News

Thu
04
Jul

Oak Forest Elementary meets wrecking ball

Vidorian staff photo/Randall Luker

The Harvey flood damaged Oak Forest Elementary School on Highway 12 is being torn down to make room for a new, slightly larger school to built in the same spot starting sometime next year. The fifty-two year-old school building served the educational needs of the school district well until two feet of foul floodwaters inundated the building.

While there is actually no wrecking ball being used to tear down the Harvey Flood damaged building, the excavator being used to demolish the Oak Forest Elementary School, while impressive, does not bring to mind the same imagery for our readers. A huge excavator has been working back and forth along the front and west side of the school building, tearing into roof, the ceiling and walls, sort of biting away along the front of the school building.

The fifty-two year old school building is being demolished to make way for a new Oak Forest Elementary School, whose final design is still in the works. C & C Works, Inc. of Orange promised they would start demolition on July 1st and on Monday the machinery, dumpsters and torches all moved in to begin the demolition.

 

 

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Wed
03
Jul

Council denies extension for residents still living in RVs

Vidorian staff photo

Former meteorologist and cookbook writer James Brown will be closing his Gumbo House and Grill in uptown Vidor today. Be sure and stop in today and get a bowl of Gumbo or one of his signature burgers today, because it will be closed tomorrow, for good.

Vidor residents still living in an RV after their residence was damaged by Hurricane Harvey have a two month window to complete repairs and move out of the RV and back into their residence.

After numerous months long extensions of the deadline, Vidor City Council declined to again extend the time limit and will soon begin enforcing the city ordinance prohibiting the use of RVs as a residence.

Enforcement of the ordinance was temporarily suspended following Harvey’s widespread damage to provide residents an opportunity to remain on their property while repairs or reconstruction was made.

Those still living in RVs have until the end of August to comply with the ordinance.

Residents currently unable to move back into their homes may request an extension from the city, but must personally appear before Vidor City Council to plead their case.

 

 

Wed
03
Jul

Resource Fair on Saturday for stalled flood victims

Courtesy/Nehemiah’s Vision

Some Harvey flood victims in our area who still haven’t gotten this far along in their storm recovery. While these Nehemiah’s Vision volunteers work to repair a storm damaged home, there are still a number of Orange County flood victims whose recovery has stalled. If you are one, come to the Orange County Resources Fair on this coming Saturday.

Orange County Disaster Rebuild will sponsor an Orange County Housing Resources Fair for Hurricane Harvey survivors this coming Saturday at the Orange County Expo Center.

Michelle Tubbleville, Director of Orange County Disaster Rebuild, says that this coming weekend’s event will be one of the most extensive resource-heavy events offered to help Harvey flood victims in Orange County since the floodwaters receded two years ago.

Wed
03
Jul

Stifling heat doesn’t affect Cops ‘n Kids

Vidorian staff photo

There were long lines at the Vidor Police Department booth all day long for kids attending the 24th Annual Orange County Sheriff’s Office Cops ‘n Kids Picnic at Claiborne West Park. And for a good reason. In addition to giving away bouncy balls, stickers and a handsome tote bag, the Vidor Police had a stash of kids sunglasses to hand out at the picnic last Friday.

Vidorian staff photo

Vidor Police Department Administrative Assistant Stacy Cash and Police Captain Rodney Johnson hand out the goodies at the Vidor Police Department table during the 24th Annual Orange County Sheriff’s Office Cops ‘n Kids Picnic last Friday.

Although the calm air with intermittent breezes was heavy with humidity, the outside temperature at Claiborne West Park only climbed up into the lower to mid ninety degree range on Friday for the 24th Annual Orange County Sheriff Cops ‘n Kids Picnic. However, that humidity made the outside temperature feel like it was in the one hundred degree temperature range, for the adults at least. But that heatindex didn’t seem to bother the kids, hardly at all.

Kids bursting with energy and excitement rushed from booth to table to vehicle in order to see everything there was to see, and to try everything there was to try. And the stifling heat was no impediment to the children.

Wed
03
Jul

James Brown’s Gumbo House closes

Vidorian staff photo

The children at the Annual Orange County Sheriff’s Office Cops ‘n Kids Picnic were able to look inside of not one, but two aeromedical evacuation helicopters this year. In this photo, Acadian’ Air Med based in Silsbee has landed for display near the large covered pavilion at Claiborne West Park. And parked not far away is Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital’s Global Air Med helicopter (not shown).

Vidorian staff photo

The Annual Orange County Sheriff’s Office Cops ‘n Kids Picnic would not occur each year were it not for the generous donations of Orange County businesses and civic organizations. In addition to providing food, ice, water and cold drinks to feed a thousand kids the generous businesses and civic groups set up booths and tables to provide free giveaways to the kids.

Vidorian staff photo

Dozens of day car and summer school student stream off school buses at the 24th Annual Orange County Sheriff Cops ‘n Kid Picnic at Claiborne West Park last Friday. Despite the fact that there was only two day’s notice of the rescheduling of the weather-postponed picnic, the attendance at the picnic was tremendous.

Vidorian staff photo

Orange County Emergency Services District #1 was represented at the 24th Annual Orange County Sheriff’s Cops ‘n Kids Picnic with Tanker 2 on display for the kids to see and climb on and OCESD#1 Firefighter Randy Herrera giving away coloring books and balsa wood airplane gliders.

Vidorian staff photo

Five-year-old Kyler O’Bannon is almost overwhelmed by the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) bulletproof vest and helmet normally worn by Orange County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team members. But Kyler loved it all. After removing the S.W.A.T. gear Kyler climbed aboard a S.W.A.T. armored personnel carrier.

Vidorian staff photo

A family poses for a photo aboard the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Airboat last Friday at the 24th Annual Cops ‘n Kids Picnic. The Sheriff also had a seventeen foot v-hull patrol boat on display while the Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden brought their patrol boat to the picnic for the kids.

A unique uptown bistro, famous for its good food, gumbo and service will be closing its doors for the very last time today. That’s right; James Brown’s Gumbo House and Grill will not open again after today.

“Orange County taxes are killing us,” said James Brown last week. “And the cost of food keeps going up and we can’t go up on our prices anymore. You know people are not going to respond if we do that. But we’ve tried to put Band-Aids on this and floated it along over six years now. It’s time for us to move on and do another adventure.”

And an adventure it has been here in Vidor for the past six years. James Brown came to Vidor to set up a restaurant after twenty-six years at KFDM-TV Channel Six News and after publishing two cook books.

Thu
27
Jun

Fifty-year-old roof due for replacement

Vidorian staff photo

The Orange County District Clerk’s Office, one of two wings added to the Old Orange County Courthouse building in 1964 has never had its roof replaced. The west wing building adjacent to Border Street in Orange springs new roof leaks every time it rains.

Vidorian staff photo

Ancient tar from a fifty-five year-old roof is now penetrating through the Orange County District Clerk’s Office interior ceiling along with rainwater.

No one can find any county records indicating that the roof over the West Wing of the Orange County Courthouse housing the District Clerk’s office has ever been replaced since it was built in 1964.

“We believe the roof is the original roof from 1964,” said Orange County Maintenance Department Director Curt Guidry. “I spoke with Mark Wimberley, the previous Maintenance Director, today, and as far as we can determine, that is the original roof. It has some signs of water penetration through the interior side of the roof.”

Guidry said that the nearly identical east wing of the Orange County Courthouse building had its roof replaced following Hurricane Rita and that the roof of the historic Courthouse Building was replaced in 1997.

 

 

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Thu
27
Jun

Cops ‘n Kids is on for today

Vidorian archive staff photo

There is so much to see and do for children at the annual Orange County Sheriff’s “Cops ‘n Kids Picnic” that it is impossible to picture in one photograph. This is just a small portion of some of the booths kids can visit a the “Cops ‘n Kids Picnic” today from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Claiborne West Park.

Despite the continuing rains in the month of June the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Annual Cops ‘n Kids Picnic that was postponed on June 7th because of wet conditions at Orange County’s Claiborne West Park will happen today, starting at 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the park.

Sheriff Keith Merritt went out to the park on Wednesday and walked the fields adjacent to the large covered pavilion where most of the “Cops ‘n Kids” activities take place and found that the condition were good for a picnic.

“I went out there and found that the County Parks Department had just mowed the grass and that the ground underneath the grass was mostly solid and not mushy. With no rain on Wednesday afternoon and all day today, the field should be plenty dry for our picnic,” said Sheriff Merritt.

 

 

Thu
27
Jun

City honors cops who saved a life

Vidorian staff photo

Two Vidor Police Department Patrol Officers were recognized for their actions to save the life of a woman who had suffered a gunshot wound with the Vidor Police Department Life Saving Award and insignia. From left to right, Vidor Police Captain Rodney Johnson present the Life Saving Award to Police Officer Dillon LaPoint (second from left) while Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll (far right) presents a similar award to Officer Manny Castillo (second from right) at Vidor City Hall on Wednesday.

The City of Vidor took time to recognize and honor two Vidor Police Department Police Officers for their quick and exemplary actions to save the life of a woman who was badly wounded by a gunshot. On Wednesday afternoon, family and friends of Vidor Police Officer Manny Castillo and Officer Dillon LaPoint gathered in the large Vidor City Council chamber at Vidor City Hall to witness the awarding of the Police Department “Life Saving Award”.

With city staffers also in the audience, Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll began the presentation with an account of the heroic actions of Officers Castillo and LaPoint on the afternoon of March 22, 2019.

Chief Carroll first described the call received by the Vidor Police Dispatchers.

 

 

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Wed
26
Jun

Holiday celebrations need sober drivers

Vidorian staff photo

Please stay out of your car if you plan to drink beer and grill out this Fourth of July holiday. Don’t try to cross this bridge while you are impaired. Find a sober driver to get you home, or better yet, just stay where you are until you’ve slept off your alcohol buzz

Although the Independence Day falls on Thursday of next week, your Orange County Texas AgriLife Extension Office wants to remind Fourth of July celebrators that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving this week. According to Lauren Verfurth, of Texas A & M University AgriLife Extension, if you are under the influence of any substance and you choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you put everyone in danger, including yourself. Ms. Verfurth said that during the Fourth of July holiday, to make sure you plan for a safe week of festivities.

This Independence Day, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Orange County and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Wed
26
Jun

Fire District to enforce new false alarm fees

Vidorian staff photo

This fire at Rose City Baptist Church in August of 2016 is obviously not a false alarm. But persistent false fire alarms could delay fire department responses to fires like this. The OCESD#1 will be imposing fees for any false alarms beyond two in a calendar year.

The Orange County Emergency Services District #1 will soon start enforcing a fee structure for responding to automatic mechanical or electronic fire or emergency alarm system that sends an alert to the fire department that turns out to be a false alarm. Now, this new order to be adopted in July doesn’t mean that the fire department won’t come when they suspect an alarm they have received is false. They will still arrive with lights and sirens blaring and enough fire fighters to handle any type of blaze that you might have. What it means is that, in any calendar year, if your fire alarm system summons the fire department falsely more than twice in a year, a fire marshal will issue the owner of the alarm system a citation for a fine of $100 for each of the third and fourth false alarms of the year, citation of $200 for each of the fifth and sixth false alarms of the year, and a citation of $300 for the seventh and each and every subsequent false alarm in a calendar year.

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