News

Thu
03
Sep

Blackmon: Leps can’t start game slowly

   Van Vleck Leopards tried to erase Hitchcock’s sizable first-half lead with a strong fourth quarter, but lost to the host Bulldogs 28-18 Friday night, Aug. 28.
   The game initially was cancelled because of inclement weather, but went on as planned under uncertain weather conditions.
   In their first game of the season, the Leopards fell behind the Bulldogs 22-0 at half, but tried to put things together with an 18-point fourth quarter.
   “Offensively the Hitchcock game revealed that we cannot start the game slowly,” said Leopard Coach Robert Blackmon.
   “I was proud of our team and coaches for fighting for four quarters and not giving up when we were down by 22 at the half. 
   “We had a few guys step up,” he added.
   “It was tough on us the first game condition wise, with the amount of players we have playing both ways, but we fought hard. 

Thu
03
Sep

Bay City man charged with manslaughter

   A 19-year-old Bay City man turned himself in to police and is charged with manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of a Bay City man Aug. 25, police said.
   Dontay Trenelle Willis II was first reported at large, but turned himself in later, officers reported.
   Officers were summoned to 2300 Hamman Road on a reference to shots fired and a man down Aug. 25. 
   Police found Artrell Ladowyle Austin, 22, of Bay City, lying in the parking lot of the Hamman Road apartment complex with at least one gunshot wound. 
   Officers began lifesaving procedures on the man until EMS arrived and took over lifesaving efforts. 
   The victim died at the scene from his injuries. 
   Investigators and crime scene units were summoned to scene. At Bay City Police Department’s request, Texas Rangers (DPS) are assisting with the investigation. 
   Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Mark Finlay was called to the scene to perform an inquest. 

Thu
03
Sep

County beach rip tides send 4 to hospital

   Four people were taken to the hospital last week after finding themselves in the grip of a rip tide on Matagorda County beaches, the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) reported.
   The National Weather Service and local officials posted a warning about Matagorda County beaches last weekend. 
   “The Rip Tide currents were responsible for four people being rushed to the hospital. This should make us aware of the serious beach conditions,” said Mitch Thames EOC spokesman.
   “Do not put yourself or a loved one in harm’s way, please enjoy the beaches.
   “Just be safe and aware of the dangers in the water. Respect the currents and your ability to handle the tides,” Thames said. “Please consider wearing a life preserver in the water, and we encourage you to place floatation devices on small children.
   “Make sure you assign an adult to watch children at all times, it only takes a few minutes to lose a love one,” he added.

Thu
27
Aug

"Aquatics center feasibility study: The numbers look good" by: Mike Reddell

   The numbers look feasible for Wellness Matagorda County proposed multi-purpose natatorium and outdoor family waterpark, members of City Council and Bay City Community Development Corporation (CDC) were told last week.
   Council and CDC are project partners with Wellness Matagorda and its Co-Director, Loy Sneary, explained the ambitious $19 million plan and ways to fund and to maintain it at a special meeting at Schulman MBG Wednesday, Aug. 19.
   Wellness Matagorda has worked with its team of consultants on the feasibility study to get a close projected size and cost for the past 18 months, Sneary said.
   Wellness Matagorda intended to introduce the study in April, but that effort was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sneary added.

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Thu
27
Aug

"Gibson wants to leave mark with Bay City icon" by: Mike Reddell

Benjamin Gibson stands at the entrance of the historic 1903 Bay City structure in a Sentinel photo by Mike Reddell.

   Benjamin Gibson plans to restore the Landmark Building to its early 1900s elegance.
   The Auburn, Alabama native recently purchased Bay City’s iconic downtown 1903 structure and has created a plan for repairing it and returning the building to community use.
   “You notice it immediately. It stands out,” he said when he sees the building downtown.
   Restoring this building will be “incredible,” Gibson exclaims.
   Gibson came here when he became the project manager for construction of Tenaris in 2015.
   Once the steel plant was completed, Gibson began acquiring businesses of his own, but the Landmark Building has a great deal of importance to him.
   Restoring the towering old Bay City Bank building at the city’s main intersection of Avenue F and Seventh Street will be a legacy for his family to leave Bay City.
   “My ultimate goal is to bring something to Bay City my family can leave as a mark on the community.”

Thu
27
Aug

"City holds hearings on tax, budget" by: Mike Reddell

   City Council held its first of two public hearings on the proposed fiscal 2021 budget, property tax rate, capital improvement program and the BCCDC budget at council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 25.
   The city’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget totals $27,884,000, which is $206,950 less than the previous fiscal year budget, or a drop of 1%.
   The budget is supported by the tax rate of 65.5 cents per $100 valuation. 
   It’s the same levy as fiscal 2020, but will generate $82,000 additional revenue and $50,000 of that will come from taxes on new value.
   The second round of public hearings will be Sept. 6.

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Thu
27
Aug

"BCISD proposes lower tax rate public hearing" by: Jessica Shepard

   Bay City ISD trustees unanimously approved proposing a lower tax rate for the 2020-2021 school year with a public hearing slated for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21.
   The proposed rate is $1.43140 per $100 housing valuation and is estimated to produce $6,159 in local revenue per student and $5,826 in state revenue.
   That rate is comprised of a maintenance and operations levy at $0.94250 and a debt service rate of $0.48890 – both of those numbers are less than last year’s rates.

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Thu
27
Aug

"Laura grabs attention early from Texas upper coast" by: Jessica Shepard

Courtesy photo
Stanley's General Store in Matagorda boarded up in preparation for Hurricane Laura's predicted landfall Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. The store posted this photo with a reminder for customers that they were still open and ready to serve them..

   At press time Tuesday evening, all eyes are on the Gulf to see which track Hurricane Laura will take since the hurricane is expected to impact the Texas coast and Southeast Texas as early as Wednesday afternoon.
   Laura is expected to bring heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds, and storm surge.
   Laura is currently a Category 1 hurricane but is expected to gain strength to a Category 3 or 4 hurricane as it makes landfall.
   Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin where he provided an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Laura.
   Abbott also discussed evacuation efforts throughout the state, and announced that reception centers in San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Austin will open later today.
   The state is providing buses to transport Texans that are evacuating.

Thu
27
Aug

Bay City man dies after exchanging gunfire with officers following chase

   A 30-year-old Bay City man was shot and later died after exchanging gunfire with several law enforcement officers following a vehicle and foot pursuit through Bay City late Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 18, Bay City police reports show. 
   Bay City police patrol officers recognized Erik Jon Perez, of Bay City, operating a vehicle at 5:29 p.m. Tuesday, police said. 
   Reports show Perez was known to have several felony and misdemeanor warrants. 
   The suspect led officers in a vehicle chase through Bay City, police said, adding that during the pursuit Perez took shots at an officer’s patrol unit striking it.   
   Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety joined in the vehicle and foot pursuit.   
   The suspect exited his vehicle and fled on foot, police reports show, but don’t specify where.   

Thu
27
Aug

County sets several public hearings

   Commisioner’s court unanimously approved setting several September public hearings during its regular Monday meeting. 
   The first hearing features discussion for an order limiting the weight and establishing the rules and regulations of certain heavy-haul vehicles on or over roads maintained by the county at 9:45 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14. 
   “This public hearing is coming out of workshops we held on policies in the past,” said Matagorda County Attorney Denise Fortenberry. 
   Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Graham brought up concerns about the possibility of a “weight officer position.” 
   “It is a possibility with this new policy, yes, but it isn’t budgeted at this time,” answered Fortenberry. 
   “But, a weight officer would have these responsibilities outlined in the policy when needed or hired.” 
   The second public hearing is for the approval of Roehm America’s tax abatement agreement at 9:45 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28. 

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