"Local swimmers in Fleet Summer Championships" By Bob Button BCHS Swimming Coach

Contributed photo
Grace Gibbens in 200 backstroke.

   Four local athletes swam in the Fleet Summer Championships in Cypress last weekend.
   Eleven Houston-area teams competed in the prelim/final meet.  Scoring was through twenty places.
   Top five teams:
   1. Fleet – 9,381
   2. DADS – 5,396
   3. Blue Tide – 2,159
   4. Swim Houston – 1,799 ½
   5. Texas Elite – 1,455 ½
   Competition course was 50m, all distances in meters.
   Top twenty (scoring) swims for our ShAC swimmers:
   Julia Cook (13/14 Girls)
   400 freestyle – 2nd – 5:18.92
   800 freestyle – 3rd – 11:21.24
   400 individual medley – 3rd – 6:46.06
   200 freestyle – 8th – 2:36.81
   100 backstroke – 8th – 1:23.94
   200 individual medley – 9th – 3:01.63
   100 freestyle – 11th – 1:11.45
   200 backstroke 11th – 3:02.94
   50 freestyle – 16th - :33.52
   Grace Gibbens (15 & Over Girls)


Amistad Park Splash Pad grand opening gave public first opportunity to experience its features

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Bay City Parks & Recreation’s grand opening of the Amistad Splash featured lots of kids trying out the new features Friday, July 23 at the park. City officials said the 2,800-square-foot Splash Pad is the focal point of park outings this summer and fall.

   Bay City Parks Recreation hosted the grand opening of the Amistad Splash Pad on Friday, July 23 at the park.
   The grand opening ceremony was the public’s first opportunity to experience the splash pad.  
   Amistad Park is located at 1209 10th Street at the corner of 10th St. and Avenue C.
   The splash pad is operational from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
   The ceremony included light refreshments and an opportunity to be the first to try out the many amenities.
   The 2,800 square foot splash pad is the latest amenity at the park and is a focal point of park outings this summer and early fall.
   A start button is located at the entrance of the pad and needs to be pressed after four minutes to restart the water.
   Additional shade structures and tables will be installed later this summer.


'The Vault' teen room now open

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Teens filled the newly decorated teen room at the Bay City Public Library, dubbed “The Vault,” for its grand opening event, July 20. The event featured videogames, temporary tattoos, pizza, door prizes, costume contest, and free books. The grand opening is just one of many other library events going on for the summer.


Governor signs Kolkhorst bill extending maternal health care

   Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed HB 133, a bill sponsored and passed by Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) to increase Medicaid coverage for new mothers in Texas from two months to six months postpartum.  
   Kolkhorst said that expanding new post-pregnancy maternal care is a pressing need for qualifying Texas women and serves as an efficient and effective use of state and federal dollars. 
   "HB 133 will extend Medicaid coverage for pregnant women on Medicaid from 60 days to 6 months post-pregnancy," said Abbott. 
   "It will also streamline women’s health programs & create better continuity of care for Texas women."
   "With this legislation, Texas becomes one of the first states in the nation to extend Medicaid coverage beyond two months federally required for postpartum," said Kolkhorst, who chairs the Senate's Health and Human Services Committee. 


"Fall Armyworm control in pastures" By Dalton C. Ludwick, Holly Davis, Sonja L. Swiger, and David L. Kerns Extension Entomologists Texas A&M AgriLife

Fall Armyworm caterpillar with inverted Y design.

   Recent rainfall events have been a major problem this summer. 
   As a result of this rainfall, fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda) are thriving across the northern, central and eastern portions of Texas.
   Below is some information on the biology of the pest, how to scout for them, and control options to mitigate damage. 
   Biology and Damage
   There are two strains of fall armyworms (FAW): the corn strain and the grass strain. 
   The corn strain usually appears in the spring and early summer and feeds on crops such as corn, sorghum, and cotton. 
   The grass strain, which is the strain that infests hay fields and pastures, generally shows up after significant rain events from mid-July through fall. 
   The corn strain is known for being resistant to pyrethroids, while the grass strain is susceptible to pyrethroids. 


"Van Vleck bond projects complete weeks ahead of schedule" by: Jessica Shepard

   Van Vleck ISD trustees heard a brief update on the 2017 bond construction projects at their regular meeting Monday, July 19.
   “We’re done with the middle school right now,” said Sofia Dusek, PBK architect project executive.
   “They’re finishing the punch list items right now and we’re looking forward to finishing that out. The elementary still has a few outstanding punch list items and a few warranty items, too.
   “We’re super excited to have reached completion on these projects and are thankful for working with you all for the past four years,” she added.
   “Even with those few items, we’re still at functional completion from a staffing standpoint,” explained VVISD Superintendent John O’Brien.
   “Hydromulch went down about two weeks ago and with recent rain, we’re hoping to see some sprouts popup. 


"Sargent bridge ribbon cutting marks new era" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
A ribbon cutting for Sargent’s ‘Corkscrew’ Bridge involved local and state officials, contractors, residents and TxDOT employees. Shown, from left: Robert Vallejo, Project Superintendent; Paul Reitz (previous district engineer); Martin C. Horst (current Yoakum District Engineer); Ryan Simper, TxDOT Area Engineer; County Judge Nate McDonald; Paula Gibson with State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst; Nancy Wollam, District Director
Office of State Rep. Cody Vasut; and Jonathan Knoll, Project Manager.

  Ribbon cutting ceremonies for TxDOT’s $43 million FM 457 Sargent “Corkscrew” Bridge were held before about 50 people in the shadow of the extraordinary span Friday morning, July 16.
   “Thank you for delivering an engineering marvel,” County Judge Nate McDonald told the sizable contingent of TxDOT officials and employees.
   “You’ve built one hell of span,” the judge added.
   McDonald briefly reflected on Texas’ last swing bridge that was replaced by the new bridge that opened to traffic April 8.
   “We loved our swing bridge,” the judge continued, “but it became a choke point for commerce (in the Intracoastal Waterway) and that’s been relieved.
   “A lot of business floats on the canal.
   “Sargent deserves a bridge like this and as safe passage over the waterway,” McDonald said.
   He gave a shout out to sub-contractors Matagorda Materials and Matagorda Concrete and praised TxDOT for using local companies in the project.


"COVID-19 cases here copy higher state trend" by: Mike Reddell

    Following statewide trends, Matagorda County averages of new confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
   The county reported 38 new cases over the past 14 days for an average of one per 1,000, Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported Monday, July 19.
   By comparison, the county had 11 new cases over the 14-day period on July 8 and seven on July 1.
   DSHS reported Monday that the positivity rate, which measures how prevalent the virus is in Texas, has crossed a 10% “red zone” threshold. 
   This indicates that the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rampantly among the unvaccinated, the Texas Tribune reported Monday.
   Vaccinations in the county appear at a standstill, with 33% of county residents fully vaccinated.
   Calhoun County reports 37% fully vaccinated, Brazoria County at 44% and Ft. Bend, 56%.
   Texas has 42.6% of its residents fully vaccinated.


"Tough times don’t deter Oilman’s commitment to its charities" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
An encased U.S. flag that flew over the Nation’s Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001 was an auction item at the Texas Oilman’s Charity Invitational Fishing Tournament last weekend. Holding the flag are three directors of TOICFT: from left, Ron Hartman, Tournament Chairman Chris Johnston, and Curtis Denison.

   There were about 500 people attending the Texas Oilman’s Charity Invitational Fishing Tournament (TOICFT) last weekend at Matagorda Harbor.
   That many people is a major boost to the Matagorda economy – some local folks call it the fifth holiday.
   While that number is down from previous years, it sure beats no tournament in 2020 because of the pandemic.
   “We’re suffering the same fate as the oil and gas industry has over a six-year decline,” Tournament Chairman Chris Johnston said in an interview, with directors Curtis Denison and Ron Hartman.

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Library earns achievement of excellence

Bay City Mayor Robert Nelson joins Bay City Public Library Director Samantha Denbow in showing off the 2020 Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award. Of the 568 public library systems in Texas, the Bay City Public Library is one of 56 that have earned this year's award. With this honor, we fall in the top 10% of all public libraries in the State.
Contributed photo


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