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A Department of Public Safety Trooper was working an accident on I-10 near FM 1136 on Wednesday night.  While working the accident, another vehicle struck the troopers patrol car which then struck the trooper.  The trooper was conscious at the scene but was taken to a Beaumont hospital.  Authorities also stopped the vehicle that struck the trooper.

Three new houses are going up in Orange, according to city building permits issued in June. Two of the houses are part of the federal hurricane recovery replacement dwellings for low-income homeowners. The other is for the local Habitat for Humanity. The total value of the three houses is $278,000. Two homeowners added features to take advantage of the summer months. A permit for a $23,500 outdoors kitchen and patio was issued for a house on Post Oak. A $65,000 swimming pool is being installed on Tall Oak. Air-conditioning contractors were busy in June with six home systems going in for a total of $35,120. A $24,718 addition is being building on Luther Street and two people are adding storage buildings to their homes with the total of $5,700. Gilbreath and Company is installing a $20,000 new billboard at 1810 Interstate 10. A take-out restaurant at 1804 16th Street added a $3,400 barbecue. Permits were issued for one commercial fence and one residential fence for a total of $8,000. A residence on Sunset Drive received a permit for a $3,500 outdoor irrigation system and the new Crawdad's convenience store at 4080 Interstate 10 installed a $1,500 irrigation system.

Orange police are investigating a copper theft at a house in the 800 block of Moss Street that is owned by Orange City Councilman Bill Mello. Mello called police about 10 a.m. Monday when he discovered the theft at one of his rental properties. The copper had been cut out of a central air-conditioning unit. The Marze insurance agency at 2408 16th Street wasn't the only victim of burglars during the weekend. A utility trailer was parked at the back of the office and someone broke the locks on it. Orange police report that at least $2,000 worth of power tools were stolen during the break-in.

Diane Dotson, Program Director and Instructor of Information Technology at Lamar State College-Orange, was recently recognized by the Cisco Networking Academy as an Advanced Level Instructor. This award recognizes Dotson as one of the top 25% instructors globally in the following areas: Participation in online instructor communities, number of professional development opportunities completed, attention to student needs, student performance, and use of resources. Prior to her teaching career that began at LSC-O in 2003, Dotson worked in “corporate America” for more than 15 years. Earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems and Master’s Degree in Educational Technology Leadership, Dotson is passionate about teaching and loves to see her students succeed. Dotson is the student sponsor for the AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals) student chapter at LSC-O. She strongly encourages her students to join this organization as it not only enhances IT development during the academic career, but assists in professional development, supports IT education, and seeks to advance national policies on IT that improves society as a whole. Lamar State College-Orange has been a member of the Cisco Networking Academy for over 10 years. LSC-O uses the Cisco Networking Academy to teach the four CCNA courses and the PC hardware/software class. The Cisco Networking Academy is part of Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Lamar State College-Orange offers courses in the Cisco curriculum and upon completion of the program Dotson’s students have the opportunity and are employed in the local area businesses, plants, and school districts. Registration is open and she encourages all those interested in the computer information field to come and register for classes.

The officers of St. Mary Catholic Student Council and NJHS attended the Texas Association of Student Councils Summer Leadership Workshop Training in Sherman, TX at Austin College. The officers attended meetings and training to bring back to share with the students at school and the community. While at the leadership workshop, Shelby Smith, president of the student council was elected president of her council and was honored by giving a speech at the banquet. Student Council officers are: Shelby Smith, president; Megan Do, vice president; Elizabeth Johns, secretary; Adrian Willingham, treasurer; Amber Lester, Historian and Krystal Lester, Advisor Assistant. Officers for NJHS are: Megan Do, President; Shelby Smith, vice president; Elizabeth Doan Secretary and Nicholas Wilson, Historian. The Student Council advisor, Angie Smith attended and worked on staff as the secretary and technology coordinator for the workshop.

The Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts is preparing for it's 35th Anniversary Celebration and Season Ticket Packages are on sale now at www.lutcher.org or by calling the Lutcher Box Office at 409-886-5535. The Lutcher Theater offers a Premiere Package of season tickets for patrons desiring ten to fifteen shows. This package ranges in price from $310 to $819 per person, depending on seat location and show selection. For patrons desiring four to nine shows, the Spotlight Saver Package is available allowing patrons the opportunity to create their own combination packages. This package ranges in price from only $80 to $590 per person, depending on seat location and show selection.

The City of Orange Economic Development Corporation has a new board president and two new board members. Now the corporation is ready to make a decision on investing money in a plan to develop the old Southern Printers Building in downtown. The economic development corporation met Tuesday before a regular meeting of the Orange City Council. City Manager Shawn Oubre said a joint meeting of the two groups will be held August 5 at 6 p.m. to discuss economic incentives for real estate developer Michael Wray to buy and renovate the old building. The Southern Printers Building is across the street from the city's riverfront boardwalk and pavilion. Wray plans to have apartments on the second floor of the old building and have a restaurant and shops on the first floor. The Economic Development Corporation directors voted to make George Mortimer president of the board. He is replacing Ben Culpepper, who passed away in May. In addition, Shane Johns and Councilwoman Mary McKenna took their seats on the board. The corporation rules require three of the seven board members be City Council members.  more

Rickey Land believes there’s no reason why every person shouldn’t know CPR.  As the Director for the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program at Lamar State College - Orange, Land is more than qualified to know the importance of the life-saving measure as well as many other aspects of emergency medical care. Land shared his knowledge with the Kiwanis Club of Orange, TX, Thursday afternoon where he discussed the benefits of the recently revived EMT program at LSC-O. Since starting in 2010, Land said the program has about 15 students per semester with plans for expansion within several years. In its first graduating class, the program had 9 students. more

The Sheriff’s Office announced the retirement Monday of a valuable asset. K-9 Shadow will retire effective July 31 after 9 years of service with the Sheriff’s Office. Age has caused Shadow to have problems with its hips and can no longer perform law enforcement functions. Sheriff Keith Merritt handled K-9s for more than 14 years when he was a constable one for nine years and another for almost six years, and said it is not uncommon for active dogs to begin to have trouble with their hips after the time Shadow has served the county. Merritt admitted the K-9s become very close to their handlers and are like part of your family. In the nine years of sniffing out contraband drugs and criminals, Shadow has many stellar moments. Sheriff Merritt remembers several times Shadow was at the top of its game. Whether it was going into a dark wooded area to find a suspect that might injure a deputy or locating a stash of drugs the dealer hid that eluded another K-9, but not Shadow, Merritt stated Shadow got the job done. Shadow’s handler with the department Corporal Russell Hall is looking at another Belgian Malinois like Shadow to be his new K-9 partner. Shadow will spend its retirement years with Hall. Sheriff Merritt added a press conference will be called when a replacement is found, and Shadow will be given a more formal farewell from the department.

The first of two public hearings to annex three tracts into Bridge City was held Monday night. Brad Taylor the co-owner of Sterling Shipyard in Port Neches spoke to the city council about his company wanting to expand and move their business to Humble Island which would fall into the extra-territorial jurisdiction being annexed by Bridge City. Taylor’s company has received a tax incentive from Port Arthur to pay for utilities if they move, and Taylor is concerned if there will be a lengthy delay caused by confusion on whether Bridge City or Port Arthur has jurisdiction on the island. Taylor hopes for a quick conclusion to the annexation which would put the property his company wants to build on in Orange County and they could talk to Bobby Fillyaw about incentives because they are ready to move at any time. City Manager Jerry Jones said Bridge City has looked to annex the area since about the time of Hurricane Ike. Jones assured Taylor that there will be no question the area will be in Bridge City’s jurisdiction after the annexation. Jones pointed out that the annexation is not stepping on Port Arthur’s toes, but added that if Port Arthur has been taxing the property it might owe somebody a bunch of money. Apparently, the previous owner of the island had property that extended across the Neches River, and that might have caused confusion on jurisdiction. The second public hearing on the annexations will be 6 o’clock this evening at the City Hall in Bridge City.

Bridge City is trying to make itself more attractive to businesses. The Planning and Zoning Commission met with the City Council Monday night for two public hearings to hear comments on two separate requests to rezone single family residential properties as commercial or office zoned properties. There was no opposition to either request at the public hearings. Afterwards the planning and zoning commission met in a regular session. Vice Chairman of the commission Steve Quibodeaux said both requests were approved by the commission. He added the planning and zoning commission has been trying to approve more properties in the city for commercial to get more businesses and benefit the city. One request wants to expand a day care center located on Miller Drive and the second request is to build a new office across from its fabrication facility on Nevils.

A 25-year-old man will serve 35 years in prison for sexual abuse of a child along with a 20-year sentence for burglary. Willis Bennett Sibley Jr. of Orange pleaded guilty to the two charges Friday afternoon before 128th District Judge Courtney Arkeen. Assistant District Attorney Phillip Smith said the two sentences will be served at the same time. State law requires Sibley to serve at least half the 35-year sentence, or 17-and-a-half years in prison for the sexual assault, before being considered for parole. Sibley's pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. The burglary charge was in connection with a night-time break-in of a Little Cypress house and then a police chase through yards in the Woodmont subdivision. The mother of the child victim told KOGT that Sibley was her fiancé and was living with her and her family at the time of the assaults. She noticed the signs that her daughter was being abused and sought charges against him. "Put your children over any man," she said. The mother said she had been a victim of sexual assault when she was a child and that her mother had not stood by her. “The panic and the anxiety, I wasn’t going to let it happen to her,” she said about her daughter. The mother advised other parents to notice signs of possible sexual abuse like the child going to bed fully clothed and wearing a coat and then pulling the blanket up. Another sign is that the child becomes happy when a person leaves the house and is gone. The mother said she and her daughter have received counseling from the Garth House. Sibley was indicted in June 2013 for continuous sexual assault of a child in connection with incidents that had happened from December 2012 through March 2013. The mother of the victim said that after she kicked Sibley out of her house and went to police, he moved in with another woman with children.
The victim and her family members were prepared to testify against Sibley in a trial. Prosecutor Smith said the continuous sexual assault of a minor case was set to go to trial before a jury on Monday, but Sibley pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of sexual assault of a child.
The burglary plea came because of Sibley’s arrest this past March when he was out of jail on bond for the sexual assault indictment. Orange police reported he broke a window at a house on Rue de Fleurs in the middle of the night. The homeowner awoke and called police. Sibley then led police officers on a chase through yards in the Woodmont subdivision. Police were able to spot him in the dark because his tennis shoes had reflective features that glowed when the flashlights shone at them. Officers found him hiding in a pile of grass behind a house in the 4300 block of White Cedar Drive. Two officers shocked him with Taser guns because he would not move one of his hands out of the grass pile. During a daylight search, officers found a discarded .22 caliber pistol. Smith said Sibley had previous felony convictions.

   
Karlie Martinez (8 years old) decided about 2 years ago that she wanted to grow her hair out to donate to "locks of love." She is very passionate about helping others and hopes that her hair will help a sick child feel beautiful again! She is now starting the process over and says when it is long enough she will be ready to donate again!

Two businesses on 16th Street reported burglaries in recent days. A burglar alarm sounded at 2:12 a.m. at the Dollar General, 3024 16th Street. Orange police found a broken window on the east side of the building but nothing was taken. Then Sunday at 12:29 p.m. the owner of Marze Insurance at 2408 16th Street reported a break-in with computer equipment stolen. Police said a front window was broken but entry to the office was made through breaking into the north side door. Also reported during the weekend was a break-in at a house in the 1300 block of First Street at 2:53 a.m. Saturday A burglar alarm notified police. On Saturday at 10:35 p.m. a resident in the 2000 block of Coronado Place reported that someone forced entrance into the house’s attached garage. About $4,100 worth of audio and electronics were stolen.

An Orange man was taken to the Carthage hospital Friday afternoon after accidentally shooting himself while at the Gateway Travel Plaza, 1086 Highway 59 South. According to the panolawatchman.com, Chief Jim Vanover said the man, Jason Paul Bryant, 37, a concealed handgun licensee, entered the convenience store, pulled his shorts up, and accidentally shot himself in the leg. “He walked maybe six feet in the door when he pulled his shorts up, something caught the trigger and the gun discharged into his leg,” Vanover said. “People immediately rushed over to help.” By the time Officer Shelbye Alemeida arrived at the scene a women in the store had secured a tourniquet made of a belt around the shot leg and was applying pressure to the wound. Chief Vanover said the accident could have most likely been prevented if proper gun safety had been observed. “If you’re going to carry a gun it needs to be in a safe holster,” Vanover said. “It’s dangerous to stick a gun in your pants. No one was hurt besides him.” No charges were filed against Bryant for the negligent discharge, and no word on his condition as of Monday morning.

Commissioners’ Court approved Monday renewing the contract for another four years with Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Simpson to collect delinquent property taxes for the county. The request was made by Tax Assessor Collector Lynda Gunstream and a motion was made by Commissioner Jody Crump who said they do a wonderful service for the county. The commissioners also approved renewing the $10 Road and Bridge fee the county collects when citizens register their vehicles with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Money from the fee is used for road repairs in the county. Commissioners decided not to begin collecting the Child Safety fee which is used to pay for crossing guards at traffic intersections. In other business County Judge Carl Thibodeaux asked that further issuing of P-Cards to county departments be delayed until after the new budget is completed. Thibodeaux said the departments that have the P-Cards can still use them for emergency purchases, but no new cards be issued until after October 1. Requests for purchases by departments between now and the end of September will be submitted to the Purchasing Department, and Connie Cassidy and her staff will work to get the needed items. The court held two closed sessions, one on the Montano lawsuit against the county and the other about a business prospect locating in Orange County. No action was taken in open session following either closed session.

Part of county business is to transfer old equipment as surplus. Monday saw a more difficult transfer of a valuable piece of county property to surplus. K-9 Shadow which has been invaluable in finding contraband drugs in its over 9 years of service with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office will officially retire July 31. Shadow has reached an age when most trained dogs like it cannot continue to perform enforcement functions. Assistant County Attorney Doug Manning says the county plans to give the dog to its longtime handler Corporal Russell Hall, adding the transfer is the same thing as having a third party house a county asset and there will be no cost to the county as Hall will maintain possession of Shadow throughout the remainder of its life. Sheriff Keith Merritt says Hall is currently in the Hill Country working with a new K-9 that the sheriff hopes will be able to take the place of Shadow.

Look Left and "Cast Your Vote"

The causes of an apartment fire and a single-family house are still under investigation, but Orange Deputy Fire Chief Lee Anne Brown said the fires are not considered suspicious. Both fires were early Sunday morning. No injuries were reported. The fire at Oakwood Village Apartments on 37th Street affected 12 units and displaced several residents. Brown said the complex was moving the displaced tenants into other apartments except for an elderly woman who needs to live on the ground floor. The local chapter of the American Red Cross has been helping the victims. The fire was reported at 2:23 a.m. Sunday and by the time firefights arrived smoke and flames were coming out of the building. The residents had all gotten out safely. The Orange Fire Department responded and got assistance from the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department and the Emergency Services District No. 4 from McLewis and Mauriceville. It took the firefighters almost an hour to get the apartments fire under control. While firefighters were at the apartments, another call came about the house fire at 1212 Sholars. The family got out safely during the fire, which reported about 4:56 a.m. Brown said flames and heavy smoke were coming out of the room and rear of the building. Emergency Services District No. 3 from Little Cypress was at that fire for the Orange Fire Department.
   
 

Local Weather Radar

 

A woman caught inside a house in November stealing from a man who had recently died will serve 13 years in prison for the burglary. State District Judge Buddie Hahn sentenced 25-year-old Moriah Wallace to the prison term along with a $1,000 fine. Orange police reported on November 11 that the daughter of the deceased went to his house about 7:30 a.m. and found a woman inside hiding behind a bar in the den area. Police arrested Wallace and reported she had a number of items, including a bag full of half-dollars and other coins worth than $1,000. She told police that she drank a beer while there. Assistant District Attorney Tom Kelley, who prosecuted the case, said Wallace had been put on probation for a previous felony case and that was revoked. She then served time in a state jail and was released in August 2013, three months before the break-in, Kelley said. The break-in was on Veteran's Day, two days after the funeral for the homeowner. Kelley said the man was a veteran and had a veteran's ceremony at his burial.

Marriage License: Issued By The office of Karen Jo Vance, Orange County Clerk For the Week of July 14, 2014 thru July 18, 2014. Brandon J. Lucas and Kaylin R. Little, Kristopher K. Kilbourn and Christina M. Krause, George E. Falgout and Pamela S. Dyson, Paeton T. Landry and Jasmin M. Duck, Christopher D. Gantt and Savanah L. Stanley, Bradley G. Oliver and Kathy J. Fitzgerald, Roger D. Gore and Kelly L. May, Kory D. Temple and Kimberly R. Daley, Max C. Aaron and Victoria E. Romano, Johnathon L. Shoemaker and Michaela C. Tremont, Chad M. Richard and Krista A. Foster, Mark G. Svencer and Nicolle M. Barnett, Ted J. Slaughter and Alexandra M Humphrey, Wesley A. Smith and Aubrey D. Thibodaux, Derick S. Duhon and Shelby C.A. Davison, Phillip R. Vaughn and Amy D. Martin.

The Orange County Hotel/Motel Tax committee has released applications for non-profit entities within Orange County to apply for a portion of the County’s Hotel/Motel Tax funds.  Any 501(C) organization in Orange County that attracts visitors to Orange County Texas can make application to the committee.  There are a number of restrictions by state law as to how the funds can be utilized.  First, the funds must be used in a manner that encourages overnight visitors to Orange County.  Secondly, expenditures must fall within one of the following categories. more

Tanner is missing off FM 1442 between BC and Orangefield since Sunday evening. Is in need of medication for his eyes. Contact # is 409-720-7292.

What's happening around town?  Check the Happenings page!

The restoration of the historic Cow Bayou swing bridge has turned wet this summer. Part of the construction includes installing a "fender system" in the bayou that protects the bridge from boats, said Sarah Dupre with the Texas Department of Transportation. The restoration work for the $9.5 million project is progressing on schedule, she said. Work started earlier this year to restore the 1941 swing bridge where it will open smoothly for boat traffic, if needed. In addition, it will carry 21st Century traffic. Dupre said the “fender system” looks like guard rails but they are in the water. In addition, the contractor is pouring concrete for the decks of the bridge. The decks are the roadway that vehicles will use. The fender and decking work will be continuing for the next few weeks.  The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015.

 

Orange police arrested a man early Wednesday morning for destroying evidence after he poured out PCP from a small bottle. Bradley J. Gilliam also faces a charge of evading police because he wouldn't stop riding his bicycle when a patrol officer tried to stop him for a traffic check. Officer Patrick McDonald reported that he saw a man riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road about 1:35 a.m. in the 700 block of 13th Street. The officer said the bike didn't have a white light on the front. McDonald turned on his patrol car's emergency lights, but the bicyclist wouldn't stop. At the corner of 13th Street and Orange Avenue, the bicyclist almost stopped, so Patrick stopped his patrol car. When he got out, the bicyclist sped away. The officer said the man refused to stop. McDonald ran after the bike and tackled the driver. Then they struggled over a small bottle. The man managed to pour out the liquid in the bottle. McDonald said it smelled like PCP, a hallucinogen. Police also investigated a burglary at house in the 100 block of Massachusetts with a window air conditioner stolen. Tuesday morning, a City of Orange employee reported that he had parked a city truck in the 700 block of West John Avenue about 8 a.m. When the employee returned to the truck after checking water meters, he discovered a window had been broken. Nothing was missing from the truck.

Ambrose Claybar of Orange came home from the GTO Association of America International Meet in Pittsburgh with the "Best of Show" Award for his 1964 GTO.  The win was sweet for Claybar, not only beating 74 other cars, but winning on the 50th Anniversary of the Pontiac muscle car which was produced from 1964-74.  It's the second time Claybar has come home with the Best Of Show Award.  He did it back in 2007 with a blue 1965 GTO.  Why GTO?  Claybar said, "My brother let me drive his when I was in high school and I've loved them ever since."

The West Orange-Cove school board Monday voted to appoint Nathaniel Colbert to serve in the board position that was left vacant by the death of Mary Kirksey, who passed away on June 28. The new board member is not related to Superintendent James Colbert. The new board member will serve until the next school board election in May 2015. He will take the oath of office on Monday at a board meeting.

The restaurants and food businesses health scores slipped in July. Orange County Health Inspector James Scales went to 19 restaurants and businesses during the first part of the month and only one had a perfect score of 100. Flies and gnats were found at several establishments. The perfect one was the Dollar General store on Highway 12 in Mauriceville. The Garden District on North Highway 87 in Little Cypress came close. The restaurant had three points taken off because it did not have a certified food manager on staff. The lowest score went to General Wok No. 6 on 16th Street in Orange. The restaurant had 78 with Scales finding dead roaches and feces on the top of the cooler, along with other problems. Even though the Cypress Plaza at 16th Street and Park Avenue in Orange had a score of 89, Scales reported that the store is in poor condition and had lots of trash and old equipment that needed to be discarded. He also pulled expired foods dating back to 2010 to 2012. The inspector noted that the score does not reflect the conditions of the store and that it needs to be cleaned daily. During the first two weeks of July, 11 businesses had scores in the 90s and four had scores in the 80s. Scales also conducted pre-opening inspections on two business, Wicked Wich Sandwiches on Carla Street in Vidor, and The Hut barbecue business (formerly the Crawfish Hut) at 1804 16th Street in Orange. Other health scores

Shawn Milton Crooks, 24, of Bridge City was arrested by Bridge City Police Monday on two felony warrants for stealing a vehicle and evading arrest.  He's also a suspect in several other crimes according to authorities.  The arrest didn't come easy.  Crooks eluded police last week after stealing a vehicle in the West Orange area.  Monday BCPD was assisted by WOPD as well as tracking dogs from Port Arthur when they believed they had Crooks cornered near his home on Granger Drive.  The area was searched for most of the day with little success.  Near the end of the day after the dogs were called off, Bridge City officers Richard Teague and Tim Reeves and Jessica Johnnie from OC Sheriffs Dept. were in the Granger Drive area when they saw Crooks and subsequently arrested him without incident.  Crooks was taken to the Orange County Jail.

Bridge City ISD School Registration Information
 

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Names
Arthur
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Cristobal
Dolly
Edouard
Fay
Gonzalo
Hanna
Isaias
Josephine
Kyle
 
Laura
Marco
Nana
Omar
Paulette
Rene
Sally
Teddy
Vicky
Wilfred

 

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