"Reel Reviews: ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’" by: Jessica Shepard

   If you haven’t had a chance to catch “Bad Times at the El Royale,” I highly recommend it!
   Especially if you’re a fan of Quentin Tarantino films or the late 1960s/early 70s aesthetic.
   Royale pulls from a ton of aspects from that era including Vietnam, Watergate, cult leader Charles Manson, FBI/CIA surveillance and more.
   Some are more obvious than others and there’s subtle hints the alleged affair between President John F. Kennedy and superstar Marilyn Monroe, too.
   The film stars Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, and Chris Hemsworth. 
   The bulk of the film is roughly set in 1969, with the plot following six strangers who each are hiding dark secrets that come to a head on one night in Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past on the California-Nevada border.


"Feral hogs impact on Matagorda County " By Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent Agriculture & Natural Resources

   Matagorda County is compiled of in excess of 1100 sq. miles of land area and 300 sq. miles of waterways and impoundments. 
   Agriculture is a major economic staple consisting of upwards of $265 million in receipts annually which can be broken into 4 major areas – hunting and recreation ($20 million), turf ($40 million), livestock ($70 million), and row crop and rice ($135 million). 
   Annually for the past 20 years, Matagorda County has invested in excess of $38,000 annually to combat the feral hog (Sus scrofa) epidemic that is adversely impacting all facets of agriculture and water quality within the county. 
   Funds are provided for a wildlife technician to mitigate issues caused by human-wildlife interactions. This employee is shared with multiple counties. 


Letter to the editor: "After the 2018 Rice Festival"

After the 2018 Rice Festival


"Too many choices to make for this year’s Halloween costume" by: Jessica Shepard

   As Halloween approaches, I’m stuck trying to decide what sort of costume to don this year.
   I’ve got several ideas for something new, but I’m always drawn back to my favorite costume: being a zombie.
   Mostly because I’ve gotten the makeup routine down pat after a few years of trial and error and partially because I love scaring people.
   The only downside is that the makeup is a mess and gets on everything due to humidity and heat year after year.
   My other options this year include a more modern take on Ursula the sea witch from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and a female version of “Beetlejuice.”
   Oddly enough, those will be easy to handle, too.
   I’ve got the costume pieces at home and can make do with the makeup I have on hand, too.
   The only drawback is my hairstyle and the possible heat and humidity that day.


"Musk another example of speaking before thinking" by: John Sample

   Well, last week was special and I am not talking about SCOTUS matters. 
   The unemployment rate came in at 3.7 percent - the lowest in over 40 years. 
   You would think that’s good news, but wrong again. 
   For example, the Federal Reserve would hike interest rates to stave off an overheated economy would invert the yield curve and be the death of the bull market. 
   Makes sense right? A good economy is bad for the market. 
   If you are confused, I understand, as you must have a good economy so companies can report better earnings that support rising equities values. 
   The end result was that the market leaders and high tech were taken to the wood shed for punishment. 
   Nothing drastic however. Of interest was the fact that the large capitalized Dow Industrial Average was down, but by a much smaller percentage. 
   It noteworthy that higher interest rates will become a significant drag on equities. 


When should you consult a financial professional?

   It can be challenging to achieve your financial objectives – but when should you seek some help?
   You might want to work with a financial professional when you land your first professional job – one that offers benefits and a retirement plan. 
   A financial advisor can help you get the most out of your 401(k) or similar account.
   Once you get married, you may want to consult with a financial advisor on how you and your new spouse can successfully combine your investment portfolios.
   And when you have children, a financial professional can help you set up an education-savings plan.
   At retirement, you’ll need to know how much you can afford to withdraw from your retirement accounts each year. 
   A financial advisor can look at your situation, evaluate all relevant factors and recommend a withdrawal rate appropriate for your needs.
   Consider reaching out for the help you need, when you need it. 


"Reel Reviews: ‘Venom’ stakes out a new symbiote identity beyond Spiderman" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Venom” is racking up reviews and plenty of money in its debut weekend with over $205 million worldwide.
   In fact, it’s shattered the record for highest opening in October!
   To be fair, I went into the film with low expectations and ignored official critic reviews for days ahead of time.
   My Venom knowledge is limited to the mid-90s Spiderman cartoon series, but, I think it was just enough for this film.
   The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel.
   It stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom, alongside Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. 
   While exploring space for new habitable worlds, a probe belonging to bioengineering corporation Life Foundation discovers a comet covered in symbiotic life forms. 


"God is waiting for us to walk toward him and claim rest, security" by: Betsy Monico

   I mentioned my schedule recently. 
   Three or four nights a week, I settle in with my popcorn and Diet Coke at a football stadium or gym. Yesterday I spent the entire day at a softball field in Abilene. Please forgive me for where I am taking you this week. We are going to the bathroom!
   I confess. I drink large quantities of water. Aside from my personal trips to the restroom, I work at an elementary school and escort three classes a day to the bathroom. 
   I believe in procedures. We form a girl line and a boy line. Three kids enter at a time.
   I instruct my little friends to use the restroom, wash hands, and get a drink. 
   After that, they sit down “crisscross, apple sauce” forming one line and show me they are ready to walk back to the library. 
   I remind my students if they chose not to take care of “business” at the proper time, I will be so sad when they ask later; and I tell them no. 


"We are to meditate to find a path of prosperity from the Lord" by: Caleb Gibson

  The Apostle Paul once said, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10). 
   He wrote this because of the great persecution he was facing. 
   In spite of the great weakness that he felt, he was reminded that God was his strength.
   The Christian life is not Jesus, plus my law keeping, obedience, and strength. 
   No, the Christian life is Jesus plus nothing.
   Think about this, you cannot shoot an arrow unless the string of the bow is pulled back. Sometimes the world has pulled us back to where we need to be. Maybe it was a sickness, financial hurt, or a broken relationship. 
   I’m writing you to tell you, even in our weakest moments when we feel stretched and pulled passed our breaking point, God is working all things out for our good (Romans 8:28). 


Attorneys’ letter gives resignation reason

   EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter of resignation from the former city attorneys was given to both Bay City newspapers before city council’s meeting Thursday, Sept. 27.


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