We update our local news twice a day every weekday (about 6am and 2pm) and occasionally at other times too.

We primarily focus on our three “home” counties – Matagorda, Jackson and Wharton counties, and also include items from slightly further afield if we feel them to be impactful on us all.

 

Late Tuesday, Lavaca County EMS was called by the state’s emergency medical task force. Due to an overload of 911 calls in Houston, four paramedics and two ambulances were sent from Lavaca County. They joined EMS teams from across Texas at NRG Stadium and were assigned to the Manvel area to assist.

AEP Texas is restoring power to the last customers affected by Hurricane Beryl. They ask those still without power to call the Customer Solutions Center. 94% of the 35,500 affected customers have power back. Customers are reminded to stay away from crews and downed power lines, and to follow safety instructions for portable generators. Sign ... Read more

Bay City police announced help for Hurricane Beryl damage — free cleanup services. Volunteers can cut fallen trees, remove drywall, flooring, and appliances, tarp roofs, and mitigate mold. The hotline is open until July 19th. Services aren’t guaranteed due to high demand and don’t cover social services like food, clothing, shelter, or insurance. For more ... Read more

Despite most of El Campo being without power after Hurricane Beryl, the Little League Texas East State Softball Tournament proceeded at Zlotnik Park, which had power. District 18 administrator Paul Sanders confirmed the games are on, though he is concerned about hotel availability for visitors. The tournament started Thursday with opening ceremonies.

Carlos Morales, 44, from Humble, was arrested on June 28th for smuggling people after a traffic stop on Hwy 59. When pulled over, several individuals fled into the brush. Morales was detained, and a search of his vehicle revealed a Ruger 380 pistol and items linked to human smuggling. He faces additional charges for unlawful ... Read more

Four former Industrial High School baseball players pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily injury. They received 12 months deferred adjudication, 50 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine. The charges stemmed from an organized assault on a younger teammate last year. Their attorney stated that the plea deal was the best option to avoid ... Read more

Wharton successfully avoided a worst-case scenario with Hurricane Beryl. The Assistant City Manager reported minimal structural damage, mainly from fallen tree limbs, and the city’s infrastructure remained intact. The Wharton Volunteer Fire Department, on standby during the storm, mainly dealt with downed power lines and gas leaks. The main job now will be restoring power ... Read more

After a two-day hiatus due to Hurricane Beryl, El Campo and other schools in the area have resumed their summer workouts. Wharton, however, remains closed and is expected to reopen today, according to athletic director Alvin Dotson. These workouts will continue for the remainder of the month.

On Monday morning in Victoria, police found a woman with life-threatening injuries caused by Trevon Anthony Martinez, now charged with murder. Police responded to a crash at East Water Street and found a white Ford Expedition had lost control and hit a fence. The woman driver, Virginia Ann Martinez, 45, was in the vehicle with ... Read more

As Hurricane Beryl hit, Wharton County saw both criminals and law-abiding citizens take shelter. Sheriff Shannon Srubar noted it was unusually quiet, with deputies focused on reporting downed power lines instead of disturbances. Two active lines were down on FM 1300 and CR 251. Despite home and crop damage, things went as well as possible.

Matagorda Regional Medical Center reported minimal issues during Hurricane Beryl, with no known deaths, according to a spokesperson. The hospital maintained power throughout, thanks to generators. Staff and patients stayed safe inside. However, other Southeast Texas areas, including Harris, Montgomery, and Galveston counties, experienced fatalities, with nine reported. In Harris County, falling trees killed two ... Read more

Several organizations, including the American Red Cross and H-E-B Grocery, helped set up a temporary shelter at the Bay City Civic Center, Bay City officials reported. The shelter opened Wednesday afternoon, offering food, water, cots, sleeping bags, and air conditioning to those affected by Hurricane Beryl.Some residents were moved from the Bay City Service Center ... Read more

Bay City officials reported fewer calls for service over Fourth of July compared to previous years. However, Sargent Volunteer Fire Department Chief Michael Napoleon noted several small grass fires caused by fireworks, which were quickly extinguished without damage. Bay City Police and Fire Marshal’s Office responded to 32 fireworks-related calls, significantly down from previous years.

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church is refurbishing its historic organ, which dates back to 1920. The organ is currently being restored in Atascocita. Church Organist Jakeb Silva and member David Shield highlight the importance of this project for enhancing worship. The organ shares its history with a similar one in an Episcopal church in Atascocita. The ... Read more

Bay City Police Chief Christella Rodriguez urges the community to unite against rising gun violence. The Bay City Police Department is committed to tackling this issue and ensuring safety. Followingthe U.S. Surgeon General’s advisory on gun violence as a public health crisis, local officers are seizing illegal firearms and arresting suspects. Residents are encouraged to ... Read more

The City of El Campo is dedicated to resident safety and well-being. Following recent events, the Inspections Department will visit homes and businesses to provide crucial disaster recovery information. Inspectors, identifiable by City of El Campo vehicles, will offer resources, safety guidance, and answer recovery questions. The city asks for cooperation to ensure everyone’s safety ... Read more

Bay City Parks & Recreation wants to thank the Parks Crew, Streets and Bridge, Utilities, and Edna Public Works for clearing trees and limbs at Le Tulle Park after Hurricane Beryl. Le Tulle Park and Amistad Splash Pad will reopen today. Enjoy the outdoors in Bay City,

Matagorda County, Bay City, and Palacios are working on restoring power after recent outages. Residents are advised to drive carefully due to intersections without power. Power restoration is expected by 5 p.m. on Thursday for Bay City and Palacios/Blessing areas. Crews are assessing the damage and working continuously to restore electricity.

The Museum of the Coastal Bend at Victoria College will open a new exhibit in October on the early days of Texas ranching. Titled “Where Texas Ranching Began,” it will be unveiled in four parts over the next year and a half. The exhibit will feature artifacts from the 1720s to the early 1900s, including ... Read more

Boling residents attending the BISD board meeting tonight will hear about the $40.5 million bond passed in May, which raises property taxes by $478 annually for a $200,000 home. The agenda includes a public hearing on the bond, the BISD calendar, professional development plans, and student handbooks. The board will also discuss the budget meeting ... Read more

The City of El Campo warns residents about the dangers of summer heat, with temperatures often exceeding 100°. Symptoms of heat-related issues include headaches, fatigue, dry tongue, and dark urine. To stay safe, wear light-colored clothing, drink plenty of water, eat small meals, avoid strenuous activities, and stay indoors if possible. If symptoms occur, move ... Read more

El Campo is experiencing a power failure at its wastewater treatment plant. Residents are urged to conserve water immediately to help manage the strain. Expect lower water pressure, delays in wastewater processing, and potential odors. The city is working to restore power and will provide updates as they work to resolve the problem.

The City of El Campo urges residents to report property damage from Hurricane Beryl using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT). This helps officials assess damage and determine eligibility for disaster recovery resources, including SBA loans. Submit damage reports online. For more information, visit the Texas Division of Emergency Management website.

After Hurricane Beryl, Bay City Police warn residents about scammers offering debris cleanup for a fee. To protect yourself, check company credentials with the Better Business Bureau, be wary of upfront payment demands, verify references, and read online reviews. Stay safe and informed.

Due to Beryl, several Victoria schools will close today. The University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria Independent School District, and Victoria College will cancel all classes and activities. Our Lady of Victory Catholic School’s summer camp will also be closed.

In El Campo, a thief targeted H-E-B on North Mechanic Sunday. The thief took off with four bottles of inexpensive pain relievers, valued at just over $5. Depending on the thief’s prior record, they could face a felony charge and up to two years in prison.

The Palacios Police Department announced that sandbags are now limited to 15 per household or business to ensure everyone gets served. If anyone is charging for sandbags, residents should contact the police immediately, as these are provided for free. For safety, fill sandbags halfway, wear gloves, and avoid overfilling to prevent gaps. Use proper lifting ... Read more

Due to expected severe weather from Tropical Storm Beryl, the El Campo City Council has canceled the meeting scheduled for today to ensure the safety of the Council, staff, and citizens. Meanwhile, all City of Bay City facilities will be closed as well. City management is monitoring the weather to determine services for Tuesday.

Wharton city employees want to move the municipal court out of the police department. They requested $1.5 million for a new courthouse. The Assistant City Manager emphasized the need for a new building due to space issues. They also want to renovate City Hall for better office space and add a shower for staff during ... Read more

The El Campo City Council will discuss a $8.5+ million dollar bond for sewer line repairs on Wharton Street and Town & Country Drive. Heavy January rains caused emergency repairs on the 80-90 year old sewer line. The council will also revisit an almost $238,000 dollar project to replace Friendship Park restrooms. The meeting is ... Read more

Wharton City Council denied CenterPoint Energy’s rate increase request, which would have generated $60 million in revenue. The city argues the increase needs further review. The council also denied a parking variance request from A2J Holdings for a new development. City Planning Director Gwyneth Teves stated the existing parking is sufficient and raised concerns about ... Read more

Wharton County bought a truck and trailer last week. The purchases, just under the $50,000 limit, included a $44,600 belly-dump trailer from Alamo City Trailer Sales and a $47,500 Chevrolet 2500HD truck from Gunn Chevrolet. Both vendors are not part of an approved purchasing group, so future buys may need a bidding process.

The Appelt family gathered for their 60th annual reunion on June 2nd at Appelt’s Hill Hall. Highlights included a children’s petting zoo, a group photo, and gift bags. A meal of sausage, stew, and sides was served by Tommy Macha’s team. The event featured the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer, and a moment of silence ... Read more

Residents should prepare for Category 5 Hurricane Beryl, heading towards the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Expected to hit the Yucatan Peninsula early today with 165 mph winds, Beryl is the strongest storm this early in the season. It may weaken to a tropical storm after crossing the Yucatan, then hit Mexico again near the Texas ... Read more

Darrell Jackson, 23, was fatally shot in the back outside a home on Lundy Street in El Campo last week. The shooting followed a family dispute with 37-year-old Jeremy Holloway on June 26. Police are still investigating the motive behind the argument. Holloway, Jackson’s girlfriend’s stepfather, fled to Columbus but was arrested without incident after ... Read more

Naveed Rasheed Shike, 38, from Sugar Land, was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute synthetic cannabinoids and failure to appear in court. He was caught with over 1,400 packages of the drug in 2016 and fled to Pakistan in 2019. Shike was arrested in January after a high-speed chase. His ... Read more

July is the time to celebrate Bay City’s community spirit, thanks to parks and recreation. Mayor Robert Nelson has declared July as Parks and Recreation Month, honoring the dedicated professionals and volunteers who maintain our parks. These heroes not only preserve our green spaces but also bolster community health and unity. This month, let’s appreciate ... Read more

The powerful Hurricane Beryl, now a Category 4 storm, is heading towards Jamaica and is expected to hit today. After Jamaica, it will cross the Caribbean, brush past the Yucatan Peninsula, and reach the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by the weekend. It’s likely to weaken gradually. Southeast Texas could face wind, rain, and storm surges ... Read more

Edna ISD’s recent test results show students surpassing regional and state averages in most categories. The district’s shift to a more challenging curriculum has led to better preparation and performance on state assessments. Edna’s focus on higher standards and quality teaching materials has contributed to consistent academic growth over the past five years.

The Bay City Police Department announced that National Night Out will be celebrated on the first Tuesday in October. This event promotes community safety and positive police-neighbor relationships. Bay City neighborhoods will host block parties, festivals, cookouts, and other events with safety demos and youth activities. For more information on hosting an event, contact Sgt. ... Read more

Jennifer Mayo, a 46-year-old from Aransas Pass, surrendered to authorities for smuggling Dong Tao Chicken eggs and hatchlings into the U.S. This act violates import laws due to disease risks in poultry. If convicted, she could face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The seized chickens had to be euthanized for health reasons. ... Read more

Victoria County has updated its flood prevention rules for the first time since 1998. The new order, effective July 17th, includes updated floodplain maps and definitions, like ‘industrialized building’ and ‘job shack,’ to better match current FEMA standards. Homes not up to code must upgrade if damaged by floods. The county can now appoint a ... Read more

Every third Friday, Wharton residents in need receive food from Just Do It Now and the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent. This partnership, since 2013, serves about 350 families monthly with fresh produce and more. For food assistance, residents can contact the Food Bank. The next distribution is set for July 19th at Just ... Read more

At the Greater Houston Baseball Coaches Association All-Star games, four standout El Campo players made their mark. Seniors Dean Poenitzsch, Drake Resendez, and Mason Bystek, along with junior James Dorotik, showcased their skills. The seniors hit well and Poenitzsch pitched a no-hit inning, while Dorotik added two RBIs. These players were the only ones from ... Read more

El Campo City Council decided to extend utilities on Earl Street for new homes and approved a business incentive. Developer Frank Marek will sell home lots and provide materials. The city will spend about $21,240 for water and sewer lines, costing Marek around $18,700. Without this deal, the lots wouldn’t have utilities. Councilman Steve Ward ... Read more

Wharton County’s health and dental insurance costs are set to rise without increasing deductibles or employee contributions. The county approved a 2.3% increase in medical and 3.5% in dental rates, effective October 1. This decision, while keeping benefits steady, adds an unexpected $80,000 to the budget, already strained by a valuation error.

A family and their rescuers, totaling seven people, were caught in a dangerous situation at Matagorda Beach Sunday. Deputy Mario Lerma and two brave locals attempted a rescue after the family was spotted 250 yards offshore. Chaos ensued as kayaks capsized, but thankfully, everyone returned to shore safely. The Coast Guard and Texas Game Wardens ... Read more

Matagorda County is urging beachgoers to stay vigilant about water safety. Rip currents are a real risk, so wearing life vests and using floatation for kids is advised. Officials will monitor Matagorda beaches, ensuring a safe environment. Enjoy the sun and sand at Sargent or Matagorda, but keep an eye on the little ones. Stay ... Read more

In El Campo last week, volunteer firefighters were busy with multiple fires. Tin Roof Kitchen and Home, caught fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt. That same day, firefighters responded to an oven fire caused by toys left inside by kids, resulting in minor damage. Later, they handled two grass fires: They also safely managed a ... Read more

In Victoria, Ryan Shepherd, 39, was arrested for assaulting his parents. The incident happened after an argument at their home. Shepherd had been staying with his parents and, upon their return from getting food, began arguing with his father. Both parents reported feeling pain after being struck in the face by Shepherd. He’s now in ... Read more