"Reel Reviews: ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ takes hilariously bad luck up a notch" by: Jessica Shepard

   Usually, when I commit to seeing a sequel, I’m always optimistic at the start but often let down at the end of it all.
   Jumanji: The Next Level doesn’t do that at all!
   In fact, it’s almost better than the original and is ranked number one in box offices around the globe.
   The flick is rated PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language, running at just over two hours long and generating over $212 million.
   The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Colin Hanks, Rhys Darby, and Madison Iseman, reprising their roles from the previous film, alongside newcomers Awkwafina, Rory McCann, Danny Glover, and Danny DeVito.
   Three years after the events of the previous film, Spencer (Wolff), Fridge (Blain), Martha (Turner), and Bethany (Iseman) have gone their separate ways but make plans to meet up back home in Brantford.


Denise Fortenberry to run for District Judge

Denise Fortenberry

   Denise Fortenberry announces her candidacy for 130th District Court Judge, an open position in the 2020 election. 
   Fortenberry said she seeks election “to fulfill a goal since law school of serving the public in the role of judge.”
   In 2012, Fortenberry was elected Matagorda County Attorney and has worked diligently for the citizens of Matagorda County. Fortenberry has increased collaboration between CASA, CPS and appointed attorneys to get children out of foster care sooner. 
   Fortenberry implemented a process to hold domestic violence perpetrators accountable by enforcing fines and mandated counseling sessions. 
   Working with environmental health, law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office, Fortenberry was also instrumental in creating an environmental prosecution unit to better serve Matagorda County.


"To Mom: Happy Birthday from the favored one" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, this week we’re celebrating my mom’s birthday and I’m not really allowed to mention how old she’s turning.
   In spite of that, we’re at a bit of a loss as to what to get her or to do.
   Luckily, my sister is coming down for the weekend and that’ll take care of some of my anxiety.
   The only thing I have to offer is a stunning and dazzling review, plus kudos to her as being the best mom ever.
   And that mostly comes about from her being in my corner more than anyone else in my life and being my favorite parental figure.
   The rest is because she’s also my ultimate best friend.
   Even when we drive each other insane or clash at work – we’re making up not even five minutes later.
   I feel very blessed and fortunate to have such a relationship with my mom.
   Which means, I’ve got to make something either really awesome or memorable for her birthday.


"There will be no coal in the equity stocking this year" by: John Sample

   Another week and more gains as it appears the December tariff increases may be delayed, along with a Phase 1 deal with China.
   That is running up against the articles of impeachment.
   Not all is halted in DC, as the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico nears completion.
   If nothing else, you have more than the holiday season to keep your attention this year.
   Last week was a wild ride down first and then back up on the various U.S. indexes and averages.
   This kind of action can keep you focused on news headlines as they come fast and furious.
   The real argument is whether there is some issue that will drive the market down in the final stages of the fourth quarter just like last year’s Federal Reserve rate hike.
   Most were concerned about the Dec. 15 date for raising tariffs.


Use year-end bonus wisely

   If you’re getting a year-end bonus from your employer, or possibly a substantial cash gift for the holidays, how can you best use the money?
   For starters, you could use it to pay down some debts.
   The lower your debt load, the more you’ll have to invest for your future.
   Also, you could start an emergency fund, with the money kept in a low-risk, liquid account.
   With such a fund in place, you can avoid dipping into long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a major car repair.
   Here’s another suggestion: Use your bonus or monetary gift to help fund your IRA for the 2019 tax year.
   Or, you could use the money to help fund a college savings account, such as a 529 plan, for your children or grandchildren.
   A 529 plan offers possible tax benefits and allows you to control the money until it’s used.


"In a time of uncertainty, hope can be found in God’s word" by: Betsy Monico

   Going back to one of my favs from a few years ago. 
   This week reminded me to trust the Lord and give thanks for all of our random, not so random meetings. 
   When I was in grade school, I loved to color. I also enjoyed completing word find puzzles. 
   I still work word finds the same. I search through every line up and down, column by column until I find a word. 
   Circling a sought after word and marking it off of the word bank is very satisfying. Crosswords proved to be more challenging, and still are. 
   Dot to Dots are my all-time favorite. 
   When a dot to dot starts to transpire into what it is meant to be, it is phenomenal. 
   Maybe the dot to dot process is somewhat like the caterpillar to butterfly process; however, scientific transformations are not my focus this week.  
   When you begin a dot to dot, you place your pencil carefully on the first dot and draw a line to the next one and so on. 


"When you invite God in your life, he will never forsake you" by: Caleb Gibson

   A new pastor moved into town and went out one Saturday to visit his parishioners. 
   All went well until he came to one house. It was obvious that someone was home, but no one came to the door even after he had knocked several times. 
   Finally, he took out his card and wrote on the back: Revelation 3:20 and stuck it in the door. 
   The next day, as he was counting the offering he found his card in the collection plate. 
   Below his message was the notation Genesis 3:10. 
   Revelation 3:20 reads: “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.” 
   Genesis 3:10 reads: “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked.”
   In the book of Revelation, there are seven letters to seven different churches. 


"Reel Reviews: ‘Knives Out’ is an awesome modern whodunit mystery" by: Jessica Shepard

   I have to confess that I’d been looking forward to watching and reviewing “Knives Out” since the trailer dropped months ago.
   Apparently, I haven’t been the only one since the film is No. 2 in box offices worldwide and has grossed over $124 million to date.
   The other bonus is that it manages to put a modern spin on the classic mystery movie with a touch of family comedy and certainly echoes of the 1985 comedy-mystery classic “Clue.”
   The film stars an ensemble cast, including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Edi Patterson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
   Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) invites his family to his mansion for his 85th birthday party.
   The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran (Patterson) finds him dead, apparently having slit his own throat.


Bill Orton announces candidacy for sheriff

Bill Orton

   Matagorda County – Republican Precinct 6 Constable William “Bill” Orton, a 25-year law enforcement veteran recognized statewide for innovative leadership is running to be the next Matagorda County Sheriff.
   Orton is a certified Master Peace Officer and was named the 2018/2019 Constable of the Year by the Justice of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas. He was elected as Precinct 6 Constable in 2016 and will leave that post the end of his current term. 
   This allows him to run for sheriff.
   “It is my hope to be elected by the citizens of Matagorda County in the March 3 primary and again in the November 2020 General Election,” said Orton. 
   “It’s been the greatest honor of my career to serve as a Constable in Matagorda County. I want to continue my service by leading the Sheriff’s Office. 
   “I know I will move the Sheriff’s office forward with my leadership to benefit all of Matagorda County. 


"We’re celebrating the Sentinel beginning its 6th year" by: Mike Reddell

   Today’s Bay City Sentinel front-page bears the information this is Volume 6 No. 1.
   We’re celebrating the completion of five years in print and we’re entering our sixth year of publication. 
   It’s an achievement that MaLinda, Jessica and I are extremely proud of.
   As importantly, we’re grateful of the support we’ve received from our readers, advertisers, supporters and contributors.
   None of this would be possible without them.
   I have to say, I was anxious about our beginning.
   While we had enormous encouragement, there were a few naysayers about starting a brand-new newspaper when newspapers nationally have been disappearing.
   While I came from a newspaper family and began reporting in 1973, it was MaLinda who struck the positive note about starting the Sentinel.


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