Thursday, June 26, 2014

Former US Postmistress Esel Bell passes in Prairie View

The Prairie View Community is morning the loss of an outstanding pillar in the person of Mrs. Esel Bell, former postmaster for the Prairie View Post Office and long time resident of Prairie View who passed on June 19, 2014. Services for Mrs. Bell are as follows: The Viewing is from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 27 with Wake at 7:00 p.m. in the Johnson Phillip All Faith Chapel at Prairie View A&M University. The funeral service is on Saturday, June 28 at 11:00 a.m. at the Mount Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Hempstead. Condolences may be sent to the Esel Bell Family, c/o Singleton & Sons Funeral Home, 627 New Orleans Street, Hempstead, Texas 77445.

The Prairie View Community enjoyed a lively Juneteenth Celebration at the home of Constable Herschel Smith. More than 200 residents and guests came out the third annual event hosted by Constable Smith. Patrons were treated to the free sumptuous bar-b-que, side dishes, deserts and soft drinks. Smith stated that this was his way of giving back to the community as well as celebrating the 149th year of the emancipation proclamation which freed the slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865 by General Gordon Granger at Galveston. “We all have a place in this country and it is a reminder that the struggle continues but we can make a difference.” Kudos to Constable Smith for keeping the legacy alive.

June is officially Blacks in Music Month and to close out the celebration I am giving a shout-out to hometown maestro and impresario Chris Martin, DJ Premier, who has made a significant contribution to Hip Hop and Jazz. Chris grew up in Prairie View to parents Dr. Edward and Pearl Martin, graduated from Waller High School and attended Prairie View A&M University, where he honed and perfected his musical skills on wax as the campus DJ and intermitting performances with the world renowned Marching Storm.

After three years of study, Chris decided to test the musical waters and it was off to New York where he took on the name DJ Premier and teamed up with Guru to form Gangstarr, which enjoyed a stellar movement on the Hip Hop scene. Following that run, Chris moved into becoming a producer and business man who now owns Year Round Records with several artists including New York group NYGz, New Jersey rapper Nick Javas, and Houston rapper Khaleel, and Tha Blaqprint by Blaq Poet. Chris has produced music with Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, Shakira, Big Daddy Kane, The Game, Nas, the Black Eye Peas, Busta Rhymes and 9th Wonder, and was the lead producer for the Bradford Marsalis Quartet sound track for Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blue.” He also produced a beat for Immortal Technique's The Middle Passage and Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers.

DJ Premier hosts a weekly 2 hour show Live From HeadQCourterz on SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Hip-Hop Nation on Fridays and a featured artist in the 2012 documentary Re:GENERATION music project. The film followed his production of the song Regeneration using live performance by the Berklee Symphony Orchestra. Chris has many awards to his credit including BET Awards, Grammy Credits and was named VIBE Magazine’s Producer of the year for three years. Kudos to Chris Martin, DJ Premier a local legend!

The 2014 Vacation Bible School & Arts/Hand Bell Camp sponsored by St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church and First United Methodist Church will be held July 28-August 1 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the church on 204 Dooley Street in Prairie View. Registration for the camp will be on June 28 at 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and July 1 at 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The free event is open to kids in grades 1-8. For information contact: Mrs. Madolyn Reed - 936-857-3534 or email.,

The planners for the ‘Red Hot Summer’s Night in August’ and the 8th Annual Red & White Fireman’s Ball on August 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Willie A. Tempton, Sr. Memorial Student Ballroom at Prairie View A&M University are inviting members of the community to sponsor items for its silent auction and purchase tickets and ads for the public event. The event will honor the Prairie View Volunteer Fire Fighting Association, Inc. and Farmers & Ranchers, Cowboys and Cowgirls in Waller County and surrounding areas. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. in the student center foyer. Supporters are invited to Proceeds will support equipment and operations. For information, contact: Belinda Lewis at

The Prairie View Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly meeting tonight June 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the George E. Higgs Building on University Drive. Membership dues are being received for the new year and members are asked to bring refreshments. George E. Higgs is president.

The countdown is on or the 40th National Convention of the Prairie View A&M University Alumni Association on July 23-27 at the Westin Houston Memorial City, Katy Freeway. More than 500 alumni and friends of PVAMU are expected to attend the four-day event, featuring workshops, seminars, class meetings and the awards ceremonies. For information visit: or call 936-857-5817. Lashonda Williams, President of the Houston Area Chapter is the convention chair.

The City of Prairie View held its council meeting on June 24 to another capacity crowd. In addition to the regular agenda the council received several comments from the citizens regarding the quality of life in the city. Citizens commenting included Revered Dr. Ed Schauer concerning the need for a better working relationship among the citizens; Ramona Dillard and Minnie Cyrus on the issue of flooding in Prairie Hills; David Allen in response to 911 and the need for the mayor and police chief to be listening to 2-way radio; and James Larry concerning his request to be on the agenda. The council approved the 5-year renewal of the contract for Republic Waste Services (Mr. Carl Hartmann was introduced as the new General Manager); approved the division of lots in Prairie Acres and disapproval for the change in zoning form R1 to manufactured homes. The council also confirmed Council Member Herbert R. Thomas as Mayor Pro-tem for the year, based on seniority of service and the reappointment of Council Member Marie Herndon to the Waller County Sub-Regional Planning Commission. The Olson and Olson Law Firm was temporarily approved as City Attorney pending the development of the RFP to include a services by a court prosecutor.

Condolences to the family of Mrs. Vivian Jeffery, former staff member of Prairie View A&M University, who passed June 15, 2014. Funeral service for Mrs. Jeffery was held on June 21, 2014 in the Johnson Phillip All Faith Chapel. Expressions may be sent to the Vivian Jeffery Family, c/o Singleton & Sons Funeral Home, 627 New Orleans Street, Hempstead, Texas 77445.

Your prayers and encouragement are welcomed for Esel Bell, Ernestine Carreathers, William H. Chapman, Irene Davis, B. J. Freeman, Betty Hall, Timothy Hall, Mae Helen James, David Kirkpatrick, James Poindexter, Irene Reid, Willie Smith, Mary Ann Stubblefield, Theola Woods and Douglas Woolfolk. May God’s peace be with you!

A word to the Bargain Hunters: come out to the best Yard Sale I Texas on Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 7 am to 2 pm at 222 Echols Street, Prairie View, Texas, near University Drive. Come out and make your selections from the collection of clothes, shoes, household items, and books, etc., etc., etc. For information write email:

HAPPY JUNE BIRTHDAY TO: Brystol Mayo (26), Ceaniel Ragston (26), Jokeisha Campbell (27), Jennifer Jackson (27), Benny Strange (27), Jaulene Sams (27), Ronald Leverett (28), James Johnson (28), Robert Smith (29), Darlene Clark (30) and Caroline Stevenson (30). HAPPY JULY BIRTHDAY TO: Granville O'Brien (1), Willie Adams (1), Neal Baines (1), Alvertice Bowdre (1), Lena Boyd-Brown (1), Byron Henry (1), Mary B. Johnson (1), Genora Kendrick Boykin (1), R.N. Rao (1), Donald Sowell (1), Waymon Webster (1), Fata Sirleaf (2), Raymond L. Burgess (3), Frankie Rigsby (7), Rona Bledsoe (9), Rose Fantahun (9) and Freddie L. Richards (9).

THE VIEW FROM THE HILL: Students in the 2014 Exxon Mobil Bernard Harris Science Summer Camp and the Pre College Institute will say good bye this weekend with special awards programs on June 27 and 28 in the Memorial Student Center. The campers spent two weeks participating in various events in science, math and computer science. The camp was created in 1998 by former Astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris (MD) of Houston. Both programs are sponsored by the Career Services Staff at PVAMU. Contact Career Services 936-261-3570 for information on other programs.

Until next week, in the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, “A man can make what he wants of himself if he truly believes that he must be ready for hard work and many heartbreaks;” so do your part! Keep those achievements and recognitions coming to, fax (936) 857-5352, phone (936) 857-3272 or P. O. Box 2906, Prairie View, Texas 77446.

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