News

Thu
01
Oct

Maloney wants agencies to know costs of lawsuit

  A district court trial hearing will be Oct. 19 on the Tres Palacios natural gas storage lawsuit against the Matagorda Central Appraisal District over a $390 million appraisal.  
   “The disputed taxes for all years that are in jeopardy are just under $20 million,” for the seven taxing entities that tax Tres Palacios, said MCAD Chief Appraiser Vince Maloney. 
   MCAD had a reduction in value in the lawsuit over the facility’s 2011 tax valuations but not as low as Tres Palacios wanted and Maloney said the district’s single lawyer was overwhelmed by the time it took working on the case. 
   This month’s hearing in Judge Ben Hardin’s 23rd District Court will be on 2012 and 2013 valuations – a consolidation Tres Palacios made earlier this year. 
   MCAD contends its appraisal of Tres Palacios properties at just under $400 million is more than in line with the $722.5 million price the operation’s owners paid for the property in 2010. 

Thu
01
Oct

Body identified after discovery in IWW Sunday

    A body found in the Intracoastal Waterway Sargent Beach Sunday was identified as Ricky Wayne Cloninger, 35, from New Caney, the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Department reported. 
   The family began searching for Cloninger early Saturday Sept. 26, after the victim went fishing Friday, Sept. 25. After midnight Saturday morning searched and couldn’t locate him, reports show.  
   Cloninger’s family called the sheriff’s office for help at 1 p.m. Saturday, deputies said. 
   Deputies talked to the family later Saturday and learned about Cloninger’s disappearance and the family’s searches. 
   Deputies made their report and the sheriff’s office also searched Saturday for the man but couldn’t find him. 
   Deputies were searching in Sargent Sunday when the department got a 911 call that reported a body was found in the waterway near Revetment Park, reports show. 
   Deputies also reported that after the body was identi-

Thu
01
Oct

Theater complex subject of City, BCCDC closed meeting

   No action was taken on the proposed entertainment complex following a more than two-hour executive session of city council and Bay City Community Development Corporation (BCCDC) board members Monday night at City Hall. 
   “It was a big brainstorming session,” BCCDC board president Bobby Wilkinson said Tuesday morning. 
   Following the executive session, BCCDC Board Member Loy Sneary moved to postpone a decision until next Monday night, Oct. 5, in another council and BCCDC joint meeting. 
   BCCDC Executive Director D.C. Dunham has worked on the Schulman Amusement Center on McCrosky Road for three years. The 47,000-square-foot center and parking lot will cost about $10 million. 
   The two groups held simultaneous meetings Monday and each conducted business before they jointly convened into executive session. 

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Thu
01
Oct

Global expert in nuclear technology visits county

   An international nuclear technology expert got a close-up look at Texas nuclear power emergency preparedness and response in a visit this week to Matagorda County and to STP. 
   Luis Carolos Longoria Gandara is the director of Latin American technical cooperation for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  
   Based in Vienna, Austria, Gandara and Mike Ford, the former county judge of Somervell County, were guests of County Judge Nate McDonald.  
   Somervell County is the home of Texas’ other nuclear power plant, Comanche Peak. 
   McDonald invited the Bay City newspapers to interview to Gandara Monday morning. 
   McDonald was in Vienna recently to attend an IAEA meeting and the judge invited Gandara to Matagorda County. 
   The PhD-educated Gandara was at Texas A&M before coming to Matagorda County. 

Thu
01
Oct

United Way, Bay City Lions, Bay City Rotary Club team up

Sentinel photos/Mike Reddell
Members of United Way, Bay City Lions and Bay City Rotary Club - representatives of all three groups are shown above - made it possible to put in a wheel chair ramp for Eva Garcia. This was the 50th project that the United Way volunteers have completed in the last three years.Ramps have been built in Matagorda,Wharton,Brazoria and Fort Bend counties.The total footage on the ramps are now at over 1,600 feet. Volunteer MarkThornton, at left, talks with his team in the earlier stages.

Thu
01
Oct

TML honors Bonnen as Legislator of Year

   AUSTIN – The Texas Municipal League recently announced that Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) has received a TML Legislator of the Year Award. 
   During the 84th regular session, Bonnen consistently advocated on behalf of municipal authority throughout the session when numerous attempts were made to erode local control.  
   Bonnen also authored and passed legislation that modified the deadline for cities to provide notice of a proposed property tax rate.  
   “Chairman Bonnen understands that taxpayers’ best recourse for change is at the local level,” said Bennett Sandlin, TML Executive Director.,” said Bennett Sandlin, Executive Director.
   “Instead of consolidating power at the state level, the Chairman understands that decisions are best left locally,” said Sandlin. 

Thu
01
Oct

District applauds welding students

BCISD photo/
Pictured from left are BCISD Trustee Terry Farrar, Superintendent Keith Brown, Trustee Secretary Bobby Kimball, Trustee Eddie Nelson, students Jose Ramos Jr, Fidel Munoz, Malcolm Cunningham, Miguel Serrano (BCHS grad 2015), Jamaude Fisher (BCHS grad 2015), Jonathan Mendoza, Juan Botello, Jose De Jesus Ramos, Adrian Ruiz, Jair De Jesus Saucedo (BCHS grad 2015), Emillio Hidalgo, welding teacher Bill Jenkins, welding teacher Bryan Brown, Trustee Crystal Allison, Trustee Vice President Bob Klepac, and Trustee Frankie Cole. Students and BCHS 2015 graduates not available for the picture were: Emiliano Hernandez, Ethan Ryman, Rogelio Ochoa, Zachary Phillips, Koby Baros, Marshall Garza, Jesus Carmona and Diego Garcia.

   Bay City ISD Board of Trustees honored the 19 Bay City High School students who earned AWS (American Welding Society) certifications at the end of the 2015 Spring semester with BCISD Celebration of Excellence medals and certificates at its regular board meeting Sept. 21.  
   A BCHS record number of students, 22, tested, with 19 earning the welding certificate.  
   Welding instructors from BCHS are Bryan Brown and Bill Jenkins.  
   Testing was done by two inspectors for STP. 
   BCHS Principal Chris Townsend introduced the honorees, saying, “Our Career and Technology Education, and our welding program in particular, is one of our strongest programs at BCHS. 
   “These students are performing at the highest level and are taught by master teachers.”

Thu
01
Oct

Trustees celebrate teacher excellence

BCISD photo/
Pictured, from left, are BCISD trustee Eddie Nelson, Trustee Terry Farrar Trustee Vice-President Bob Klepac, Trustee Secretary Bobby Kimball, Superintendent Keith Brown, BCHS teacher Tiffany Saunders, Trustee Crystal Allison and Trustee Frankie Cole.

   Bay City High School teacher Tiffany Saunders was honored by the Bay City school board for her spearheading and organizing the first C.A.T. Camp at BCHS in August.  
   Saunders was recognized at the regular school board meeting Sept. 21, and was presented with a certificate and medallion.  
   “Tiffany has been the catalyst for a huge and powerful transition at Bay City High School. I think if you’ve attended some BCHS events lately, you’ll have witnessed that school spirit is more visible and celebrated now,” BCHS Principal Chris Townsend said, when announcing the honor. 
   “The feeling of camaraderie and goodwill has blossomed under her leadership.” 
   C.A.T. Camp, (Character-Achievement-Tradition), was a three-day event this August at BCHS featuring inspirational speakers, learning school spirit chants and school songs, team-building exercises, and more.  

Thu
01
Oct

East Matagorda Bay Dressing Point Island part of rookery project island part of rookery project

   The Texas Rookery Islands project would restore and protect three rookery islands in Galveston Bay and one rookery island in East Matagorda Bay.  
   Rookery islands in Galveston Bay include Dickinson Bay Island II, located within Dickinson Bay; Rollover Bay Island, located in East (Galveston) Bay; and Smith Point Island, located west of the Smith Point peninsula.  
   Dressing Point Island lies in East Matagorda Bay and is part of the Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge.  
   The purpose of the proposed project is to begin to restore and protect injured bird species.  
   It would include coordination with state and federal agency biologists and with non-governmental organization partners prior to implementation and would be implemented by the Texas Trustees and the U.S. Department of the Interior.   

Thu
01
Oct

Falfurrias man arrested on felony pot possession

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Bay City police officers, Sgt. Philip Hester and Maximus, with the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Department, show off the 100 pounds of marijuana recently removed from a flatbed truck involved in an accident..

   South Texas man driving a flatbed truck was arrested on felony possession of more than 100 pounds of marijuana after causing an accident Wednesday, Sept. 23, Bay City police said. 
   The suspect, from Falfurrias, got the officers’ attention while they were investigating the accident in the 2100 block of Seventh. 
   Reports show officers noticed the driver was nervous and anxious to leave the location – offering to pay damages to the other driver’s vehicle.  
   Officers found this suspicious and began questioning the South Texas man, police said.  

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