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Monday morning with flags in hand, a group of area runners ran across the Veterans Memorial Bridge in honor of those that have served our country.  The run, back and forth from Bridge City is about 8 miles.

On Sunday, May 24th, 2015 at 7:35 p.m., the Orange Police Department was dispatched to a major traffic crash in the 1200 block of W. Park Ave. Upon arrival, officers found a 2012 white Dodge 2500 Ram 2500 truck resting on top of a 2011 Harley Davidson motorcycle and two riders. The two on the motorcycle were pronounce deceased by Judge Derry Dunn, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2. They were identified as fifty-four year old Riley Portie and his wife, fifty year old Emily Portie both of Orange. The driver of the truck has been identified as twenty-nine year old Travis Collins, also from Orange. It is believed that excessive speed and intoxication are factors in this fatality traffic crash. Travis Collins is under arrest and charged with two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville


Valedictorian - McKenzie Dileo, Harding University

Salutatorian-Aaron Rose, Texas A&M

High School

Class of 2015

Valedictorian - Marissa Gray
Texas A&M, Accounting

Salutatorian - Torren Allison
Texas Womens Univ, Nursing

Someone broke into the LCM Bear Necessities Store early Sunday morning which is the Booster Club store next the concession stand inside Bear Stadium. Booster Club President Jennifer Umbenhaur said they have surveillance video of a white male carrying tools and breaking thru the wall of the store, trashing the inside and stealing items.  He also stole the Booster Club Golf Cart and used it to rut up several fields.  Umbenhaur believes there may have been more than one person involved as they continue to look at the schools security cameras.  If you see the golf cart or know anything about this case please call the Orange Police Dept at 883-1026.

At approximately 9:00pm Saturday, there was an a auto-pedestrian crash at the intersection of Sparks Road and Betsy Road in Orange County. Preliminary reports show that two minor children were skateboarding in the roadway on Sparks Road. A Nissan Versa was northbound on Sparks road. The driver of the Nissan swerved to the left to avoid striking one of the children and hit the other child that was in the middle of the roadway. The 13 year old child that was struck was flown by medical helicopter to St. Elizabeth with a concussion. The driver of the Nissan, a 25 year old female from Mauriceville, was not injured in the crash.

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Saturday around 12:30 a box truck carrying snack cakes lost control traveling east on MacArthur Drive.  If not for the truck hitting a tree, it may have ended up in Adams Bayou.  The driver was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Kirk Ardoin was ready this weekend to plant the Kentucky wonder beans and sweet corn that he had grown from seed. Instead, he and wife Sherie, plus daughter Kylah were at the Orange Farmers Market Saturday morning hoping to sell the plants. "There's no use in planting them now," he said. "The garden's going to flood." They live near the Sabine River in Deweyville and are preparing for the flooding that is coming.
Newton County Judge Truman Dougharty on Friday signed a declaration for a local state of disaster because of the flooding along the river, particularly in Deweyville and Bon Wier. Kirk Ardoin said the family has been moving outside things on the ground like the lawnmower and tiller and other items to higher places. The family's garden was going strong with the squash and cucumbers almost ready to pick. He's planning on losing it. "The plants in the ground, there's nothing you can do something with that. You can't sandbag all around the garden," he said.
Sherie Ardoin said their house is raised and doesn't flood. The rest of their land will. Kirk said he will likely stay with someone in town when the flood waters come so he can get to work. They're making plans and moving things this weekend. "We're preparing for the worst," he said.
Late Saturday morning, the National Weather Service had the river at 24.2 feet at Deweyville, slightly over the flood stage of 24 feet. The morning prediction was for the river to get to 26.7 feet by Wednesday. At 26 feet, Deweyville will have moderate flooding. Residents in the Indian Lake and River Oaks area can expect their roads to be under water.

Marriage License: Issued By The Office of Brandy Robertson, Orange County Clerk For the Week of May 18, 2015 thru May 22, 2015. Zachary T. Graham and Jerusha A. Boutte; Christopher L. Pymm and Jessica A. Broussard, Donnie J. LeBlanc , Jr. and Kandace M. Carter, Sebastian F. Vasquez and Cydney R. Hines, Darrin J. Smith and Courtney J. Bellard, Celbert M. Brown, III and Dallis A. Garrett, Robert L. Maple and Sharon E. Rattray, Donald L. Mulhollan and Dannette K. Guidry, Samuel C. McLellan and Ann M. Kobloth, Michael T. Mincey and Brittany N. Conner, Paul L. Richardson and Tracy G. Tauzin, Cory W. Kovatch and Elizabeth A. McWatters.

The Sabine River at Deweyville reached flood stage Friday morning and the National Weather Service is now predicting widespread moderate flooding in Deweyville, Indian Lake and River Oaks. The morning prediction has the river rising to 27.6 feet by Wednesday morning. Flood level is 24 feet. The levels could increase based on rainfall and releases from Toledo Bend Reservoir dam.

The law firm for Orange County's delinquent taxes filed warrants against five businesses owing a total of $30,000 in back personal property taxes. The personal property covers inventory, furniture and fixtures. The sheriff's office served the warrants to take possession of the properties on Wednesday and Thursday. Steve Bird with the Linebarger Law Firm said today that three of the businesses have paid the amount in full. The other two are negotiating and will have paid the past due amounts by next month.
The businesses that have paid are Star Stop Number 4 at 1415 16th Street in Orange. The store owed $7,473. Also, Country Corner and Country Corner Liquor in Vidor. The business owed $6,309. Also the Shell Food Mart on Edgar Brown Drive in Orange, which owed $5,126. The two working out payments are the Vidor Shipley Donuts owing $4,553 and the Vidor Step N Go, owing $5,126. Orange County Tax Collector Lynda Gunstream said most 97 to 98 percent of the businesses in the county pay their taxes on time. She said the county works with those that are having problems paying but sometimes the warrants are the only way to get the owners to pay.


A multiple vehicle accident Thursday afternoon tied up traffic both west and east bound on Interstate 10 for two hours.  The crash occurred about 4:15 PM during Thursday afternoon rush hour on the Purple Heart Bridge over the Neches River.  Department of Public Safety Trooper Stephanie Davis reports that Ray Garza of Orange was travelling westbound on the interstate and failed to control his speed in a Ford pickup truck when he struck vehicles stopped on the crest of the bridge.  A tractor truck was among the six vehicles involved in the chain-reaction crash and began to leak diesel fuel which caused the closing of the inside lane of eastbound Interstate 10.  Trooper Davis says none of the occupants in the vehicles involved in the accident were taken by ambulance to the hospital, but two minor children were taken by private vehicle to the hospital for minor injuries.  The diesel fuel and crash debris were cleaned up by 6:00 PM allowing the backed up traffic to start moving again.   photo by Sharon Bonin.

At approximately 4:30pm Thursday, there was a two vehicle crash that occurred on Highway 12 near Mauriceville. The crash involved an Little Cypress-Mauriceville school bus. The school bus was stopped on the westbound shoulder of Highway 12 and was preparing to unload students when it was struck from behind by a Chevrolet passenger vehicle driven by a 20 year old male from Vidor. At the time of the crash, there were thirteen students on the bus. There were no injuries sustained in this crash.

A Vidor man made a return appearance to the Orange County Jail Wednesday after being free for about three hours. Orange police arrested him for misdemeanor possession of synthetic marijuana about noon. Officer D.Y. Myers reports that Keith Allen Hanlon had been in the jail for public intoxication and was released about 9 a.m. Wednesday. Myers said he was sent to Park Avenue at McKee Drive about noon because of a pedestrian possibly being intoxicated. He said he found a small amount of synthetic marijuana in the man's pocket and took him back to jail.

Sales tax returns from the month of March have been sent to Orange County, the cities and the Little Cypress Fire and Rescue Department, which is the only special district with a sales tax. The taxes are collected by the state comptroller's office and reimbursed to the entities. The payments are:
Bridge City: $152,223 for the month. $818,000 for the year, compared to $555,000 for the same period last year.
Orange: $324,254 for the month. $1.698 for the year, compared to $1.525 million for the same period last year.
Pinehurst: $60,600 for the month. $268,215 for the year, compared to $291,200 for the same period last year.
Vidor: $285,870 for the month. $1.09 million for the year, compared to $1.046 million for the same period last year.
West Orange: $108,200 for the month. $493,300 for the year, compared to $456,900 for the same period last year.
Orange County: $476,400 for the month. $2.2 million for the year, compared to $1.83 million for the same period last year.
Emergency Services District 3: $33,630 for the month. $141,000 for the year, compared to $122,770 for the same period last year.

Sixty-nine Lamar State College-Port Arthur students qualified for the 2015 spring semester President’s List, which recognizes students who earn a perfect 4.0 grade point average while completing at least 12 semester credit hours. Another 78 students qualified for the Deans’ List, which requires an overall grade point average of at least 3.6 for the semester.
Several students from Orange County were among those earning top academic honors.
Students qualifying for the President’s List in the Academic College, listed by hometown, are:
Vidor: Stephanie Evans.
Students qualifying for the President’s List in the Technical College, listed by hometown, are:
Bridge City: Chelsea Phillips, Casey Jackson.
Orange: Jordan Simpson.
Starks, La.: Nathan Ingalls.
Vidor: Laura Pineda, Jessica Jones.
Students qualifying for the Dean’s List in the Technical College, listed by hometown, are:
Bridge City: Whittney English.
Orange: Brandon Boze, Matthew Roe, Amber Riedel.
Vidor: Jeffrey Zernial.

West Orange Fire Marshal Dean Fuller said a house fire on Bowie Street Tuesday morning was apparently set by a woman who later jumped from the Rainbow Bridge and died. The Port Arthur Police Department as of Wednesday afternoon has not released the identity of the woman who jumped. Fuller said the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department was called to 1717 Bowie Street at 6:26 a.m. Tuesday. Drivers on the bridge reported the woman jumping at 6:40 a.m. Fuller has ruled the fire as an arson case. He said fires were started in three different places, the living room and both bedrooms. Damage to the house was mostly from smoke. Port Arthur police reported that people on the bridge described a woman as stopping her car, going to the side and putting a leg over the rail to jump. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office marine division and the U.S. Coast Guard searched the Neches River and recovered the woman's body at 8:22 a.m.

This dog is missing from the Tanglewood/Gloria area in West Orange. There is a $300 reward.  Please call 4097797480 if you've seen him.

The Golden Triangle Militia will be on the agenda again next week for the Commissioners Court. A resolution to recognize the Golden Triangle Militia as a reserve militia for the county was tabled at the meeting on May 18. Commissioners said they wanted to discuss the status of the Golden Triangle Militia with county law enforcement before approving the resolution. Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt said he is familiar with the Golden Triangle Militia. Merritt stated that he has reviewed the criteria and statutes pertaining to the militia. Merritt has also communicated with David Smith commander of the Golden Triangle Militia for over a year and has made it clear that if he needs them Merritt will call the militia. The sheriff added that the resolution is between the militia and the Commissioners Court. The Commissioners Court will consider approving the resolution recognizing the Golden Triangle Militia at its meeting Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 in the Administration Building.

The Sabine River Authority continues to increase the water released from Toledo Bend Reservoir and flood predictions for Deweyville are also increasing.
At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the river authority announced that six gates at the dam are open four feet and three gates are open at three feet. The releases are now at 48,894 cubic feet of water per second. Even with the releases, the lake level is rising. The latest level is 173.12 feet with the lake full at 172 feet.
The National Weather Service's Wednesday afternoon prediction has the Sabine River at Deweyville reaching 25.9 feet by Monday. Flood level is 24 feet. The level Wednesday afternoon was 23.4 feet. The weather service has forecast more thunderstorms through the Memorial Day weekend, especially in Northeast Texas. Rains from that region drain into the Sabine River basin.

Proving that saving the historic Southern Pacific Depot on Green Avenue and Eleventh Street is certainly worth the effort, 70 percent of the members of the Stark High School Class of 1959 purchased engraved bricks for the paths around the depot amounting to nearly $6,000 toward the fundraising goal. Not only were individual bricks purchased, but many of the class members bought bricks in honor of all deceased classmates and many favorite teachers and coaches. “We hope that the people of Orange who feel their contributions to the project would be too small should be encouraged to just buy a brick,” said Rose Simar, class secretary and member of the board of the Friends of the Orange Depot. “As you can see, they all add up to generous support for our project.” More

Three council members were sworn in Tuesday night in Bridge City.  Terri Gauthier, David Rutledge and Tammi Fisette were given their oaths of office and received their certificates of election during the city council meeting before a full house at the City Hall in Bridge City.  Fisette thanked outgoing council members Kevin Mott, Robert Simonton, and Richard Savoy for their service to Bridge City and pledged she and the other new council members would do their best to fill the big shoes left by Mott, Simonton, and Savoy.  Rutledge who previously served on the council before stepping down because of term limits was appointed by the city council to be Mayor Pro-Tem.  Gauthier was appointed to serve as the council’s representative on the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission. Bridge City is hoping to begin 10 to 12 projects using bond money in June.  Two of the projects at the top of the list are installing filters on the city’s water system to reduce the brown water that affected Bridge City last year, and moving the Police Department to property adjacent to the City Hall.  City Manager Jerry Jones said the city has been testing filters for the water system.  Jones indicated the city has completed the tests on two of the filter boxes and should have the results of a third shortly which will help the city move along pretty quickly when it is ready to purchase the filters for the system.  Bridge City plans to install 12-inch water lines into existing lines and refurbish the water tower on FM 408 to also improve the water system.  Jones gave an update on the status of moving the police station from Texas Avenue to Rachal.  Jones informed the council that the site for the new police station will have some brush and trees removed with the help of the drainage district and plans for the new facility should be complete in a week or two after which Jones and his staff will start reviewing those.  Jones has estimated that Bridge City will have $3.5 million in bonds to perform the projects planned for the city.

Orange County Sheriff's Office Calls May 12-18

Lamar State College-Orange Confers over 200 Degrees, Certificates and Awards at Spring 2015 Commencement.  Four graduates of LSCO graduated with the designation of summa cum laude, with “highest honors.”  Summa cum laude designation includes those students with grade point averages of 3.8 to 4.0.  The students with this designation were Gerardo Santos Jr., Tyler James LeBlanc, Thomas Wayne Greenwell, and Charles Jordan Perry from Orange.  Magna cum laude, or “high honors” designation, is awarded to graduates who earn GPAs of 3.65 to 3.79. The eight students receiving this recognition were Trevier Matias Gonzalez, Jordan Allen Williams, Cole Alan Ashby, Katherine E Thrailkille, and Tyrone Leon Spears, Orange;  Carly Danae Drake and Rachel Cherie Lowery Rich, Vidor; Gregory Paul Gaspard, Vinton, La.  Graduates 

Four of the 18 food businesses getting health inspections during the first part of the month received perfect scores. Orange County Health Inspector James Scales gave mostly scores in the 90s during the two-week period. The lowest score was an 80 and went to the Waffle House on Highway 62 in Orange. Those with 100 were Lucy's Cafe and Bakery, Little Cypress Baptist Church Learning Center, Cardinal Snow Cone Stand in Bridge City and Dollar Tree on Texas Avenue in Bridge City.
The scores and demerits are:
Snack Shack, 13246 North Highway 87 in Orange: 97. The business did not have a hand-washing sink in the kitchen area.
Sweet Vee's Family Eatery, 1009 Simmons Drive in Orange: 97. Fryers and area around the grill needed to be cleaned of old grease. Ice scoop was on a towel.
Danny's Super Foods, 2003 Western Avenue in West Orange: 96. Store name and address were needed on bags of ice being sold.
Family Dollar, 1301 Highway 105 in Vidor: 93. Inspector pulled several expired foods from shelves.
Zapco Food Mart, 18548 Highway 62 South in Orange: 92. Store name and address were needed on bags of ice being sold. Dates needed on products inside coolers like sandwiches. Inspector pulled several expired foods from shelves.
Kroger Deli, 1600 16th Street in Orange: 91. Several gnats and flies were found. The hand-washing sink drained slowly. A towel was being used inside the drain to keep water from draining out of the sink. Floors, walls and ceiling need to be cleaned. Broken and unused equipment needed to be removed.
Danny’s Super Foods Deli, 2003 Western Avenue in West Orange: 90. Boxes of food were stored on the floor inside the walk-in cooler.
Market Basket, 2005 Texas Avenue in Bridge City: 90. Inspector pulled several expired foods from shelves. Gnats were on onions and in the back storage room. Racks on the produce cooler were rusted and needed repairs. Floors inside the milk cooler needed to be cleaned of old milk. The entire back storage room needed to be cleaned of old trash and dirt. The mops needed to be hung to air dry instead of sitting in the mop bucket full of water.
Kroger, 1600 16th Street in Orange: 89. Inspector pulled several expired foods from shelves. Hand-washing sink in the produce department did not have hot water. The floors inside the mile cooler needed to be cleaned of old foods.
Jack in the Box, 1315 North Main Street in Vidor: 84. Employee was eating in the preparation area. The reach-in freezer was damaged and needed to be repaired. Several flies were in the back storage area. The front cooler was holding water and forming ice. Floors, in the storage room, inside walk-in cooler and freezer needed to be cleaned of old foods. Broken storage containers and fry scoop needed to be replaced. Air vents were rusted and water was dripping. Lots of cleaning needed to be done inside and outside of the restaurant.
Waffle House, 2310 Highway 62 in McLewis: 80. All foods in the coolers needed to be labeled and dated. Boxes of hash brown potatoes were sitting in water inside the cooler. Damaged gaskets needed to be replaced. Several flies were found. The drain at the hand sink was clogged. The faucet at the front sink was dripping water. The front cooler was holding water and needed to be repaired. Several dishes that had been cleaned still had old foods on them. Mold was on the drink dispensers. Maintenance workers were doing repairs on equipment while inspector was at restaurant.

The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce announced the Students of the Month for May at their Networking Coffee on May 12th hosted by Achtwoo Pool & Spas. Student of the Month for Orangefield High School is Victor Vuong and Bridge City High School Student of the Month is Ariel Scogin. Bridge City High School Student of the Month Ariel Scogin is the daughter of Bryan and Iris Scogin. Ariel has a GPA of 4.64 and is ranked 4th out of 183. Ariel’s awards and honors include: Texas Music Scholar for 3 years, Cardinal Singer of the Year for 3 years, All Region Choir Member for 4 years and All district Honorable Mention in Soccer. Ariel’s Clubs and Organizations include: National Honor Society, Cardinal Singers, Meet in the Middle, Book Club, Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Varsity Soccer – 3 years. In community service, Ariel has volunteered at youth retreat and vacation bible school for Mauriceville Church of Christ, read to Bridge City Elementary students and tutors. After graduation, Ariel will attend San Houston State University and obtain a degree in Music Therapy. Orangefield High School Student of the Month Victor Vuong is the son of Joann Luong. Victor is ranked 9th out of 138 with a 4.0 GPA. Victor’s clubs and organizations include: Vice President of Art Club, Interact Club, Library Club, National Honor Society, President of the Texas Association of Future Educators, Historian of Thespian Troupe, Student Council, and Class Officer-secretary. Victor’s awards and honors: State qualifier in UIL Accounting, regional qualifier in UIL Calculator Applications, regional qualifier in UIL One Act Play, and participant in UIL Number Sense; Best in Show at the Houston Rodeo Art Contest, and three previous years was a blue ribbon winner; Won Law Day Art Contest 3rd place and honorable mention; Junior Prom Court and Regional Convention Speaker for TAFE. Victor’s Community service includes: volunteering at Shangri La Botanical Gardens, the public library and many school-related events.

Carly Gauthier, Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School sponsor of the National Honor Society, has announced the officers for the 2015-2016 school year. They are from top left: Student Council Representative Kami Foskey, Project Chair Rebecca Brown, Historian Sheridan Rogers and Service Chair Payton Bickham. On the bottom row from left: Treasurer Joseph Tran, VP-Courtney Price, Secretary Lauren Cox and President Vinny Hale.
This pup has been hanging out with the folks at St. Francis Church on Meeks Dr.  If it's yours please stop by and pick it up.

The Alpha Nu Gamma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, welcomed 48 new members—a record high for the chapter since its founding at Lamar State College-Orange in 1987.  Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students, as well as provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership, and service programming.  LSC-O students become eligible for membership once they have completed at least 12 college-level credit hours and earned an institutional GPA of 3.5 or better during their last five years of enrollment. more

The upcoming fundraiser for the Orange Community Players will be held June 4, 5 and 6 at the playhouse. This year’s theme will be “Music from the 80s”. Tickets will be $25, the revue will start at 7:37 p.m. each night. Each night we will be serving hors d’oeuvres, wine and punch. At intermission there will be an array of desserts, coffee, and punch. Paul Burch, Codie Vasquez, and Stephanie Pelham will be directing the singing and dancing. John Gray is the choreographer for the production. The musical review of talented singers and dancer will kick off the upcoming season at OCP. The August production will be “Lend Me a Tenor”, in October “Bye Bye Birdie” will be staged, February will be the ever popular “Steel Magnolias”, finishing the season will be the musical, “Into the Woods”.

Community Christian School’s fifth grade class is the winner of Shangri La’s annual Windmill Design Contest. 

The Orange City Council has two new members. Tuesday morning Judge Jerry Pennington gave the oath of office to Patrick Pullen for the District 1 seat and Wayne Guidry for District 2. Also, Mayor Jimmy Sims took the oath of office for his second term in the office. Family members stood by the men during the brief ceremony.
During the comments part, two ministers with churches in East Orange asked that City Council meet with residents to talk about the new basketball courts being constructed at Solomon Johnson Park. The Rev. C.E. Crawford from Mount Olive Baptist Church and The Rev. Carolyn McCall-Livingston of Salem United Methodist Church asked to consider the people who own houses near Solomon Johnson. Rev. McCall-Livingston said the city needs to consider the needs of children, young adults and senior citizens.  Susie Murray,  who lives by the park, has been asking the council for two months to move the basketball courts to nearby Navy Park. They have said Solomon Johnson Park doesn't have parking to handle two additional basketball courts. People at Solomon Johnson Park tie up traffic in the neighborhood and make noise, the women say. Murray today said she has ideas for solutions and asked for the council to meet with neighbors. Councilmember Larry Spears at the end of the meeting said he would like to meet with the neighborhood.
Residents in the Ridgemont subdivision also came back for a second time to ask ffor more help in dealing with crime in their neighborhood. Elvin Blanchard, who went before the council in April, said 14 people had break-ins but he hasn't heard of anyone being caught. He said lives by an empty house and he said people come and go. Robert Patterson, who also spoke in April, thanked Orange Police Department's Major Robinson for increasing patrols in the neighborhood. He said the animal control department needs to check into a vacant house where people are raising dogs. The owner of the house lives out of town and he thinks the lease holder died last year. Patterson said he has tried to contact the property owner and suggested the city find the owner to let them know what is going on.
The meeting included a proclamation declaring May Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. Mayor Sims presented to the proclamation to members of local motorcycle clubs. District 3 Councilmember Essie Bellfield said she thinks the Orange Police Department needs motorcycles for officers. “We have parades and funerals. I would love to see Orange police with motorcycles,” she said.

West Orange - Cove 5th 6 Week Honor Rolls: Elementary, Junior High and High School.

A big “THANK YOU” goes out to the friends and neighbors from several subdivisions off of South Teal Road in Orange. They came together on May 9th and contributed their time and trash bags to pick up litter from the roadside. Volunteers distributed flyers to all the residents in the area asking them for their help and about 20 folks showed up at 8am on Saturday morning ready to work. Anyone who travels this route regularly knows what an eyesore the litter had become. Whether it’s because this road is a shortcut from Hwy 87 to FM 1130 or because it is somewhat secluded, S. Teal has become of victim of dumping and littering in a major way. Fast food containers, beer cans and bottles, tires and yes….even old toilets and sofas were found along the roadway. But thanks to the efforts of many residents, they were able to clean up about 75% of this in about four hours! And a big “THANK YOU” also goes out to Orange County who transported what was collected to the dump. It’s amazing and inspiring to see what can be accomplished when concerned citizens come together to reach a common goal.

About 60 citizens attended a meeting of the Orangefield School Trustees at the Orangefield Elementary School cafeteria Monday night. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss options for funding the district. School Board Vice President Dr. Ronald Risinger said the school board’s intent for calling the meeting was to inform the public that the state had fallen short of helping fund the Orangefield School District, and that to help fill the gap caused by the state the school district is considering calling a tax ratification election so they can fund their district. The current Orangefield school tax rate for maintenance and operations is $1.04. The school board is considering a 13 cents increase in the tax rate. Figures shown during a presentation by Superintendent Dr. Stephen Patterson indicated a 13 cent increase in the tax rate would mean $947,066 in additional revenue for the Orangefield schools. Dr. Patterson believes the presentation was well received. Patterson said, “Our community as always is very supportive of the school, it’s what makes us have a great school. I felt like by in large our community communicated support for any measure that would go to help the children. They support our school, they support education, and I feel very positive.” More public meetings will probably be needed to better inform the public and get the message out according to Dr. Risinger. The earliest a tax ratification election could be held Dr. Patterson informed the meeting would be the end of September.

"Class of 2015"     Graduation Dates
Community May 21,  7pm at CCS
West Orange-Stark May 29,  6:30 at Hooks Stadium
Bridge City May 29, 8pm at L. Ward Stadium
Orangefield May 29, 7:30 at FL McLain
Vidor May 29, 7pm. Montagne Center
Deweyville May 29, 7pm at DHS Gym
Little Cypress-Mauriceville May 30, 2pm Montagne Center
West Orange Cove CISD attorney George Barron swears in three new school board members after they won seats in the May 9 election.  From left John Gray, Roderick Robertson, and Linda Platt-Bryant.

The recount for Orange City Council has reversed the winner of the District 1 seat with Pat Pullen winning. However, the recount this morning also showed a one-vote margin. Orange City Secretary Rhonda Haskins said the recount shows Pullen with 134 votes and Deborah Mitchell with 133 votes. On Election Day, Mitchell had 134 votes and Pullen had 133. The Orange County Elections Administration Office has overseen the election and the recount. Pullen attended the recount. He said Mitchell had to work and her husband, Eric Mitchell, attended in her place. Pullen is a retired captain with the Orange Police Department. Eric Mitchell is also a retired police officer with OPD. Deborah Mitchell previously served on the Orange City Council. This was the first time Pullen ran for office. He said the recount shows that due process works on elections. Pullen will take the oath of office at Tuesday morning's council meeting. He said he's looking forward to working with the council members to work to improve Orange.

Local Weather Radar

The Commissioners Court voted to take no action Monday on a resolution accepting the assistance of the Golden Triangle Militia.  The resolution was presented by the Golden Triangle Militia during a commissioners meeting in 2013 describing the group as a Second Amendment unit that wanted to be an additional asset to help the county during any emergency situation.  David Smith is the commander of the Golden Triangle Militia and spoke to the court at the end of Monday’s meeting.  Smith informed the court that no county in Texas had implemented a law that has been on the books since 1987 from which his agency would serve as a ready reserve militia that could be activated in a man-made or natural emergency quickly by the county judge or by the sheriff.  Commissioner David Dubose felt the court needed more information from law enforcement agencies to whether they needed the assistance of the militia.  Dubose said, “I need to talk to the local and county law enforcement to find out what their feelings are on it.  Right now we have the National Guard, we also have the Texas State Guard which is a non-paid position.  I’m not sure what we really need with a Texas Militia, but I’m not opposed to it totally I’d just like to talk to law enforcement and see what their standing is behind it.”  The second amendment to the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District contract was approved by the Commissioners Court Monday.  There were questions at last week’s commissioners’ meeting on why the cost went up from just over half a million to three quarters of a million dollars.  County Judge Brint Carlton informed the court the half million dollars was only for the first phase of the project known as “The Ike Dike”.  The $757,000 will include phases 2 and 3 of the project which plans to build a coastal barrier between the Sabine River to the Houston Ship Channel.  Commissioners approved a clerk position for the Human Resource Department.  Commissioner John Banken has a problem with the position being filled on April 30 before it was approved by the Commissioners Court.  Banken quoted the minutes from the March 23 meeting of the Commissioners Court which stated the posting for the position was approved and that in six to ten weeks Commissioners Court would determine whether the position was to be filled.  Banken asked why the position was not brought back to the court before it was filled.  Judge Carlton said he gave approval for the hiring admitting he forgot the wording of the original motion that it would come back to the court for final approval.  The Parks Department was also given approval to replace a permanent part time employee to work on weekends.

A man who was supposed to be in an Orange County courtroom Monday morning instead was in the Calcasieu Parish Jail. 39-year-old Danny Hill has been indicted for intoxicated assault in connection with a vehicle collision on the Rainbow Bridge. He is also facing a charge of jumping bail. He did not appear for pre-trial procedures and 163rd District Judge Dennis Powell had issued a warrant. Hill was arrested Monday in Calcasieu Parish. The collision on the Rainbow Bridge was in May 2013 and troopers reported that Hill had been traveling the wrong way on the bridge. His vehicle collided with an 18-wheel truck rig and a pickup truck. The man in the pickup, along with Hill, was seriously injured.

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

Saturday, May 16 the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a call around 5:30 p.m. regarding a possible drowning under the I-10 bridge. The investigation revealed Joshua Moreaux, 22, Orange, was kayaking with a group of friends when they decided to take a break under the I-10 bridge. Moreaux got out of his kayak and began to swim. Witnesses say they could see he was struggling so one of them swam out to Moreaux in an effort to help him but was unsuccessful. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division was called out to the scene where they used all of their resources to locate Moreaux and around 10:25 p.m. the CPSO divers recovered his body.

Orangefield High School's Child Development classes attended a field trip to Lamar State College in Orange. The students were allowed to watch a simulated labor and delivery, tour the campus, and examine the new nursing facilities. The OHS Family and Consumer Science teachers are Kimberly Spears and Jessica Viator.

In July 1951, Orange police solved three night-time burglaries of businesses. The Orange Leader described the suspect as a "40-year-old ex-convict who is a three-time loser." No one could have foreseen the "loser" changing U.S. history and being portrayed by Henry Fonda in a movie. Clarence Earl Gideon was the ex-convict and his arrest in Orange gave him the knowledge to later petition the U.S. Supreme Court. The Gideon v. Wainwright decision led to the accused to have the right to have an attorney and to have one appointed if they cannot afford one. Gideon pleaded guilty to the burglaries in Orange. Court documents in the Orange County District Clerk’s Office show he was offered a lawyer but he signed a refusal. The offer showed him that even if he was poor, he was entitled to legal representation. Ten years after his arrest in Orange, he was living in Florida and was arrested for a similar break-in. He didn't do that burglary and asked for a lawyer, but the Florida prosecutor refused. Gideon could not afford an attorney. While in a Florida prison, Gideon wrote a hand-written plea to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that his constitutional rights were violated because he didn't have the right to legal counsel. more only carries summations of news stories.  For the full story including interviews, tune in to KOGT Vocal News at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, and 11:50am, as well as 4:30 and 5:30pm weekdays.

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