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.

 

El Campo police nabbed a suspect from Edna on Monday. Charles Hebert, 72, faces charges for assaulting a child, dating back to January of 2016. He’s now locked up in Wharton County Jail, needing $150,000 for bail. In Victoria on Monday, U.S. Marshals nabbed 36-year-old Abraham Garamillo. He’s accused of assaulting a family member by ... Read more

In Fort Bend County, a Richmond man got an 18-year jail term for shooting at someone in a truck. The incident happened last year when he blocked a truck on the road and fired his gun, barely missing the driver’s head. The shooter ran away but came back later. The victim passed away from other ... Read more

In Victoria County, commissioners acknowledged this week as National Telecommunicators Week, honoring the hard work of dispatchers. County Judge Ben Zeller emphasized their crucial role in public safety, ensuring timely responses to emergencies. He highlighted their importance in providing accurate information to deputies, police, and firefighters.

An update on a tragic motorcycle accident took place on North Navarro and Glascow streets in Victoria last Friday night. Xavier Smith, a 20-year-old from Port Lavaca, was killed when his motorcycle hit a white sedan, which had entered the motorcycle’s path, failing to yield at a turn. The sedan’s occupants sustained minor injuries and ... Read more

The City of Palacios is having a Warrant Roundup on Thursday. The court is ready to help clear the warrants to avoid any untimely arrests. Ignoring these warrants means mandatory arrest upon police contact. Call the court or drop by 313 Henderson, Monday thru Friday. No arrest if you fix your warrants.

The Sheriff’s Office in Wharton County seeks your assistance to find a thief who took two aluminum trailer ramps from TJ Welding in Wharton on April 13th, around 9:50 am. You can see pictures of the suspect and his vehicle on the sheriff’s social media. If you have info or can identify the suspect, call ... Read more

The House Ethics Committee is investigating Representative Troy Nehls for issues related to his campaign finances. A decision on the matter is expected by May 10th. Nehls has stated his willingness to cooperate and maintains that his campaign has followed all laws. Previously, his campaign recovered most of the funds lost to wire fraud. The ... Read more

Residents of Boling recently gathered to learn about a $40.5 million bond aimed at replacing the outdated Newgulf Elementary School. This bond, the first since 1972, is a response to tax rate reductions over the years, which have affected school funding. If passed, the bond would increase the tax rate. However, seniors with homestead exemptions ... Read more

Over a dozen Bay City athletes are moving forward in the 2024 track and field season after their recent competition. The event saw the top four in each category qualify for the regional meet at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The Bay City girls, known as the Ladycats, placed eighth, and the boys, called the Blackcats, came ... Read more

In Victoria, a 46-year-old man got arrested by Victoria County deputies. They accuse Timothy Juarez of making and selling drugs. Now, he’s in Victoria County Jail, needing $100,000 to get out.

Osvaldo Ledezma, a senior from Victoria West High School, grabbed first place in the computer science competition at the 27th annual Math & Robotics Awareness Day at the University of Houston-Victoria. He was inspired by his second-place win in math last year. Ledezma didn’t expect to win but credits constant practice, avoiding overthinking, and managing ... Read more

The Bay City Fire Marshall has shared some important tips on social media to prevent fires in home garages, which can be more dangerous than other house fires. To keep your garage safe, store flammable items like oil and paint in a separate shed, keep combustibles on shelves away from appliances, and only plug one ... Read more

A young man from Port Lavaca, aged 20, lost his life in a late-night crash over the weekend, involving his motorcycle and a white sedan at the intersection of N Navarro and Glascow. The motorcycle caught fire, and despite emergency services’ efforts to revive him, he did not survive.

In Wharton, the city council didn’t approve a request for two big billboards by a Houston ad company. The company wanted signs bigger than the city rules allow. The planning commission said no, worrying about the effect on local shops. The company argued that other big signs were allowed, but the council didn’t vote on ... Read more

In El Campo, a trailer park with 23 RVs might shut down due to ongoing rule-breaking. Only one RV follows the city’s rules. The city’s planning head called the park a big eyesore, especially at the city’s entrance. There’s a public meeting where people can talk for or against closing the park. The planning group ... Read more

Corporal Jose Soto of Bay City Police acted swiftly to save a baby’s life, earning him a lifesaving award. Back on February 1st, when baby Emery stopped breathing, Soto met the family en route to the hospital and performed CPR. His calm actions under pressure ensured the baby reached the hospital safely. The incident highlighted ... Read more

South Wharton Street in El Campo is set to open today after a costly sewer repair. The street was shut down for nearly three months due to a collapsed sewer line from a storm. The city is now looking at a $4.6 million bill to fix the aging infrastructure, which could lead to higher utility ... Read more

Local Congressman Troy Nehls has introduced a new bill to help shrimp farmers in Matagorda County. The Save Our Shrimpers Act has bipartisan support and aims to stop funding to foreign shrimp farms. This comes as U.S. shrimpers face tough competition from dumped foreign shrimp. Matagorda County’s shrimp industry has been hit hard, with last ... Read more

Katy was hit by a tornado Tuesday night, leaving businesses like Firestone Auto Care in ruins. The storm, with winds at 90 mph, tore through buildings, flung a taco truck, and uprooted trees. Residents and workers began the cleanup, while emergency services secured the area. The community is now rallying to repair and recover from ... Read more

In Fulshear, Darlington Akporugo, 46, and Jasmin Sood, 35, allegedly ran a scam, targeting seniors for millions. Using fake online profiles, they wooed victims into fake romances, then swindled them out of $3.1 million. Caught, they now face decades in prison if convicted, especially for one victim’s bank fraud. The case is under Homeland Security’s ... Read more

In Victoria, police nabbed an 18-year-old named Zachary Gonzales on Tuesday. He’s accused of several crimes like stealing a gun and being involved in organized crime. There’s also suspicion he was behind a shooting in Bloomington last year. Right now, he’s sitting in Victoria County Jail with a $35,000 bond.

The Crossroads Regional Public Defender Office’s Oversight Board agreed to keep Brian Watson as the public defender. He’s set to serve Victoria, Jackson, Lavaca, and Refugio counties. Despite facing an allegation of “misuse of official information,” Watson was appointed last month. Watson is scheduled to begin his duties on May 6.

On Tuesday afternoon Bay City police were called to 1700 Baywood after a robbery. A 59-year-old woman said two guys in ski masks threatened her for her stuff. Cops found the suspects: Dontre M. Brown, 17, and a 15-year-old. They arrested Brown and took the other to juvenile detention. Both face robbery charges. Police are ... Read more

Victoria is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a week of events, starting with a history symposium and ending with a community volunteer day and a market with live music downtown. The symposium will explore Victoria’s past, present, and future, featuring notable speakers and discussions at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Wharton’s city council has renewed the contract of Medical Director Dr. Jeffery Gubbels for two more years, with a pay raise to account for the cost of living. He’ll earn $2,705 monthly and continue overseeing emergency medical services. The council also amended a jail-services contract and set a public hearing for a local development project. ... Read more

In El Campo, a driver hit several motorcycles at a restaurant and fled. Bikers chased him, but he escaped. Another driver, Omar Reyes, tried to block the bikers but was caught by police. He’s charged with causing over $2,500 in damages. The police are searching for the first driver. Three motorcycles were damaged, totaling over ... Read more

Matagorda County is set to build a new Blessing Community Center, funded by federal dollars. Commissioner Frick announced the $920,740 project, which has been planned for over five years. The center will double as an emergency relief hub, equipped with a generator and drive-through services. The current center, built in 1921, will close on June ... Read more

A former school cafeteria worker in El Campo was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to sexual assault charges related to possessing illegal images of minors. 46-year-old Robert Gonzales, who had worked at a middle school and a grocery store, was given credit for time already served and will face eight more years behind bars.

In Bay City, a student was unexpectedly attacked by peers using Orbeez guns, which are toys that shoot gel beads. This incident occurred during a game of Splashin, a mobile app that uses GPS to track players. The victim, who wasn’t a participant in the game, suffered minor injuries. The police warn that the game ... Read more

In El Campo, folks who’ve dedicated their lives to community service will be celebrated at the upcoming Chamber of Commerce event on Thursday evening. The honorees, though, are a well-kept secret until the big reveal. Alongside them, an Achiever of the Year will also be recognized. The honoree must attend the event, but it’s kept ... Read more

Last week in El Campo, a concerned citizen assisted local police in apprehending a suspected child pornographer. Marco Antonio Franco, aged 20, now faces potential imprisonment of up to 10 years for possessing child pornography involving a child younger than 10. Though he’s currently out on a $15,000 bond, authorities reassured that local children were ... Read more

In Victoria, there’s a person wanted for an attack with a gun. Back in January a Hispanic woman aimed a handgun at someone on Sam Houston Dr. She wore a dark hoodie, sweatpants, and a t-shirt. If you know who she is, call Victoria Crime Stoppers at 361-572-4200. You can also use the P3 Tips ... Read more

At Mr. Gatti’s Pizza on Laurent Street, a fight erupted Friday evening, leading to five people receiving trespass warnings from the Victoria Police. The police were called at 6:10 p.m. Videos revealed it was a mutual combat situation. Though one party had left upon police arrival, no arrests were made, and no injuries were reported. ... Read more

In 1991, Sheryl Hall’s life was cut short by a stabbing at Calhoun High School. Her mom, Olivia Johnson of Victoria wants tort laws changed to hold schools accountable for negligence. Despite efforts, laws protect schools from liability. Olivia’s petition seeks justice for victims’ families. She also wants the sealed case regarding her daughter opened.

In the heart of Wharton County, there’s a lost horse wandering about for about a month on Cr 42. The Sheriff’s Office seeks your eagle eyes to reunite this majestic brown beauty with its rightful owner. If you’ve got any leads, ring up Deputy Jeff Fiala at 979-532-1550

A Victoria man faces a 15-count indictment for falsely claiming over $4 million in tax refunds. In 2019, he reported unearned interest income, and the next year, he sought a $3 million refund. He could get up to three years in prison per false tax return count and five years for false claims, with each ... Read more

Residents of Fulshear were surprised by a large alligator sighting in a local neighborhood on Sunday. The size of the alligator is unknown, but it appeared quite large. This follows another incident where a 7-foot alligator was captured last week. Authorities advise against approaching alligators and recommend contacting local officials if one is spotted.

Andrew Huwar from Katy received a 14-year prison sentence for burning down a county office after violating his probation. The fire caused over $250,000 in damages. He was caught due to evidence like boot tracks and phone records. The court also revoked his probation for a previous stalking conviction, adding a 10-year sentence.

Folks in Victoria can sign up now for classes at Victoria College for summer and fall. They’ve got traditional courses leading to degrees or transfers to university. Students can use payment plans, apply for financial aid, and check out scholarships. Get all the info on classes, registration, and payments at VictoriaCollege.edu/ClassSchedule

Wharton County Junior College is hosting a jazz concert featuring tunes from the 40s and 50s. It’s happening at the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts building, with two shows on April 9th at 3 and 7 p.m. The event is free, and there’s a special guest who hasn’t played in over 20 years. The band director, Joe ... Read more

Bay City is set to revive the old Texas Theatre and its neighbor building, aiming to turn them into a hub with shops, offices, and downtown apartments. The city-owned buildings, empty for eight years, could see new life from a proposal to restore them. The plan would cost about $3.2 million and take18 months. The ... Read more

Boling residents will convene at a public meeting Thursday to discuss a $40.5 million bond for a new elementary school. The bond, Proposition A, could increase property taxes by an estimated $1,162.50 annually. The initiative reflects the district’s commitment to modernizing educational facilities, following the recent addition of an early childhood center.

The Matagorda Bay Birdfest in Palacios is set to enchant bird enthusiasts this weekend with tours, expert talks, and a vibrant bird parade. Attendees can enjoy a variety of activities, including a seafood dinner, birdwatching tours, and educational programs, including a youth art contest. The festival underscores the community’s commitment to nature and conservation.

Here’s more on last week’s tragic three-vehicle collision on U.S. 59 near CR 221 which resulted in one fatality and closed northbound lanes for hours. The incident involved a Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by Roy Spradley Jr., which made a sudden move and collided with a crane truck, then was hit by a Kenworth truck tractor. ... Read more

In Matagorda, the school district has decided to implement a four-day school week for next school year. This decision aims to enhance student performance through more focused instruction and planning time. The new schedule aligns with the work patterns of the community, with 85% of parents supporting the change. The move to a shorter week ... Read more

Ashley Nicole Olguin, a 26-year-old mother from El Campo, will serve 14 years in prison for a DUI crash that killed her one-year-old son and injured her other children. The 2023 incident, which lacked proper child restraints, highlights the severe consequences of intoxicated driving. Olguin, who showed no remorse, accepted a plea deal, reducing her ... Read more

The Bay City Fire Marshal’s Office highlights April as Distracted Driver Awareness Month. The campaign warns against common distractions like texting, talking, and social media use while driving. The office urges drivers to stay vigilant and make safer choices on the road to combat this growing epidemic

Rafael Romero, the man accused in the death of local Edna cheerleader Lizbeth Medina, was scheduled to appear on the court docket Thursday. A grand jury had indicted the 23-year-old in February, alleging he intentionally caused Medina’s death during the commission of burglary, robbery, or aggravated sexual assault. The district attorney’s stance on pursuing the ... Read more

Wharton ISD is tackling the national teacher shortage with its new Wharton Association of Future Teachers program. The initiative encourages current district employees to become teachers, offering them a path to a degree with a three-year commitment to teach in Wharton. The program aims to cultivate home-grown educators and ensure a dedicated workforce for the ... Read more

Next week, Wharton County will host a pinwheel ceremony on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the courthouse on Monterey Square to honor the 78 victims of abuse and sexual violence in 2023, including one fatality. The event, part of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, will feature a proclamation to raise awareness and ... Read more