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Football players sign to D-III schools

Edna Offensive lineman Pablo Almeda and running back slash defensive end Dreydan Ashford are continuing their football career at division III schools. Ashford signed a letter of intent to Trinity University located in San Antonio. Almeda is suiting up for Sul Ross State University in Alpine. The two former teammates will most likely face each other on the gridiron. The two schools played each other last season with Trinity winning 55-7 and they are expected to play each other again this season.

El Campo volunteer firefighter

The El Campo Volunteer Fire Department is at half strength and they are accepting applications for recruits. According to President Kenneth Soch and reported by the Leader-News , the last two to three years the VFD numbers have been down. Currently with 32 on the staff, some more active than most, they have room for 64
on the roster. Would-be volunteers must be 18 years old, have at least a GED and a driver’s license. Criminal backgrounds will also be checked. Volunteers are only accepted in February and August of each year.

Sailed into victory

Louise senior Maizee Strelec built a boat and floated into the winner’ circle at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. She contructed the boat, complete with trailer, by hand as both an F-F-A project and a useful boat. Strelec designed it to be a shallow water bay boat, also known as a flats boat. The project took 6 months to complete and included a lot of blood, sweat and tears. She named the vessel “One-N-Done” to remind herself never to build a boat again.

Verdict for Satterfield

A Wharton County jury in the 329th District Court handed down a guilty verdict Wednesday against Robert Allen Satterfield for the June 2018 killing of Ray Shawn “Baby Ray” Hudson Jr. The jury took about five hours to come back with a “guilty as charged verdict”. Ray Shawn “Baby Ray” Hudson Jr., would have celebrated his fifth birthday the day after he was murdered. His parents, 28 year old Ray Shawn Hudson Sr. and 24 year old Maya Victoria Rivera of Angleton were also murdered. The jury has one choice to make: life in prison without parole — or the death penalty.

Property tax payments coming

A computer transition impeded the Wharton County Central Appraisal District, preventing accurate tax bills to be sent to some property owners — which might have been a shock for new homeowners or residents who made a mid-year property purchase in 2022 says Leader News. A lot of the homesteads and over 65 exemptions weren’t put on that should have been. The snafu is leading tax officials to make due with incomplete tax records and hand calculate last minute property tax values.

Ollie makes way for two

Last week the Jackson County Hospital District officially said so long to their therapy dog Ollie, who passed away in November from an aggressive form of lymphoma at only three years old. A post on the Jackson County Hospital District Facebook page said it all — RIP to our sweet Ollie, Your legacy lives on. You will never be forgotten. At the service, hospital folks introduced brother and sister duo Nova and Apollo, two young puppies who will be trained to comfort hospital patients in the near future.

Top fireman

El Campo volunteer fireman Clint Rothbauer was selected as the department’s 2022 Firefighter Of The Year. Rothbauer goes way back — he signed up with the El Campo Fire and EMS Explorer post when he was just 14 years old. The six-year ECVFD veteran says the award is nice but feels he needs to work harder to uphold the Firefighter of the year title, a challenge he’s up for. It’s in his blood – Rothbauer is the grandson and nephew
of firefighters in the Hallettsville and Sweet Home Volunteer Fire Departments.

Upgrades coming

The Ganado School Board, and new Superintendent Dr. Brian McCraw, are improving a few things across the campus. Like new batting cages and covers for the baseball bleachers, more access to college for students, renovating the old gym, and new scoreboards for the newer gym. The project of building covers over
the baseball bleachers is going to cost about $180,000 . The old gym will look like a new gym following a new
roof, renovated wood floor, new safe bleachers, and a fresh coat of paint here and there.

Girl Scout Cookies

Dust off your taste buds and get ready — Girl Scout Cookies are available in Southeast Texas from Feb.
11 through March 26. This year’s cookie lineup includes fan favorites such as Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, and the addition of the new Raspberry Rally, the highly-anticipated cookie, which is available for online ordering only. Girl Scouts will be also host cookie booths at participating public locations around the region. Visit gssjc dot org to find a booth near you and for more information.

Cause of truck fire

A mechanical failure was determined to be the cause of this truck fire Monday at Wharton Ford on North Richmond Road. The Wharton Volunteer Fire Department was alerted to the fire at approximately 2:25 p.m. Meanwhile, Wharton Police officers, already on the scene, discovered the truck was 75% involved in fire and it was spreading to a nearby building. Wharton VFD upgraded the call to a commercial structure fire and Glen Flora and Boling volunteer fire departments were dispatched to the scene..

Cook-off champions

Due to the efforts of Van Vleck High School’s Agricultural Science advisors, Van Vleck ISD made history in being chosen to hold a state qualifying BBQ cook-off competition with the Texas High School BBQ, Inc. according to the BC Tribune. At a recent cook-off, teams were judged for Desserts, Beans, Chicken, Ribs, and Brisket. Two of the Van Vleck High School BBQ teams, Burnt Offerings and Spot On BBQ,
did outstanding and advanced to compete at the state competition in May.

SB 645-fetanyl crisis

Senator Joan Huffman recently filed SB 645, which would increase the penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl. Huffman is responding to the growing fentanyl epidemic in Texas and the nation. Huffman says since the beginning of Operation Lone Star, the Texas Department of Public Safety has seized over 353 million lethal doses of fentanyl — enough to kill nearly every person in the US. SB 645 increases the penalty for manufacturing or delivery of less than 1 gram of fentanyl from a state jail felony to a third-degree felony.

Price of eggs

David Anderson an AgriLife Extension economist, Bryan-College Station, says inflationary pressure and the
worst avian flu outbreak in U.S. history have combined to send egg prices upward over much of the last year. Prices reached $4.25 per dozen on average in December 2022 across the nation, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture retail egg report. A dozen eggs was $1.79 at the same time last year. Higher production costs like feed and fuel have contributed, but the top factor driving egg prices to record highs is an ongoing outbreak of avian influenza.

New chief appraiser

After almost 20 years of service, Wharton County’s chief appraiser left making room for a replacement from North Texas. Tylene Gamble, Wharton County’s chief appraiser resigned before Christmas according to Leader News. Gamble’s exit from the department was sudden, her letter of resignation was submitted in October, effective Dec. 16th. Irene Klein was hired as her replacement following a unanimous Central Appraisal District board vote last Thursday night. Kline comes to the Wharton C-A-D after serving for 30 years at the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District.

Board of Adjustment

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity in 2023, the City of El Campo is looking for a motivated individual who values community spirit, integrity, and innovation to serve on the Board of Adjustment. If you are interested in serving, click on the link to complete the online Board Application Form — on the City of El Campo’s Facebook page. Applications must be received by 12 noon on February 7th. City Council will be making the appointment at the February 13th regular meeting.

Power outage at schools

Wharton Independent School District reported a power outage Monday morning on the Wharton Junior High and High School campuses. Centerpoint Energy advised the district that power would not be restored until a later in the day. Due to the cold weather, Wharton ISD decided to send junior high and high school students home.
According to a Facebook post by the District , buses transported students home. Parents were also advised to make arrangements to pick up their students beginning at 9:30 a.m. using dismissal operations.

Suspected homicide

The first 2023 homicide in Bay City may be from the body found in a car last Tuesday morning at old Linnie Roberts Elementary school. The victim was identified as 25 year old Jared Aplin of Bay City and appears to have died from a gunshot wound. From what was discovered at the scene, this case is determined to be a probable homicide according to investigators. Detectives are seeking the whereabouts of a man named “Chris”,
last name unknown, who is described as a black male, light-skinned, and is approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall.

Bay City PD promotes officer

Congrats going out to Bay City Police Officer Jerome Estrada, a police officer for over 7 years, who was promoted to the rank of Police Corporal at a promotional ceremony held at the Municipal Court last Wednesday.
The 40 year old Estrada currently lives in Wharton with his wife of 20 years and two children. He’s originally from Rosenberg. Estrada is thankful for the support from his family and friends, and looks forward to continuing to serve Bay City in his new position of Corporal.

Job fair coming

“You Ought To Hire Me” is the name of a Job Fair coming to the El Campo Civic Center on Valentines day.
Up to 50 employers are expected to attend the free event from 9am to 12:30pm on February 14th. Some employers may be doing on-the-spot interviews, according to CDC Economic Development Specialist Beverly Supak and reported by Leader News. Organizers of the event are hoping for several hundred attendees prepared to apply for employment. Blue collar companies, military organizations and technical schools are
among the list of employers.

Robert Allen Satterfield trial

The State of Texas rested its capital murder case last Tuesday afternoon against Robert Allen Satterfield, but not before calling the final witness after 11 days of trial. Johanna Bonilla, the mother of murder victim Ray Shawn Hudson Sr. was put on the witness stand. Bonilla testified the last time she saw her son and
his family was after church a week before they died on June 10th, 2018. Satterfield is on trial for the shooting death of Ray Shawn Hudson Jr., who would have celebrated his fifth birthday the day after he was killed.






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