Annual Oktoberfest fundraiser on tap at USO Service Center

   Bay City’s Parks and Recreation Department hosts the 3rd Annual Oktoberfest fundraiser from 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at the USO Service Center, 2105 Ave. M.
   Tickets to the dance are on sale now at the Parks and Rec office for $20 per person or $150 for a table of eight.
   “This year’s event will raise funds to purchase new tables and chairs with dollies at the USO for the auditorium and Train Depot,” said Kelly Penewitt, Parks and Rec supervisor.
   Light refreshments and set ups will be sold.
   The event is also BYOB for those 21 years of age and older.
   “The Billie Ledbetter Orchestra will make a return engagement this year to perform your favorite songs to dance all night long,” she added.
   “Grab your Lederhosen and Drindl and join us by reserving your table soon!”


"Council set to wrap up tax rate, budget" by: Mike Reddell

   Public hearings on the city’s proposed fiscal 2016-17 tax rate and budget were held last week and on Monday, and city council will consider adopting both at a special meeting Thursday, Sept. 29.  
   The city’s property tax rate will be 60 cents per $100 valuation – the same as last year’s levy - and is projected to raise about $38,000 more than fiscal 2015-16 because of the city’s higher appraised valuations.  
   The tax rate and the new fiscal year’s $13 million budget both will be up for adoption at Thursday’s meeting that begins at 7 p.m.  
   The timetable on getting the tax rate and budget approved proved to be a problem for the city and for Matagorda County.  
   County Assessor-Collector Cristyn Hallmark said the city didn’t meet her office’s deadline of having the city’s new tax information by Sept. 20.  


"Sargent, Matagorda beach cleanups draw 400 volunteers" by: Jessica Shepard

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
A group of volunteers work their way along Sargent Beach during the cleanup Saturday morning.

   About 3.6 tons of trash were collected from Sargent Beach Saturday as part of the annual fall beach cleanup.  
   Five miles of beach were cleaned by 135 volunteers including Tenaris employees, families and other locals.  
   There were between 250 and 275 volunteers at the Matagorda Beach Cleanup.   
   Among the numerous plastic bottles, plates and bottle caps were a few odd findings such as:  


"Rice Festival begins Saturday with Rice Queen Pageant" by: Jessica Shepard

   The 71st Annual Bay City Lions Club Rice Festival kicks off Saturday, Oct. 1 at 5:30 p.m. with the Rice Queen Pageant at Keye Ingram auditorium.  
   Official festivities begin the following Thursday, Oct. 6, from 4-11 p.m.   
   This includes carnival rides and a midway by Todd Armstrong with unlimited rides for $15 an armband and vendor booths.  
   Each entry is $6 and children under six get in free.  
   VIP Parking is $20 and includes entry fees.  
   It’s also “HEB Night,” meaning that bringing three non-perishable HEB brand food items gets you free admission at the gate.  
   All food items benefit a local food pantry.  
   Friday, Oct. 7 is similar, with carnival armbands going up to $20 and the festival being open late until midnight.  
   Cash bingo also opens and runs from 4 p.m. to midnight.  
   The highly anticipated Rice Festival Parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, downtown around the square.  


"Gourmet Guys raises $15,000 for museum" by: Jessica Shepard

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Those attending this year’s Gourmet Guys fundraiser for the museum were treated with great French-style treats while others found items to like at the silent auction.

   About $15,000 was raised during the annual “Gourmet Guys” fundraising event at the Matagorda County Museum, Sept. 24.  
   “That includes about $4,000 from the silent auction items,” said Barbara Smith, museum director.  
   This year debuted two new twists to the usual fare.  
   The theme was an “Evening in Paris” and there were “Gourmet Gals” on hand with their cuisine as well.  
   “I know a lot of our cooks were a little intimidated when we announced it was French food this year,” she said.  
   “A lot of them have not done French cooking before, but I think they really took the challenge and came through. We always want our chefs to have as good as time as our guests so they will look forward to next time.”


Man faces felony meth possession

BCPD photo
Bay City Police Department seized digital scales, glass pipes and small baggies during arrest of Bay City man for assault and possession of methamphetamine

   A felony possession of methamphetamine charge was filed against a Bay City man after police arrested him for assaulting his wife Tuesday morning, Sept. 27, Bay City police reports show.  
   Stephen P. Wilson, 52, was booked for Assault Family Violence and Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled substance in Penalty Group 1, a first-degree felony into the Matagorda County Jail, according to reports.  
   After Officer Stephen Lunsford arrived at a residence in the 4200 block of Sargent Drive on a possible disturbance call, he determined the suspect assaulted his wife, police said.  Lunsford arrested the man for Assault Family Violence.    
   Prior to placing the man in his patrol unit, Lunsford began searching him for weapons.  During the search, Lunsford found “a baggie full of a brown crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine in his pocket.”  


"Hazardous Waste Collection Day Saturday morning" by: Jessica Shepard

   The 22nd Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day is scheduled for 8 a.m. - noon Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Matagorda County Fairgrounds.  
   Household hazardous waste is any product labeled: toxic, corrosive, poison, flammable, combustible or an irritant.  
   This also includes things such as used batteries, pool chemicals, pesticides and herbicides as well as household cleaners.  
   Do not bring:  


"Cornman proposes community natatorium" by: Mike Reddell

City councilman Bill Cornman sought the reaction of the rest of council for a community-supported natatorium.  
   Council reacted positively to the idea presented by Cornman, based on a recent visit to El Campo’s covered pools designed to appeal to a broad-range of ages.   
   El Campo has a competition pool for swim teams, a splash pool for small children, a baby pool and a hot tub – all under an air-conditioned metal building. 
“They use it year-around with exercise programs and swim lessons every month,” Cornman said.  
   The City of Bay City 16th Street pool also is used for those programs as well.  
   But there are serious structural problems with the 16th Street pool buildings, particularly the room where the pumps are – the supporting beams are in suspect condition.  


Driver fleeing police crashes into church

BCPD photo
A man driving this car and trying to evade officers found his getaway ended in the side of this Avenue C church.

   A 28-year-old Bay City man led police on a car chase in West Bay City – with speeds reaching 75 mph - that ended with the man losing control of his vehicle and crashing into the side of a brick Avenue C church Thursday, Sept. 22, reports show.  
   The driver was injured in the crash and was briefly trapped in his vehicle until officers pried open the vehicle’s doors, enabling the man to crawl out.  
   The man was first taken to Matagorda Regional Medical Center then later moved to Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston.  
   No one else was hurt, police said.  
   The incident began at nearly 7 p.m. Sept. 22, when patrol officer Jerome Estrada attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 1300 block of Whitson.    
   The vehicle did not stop and Estrada pursued it.    
   The vehicle continued traveling northbound on JP Davis, reaching speeds of up to 75 miles per hour.    


BCPD not participating in National Night Out

   Bay City Police Department chose not to participate in next Tuesday’s, Oct. 4, National Night Out due to scheduling conflicts.    
   “We have notified the usual neighborhoods that normally have neighborhood parties. We told them if they still chose to host a party, we will try to have patrol officers swing by between calls,” said BCPD Lt. Irene Kjergaard.    
   BCPD will host an open house the following week, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 11, instead of doing the National Night Out.    
   Bay City Volunteer Fire Department also will have an open house at the same time and date.   


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