County schools enhance safety with new initiative

   Schools across Matagorda County are launching a new initiative in partnership with the From the Heart Fund for Matagorda County, to address the growing concern of students’ social and emotional well-being.  
   Many students face ongoing and chronic trauma, due to poverty, community violence, and multiple other factors.  
   Students who struggle with these issues are at high risk.  
   As schools continue to strive to develop a learning environment that is safe for all students and faculty, they are focusing more frequently on the long-term behavioral health needs of all children in schools.   
   The From the Heart Fund, in partnership with Matagorda County school districts, invites families and community members to learn more about this “Community Partnership for Student Well-being” at one of the upcoming community meetings: 
   Feb. 18, Palacios ISD secondary school cafeteria at 100 Shark Drive, 6:30-7 p.m.


Golf Cart Registration under way

Contributed photo
Golf cart registration is currently underway at the Matagorda County Tax office. To keep the same plate number, owners must renew before Thursday, Feb. 28. All plate numbers that have not been renewed by March 1 will return to circulation. "As for the UTV registration, we are working closely with our State Representatives in Austin to have this passed during the 86th Legislation," said Precinct 6Constable Bill Orton in a Facebook post Tuesday.


Judge Estlinbaum co-chairs criminal law symposium

   Judge Craig Estlinbaum, 130th Judicial District Court Judge, will co-chair South Texas Law Review’s 25th Annual Ethics Symposium at the South Texas College of Law Houston campus on Feb. 8. 
   He is sharing chair duties with Geoffrey Corn, Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law Houston.
The symposium features a high-level exchange of ideas and information among law professors, elected officials and practicing attorneys on topics relating to the attorney’s ethical obligations in criminal law practice and representation. 
The Law Review has scheduled Estlinbaum to moderate a panel on ethics in pre-trial proceedings and a panel on ethics in criminal law & immigration.  
   He will also contribute an essay for publication in the journal’s upcoming symposium issue. 
Other topics presented at the symposium include best practices in indigent defense and ethical considerations in conviction integrity. 


Kolkhorst legislation promotes coordinating mental health services

   AUSTIN - Working with mental health officials and local law enforcement, Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has filed a set of bills to promote Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) cooperation and coordination with those involved in the criminal justice system.  
   If passed, SB 632 would facilitate better communication between peace officers who often are on the front lines of mental health issues and local community providers. 
   “Local law enforcement is increasingly finding themselves at the nexus of mental health issues across our state,” said Kolkhorst.  
    “Texans with mental health issues are often warehoused in local jails after an episode rather than receiving appropriate treatment. 
   “This disconnect means that law enforcement must conduct screenings related to suicide and mental health issues and left unaware or unable to access available mental health services.  


"Hungry Moon Food Festival Saturday at LeTulle" by: Jessica Shepard

   The first Hungry Moon Food Truck Fest will be from 2-7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 at LeTulle Park.
   The event is rain or shine and features live entertainment.
   “Join as we kick back and relax under the Crescent Hungry Moon and enjoy great food sold by local and regional food and beverage trucks,” said Kelly Penewitt, Parks and Recreation Supervisor in a press release. 
   The scheduled music lineup includes Adriana Live and acoustical sets by Aaron Kantor and KG Williams.
   This is a family-friendly event and dogs on leashes are welcome.
   There will be seating under the oaks in the food truck area. 
   “Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to claim a perfect spot in the music meadow,” she added.
   “Parking is $10 per car.”  
   For more information about the event, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 979-323-1660.


"Palacios will host 3rd Birdfest Feb. 15-18" by: Jessica Shepard

   Palacios hosts the third annual “Matagorda Bay Birdfest,” Friday-Sunday, Feb. 15-18.
   This event is open to the public and aims to benefit the Palacios Pavilion.
   “Birdfest aims to Connect People, Birds and Nature; Celebrates the diversity of regional bird species as evidenced by Audubon’s CBC; Creates active involvement in science and art; Encourages awareness and stewardship of the Matagorda Bay ecosystem,” claims the Birdfest website.
   There will be several guest speakers, a youth art program, kayak and birding tours, food and vendors.
   Guest speaker sessions will be from 1:30-5:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the East Side Annex building.

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Service Fair to bring residents, service agencies together

   Agencies and organizations providing low, or no-cost services to Matagorda County residents will be part of a free service fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at the Bay City USO Service Center.
   “There are a growing number of Matagorda County residents who depend upon low, or no-cost assistance in order to maintain a secure and/or enriching life for themselves and their families,” said Willie Younger, event co-chair.
   Younger encourages interested parties to sign up as part of the service fair
   “Therefore, you, or another designated representative (or representatives), are cordially invited to showcase the unique, potentially essential, services that your organization, agency or house of worship provides to our area’s deserving citizens, while participating in the second annual Matagorda County Service Fair,” he said. 
   This no-charge, “Show-and-Tell” forum is designed with three important goals in mind:


Suspicious vehicle call leads to 3 charged with auto theft

   A suspicious vehicle call to Bay City police ended up with two juvenile girls and an adult taken into custody charged with stealing a car out of Conroe, Monday afternoon, police reports show.
   Shortly before 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, 
   A caller told police of a Ford Expedition with Washington plates parked in the driveway of a residence in the area of Avenue C and Grace Street.  
   The called was concerned because she knew her neighbor was not home, and she had never seen that vehicle at the residence before, police said.
   When Corporal Dan Shook arrived, he found the Expedition still in the driveway.  
   It was occupied by three females.  A check on the vehicle and the females revealed the vehicle was stolen out of Conroe.  
   One occupant was 14 years old and another was 15. 
   Conroe police reported both were runaways.  
   The third occupant was identified as Monica D. Carpenter, 33, of Bay City.  


Teenager leads deputy on chase ending near Brazoria

   A 17-year-old Bay City girl led a Matagorda County Sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase that ended with her arrest near Brazoria near midnight Sunday, Jan. 27.
   Deputy John Kelly saw the Mazda Miata speeding south on FM 457 and the officer caught up with the vehicle and clocked the Miata’s speed at 85 mph.
   When the deputy flashed his overhead lights, the Miata accelerated to 105 mph and turned east on FM 521 at Cedar Lane, ignoring the stop sign at the FM 457 and FM 521 intersection.
   The Miata continued on to Brazoria County with the deputy in pursuit. Kelly reported the Miata slowed down for the FM 521 traffic and pulled off on the shoulder near Brazoria, ending the 12-mile-long chase.
   The girl was arrested on a charge of reckless driving and evading arrest/detention with a motor vehicle and taken to Matagorda County Detention Center where she was booked.


BC in thick of district race

Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell
Blackcat senior Anthony Perry (5)  goes up over a Sweeny defender last Friday for a layup. Bay City defeated Sweeny 72-63.

   The Bay  City Blackcats (17-10, 4-2) defeated Sweeny 72-63 there Friday, Feb. 1, and were to play Brazosport Tuesday night, Feb. 5. 
   Brazosport (11-11, 4-1) is leading District 24-4A-1 by one game over the Blackcats and LaMargue (18-13, 4-2), both tied for second place. Bay City has six players among the district’s top 10 scores. 
   They include: (2) senior Anthony Perry with 262 points, 18.8 points per game (ppg); (3) senior TJ Roberson, 172, 9.6 ppg; (4) junior Rodney Mitchell, 120, 8.6 ppg; (6) junior Marcus Edwards, 128, 7.5 ppg; (8) junior Ke’Vaughn Gaskin, 114, 6.7 ppg; and (10) Ky’Adrian Green, 25, 2.5 ppg.


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