News

Thu
03
Sep

"County OKs budget, levy, hazardous waste event" by: Jessica Shepard

   County commissioners unanimously approved the fiscal 2020-2021 total tax rate of $0.42223 and the $27,432,835 budget after a public hearing Monday, Aug. 31.
   That tax rate includes maintenance tax at $0.41850 and $0.00373 in debt levy.
   County Judge Nate McDonald added that the county is expecting over $697,000 in new tax revenue and a 1.27% raise in new property tax values at just over $260,000.
   Commissioners authorized the county’s Environmental Health Department to schedule the annual “Household Hazardous Waste Collection” event from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Matagorda County Fairgrounds.
   “We need to go ahead and set the event even though it might be canceled due to COVID,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Graham.

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Thu
03
Sep

"Matagorda Harbor sets new record for summer" by: Mike Reddell

   Matagorda Harbor had a record-breaking summer, a fishing and pleasure boat builder plans to expand in Palacios and a planned propane pipeline is causing property owner concern near Midfield.
   Those topics and more were discussed at the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) teleconference meeting Friday, Aug. 28.
   Port of Bay City Authority Commissioner Joey Sliva told the board about the harbor’s busy summer. The harbor is part of the Port of Bay City Authority.
   In other port developments, Sliva said the Air Liquide plant is under way at the port near the OQ Chemicals (old Oxea) campus toward a mid-2021 completion.
   In addition, the Jetty Walkway at Matagorda Beach remains in the discussion phase, Sliva remarked, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do the walkway repairs.

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Thu
03
Sep

Welcoming new business

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Bay City Community Development Executive Director Jessica Russell was one of several early birds to try out the newly-opened Starbucks coffeehouse Monday morning Aug. 31. Russell expressed her excitement for the new business and was glad to see a great customer turnout for the first day. Starbucks is located at 3333 Seventh Street in Bay City.

Thu
03
Sep

"Tidehaven approves lower tax rate, cancels Nov. 3 board election" by: Jessica Shepard

   Tidehaven school board members unanimously approved a $1.17146 total tax rate after a brief public hearing Aug. 31.
   The total tax rate includes a $0.9564 per $100 housing valuation maintenance tax and $0.21506 per $100 valuation debt levy.
   “Just a reminder to our trustees that (Tax Assessor-Collector) Cristyn Hallmark calculates our debt service tax, not the district,” said TISD Superintendent Dr. Andrew Seigrist.
   The district has a total amount of $41,585,000 in bonded indebtedness.
   Overall that’s a $1.17146 per $100 home valuation and a decrease from last year’s rate at $1.17476.
   “We have a $0.003 drop from last year,” added Seigrist.

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Thu
03
Sep

"BCCDC-BCISD agree for Linnie Roberts evacuation to CED" by: Mike Reddell

   An agreement where Linnie Roberts Elementary students would be guided to the Center for Energy Development (CED) in case of an emergency evacuation was approved by the Bay City CDC board Monday, Aug. 31.   
   CDC Executive Director Jessica Russell explained that under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with BCISD, the CED would be the secondary evacuation for the present Linnie Roberts on Whitson Street.
   New Hope Missionary Baptist Church is the school’s primary evacuation point.

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Thu
03
Sep

Matagorda County residents donate to Louisiana

Sentinel photo/Jessica Shepard
Volunteers from Serve Outdoors Matagorda Bay Chapter joined Sargent community members and Glen and Leslie Davis with Davis Daquiri Barn to load three trailers and over 20 truck beds with donations for Hurrican Laura's victims in communities in Louisiana, Saturday, Aug. 29. Not pictured is Kay Crain with Bill Bell Realty who worked to round up the donations and donors.

   Several local businesses, organizations and citizens have partnered to take donations to communities affected by Hurricane Laura.
   Three trailers and roughly 30 trucks made a convoy trek to Sulphur, Hackberry, Cameron and the Cajun Navy to distribute supplies this past weekend.
   The following locations are still accepting donations:

  •     Davis Daiquiri Barn at 4206 Sargent Court, Bay City.
  •     Bill Bell Realty at 1605 Seventh Street, Bay City.
  •     First United Methodist Church at 2300 Avenue H, Bay City.    
Thu
03
Sep

"VVISD board approves $19.6M budget" by: Mike Reddell

   Van Vleck school trustees approved the district’s fiscal 2021 operating budget of $19,672,620 at a special meeting Monday, Aug. 31.
   While the total revenue budget is $19,672,620, the projected expenses total $19, 929,807, leaving a deficit of $257,187.
   “This is not the first time we’ve done a deficit budget,” said Superintendent John O’Brien.
   “We’ve had two others and the first time we returned $1 million to the bank.
   “By the end of this fiscal year, we’ll have back in the black.”
   While the district has about $14 million in the fund balance, O’Brien said the district’s goal is to avoid using the fund balance toward a deficit. 
   The budget is supported by the proposed $1.17 tax rate – 89 cents for maintenance and operation (M&O) and 28 cents for debt service.
   The proposed rate is lower than last year’s levy of $1.19 and will be considered for board approval Sept. 21.

Thu
03
Sep

"Fox seeing downward COVID-19 trends in new, active cases" by: Mike Reddell

   A local health official is pointing to two COVID-19 downward trends.
   The trends were noted in EOC’s weekly report Monday, when the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) also reported 38 new COVID-19 cases in Matagorda County, 0 new recovered cases, and 0 new fatalities.
   “Our estimated number of active cases is now 304,” EOC reported Monday.
   “We’re still heading in the right direction with a four-week downward trend in new cases (leading indicator) and a two-week downward trend in active cases (lagging indicator),” said Aaron Fox, Chief Business Development Officer and Public Information Officer, Matagorda County Hospital District. 
   “With a 10 to 14-day recovery period on average, we expect to see a reduction in active cases as soon as this week as long as we continue on our current trend. 
   “We’ve also greatly reduced our number of active cases per 1,000 persons compared to surrounding counties,” he added.

Thu
03
Sep

"Blackcats launch 2020 season with big win over Sweeny" by: Mike Reddell

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Blackcat senior quarterback Avery Smith sheds tacklers and looks down field.

   Bay City Blackcats made a strong start to the 2020 football season by a hard-played 20-15 victory over the Sweeny Bulldogs there last Friday night.
   The Sweeny game was the inaugural appearance of the Blackcats under former Blackcat and present Bay City Head Coach Robert Jones.
   And this Friday night, Sept. 4, the team will launch the new Memorial Stadium.
   Judging by Bay City’s impressive turnout at Sweeny, Friday ought to be exciting with a team opening with a win.
   “It was great to get the first one for the kids and the community,” Jones said in an interview Monday.
   “You could feel the excitement and hear the joy as those final seconds ticked off the clock,” the coach said, describing Sweeny’s last seconds in launching a long pass that fell incomplete.
   The jubilant Blackcats rushed to greet each other and the coaches following the play. 
   After a winless 2019 campaign, the players’ exuberance was understandable.

Thu
03
Sep

Tigers explode for 27-point shutout in 1st half against Weimer

Photos by Lauren Russell
Tidehaven Tigers gather with their colorful flags prior to kickoff against Weimer last Friday.

   Tidehaven opened its new season with a 27-0 shutout on the road against Weimer last Friday night, Aug. 28.
   “I thought our offensive and defensive lines did well. They both dominated like we expected them to,” said Head Coach David Lucio.
   The Tigers had 173 yards rushing and 107 passing and held Weimer to 38 ground yards and 95 in the air, in a bad weather-truncated second half. 
   “A lot of our inexperienced players played well, so we were glad to see that. 
   “That was our quarterback’s (Logan Crow) first official start at the position. Crow was 5-16-107 yards with two scores and one pickoff.
   Crow had five carries for 45 yards rushing and a touchdown.
   “For a first time starter, he played great. “That being said, I still think we could have been a little more proficient. 
   “Once we got a little tired we had too many dropped passes, and missed a few blocks. 

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