News

Thu
02
Apr

"County judge orders mandatory 'stay at home'" by: Mike Reddell

Pointing to the jump of 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases early in the week to 35 confirmed by Thursday, County Judge Nate McDonald ordered a mandatory stay at home order for Matagorda County at a press conference Thursday afternoon, April 2.

“I am announcing a mandatory order stay at home,” McDonald said.

Pointing out the 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county, “that’s a large number,” he said.

McDonald - flanked by law enforcement officers including Sheriff Skipper Osborne, BCPD Chief Robert Lister and Palacios PD Chief David Miles - said, “They are going to enforce law.”

The judge’s order means only one person in a family can be delegated to go and make essential purchases.

McDonald asked the sheriff to put “licensed peace officers out there on the street to enforce this. This has the force of law.”

“Let’s be real clear on the orders,” McDonald said about the county and governor’s orders.

Thu
02
Apr

"Judge issues voluntary stay-at-home, curfew orders" by: Mike Reddell

   Matagorda County now has 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of the Bay City Sentinel’s presstime Tuesday, March 31.
   The most recent case is a male, between 50-55, who is at home, with no travel indicated.
   Three other positive cases reported Monday, March 30, fell into the 30-35, 60-65, and 70-75 age groups.
   At a press conference Monday afternoon, County Judge Nate McDonald announced a voluntary stay-at-home order for the county’s unincorporated areas.
   The judge said he was following the City of Bay City, which issued a voluntary stay-at-home order last week. 
   “Let me explain to you what that means. Voluntary is giving you all the credit to make good decisions,” McDonald said.
   “I can tell you if in a couple of days some of our bad actors are still making bad decisions, we’re going to make it a little bit tougher for everybody to get around, and we’re going to place you under mandatory shelter-in-place.”

Thu
02
Apr

"Pollard: A few still insist on flaunting COVID law" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
A car with a couple from Gonzales stop at the Matagorda County barricade at the entrance of Matagorda Beach last week. The county closed all beaches March 23 as part of a statewide effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

   County Judge Nate McDonald and Precinct 2 Commissioner Kent Pollard promised to take action against those who violate county and state orders aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.   
   Pollard commented on how “some people didn’t want to pay attention to the signs” advising all county beaches are closed, at commissioners court’s regular meeting Monday, March 30. 
   The driver of one vehicle ignored the closing signs – and barrier at the beach entrances – and “got stuck in the dune” near Three Mile Cut northeast of the barricaded Beach Road “and it’s still there,” Pollard said.
   “It’s my intent to pursue charges for criminal trespass,” Pollard said about driver’s whose vehicle is stuck.
   Noting one warning sign was down in Sargent, Pollard said, referring to the county’s temporary order March 19 to close beach access areas, county parks, community centers and fairgrounds.

Thu
02
Apr

"Peyton Creek now operating"

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Peyton Creek windmills provide a backdrop for rice farming off FM 2688 last week. Peyton Creek now is online, with 48 turbines generating power in Matagorda County.

   AUSTIN - Peyton Creek Wind Farm, a 151 megawatt (MW) project in Matagorda County, recently achieved commercial operation. 
   The project in the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) south market is powered by 48 Nordex 3.15 MW turbines and can generate enough electricity to power more than 45,000 homes. 
   The Peyton Creek project overcame its fair share of challenges including the impact of Tropical Storm Imelda in September 2019. 
   Despite more than 23 inches of rain falling during the storm, including 15 inches in less than 24 hours, the construction team was able to continue on to completion.
   “This was truly a team effort to bring the project together and successfully start commercial operation,” said Paul Bowman, Director Development North America Onshore, RWE Renewables. 

To read more, please log in or subscribe to our digital edition. 

Thu
02
Apr

"BCCDC gives SMBG two-month stay on rent" by: Jessica Shepard

 Bay City Community Development Corporation (BCCDC) board members unanimously approved a two-month stay on rent payments for Schulman’s Movie Bowl and Grille (SMBG) during a teleconference meeting Monday, March 30.
   “As you know the theater kitchen is still open for curbside and to-go orders,” said BCCDC Executive Director Jessica Russell.
   “Mark Schulman wants to keep it open for as long as possible and to continue paying those employees. He’s asked to temporarily abate two months’ worth of rent to make this possible. He intends to pay it back later this year.”
   Russell added that Schulman would re-evaluate funds every two weeks until business equalizes again.

To read more, please log in or subscribe to our digital edition. 

Thu
02
Apr

"Matagorda County Love Thy Neighbor reaches out in time of need" by: Jessica Shepard

Contributed photo
Members of "Matagorda County Love Thy Neighbor (COVID-19)" Facebook group dropped off hand-sewn cotton facemasks to the Bay City Police Department, March 27. The masks provide some protection for officers while performing their duties. As of March 28, the group has donated over 380 masks to those in need countywide.

Weeks before Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald issued a voluntary shelter-in-place order Monday, March 30, for county residents, the “Matagorda County Love Thy Neighbor (COVID-19 Outreach) Facebook group was founded.
    “The longer we are in this place of social distancing and having to be extra cautious waiting for answers I feel tensions and emotions will arise,” said Leslie Enright, group founder and administrator.
   “I ask that we all work together. As fellow citizens with the ability and desire to help others, we wanted to shoulder some of that responsibility within our community,” she said. 
“We’re here to do the work while others focus on tackling the bigger issues.”
   The group’s mission is: choosing to volunteer to bring groceries and supplies to those at high-risk or simply unable to acquire the necessities for everyday life.

Thu
02
Apr

Air Liquide plant

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Construction on the $107 million Air Liquide plant is progressing at the 20.64-acre industrial gas production site near Oxea. The plant is near the Air Liquide industrial gas pipeline that runs through Matagorda County from Lake Charles, La., to Bishop, Texas. The plant will produce argon, nitrogen and oxygen.

Thu
02
Apr

LCRA Matagorda Bay Nature Park closed

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
The sign on the barricade at the entrance of Lower Colorado River Authority’s Matagorda Bay Nature Park says it all during the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Texas, the United States and the world. LCRA closed all of its parks March 23 to protect visitors and staff from the spread of the coronavirus. Matagorda County also closed its beaches March 23, in conjunction with LCRA. The county closed its other facilities March 19.

Thu
02
Apr

BCISD hands out meals

BCISD photo
Bay City Independent School District food services staff worked to get meals out to district families, with support from BCISD police officers. To-go meals are offered at Bay City Junior High and Roberts Elementary from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The district reminds parents and students that if you did not get your instructional packet in the mail, it may be picked up at either food line or at HEB at the north entrance/pharmacy entrance.

Thu
02
Apr

Niya Mitchell named to Dave Campbell Texas Basketball All-Texas Team

TSU photo
Niya Mitchell

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