Cookoff teams compete to win crowd, best steak

BCISD/Allison Sliva
Bay City High School Construction Management students in Bill Bullard's classes designed and built this custom picnic table to be raffled at The Boys & Girls Club of Bay City & Matagorda County's annual Great Steak Cookoff Saturday, March 19. Thanks to BCISD's Director of Business and Boys & Girls Club board member Rick Johnson for donating the materials. From left: Jonavon Lowe, Cesar Guerrero, Bill Bullard, Nicholas Gutierrez, Rick Johnson and Ubaldo Cisneros.

   Great steaks to eat, entertaining showmanship plus a live auction to participate in and all of it will benefit hundreds of school-age youngsters at the 6th Annual Great Steak Cook-off Saturday.
   There are tickets available for the event that’s the main fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Bay City and Matagorda County, with the gates open at 4:30 p.m. at the Bay City Civic Center.
   And there are a few raffle tickets left for the chance to win a 2016 RAM 1500 4WD, plus 10 other prizes with a value of at least $100.
   “We have 17 teams of cooks who will be out there,” said Janet Peden, the event chairman.
   The teams have a dual purpose at the cookoff.
   Not only are they vying to cook the best steak – to meet the judges’ discerning demands – but the teams also will try to prove they’re the crowd’s favorite.


Cub pack earns $7,840 in annual cake auction

Bay City Sentinel/Jessica Shepard
Trophy winners form the annual Cub Scout Pack 4545 Cake Auction were joined by this year’s judges. The winners are, from left and front: Jack Bonnot, Jackson Thorn, Isaac Moya, Wade Frasier, and Colton Guzman. Middle: Cubmaster Jeff Hestand, Riley Howington, Andrew Hinson, and Daniel Hartline. Back: Daniel Bryant, Ryan Hestand, Ken Leatherman, Jamie Bludau and Angela Crawford.

   Bay City Cub Scout Pack 4545 made $7,840 with their annual cake auction Thursday, March 10.
   The auction is the Pack’s largest fundraiser and draws quite a crowd.
   A total of 49 cakes were auctioned off by auctioneer Mitch Thames who encouraged parents and local personalities to bid for a good cause.
   Ken Leatherman bought a total of four cakes by himself.

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OSHA recognizes LyondellBasell

   The LyondellBasell facility in Matagorda recently marked 20 years of achievement at the highest level of the Voluntary Protection Programs. 
   This distinction is awarded by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for safety performance excellence in the private sector. 
   The Matagorda site recently completed the Star re-certification process which recognizes companies that meet and exceed OSHA requirements and standards.
   “We constantly strive to be the best operated, most valued company in our industry and safety is an integral part of our success,” said LyondellBasell Matagorda Site Manager Joe Hoinkis. “
   “We employ a detailed strategy to reach exemplary results in occupational safety. I’m incredibly proud of each and every member of the staff here.” 
   With a comprehensive approach by the plant leadership team and staff, the Matagorda site underwent a strenuous re-certification review. 


Cornman: Downtown plan needs ‘driver’

   A report on the North Downtown Project and who is driving its progress led to an exchange between Mayor Mark Bricker and Councilman Bill Cornman at city council’s regular meeting March 10.
   Council also authorized city staff to apply for a Texas Capital Fund grant for the proposed entertainment center, approved a budget amendment for equipment at the city’s 16th Street and Hilliard pools and awarded a contract for street pavers along Sixth Street at the BayTex.
   And, Cornman complimented Interim Finance Director Beverly Griffith for a financial report that “for the first time in years, it was presented in a professional way.”
   Cornman was critical, however, about the mayor’s status report on the North Downtown Project (NDP).
   Noting the multiple issues involved in the project, Cornman questioned the mayor on “Who’s driving this and who are the players?”


BC sales tax rebates keep steady increase

   Bay City and Palacios March sales tax rebates were up from the same month last year - counter to statewide trends – and for the year-to-date totals for both cities.
   Bay City’s March rebate from the Texas Comptroller’s office was $405,804, up 7.54 percent from the $377,342 received in March 2015. The 2 percent sales tax allocation is based on sales made in January by businesses that report tax monthly, the comptroller reported.
   So far in 2016, Bay City’s rebates total $1,372,228, a 3.05 percent rise from the $1,331,604 tally from the same period last year.

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"Cultural Arts Center passes unanimously" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel File Photo

City Council made it possible to start transforming the 1927 Texas Theater into a new cultural arts center with a unanimous vote at its regular meeting Thursday night.

Yells and spirited applause greeted the council’s decision to accept the theater building from Ignite Church and to begin the expected five years of work toward a cultural arts center.

Members of Community Actors of South Texas (CAST) and the Art League long have sought a cultural arts center for its potential for theater productions and art exhibits – among other promising uses of the building.

“I think this is an opportunity,” said CAST president and former mayor Richard Knapik.

“What better thing is there than the restoration of a theater built in 1927?” Knapik asked council.

He noted how a cultural arts center is an important step to take in a city that is “growing through leaps and bounds. 


9er’s opens 3-15

Bay City's new Niner's Grill will open at 9 a.m. March 15, owner Ali Qatton said Tuesday. The sixth restaurant in the Houston-based chain has been eagerly anticipated since at least November. The grill will feature "country style" dishes ranging from hamburgers to steaks to seafood, and Qatton has said the 9er’s here will become the model for the company as it grows.


Town Hall meeting focus on arts center

Bay City Sentinel/Jessica Shepard
Port of Bay City Authority Chairman Mike Griffith voiced his concerns and support for the "Theater Arts Center" proposal during the City's town hall informational meeting Tuesday night.

   About 30 citizens braved the weather warnings Tuesday night to attend the town hall meeting discussing the proposed Theatre Arts Center.
   The Theatre Arts Center would be housed in the current vacant “Texan Thatre” building at 2227 Ave. F.
   The building is being donated to the city from Ignite church.
   Bay City’s former mayor Richard Knapik was joined by current mayor Mark Bricker to present a summary of the proposal and provide a platform for answering questions from concerned citizens.
   The project is estimated to cost $3 million and take at least five years to complete, said Knapik.
   “Right now it’s in four phases,” he said.
   “The first would be to get an architect in here and design it how we want it, then continue from there.”
   The projected cost of the Center would be offset by grants, donations and use of the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds.


Culver named 2016 Cattlemen of the Year

Bay City Sentinel/Mike Reddell
Ray "Bubba" Culver Jr. is the 2016 Cattlemen of the Year. The Matagorda County rancher received the honor from the Bay City Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture's Ag Committee Thursday at the Matagorda County Fair & Livestock Association rodeo arena. Presenting the annual award were Iris Welfel, chamber chairman, and Stephen Zapalac, Ag Committee chairman.


Livestock show sales increase over last year

Bay City Sentinel/MaLinda Reddell
Van Vleck High School sophomore Jenna Schulz shows off her grand champion steer during the junior livestock auction Saturday at the Matagorda County Fair & Livestock Show. Behind Schulz are Susan Frankson and auctioneer Joe Adams of Cuero.

  Preliminary estimates show last Saturday’s Matagorda County junior livestock auction sales Plus the Commercial Heifer Sale the weekend before will total more than $800,000, exceeding last year’s totals.
   This year’s total reflects fewer auction animals than last year, yet higher prices per lot, said Brent Batchelor, Matagorda County Agent-Agriculture.
   The projected total, Batchelor points out, includes the junior livestock sale, the heifer auction and add-ons – money added to an animal’s sales price after the auction.
   The junior livestock auction – a major part of the Matagorda County Fair & Livestock Show – brings together the devotion that 4-H and FFA kids give to their projects and the buyers groups’ and individuals dedication in gathering funds to bid on the animals.
   “It is kind of unique in that they’re rewarded for their work,” Batchelor said of the livestock auction, adding “the buyers groups are part of that effort.”


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