News

Thu
24
Jan

Orange Police still searching for bank robber

Orange Police Department photo/credit

In this fuzzy bank surveillance camera video freeze frame you can see a suspect in Wednesday’s robbery of Wells Fargo Bank in Orange. The suspect appears to be carrying a note as he approaches a teller window in the lobby of the bank.

The City of Orange Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is searching for a man who robbed the Wells Fargo Bank in that city on Wednesday morning. The OPD is asking for anyone who might have seen the man depicted in the picture above or has any information about the bank robbery to contact the detective division of the Orange Police Department.

According to OPD Police Lieutenant G. D. Keaton, at about 9:51 a.m. on Wednesday, January 23rd, OPD dispatchers received a call from the Wells Fargo Bank at 3770 N. 16th Street in Orange reporting a bank robbery had just occurred.

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Thu
24
Jan

Vidor I.S.D. is now a “District of Innovation”

Archive photo

Cut line--Vidor I.S.D. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jay Killgo discusses fine points of the “District of Innovation” Plan with members of the DOI committee during this final meeting of the committee last December.

The Vidor School District has joined the ranks of 807 other Texas Public School Districts, including WO-CCISD and Orangefield I.S.D., and has become a Texas School District of Innovation. During last Monday’s Vidor School Board meeting the Board of Trustees voted unanimously (with one trustee absent) to accept the District of Innovation Plan presented by the Vidor I.S.D. District of Innovation Committee and the School Superintendent.

Wed
23
Jan

Water District needs to reduce I & I

Courtesy photo/Water District

This house is not on fire. It has a leaking sewer line connection under this house and smoke testing of the Water District’s sewer lines is leaking out from under this home. This homeowner will have to repair the leaking private property sewer line connection.

The Orange County Water Control and Improvement District #1 has an abundance of Inflow and Infiltration in its citywide sanitary sewer collection system. What is Inflow and Infiltration? Simply put I&I takes place every time it rains where sanitary system sewage pipes are cracked, broken or otherwise “leaking-in” (Inflow) rainfall storm water runoff in the city. This Infiltration of storm water into the sewer system means the District sees more wastewater arriving at its Wastewater Treatment plant to be treated and cleaned before returning that water to the environment.

Besides being costly to treat this storm water infiltration, the treatment of additional wastewater puts an additional wear and tear on the wastewater treatment system.

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Wed
23
Jan

Local governments to hold elections in May

Vidorian photo/George Garza

Believe it or not, City and School Board Elections are coming up on May 4, 2019. Do you want to run for office? Now is the time to go to your City Hall or School District Administration Building to file your name for a place on the May 4th General Election Ballot.

Have you ever thought “why did the city do that?” Do you think that perhaps you could run the city better than those already in office. Have you ever felt a desire to give back to your community? These are all compelling reasons to consider running for public office.

And the first step to becoming an office holder is to qualify for a spot on your city’s or your school district’s election ballot next May.

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Wed
23
Jan

FEMA to charge rent on temporary housing

Recently the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent out letters to some Hurricane Harvey flood victims in our area specifying that FEMA will start charging rent on temporary emergency mobile housing units provided to help local residents with housing while their homes were being repaired. The FEMA letter states that rent on travel trailers or mobile homes will commence on February 25th, 2018.

According to Lauren Hersh, FEMA Public Information Officer, said that temporary housing program offered by FEMA and the Texas General Land Office to help homeowners have a place to live while their homes are being repaired was designed to last for eighteen months. Hersh said that everyone who got a mobile home or travel trailer should have been made aware of that end of program date.

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Wed
23
Jan

Vidor School Superintendent is evaluated

Courtesy photo/VISD

Dr. Jay Killgo, Superintendent of Schools of the Vidor I.S.D. passed his annual performance evaluation by the School Board of Trustees and was given a one-year extension on his employment contract.

It happens once each year. The Superintendent of Schools of the Vidor Independent School District must stand for a performance evaluation each year. Last week, Dr. Jay Killgo met behind closed doors in an executive session of the Vidor I.S.D. School Board of Trustees to be evaluated on his performance for the past twelve months. The seven elected members of the Board each have an opportunity, if they wish, to question the Superintendent about his actions in the past year. After being evaluated, in person, the school board, continues to meet in executive session to discuss the superintendent’s performance before going to open session meeting to vote on renewing Dr. Killgo’s contract.

Thu
17
Jan

County pays back Operations loan quickly

Orange County has paid back the $2,000,000 operations and maintenance loan from Wells Fargo Bank that it had made last November when Orange County Assistant Attorney, Denise Gremillion informed the County Commissioners that they could no longer borrow from restricted funds to pay for the day-to-day operations of the County.

According to Orange County Judge Dean Crooks, the County Treasurer, Kristy Khoury, was able to pay back the Orange County Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes, Series 2018 along with interest and fees on January 10th.

“If we had done what the County has done in the past, we would have never needed the loan,” said Judge Crooks. “We would have used restricted funds to pay our bills until ad valorem tax revenues started to come in. But we were informed that we were not supposed to use restricted funds that way. So we got the loan and we did prevent using any restricted funds. We followed the rule of the law.”

Thu
17
Jan

Filing underway for Vidor city election to elect mayor plus three councilmen

It is municipal election time again in the City of Vidor. The General Election is scheduled for May 4, 2019 to elect a Mayor and to fill the Wards 1, 4, and 6 seats. Any eligible candidate who is interested in serving on the Vidor City Council as Mayor or as a council member may obtain a candidate packet from the City Secretary, Vicki Watson, at Vidor City Hall, 1395 North Main St. in Vidor.

Candidate packets contain an application for a place on the ballot, Texas Ethics Commission’s Form CTA – Appointment of a Campaign Treasurer by a Candidate, as well as other candidate forms and instructions. (Note: The application for a place on the ballot must be signed in the presence of a Notary.)

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Thu
17
Jan

Three Fireplace shelters at Claiborne-West Park are closed

Vidorian photos/George Garza

The three large picnic shelters at Claiborne-West Park have been deemed potentially unsafe for use by the public and have been closed. Currently there is yellow “CAUTION” tape barring use but soon fencing will be installed around each shelter to insure the public stays clear until the structure can be torn down.

Vidorian photos/George Garza

The fire pits at the center of each large picnic shelter show signs of erosion. In this photo you can see that the fire pit chimney supports the shelter roof.

The three large shelters with restrooms at Claiborne-West Park have been closed and will be torn down and replaced. According to Orange County Parks Department Director, Sabrina Gray, the three shelters were damaged in the floods of Hurricane Harvey and have been determined to be structurally unsound.

Claiborne-West Park is still open to Orange County citizens so that they might enjoy the playgrounds, walking trails, the fishing pond, the softball diamond and the Frisbee golf course at the park.

“There are three other smaller covered picnic areas at the Claiborne-West Park that are still available for public reservations,” said Ms. Gray. “But reservations for the three large pavilions are being cancelled and security deposits will be given back.”

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Thu
17
Jan

Stolen car chase leads through three counties

Google maps measures the distance of last Saturday morning’s Vidor police pursuit of a stolen car to be about twenty-four-and-a-half miles. Fortunately for other drivers along the route, the pursuit and capture of the alleged car thieves took place in the middle of the night.

Graphic courtesy Google Maps

A car chase of a stolen vehicle on Saturday led a Vidor Police officer through three counties and resulted in the arrest of two people near Lumberton.

According to a news release issued by the Vidor Police Department, a Vidor Police patrol car equipped with a license plate reader alerted the police officer that a car he was following on the westbound I-10 service road near North Main Street was stolen from Calcasieu Parish, LA.

At about 1:16 a.m. on Saturday morning, January 12th, the Vidor Police officer attempted to make a traffic stop of the suspected stolen vehicle on the west bound service road and the driver of the car refused to stop, sped up and entered the westbound freeway.

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