It would take two grown men spreading their arms out to reach around the trunk of an old live oak tree at 1104 Orange Avenue. Other live oak trees spread across the front and side yard. More across the street shade the roadway. A front porch and side porch are cool because of the shade and could be a perfect place for slowly swinging in a two-seater from a chain hanging down from the ceiling. Add a plate of tea cakes and glass of sweet tea with water condensing down the side of its icy side to give a perfect example of relaxed gentility. But some wood is rotted off the bottom of the bead-board sides. Weeds overgrow the yard. Scraps of blue plastic tarp hang down from the roof, remnants of a quick fix after a long-gone hurricane. A sheet of orange paper gives a warning from the City of Orange that the house is not fit for habitation because it does not meet codes. The house is not the only one in this condition. Several of them dot the area designated by the city as the Old Orange Historic District. Nearby, other old houses have been carefully, and expensively, restored. Dealing with the decaying houses puts the city in a Catch 22. more
Workers this weekend and Monday cleared weeds and began the foundation construction on the Sons of Confederate Veterans memorial off Interstate 10 at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The organization got a City of Orange building permit in January for the $50,000. At first, rainy weather delayed the project but eventually the land was cleaned and leveled. Greek-style columns were delivered. However, for the past two or three months, no more work had been done and weeds were getting high. That changed this weekend. A number of local citizens have complained to the Orange City Council about the memorial because plans call for flying several different flags from the Confederate States.
The Texas Association of Secondary School Principals recently held its annual summer conference in Austin with administrators from across the entire state in attendance. The event began with the Texas Heroes Awards Dinner held at the Hilton in downtown Austin. Among those being honored at this ceremony was Mr. Keith Jones, Assistant Principal at Bridge City High School. Mr. Jones was named the Assistant Principal of the Year for Region 5. Richard Briggs, principal of Bridge City High School stated, “The position of Assistant Principal is one of the most thankless positions in public education and that makes this award that much more special. We congratulate Keith on this honor. Glenn Procella, also an Assistant Principal at BCHS, is a past recipient of this award as well. We are very fortunate to have both of these gentlemen in administrative roles and through their efforts, the efforts of our staff, and especially through the efforts of our students, we are proud of the positive learning environment that is created and maintained on our campus.” Superintendent Mike King adds, “BCISD congratulates Mr Keith Jones on receiving this honor. His receiving this award validates the hard work, professionalism and integrity that he exhibits daily in his work with our students and teachers.
|A 17 year old passenger in this car was taken by helicopter ambulance to a Beaumont hospital for leg injuries and a possible broken hip he received Tuesday morning when a car flipped over off north Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The driver and front seat passenger, also teenagers, walked away. Orange police said the driver lost control after he saw something coming at him outside the car.
|A wrong turn ended up causing damage to the trailer on an 18-wheel rig. The truck driver turned off Old Hwy. 90 onto 41st Street in Pinehurst about 3 p.m. Monday. The trailer bent while making the turn onto the small road. Pinehurst police blocked traffic until the rig could be removed.
No one spoke to Orange County Commissioners Court against a swimming ban at the Cow Bayou boat launch. The court held a public hearing on an ordinance to prohibit swimming around the launch underneath the Highway 87 Bridge. Game wardens with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department requested the ban along with a number of boaters. In addition boaters asked for something to be done because they were worried about an accident and hitting a swimmer either while backing a boat into the launch or while in the water. Commissioners decided to make the swimming and bathing ban within 50 feet of the center part of the boat launch. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said the county has the authority under TP&W codes. Tickets will be issued for swimming in the area with a fine of $25 to $500 plus a court cost that could go up to $100. Assistant County Attorney Doug Manning said the ban will go into effect immediately but citations will not be issued until the new ordinance is published twice in the local newspaper and sent to TP&L in Austin. In other business, commissioners learned details of the county's first online auction to sell surplus items. KOGT's Glenn Earle reports the items range from heavy equipment and cars to office furniture and computers. The items will be up for viewing on Wednesday through Rene' Bates Auction. Bidding will begin June 26 and run through July 9.
Hurricane season of 1886 was tough on the Texas coast and two that year struck near the Sabine River. The first was on June 14 and described as either a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane. But it was the second Sabine River storm on October 12-13, 1886, that had a major affect on Orange. The storm leveled the Catholic Church here and downed trees, according to the Texas Hurricane History by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Local damage wasn't what changed the local history. It was the rescue effort for nearby Johnson's Bayou, Louisiana, and Sabine Pass. The storm surge and winds wiped the towns from the map, killed an estimated 200 people and swept hundreds more into Sabine Lake or the marshes. Orange became the center of rescue operations and drew the attention of national media. 'The Great Disaster at Johnson's Bayou' was the headline in The New York Times story with the dateline of 'Orange, Texas, Oct. 16.' The Orange Tribune, the local weekly paper wrote in the October 22 edition 'On the first trip of our steamers to the storm-stricken district, men, women and children were picked up and found presenting the most distressing sight probably ever witnessed before by mortal men. Their eyes were blood-shot, faces bloated and tongues so badly swollen that many of them could hardly speak. They were famished for water and something to eat.' more
Hurricane season is here. That means a threat of power being knocked out and a loss of telephone service due to a severe storm. Reliable communications are imperative during such an emergency, and licensed amateur radio operators are one of the key sources for first responders communicating with each other. Amateur or Ham radio operators have been around for about a century. The Orange Amateur Radio Club was chartered in 1957 and is part of the larger American Radio Relay League (ARRL) which was founded in 1914. The Orange Club started as a civil defense organization and currently has 45 members. Nationwide there are over 750,000 Hams. Other nations have similar organizations. more
Large yellow detour signs are being erected along Interstate 10 for future use, like the one to the left located in the westbound lane near Adams Bayou. Sarah Dupre with the Texas Department of Public Safety said blinking lights will be turned on if a traffic accident or something else shuts down traffic. The signs on the eastern part of Orange County detour the traffic to Highway 73 (which is also called Highway 87). The western part of the county will be detoured along Highway 105. Dupre said the detours will not be used for traffic slow-downs because of construction. TxDOT currently has a contractor rebuilding the Neches River Bridge on Interstate 10.
A civilian identification specialist with the Orange Police Department didn't need to be dispatched to one crime victim. The OPD employee was driving on Burton at 14th Street about 12:30 p.m. Friday when he saw a man stumbling in the roadway. Capt. Cliff Hargrave said the employee at first thought the man was intoxicated but knew something was wrong when he saw the man was covered in blood. A 24-year-old Bridge City man had been beaten and stabbed. The victim said four men in a Grand Marquis jumped him. The man was taken to Baptist Hospital Orange by Acadian Ambulance and was admitted for observation.
Hospital emergency room personnel called Orange Police at 5:30 a.m. Sunday after a woman was taken for treatments. She had a large cut on her forehead. The 26-year-old woman from Orange told officers she had been on Cordrey Avenue near North school when some women began fighting. The woman said she tried to break up the fight and was hurt. Capt. Cliff Hargrave said the woman couldn't give identifications of the other women.
|Sunday afternoon the Orange Fire Dept. was called to a house fire at 1824 Beverly St in Greenway One. The homeowner was outside when a neighbor told him it looked like smoke was coming from the inside of the home. OFD put the fire out before any damage was done to the structure. Two dogs were in kennels inside the home and suffered smoke inhalation. Emergency personnel, including Dr. Foskey, were able to save one of the pets.
Visit Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center to celebrate Pollinator Week, which takes place from June 17 through 23, 2013. Take part in a program on Shangri La's bees that will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. The active bee hive in the Children’s Garden is where the journey will begin and participants will learn about the different roles bees have in the hive community, how far they fly and how they communicate with one another. At the end of this program, enjoy a sweet treat with a taste of honey. Space is limited and an RSVP is required to attend. To reserve a space, call 409.670.9799.
Almost 25 percent of the restaurants and food businesses inspected from May 16 through June 13 had perfect 100 scores. The lowest score from Orange County Health Inspector James Scales was an 83 to a Vidor convenience store. The perfect scores went to PK's Grill on Strickland Drive in Pinehurst, Papa John's Pizza on MacArthur Drive in West Orange, Subway on North 16th Street in Orange, Cool Breeze on Texas Avenue in Bridge City, Fastlane on North Main Street in Vidor, Walgreen's on Texas Avenue in Bridge City, Moz Grill and Crawdad's on Highway 62 North in Mauriceville, and Luigi's Italian Grill on MacArthur Drive in West Orange. Pakco No. 1 at 3031 Highway 12 in Vidor had an 83 score, the lowest for the period. Scales cited several problems, including expired foods on the shelves, towels needed at the hand-washing station, fryers needed to be cleaned, along with floors in the kitchen and prep areas. more
Marriage Licenses Issued by The Office of Karen Jo Vance, Orange County Clerk For the Week of June 10, 2013 through June 14, 2013. Billy B. Bush and Mary E. Sweeney, Russell M. Wolfford and Deborah K. Simpson, James J. Hufstetler and Laura S. Dameron, Charles B. White and Janette E. Parker, Jeffrey A. Kolar and Doris C. Reed, Raun P. Bryant and Kristal M. Soileau, Jimmy G. Simmons Jr. and Sydney S. Day, Joshua D. Priess and Jayunsa V. Moore, Joseph D. Reese and Kristy M. Cathey, Phillip W. January and Cheryl R. Pollard, Andrew J. Hanks and Marisa C. Jennings, Elton Berwick Jr. and Deborah L. Trahan, Michael R. Belaire and Betty L. Lambert, Hunter J. Aucoin and Kamryn E. Duhe, Christopher B. Harvey and Brittany L. Wilson, Jonathan M. Friend and Taylor K. Barnwell, James P. Foyle and Lisa K. Golde, Steven A. Hilliard and Shelby L. Metcalfe, Raul Gomez Jr. and Torey A. Lopez, Billy Joe W. Carl and Leslie A. LeBouef, Ashton K. Ceasar and Jennifer R. Dawson.
|The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Board of Trustees and Superintendent Pauline Hargrove recognized some of the Political Action Committee members who were instrumental in passing the recent bond election. On behalf of the board, administration, students, parents, and community, she expressed deep appreciation for their efforts, saying, “This would not have happened without you.” From left, Joe Alvarez, Jim Brown, Sylvia Bland, Jim Clark, Katy Beckett, Jodi Purgahn, Nelda Burton, and Marian Perkins.
Pinehurst continues to have a decrease in sales tax receipts for April. Pinehurst City Administrator Joe Parkhust to City Council Tuesday that he is concerned, but the city 'is not so far behind to be in any kind of danger.' The Texas comptroller issued the monthly sales tax reports on Wednesday. Pinehurst had a decrease of $3,140 for April this year compared to April last year. That is a decrease of 5.53 percent. For the year, Pinehurst is down about $13,000, or minus 3.54 percent. Parkhurst said the city has lost two or three businesses and specifically cited Craft Oil Co. The locally-owned company sold to an out-of-town business after the executive decided to retire. This month Pinehurst will be getting a check for $53,633 that covers April. The amount for April 2012 was $56,773. In the year to day, Pinehurst has gotten $354,498 compared to $367,402 last year.
West Orange has also had a decrease, getting $6,731 less this April than last year for an 8.64 percent decrease. The city is getting $71,153 this year and had $77,884 last year. The city is at a decrease of 2.61 percent for the year with about $14,000 less. For the first four months the city has $519,383.
Orange County on paper has a 20.34 percent increase for the year to date, but the county auditor’s office said the state had made mistakes last year. The state comptroller corrected the mistakes in January with a large payment. That threw off the comparisons. So far this year Orange County has received $2,374,714. For April, the county is getting $348,109, a 1.17 percent increase from the same month last year.
The Orange County Emergency Services District No. 3, that covers the Little Cypress area, is the only non-city or county entity here that has a sales tax. The district is getting $23,894 for April and has $399,882 for the year to date. Comparisons to last year cannot be used because of bookkeeping mistakes with the state office after the sales tax was implemented in 2011.
Other April sales tax payments to entities in Orange County include:Orange: $278,752, a 1.58 percent increase from 2012. Year to Date: $1,772,607, a 3.9 percent increase. Bridge City: $98,752, a 6.76 percent increase from 2012. Year to Date: $611,478, a 5.29 percent increase. Vidor: $168,768, a 6.29 percent increase from 2012. Year to date: $1,108,207, a 5.03 percent increase.
Weather has delayed some of the construction on the new Allied Health Building for Lamar State College-Orange, but college president Dr. Michael Shahan hopes the building will be finished by August 26 and the fall semester. KOGT's Glenn Earle talked to Shahan Thursday. The president said the construction contractor, SpawGlass, is still planning to complete the project in 60 days. The Allied Health Building is under construction on Front Street between Second and Third Streets. The nursing program at LSC-O is the most popular study at the school. Shahan said between 900 to 1,000 students are interested in the program each semester. Not all are admitted and some begin their classes in other subjects to lead up to nursing courses.
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