|The West Orange-Stark cheerleaders expect to be busy cheering the Mustangs to victory and another district championship Friday night in Sour Lake against the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks. You can hear the game on KOGT!|
A naked man causing a ruckus in his neighborhood Tuesday evening was ready to go off with police. Orange Patrol Officer D.H. Mulhollan reported that when he arrived, the 6-foot-1, 270-pound naked man yelled "I am not God." Then the man walked to the passenger side of the patrol car, saying "I'm going to act right." Mulhollan said the man told deputies at the Orange County Jail that he had smoked two cigarettes dipped in the drug PCP. Neighbors called police at 5:56 p.m. Tuesday to the 1600 block of Eighth Street. Mulhollan said the man hit on a Dodge Ram pickup truck, causing a large dent in the hood and several dents in the side. The officer said the man followed his commands to sit on the ground instead of getting into the patrol car. The officer handcuffed him without problems. Raymond Lamark Miller was arrested on two misdemeanor charges, one for criminal mischief and another for public intoxication.
The city of Orange now has three-year contract agreements with the police and firefighters. City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre told City Council Tuesday that the Orange Municipal Police Association voted to accept the same contract terms that city firefighters approved. Both unions will have 2.5 percent pay raises for 2015, then 2.75 percent raises for the next two years after that. The union members will also get an addition $25 for special certificates they hold.
In other business Tuesday, the council unanimously appointed David Meaux to serve on the city's Economic Development Corporation board of directors. Meaux works at Sabine Federal Credit Union. He will replace Shane Johns, who is moving from the city.
During the citizen comments part of the meeting, Pamela Robinson asked for help with city sewer lines to her house that was built last year. She said sewerage has backed up into the house and once went into several rooms. She said city inspectors approved all the lines when it was built.
City Manager Oubre told the council that the city's insurance providers investigated and rejected Robinson's damage complaint because the problem was in her lines. He said he could not answer specific questions that were not on the official meeting agenda.
Oubre got Robinson's phone number and said city staff will contact her to discuss the problems.
The Orange County Elections Administration office Tuesday reported that a total of 7,245 people have voted early. Three more days of early voting are left before the November 4th elections.
The total vote includes 5,816 people voting in person and 1,425 people voting by mail.
The box in Orange at the old West Orange-Cove administration building has drawn the most votes with 1,869.
Bridge City's box at the city's public works building has 1,721 votes. The Bridge City school district is having a bond election.
The box at Vidor's Raymond Gould Community Center has 1,543 votes. The ballot there includes an election for the Orange County Emergency Services District No. 1 to implement a sales tax.
The Mauriceville box at First Baptist Church has the least votes with 683. That precinct is having a wet-dry election. The Mauriceville box is also the only early voting site without extended hours.
The early voting boxes in Orange, Bridge City and Vidor will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Mauriceville box will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on those days. Registered Orange County voters may cast votes at any of the early voting sites.
The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears Marching Band will be strutting in San Antonio next week. The band earned the right to march in the state band competition with an outstanding performance in Longview at the regional competition this past weekend. LC-M Band Director Steve Schoppert said it is no easy task to earn a spot in the state competition in San Antonio. Schoppert stated, “The cards are stacked against you and so we go in with our expectations realistic, and when things finally do go your way it’s just ecstatic we just came unglued this past weekend a very, very fulfilling experience I’ll tell you that.” The Bears’ band members had the odds stacked even more against them after their initial performance in Longview. Director Schoppert challenged them before the band’s second performance. “I just told the kids together it’s in your hands you know that wasn’t your best you know you got more in the tank let’s bring it tonight, and boy they brought it and jumped two stinking places and so we we’re just going crazy it was just unbelievable,” Schoppert reiterated. The band is selling T-shirts to help raise money for the trip to San Antonio. Contact the band hall at 886-4078 for more information. The LC-M Marching Band will perform Monday at noon in San Antonio. A successful performance and the Bears will perform again that evening.
Orange County Sheriff's Calls October 22-28
The Pinehurst City Council considered Tuesday night granting an application for a manufactured home to be placed in the 4100 block of West Park Avenue. City Inspector Harry Vine said six letters were sent to property owners about the manufactured home being placed in their neighborhood. Four responses were returned to the city, two consented to the application and two were opposed. Tim and Bonnie McCain are making the application and provided folders and posters to show the home they plan to place on Park. more
A masked armed robber took cash from a convenience store on Green Avenue and ran off into the night. Orange police had a 9-1-1 call at 10:26 p.m. to the Star Stop No. 6 at 1101 Green Avenue. Detective Captain Cliff Hargrave said a man wearing a ski mask and carrying a handgun jumped over the counter and stole money from the cash register and a drawer. The robber is described as a white man wearing a green shirt, black shorts and a multi-colored ski mask. Anyone with information about a suspect should call the Orange Police Department at 883-1026.
An Orange County grand jury last week decided that two Vidor police officers acted in self-defense in July when they shot and killed a man. Vidor Police Chief Dave Shows said the two officers went back to work on Friday after the grand jury decision. They had been put on administrative leave immediately after the shooting on July 11. District Attorney John Kimbrough said the grand jury heard evidence from the Texas Rangers who investigated the death and decided the shooting warranted no criminal indictments. 41-year-old Joseph Kevin Greer of Vidor was shot to death the evening of July 11. Vidor police reported the two officers responded to a 9-1-1 call about a domestic dispute. The officers encountered Greer in the 1700 block of East Railroad Street, where he was shot.
An Alabama man staying in the Econolodge off Interstate 10 called Orange police Monday morning to report that someone stole a Taurus pt740 pistol. He said the firearm was taken sometime between Friday night and Sunday morning. Another theft was reported to police Monday morning at the police station. A woman said her iPad was stolen from the front porch of a house in the 1100 block of Eighth Street. She owns the vacant house as rental property. She said she and her husband went to a store about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. When they returned about an hour later, the iPad was gone.
|Crawdad's Convenience Store had the grand opening Tuesday of the company's third store in Orange County. President David Moore said the chain opened its first store in Mauriceville. The company has gone from 12 employees to 145. The newest store is off Interstate 10 at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, the site of the old Luby's Cafeteria. The company also has a store at Interstate 10 and FM 1442 in Orange, plus stores in Baytown, Lumberton and Port Arthur.|
A passenger vehicle ran into the back of a dump truck on the Rainbow Bridge Monday afternoon. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported that the driver of the vehicle, 67-year-old Larry Gunter of Bridge City and his wife, 65-year-old Patricia Gunter, were taken by ambulance to St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur for observation. Trooper Stephanie Davis said the accident was about 1:30 p.m. The Ford dump truck was going southbound in the outside, slow lane of traffic. A Nissan passenger vehicle was traveling behind the dump truck and struck it from behind. The driver of the Nissan told investigators that the dump truck was moving too slowly. Trooper Davis said Gunter was issued a traffic citation for failure to control speed.
The Orange City Council on Tuesday will choose a new person to serve on the board of directors for the city's Economic Development Corporation. Four people have applied for the opening. The candidates include former economic development board member Charles Guillory, who lost his seat on the board earlier this year because he lost re-election to the city council. The economic development corporation rules require three of the board be on the city council.
Another applicant is business owner John Backer of TWFG insurance agency. Also applying is Mark Frey, who is a member of the city's planning and zoning commission. The fourth applicant is David Meaux of Sabine Federal Credit Union.
The council agenda includes a closed-door executive session to discuss negotiations with the police and firefighters unions. The firefighters recently voted on a three-year contract agreement with the city. The city council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the council auditorium next to the Orange Public Library.
The Economic Development Corporation board will meet before the council at 5 p.m. That board's agenda includes a closed-door executive session to discuss negotiations for a new business prospect.
Former Orange County District Attorney Bill Wright died in Tyler on Saturday at the age of 70. Wright served as district attorney from the late 1970s through 1984. He decided not to run for re-election and moved to Tyler, where he had a private law practice for a number of years. Stewart Family Funeral Home in Tyler is handling the arrangements.
The West Orange City Council granted Monday another 90-day extension to Pete Amy to get his two properties on Boston Street up to city codes. Amy has been working to get the properties at 801 and 803 Boston up to code, and Mayor Roy McDonald said the council recognized the effort Amy is making. McDonald added that Amy has conformed to all the requests from the city and has submitted plumbing and electrical inspections to the city as of Monday. The mayor expects this will be the last extension requested by Amy, who had been originally given 90 days to restore the properties or they would be subject to demolition. The deadline was to be November 9, but now is extended another 90 days. Traylor and Associates have been hired by the city of West Orange to manage a grant the city is receiving. Mayor McDonald said the Texas Community Development Block Grant will be used for improving water and sewer services in West Orange. McDonald explained the city applied to the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission for the grant and was awarded a bi-annual $250,000 grant to be used by the water and sewer department for the city. The engineering firm of Schaumberg and Polk was approved by the city council Monday to handle the engineering work for the grant. Tax rolls for Fiscal Year 2014 were presented to Commissioners’ Court Monday. The current and delinquent tax rolls for the City of West Orange were also approved by the city council Monday evening. The rolls the city received showed dollar amounts, but no other details. The council has asked City Secretary Theresa Van Meter to request the delinquent tax roll list. Van Meter said the city previously received a detailed list of names and addresses on the delinquent tax roll and the current tax roll list. Van Meter indicated West Orange has not received that list the last couple of years, so she has emailed Tax Assessor-Collector Lynda Gunstream to get that listing.
Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt saw a car collision Friday afternoon. When the driver of the car that caused the crash didn’t stop, the sheriff chased it down. Orange Police Department Officer S.V. Ward arrested the driver for driving while intoxicated in connection with using the drug PCP. Officer Ward reported that Merritt saw the accident at 3:38 p.m. Friday on Highway 87 North near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The sheriff went after a red Chevrolet sedan that didn't stop after hitting an SUV. The sheriff pursued car south on Highway 87 using his emergency lights. Ward reported the car stopped a few blocks away. Ward said when he arrived the sheriff had the driver in handcuffs. Ward said he smelled PCP on the breath and clothing of the driver, 25-year-old Kennon Broussard. The driver was arrested for DWI, evading arrest in a vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident. The 29-year-old passenger in the car was arrested for public intoxication. No one was injured in the collision between the Chevrolet and a Ford Explorer.
Orange police investigated two cases of vandalism Sunday morning on the east side of Orange. A man called from a house in the 200 block of Schley Avenue at 12:35 a.m. The resident told Officer D.Y. Meyers that he woke up and saw a woman inside the house. She ran outside and the man followed. When he went outside, he discovered that three of the tires on his car had been destroyed. A razor blade was found nearby. Then at 3:16 a.m. a man living on Cherry Avenue made a 9-1-1 call after seeing three people break a window at a house across the street on Second Street. The resident of the house had been gone and called police at 7 a.m. to report that two windows had been broken. Police found a metal stick.
An employee of the Family Dollar Store at 5725 North 16th Street called police Sunday afternoon for the theft of several “rolltainers,” metal shelf-type containers used to transport goods. Officer S.V. Ward reported that six to 10 rolltainers worth about $200 each were missing. The equipment had been stored on the southwest side of the parking lot within a fenced area.
The County offices will have their Christmas parties this year on Friday, December 12. On Monday Commissioners’ Court approved closing county offices between 11 AM and 1:30 PM for the individual offices to have Christmas luncheons that day. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux remembered when things were different at the Courthouse. Thibodeaux told KOGT’s Gary Stelly on "People in the Know" that when he first became county judge there would be a party attended by the whole courthouse where everyone would bring a covered dish and the county would purchase the entrée like turkey. Later the party was moved to the country club and everyone chipped in to pay for the food while there were also longevity certificates awarded to recognize employees for their long tenure with the county. For about the last three or four years the individual offices have held their own Christmas parties. Judge Thibodeaux anticipated some vocal opposition to the motion for closing the offices, and Commissioner Jody Crump did cast the lone vote in opposition to closing the county offices. Commissioners approved using Rene Bates Auctioneers to conduct the Orange County on-line auction of surplus items at the courthouse. The auctioneers have performed auctions previously for the county which were quite successful. Commissioner Crump had a question on some of the vehicles that are sold in the auction and Thibodeaux had a question on another surplus item in the auction. Crump asked Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson if the vehicles had been possessed by the Sheriff’s Office long enough to be sold, and Hodgkinson answered yes. Thibodeaux injected a bit of humor by asking if there was any idea how much a surplus typewriter might sell for and was told maybe there are some antique collectors out there. The date for the auction is still to be determined. Following a closed meeting the Commissioners’ Court approved authorizing the County Attorney’s Office pursue action to preserve the county’s road easement right of way located at the end of Operators Lane in Precinct 4. Assistant County Attorney Doug Manning explained the pending litigation by the county by saying the county has some right of way that an adjacent land owner is disputing and refusing access to a second landowner whose property is behind the county’s right of way. Manning added that the county has researched records and believes it is county right of way and will enforce the county’s rights. The property in question is located off of Tram Road near Vidor.
|Abi Davis and Trevor Knox were crowned Homecoming King and Queen at Deweyville High School.
The Pirates defeated Hemphill 34-16.
See more scores on the KOGT Sports Page.
A 52-year-old man from Orange was arrested Thursday in Calcasieu Parish for aggravated cruelty to an animal in connection with beating an 8-week-old puppy to death with a hammer. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said Steven R. Blount has a $25,000 bond on the charge. The sheriff's office said employees at an industrial plant called deputies on October 15. They said a man had a puppy in his truck and was leaving it there while he went to work. The man's co-workers heard the puppy yelping and questioned him about leaving the dog. The workers saw him go back to the truck, get a plastic bag and then go into the cab of the truck. Later he went to the plant gate and set the plastic bag with the dead puppy near a trash can. Witnesses asked him about it and he put the bag in a dumpster. The co-workers called the Calcasieu Parish Animal Control and a detective retrieved the puppy's body. The puppy was a pit bull mix. The sheriff's office brought the man in for questioning on Wednesday. He told investigators he hit the puppy twice behind the head with a claw hammer to kill him. He was then arrested.
What's happening around town? Check the Happenings page!
Marriage Licenses Issued By The Office of Karen Jo Vance, Orange County Clerk For the Week of October 20, 2014 through October 24, 2014. Bryan A. Butler and Sarah C. Boullion, Joshua L. Leverkuhn and Tiffany R. Burge, Timothy D. Betz and Stacy G. Fountain, Trevor W. Elliott and Sabrina N. Ackley.
Bridge City High School Principal’s Honor Roll – The top 10% of each class with the highest grade point average for the first six-weeks of the 2014-2015 school year.
A man led Orange police on a car chase through city streets Thursday evening before crashing into a tree. Sgt. J.C. Steele with the Orange Police Department reported speeds exceeded 60 miles per hour on streets and alleys in the Navy Park area. After the Pontiac G6 crashed, policefound about nine ounces of marijuana in the car, along with digital scales. The driver of the car, 26-year-old Tllandius Xxavier Caldwell of Orange, has been charged with felony possession of marijuana and felony evading arrest. Friday morning Precinct 1 Judge David Peck set a total bond of $25,000. Sgt. Steele reported that he was on patrol and saw Caldwell inside the Pontiac. He knew Caldwell had municipal court warrants issued for arrest and turned around. The Pontiac was parked on the side of the street in the 200 block of Knox Street. Sgt. DeVault, who was with Steele, walked toward the car and it sped away. Steele said the chase went the wrong way down streets and ran other cars off the roadway. The car crashed into the tree about 6:50 p.m. on North Street at the intersection with Sixth Street. Detective Captain Cliff Hargrave said Friday two other people inside the car ran away and have not been apprehended.
The Vidor babysitter who left a loaded pistol out where a 5-year-old could shoot himself was sentenced to serve 22 months in a state jail after her probation was revoked. 20-year-old Melissa Ringhardt wore a bright orange jail jumpsuit when she appeared Thursday afternoon before 128th District Judge Courtney Arkeen. Ringhardt had a chain around her waist attached to handcuffs around her wrist. The shooting death was on Oct. 21, 2013. Orange County deputies said she had the .40 caliber pistol out because she had been scared that day. She smoked marijuana and went into a bedroom to nap, leaving the loaded pistol on a coffee table where little John Read could pick it up. Ringhardt had appeared in the same court in February to get a two-year probated sentence for the felony charge of child endangerment. That was the maximum sentence. The Orange County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to revoke her probation because she did not meet the terms. An arrest warrant for her was issued in July. Authorities found her in Arkansas the first week of this month and she was brought back to Orange County.
Because of frequent shootings in schools, some people are advocating that teachers carry handguns in their classrooms. Texas allows that practice and a handful of school districts allow trained teachers to keep a gun. Kogt.com has an opinion poll that shows 68 percent of the respondents favor teachers with guns, with 32 percent against.
However, four public school superintendents in Orange County think that teachers are educators and should concentrate on academics.
Dr. Pauline Hargrove with the Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD had a simple “no” answer to the question. She said teachers are trained to be educators. “Teachers have some much on their plates” and should not be concerned about carrying guns.
Dr. Stephen Patterson with the Orangefield district has mixed ideas. He said one side of logic says that teachers with guns can be a preventative. Another side says teachers are educators and don’t have the training of a law officer. “I err on the side that we’re trained to educate,” he said
Patterson also said that if teachers carry guns, they need to have extensive training. That training includes psychological exams. He doesn’t know how a school district could afford that kind of effort. “We’re limited on our funds as it is,” he said. He doesn't foresee the state providing money for training to arm teachers.
Mike King with the Bridge City district said “I hate that we would even consider” arming teachers. He, too, sees two sides to the issue, but added “It’s not what teachers are trained to do. They’re educators.” Bridge City is the only one of the four districts surveyed that has its own school police department. King said the one full-time officer is armed. The district also pays two off-duty armed city police officers each day. The officers rotate between campuses.
James Colbert with the West Orange-Cove CISD is opposed to teachers with guns because he has faith in professional police departments handling problems. Teachers are educators, he emphasized.
Colbert said he has several police officers in his family. “Officers have a difficult time determining when to take a shot. How would an English teacher know better?” he asked.