Matagorda County 4-H recognizes 80 members

Contributed photo
This year’s Friends of 4-H and Outstanding Adult Leader are, from left to right: Mike Spencer, Ginny Spencer, Bill Balboa, Mark Page, Cynthia Page, and Kim Sliva.

   Eighty Matagorda County 4-H members were honored for their 4-H achievements at the annual banquet.
   4-H members of all ages, including Clover Kids, received recognition for their achievements at the county, district and state levels.
   Twenty-five members were awarded various level of awards for going above and beyond to participate in multiple projects, hold leadership positions and provide community service.
Five high school age 4-Hers joined the 4-H Ambassador Program, a group of 10 4-Hers who go into the community to promote and educate about the 4-H program.
   This year’s group of inductees are: Clay Allison, Ty Kubecka, Tanner Ryman, Shawn Sneath, and Gabe Sumrall.
4-H Adult Leaders who have volunteered five, 10, and 30 years were recognized.
   The 4-H program is a volunteer lead program, so the service of these leaders is an invaluable part of the program.


"Van Vleck community unites after coach’s death" by: Mike Reddell

   The Van Vleck school community is pulling together in their grief over the death of well-liked Coach Paul Benien.
   The coach collapsed in the Van Vleck High School’s weight room during a routine he and another coach do every game day.
   Van Vleck was to play Boling Friday night, a contest that was cancelled.
   When the coach collapsed, Van Vleck’s crisis team of teachers, principals and other professionals joined in performing CPR until the ambulance arrived, said Superintendent John O’Brien.
   Students were coming from the pep rally to the field house, but were diverted by staff.
   No students were present in the weight room when the coach collapsed or when the crisis team went into action, he said.
   The death of Benien, who was 55, affected everyone, O’Brien said. An autopsy will determine the cause of death, the superintendent added.
    “I couldn’t be prouder of the crisis team who pulled together,” O’Brien said.


"New laws enforced immediately" Compiled by Jessica Shepard

   With over 800 new laws in effect since Sept. 1, there’s a lot for local residents to wade through.
   Many of the laws will only impact a few while others affect a greater range of the population.
   Here’s a list of a few that are quickly being enforced:

  •     As of Sept.1 you must be 21 or older to purchase cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or tobacco products. 

   Local stores like Walgreens have already posted signs requiring a valid form of ID for checking a customer’s age prior to purchase.

  •     House Bill 1518 requires an age-18 requirement for the purchase of over-the-counter medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, also known as DXM. 

   Studies show that DXM is used by some teens to get high. 
   More than a dozen other states, including New York and Florida, have banned the sale of the cough medicines to minors.


Wind farm on schedule

Turbine parts are continually arriving at the Peyton Creek Wind Farm near Shepard Motte Road.
Above, two drivers await word on the line of specially rigged trailers carrying the turbine blades that are 202 feet long, eight feet wide and weigh an estimated 38,000 pounds.
There are still projected to be 48 turbine locations, like the one at right, with hub heights of approximately 287 feet, according to Nathan Yates, Wind Development Manager with Peyton Creek Wind Farm owner E.ON.
The project is on schedule to be fully operational by end of December, Yates said.
Sentinel photos/Mike Reddell


"New tax, budget adopted by Tidehaven school board" by: Jessica Shepard

Tidehaven ISD trustees approved a $17,460,924 budget for the 2019-2020 school year, Aug. 26.
   “We also adopted our tax rate for this year,” said TISD Superintendent Dr. Andrew Seigrist.  
   “Our maintenance and operations tax rate is 97 cents and the debt tax rate is $0.20 for a combined tax rate of $1.17. We’re also expecting 100% collection this year as well.”
   That means the proposed total tax rate is $1.17 per $100 valuation.
   That rate would generate $13,435 in local revenue per student.
   Last year’s total tax rate was $1.22 per $100 valuation.
   Also, Tidehaven is participating in the Texas Department of Agriculture food program and providing a free breakfast and lunch to every single student in the district.  

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"Rice queen pageant entries due Sept.18" by: Jessica Shepard

   The deadline for the Rice Festival Queen’s Pageant entries will be Wednesday, Sept. 18. 
   Application packets can be hand-delivered to Shelly Grimes at Bay City High School, Tamara Davant at Tidehaven High School, Mayra Garcia at Palacios High School, Kari Bottke at Van Vleck High School or Ryan Ricks at Lynn C. Grebe & Associates, 2139 Avenue G, Suite 8, in Bay City. 
   All pictures must be taken by Memories by Michelle before Sept. 18.
   “We expect the Pageant will surpass the previous year once again,” said Ricks, event chairman.
   “Scholarships totaling over $5,750 will be awarded.”
   Scholarships will be awarded as follows: 


"City Council approves pay scale, salary survey" by: Mike Reddell

 City Council members approved a salary survey and pay scale, but not before there were questions about how a pay raise was to be distributed, at a special meeting Thursday, Aug. 29.
   The session included public hearings on the fiscal 2019-20 tax rate, budget and capital improvements program.  
   City employees are to receive a 3.5% pay raise for fiscal 2019-20.
   Human Resources Director Rhonda Clegg explained the salary survey’s final version was the result of 18 months of work gathering information from other cities for pay comparisons.
   Only council was given copies of the survey that was not made public.
   Mayor Pro Tem Jason Childers questioned Clegg about the survey’s parameters on public sectors, asking about the 3.5% salary payments “dispersed to each department.”
   Clegg replied that “every employee, every budgeted position” will get the raise and the salary raise package was given to each department director for allotment.


WCJC graduates 27 LVNs

Contributed photo
Twenty-seven students recently graduated from Wharton County Junior College's Vocational Nursing program. Front row, left to right, are Erica Cortez of Rosenberg, Nuria Anzaldua of Richmond, Kaitlyn Fullerton of Port Lavaca, Sierra Foster of Richmond, Shelby Kwiatkowski of Richmond, Regina Baines of Boling, LaTerra Johnson of Bellville and Amy Cardenas of Louise. Second row, left to right, are Jessica Gomez of Houston, Mary Ann Hernandez of Sugar Land, Shelby Koudela of Louise, Georgina Idjagboro of Richmond, Crystal Campbell of Wharton, Kelley Allen of Wharton, Sarah Muncaster of Richmond, LaCrecia Bowsier of Bay City and Crystal Cano of Wharton. Back row, left to right, are E'Braylone Allen of Bay City, Megan Young of Richmond, Elisabeth Hunter of Rosenberg, Kimberly Cardona of Rosenberg, Francisco Molina of Needville, Catherine Whigam of Sugar Land, Tori Condit of Bay City, Angel Wilson of Richmond and Kendall Theusen of Bellville. Not pictured is Polly Witte of Wallis.


"Reel Reviews: ‘Ready or Not’ is a surprisingly funny black comedy with a twist" by: Jessica Shepard

   I’m not going to lie to you, when I first saw the concepts and trailers for “Ready or Not,” I was skeptical and scoffed at it. 
   Well, after finally seeing it, I’ve changed my mind and can’t wait for it to come out on DVD – it’s definitely on my Christmas list! 
   Ready or Not is a black comedy horror/survival thriller hybrid sort of film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from a screenplay by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy.  
   It’s rated R for violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use and has no post-credit scenes. 
   The film stars Samara Weaving as a newlywed who becomes hunted by her spouse’s family as part of their wedding night ritual.  
   Other cast members include Mark O’Brien with Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Elyse Levesque, Nicky Guadagni, Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano and Andie MacDowell. 


"Matthews looks for more Blackcat discipline against Bellville this Friday" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Blackcat quarterback Carlos Lara (1) eyes an opening en route to a 50-yard touchdown run against the Cuero Gobblers here last Friday. Lara was the Blackcats’ leading rushing with 99 yards. The former wide receiver made his debut as quarterback Friday.

   Blackcat Head Coach Patrick Matthews plans to clean up some things that went wrong against Cuero – a 28-15 loss last Friday - before his squad takes on the Bellville Brahmas there this coming Friday. 
   “It’s definitely going to be a tough challenge,” Matthews said about Bellville’s Wing T offensive formation. 
   “Anytime you play the Wing T, you have to be very disciplined,” he added and that’s what the Blackcats are working on this week – better discipline in perfecting techniques. 
   “We’re always trying to get better. There’s a lot of things that have to be cleaned up to be the team we want to be by the time we get to district,” Matthews noted. 
   “Beeville is another opportunity to do that and come out with a victory for the Blackcats.” 
   Bay City had exciting offensive flashes against Cuero last Friday, but they were inconsistent against the Gobblers in the Blackcats’ home opener. 


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