News

Wed
24
Aug

Deputies circulating petition for pay raise

   Matagorda County Sheriff’s Department employees and others are circulating petitions to force the commissioners court to negotiate higher salaries for members of the department.
   Department staff indicated the petitions had more than 600 names and the effort to obtain more signatures would continue.
   Petition organizers said they were told by county officials last week that it was too late to have the salary issue put before Matagorda County voters as part of the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
   The petition shows the present minimum hourly salaries and the proposed minimum hourly salaries for the following positions: captain, from $17.45 to $27.02; lieutenant, from $16.71 to $25.86; sergeants, from $16.73 to $21.81; deputies, from $15.20 to $19.76; detention officers, from $13.11 to $17.04; dispatcher, from $11.31 to $14.70; and dispatcher supervisor, $13.73 to $17.81.

Wed
17
Aug

"Trustees face bond election deadline" by: Jessica Shepard

   Bay City school trustees have until midnight Monday Aug. 22, to decide if they will call for a possible $96.8 million bond election aimed at building and remodeling campuses across the district. 
   That was the message that an architectural team told the school board Monday night, Aug. 15. 
   The bond election would cover remodeling several campuses based on needs that a committee ranked over a series of meetings earlier this year. 
   Aug. 22 is the deadline for calling for a Nov. 8 bond election.
   Bo Ledoux, Francis Zordilla and Jolie Willis – all with Claycomb Associates, Architects - presented an informational recap on the possibility of calling a bond election to trustees. 
   “The board did not take any action last night - we were just an information item,” said Willis. 
   The presentation began during the regular meeting and discussion continued after the session was officially adjourned. 

Wed
17
Aug

Back to School Bash a hit

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Nearly 300 backpacks full of school supplies were handed out - as well as hundreds of hot dogs - during the third annual "Back to School Bash" Saturday, Aug. 13. Th event was made possible by local donations and volunteers from The Law Office of WLP, PLLC, Power Church, Rivers of Living Water, Baby Bottoms Boutique, Amerigroup Healthcare Solutions, Kenneth Leatherman and others who choose to remain anonymous. Individuals who were unable to attend the bash can go to Power Church Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm to obtain bags for their children.

Wed
17
Aug

Police find narcotics, abused dog

   Bay City police rescued a cruelly bound dog and arrested a 39-year-old man on an animal cruelty complaint and on two drug-related charges Monday, Aug. 15. 
   Another suspect at the scene was arrested on outstanding traffic warrants. 
   Officers were sent to a location to investigate a suspicious persons’ call and after police arrived just before midnight Monday, they saw two men trying to duck from view. When Officer Estrada made contact with both subjects and began talking with them, he noticed they were both nervous and sweating, police reports show. 
   Estrada continued investigating the scene and gathered enough information to call BCPD K9 Officer Keith Hatton, who came with his canine partner Kim who alerted on a vehicle belonging to one of the subjects.  
   Estrada searched the vehicle and located small plastic bags commonly used to package narcotics, reports show. 

Wed
17
Aug

Autopsy ordered to learn cause of contractor’s death

   An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death of a contractor while the person was working on summer construction projects at Bay City High School. 
   Bay City Independent School District was notified of the death Aug. 8, according to a press release given the Bay City Sentinel Aug. 16. 
   Investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bay City ISD Police Department have been concluded.  
   “There is no cause for concern regarding the safety of the campus building or grounds. The construction projects at Bay City High School are continuing and the campus is on schedule for the start of the new school year,” said Superintendent Keith Brown. 
   Brown indicated that questions or concerns should be directed to him.  
   “The district is deeply saddened by these events and is cooperating with the proper authorities. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of the deceased.”   

Wed
17
Aug

"Structural issues force council on 2 theater actions" by: Mike Reddell

   Structural issues with the Texas Theater forced city council last week to rescind its permission for CAST to use the building and to revise a previously approved project that included roofing the theater annex. 
   Council approved a $566,400 seal coat project, applied for a $500,000 state grant for a possible new city pool - plus tabled action on a proposed building code test and building permit fee increases – at council’s regular meeting Thursday, Aug. 11. 
   Council rescinded CAST (Community Actors of South Texas) rehearsals and plays at the Texas Theater out of concerns about the building. 
   This temporary ban, city councilman Bill Cornman, is necessary, “so we can go in there and do work.” 

Wed
17
Aug

"Budget workshop focus on civic center, CVB" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Matagorda Convention & Visitors Bureau director Heidi Simmons shows council a draft of a possible new birding publication for visitors.

   City council’s budget workshop last week focused on the proposed fiscal 2016-17 budget’s civic and cultural arts section. 
   Bay City Civic Center, the Matagorda Convention & Visitors Bureau, Matagorda County Museum and Main Street are included in this budget division and receive funds from the city’s 6 percent Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) revenues. 
   The Bay City Chamber of Commerce is projected to receive $271,250 next fiscal year for civic center operation, maintenance and cleanup.  
   Contracted cleaning services are budgeted at $130,000. 
   “We work to keep appearances up – we clean as much as possible,” Chamber President Mitch Thames told council at the budget workshop. 
   Thames briefly spoke on the need for the chamber and city to discuss civic center rental fees and how they’re structured. 

Wed
17
Aug

"County OKs renewal of medical, dental plan " by: Mike Reddell

   Matagorda County’s proposed renewal of its medical and dental plan for its 241 employees got tentative approval from commissioners court at its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 15. 
   Commissioners also reduced the speed on Canal Drive in Sargent from 30 to 25 mph, ratified a change in the ongoing roofing contract with Holden Roofing, authorized the County Attorney to file a new nuisance abatement and approved asking the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to allow restricted herbicide applications starting Aug. 22 in Matagorda County. 
   In addition, commissioners moved the scheduled public hearing on the county’s fiscal 2016-17 budget from Aug. 22 to 9:45 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29. 
   The county’s insurance consultant Robert Treacy led the court through the medical plan renewal proposal, from the Texas Association of Counties (TAC). 

Wed
17
Aug

BC sales tax rebates down 8%

    August sales tax rebates fell for Bay City and Palacios from the same month a year, State Comptroller’s Office reported. 
   The allocations for Bay City were down 8.5 percent from August a year ago, while Palacios’ rebates dropped 6.9 percent. 
   Bay City’s August rebate was $489,524, compared to $535,519 for the same month last year. 
   Overall, Bay City’s rebates total $3,624,736 for the year-to-date total, down almost 2 percent from the $3,698,050 the city received for the same period in 2015. 
   In Palacios, the August total was $58,187, compared to $62,504 for the month last year. 
   The city’s year-to-date total is $415,372, which is up by 3.8 percent from the $399,860 in allocations over the same period last year. 
   Statewide, the August totals were up 1.2 percent from August 2015 allocations. 

Wed
17
Aug

WCJC graduates 10 to surgical technology certification

Ten students recently graduated from the Wharton County Junior College Surgical Technology certificate program. The one-year accredited program prepares students to work as a member of a surgical team. Front row, from left, are Ada Prisila Garcia of Bay City, Graciela Sarahi Trejo Torres of El Campo, Priscilla Roxanne Cantu of Beasley, Michelle Mendoza of Eagle Lake and Rosemary Smith of Louise. Back row, from left, are Marcy Guadalupe Gonzalez of Rosenberg, Lorenzo Drone of Rosenberg, Rebekah Francine Oakley of Richmond, Morgan Leigh Christ of Needville and Nora Gardner of Markham.
WCJC Photo

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