Estlinbaum part of conference on immigration

   Judge Craig Estlinbaum will take part in an immigration law seminar on April 7 at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston.     
   Estlinbaum will discuss special challenges presented in criminal cases involving non-citizen defendants in Texas courts.
   The Judge’s presentation focuses on a 2016 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decision addressing issues related to non-citizen defendant cases.   
   Estlinbaum has previously spoken on this topic at St. Mary’s Law School and later to over 175 Texas judges at a 2015 criminal law conference hosted by the Texas Center for the Judiciary in Austin. 
   “I am honored to be invited to speak at this immigration law seminar,” Estlinbaum said.  
   “It is important for defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges to understand how immigration law impacts criminal cases involving non-citizen defendants.”   


Mascheck leaves Tidehaven for Columbia

Bay City Sentinel/Mike Reddell
Brent Mascheck rubs his head following a talk with a referee during a Tidehaven playoff game last fall.

   Calling it “the toughest decision of my career,” Tidehaven High School athletic director and head football coach Brent Mascheck accepted the same position at Columbia High School Monday night, April 4.
   “This has nothing to do with Tidehaven,” Mascheck said told The Sentinel after the Columbia-Brazoria school board approved his hiring. 
   “They (Tidehaven) have been so great to me. The community and kids are just fantastic. 
   “They are what make Tidehaven a very special place. This was just, professionally and financially, the move my family and I had to make. But it was a very difficult decision to make. 
   “I broke down several times when I told the kids about it.”

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2 hurt in single-car rollover

   Two occupants were injured in a single-car rollover in 800 block of Seventh Street early Sunday morning, Bay City police said.
   Bay City police and fire departments and Matagorda County EMS were dispatched at 3:20 a.m. Sunday, April 3, to where the vehicle rolled on its side and was smoking.  
   Upon arrival, the two occupants were already out of the vehicle. 
   Officer Matthew Tilley saw flames and requested the fire department and then he and a bystander helped the occupants move to a safer location until EMS arrived.
   The vehicle was traveling East on Seventh (Texas 35) when the driver fell asleep, police remarked.
   The driver awoke just before the vehicle struck a light pole, knocking down power lines.  
   Then the driver over corrected while trying to reenter the roadway. The vehicle rolled over on the driver’s side and slid before stopping and coming back to an upright position, reports show.


Market Days gets its summers back by: Jessica Shepard

Market Days shoppers get a serenade in this file photo.

   A spirited meeting of the Market Days Steering Committee emerged with fresh looks - pros and cons - of the issues tied to Bay City Market Days Monday afternoon at the chamber.
   Brandon Cox steered the meeting and invited everyone in the room and beyond to be part of the solution to keep Market Days alive.
   “I appreciate everybody’s enthusiasm and interest in Market Days,” said Cox.
   Most concerns were geared towards the change in hours and the loss of the summer months due to the climate.
   “Here’s what I hear. I hear that I’m killing people because it’s so hot,” said Mitch Thames, Bay City Chamber of Commerce president.
   Market Days will remain - with new hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be scheduled through the summer.
   That means the third Saturdays in June, July and August are back on the books.


Proposal calls for refining building permit process

Bay City Sentinel/Mike Reddell
Eric Cruz (right) tells council at a workshop last week how to restructure permit fee structure and provide builders fast permitting turnaround.

   Refining the city’s building department and possibly raising fees in exchange for a fast turnaround on the permitting process was presented to a city council workshop Thursday night, March 24.
   The non-profit Institute for Building Technology Safety (IBTS) earlier was asked by Mayor Mark Bricker and city council to assess the city’s building department and, after giving their findings last week, IBTS will present a proposal at council’s next meeting April 7.
   ITBS recommendations include condensing the building permit process, helping with train and certify the present building department staff, plus boost it to handle additional code-compliance services.
   ITBS also proposed fully automating the present building permit fee structure to provide existing fees on a “routine schedule” of less than four weeks, or an accelerated process that assures permits are processed rapidly and inspectors are fully expert for all code inspections.


County names 2 to TIRZ boards

   Commissioners Kent Pollard and James Gibson are Matagorda County’s appointees to the City of Bay City’s two Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ).
   The two commissioners will serve on boards directing the two zones – one for the North Downtown Plan and the other for the Schulman entertainment district – that were created by city council recently.
   Commissioners court at its meeting Monday also approved request for bids on the Gulf Pier Project at Sargent Beach and re-approved a request for proposals for roof replacement and repair on several county buildings.
   The Sargent Beach gulf pier will be built into the Gulf of Mexico, just south of the West Mooring Dock on CR 238, and will feature a T-head fishing pier, access ramp and limestone turnaround for public access.
   The project also calls for a 10-foot by 500-foot wood-framed pier atop concrete pilings.


MEHOP masquerade ball its main fundraiser

Photo courtesy of MEHOP
Jessica Russell, Toddie Garcia, and Kristina Saglime show off just some of this year’s silent auction items for MEHOP’s annual fundraiser. All proceeds from the masquerade themed event benefit MEHOP and its customers.

   MEHOP’s annual fundraiser will get jazzy at the Bay City Civic Center this Saturday, April 2.
   So far, over 300 tickets have been sold.
   For $50 per person or $500 for a table of 10, you’ll get a masquerade themed experience to help raise funds for MEHOP.
   “The goal this year is to make as much, if not more than last year,” said Jessica Russell, director of employee and public affairs.
   “Proceeds from the event will go towards the renovation of our original buildings to use for training facilities such as a demonstration kitchen to teach patients how to prepare and eat healthy, expanding our education classes, providing a sick day daycare, and extending our eligibility counselor service area.”
   Masquerade attire is optional and masquerade masks will also be available for purchase at the event.
   The masquerade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with a silent auction, cocktails and a live auction.


Council now owns title to old theater

   City council accepted the transfer of the old Texas Theater building from Ignite Church last week, capping a months-long discussion of converting the 1927 structure into a Bay City cultural arts center.
   Council also approved Bay City Community Development Corporation’s decision to borrow about $3.9 million to refinance the 2007 sales tax revenue bonds to convert the old K-Mart building into the Center for Energy Development (CED) and to fund construction of a parking lot for the proposed Schulman entertainment complex.

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Grandstaff, Ramos deal with more than just dogs and cats

BCPD photo
Animal control officers Dottie Grandstaff and Joe Ramos with another denizen of Matagorda County.

   For many years, police departments had officers that were commonly known as “dog catchers.”    
   In some agencies the dog catcher was a certified peace officer while in other agencies they were not.    
   Through the years, that dog catcher position has changed.  Bay City Police Department has been blessed with talented and caring Animal Control Officers (ACO).    
   ACO Joe Ramos has been employed with the Bay City Police Department since early 1992.    
   ACO Dottie Grandstaff has been employed with the Police Department since late 2007.  
   Patrol Officers are used to getting calls of disturbances or accidents, but sometimes they have to take an animal call.    
   The call could be anything from barking dogs to animals running at large. The animal at large calls are not limited to stray dogs or cats.    
   They include wild birds, alligators, and even snakes.    


BCISD honors Payne and Cunningham

Bay City Sentinel photos/Jessica Shepard
BCISD Athletic Director Lupe Florez is flanked by Blackcat football players Malcolm Cunningham, left, and Prinard Payne. Both players received Celebration of Excellence honors from the Bay City ISD School Board March 21. They were both named as Honorable Mention members of the Associated Press Sports Editors Team and Texas Sports Writers Association Team. Cunningham was honored as a punter, and Payne as a defensive back.


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