissioned officers who have been selected and are waiting to assume CSL command, key billet or nominative sergeant major positions – some of the most coveted assignments in the Army – will likewise be subject to removal from the list for those assignments should they refuse to be vaccinated without a pending or approved exemption.

Commanders will request a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand be initiated for any Soldier who refuses to be vaccinated and does not have a pending or approved exemption request. Such reprimands can be career ending.

Active duty units are expected to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 15, 2021 and Reserve and National Guard units are expected to be fully vaccinated by June 30, 2022.

Soldiers may request administrative or medical exemptions as outlined in Army Regulation 600-20 and AR 40-562, as well as the new Army Directive 2021-33 that provides supplementary guidance on exemption requests.

Soldiers with previous COVID-19 infections are not automatically exempt from full vaccination and should consult their primary care managers. Soldiers pending exemption requests must continue to comply with all other applicable force health protection measures applicable to unvaccinated people.

Soldiers who have completed an FDA Emergency Use Authorization or World Health Organization-authorized series of vaccinations are fully vaccinated. Soldiers are only considered fully vaccinated two weeks post completion of a two­-dose series vaccine or two weeks post completion of a single dose vaccine.

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and following CDC and DoD guidance, Army commanders will continue to update health protection protocols consistent with the local conditions of the communities in which they serve. The health protection of our force is a top priority, and we will continue to ensure that our personnel have the most up-to-date information on appropriate safety measures to prevent potential spread of the virus.

Soldiers with questions about the safety, effectiveness and possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine should discuss them with their health care provider.

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The EOS Revolution Continues: Canon Officially Announces the Company’s Most Technologically Advanced Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera, the Professional-Grade EOS R3

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MELVILLE, NYBuilding on the success of the EOS R camera series, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the next leap forward in full-frame mirrorless cameras – the professional-grade Canon EOS R3, on Sept. 14, 2021. The new camera leverages the advancements in technology that Canon has developed since the original EOS R launch in 2018 and bridges the gap between the immensely popular EOS R5 and the world-renowned Canon flagship EOS-1D X line. The EOS R3 is the first “3” series camera from Canon since the widely used EOS-3 film camera launched in 1998.

The EOS R3 camera’s features greatly emphasize superb AF performance and speed with fast-moving subjects. It was designed to meet the reliability and durability demands of professionals, even when working in some extremely challenging conditions.

“The launch of the EOS R3 sets a new benchmark for the Canon EOS R camera system. Canon listened carefully to the voices of professionals when developing a camera to meet their standards,” said Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “The EOS R3 is a monumental evolution in digital imaging technology. I look forward to seeing the camera in action on the sidelines of sporting events and in the hands of nature and wildlife photographers across the globe.”

The core of the EOS R3 features a Canon designed and manufactured 24.1-megapixel back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor. The sensor is the first of its kind from Canon, and when combined with the DIGIC X processor, delivers a high-speed readout allowing for continuous blackout-free shooting1 at up to 30 fps in electronic (silent) shutter mode and up to 12 fps in mechanical shutter, with minimum rolling electronic shutter distortion. The combination also increases the high sensitivity, light-capturing efficiency of a native ISO range of 100-102400, expandable up to 204,800 for still images. Like the EOS R5 and R6, the camera features the improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 1,053 AF Points and evolved EOS iTR tracking down to EV -7.5 for subjects such as eye, face, head, animals2, and select cars and motorcycles. In addition, the camera features up to 8 stops3 of in-body image stabilized (IBIS) shake correction.

Leveraging technology and performance feedback from the popular EOS R5 and EOS R6 cameras, the EOS R3 uses Deep-Learning technology to further enhance eye and body detection for even better performance during portrait and action-type shooting. Featuring a new 5.76-million-dot and 120fps blackout-free1 Electronic Viewfinder, the EOS R3 camera will provide photographers with the ability to select the initial area for AF tracking by simply looking directly at the viewfinder location where they want to begin AF. With Eye input AF2 and Servo AF activated, the camera will focus on and track moving subjects at that location in the frame. When Face Detect + Tracking is active, the camera will continue to follow moving subjects around the entire active AF area.

The EOS R3 camera doesn’t just capture spectacular still images, it also packs impressive video specs as well. The camera is capable of shooting 6K 60p RAW and 4K 120p 10-bit uncropped video with Canon Log 3 support, in addition to the possibility for oversampled 4K and RAW movie internal recording. Canon Log 3, which is frequently used in cinema production, helps to reduce the possibility of highlight blowouts. What’s more, the features such as industry standard BT.709, BT.2020 color gamuts, and cinema gamut help to maintain color and tonal consistency. Coordinated 5-axis IBIS helps to correct operator motion or shaking providing dependent video capturing even when using a lens without built-in Optical IS.

Additional features of the EOS R3 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera include:

  • Canon’s next-generation Multi-Function Shoe that is compatible with a variety of accessories including the Speedlite EL-1, and new accessories such as the ST-E10 Speedlite Transmitter, External Mic and Smartphone Link Adapter
  • One-piece magnesium alloy design, integrating the body with a vertical grip section
  • Weather and dust resistance equivalent to EOS-1D camera models.
  • Mobile File Transmitter application for iOS® and Android® devices allows photographers to transfer their images quickly and easily without the need for wired LAN equipment
  • Built-in Wired LAN, 5GHz Wi-Fi®, USB and Bluetooth® technology
  • Dual-card slots, supporting one CF express and one UHS-II SD

The Canon EOS R3 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera is scheduled to be available in November 2021 for a suggested retail price of $5999.00*. For more information, please visit usa.canon.com.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean markets. With approximately $30.4 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2020† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2020. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA.

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