"COVID-19 cases trend upward; uncertainty over vaccines" by: Mike Reddell

   As COVID-19 confirmed cases continue their climb from November to January, local vaccination sign-up sheets are filling up amid uncertainty when the next round of vaccines will arrive.
   Matagorda County averaged 5.5 new cases of COVID-19 per day in November, 12.5 new cases per day in December, and 18.1 new cases per day through Jan, 17, Matagorda Regional Medical Center (MRMC) reported.
   There were 328 new confirmed cases in the 14 days through Jan. 18, for an average of 8.93 cases per 1,000 patients.
   Through Tuesday there were: 2,319 confirmed cases; 259 probable cases; 72 fatalities; 272 active cases and about 2,200 recovered. The data comes from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
   In recent days, DSHS shows totals of new confirmed cases in Matagorda County included: 28 cases - Jan. 18; 18 cases - Jan. 17; 39 cases – Jan. 15; 10 cases – Jan. 14; and 31 cases – Jan. 12.


"Dickerson gets grant for building just acquired" by: Jessica Shepard

   Main Street Program board members unanimously approved a $2,475 facade grant for Hawes Dickerson’s newly acquired building during their regular meeting, Jan. 13.
   That building is between The Fat Grass and K-2 restaurants at 2015 Avenue F in Bay City.
   Dickerson has no plans for the building’s use, but requested the funds to offset costs of power washing the exterior, patching plaster, adding an awning and painting all four sides of the building.
   He also outlines the removal of crepe myrtle trees from the front entrance saying that they “threaten structural integrity and the foundation” of the building.
   “The goal is to improve the image of the building while preserving its style,” he said in his application paperwork.
   “He also wants to keep the color scheme in line with other buildings downtown so that it matches,” added Main Street Program Director Shelly Story.


"$5.1M project will again link Texas 35, Texas 60" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
A groundbreaking ceremony last week marked the start of the $5.1 million reconstruction of Nile Valley Road in west Bay City. Taking part in the shoveling were officials representing City Council, City of Bay City, Bay City Community Development Corporation, Bay City Gas Company and project engineers.

   Local officials praised what the reconstruction of Nile Valley Road will mean to the economy and to traffic relief at a groundbreaking ceremony last week.
   “This is a project that needs to happen,” Mayor Robert Nelson remarked at the groundbreaking held at Nile Valley Road and Roberts Road Thursday, Jan. 14.
   The $5.1 million Nile Valley Road reconstruction from Texas 35 west to Texas 60 south – down to the road’s base – will be funded through a partnership of Bay City Community Development Corporation and Bay City Gas Company.
   Nelson said he was grateful to City Council for getting the project back on track after it was closed several years for damage on the road and approaches to the overpass.
   Public Works Director Barry Calhoun said he was “excited the project is under way.”
   He projected the work will be completed in about six months.


County awarded funds for food, shelter

   Matagorda County has been chosen to receive $18,620 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county for Phase 38 of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.  
   Qualifying agencies are urged to apply before the Jan. 30 deadline.
   The local board is charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.  
   A local board consisting of representatives from area nonprofits, government agencies, and faith-based organizations will determine how the funds awarded to Matagorda County are distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area.  
   The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.
   Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:


"‘Let us Entertain You!’ final run this weekend" by: Jessica Shepard

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Community Actors of South Texas veteran talent Steven Reis practices and fine-tunes his "Time traveler" persona during dress rehearsal Jan.14. Reis is the master of ceremonies for this production of Night on Broadway: "Let us Entertain you!" with its last showings this weekend.

   Time’s running out to catch the Community Actors of South Texas (CAST) “Night on Broadway: Let Us Entertain You!” showcase event this weekend.
   The musical dinner theater kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 22-23, at CAST’s new home at 920 Nichols Avenue in Bay City.
   A matinee lunch show will start at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, at the same location.
   Tickets are $45 per person and must be purchased in advance at due to limited seating.
   The dinner theater showcase is being catered by “Holy Meats” owner Eric Reyes, with Bay City High School Choir students serving guests.
   All tip money goes into the students’ accounts to help fund their April trip to compete in San Antonio.
   The musical lasts about an hour long and does not feature an intermission.


Bay City sees slight drop in sales tax rebate

   Bay City’s January sales tax rebate check was slightly less than what the city received for the same month last year, while Palacios saw a 21% jump over its allocation in January 2020. 
   Statewide Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced local sales tax allocations for January were 2.6 percent more than in January 2020.  
   These allocations are based on sales made in November by businesses that report tax monthly. 
   Bay City’s January check of $470,742 down 1.46% from $477,720 the same month a year ago.  
   In Palacios, the January rebate check totaled $62,463, up 21% from January 2020, when the check was for $51,672 
   Other cities include: 

  •     El Campo, $382,276, up 19% 
  •     Wharton, $198,685, up 10% 
  •     Lake Jackson, $805,214, up 1.98% 
  •     Angleton, $354,845, up 4% 
  •     Port Lavaca, $281,510, up 12%

"City takes steps toward major water, wastewater system improvements" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Bay City police patrolman Dan Shook receives the oath of office to become the City of Bay City Fire Marshal from City Secretary Jeanna Thompson at last week’s City Council meeting.

   City Council took crucial steps last week towards making major improvements to the city’s water and wastewater systems through more than $50 million in Texas Water Development Board assistance.
   Council also hired Daniel Shook as the city’s new Fire Marshal.
   Council authorized notice to issue certificates of obligation in connection with receiving $36,400,000 for wastewater system improvements and $20,300,000 in water system upgrades.
   The wastewater system improvements include upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment plant, wastewater lift stations and wastewater collection system.
   Water system improvements will include upgrades to existing water plants, water distribution system and new water plants
   The amount the City is applying for is $20,330,000.

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"Reel Reviews: ‘The Informer’ delayed U.S. debut is totally worth the wait" by: Jessica Shepard

   “The Informer” pretty much slipped under the radar at the end of last year and I only heard about it through a trailer for another movie.
   However, the cast has a lot of well-known actors in its ranks and I’m a fan of revenge flicks.
   So, that made renting this Redbox movie an easy, no-brainer sort of task.
   The film was released on Aug. 30, 2019, in the United Kingdom by Warner Bros., and received a limited release on Nov. 6, 2020 in the United States by Aviron Pictures.
   It’s rated R for strong violence and pervasive language and runs for 113 minutes with a vague and pretty open ending.
   Informer is a crime-thriller film directed by Andrea Di Stefano and written by Matt Cook, based on the novel “Three Seconds” by Roslund & Hellström.
   Basil William Iwanyk produces the film and is most known for “Sicario,” “The Town,” and the “John Wick” franchise.


Teachers tour new Linnie Roberts Elementary campus

BCISD photo
A group of teachers at Linnie Roberts Elementary were able to take a tour of the school's new campus, which is currently under construction.
On Monday, Jan. 4, a teacher workday, Linnie Roberts principal Marissa Wendel and seven members of the Leadership Team at the school went on an hour-long tour of the new campus, which is located on Hiram Brandon Road at the site of the old McAllister Middle School.
The campus is being built by Weaver and Jacobs Construction and was designed by Claycomb Associates Architects.
The money raised to build the school stems from the 2016 bond referendum. Construction documents were approved at a BCISD Board of Trustees meeting in January 2020.
The campus will feature state-of-the-art technology, and will include science labs, a media room and an art studio. Linnie Roberts Elementary houses first and second grade students in Bay City ISD.




Help raise money for Bay City parks by participating in Camo Half K Jan. 23

   Help the Bay City Parks and Recreation raise money for the Bay City Parks Amenities by participating in the annual “Camo Half K” starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at LeTulle Park.  
   Registration from now until the day of the event is $35 per person and includes a race shirt, bag, and medal for participating.
   Attendees are encouraged to run, walk, dance, waddle, stagger or crawl the loop at LeTulle Park in their best, craziest, most original public-appropriate camo gear.
   “Start your Camo Day off with donut holes and hot cocoa to charge you up to waddle the loop,” said the PARD press release.  
   “At the halfway point – re-charge with sweet treats, sweet tea, and water to make it back to have your picture taken at the finish line.  
   Waiting at the finish line will be more donut holes, sweet treats, sweet tea, hot cocoa, and water to revive yourself.


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