News

Tue
02
Oct

Vidor High School drills for shooter scenario

By George Garza

Shots were heard in the hallways of the Vidor High School on Monday afternoon. Vidor I.S.D Police Department Officers and City of Vidor Police Department Officers fired blanks that sounded like the real thing in the 600 and 100 hallways of the Vidor High School building to simulate a shooter/intruder scenario where a person who has gained entry into school buildings begins firing randomly.

After a number of shots were heard being fired in several different hallways and then the sound of the Vidor High School public address system made a tone and the voice of Vidor High School Principal James McDowell said, “ We are under a lockdown for an active shooter drill. This is only a drill. Teachers and staff should engage their lockdown procedures. Again, this is only a drill.”

 

Tue
02
Oct

Orange County voter registration “busiest…”

By George Garza

“It’s the busiest mid-term election that we have had,” said Donna Alford, Orange County Assistant Elections Administrator. The last time I ran it, on September the 26, it was 4,963 new voters have registered to vote since the March primaries. The data from 2016 from that same time frame shows 5,083 new voters registered to vote, and that was in a Presidential Election year. I really look to surpass that this year.”

 

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Thu
27
Sep

Burglary suspects found

Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt said on Tuesday that the two burglary suspects that sheriff’s deputies had identified from grainy images of surveillance camera video footage captured outside of a building in North Vidor on August 30th have been found and questioned. “The two men were located in our jail where they had each been incarcerated separately on unrelated charges,” said Sheriff Merritt.

 

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Thu
27
Sep

Rocky gets a new ride

By George Garza

 

 Rocky, the Vidor Police Department K-9 police dog is now uptown and Saturday night with his brand new specially equipped Sport Utility Vehicle that has a specifically designed interior for the four-legged officer. According to Vidor Police Department Police Chief Rod Carroll, Rocky, in his own way, wants to thank the community of Vidor, the Vidor City Council and Vidor Mayor Robert Viator, Jr. for his new mode of transportation. “Rocky is the only one in our agency that has his name on his vehicle,” said Chief Carroll. Not even the Chief has his name on his vehicle. Only Rocky has his name on his vehicle so that everyone knows it’s his car

 

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Thu
27
Sep

ESD#1 names Robert Smith as permanent Fire Chief

By George Garza

 

 Thursday to name acting Fire Chief Robert Smith as the district’s new permanent Fire Chief pending, of course, the successful transaction of a new employment contract for the new Fire Chief. The Board of Commissioners went into a closed-door executive session to discuss personnel matters during their regular Board meeting last week. The Board met for about a half-an-hour behind closed doors and when they returned, Board of Commissioners’ President Wyatt Boyett made a motion to name Robert Smith at the fire district’s new permanent fire chief.

 

 

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Tue
25
Sep

National Night Out happens next Tuesday

By George Garza

The Vidor Police Department and the Vidor Independent School District invites all of our readers to join them at Pirate Stadium on Tuesday night, October 2nd from 5-7 p.m. for “National Night Out”. This is an opportunity for you to bring your children out to meet the men and women of law enforcement and emergency services in person and in a relaxed setting.

“Often times, the only time the kids see us is on the side of the road and we are in more of an authoritarian role at that point in time than we are acting your friend,” said Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll. “You know I have had kids come up to me and tell me “You’re funny” or “You’re nice,” as if they are surprised to see me as other than the stern authority figure.

 

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Tue
25
Sep

Water District sees tax increase

By George Garza

The Orange County Water Control and Improvement District Board of Directors voted Thursday night to set the district’s new 2018 ad valorem property tax rate at $0.41063 per $100 valuation.  This new ad valorem tax rate is a $0.05163 increase over the 2017 tax rate of $0.35900 per $100 valuation or just over a nickel for each $100 of property value set for your home by the Orange County Appraisal District.

Water District Director Norman Blackman said that the increase in the ad valorem property tax rate was caused partially because of the decreased property values among the personal and business properties that lie within the district caused by storm damage from Hurricane Harvey.

 

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Tue
25
Sep

Shangri La reopens

By George Garza

After nearly a year since the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center were inundated by the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey our county’s premier formal garden, nature and education center has reopened to visitors, horticulturalists and, of course, to our county’s students.

“This is actually the third time we’ve been flooded since the Gardens were open to the public, said Shangri La Director Rick Lewandowski, “but the worst flood ever in history was Hurricane Harvey.” 

 

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Fri
21
Sep

Carder resigns Ward 1 Council seat

Kelly Carder has unexpectedly resigned her Ward 1 Vidor City Council seat. Carder notified Mayor Robert Viator, Vidor City Manager Mike Kunst and Vidor City Secretary Vicki Watson by email Friday morning of her intent. Carder was first elected to Vidor City Council in May 2015 and had filed paperwork with the city recently naming a campaign treasurer, a necessary first step in her stated intent to run for the mayoral position in May 2019. Attached is a copy of her resignation letter.

September 21, 2018

Dear Mike, Vicky, Robert,

Thu
20
Sep

No change in County elected salaries

BY George Garza

The Orange County Commissioners Court voted to adopt last year’s salary schedule for Orange County’s elected officials. All County elected officials will maintain their current pay rates in the upcoming fiscal year. That includes the members of Commissioners’ Court, much to the consternation of County Judge Dean T. Crooks.

Judge Crooks was hoping there would be support among some members of the Commissioners’ Court to back his long time proposal for everyone on the Commissioners Court only to take a reduction in pay for the coming budget year.

 

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