News

Thu
02
Jul

"People retreat as COVID-19 cases rise " by: Mike Reddell

 Matagorda County retreated from the spiking number of COVID-19 cases, joining the state’s reaction to the virus by scaling back the reopening and urging Texans to stay at home.
   There were 17 new positive cases of the disease the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) reported Tuesday, June 30, for a current county total of 215 positive cases.
   Some 23 new positive cases were reported Monday – 40 in two days.
   Tuesday, seven people were seeking treatment at Matagorda Regional Medical Center, and there are 149 active cases and 61 recovered. 
   The impact of the jump in positive cases in June was widespread locally, with City Hall and CDC offices closing, along with the Bay City Public Library and municipal court.

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Thu
02
Jul

"Fireworks will mark Bay City, Palacios July 4th" by: Jessica Shepard

   This year, the City of Bay City is hosting a firework display in the field adjacent to the Schulman’s Movie Bowl and Grill starting at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 4.
   “On July 4, 1776, our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence which established our country’s values and virtues,” said Parks and Recreation Department Supervisor Kelly Penewitt.
   “This document establishes our inalienable rights; Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 
   “Along with celebrating our nation’s Independence, the holiday is also a great time to celebrate with family,” she said.  
   Parking for the fireworks display will be on a first-come basis.
   Parking areas include Schulman’s Movie Bowl and Grille, the former Ford dealership, Jackson Electric and the adjacent shopping center on Texas 35.  

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Thu
02
Jul

"March ends with family-oriented gathering" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Sunday’s ‘100 Men and Me March’ was led by people - all wearing face coverings - from the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Department to LeTulle Street for a “Peaceful Protest Rally’ coordinated by Frankie Cole and the Impact Center.

  The “100 Men and Me March,” and the Peaceful Protest Rally that followed attracted about 250 people Sunday, June 28.
   The event was presented by the Impact Center.
   “We wanted to encourage the neighborhoods to get out,” said Frankie Cole who coordinated the event.
   A parade – with some walking, others riding a bike and many who drove - that started at the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office and proceeded to the Duncan Street park near Upbring Bay City Head Start park at 3008 LeTulle St.
   Cole said the principles of unity, equality, justice and peace were stressed at the rally which drew families and children for barbecue and games, as well as several speakers – many from the nearby neighborhood.

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Thu
02
Jul

"MCEDC looks for strategic planning consensus" by: Mike Reddell

Qualifications of three strategic planning consultants will be reviewed by several agencies, Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) board members decided last week.
   This is an early step toward the latest countywide strategic planning effort as EDC Executive Director Mike Ferdinand presented the board with three candidates he said were well qualified and their proposed compensation is well below what they’re normally paid.
   Board Member Mitch Thames gave a brief history of previous strategic planning projects, including two that were funded by LCRA.
   Last Friday, EDC board members indicated they want all of the government, economic development and business and industry groups behind this strategic planning effort.
   Thames pushed for a “resolution to work together and not in silos” as some earlier strategic plans appeared to do.

Thu
02
Jul

"County extends disaster declaration" by: Jessica Shepard

   Commissioners unanimously extended its Declaration of Disaster because of COVID-19 and approved the 2020 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant as part of their regular meeting Monday morning, June 29.
   The Declaration of Disaster extension ends Monday, July 17, and makes disaster funds available to the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.
   Precinct 2 commissioner Kent Pollard expects the beaches to be full during 4th of July weekend festivities.
   “Even with spike in positive virus cases, we are still expecting large crowds at our beaches,” he said.
   “I’ve been in contact with the GLO (Texas General Land Office) and the beaches will remain open. 
   “I am hopeful that people take care and follow the suggestive rules and maintain social distance.
   “We want everyone to enjoy themselves and be careful,” he added.

Thu
02
Jul

"July 4th closings to begin Friday" by: Jessica Shepard

   County offices will be closed on Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.
   Those closings include early vote polling locations at the Matagorda County Courthouse Annex, 405 Commerce St., Palacios and the Matagorda County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Building at 2604 Nichols Avenue, Bay City.
   Federal closings for Saturday, July 4, include the  U.S. Postal Service and banks – both will re-open with normal business hours Monday, July 6.
   City of Bay City departments, offices and facilities are currently closed and only available via phone until July 13 due to COVID-19.
   This year, the City of Bay City is practicing physical distancing and will host a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. in the field adjacent to the Schulman’s Movie Bowl and Grill.  
   WCA Waste Management trash pickups will continue as normally scheduled.

Thu
02
Jul

First-ever Matagorda County Trade Days brings artisans to locals

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
The first-ever Matagorda County Trade Days featured a variety of vendors from homemade baked goods, plants, jewelry, and wood furnishings to live music, homemade salsa, and knives for sale, Saturday, June 27. The Trade Days will be happening every fourth Saturday of the month.

Thu
02
Jul

"Early vote on runoffs under way" by: Mike Reddell

   A total of 51 people voted the first day in the July 14 runoffs from the March 3 primaries.
   The local races include the Republican Precinct 3 Commissioner runoff between Steven Johnson and Troy Shimek.
   The other local Republican race is the District 25 State Representative runoff between Cody Vasut and Ro’vin Garrett, both from Brazoria County.
   The early voting will be through July 10 – the polls will be closed Friday, July 3, as part of the July 4th holiday - and July 6-10.
   Early voting times will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Matagorda County Fairgrounds (Multipurpose Building) and the Matagorda County Courthouse Annex (Palacios). 

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Thu
02
Jul

Markham VFD hosts crawfish boil

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
The Markham Volunteer Fire Department sold 700 pounds of crawfish with corn and potatoes during their "Crawfish Boil" Saturday, June 27. The department sold out in just over an hour from their 11 a.m. serving time. Proceeds from the boil benefit the department.

Thu
02
Jul

Hallmark statement on tax office closing due to COVID

   JUNE 26, 2020 PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR TAX OFFICE CLOSURE 
   As of today, Matagorda County has reported 90 Covid-19 cases from the period of June 1 through June 26, 2020. 
   For the months of March through May there were a total of 70 cases for a three month period. 
   Our risk of exposure has risen as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.
   Therefore, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020, the Matagorda County Tax office will be closed to the public. 
   Our office will remain staffed and available to assist the public through online services, via US Mail, or by telephone from 8 AM – 4:45 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding Holidays. 
   A drop box for motor vehicle registration renewals and property tax payments will be located in the hallway just outside the tax office. 
   A receipt and registration sticker will be returned via US Mail if applicable.

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