News

Thu
16
Apr

Council rejects towing fee proposal

   A proposal to set non-consent towing fees went nowhere after a long debate at that meeting that ended with a motion that died for lack of a second at council’s regular session April 9.
   A similar proposed towing ordinance last September was tabled, and Coastal Automotive Director Susan Dancer opposed both attempts at setting fees for non-consent towing.
   Dancer told council last week that Coastal Automotive doesn’t charge a flat fee – there are “variables” in the charges for some towing-related services.
   The proposed non-consent towing fees surfaced, the Bay City Police Department noted last September and last week, because there have been numerous complaints about wrecker-service charges.
   Dancer said the proposed ordinance affected three-fifths of her towing operations and would be a 30 percent reduction to the current fees, adding, “We’ve been working at the same rate as 2011.
Thu
16
Apr

County accepts taser donations

   Donations to the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Department for 21 tasers were accepted by commissioners court Monday.
   Sheriff Frank “Skipper” Osborne told commissioners the donations from 11 companies and individuals total $15,801. 
   The five largest donations came from: James McAda, $5,723; STP, $2,500; Williams Companies, $2,500; VFW Post 2438, $2,000; and OXEA Corporation, $1,000. 
   A request to Tenaris for a donation was directed to its corporate officers, the sheriff said.
   “We went out for donations (to pay for the tasers) and had great success with it,” the sheriff said.
   Each taser costs about $1,000, the sheriff said to a question from Precinct 2 Commissioner Kent Pollard.

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Thu
16
Apr

New NASA-Texas A&M Glaveston app allows seaweed trackage

   Working with NASA scientists, Texas A&M University at Galveston researchers unveiled today a first-of-its kind app to track seaweed – technically called sargassum – as it approaches the Texas Coast. 
   Called SEAS (Sargassum Early Advisory System), the new app will provide valuable information to tourists, fishermen, boaters and the general public on the direction of the seaweed and the hour it should hit a certain part of the coast. Huge floating mats of sargassum have plagued Texas beaches in recent years, and last year immense mounds of the seaweed were stacked almost 10 feet high in and around the Galveston area; officials said it was the worst such seaweed incident in at least the last 50 years. 
Thu
16
Apr

Kubena explains local option term

   Markham resident Richard Kubena, who worked to get a local option election on the May 9 ballot, said there has been some confusion about the off-premises terminology involved. 
   The election is a local option decision for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 voters in Blessing, Markham, Midfield and the western edges of Bay City.  
   The local option asks voters in that JP precinct to permit beer and wine sales for off-premise consumption only.  
   That means, Kubena reiterated Tuesday, wine and beer can be purchased at a convenience store, but the alcohol cannot be consumed at that location.  
   The local option election, if it passes, also would prohibit lounges, pubs or inns that sell alcohol from opening in JP Precinct 4. 
   Kubena stresses that the election is for the dry part of the precinct. “It won’t affect the wet part of the precinct,” he said.     
Thu
16
Apr

Bay City VFD receives donation

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
With the Bay City Volunteer Fire Department’s new brush truck as a background, SPJST, a longtime life insurance and benevolent order, presented a $1,000 donation to the department last week. SPJST District 6 Director Karen Kaspar (center) presented the check as part of the organization’s community support - Matagorda County is part of District 6. Joining her were, from left: Training Officer James Svetlik, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Coppock and Fire Chief Randy Frontz. BCVFD acquired the brush truck - the department’s first - with a $100,000 Texas Forest Service grant last Fall. Frontz and Svetlik note the truck cost $174,000, so the volunteers will apply the SPJST donation plus proceeds from their May 16 Fill the Bucket fundraiser to make up the rest.

Thu
16
Apr

April claimed "Learn to Swim Well Month' by Council

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Bay City council recently proclaimed April as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) “Learn to Swim Well Month.” Taking part in the proclamation were, from left: Council Member Julie Estlinbaum; Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn Thames; USACE Matagorda Lockmaster Simon DeSoto; Mayor Mark Bricker, and council members Crystal Folse and Steven Johnson.

Thu
16
Apr

Artists, music on tap for sip, stroll Art Walk

Contributed photo
Todd Roth from the blues band, “My Buddy Todd” will be performing at the Sip and Stroll Art Walk, from 2-6 p.m. Saturday April 25.

   The 2nd Annual Sip and Stroll Art Walk hosted by the Art League of Bay City and Matagorda County is sure to be a blast! 
   The Art Walk will be from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at the Train Depot on Avenue G in Bay City. 
   Along with a free glass of wine for every adult over the age of 21, attendees will have access to Franks Barbecue and plenty of local artists. 
   The diverse artists come from different backgrounds and work in various mediums including spray paint, water color, acrylic paint, wood and metal. 
   Another addition to this year’s event is blues performers, “My Buddy Todd” from Austin. 
Thu
09
Apr

Memorial Stadium upgrades scoreboard

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Memorial Stadium sports a new scoreboard thanks to a donation from Prosperity Bank/Tami Savage, said Superintendent Keith Brown. The old scoreboard outlived its usefullness and the “wagging tail cat sign” is being refurbished and will be up in time for football season.The scoreboard is among many repairs the district had made to the stadium since 2008, Brown said.

Thu
09
Apr

Freeport's cargo link to Tenaris

   A resolution to extend a Heavy Lift Corridor that permits trucks to carry excess cargo weight on Texas 35 from Brazoria County to the TenarisBayCity plant was approved by Matagorda County Commissioners Court Monday.
   Brazoria County’s Heavy Lift Corridor runs from the Port of Freeport up Texas 6 to West Columbia, then to Texas 35 to the Chevron Phillips plant at Old Ocean and the 13-mile extension will take it to the Tenaris Plant, said Mike Wilson, Freeport economic development director.
   The legislature amended the Texas Transportation Code in 2011 to enable the corridor through Brazoria County.
Thu
09
Apr

Paddling for Texas streams

   Interested in a nature adventure on the Colorado River here at home in Matagorda County?
   Then the 6th Annual Rally on the River that begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 11, at Riverside Park will fit that bill nicely. Admission to the park and rally are free.
   Paddlers can bring their own kayak – or pay $25 for a single or tandem loaner – canoe and stand-up paddleboard to the rally for a 9 a.m. departure – it’s an all-day event - from the Riverside boat ramp, said Willie Younger, the rally coordinator.  
   Billed as a “Paddlers’ Tribute to Texas Streams,” the rally is sponsored by the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center (MCBNC) and supported by the City of Bay City, Matagorda County, Lower Colorado River Authority and Matagorda County Convention and Visitors Bureau. 
   “The rally on the Colorado River isn’t just another no-fee meet-up for paddlers,” Younger declared.

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