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.

 

Starting Monday, fishing at the Riverside Park duck pond in Victoria won’t be allowed, except for city-hosted events. The pond was stocked with fish last October, and young catfish will be added in March. This closure lets the fish grow and establish their population. Signs will notify residents, and violators may be ticketed.

Fort Bend County Sheriff’s investigators are trying to find out who killed a 38-year-old woman in her home Monday morning. The incident happened around 3:40 a.m. at Spindlewood Drive, near Plantation Valley Drive. The victim, Coralyn Hunt, was found shot in her bedroom by her 17-year-old. Neighbors expressed shock, saying they didn’t hear any gunshots. ... Read more

Local high school football players from Edna and Ganado have been raking in awards. They made it to state semifinals, and now, they’re getting recognized by various associations. Edna had five players and Ganado had three on the recent All-State teams. Players like Dylan Holt, Logan Bures, and Bryce Ullman from Ganado, and Braylen Harris, ... Read more

The Colorado County Beef and Forage Committee is hosting a 5-hour Beef and Forage educational event on Feb. 26 at the Colorado County Fairgrounds HE Building in Columbus. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Don’t miss it.

This month’s Employee Spotlight is on Eddie Garza, a maintenance worker at El Campo Parks. He’s been with them for over a year now, bringing landscaping skills to the team. Known for his hard work and positive attitude, Eddie’s colleagues enjoy working with him. Outside of work, he likes gardening, reading, and puzzles.

Bay City police need your help. They’re looking for a woman and a vehicle involved in a theft at H-E-B on February 5th. Pictures of the woman and a car are posted on Bay City PD’s social media page. If you have any info, please contact Detective Jerome Estrada. Let’s help keep our community safe.

El Campo City Council is backing a proposed senior housing project. If it gets state funding, the city will waive a $250 building permit fee for the $9 million development. The project, aimed at seniors aged 55 and up, includes 28 units, a clubhouse, a community room, and a fitness center. It’s still in the ... Read more

The Palacios Area Historical Association is hosting an exhibition called “Citizens at Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas” until March 15th. It celebrates the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The exhibition, at the City by the Sea Museum, highlights Texas’ role as the first southern state ... Read more

Brandon James, now 19, is going on trial next week for a 2021 robbery in El Campo, where he and four others allegedly ambushed and killed Shane Singleton. Singleton was there to buy something he found on social media but was shot instead. James, who was 16 at the time, was later deemed unfit for ... Read more

In Van Vleck, an 18-wheeler crashed into a ditch, but the driver, Roberto Almaguer, is stable. No other cars were involved. It could’ve been worse; he nearly hit the school. Luckily, quick action kept everyone safe. The district and officials are working on traffic safety solutions. They’re considering signs, lights, and maybe even a traffic ... Read more

Louise ISD’s Superintendent, Garth Oliver, is stepping down, costing taxpayers $175,000. He’ll keep getting paid for four months and can stay in his district-owned house. He’s getting $125,000 in severance pay. Despite two and a half years left on his contract, the board decided he had to go. His resignation was finalized in a meeting ... Read more

Matagorda Bay’s TX-11 area is closed for oyster harvesting due to a low number of legal-sized oysters. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will reopen it when the oyster count improves. You can check the status on the Texas Department of State Health Services website.

In Angleton, a mother and son, Darla Murrell, 66, and Devin Murrell, 37, were shot and killed at an industrial facility. The suspect, Bradley Jones, 35, fled the scene but was later arrested near Surfside Beach in a silver Chevy Silverado. Jones’ wife used to work at the facility, Thermal Polymer.

In El Campo, six candidates, including two current council members, are vying for mayor in May’s election. Among the challengers are John Bieltz, Cody Guynes, Frances Roemer, and Kyle Wallis. With Mayor Chris Barbee retiring, the candidate with the most votes will become the new mayor.

Demontae Williams, 28, from Wharton, got life in prison for killing three people at a Houston club during an open mic night. He and another man, Le Dadrine Hall, snuck in with guns, started an argument, and started shooting. One victim wasn’t involved in the fight but got hit by a stray bullet. Hall’s case ... Read more

Early voting for the March 5 primary in Victoria started on Tuesday and ends at 7 p.m. on March 1st. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. You can vote at the Elections Office at the Dr. Pattie Dodson ... Read more

At a recent Wharton School District meeting, it was decided to replace the leaky roof of Wharton High School’s band hall, auditorium, and common areas, costing $193,850. The construction manager emphasized the importance of fixing all areas at once to avoid future leaks. This repair will be updated in the district’s ongoing facility survey.

Wharton County Junior College is launching a new, user-friendly website this week. It’s the result of two years of hard work by a dedicated team. The site has a modern design, works on all devices, and makes enrolling easier. The team will keep improving it after the launch, focusing on things like sports pages and ... Read more

Wharton County residents can help homeless pets by attending the Bow Wow Benefit Dinner on Feb. 27th. Enjoy a BBQ meal for $14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Get your tickets at Alamont or Wharton Vet Clinics.

A horse caused a three-car crash on Highway 60 near County Road 208 on Thursday morning. The horse didn’t survive, but luckily, no major human injuries were reported. The road was blocked but cleared later. The horse’s owner got a ticket for letting it roam on the highway.

Two El Campo Ricebirds football players from the 2023 team have signed college scholarships. Ladarian Lewis is heading to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Stephen Norman Jr. to Texas A&M University – Kingsville. Their coach, Travis Reeve, is proud and sees their success as an inspiration for upcoming players.

The Wharton County Sheriff’s Office is seeking help to identify two people linked to a crime in Boling. They reportedly escaped in an old black car. Check out the video on the Sheriff’s office social media page. If you recognize them or have any info, reach out to Sgt. David Rangel.

If you are passionate about this city’s parks and community programs, then volunteer for the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Board. Influence El Campo positively by joining. Apply by noon today. Scan the QR code on the city’s social media page or visit cityofelcampo.org for the form.

Former Edna athletic director and head football coach Jerry Long, 52, was sentenced to four years probation for felony improper relations with a student. He surrendered his teaching certificate and can’t contact the victim. Long was arrested in 2019, resigning from Edna school. He coached at Edna for two seasons, with an overall record of ... Read more

Dr. Bruce Barker, a retired Navy vet and former ER doctor, is now the Health Authority of Matagorda County. The Health Authority is appointed by the county for two-year terms to uphold public health laws. Barker’s been serving the community since the ’80s, including as an ER doctor and medical director for various facilities.

Early voting for the March primaries starts on Tuesday in Texas. There are many local Republican races and state and federal Democratic races. You can vote early at several locations in Wharton County. Remember, any registered voter can cast their ballot at any early voting site or on Election Day.

In Wharton, a student from Wharton High School, Leroy Scarlett, admitted his involvement in a cafeteria fight back in 2022. He didn’t wield the knife, but was part of the group. He got probation, a fine, and community service. If he follows the rules, the conviction won’t stay on his record. But if he messes ... Read more

In 2023, Bay City Police saw more mental health calls and drugs seized. Animal pickups also rose. The city council learned this in a recent meeting. Lieutenant Clayton Ryman noted mental health calls doubled to 157, likely underreported. The Chief says they’re training staff for better mental health response.

A woman was stabbed in Bay City on Valentines Day evening. The suspect, Jayvin Lipkins, fled the scene but was later caught nearby. He was arrested for the assault and for evading arrest. Turns out, he also had an outstanding warrant for robbery in Fort Bend County. He’s now in jail.

Joseph Aponte, a Sugar Land Public Works crewman, was laid to rest in Taiton with full honors after tragically losing his life in a police chase. He was struck by suspects fleeing a burglary. The city mourns his loss and supports his family through donations. The suspect faces serious charges. Aponte leaves behind his mother, ... Read more

A solar farm, mostly outside Wharton County, was wrongly thought to be fully inside it. This mistake overestimated the county’s tax income, causing a budget issue. The county needs to find $500,000, asking for returns from various funds. They’ve recouped about $483,000 so far, but the error could cost over $2 million.

Louise ISD is having a meeting today. They’re talking about the superintendent leaving in a closed session. Garth Oliver, the superintendent, claims he was fired. Board President Mark Bain and a trustee informed him two weeks ago. Oliver’s last day is set for today.

On Tuesday afternoon, federal agents caught a suspect in Jackson County. They nabbed 41-year-old Daryl National from Edna. He had a warrant for making and selling drugs, plus possessing them.

Starting Tuesday, February 20, you can vote early for the March 5th Primary Election from 8 to 5 weekdays, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and noon. to 6 on Sunday. Locations are Bay City USO Service Center or Matagorda County Navigation District No. 1. Election Day is March 5th, 7 a.m. to 7 ... Read more

In Victoria, police caught a 26-year-old suspect who’s accused in three counties. Serena Barber faces one charge in Karnes County and two in Jackson County. She’s held in Victoria County Jail for evading arrest, needing $111,500 for bail.

If you have info on a crime or a wanted person in West Wharton County, you could get up to $1,000 cash. West Wharton County Crime Stoppers gives this reward for tips leading to an arrest. You can call them at 543-TIPS or use their P3 app. You don’t need to give your name to ... Read more

During Wharton’s City Council meeting, Gwyneth Teves from Planning and Development shared progress on the Water Plant Project. They’ll have clean water by March 1st. Contractors have a 30-day extension to finish remaining items. The water well’s been operational for three weeks, and it passed the bacterial test. Council voted unanimously to extend the contract.

Yesterday’s news got a tweak! Turns out, cops weren’t chasing Carl Lang, 28, from Victoria. They were hunting for him and the stolen Jeep SUV before reports came in about a couple of car clips on Lavaca Bay Causeway. When they found the vehicle, it had already crashed. Lang was thrown from the car and ... Read more

Shoshana Storage, a big battery plant, wants a tax break for their new site in Matagorda County. They’re hoping for a full tax break for five years, giving the county $2 million. The project, lasting over 30 years, will help stabilize the local power grid and create 50 construction jobs. Without this tax break, the ... Read more

The Matagorda County Fair and Rodeo is back, celebrating 80 years of livestock shows and scholarships. Attending the fair supports local students’ education. This year, they’re giving out 10 scholarships. There’s also live music and a barbecue cook-off. Local bands will perform on Feb. 23rd. Admission for the concert is $10.

El Campo’s northeast side lost power Tuesday due to a tripped fuse, affecting 888 homes. The issue was fixed in 30 minutes without any damage to the equipment. Meanwhile, fire crews responded to smoke reports at Coca Cola and Burger King, caused by an overheated motor and electrical issues respectively. They also attended a car ... Read more

Sugar Land City Council approved a $28 million grant application for the Brazos River Riverbank Erosion Mitigation Project to the Texas Water Development Board. The council also approved a $2.7 million contract for an artificial intelligence detection system installation at all city intersections. The installation is set to begin soon.

Six men from Texas got sentenced for scamming over $20 million in COVID relief loans. They faked info to get Paycheck Protection Program loans. Three guys from Richmond got around three to one and a half years in prison. Two others from Sugar Land and Houston got two years each. They cooked up fake business ... Read more

On March 2nd the Fort Bend Teen Service League is hosting its 2nd Annual Charity Fun Run at Sugar Land Memorial Park. This event, open to all ages, isn’t just a race. It’s a chance to raise money for local non-profits. The league has already donated over $5.75 million since 2001, and this run is ... Read more

In Fulshear, complaints led to a four-hour meeting resulting in the firing of City Manager Jack Harper. Mayor Aaron Groff calls it a pivotal moment. Last week, Harper was put on leave after a staff complaint. More complaints followed. Despite no criminal investigation, details remain undisclosed. Harper’s replacement search begins, while the assistant manager takes ... Read more

Douglas Zelkowski, a 41-year-old gym owner and Air Force veteran from Victoria, was arrested in Bishop for indecent assault at a school event. He was reported for inappropriate contact with a minor. Zelkowski, who runs “Z’s Powerhouse” gym and has trained local high school athletes, was taken to Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

In 2015, Commissioner Danny Garcia saw a need for more support for veterans. Now, in a new office at the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center in Victoria, veterans get benefits, counseling, and peer support. With paid staff, they’re reducing reliance on volunteers. Director John Williams says vets from nearby counties and big cities like ... Read more

Wharton schools might soon decide on schedules for the next two years. They’ll discuss it Thursday night at 7. Some want more teacher training days, others worrying about childcare for parents. Though some think these days are vital for new teachers. They’ll also talk about hiring a chaplain for student support and fixing parts of ... Read more

Carl Lang, died in a car chase with police in Port Lavaca. Lang, 28, stole a Jeep from a Walgreens parking lot. Police chased him on Lavaca Bay Causeway where he sped over 100 MPH, hitting two cars. The chase ended when the Jeep flipped near SH 35 and Farm-to-Market Road 2143. Lang was thrown ... Read more

The El Campo Knights of Columbus Council named John and Kathy Tumlinson as the 2023 Family of the Year for their dedication to volunteering. John has been a member for over 20 years, holding various positions, while Kathy volunteers with community organizations. They prioritize family time and contribute to events like the KC Picnic and ... Read more