News

Thu
06
Aug

Sales tax holiday could save on school supplies

   Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds shoppers the annual sales tax holiday is scheduled for this Friday,Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 - 9.
   The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend.
   Lists of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller’s website at TexasTaxHoliday.org.
    According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office the Texas state sales and use tax rate is 6.25 percent, but local taxing jurisdictions like cities and counties can also impose sales and use tax up to 2 percent for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent.
   For an item to be tax exempt it must cost less than $100 before tax is added.
Thu
06
Aug

Crouch leans on love of cooking, culture for his Cafe Roux menus

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Café Roux chef and owner Jade Crouch, packages a generous helping of gumbo and rice to go. Café Roux is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner-To-Go meals are available from 2 to 6 p.m.

   Jade Crouch, owner and chef of Café Roux (pronounced ‘ROO’) is creating quite a stir downtown in Bay City.
   Crouch is cooking up Cajun favorites like gumbo and read beans and rice as well as a few family recipes.
   The gumbo itself features chicken and sausage and pairs well with white rice.
   Café Roux is tucked into the back of the Health Food Cottage and operates from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
   “I’ve always cooked and enjoyed cooking,” said Crouch.
   “I wanted something different here in Bay City, so, I decided to do it myself.”
   These are family recipes from my mother and grandmother, he added.
   “My maw-maw had a restaurant in Cut Off Louisiana in the 50s,” said Crouch.
   “So, she knew how to cook.”
Thu
30
Jul

Tenaris ups tax rolls by $100m

 The 2015 certified tax rolls for Matagorda County’s 24 taxing entities totaling $6.026 billion were recently released by the Matagorda County Appraisal District.
   That total is 2.92 percent higher than the 2014 certified roll total of $5.855 billion, a difference of about $170 million.
   “The county as a whole remained about neutral,” said Vince Maloney, MCAD chief appraiser.
   Overall, Maloney said oil and gas prices fell, and production continued to decline. “Residential was up a bit, probably due to an increase in demand and little new inventory,” he pointed out.
   “Commercial values were steady, being helped out by the increased demand for rental properties.”
   Industry values are on the rise, Maloney noted, with several expansions underway.
Thu
30
Jul

Farewell for Ciro

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Matagorda County Sheriff Skipper Osborne, left, hands an urn containing the cremated remains of K-9 Deputy Ciro to the dog’s partner Sgt. Philip Hester during a farewell service at the sheriff’s department compound Friday afternoon.

Thu
30
Jul

Pollard: Unpaid retiree premiums were ‘inescusable’

It’s inexcusable for Matagorda County retired employees’ health insurance premiums to go unpaid, Precinct 2 Commissioner Kent Pollard told the commissioners court Monday.
   The premiums were paid after County Auditor Cathy Ezell informed County Treasurer Tammy McDonald that the March, May and June premiums went unpaid, the court learned at its regular meeting Monday, July 27.
   Ezell said in an interview later Monday that the missed payments were discovered in an internal financial review for the second quarter of 2015. 
   A random audit of every county department was part of that internal review Ezell explained to commissioners at their meeting.
   The retiree health insurance premiums were not included in the county payroll for those three months, commissioners were told.
    “I mean it’s just inexcusable,” Pollard said at the meeting. 
Thu
30
Jul

3 WCA gripe sessions since Fall

   Ferlin Justice got an earful about WCA Waste’s brush pickup deficiencies in Bay City from city staff, city council and from citizens last week.
   Made worse by Tropical Storm Bill in June, neglected brush piles on Bay City streets before the storm grew larger and there were more of them after the storm, several people noted at council’s regular meeting Thursday, July 23.
   “The reason for this on the agenda,” Public Information Officer Dustin Hodges told council, “Is that anyone driving around the streets are overwhelmed with brush piles.”
   Problems with WCA - the city’s solid-waste collection contractor since August 2013 – have landed on council’s agenda at least three times in less than a year. That includes meetings in November, February and last week. Some problems with the contractor emerged in Fall 2013.
   “We even met earlier,” Hodges said of a previous meeting with Justice about pickup complaints.
Thu
30
Jul

LCRA preproposal calls for reservoir in Colorado County

  LCRA recently submitted a pre-proposal for a $10 million federal grant to build a new downstream reservoir.  
   The proposed roughly 2,000-acre-foot Prairie Conservation Reservoir project would include an off-channel reservoir and new pump station on land LCRA purchased in Colorado County. 
   Water from the potential reservoir could provide some of the initial water to fill the canals in the Lakeside Irrigation Division at the start of each irrigation season, and would reduce the division’s dependence on the Highland Lakes.  
   Simulations indicate the reservoir could reduce water orders on the Highland Lakes by up to 20,000 acre-feet in a typical year.
   The project is only a pre-proposal at this point. 
Thu
30
Jul

Nighttime paddling excursion set July 31

   The Matagorda County Birding Nature Center, near Bay City, will host for this month’s second nighttime paddling excursion in the full moon on Friday, July 31. 
   All area kayakers, canoeists and stand-up paddle boarders are invited to participate.  
   The launch will take place at the Center’s pier beginning at 8:04 p.m., with moonrise at 8:28 p.m.   
   It should be in full view on the Colorado River about 20-30 minutes later.   
   It is strongly suggested that each individual bring two glow sticks, a headlamp and bottled water; plus wear a life jacket during the evening outing.   
   MCBNC members may use a loaner kayak (single or tandem), at no charge, on a first-come basis.   
   Non-members are asked to bring their own boat or board, paddle and PFD and pay the $3/person or $5/carload entry fee at the Nature Center.    
Thu
30
Jul

Services recognized Ciro’s contribution

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Taking part in the farewell services for K-9 Deputy Ciro were, from left: Reverend L.V. Harvey, who served as paster for the ceremony; Sheriff Skipper Osborne; Bay City Police Department K-9 officer Keith Hatton and his partner, Kim; Lt. Frank Craft; the sheriff’s department K-9 officer, Sgt. Philip Hester, and his wife, Shannon Hester, and their children Ayva, Trinity and Gavin.

   The funeral procession included sheriff’s department vehicles and Bay City police cruisers escorted by the Matagorda County Cavalry down Texas 60 for a solemn service on the sheriff’s department grounds Friday afternoon.
   Around 50 people gathered to pay their respects to the fallen sheriff’s K-9, Deputy Ciro. The dog had been certified in December 2013 and died July 14, from a spine-related illness. 
   Ciro’s partner, Sgt. Philip Hester, took the dog to the Texas A&M Small Animal Hospital to try and save him. 
   The dog was later cremated. The Cavalry awaited the return of Ciro’s remains at Bay City’s VFW Post 1428, and when they arrived the procession began.
   Mourners included Hester and his wife, Shannon, and their children, Ayva, Trinity, and Gavin.
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Thu
30
Jul

Hotel Blessing fundraiser tops goal

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
One of the more unique hot rods at the hotel’s fundraiser.

   Hotel Blessing exceeded their goal amount after their fundraiser Saturday. July 18. with an estimated 500 to 600 attending the five-hour event. 
   “A huge contributor to increase attendance is the word of mouth from past attendees about how great a time they had listening to the polka band, eating, buying auction items, sitting under the trees visiting with old friends,” said Connie Cobb. 
   Just over $15,000 was raised to help renovate the dining room floor of the hotel. 
   “We had hoped to match or exceed last year’s total, in which we successfully exceeded by $1, 000,” said Cobb. 
    “Auction was down this year but was made up by increase in raffle and food sales due to increased attendance.” 

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