Lifestyle

Thu
26
Mar

"Van Vleck connects with kids at home" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Van Vleck ISD Assistant Superintendent Christi Dement explains the district distance learning program during the COVID-19 quarantine to school board members Monday night. Joining Dement up front were Superintendent John O’Brien and Trustee President Tony Kucera. For self-distancing, people had a cafeteria table to themselves.

  Van Vleck ISD’s plan to maintain online contact with its students during the COVID-19 quarantine was explained to the school board at its regular meeting Monday, March 23.
   The meeting was held in the VVHS cafeteria where everyone had their own table – according to COVID-19 safe-distance requirements of at least six feet between people.
   The district went online with its students March 16 – following fair holidays March 5-6 and Spring Break 9-13 - Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Christie Dement told trustees.
   On March 16, VVISD fell under the TEA Illness Disaster Closure process and the VVISD Online Resources Educational Enrichment Page link on the district’s website was created.
   The page is updated daily and includes resources to help students sharpen skills while at home.
   Meanwhile, the district sent out a survey to determine the technology families had for school messenger purposes.

Thu
26
Mar

"Council postpones May 2 city election" by: Jessica Shepard

City Council approved postponing the May 2 city election to fall in line with the Nov. 3 General Election during their regular meeting, Tuesday, March 24.
   The vote was unanimous with two abstentions – from council members Julie Estlinbaum and Bill Cornman.
   Cornman and Estlinbaum abstained from voting since postponing the election extends their terms about six months.
   “As you know what’s going on in the world right now, the secretary of state has sent out an election advisory that put it out there to postpone the current May election to a uniform date,” said Rhonda Clegg, Acting Deputy City Secretary.

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Thu
26
Mar

"County extends disaster declaration" by: Mike Reddell

   Commissioners Court Monday extended Matagorda County’s March 16 Declaration of Disaster for 14 days to end April 6.
   The declaration was issued to “facilitate and expedite the use and deployment of resources to enhance preparedness and response” in the wake of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Matagorda County.
   County Judge Nate McDonald asked for those attending the court’s regular session “to be honest,” if anyone there had a fever or was feeling ill.
   If they were, McDonald said they needed to approach the bench in the county courtroom, where the meeting was held, “And we’ll proceed from there.”
   No one reported a fever or feeling sick. Most people entering the only public courthouse entrance on the south side are greeted by a health care worker who takes their temperature.

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Thu
26
Mar

Screening at MRMC

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
A Matagorda Regional Medical Center health worker screens incoming visitors and patients at the hospital’s emergency services entrance - the only entrance for the public under the current COVID-19 pandemic disaster.

Thu
26
Mar

"COVID-19 continues to be force in cancelling local events" by: Jessica Shepard

   The City of Bay City closed all non-essential departments effective immediately through Friday, April 3.
   “We will continue to respond to your calls and emails remotely as we follow the CDC guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said the city’s Facebook page.
   Jury Duty scheduled for Thursday, March 26 in the County Court has been canceled.

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Thu
26
Mar

"Abbott moving runoffs to July 14 affects 2 local races" by: Mike Reddell

   Two Republican Primary runoff races will be moved from May 26 to July 14, after Gov. Greg Abbott postponed the primary runoff elections Friday under the emergency powers of his statewide disaster declaration over COVID-19 concerns.
    County Clerk Stephanie Wurtz said Gov. Greg Abbott moved Texas primary runoff elections from May 26 to July 14.
   In the Republican primary runoff for District 25 State Representative are Cody Vasut and Ro’vin Garrett.
   They were the top vote getters in a five-way race in the March 3 GOP primary.
   The District 25 includes Matagorda and Brazoria counties.
   The Republican runoff winner will face Democrat Patrick Henry in the November general election. Henry ran unopposed in his party’s primary.

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Thu
26
Mar

"BCISD trustees OK 313 application review" by: Jessica Shepard

   Bay City ISD trustees unanimously approved reviewing a 313 appraised value limitation application from Rohem America, LLC. for a proposed $350 million facility during their regular monthly meeting Monday, March 23.
   Trustees Bob Klepac, Eddie Nelson, Trent Tinnin, James Scardami and John DeWitt were present for the meeting.
   Board members Jerry Manning and Frankie Cole were absent.
   Rohem intends to construct and operate a manufacturing facility to produce methyl methacrylate, which is a raw material used in a variety of industries that include the automotive and construction industries.

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Thu
26
Mar

"ISDs reach out to students with distance learning" by: Jessica Shepard

  In the wake of local school districts’ campuses closing until further notice, teachers and districts are turning to online distance learning for their students.
   Bay City ISD has had over 1,600 families respond to the technology access survey in English and/or Spanish.  
   “Results reflect that we will have approximately 400 families that will need internet access and approximately 600 families that have no learning device. (Chromebook/iPad) in their home,” said BCISD Assistant Superintendent Lisa Moya.
   “BCISD has entered into an agreement with T-Mobile to purchase hotspots for families who lack internet connectivity. We are awaiting that shipment and are working on a hotspot/Chromebook distribution plan. More details and a timeline will be published later this week.”

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Thu
26
Mar

"An essay about life in a Corona vacation" By Steven Reis

   EDITOR’S NOTE: District Attorney Steven Reis is well known for his Christmas stories.
   In this story, he tells about shopping in the time of quarantine.

   “Keep your distance!”
   She said it without a smile as she pushed her shopping cart through the aisle.
   The 40-something-old dour-faced woman directed it to a lady who was working the gardening area of WalMart. The admonished worker stopped abruptly, let the shopper pass, then went about her business. She flashed me a smile (unlike the severe shopper) as I entered looking for marigolds.
   I watched the shopper’s back as she navigated her way into the main store.
   “Seriously,” I thought, “YOU came to WalMart where half of our small town have to shop and then chose to be rude to someone who HAS to be at work…”

Thu
26
Mar

"How to observe, but not harm, Matagorda County sea turtles"By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   When you think of sea turtles, do you think of tropical islands and clear, blue waters? 
   Do you ever associate these charismatic creatures with Matagorda Bay? 
   A lot of people may not realize it but- yes! - We do have sea turtles here in Matagorda. 
   If you’re lucky you might see some green sea turtles swimming along the seawall in Palacios. 
   Albeit a rare spotting- even the endangered, Texas state turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley, can be seen around the Matagorda Peninsula. 
   It is such a treat to catch a glimpse of these marine animals!
   As the sea turtles go about their day searching for food or a nesting area, they sometimes find themselves on the business end of a fishing rod. 
   For a lot people this can feel like a precarious situation; people are oftentimes too nervous to call wildlife authorities if they have accidentally caught a turtle. 

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