Calling All Crawfish Lovers!

April 1st, 2019

Krawfish Kingz team aims to place high at this year’s Big Ass Crawfish Bash.

By Xander Thomas

The Guinness World Record awarded, biggest crawfish bash in the world, is happening right here south of Houston, near the Clear Lake area! The Big Ass Crawfish Bash, held at Gulf Greyhound Park in Texas City, set the record in 2017 for serving over 58,000 pounds of mud bugs in eight hours.

“It is just a non-stop good time for hours on end,” said Krawfish Kingz team owner Julie Buehrer.

Julie, along with husband Brian and long-time friend Paul Burrow, own the name, and are now selling their crawdads at the Kemah and Texas City locations of Stuttgarden.

The entire event includes all-you-can-eat crawfish, for the price that you pay for the wristband to get in, and with 80-plus cook off teams, everyone in attendance should be able to get their fill of the southern favorite.

“It’s a lot, a lot of crawfish in a little bit of time,” Julie said, “You get access to every crawfish tent, nobody can charge you for anything. The only thing that is extra are the vendors up front with the carnival foods and the beer people.”

Krawfish Kingz will be one of the many teams in competition, for their third year in a row. Their recipe landed them in the top 15 last year, and they are hopeful to make an even bigger splash this year.

“We got somewhere between 10th and 15th cause they only call out nine and under,” Julie said. “We’re guessing for your second year that’s pretty good, and we’re hoping to get our name called this year, and get a little more recognition.”

They will be set up at tents 29 and 30, the same place they were positioned last year, which should make it easy for those wanting to track them down again.

Whether or not you get the chance to make it out to this major mud bug madness, you will still be able to get a taste of the Krawfish Kingz fiery favorite. Their crawdads are available at the Stuttgarden restaurants in Kemah and Texas City on the weekends.

“Really, it’s something we do cause we love to do it,” Julie said.

So whether you are a fan of crawfish, or looking for a new seafood flavor to delve into, the Big Ass Crawfish Bash will take place on Saturday, April 20 out at Gulf Greyhound park in La Marque.

Overflow parking will be at Mall of the Mainland and a Shuttle will be taking patrons to the event grounds. Visit for more information.

COM students to perform with Texas All State Band

January 15th, 2019

College of the Mainland musicians, Thomas Austin, left, and Austin Kelton have been selected to perform with the Texas Community College Band Directors All-State Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band next month.

Two College of the Mainland students will perform with the Texas Community College Band Directors All-State Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band next month.

Austin Kelton and Thomas Armstrong, both music majors at the Texas City community college, auditioned and were chosen to play during the Texas Music Educators Conference on Feb. 16 in San Antonio. Armstrong, a clarinetist, is part of the Symphonic Band while Kelton, a trombonist, is part of the Jazz Ensemble for the second year.

“I am really happy for them” said Sparky Koerner, chairman of the Fine Arts Department.

“They both put in lots of practice on the audition music and it has paid off.”

Kelton will rehearse and perform under the direction of Rick Condit, director of the Lamar University Jazz Ensemble, and a former member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra.

“That will be exciting for him, considering that Mr. Condit has an international reputation as a jazz educator and performer,” Koerner said.

Kelton is part of the COM Jazz Ensemble and Concert Band and Armstrong is a member of the COM Concert Band. Both students are from Texas City and were part of the Texas City High School band program.

Being a part of the All-State ensembles has become a tradition at COM with 32 students having performed in the All-State and All-Star jazz and symphonic bands in Texas and around the United States.

Mainland Medical Center expansion just completed

November 12th, 2018

Mainland Medical Center in Texas City, has just completed the $5 million expansion and renovation of its emergency department (ED).

With 6,200 additional square feet and 13 new private patient rooms, the ED’s footprint has expanded by more than half. The change is designed to increase the a HCA-affiliated hospital’s capacity to meet growing demand for emergency services and marks the department’s most significant upgrade since the facility opened in 1952.

With the expansion comes changes to the ED layout itself, expected to improve staff’s efficiency and to reduce length of stay. For example, the waiting room will feature a self-help kiosk and non-acute patients who have been seen may now comfortably await discharge in a “results pending” room, separate from more emergent patients.

“Mainland Medical Center is a level IV trauma center, a primary stroke center, and a cycle V chest pain accredited center,” said Tripp Montalbo, CEO of Mainland Medical Center. “Our emergency department is our front door, and we’re committed to making investments which will allow us to continue to provide comprehensive, quality care, close to our patients’ homes.”

The new section of the ED began operations on Nov. 12. Soon after, aesthetic upgrades, including new flooring and paint, are expected to roll out for the original section of the ED to match the new space. The latest investments follow $1.2 million of extensive renovations to the fourth floor medical surgical unit, including new equipment and updated operating room and cath lab waiting rooms, earlier this year.

“These ED upgrades were a long time coming, and I’m so glad we took the time to listen to patients and staff to make meaningful improvements,” said MarKaye Bennett, Emergency Department director at Mainland Medical Center. “Even seemingly small details like where to position the monitor in a patient room were carefully considered to improve patient safety and experience.”

Mainland Medical Center has been an integral part of Galveston Country for more than 60 years. It offers services in emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, physical therapy, radiology, total joint replacements, hyperbaric medicine diagnostic/imaging services and wound care facilities. It is part of HCA Healthcare’s Gulf Coast Division, a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers, and diagnostic imaging services in greater Houston, Corpus Christi and South Texas. Comprised of 17 hospitals, nine ambulatory care centers, 10 off-campus emergency centers, and a regional transfer center, HCA Healthcare’s Gulf Coast Division is the largest provider of health care in the Houston area. For more information, visit

COM Student Nurses Help Revive Electrician on Campus

October 9th, 2018

Four COM student nurses, COM electrician Lorrin Ching and COM Police Lt. Jill Hamm helped save the life of Gary Glover, who was electrocuted, and are being recognized on Oct. 16 with the COM Distinguished Service Award. Pictured, from left, are Ching, student nurses Rachel Cunningham and Shanee Scribner, Glover, student nurses Alexis Boettcher and Andrea Strickland, and Hamm.

Four nursing students at College of the Mainland, who were on break from a medical management of defibrillation cardiac resuscitation (CPR) class, jumped into action Sept. 19 when an electrician was electrocuted.

The students were in the financial aid office located within the administration building about 10:30 a.m. when they saw a man in distress outside. Gary Glover, an electrician supervisor for Crescent Electric Co., who is part of a crew doing maintenance work on the Texas City campus, was electrocuted while working near a manhole cover and went into cardiac arrest.

Glover, who has worked as an electrician for 35 years, was in the process of lifting a manhole cover using a crowbar when the bar made contact with a live wire. Lorrin Ching, a COM electrician who was working alongside Glover, was able to immediately roll Glover away from the energized cover by pulling on his shirt despite putting himself at risk of being electrocuted and began CPR.

The four student nurses – Alexis Boettcher, Rachel Cunningham, Shanee Scribner and Andrea Strickland – rushed to the grassy area where Glover was, found he did not have a pulse and took over the compressions on Glover’s chest. Strickland called COM police on her cell phone requesting an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED.

COM Police Lt. Jill Hammond arrived a short time later with an AED that is kept in the COM police cars. She followed the verbal instructions on the AED and was able to apply the pads to the man’s chest to help get his heart into rhythm. The nursing students continued with heart compressions after the AED was used and Glover eventually responded.

Glover, 55, who returned to work at the Texas City campus five days later, said he remembers lifting the manhole cover but didn’t realize he had so many helping to revive him.

“Thank you,” Glover said when he met the four student nurses for the first time a week later. “Thank you all.”

Glover was transported by ambulance to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where he spent a few days.

Ching is grateful that Glover is doing well and back at work.

“The student nurses were great, they helped coach me through the CPR chest compressions and then took over for me and then, hooked him up to the defibrillator,” said Ching who has worked at the college for four years. “That day was very scary, I thought he was going to die.”

Hamm credits the use of the AED for being able to revive Glover.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” she said of her law enforcement career. “Had the AED not been there, he wouldn’t have bounced back so fast. Those seconds really counted.”

For Scribner, the day already had been traumatic before the incident. Her father, who had been suffering from liver cancer, had passed away at 3 a.m. that morning.

“He was in San Antonio and I was feeling guilty for leaving him on Sunday to come back for school but when he was diagnosed with liver cancer and given only a few weeks to live, he made me promise I wouldn’t fail out of school,” said Scribner, who wants to work in cardiology. “Being able to be there to help save Gary’s life reinforced in me and gave me peace knowing that I was supposed to be there instead of with my Dad.”

Scribner lost her mother due to cardiac issues over the summer.

The four student nurses, who are all expected to graduate in December with an associate degree in nursing, were on break from a Complex Concepts of Adult Health class taught by Deanna Machula and Debra Bauer when the incident occurred. The class usually gets a 10-minute break but on that day, the class was given a 15-minute break.

With the extra time, Boettcher asked her friends to walk with her to the financial aid office.

“We were very proud of how they did not hesitate to respond and do what they have been practicing and trained to do,” Bauer said. “It validates what we do: educate the next generation of nurses to be able to assess a patient’s condition and implement the appropriate intervention to improve the outcome. In this case, Mr. Glover is alive today because of the coordinated actions of everyone who initiated CPR and early defibrillation. The fact that they were able to ask for and obtain an AED saved Mr. Glover’s life.”

During an active shooting training earlier this year, Bauer stopped the training and insisted her students program COM’s police department emergency number on their cell phone.

“I was so glad Mrs. Bauer made us stop and program in the COM police emergency number in our phones during the active shooter training,” Strickland said. “I was able to whip out my phone and call them.”

Cunningham said she was glad they were studying the cardiovascular system in class that day.

“I actually had to call our instructor and another classmate to tell them we were going to be late coming back to class because we were doing CPR on a man that got shocked,” said Cunningham, who hopes to work an operating room nurse.

With the timing of the event, Cunningham is convinced, “God put us there for a reason. It was to save that man’s life.”

Boettcher, who aspires to be a Life Flight registered nurse, concurs.

“I honestly believe God put us there for him. He was blue and had no palpable heartbeat, he was going. I’m blessed to have been there for him that day. It is still unfathomable what happened but like I said, God put us there and I am so grateful Gary is still with us.

Bauer said that aside from those who revived Glover, she is convinced he also had some divine intervention watching over him on Sept. 19:

  • The nursing students were given a 15-minute break instead of the usual 10 minutes; otherwise they would not have had time to visit the financial aid office
  • The students were able to call for an AED.
  • The students had been reviewing the specific scenario/content in class hat day.
  • The students had been in ICU and ER for clinical rotation four days prior to the incident.

“There are alignment facts that make you realize Mr. Glover had angels watching over him,” Bauer said.

CCEF names new executive director

July 16th, 2018

South Shore Harbour Resort General Manager Roy Green finds himself surrounded by pretty women as new Clear Creek Education Foundation Executive Director Deborah Laine, from left, drops by with CCEF Board Chairman Jill Reason and CCEF Marketing Manager Kelsey Richardson to meet him.

Deborah Laine of Texas City, a marketing and fundraising professional, is the new executive director of the Clear Creek Education Foundation. She replaces Kaci Hanson, who resigned so as to spend more time with her husband and two young sons.

She brings 13 years of experience as the executive director of the Texas City ISD Foundation for the Future and director of development and community relations for Texas City ISD. She has over 30 years of experience in marketing, advertising, fundraising, business relations and consumer goods packaging design.

Community involvement has been key to her roles in Texas City. She has actively served 13 years with the Texas City Rotary Club and is currently the president of that club while also serving a six-year term on the Rotary Foundation Board of Directors. This past year as president she worked with Rotarians from multiple clubs to introduce the Inaugural Galveston County Rotary Royal Court that brought further recognition and awareness of Rotarian work across the county. She has been named a Paul Harris Fellow and received the Vocational Service Award in 2011 from the Texas City Rotary Club.

Since 2005, Ms. Laine has been active in the Greater Houston Area Association of Education Foundations, serving as president in 2007/2008. Her work to develop the Inaugural Texas City ISD Hall of Honor in 2006 received the Crystal Award by the Texas School Public Relation Association. She has been an active TSPRA member since 2006 and has served as a presenter for workshops at TSPRA and TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) conferences.

She was named the Staff Star Nominee by the TCISD Administration Department for the 2012-2013 school year. Ms. Laine has worked on many projects for the good of Texas City and its kids that include participation in the Texas City 100 Year Centennial Planning Board, Rotary Youth Leadership Camp, Mainland Communities United Way, Texas City 2017 Goal Planning, and the Texas City La Marque Chamber of Commerce. In her role as executive director for the TCISD Foundation for the Future, she has worked with her board of directors to increase the net worth of the organization to $1.2 million and gifted over $3.6 million to programs for TCISD kids.

Ms. Laine will tell you that leaving her corporate career and beginning her new career in education to support kids has been a dream come true. She is married and spends most of her extracurricular time enjoying four adult children and special friends.


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