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 Invista presented a $10,000 donation to the WOCCISD Education Foundation at a recent meeting of the WOCCISD Board of Trustees. Pictured are Amber McDonald, Invista Site HR Manager; Krispen Walker, WOCCISD Education Foundation President; Kelsey Bounds, Invista Public Affairs; and Ashley Baker, Invista HR Generalist.

Schools in the Orangefield and West Orange-Cove districts will end early Friday because of football playoff games scheduled that night. The Orangefield Bobcats will be playing in Katy. The elementary school will get out at 12:30 p.m., with the junior being released at 12:40 p.m. and the high school at 12:50 p.m. The West Orange-Stark Mustangs have a game in Humble. In that district, North Early Learning Center and WO-S Elementary will get out at 11 a.m. The WO-S Academic Alternative school will be released at 11:30 a.m. The middle school and high school will end at 12 p.m. Both school districts will not have classes the week of Nov. 24-28 because of the Thanksgiving holidays.

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

School kids, teachers and staff will likely be giving thanks for a week of vacation. All public schools in Orange County along with Community Christian School will be dismissed Friday for the whole Thanksgiving week. Classes won't start until December 1. The school districts out for a week are Bridge City, Deweyville, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Orangefield, Vidor and West Orange-Cove. St. Mary School will have classes on Monday and Tuesday. The school's vacation will be Wednesday through Friday.
   

Bridge City High School Principal’s Honor Roll

Nearly $5,700 worth of items, including a collection of Nike Jordan Retro shoes, was stolen during a house burglary in the Roselawn subdivision Wednesday. Orange police reported the call about the break-in came at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday to the 500 block of Bridal Wreath. The stolen items included eight men's pairs of the retro shoes and one pair of women's Jordan Retro shoes. In addition, two TVs were stolen along with a Wii game system, a Playstation 4, video games and a women's diamond and platinum ring. Orange police had two burglaries reported on Tuesday. One happened in the 3000 block of 18th Street. Someone broke a back window and got inside. The other was in the 3600 block of Ridgemont Drive.

The Friends of the Orange Depot organization is more than halfway to the goal of raising $600,000 to restore the century-old Southern Pacific train depot. The non-profit group held a fund-raising party Thursday night at the Brown Estate and President Carrie Woliver announced the group now has $321,000. The architects say restoration work can begin when the group reaches $400,000. "Every week the donations keep coming into the bank. The people are really realizing that the depot will be a real shot in the arm for an economic boost for the downtown and historic area," she said. The donations include a $100,000 grant from the Stark Foundation, she said. Almost 200 people attended the fund-raising party with all the proceeds of the $25 ticket price going toward the restoration. The event was underwritten by Sue Ryder and her husband Dan, who passed away two months ago. Businesses, merchants and individuals donated items for an auction to raise more money. People who want to make a tax-deductible contribution may send a check or money order to Friends of the Orange Depot, P.O. Box 2654, Orange TX, 77631-2654. The group is selling commemorative bricks to go into the landscaping at the depot. Order forms are at the website friendsoftheorangedepot.org.

A special gift shop and luncheon for the St. Mary’s Altar Society in Orange was held Thursday at the Parish Hall in downtown.  The hall was decorated with a Christmas Theme.  A variety of gift baskets were auctioned with Christmas ornaments and numerous other hand-made items.  Frozen food items, baked goods, and a selection of sweets were sold.  Always a hit was Larry David’s gumbo which was sold by the bowl, the quart, and the gallon.  Chair person of this year’s event Mary Ann Scofield says the fund raiser was held to help the church replace items stolen in a robbery at the church earlier this year.
 

The old Pine Grove housing project is gone. The site along West Park Avenue is scraped clean of all buildings. Only a couple of large oak trees remain. The board of the Orange Housing Authority on Tuesday received updates on construction of three new apartment complexes replacing old ones. The next step for the Pine Grove site will be the installation of underground utilities and earthwork preparations for laying the foundations for eight new buildings with a total 66 apartments. At this time, the completion date is set for September. Buildings at the Sikes Road complex are way under construction for four buildings with a total of 70 apartments. Some of the buildings will have three stories. Already, windows, doors and siding are going up in building No. 1. The first building is targeted to be finished in late February and the last building in early April. The former Velma Jeter apartments on Allie Payne Road have also been demolished. Because of the recent rains, installation of the underground utilities and the earthwork has not been finished. Contractors expect to begin pouring foundations in about two weeks. That new complex will have 10 buildings for 80 units plus a club building.  The complex is expected to be completed in late May.

 
Bridge City-Orangefield Rotary Club recognized Bridge City's Haley Hodkinson as the Student Of The Month for November. Parents are Krissy Reese and Clint Hodgkinson. She plans on pursuing a degree in nursing from Lamar and specializing in pediatrics.

Captain John Bilbo was promoted to Battalion Chief and Fire Marshal of the Orange Fire Department.

His pinning ceremony was held and he was pinned with his Battalion Chief Bugles and Badge by Fire Chief Dave Frenzel and Battalion Chief Joe Mires.

     

Schnauzer went missing from the Woodshire Manor neighborhood across from Sabine River Authority. Please call 670-5692 or 988-9253

Young, female, small dog was found in Cypress Bayou subdivision.
 Needs a new home. Please call 409-670-8221 if this is your dog

The City of Vidor sanitation department will pick up their normal routes on Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th. Besides the sanitation department and police department, the other City of Vidor departments will be closed. On behalf of the City of Vidor, Mayor Kenneth E. Crawford wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

St. Mary Catholic School held it’s 2014-2015 Book Fair. The book fair funds support the purchasing of books for the school library. The Principal of St. Mary Catholic School was locked up until a set amount of funds were met for her to be release. The students and parents were encouraged to purchased books from the fair so that the Principal could eventually go home. The event was a huge success and the Principal was freed. The librarians for St. Mary Catholic School are Melissa McCorvy and Julie Hughes.

New Orangefield Trustees Marc Wernig and Jude Graffagnino were sworn in as new members of the OFISD School board along with Donavon Weldon who was re-elected to four year terms.  Bo Henley will remain President, Ronnie Risinger is the Vice President, Brad Frye is the Secretary and Wernig was chosen to be Treasurer.

West Orange-Stark Middle School & High School 2nd 6-Weeks Honor Roll

Bridge City held a workshop during the City Council meeting Tuesday to discuss a possible ordinance concerning cleaning up after your dog. O. E. Barnes has a problem with dog poop being left in his yard. He said going to take out his garbage some mornings before dawn he steps in something and then tracks back in the house on the carpet. Barnes has talked to neighbors and heard similar stories. He pointed out there are ordinances against littering in Bridge City, and Barnes thinks this is a kind of litter that needs to be taken care of. The cities of Vidor, Port Neches, and Nederland have ordinances concerning picking up after your pets. City Manager Jerry Jones says the ordinances are only enforceable if there is an eye witness to the dropping and are thus difficult to enforce. Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte believes an ordinance could be tied to the city’s current ordinance requiring dogs be walked with a leash in the city, adding it may be more of a deterrent than something that could be enforced and said he favors having something on the books and putting it in their ordinances. No action was taken since it was only a workshop, but the council asked city attorney Paul Fukuda to review the ordinances from other cities and prepare one for the city council’s consideration at a future meeting. The Bridge City Council recognized the achievement of Mike Lund in the city’s water department. Recently, Lund became Double A Licensed from the water and waste water industry. Lund explained the process necessary to receive an A License is at least 8 to 10 years of service in the water and waste water industry before you can take the exam in Austin. There are not very many in the state of Texas that pass the tests, and Lund has both the A-Water and the A-Waste Water licenses. It has been the hard work of the Bridge City Water Department that has reduced the recent problem with discolored water in the city according to Lund. They have done a good job getting the chemical balance in the water corrected; Lund said there are still calls every now and then which they get to by discussing the problem with the customer to resolve it as quickly as possible. The city council approved contracting with Action Civil Engineers for a city wide sewer improvement project funded by a $272,700 Community Development Block Grant. The city will also use Gary R. Traylor & Associates for managing the grant money while the project is being done.

The Texas Department of Transportation is closing alternating lanes on the Veterans Memorial Bridge for maintenance work. The closings are set to go on through the middle of March depending on weather.
Eastbound traffic on Highway 87, also known as Highway 73, uses the Veterans Memorial Bridge to travel from Jefferson County to Orange County. Alternating left and right closures on the bridge will be daily from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
TxDOT is also building a new bridge on Interstate 10 at the Neches River. A TxDOT spokesman on Tuesday reported that the work has been delayed because of unexpected debris in the riverbed. Also, concrete work has been affected by the cold weather.
The eastbound lanes from Beaumont to Orange County are now targeted to be open at the estimated date of April 9th. During the summer, engineers hoped the eastbound lanes would be open this month.
TxDOT will closed the eastbound Interstate 10 entrance ramp from downtown Beaumont beginning January 23. The closing has been delayed until after the holiday season.
The westbound Interstate 10 exit ramp to go downtown Beaumont is set to be closed on April 10.
The final new bridge construction is targeted to be finished in August 2016.

Orange County Sheriff's Office logs Nov. 12-18

Orange police arrested a 40-year-old for drug paraphernalia after conducting a pedestrian stop. Officer J. Kirkpatrick reported that he saw a man walking south on the southbound side of 14th Street at 11:12 p.m. The man turned onto Sholars Avenue and continued to walk on the wrong side of the road. Kirkpatrick said he stopped the man and the man gave him permission to search him. Kirkpatrick found a pipe with Brillo, used to smoke crack, in the man's front pocket. Police arrested Perry Lee Brackens for possession of drug paraphernalia and took him to the Orange County Jail. The offense is a Class C misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500.

An alarm at a car wash on 16th Street sent a thief fleeing before police arrived. Orange Police Officer T.P. Pruitt reported that about 1:37 a.m. Monday the alarm sounded at Premier Car Wash. Police arrived and searched but couldn't find anyone. Then at 10:34 a.m. the owner called police because the change machine at the back of the business was damaged. Pruitt said a surveillance recording showed a man punching the machine with what looked like a crowbar. The man left because of the alarm. The man was middle-aged and wearing a dark jacket with a hood. He was driving a gray Chevrolet Impala with what appeared to be a Louisiana license plate.

Ashley Mahana has been appointed the new coordinator for the Orange Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). Mahana is a Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School graduate and worked several years in the medical profession prior to beginning her new position with the City of Orange. “The City of Orange is excited about Ms. Mahana assuming the role of CVB Coordinator. Her strong work ethic and outgoing personality will serve the city well. Her computer skills using social media and having worked in the medical profession, which involved interaction with people at many levels, will be tremendous assets to promote the city and its attractions” says Jay Trahan, Director of Economic Development. “I am honored to have been appointed the new CVB Coordinator for the City of Orange. Orange is my hometown and I have a great passion for working in a people-oriented profession. I am excited about promoting the many attractions that Orange has to offer for residents and visitors. My goals are to promote tourism and quality of life events that provide a sense of enjoyment and community pride,” says Mahana.

Eleven Little Cypress-Mauriceville band students earned chairs in the 2014Texas Music Educators All-Region Jazz Band. These include Alex Borel on Piano; Cody Girouard, Logan Comeaux, and Tommy Holland, trumpet; Troy Kaufman, alto saxophone; Lincoln Causey, baritone saxophone; Immanuel Brooks, drums; Chris Boaz, bass; and Logan Brown, Jackie Payne and Andrew Usie on trombone. LCM is hosting the concert, which will be held on Thursday, November 20, at 7:00 PM in the LCM High School Auditorium.

A one vehicle rollover Sunday morning in Beaumont has claimed the lives of two men from Orange. Justin Douglas Lakey, 25, and his passenger, Christopher Jason Smith, 36, were pronounced dead after police arrived at the accident in the 2700 block of MLK in Beaumont. Another person, a female passenger, survived the accident and told officers she was the only one wearing a seatbelt.

Orangefield High School 2nd Cycle Honor Roll 2014-15

 A teary-eyed Superintendent James Colbert, with his administrative assistant Bonnie Tegge, told people gathered for good-by reception that West Orange-Cove will always be a part of his life. The school district held a reception for Colbert who has resigned to become superintendent of the Harris County Department of Education in Houston. He has been superintendent for the West Orange-Cove CISD for nearly four years. He told the group that he had a job offer two years ago at much larger pay scale. He was considering the job but decided to stay here after going to a high school basketball game. The youth at the school were so enthusiastic that he decided it wasn't time to leave. This time, he said he prayed on the offer from Harris County and the time was right to move on.
   

Turkey?  "Cast Your Vote" in this weeks poll

Commissioners’ Court Monday approved purchasing a new engine for the aircraft used by the Mosquito Control District. The replacement engine is necessary because of the number of hours the current engine has been used and as a general maintenance procedure. The capital outlay for the engine will be $34,517. The Court had agreed on no capital outlays until next year, but Mosquito Control Director Patrick Beebe explained that will not be a problem since Air Power Inc., the company selling the engine, has indicated it will take from 4 to 6 weeks to deliver the engine after the order is received. This should put the delivery into January 2015 at which time the engine will be paid for then. Beebe also requested the purchase of a gantry crane with chain hoist to help install the new engine. He indicates the crane will have multiple uses in his department. Beebe said the crane can be used to work on the aircraft for replacing tires and other repairs, can be used to remove tanks with insecticide from trucks used to spray for mosquitoes, and will help expedite the winter maintenance on equipment as needed. Commissioners approved the purchase of the $850 crane for Mosquito Control. Commissioners’ Court accepted the canvassed election results from November 4. Election Administrator Tina Barrow presented the totals to the court indicating there were 17,431 votes cast in the county in early voting and on Election Day. Barrow also had the results of the Local Option Elections in Precinct 2. Both wet dry options passed. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux believes the passage of both could bring more businesses to the Mauriceville area in Precinct 2, with the prospect of restaurants and other businesses being able to sell alcohol the judge said he thinks it would be successful for that area of the county. A public hearing will be held next week concerning the Transportation Reinvestment Zone (TRZ) for FM 299. The proposed construction of a loop around Vidor by the Texas Department of Transportation has been a project which Commissioner Jody Crump from the Vidor area and Precinct 4 has given his full support. Crump said there will be maps and other data available at the public hearing to discuss the TRZ which is used to recapture the funding for any debt incurred from the construction of the loop. The hearing is scheduled for next Monday morning, November 24, at 10 in the Commissioners’ Court. Commissioners met with an attorney from Lynn, Ross, and Ganaway to discuss the lawsuit between Orange County and the Sheriff’s Office deputies’ union. The meeting was closed to the public, but afterwards County Judge Carl Thibodeaux gave an update on the lawsuit, Thibodeaux saying that no court date has been set for the hearing to begin before visiting Judge Burgess and attorneys are getting depositions from different people.

Missing schnauzer from the East Roundbunch area of Bridge City. Needs medicine soon. Not wearing a collar 330-1896.  

Thirteen students from Mauriceville Middle School were inducted as new members of the National Junior Honor Society in a ceremony held at the school, November 6, 2014. These included Jackson Baeza, Brett Burrows, Collin Freed, Reagan Wolfford, Caleb Weaver, Tate Simmons, Eli Peveto, Hannah Parry, Madison Murdock, Rylee LaVasseur, Zoe Levens, Kelsey Jordan and Jourdyn Jaume. Returning members are Adam Pope, Erika Cook, Chaz Hill, Caleb Gipson and Krystalynn Smith. The sponsor is Betty Martin. Members were selected by the chapter’s faculty council for meeting high standards of scholarship, service, leadership, citizenship and character. Each year the chapter completes service projects for the community and the school. The National Junior Honor Society ranks as one of the oldest and most prestigious national organizations for middle school students.

Two businesses were robbed by gunmen during the weekend, according to the Orange Police Department. The Star Stop No. 6 on Green Avenue was robbed at 7:39 Saturday night. Detective Captain Cliff Hargrave said the robber was likely the same man who robbed the store less than three weeks earlier. The same clerk was on duty Saturday as in the October 27th robbery. In both instances, a white man wearing a camouflage jacket threatened the clerk with a pistol. The robber both times jumped over the counter and took cash from the register and a drawer. The other robbery was at 4:22 a.m. Sunday at the Econolodge Inn on Interstate 10. The clerk reported that a man with a pistol came into the lobby and demanded money from the register before running away.
Two people were taken to hospitals after a two-vehicle collision on MacArthur Drive at noon Saturday. Orange police report that a pickup traveling west on MacArthur Drive hit the driver’s side of a Pontiac Vibe. Officer Brice Due said the woman driving the Vibe left a private drive and drove southbound across MacArthur into the path of the pickup truck. The driver of the Vibe was 74-year-old Gracie Turner. She was taken by Acadian Ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont. The driver of the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup was 31-year-old Charles Garrett. He was taken by Acadian to Baptist Hospital Orange.
Other Orange police calls during the weekend included:
Theft, 12 p.m. Friday, Crawdad’s at 4080 Interstate 10. Cash was discovered missing from the manager’s office.
Found items, 10:14 a.m. Saturday, Orange Christian Services at 2518 Park Avenue. Personnel found a .38 caliber revolver with six cartridges along with a pair of rubber steel-toed boots.
Burglary, 9:13 p.m. Saturday, 2400 block Hird Street. Back door of house was forced open. Burglary stole a computer, printer and Play Station worth a total of $1,100.

Local Weather Radar

Local entities have received their monthly sales tax checks from the Texas comptroller's office. The period covers October. Orange City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre said that city had about a 1 percent increase even though the comptroller's office reports a large percentage increase. Oubre said the percentages are often inaccurate because of problems businesses have in reporting the proper entity. Orange has $370,600 for the month and $3.36 million for the year.
Pinehurst was up slighly for the month but still lags behind in the year-to-date sales. This month Pinehurst received $61,400. The City has $622,300 for the year, down about $16,000 for the year-to-date at the same time last year.
West Orange continues to have solid sales. The city has almost $92,000 for the month and $990,300 for the year.
Bridge City also has continual increase. The November check was for $145,000. So far this year, the city has $1.25 million, up $94,000 from last year.
Vidor received $231,000 for the month and is at $2.25 million for the year.
Orange County has $404,000 for the month and $4.3 million for the year.

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

 

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