"Jones wants Blackcats to restore winning ways" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Blackcat Coach Bryan Hood works on a drill with players Monday, Aug. 3, the first day of two-a-day practices. Practice was on the new Memorial Stadium turf field.

   Bay City High School football coaches discovered something positive from players during BCHS summer camp. “We’re already on top of this,” said Head Football Coach Robert Jones. 
   “Because of summer camp, we implemented all of our offense and defense schemes,” the new Blackcat head football coach said at the start of two-a-days Monday morning. 
   The first day of practice was held in the new Memorial Stadium and its artificial turf field.  
   Jones said the players were more focused on getting back to football since the pandemic closed schools last spring. 
   Jones thought about starting practices on grass.  
   “Mosquitoes ruled that out,” he added. 
   Jones was asked how it feels to begin his first head coaching job at his Alma meter. 
   “It feels awesome to start out in Bay City,” said Jones, a former Blackcat football player, who finished BCHS in 2000. 


"Texas will face hotter, drier conditions in future decades" By Keith Randall Texas A&M Universtiy Division of Marketing

   Texas’ future climate will feature drier summers and decreasing water supplies for much of the state for the remainder of the 21st century – likely resulting in the driest conditions the state has endured in the last 1,000 years, according to a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor. 
   Using the most advanced climate models, the team projected drought conditions and relevant information for stakeholders like agricultural producers, large surface water suppliers, small groundwater water districts and regional water planning districts. 
   The researchers found the message is clear: Texas is getting hotter and drier, and the time to take action is now. 


FOEC new van for rural public transportation

Contributed photo
Above: Shawn Fennell, GCRPC Transportation Program Coordinator, Dianna Zboral, Matagorda Co R-Transit Manager and Praxedes (Coco) Quintania, Matagorda Co R-Transit Mg/Driver.

   Friends of Elder Citizens, Inc. and Matagorda County will be benefit from a federal program grant of nearly $300,000 to replace aging fleet vehicles used for rural public transportation. 
   The Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission (GCRPC) was recently awarded a Federal Transit Administration Bus and Bus Facilities grant of $298,500 by the Texas Department of Transportation to replace four aging fleet vehicles used to provide rural public transportation. 
   Based on the GCRPC Asset Management Plan, GCRPC was able to replace vehicles in Jackson, Matagorda, Goliad, and Lavaca County with 2020 Lonestar Promaster 1500s, which are fully ADA-compliant and configured to transport up to 8 passengers. 
   The Friends of Elder Citizens, Inc. has partnered with GCRPC as a subcontractor providing transportation services for Jackson and Matagorda counties for many years. 


White new Cherry Elementary principal

Jana White

   Bay City ISD has promoted Jana White to principal of the John H. Cherry Elementary School. White served the campus as assistant principal last school year. 
   Prior to moving to Bay City, White served for six years as an assistant principal in Victoria ISD, and began her career in education as an elementary teacher. 
   White was named the 2020 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year as well as the Region 3 TEPSA Assistant Principal of the Year. 
   She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and earned her master’s & bachelor’s degrees from the University of Houston-Victoria. 
   “I am humbled by the opportunity to lead such an amazing staff at Cherry Elementary and to be able to serve our BCISD community. 
   “My passion for early childhood developed early in life, through years of watching and helping my granny with children at her in-home daycare. 


Hagg tapped as Tenie Holmes principal

Ashley Hagg

   Ashley Hagg has been appointed Principal of Tenie Holmes Elementary. 
   Hagg began her professional education career in Bay City ISD in 2010 as a teacher at Tenie Holmes. 
   She taught for five years in the classroom in first and third grades at Holmes, moved into the school counselor role at Cherry Elementary from 2015 through 2019, and was Principal of Linnie Roberts for the 2019-2020 school year.
   Hagg earned her undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University in Early Childhood Education, and her Masters in School Counseling from Lamar University. 
   She also achieved her Principal Certification from Lamar University.
In addition to her position with BCISD, Hagg serves as a member of Kids In Distress and is a board member of Sunshine and Rainbows school. 
   Hagg is married to Michael, and they have two daughters Adilynn (3) and Brooklynn (7 months).


Sullivan new Pct. 2 constable

Keith Sullivan (left) - recently sworn in as Precinct 2 Constable - is congratulated by Precinct 6 Constable Bill Orton.
Photo courtesy of Prct. 6 Constable Bill Orton


"Commissioners Court extends disaster declaration to Aug. 24" by: Jessica Shepard

   Commissioners unanimously approved extending the COVID-19 declaration of disaster and reward for reporting illegal dumping violations as part of their regular meeting Monday, July 27. 
   That extension is roughly 28 days and is set to expire Monday, Aug. 24. 
   “This is just for us to keep up with the COVID-19 pandemic and keep the county covered,” said Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald. 
   “Keeping this in place makes disaster funds available to the county if we need them.” 
   Commissioners also unanimously approved a $50 reward for reporting illegal dumping violations that occur in Matagorda County and result in the apprehension and prosecution of an offender. 
   “Do you just take a picture of the person or their license plate?” asked Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Graham. 
   “They need to be caught in the act, yes,” said County Attorney Denise Fortenberry. 


VVISD registration opens Aug. 3

   Van Vleck ISD opens online registration for the 2020-2021 school year Monday, Aug. 3. 
   The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 17. 
   “Despite the current events surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic, VVISD has been preparing for the reopening of schools since May,” the district website said. 
   “The VVISD ‘Back to School Plan’ has been developed with collaboration of information from the VVISD Reopening task force, parent and staff surveys, the recent release from TEA officials, the Governor Greg Abbott’s executive orders, and the Texas Department of State Health Services local authorities.” 
   Parents and guardians have the option of sending their students to school for in-person instruction or to choose online virtual instruction. 
   If virtual instruction is chosen, students in grades 3-12 will have synchronous instruction - option to view teachers in real-time. 


"Shrimpers escape storm at Port of Palacios" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Port of Palacios shrimp boat berth accommodations were sufficient but tight as the boats and crews sought shelter at the port late last week from Hurricane Hanna. Port officials said there were 170 boats packed in the basin.

Hurricane Hanna forced shrimp boats working the Gulf of Mexico last week to seek shelter in the Port of Palacios. 
   Beginning Wednesday and all day Thursday and Friday, the shrimpers entered the port seeking a berth, said Victor Martinez Jr., port director for the Matagorda County Navigation District No. 1.  
   By late Friday when the hurricane’s outer bands reached Palacios, the port’s ship basin snuggly fit about 170 boats, Martinez said. 
   “The port is known as the unofficial refuge for shrimp boats,” Martinez said. 
   “It’s well known in the gulf.” 
   Once shrimpers receive clearance for entering the port basin, many boats tie up by the shrimp houses they work for, he said. 
   Even if they didn’t find space with a shrimp house, the boats all found refuge, Martinez added. 
   “It was very creative how shrimpers make sure there was enough space,” he said. 


"TISD parents face deadline Friday" by: Jessica Shepard

   Tidehaven ISD released its plans for face-to-face and online instruction on July 23. 
   The TISD school board meets Thursday, July 30, to discuss extracurricular participation and purchasing school supplies for students among other agenda items.
Tidehaven ISD parents have until noon Friday, July 31, to complete a survey stating if their student will start the year online or will come to campus in-person.    
   “We miss our students tremendously,” said TISD Superintendent Dr. Andrew Seigrist via Facebook. 
   “We miss our students and have poured our hearts and minds into addressing the reopening of our schools and keeping everyone safe. 
   “We are lost without them and want to see them face to face. If families feel online learning is best for their family, we are prepared to provide online learning,” he said. 
   Seigrist asked parents and caregivers to go to the district’s website and click on the “COVID-19” tab for more information. 


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