A look at the top 10 stories to follow in The Woodlands in 2018

Between new developments, flood mitigation and growth in the area, 2018 will be an eventful one in The Woodlands area. Here's a look at some of the biggest stories we'll be following this year.

1. Local, county agencies seek flood mitigation projects

In response to three historic flooding events that have damaged homes and businesses in the last two years, officials in Montgomery County and The Woodlands are seeking funding for flood mitigation studies and projects. Read more here.

2. Township continues incorporation research

Following the signing of Senate Bills 1014 and 1015 in the Texas Legislature by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 9, The Woodlands has the framework to incorporate should voters decide to become  a city. The Woodlands has until 2057 to incorporate, after which it could be annexed by Houston or Conroe. Read more here. 

3. Cultural arts study moves forward in The Woodlands

The Woodlands Township board of directors announced in October it will continue research toward a cultural arts center, which could include an indoor performing arts venue and a science museum. The township has been working with Webb Management Services Inc.,  a provider of development and consulting services, and Gensler, a global design firm, since last year to study the feasibility and economic effects of a center in the area. Read more here.

4. Several seats contested in 2018 elections

Several local and state elected positions are contested in this year’s midterm elections. Read more here.

5. Conroe ISD searching for new superintendent

Conroe ISD Superintendent Don Stockton announced his retirement from CISD in August after 32 years in the district. Stockton’s tenure with the district ends on June 1, following the end of the 2017-18 school year. Read more here. 

6. Centro and Metro Park Square work continues

Construction on MetroPark Square, a 69-acre mixed-use development at the southeast corner of the I-45 and Hwy. 242 intersection in Shenandoah began in November 2016. The three-phase project by Sam Moon Group is expected to be completed by 2020 and will include restaurant and entertainment options, office space, hotels and multifamily housing. Read more here.

7. Conroe ISD to open new schools

Following the approval of a $487 million bond referendum in 2015, CISD began work to open five new schools in the district over the next five years. Read more here. 

8. I-45 environmental study begins

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning an environmental linkage study along I-45 from Beltway 8 to Loop 336 in Conroe, which could take up to three years to complete. Read more here. 

9. Shenandoah searching for city administrator

Following eight years of service, Shenandoah City Administrator Greg Smith resigned from his position effective Aug. 31. In September, City Secretary Kathie Reyer was appointed to serve as the interim city administrator. Read more here. 

10. Oak Ridge North moves forward with thoroughfare plan

Oak Ridge North City Council unanimously decided to move forward with a master thoroughfare plan for the city last spring. According to city officials, the plan would give the city more control of rights of way and help discover thoroughfares  to be developed in the city. Read more here. 

By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


After setting a record high of active cases in early September, Montgomery County has reported decreases, although ICU bed usage remains high. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County sees active COVID-19 cases drop; cases in children under 12 remain high

After setting a record high of active cases in early September, Montgomery County has reported decreases, although ICU bed usage remains high.

Located at 22916 Kuykendahl Road, Ste. 100, Spring, the neighborhood wine bar and shop will offer 60 varieties of quality boutique wine as well as several varieties of beer including local favorites. (Courtesy Pexels/Brian Parker)
The Classy Cork to bring more than 60 varieties of wine to north Spring

Owners Alicia Zeringue and Angela Conant plan to open a wine room called The Classy Cork in north Spring in October.

Q&A: Kristine Marlow Montgomery County Food Bank president and CEO

Montgomery County Food Bank's president and CEO talks about how the food bank weathered storms of all kinds in the past year.

Cliff Woodward (center), co-founder of Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, hands the keys of CCEMS’ first ambulance to early CCEMS paramedic Richard Beasley (left) in 1975. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Cypress Creek EMS, Harris County ESD 11 forge new paths after yearslong feud

On Sept. 1, the Harris County ESD 11 launched ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare to take over providing emergency services to over 600,000 residents across 177 square miles in its service area in north Harris County.

Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Daily average hospitalizations drop 15% week over week; ICU sees dip in number of patients

Coronavirus patients at TMC hospitals number 2,107, which in itself is an 11% week over week decline.

Home sales trends in The Woodlands shows median prices in most ZIP codes have increased since 2020. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
Six ZIP codes in The Woodlands area saw median home prices increase in August

Data on home sales in The Woodlands area shows that 39 homes sold for $1 million or higher in August.

The pandemic and other challenges have strained the available resources at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. (Jishnu Nair/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County Animal Services resources stretched thin by pandemic

“[The COVID-19 outbreak] is coming at the worst time for us because it’s a bad distemper year,” MCAS Assistant Director Mark Wysocki said. “Either of those are a bit of managerial work. Together it’s a managerial nightmare.”

The new location will be the second for the franchise in the area, with the first being in Spring since 2005. (Courtesy Bruster's Real Ice Cream)
Bruster's Real Ice Cream anticipates November opening near Xscape Theatre

The new location will be the second for the franchise in the area, with the first being in Spring since 2005.

At a Sept. 11 practice, Houston Girls Hockey Association teams took the ice to prepare for their first games the weekend of Sept. 17. (Courtesy Houston Girls Hockey Association)
New Houston-area all-girls hockey league set to play first games this weekend, Sept. 17-19

The league was created to give school-aged girls a chance to continue playing hockey through college, since young girls can often feel discouraged playing on co-ed teams, Director of Membership Valory Zeck said.

(Courtesy El Mariachi Mexican Bar and Grill)
El Mariachi Mexican Bar and Grill opens on Rayford Road

The newest location opened Sept. 17 and offers a variety of chicken, beef and shrimp dishes.

Cpl. Lonnie Bruce Harrison, (right) Gov. Greg Abbott and members of the Montgomery County Constable Precinct 5 Office gather at the Star of Texas Awards where Harrison was a recipient. (Courtesy of Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley's office)
Montgomery County peace officer wins Star of Texas Award

Cpl. Lonnie Bruce Harrison was one of 46 winners of the award, which Gov. Greg Abbott personally presented to him in Austin.