Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Articles written by Margaret Toal


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  • Mosquito control ready for post-storm outbreak

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 9, 2024

    Expect the post-storm mosquitoes to come out in another week and a half, Orange County Mosquito Control Director Patrick Beebe told commissioners court Tuesday. But Beebe's department is prepared. During the Tuesday meeting, Orange County Commissioners Court approved him moving $50,000 from county contingency, or emergency, funds to pay for overtime salaries through the end of September. Beebe has had to make budget adjustments for the current fiscal year because of influxes...

  • Orange keeps adding new businesses, houses

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 9, 2024

    Orange will be getting a new pizza restaurant on Allie Payne Road and a new DuGood Federal Credit Union building on Interstate 10, according to building permits issued by the city in June. Brown & Brown Pizza is owned by Randy and Kathy Brown of Orange and operates Domino's Pizza franchises. The company got a permit to build a new $850,000 building at 1715 Allie Payne Road near the intersection with Texas Highway 87 North. The contractor is Better Built Metal Buildings. DuGood...

  • Vidor couple loses house in Beryl when tree falls

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 9, 2024

    The old adage "We dodged a bullet" was heard across Orange County Tuesday morning after Hurricane Beryl, but not everyone was so lucky. The county was on the far western side of the storm, which came ashore near Matagorda, south of Galveston. "We're very lucky that storm went where it did," County Judge John Gothia said. Though the sustained winds here did not reach tropical storm force, they were strong enough to knock down numerous trees and limbs. An older couple raising...

  • Storms bring big changes in home insurance policies

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 2, 2024

    As Hurricane Beryl with sustained winds at 155 mph heads toward the Gulf of Mexico by Friday, people in Orange County are once again watching weather forecasts with anxiety. The constant barrage of storms during the past 19 years has left some insurance companies dropping coverage on all policies for this area. It's a national trend. Linda Nies of Dallas Insurance Agency in Orange, said coverage is still available through various companies, but the costs of coverage are going...

  • Fourth includes closings, fireworks

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 2, 2024

    Hints for the Fourth of July in Orange County: Do any county business on Wednesday or wait until Monday; and put your garbage out in West Orange on Saturday, not Friday. The national holiday the Fourth of July is Thursday and Orange County offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, giving non-essential county employees a four-day weekend. City halls across the county will be closed on Thursday and open on Friday. However, only residents in West Orange will see a change in...

  • Child's murderer still not found, case is open

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 2, 2024

    Another year has gone by, making 22 years since the kidnapper and killer of four-year-old Dannarriah Finley still hasn't been arrested. The sleeping child was kidnapped sometime in the early morning of July 4, 2002, from the small house in the 1000 block Fourth Street where she lived with her mother and siblings. The house could be seen from Park Avenue, a thoroughfare leading to Simmons Drive and the nearby Sabine River. The Orange Police Department was the lead on the...

  • University Women give scholarships to Parker, Patton

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 2, 2024

    The Orange Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in June gave their annual scholarships to two local graduating high school female students. Alicia Parker of Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Jordynn Patton of West Orange-Stark High Schools were given the scholarships to continue their educations. Parker plans to go to Lamar University in Beaumont and Patton will be attending Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. The club, which is part of the...

  • Bridge City officially became city on July 7, 1970

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jul 2, 2024

    On July 7 ,fifty-four years ago, Orange County's newest city was born as residents in the community of Bridge City voted to formally incorporate. It was a long journey from a community that started out with pioneer settlers in the 1800s moving to the county and making a settlement they first called Prairie View because it was in the coastal prairie of the Gulf of Mexico. Residents in the community of Bridge City went to the polls on July 7. A total of 1,123 votes were cast wit...

  • Court wants public aware of elder abuse

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 25, 2024

    Last year in Orange County, the Texas Department of Family Protective Services investigated 377 cases of abuse of the elderly or disabled, and filed against 260 cases. Orange County Commissioners learned those statistics Tuesday as they signed a proclamation making June Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Abuse of the elderly and disabled can fall under a variety of categories, according to the state. Violations are a third degree felony punishable by two to ten years in state...

  • Scientific history started in Orange shipyard

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 25, 2024

    On a chilly, windy March Saturday in 1968, scientists, engineers, business executives and dignitaries gathered on the island of the Sabine River curve around downtown Orange for a ship launching. The Stark High Band played as the Glomar Challenger slid into the river in a formal christening ceremony. Levingston Shipbuilding designed and constructed the vessel that went on to make scientific history. In the 1960s, the "space race" to get to the moon and explore space made lots...

  • Orange sees big drop in sales tax payments while others are up

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 25, 2024

    Sales tax returns for April show people are buying goods across the county at a healthy rate every where except the city of Orange, according to statistics from the Texas Comptroller's Office. The office sent sales tax shares to the entities in June to cover the sales from April. Orange was drastically down compared to sales at the same time last year. The city had above average increases for two years, but the sales appear to be slacking off. Bridge City showed the biggest...

  • Bridge City event features lighted drone show

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 25, 2024

    Saturday night the sky in Bridge City will be filled with a light show never seen before in Southeast Texas as 200 drones in a colorful choreographed flight will help celebrate Independence Day. The drone show is one of the highlights of the Red, White and You festival sponsored by the city of Bridge City and local businesses. The event will also spotlight local musicians and end with a concert by the popular New Orleans band Bag of Donuts. The festival will begin Friday eveni...

  • Bridge City draws people with Saturday farmers market

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    Starting time is supposed to be eight in the morning. But by five minutes later, the parking lot is full and cars are stopping along ditches. Lines have already formed at booths. The Bridge City Farmers Market is open on an early summer's Saturday morning and drawing a crowd to the easy-going, family event where a wide variety of homemade and homegrown goods are found. But of course, it's the tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash and corn in the shucks that draw the biggest...

  • New massive gas pipeline to cross Orange County

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    A new, major 750-mile natural gas pipeline, described by the Pipeline Journal as "massive," is being planned to cross Orange County as it goes from the Permian Basin in West Texas to Calcasieu Parish across the Sabine. At the end of April, the company mailed letters to property owners informing them of the project and asking for right-of-entry permission to go on the property for surveys. The 42-inch pipeline will carry "liquids-rich natural gas." It is known as the DeLa...

  • Fisher to retire before term ends

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    Orange County Tax Assessor-Collector Karen Fisher has publicly announced she will be retiring on July 31, months before her term in office ends. Orange County Commissioners Court, by state law, will be required to appoint her replacement to the elected office. Fisher's current four-year term does not end until December 31. Octavia Guzman, a longtime employee in the tax assessor-collector's office, ran unopposed for the position in the March Republican primary race. No...

  • Pinehurst needs new chief after Humble leaves for LCM

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    The city of Pinehurst is searching for a new police chief after Chris Humble resigned to take a position with the new Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD Police Department. Humble is a veteran Orange County law enforcement officer and previously served as Precinct 1 constable. While working for the Orange County Sheriff's Office several years ago, he was assigned to LCM High School. In addition, the high school, along with Little Cypress Elementary, Little Cypress Intermediate,...

  • Pups will strut at West Orange's Bark in the Park Saturday

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    In West Orange on Saturday, big and little beauties will be on display as they hope to find a new home with a plush bed and a back yard. They are the dogs and puppies of the city's animal shelter and volunteers have turned Bark in the Park into a small festival. It will be this Saturday, June 22, at Alford-Seals Plaza next to city hall on Western Avenue. Times will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event was created to help the public shelter find foster homes or 'furever' familie...

  • Local paratrooper jumps for D-Day anniversary

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    On June 6, 20-year-old Cody Strause made his first parachute jump over a foreign country as he landed in Normandy, France. But Strause wasn't one of the veterans. The Orangefield High graduate is in the 82nd Airborne of the U.S. Army and was part of a military tribute during the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. The same airborne dropped troops over Normandy during the 1944 Allied D-Day invasion to free Europe from Nazi Germany. The 82nd had 156 men killed, 347 wounded,...

  • Juneteenth celebration set for Riverfront this weekend

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    Once again, Krewe de Onyx is holding its annual Juneteenth celebration with festivities at the Orange Riverfront on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. Gates will be open from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. both days and admission is free. Live music will be provided by Perry Richard, Jeremey Fruge, Lil Nate, and Roi Anthony. Local DJ Shocker Shawn will provide music during the interludes. Juneteenth is officially June 19, the festival is being held on the weekend before as a way...

  • Gift of Life screenings set for Orange this summer

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    Men in Orange County will get a chance for free medical screenings on Saturday, July 13, with the Julie Rogers Gift of Life program. Plus, women have a chance for free mammograms during special days of the summer. Norma Sampson, executive director of the Southeast Texas charity, went before Orange County Commissioners Court Tuesday to talk about the group's medical programs because June is National Men's Health Month. The Gift of Life program provides free screenings,...

  • Some 80 Bridge City buildings got water in T-storm

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    At least 80 buildings in Bridge City had water inside during the Saturday, June 1, deluge, Commissioner Kirk Roccaforte said Tuesday during Orange County Commissioners Court. Roccaforte's Precinct 3 includes the Bridge City area and the Tuesday meeting was the first since the storm. Parts of the Bridge City area six to seven inches of water within a short time. The thunderstorm system that day was another example of only a small part of the county experiencing flooding rains...

  • Orange prayed as men fought in Normandy 80 years ago

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    As the fighting was raging on the shores of Normandy 80 years ago, people in Orange were going to churches. The famous Allie invasion of France to drive to drive German Nazis out of the occupied country began before dawn on June 6, 1944, along the Normandy coast. It was a surprise attack that every one knew would come some day and bring thousands of casualties. No one knew the date. It was 9:30 in the morning French time for the invading troops when word began coming into Oran...

  • New plant sets traffic watches for heavy hauls

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    The Chevron Phillips petrochemical plant under construction along Texas Highway 87 south has set more times to close traffic lanes for moving heavy modular components. The $8.5 billion plant, officially named Golden Triangle Polymers, or GTP in the 21st Century language of abbreviations, is being built from a number of prefabricated units, many of which are constructed overseas. The heavy units are shipped to the U.S. and then placed on barges that travel to Cow Bayou and...

  • Storms lead to oil spill, flooding

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    Thunderstorms last week caused problems in the Orangefield-Bridge City area, first with an oil spill down Cow Bayou, and then with a short, heavy rain burst that left street flooded and water going into houses. Orange County Emergency Disaster Director Joel Ardoin said about 60 gallons of crude oil spilled into Cow Bayou in Orangefield after a lightning strike the night of Wednesday, May 29. Also, Ardoin said six to seven inches of rain fell within a short time in Bridge City...

  • BCISD's Kelly gets regional honor

    Margaret Toal, For the Record|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    Bridge City ISD's Dr. Mike Kelly has been named Texas Education Regional 5 Superintendent of the Year. The designation puts him as the Southeast Texas nominee for the state honor. The state has 20 Education Service Centers with Region 5 serving six counties with 34 school districts and two charter schools. Each region's honorees will qualify for a statewide honor. Bridge City's individual campus teachers of the year are Heather Ivey for the elementary school, Michelle Laperole...

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