News

Thu
26
Nov

State economic development specialist meets with MCEDC

   A visit from the regional representative with the governor’s economic development office, a review of ongoing projects and approval of the 2016 budget topped the Matagorda County Economic Development (MCEDC) board meeting Friday, Nov. 20.
   Betty Russo uses her extensive economic development (ED) background in her role with the governor’s ED regional representative in serving 42 Texas counties, she told the MCEDC board.
   “The state wants to be more involved with chambers of commerce and small businesses,” said the Houston-based Russo.
   “I meet with brokers and developers and I’m available to help those businesses,” she noted.
   “I am your liaison with the state agencies,” such as the Texas Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Texas Capital Fund, Russo told the board.
   “Now I can work with you,” she said.

Thu
19
Nov

Wild times at shopping

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Contestants nearly collide amidst the planned-for chaos in Tuesday's 25th Annual HEB Grocery Shopping Spree. Aisles were filled with yelling, confusion and rival teams blocking each other from getting their goods

Thu
19
Nov

Deputies pick up slack for troopers in Valley

   The state’s decision to send highway patrolmen to the Rio Grande Valley to help secure the border is putting a strain on sheriff departments throughout Texas 
   “What it’s doing to us is we only have three troopers in the county now and, at any given time, one is going to South Texas,” said Matagorda County Sheriff Skipper Osborne.
   “That leaves us at two troopers working,” the sheriff pointed out, adding the two can’t work 24/7 to patrol the county’s highways.
   Texas lawmakers authorized spending $800 million over the next two years and hiring 250 more state troopers to beef up the state’s already large presence on the border. 
   The scarcity of available troopers locally means deputies will wait at an accident for as much as two hours for a highway patrol officer to arrive from Sealy, in Austin County, or from Richmond-Rosenberg, Osborne explained.

Thu
19
Nov

New water plan more restrictive

   The new water management plan that TCEQ approved recently is more restrictive than the 2010 plan that’s been in use.
   What’s troubling farmers in Matagorda, Wharton and Colorado counties is the significantly higher TCEQ-mandated combined storage level of the Buchanan and Travis reservoirs must reach before water for agricultural uses can be released to the three counties.
   The trigger level for curtailing interruptible stored (agriculture irrigation) water for downstream is now about three times higher than the 2010 plan, said Haskell Simon, a longtime Matagorda County rice farmer.
   The Lower Colorado River Authority has followed the 2010 water management plan through this year the TCEQ approved a much-revised LCRA plan - based on TCEQ recommendations - in November 2015.

Thu
19
Nov

VV board votes new rules for residency

   Van Vleck ISD school board voted Monday to clarify rules for just who can attend the district’s schools.
   “As you well know, our school is very popular, and we have a lot of parents come out here and tell us all kind of things (in order to get their children into the district),” Superintendent John O’Brien told the board before its vote. 
   “What this does is give us a uniform regulation, throughout all campuses. We will have documents to verify that these parents are actually living where they say they live.”
   The changes establish a specific, district-wide criteria for how parents may prove their residency. 
   They also address the issue of grandparents who live in the district and provide after-school care for their grandchildren who live elsewhere.

Thu
19
Nov

Ladycat softball team recognized by trustees

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
BCISD Board of Trustees Celebration of Excellence honors 2015 varsity softball team members. Front row: Abigail Torres, Maliyah Griggs, Paitan Hassell, Taylor MacKenzie, Hannah Eidlebach and Cheyenne Trevino. Back Row: Drew Gonzales, Gabriella Garza, Harmony Santoya, McKayla Brown and Amy Bertsch. Not pictured are Samantha Thomas, Melissa Bullock, Bailey Nichols, Corrie Lopez, Juliet Galvan..

   The 2015 BCHS varsity softball team was recognized with Celebration of Excellence honors by the BCISD school board Monday night.
   Sixteen girls received medals and awards for being the team with the second-highest GPA in the U.S. for the second year in a row by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
   Each Ladycat also was awarded the NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete award by the coaches association.
   To qualify for this award, athletes must have at least a 3.5 out of a 4.0 GPA.
   Trustees voted on and approved Budget Amendment #12 to fund contracting with North Star Recovery to clean the HVAC units and ducts at Tenie Holes and Linnie Roberts elementary campuses.
   “I’ve been reporting to the board that we have bene having some air quality problems reported by Holmes, primarily,” said Superintendent Keith Brown.

Thu
19
Nov

Closings scheduled for Thanksgiving week

   Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday, Nov. 26 this year.
   All federal, state and city offices will be closed in observance of this holiday and open again at normal hours on Friday, Nov. 27.
   This includes the United States Postal Service as well.
   The Bay City ISD and Van Vleck ISD will be closed the week of Nov. 23 – 27, with classes to begin at regularly scheduled times on Monday, Nov. 30.
   Tidehaven ISD will be closed for Thanksgiving break Nov. 25 – 27 and return to normal class times on Monday, Nov. 30.
   Trash pickups will be adjusted for Thanksgiving Day as follows:

  •    Normal Thursday pickups will be on Friday.
  •    Normal Friday pickups will be on Saturday.

   The regular pickup schedule will resume Monday, Nov. 30.
   On Thanksgiving Day HEB stores will be open from 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. with normal operating hours starting on Friday, Nov. 27.
   Walmart in Bay City is open all day.

Thu
19
Nov

Court canvasses Nov. 3 election results

   Matagorda County Commissioners Court canvassed the results of the Nov. 3 special constitutional amendment election at the court’s regular meeting Monday, Nov. 16.
   County Clerk Janet Hickl noted the previously announced totals to commissioners: 2,583 people voted, out of the county’s 20,718 registered voters, for a 12.47 percent turnout.
   That turnout was actually higher than expected locally, Hickl pointed out.
   Matagorda County voters followed the statewide trend in approving all seven of the proposed amendments.
   In a county beset with voting-machine failures and late-night election results in years past, HIckl noted the success of the new eSlate voting machines.
   “The results were in by 8 p.m. and we were gone by 9,” Hickl said.
   “We received a lot of compliments,” the county clerk said of the new voting machines.

Thu
19
Nov

Holst Award nominations are due Friday

   The deadline for the George Holst Award nomination forms is Friday, Nov. 20.  
   The George Holst Award will be presented to the recipient at the MCEDC Annual Meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10.  
   Nominees must be available to attend. Nomination forms are available at MCEDC Offices at 2200 7th St., Suite 302, in Bay City; or EMAIL hmenzies@mcedc.net; or CALL 979-245-8913. 
   The George Holst Award recognizes an outstanding individual or organization for their excellence in community vision and economic leadership.  
   Qualifications include good moral character, the ability to give solid reasons for an action, and the ability to move people emotionally and intellectually. 
    The award is sponsored by the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation. A nomination form is required to submit a nominee.  

Thu
19
Nov

Crime Stoppers to revive efforts in Matagorda County

    Crime Stoppers is looking to make a comeback in Matagorda County.
   A group of supporters gathered Nov. 3 for at least the third time this year to discuss and plan a “re-birth” of the crime-tip program in the area.
   “This program works,” said retired police Bay City police officer Bobby Rodriguez. 
   “I’ve seen its fruits, over and over. People are afraid to call police directly about things they see. They are so afraid of retaliation. They don’t want to be involved. So we definitely need to get it going again.”
   Technically, Crime Stoppers has been in business in the county since at least 1987, giving local residents an outlet to anonymously help police solve crimes and earn cash for their tips. But, everyone at last week’s meeting agreed, the program has not been used to its potential in recent years.

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