"COVID-19 stays below neighbors" by: Mike Reddell

   In Matagorda County, new confirmed COVID-19 cases remain at low levels – not much change from last week.
   The county’s per-capita average remains 0.2% per 1,000 residents, with seven new confirmed cases in the past 14 days from Tuesday, June 29.
      Overall, Department of State Health Services (DSHS) data shows the county with 3,536 confirmed cases, 731 probable cases and 114 deaths.
   Vaccination numbers remain somewhat stubborn.
   Of the county’s estimated 36,643 residents, 31.5%, or 11,590 residents, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, DSHS reports.
   The county trails the vaccination rate of neighboring counties.
   Statewide, the average is 40.5%, according to DSHS.
   Of those 65+, the fully vaccinated rate is 61.54%.
   For that same age group, the Brazoria County percentage is 75% and in Fort Bend County, 86%.


2nd Annual Operation Beach Clean-Up

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
The 2nd Annual Operation Beach Clean-Up had 107 people participating on Sargent Beach - near the Gulf Pier - and removed about two tons of garbage Saturday morning, June 26. In addition, the event honored HPD Narcotics Officer Dan Furstenfeld and BCPD Detective Corporal Armando Galvan.


"BCCDC OKs 3 facade grants" by: Mike Reddell

   Façade grants for three Bay City businesses and the fiscal 2022 budget of $1,869,159 were approved by the Bay City Community Development Corporation board Monday evening, June 29.
   The façade grants went to:

  •     Tangles Salon, at 2001 6th Street, owned by Chad and Sarah Craft.

   Their property improvements and signage totaled $4,571, and the board awarded a grant of $2,285.

  •     Mr. Tire – Rice Farmers Coop, 1317 7th Street, owned by Howard Albert.

   Their façade improvements totaled $11,805, and the grant was $4,400.

  •     TNT Western Wear Inc., 1306 Ave. F, owned by Price and Tiffany Phillips.

   Their improvements totaled $110,000. 
   TNT received a grant of $4,000.


"Bradley Westmoreland appointed as new member of City Council" by: Mike Reddell

   Bradley Westmoreland is the newest member of City Council after he was chosen among five people seeking to fill the unexpired term of the late Council Member Brent Marceaux, at council’s regular meeting June 22.
   Council heard personal and professional statements for seeking the council seat at the meeting from Imelda Howard, Joe Enoch, Jessica Hartman and Donnye Stone.
   Westmoreland gave his remarks via teleconference.
   After an 18-minute closed session, council returned and voted to appoint Westmoreland to Council Position 3.
   “It was a difficult decision,” Mayor Robert Nelson said.
   The mayor added that he appreciated the five hopefuls volunteering to seek the council seat.
   Nelson also said he hoped more people would get involved in running for council positions.

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Greg Westmoreland announces candidacy for Matagorda County Judge

Greg WestmorelandGreg Westmoreland

Westmoreland focuses 
on experience and 
conservative leadership


Grand jury indicts Acosta

   Indictments for murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse were returned against Fernando Colin Acosta, Jr. of Victoria, by a Matagorda County Grand Jury Monday, June 21. 
   All three indictments against Acosta, 28, were handed down in connection with the April 17 death of Amanda Johnson of Victoria, whose body was found by deputies in a burned vehicle April 18 west of Blessing. 
   Acosta turned himself in and was arrested and charged with murder – bail was set at $500,000 - at Matagorda County Jail Friday, May 21, the Sheriff’s Office reported. 
   The June 21 murder indictment reads that the defendant, on or about April 17, “did then and there intentionally and knowingly cause the death of an individual, namely Amanda Johnson, by shooting her.” 
   District Attorney Steven Reis said the grand jury’s “additional indictments” for tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse also were returned June 21. 


LCRA offering grants of up $50K for community projects

   The Lower Colorado River Authority is offering grants of up to $50,000 for community projects throughout LCRA’s wholesale power, water and transmission service territory.
    Applications for this round of Community Development Partnership Program grants will be available online beginning July 1 and must be submitted by midnight on July 31. 
   Most grants are for $25,000 or less, but several grants of up to $50,000 are awarded each cycle.
    Eligible organizations include volunteer fire departments, emergency responders, local governments, schools, libraries, civic groups, museums and other nonprofit organizations. 
   The grants are not available to individuals, for-profit entities, professional associations, social service projects or limited-use facilities.
    Applicants requesting more than $5,000 in grant funding must supply matching funds of at least 20 percent of the total project cost. 


Advancing space robotics: A new frontier at Texas A&M

   BRYAN/COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Dr. Robert Ambrose has joined the faculty of the J. Mike Walker ‘66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University.  
   Along with his appointment, Ambrose is also the recipient of the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) grant program and The Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI). 
   A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Ambrose will serve as a professor in the department as well as a staff member of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex.  
   Ambrose comes to Texas A&M from NASA, where he served as chief of the software, robotics and simulation division at the Johnson Space Center. 


"Be cautious of rip currents that stay close to shore" By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   Happy summer! The sun is out and lots of people are spending these hot days relaxing on the beach. 
   While the beach is a place where you leave your stress on the paved roads and let the salty breeze whisk your worries away, it is also a place where you should never let your guard down. 
   Unfortunately, tragedy has already struck at our local beaches and the ocean can be as cruel as it is beautiful.
   Rip currents. You have probably heard about them or seen signs along beaches warning you about them. 
   But what are they, where are they, and how can you escape them? 
   Rip currents top the charts as the leading hazard for beachgoers of all ages. 
   These are powerful currents of water that move away from the shore and can carry away even the strongest of swimmers. 


"Drive sober this Independence Day, and every day" By Gabrielle Kanu Family and Community Health Agent Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   This Independence Day, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC program, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) want to remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. 
   No matter how people choose to celebrate Independence Day, do it safely and always have a sober ride. 
   Anyone under the influence of alcohol that chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle not only puts everyone on the road in danger, but also themself.  
   Fourth of July festivities often start early in the day and go into the evening or late at night, causing more cars to be on the roads at night. 


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