The Baytown Sun (Baytown, Tex.), Vol. 69, No. 175, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 23, 1991 Page: 1 of 24
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Facility site raises
Fire training center could be stymied
Thursday, May 23, 1991
Baytown, Texas 77520 25 Cents Per Copy
By Mark Schlachtenhaufen
of The Baytown Sun
CROSBY — Plans to build a multi-million
dollar fire training facility in the Crosby area may
be abandoned, pending the results of an environ-
mental impact survey, said Gene Mosley, an
executive assistant to Harris County Commission-
er Jim Fonteno.
The site where the facility would be built
includes a wetland region that may contain fragile
ecosystems. Construction will not begin until the
environmental survey is complete, Mosley said.
“Preliminary findings indicate that we have a
problem with the wetiands issue," Mosley said.
Concerning the fate of the fire training facility, he
said, “We have to make that determination before
we go any further.”
An advisory committee consisting of represen-
tatives of industry, the county and the fire
marshal’s office met Thursday with representa-
tives in the commissioner’? office, Mosley said.
They discussed internal issues with committee
members who had reservatidns about the wetlands
The commissioners office heard preliminary
findings on the environmental issue Monday from
county engineers, Mosley said. A study will look
at land near Huffman Eastgate Road.
“We had asked Bernard Johnson to look into
the wetlands about two months ago," he said. “If
the wetlands issue is involved there’s no use to go
ahead and design things.”
Bernard Johnson Inc., a Houston engineering
firm, which has been granted several preliminary
contracts, asked Law Engineering of Houston to
do the survey, Mosley said. Any findings must be
approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
before construction begins.
An environmental scientist and planner with
Law Engineering said the company submitted a
bid to the commissioner’s office, but action hasn’t
been taken on the proposal.
If the company is given the go ahead, the
survey would take about one month to complete,
she said. Previously collected data and field
samples would be examined.
“Without indicators in the field, you can’t get
an accurate assessment of the land,” she said. “We
would do a preliminary evaluation based on
That would include studying county soil maps
and wetland water flow related to land shape, she
said. These criteria would be used to determine if
there is a wetland ecosystem and if construction
If the area is deemed a wetland region, then it
would be placed under Clean Water Act guide-
lines, she said.
Original engineering design work for the
proposed facility began in 1988. Design cost
estimates alone have jumped from $300,000 to at
least $1 million, officials said.
Total facility construction cost could be $15
million and it may significantly impact the Crosby
area, according to officials.
Hostage ordeal recalled
Ex-Baytonian killed in prison shootout
By Wanda Orton
of The Baytown Sun
The execution of convicted killer Ignacio
Cuevas early Thursday Drought a final chapter to a
tragic story that began 17 years ago when eight
hostages, including two former Baytonians, were
taken by three prison inmates.
Prison teacher Elizabeth Yvonne King Beseda,
who grew up in Baytown, was killed in the
shootout that ended die 11-day siege that had
begun on July 24, 1974.
Cuevas, who was the lone prisoner to survive,
was convicted in the slaying of hostage Julia
Standley, a prison librarian.
Mrs. Beseda was handcuffed to drug kingpin
Fred Gomez Carrasco within a shield of bladk-
boards and books when Carrasco and the two
other inmates, Cuevas and Rudolfo Dominguez,
attempted to escape after the siege inside the
Mrs. Standley was handcuffed to Dominguez.
Authorities ruled that Carrasco and Dominguez
committed suicide after shooting Mrs. Beseda and
Former Baytonian Bertha Davis, a prison
teacher, escaped unharmed. Her husband, the late
Louis Davis, was a former head coach at Cedar
Bayou High School and former coach at Robert E.
Lee High School.
Mrs. Beseda’s mother, the late Florence King,
was a counselor at Baytown Junior School before
becoming dean of women at Sam Houston State
Mrs. Beseda had started teaching in the Walls
Unit at the Huntsville prison system in April 1974.
She taught elementary classes for the inmates.
, (See AP story on Page 2-A)
Photo by Tracy Connell
Al Dennis, Charles Hebert and Ed Wachtel, principals of Barbers Hill, Robert E. Lee and
Ross S. Sterling high schools, respectively, are preparing to present diplomas soon. Den-
nis is a principal with strong ties to the two Baytown high schools, being a graduate of REL
and a former head coach at RSS. See special section on graduation, Pages 1-4 B.
Graduation programs slated
Robert E. Lee High School will hold
graduation ceremonies at 8 p.m. May 30 at
Stallworth Stadium. In case of bad weather,
graduation will be moved to the REL auditor-
Ross S. Sterling High School graduation
ceremonies will be held at 8 p.m. May 31 at
Stallworth Stadium. In case of bad weather,%
graduation will be held in the RSS auditorium.
Listed below is the schedule of ceremonies
for other area high'schools:
Anahuac — 8 p.m. May 31 at Kyle White
Barbers Hill — 8 p.m. May 31 at the Barbers
Hill Field House.
Crosby — 8 p.m. May 31 at the high school
football stadium. In case of bad weather,
graduation will be moved to the school audi-
Dayton — 7:30 p.m. June 2 at the high
school football stadium. In case of bad weather,
graduation will be moved to June 3,
Deer Park — 7:30 p.m. May 31 at Abshier
Stadium, In case of bad weather, graduation
will be moved to the South Campus High
Memorial Day service set
Tony Polumbo will speak
2 fishermen apparently drown
Two wade fishermen disappeared Thursday
morning in Crystal Bay at the end of West Bay-
shore Drive in Brownwood.
Witnesses said they saw one of the fishermen
go under the water, and then the other one
<*• Authorities said both are believed to have
A car was parked near the shore, but no iden-
tification was available Thursday morning.
The currents are strong in the bay, according
to people who fish in the area.
Baytown police officers were at the scene
Thursday morning, along with emergency med-
Baytown Justice of the Peace Tony Polumbo
will be the featured speaker at a Memorial Day
service sponsored by the Baytown Area Veteran’s
The program will begin at 11 a.m. May 27 at
“This program will commemorate Memorial
Day — a day to honor our comrades of the United
States Armed Forces who gave their lives that we
may live as a free nation,” Luther Victory,
chairman of the Baytown Area Veteran’s Advis-
ory Council, said.
Victory will serve as master of ceremonies and
Maj. Chris P. Butler, retired from the U.S. Marine
Corps, and a representative of the Robert E. Lee
High School ROTC will present the colors.*
Man dies in traffic accident
CROSBY — A Crosby man died Wednesday
afternoon after the vehicle he was driving collided
with a train in the 5500 block of Lord northeast of
Crosby, according to Harris County sheriffs
Bryan Leon Stark, 28, of 4418 Sheri in Crosby
died about 5:30 p.m., deputies said.
The victim was northbound on Lord when his
vehicle collided with the westbound train. Accord-
ing tp the sheriffs department, the crossing was
equipped with flashing lights to warn motorists of
the oncoming train.
Pearce Street Journal
A musician once
vnoted that it’s hard to re-
i main fit as a fiddle when
you're built like a cello.
-WO for FH
Paula Pratt, Joyce
Moody, Walter Zeglin
and Tom and Betty
Zeugin attend the As-
sociation for Retarded
Citizens (ARC) Capitol
Day activities in Austin.
David Maxwell drive
around the block wait-
ing for Queen Eli-
zabeth to arrive.
Jocelyn Wesselhoft is
THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly
cloudy, 20 percent chance
of rain, low near 70. Fri-
day: Mostly cloudy, 40
percent chance of rain,
high in mid- to upper 80s.
Dan Lang district clerk chief deputy
By Mark Schlachtenhaufen
of The Baytown Sun
HIGHLANDS — For Dan
Lang of Highlands, chief deputy
of Harris County District
Clerk’s Office, public service
has always been a part of his
Robert E. Lee
High School in
chief deputy in
rams are being
integrated in the Dan ung
office like greater public access
to county criminal records and a
pilot program for fax filing, he
said. With the enormous amount
of paperwork passing through
.the office each month, efficien-
cy is at a premium.
“Only Chicago’s Cook
County and L.A. (Los Angeles)
County are larger than Harris
County,” he said. “We see about
800,000 pages of filings a year.
We’re happy with what we’ve
got, but we’ve got good plans
for the future.”
There are about 500 employ-
ees in the district clerk’s office.
Lang said his main duty is
problem-solving for Harris
County District Clerk Katherine
legislation that would affect the
. .office and handles media
\J requests for access to depart-
™ ment officials.
From foreign service work in
the civil war-tom African nation
of Chad to an Indiana Jon|e^-like
experience in Southeast ’’Asia
and to an assignment with for-
mer Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger in Washington, Lang
said people are very much alike
Lang said diplomatic coips
experience helped prepare him
for his administrative responsi-
After graduating from the
University of Texas law school
in 1975, Lang qualified for the
Foreign Service. Lang’s first
stint was in Africa in 1976.
“Chad had a lot of internal
problems and was a very poor
country,” Lang said. “I really
enjoyed my tour there and I was
the first American to attend a
Communist Chinese function
that wasn’t intended to be an
meriran fnnrtinn ” ___________________________
Lang said he lived near a
main airport and was in the line
of fire during a rebel coup
attempt. He said the French
Foreign Legion once formed a
protective barrier between the
airport, his house and warring
In Hong Kong, Lang said he
was a consulate officer. A diplo-
matic contact there recently told
him 200- to 300- yard long lines
of people wait for exit visas.
The tiny nation will be under
Chinese control beginning in
During a tour of Southeast
Asia, robbers raided a train two
days before Lang was to be
traveling on the same railroad
tracks. In Malaysia, a land
known for exotic beaches and
tropical forests, Lang said he
will not soon forget a visit to a
Hindu temple honoring snakes.
“It was like something out of
Indiana Jones,” he said. “I was
climbing over cobras and adders
and some were crawling out of
Garland Huey of American Legion Post 323
will recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Rev.
Randolph Branson will give the invocation.
Following a speech by Polumbo, there will be a
reading by Gene Rease of American Legion Post
323 and a wreath will be placed by Rease,
Commander Ruben Gutierrez of Veterans of
Foreign Wars Post 912 and Senior Vice Comman-
der Paul Lemmon of the Disabled American
Veterans Post 126.
The reading of the names will be conducted by .
Gutierrez, Huey and Asa A. Duncan of the
Disabled American Veterans Post 126, followed
by taps and a 21-gun salute by Sgt. 1st Class Tim
Duncan and the Texas National Guard.
While sidestepping serpents
and dodging bullets was an
adventure, Lang said running
for a seat in the Texas Legisla-
ture was something everyone
should try. Lang was defeated in
his bid last fall for/District 128
“I’m not (longtime U.S. Rep.)
Jack Fields. I don’t think there
can be another Jack Fields,” he
said. “I did everything I could
do but I don’t think I could have,
done anything more to make a
Despite the defeat, Lang said
he would like to run again for
elected office someday.
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Brown, Leon. The Baytown Sun (Baytown, Tex.), Vol. 69, No. 175, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 23, 1991, newspaper, May 23, 1991; Baytown, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1062118/m1/1/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Sterling Municipal Library.