The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

UPDATE: Thibodeaux named Orange County's Judge


Last updated 3/27/2019 at Noon

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


Orange County Commissioner’s Court is leaning towards appointing former county judge Carl Thibodeaux to replace resigning judge Dean Crooks.

Thibodeaux, who recently had open heart surgery, says he feels better than he has felt in years and would be up to the task of filling in as county judge.

His retirement, insurance and his position as municipal judge of West Orange would not be affected.

Judge Thibodeaux says he would be willing to help the court for a certain amount of time.

I would assume Thibodeaux would stay long enough to prepare the next budget.

His appointment however would be open ended.

Commissioner John Gothia, of Pct.

3, is said to be interested in the judgeship.

If he is appointed at anytime he would have to resign as commissioner then someone could be appointed to fill that vacancy.

Thibodeaux, who would be leaving could make the appointment.

Some people believe the spot could be filled with just three votes from the Commissioner’s Court. Gothia would be required, just like any other candidate, to file to run in the 2020 election.

First in a Primary Party race and if there isn’t a runoff, then the winner would run in the General Election.

The same would be true in the Pct.

3 Commissioner race.Both seats would be filled for only two years.

Judge Thibodeaux is the best choice to serve as an interim county judge.

He has the experience of 20 years service where every year he worked with new commissioner’s because of changes on the court. He also has been responsible for 20 county budgets through some very difficult times.

Judge Thibodeaux has seen his budget totally depleted due to devastating storms that wiped out the reserves.

He managed the county through those difficult times.

Appointing Thibodeaux county judge at this time is a smart move.


We were sorry to hear about the death of John H. Smith, 85, of Bridge City, who passed away March 20. Funeral services were held Sunday, March 24. Born in Panola County, everyone who knew this East Texas boy had nothing but kind words for him. We have known his sons, Jerry, Jerald, Jeff and Jimmy and their families for several years. Please see obituaries. May this good man rest in peace. *****We were sorry to also learn about the death of Ronald Grady Smith, age 72, who passed away March 20. To his wife Suzanne and her family we extend our sincere condolences. Please see obituary.


We’re sorry to inform you that the odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 292,201,338.00, and nobody beat them this time around.

The Powerball numbers announced during Saturday night’s drawing were 24, 25, 52, 60, 66, and 05.

With no winning grandprize ticket, the pot for the multistate lottery is now at $750 million, swollen with the hopes and dreams of millions who purchase tickets for the biweekly drawings.

The jackpot is the fourth largest in U.S. history and the biggest Powerball total so far this year.

While a player must match all winning numbers to win the grand prize, some Saturday drawing winners matched enough to earn a mere $2 million or $1 million dollar prize.

Last year, a secretive Mega Millions player won a jackpot worth $1.5 billion.

The person received a one time payout of $878 million, the largest ever awarded to a single lottery player.

The lottery overlords know that these giant jackpots lure ticket buyers and have tweaked their games in recent years to lower the odds and help the grand prizes climb to tantalizing heights.

Hoping to be the next lucky exception, scores will purchase tickets for the next Powerball drawing on March 27.


10 Years Ago-2009

We were sorry to hear about the death of Watson Harrison Collins, 100 years of age.

On May 12, he would have been 101.

I recall many years ago when he and wife Ida Mae and the family lived at the cross road in Rye.

In the mid-1990s, the couple moved to Bridge City.

Ida Mae passed away some time back.

They were the parents of Ellen Nickum and her siblings, Kenneth, Betty, Harold and Carolyn.

Mr. Collins died March 27.

Services were Monday.

He was a good man and a servant of God.

May he rest in peace.

*****Our sympathy goes out also to the family of J.R. Aaron, 73, who passed away March 25 after a long battle with cancer.

J.R., a Stark High grad, was a lifelong resident of Orange County and a DuPont retiree.

He was a volunteer deputy constable for Pct.

2 and a reserve with the sheriff department program.

Our condolences to wife Evelyn and her family on the death of this courageous man.***** After being named Citizen of the Year by the Bridge City Chamber, Mayor Kirk Roccaforte was honored again by being named the Orange Leader’s Citizen of the Year.

Roccaforte, along with Judge Carl Thibodeaux and Bridge City Superintendant Jamey Harrison, all of Orange County, are nominees, as a team, for the Press Club Newsmaker of the Year.

Other nominees are Anne Huff, Joe Worley, David Deslatte, Judge Bob Wortham and photographer Keith Carter.

Huff is the first woman fire chief of Beaumont.

She is only one of 36 female fire chiefs in the United States.

Pastor Worley and Deslatte are members of the Groves First Baptist Church that came up with the idea of “Mid-County Kindness,” benefiting Bridge City residents.

The Press Club scholarship banquet will be June 5.

*****Quality Road, a young colt on the path to the Derby. Last Saturday, the colt set a track record in the Florida Derby. Owner-breeder Edward Evans turned down $2.5 million for Quality Road.

The pony is ridden by jockey John Velazques.

Look for this horse to be a favorite in the next Kentucky Derby. *****A big hit on tobacco taxes from 39 cents a pack to $1.01 a pack on cigarettes.

Nearly $6 a pack for national brands.

If you smoke three packs a day, you could make a Cadillac note a month, around $6,500 a year.

Roll up 10 $1 bills and smoke them every day instead of cigarettes and save $8 a day.


Obituaries 10 Years Ago-2009

Elizabeth Pride, 100, of West Orange, died Wednesday, March 25.

A memorial service will take place at a later date.

She received her bachelor of arts degree from UCLA in 1929.

She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Orange, the Sail and Power Squadron and the AAUW.*****Mitchell Beaumon “Mickey” Webster Sr., 65, of West Orange, died Tuesday, March 24.

A memorial service is set for April 25.

He graduated from West Orange High School, attended Sam Houston Institute of Technology and Lamar University.

He served in the Marine Corps for 26 years.

He did several tours in Vietnam, He was a corpsman’s assistant, served in the paratroopers, led the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team and served on ambassadorial duty in Spain.

He is survived by his wife, Roberta, son Mitchell, grandson, Brenden and granddaughter, Amanda Webster.***** Jerry Felix Curl, 72, of Orange, died Thursday, March 26.

Funeral services were March 30.

He was a veteran of the Army, and a member of the Orange Boating Club.

He was a retiree from DuPont and the former owner of Curl’s Liquor Store in Bridge City.

He is survived by his daughter, Sherry Majors and son, Jeffrey Curl and four grandchildren.

40 Years Ago-1979

Bridge City High School has named David Dutschmann valedictorian.

Ted Spurlock is salutatorian and Carlette Bevil highest-ranking girl.

(Editor’s note: I always wonder what becomes of extra bright students and what they do with their lives.

I don’t know that I’ve heard anything about the above-mentioned students in the past 40 years.)*****The home of Mr. and Mrs. Curney Lormand burns down in Bridge City.*****Little Angela Lapeyrolerie celebrated her second birthday a few days ago, on March 25.*****The fundraiser basketball game between the Houston Oilers and Bridge City coaches on April 15 will feature BC coaches Al Barbre, Randy Arnaud, Charles Miller and Terry Stuebing. Others taking part are *****Mauriceville Junior High Tom Wolley, Barry Thibodeaux, Bruce Taylor, Sid Bratton and Randy Goodsey.Panthers are district champions.

Team members are Wayne Fredrick, Grey Perry, Danny Pearcy, George Shannon, Adam Vincent, Quain Benoit, Kenny Russell, Keith Burton, James Rash, Robert Hindt, Roger Gaudet, Blake Barillieaux and Billy Dunn. Coach of the team is E.R. Procelle. *****Bridge City’s “Mock Beauty Pageant” held to pick “Miss Community Center” was won by Miss LaDonna, (Donald Breaux).

Tootsie, (Don Cole), was crowned First Place Overall, Fanny Bar, (Tim Lieby), won first in evening gown.

Not winning anything were Little Miss Egypt, (Troy Broussard), Miss Latina La Muach, (Terry Bourdier), Miss Geraldine, (Curtis Lee), Miss Charming Charmane, (Charlie Johnson) and Miss Trixie Delight, (Steve Baker).

Judges were C.R. Nash, Don Burgess, Sharon Gregory, Dot Eshbach, Bill Van, Winnie Sanders and Troy Woodall.

“The Ugliest Man in the World,” according to the National Enquirer, Gene Goza, presented the awards and sang the theme song, “Miss Community Center.”

45 Years Ago-1974

Happy birthday to Laverne Ridley, born under the sign of Aries (the Devil’s children.) (Editor’s note: Laverne passed away several years ago.

Her husband Hal passed away some years ago also.) *****Betty Harmon and a whole mess of kids are heading to West Texas for the Easter holidays.

They are traveling in the Harmon Co. house on wheels.

*****Buzzy Gunn has lost 20 pounds, but when Dayle asked him what he was doing with his hand in the cookie jar he answered, “Just fighting temptation.” (Editor’s note: We lost Buzzy a few years ago.)*****J.K. proclaims that Roy Dunn and Doug Harrington are comedians.

*****Sue Collins had surgery this week.

*****Inez Hearn is the new manager of Montgomery Ward in Orange.*****Brides of the week: Marilyn Wallace will become the bride of Gary Richard on March 31; Debbie Hawk is bride elect of Duane Johnson, wedding will be April 4; Karen Boehme, bride-elect of Marion Kent Crow, wedding April 6; Janice Steed will wed Martin Thomen, April 6*****The Orangefield High School band was awarded the UIL special award for superior performance in concert and sight reading.

John Fling, band director, said this is the first time in the history of the Orangefield School that a group earned a superior rating at any UIL marching concert or sight-reading contest.*****First Assistant County Attorney Don R. Burgess will resign from the Jim Sharon Bearden District Attorney staff effective March 31.

Burgess plans to go into private practice.

A member of Bearden’s staff since January, 1972, Burgess, 27, a graduate of the University of Texas grad and University of Houston Law School, will open his law office at 110 W. Seventh St.*****Larry Bergeron is store manager at McLaury’s Appliance, 1800 Strickland in Orange.

*****Gil’s Shoes is now open at 310 Fifth St. Men’s and ladies shoes only $15.

*****Pay Less Shoes, 1411 Green Ave., offers ladies sandals only $3.99.

*****Jim Austin Motors, 2600 I-H 10, sells your choice of a new 4-door Dodge Dart or Dart Swinger for $2,988.


It’s hard to believe 20 years have gone by already since Coach Les Johnson resigned as athletic director and head football coach at Bridge City.

At the time he was the fifth active most winning coach in Texas.

Some of his 1999 seniors, who were awarded football scholarships, are Dustin Denham, Jared Williams, Dathan Juneau, Jeremy Stoffa, Daniel Kibodeaux, Eric Bramblett, Raun Bryant, Bryan Wiggins, Brad Miller, Jeremy Buckley and Charlie Higginbotham.

The previous year Bryan Bock and a half-dozen others got scholarships.

In Johnson’s four years, 26 scholarships were awarded to his players.

His departure was based on local politics.

He and wife Wanda live in Bastrop.

His coordinators were Rick Colson and Darrell Brock.

Johnson coached the “Wing T” offense and did it successfully.

Bridge City was in 4-A then.

Johnson, in his four years tripled student participation in all sports.

*****Bridge City Bank will celebrate its 60th birthday with a community-wide celebration on Friday, April 5, 5 p.m.

to 9 p.m. Everyone is invited.

There will be live music, food and fun for all.

I was one of the first people to open an account 60 years ago when the bank opened.

I recall when Carroll Kemp, Wendy, Mel and Sha’s dad, was bank president.

Bridge City Bank, over the years, has helped many businesses get started.

Walter Gaston depended on Bridge City Bank to launch The Penny Record,Roy Dunn started The Opportunity Valley News with money borrowed from Fred Gregory at Bridge City State Bank in 1970.

Many others in the community can thank the bank for helping them in their business ventures.*****I haven’t heard anything officially but I hear through the grapevine that at least two other candidates besides Rex Peveto are interested in running for Judge Powell’s District Court seat next year.

They are Krispen Walker, who is an assistant district attorney, Michael Catt is also expected to throw his hat in the ring.***** Last week the good news in our newspaper was that District Attorney John Kimbrough announced that he will be running for re-election.

Sheriff Keith Merritt is saying he will retire.

It would be good to still have an old, cool head in the DA’s office.

Now is no time to make changes there.*****Experts say recent rain across much of Texas has contributed to a spectacular 2019 wild flower season.

Now is the time to ride through Texas.*****A few folks that I noticed who are having birthdays this week.

Art Mason and Selena Emerson, Bo Berry along with Ruth Platt will celebrate March 27.*****Garrett Clay Gros, Karen’s oldest of her three boys celebrates March 28.*****Dean’s big brother Al Granger has another birthday March 29.

It sure seems to have come around in a hurry, it seems his last birthday was only a couple of months ago.*****Ella’s other half Terry Stuebing turns another page on March 30.

Also celebrating on that day is one of Mark Dunn’s four grandsons, Chase Ballou, who will turn 1-year-old.

He’s Mark’s daughter Jenna’s youngest of four.*****It’s hard to believe that Christy Koury’s little angel is already 15-years-old.

We have watched Coree Guerra grow up from a 3-year-old.

“Hot Shot” celebrates March 31.*****Angie Sellers and Pam Savoy both celebrate on “AprilFool’s Day.”*****The lady with the green thumb, Ms.

Arline Dodge, celebrates April 2.

We wish her and all the other birthday folks a very Happy Birthday.*****Quincy has had many friends in his life but non better than loyal friend “Dixie.” Dixie died recently.

Dixie was known for going everywhere Quincy went.

The “Shop Dog” was a true friend and companion.

*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will not gather this week and arrangements are being made to dine next week at the new Reel Cajun Seafood Restaurant and Bar at the Sunset Grove Country Club.


Special folks celebrating birthdays in the next few days. March 27: Art Mason, Selena Emerson, Nancy Crew, Ruth Platt, Bo Berry and Dale Forse celebrate today.

They are joined by Pop singers Mariah Carey, who turns 48 and Fergie, 43 and director Quentin Taratino, 55.*****March 28: Celebrating today are Misty Orta, Dorothy Keith and Jason James.

Joining them are Pop singer Lady Gaga, 32, Country singer Reba McEntire, 63 and actor Vince Vaughn.*****March 29: Kaydee Wingate, Julie Norwood and Julie Walker celebrate along with actors Scott Wilson, 76, Lucy Lawless, 50 and Brendan Gleeson, 63.*****March 30: Patsy Lynch, Karen Bergeron and Chase Ballou all celebrate today.

Joining them are singers Celine Dion, 50, Thomas Rhett, 28, guitarist Eric Clapton, 73.*****March 31: Celebrating today are Dana Myers, Danny Carter, Rebecca Hunter and Carolyn Whittaker.

Joining them are former VP Al Gore, 70, actor Christopher Walken, 75 and actor Rhea Perlman, 70.*****April 1: Pam Savoy and Angie Sellers celebrate today.

Celebrities joining them are Pop singer Susan Boyle, 52, wrestler Randy Orton, 38 and Country singer Hillary Scott, 31.*****April 2: Dalica Marie Bienivides, Jason Vincent, Kellie Fontenot, Michael McAllister, Sawyer Hogan and Norma Free all have birthdays today.

Also celebrating are Radio host Bobby Bones, 38, actors Cara Santana, 34and Adam Rodriguez, 43.


A letter from Cusin Sostan

Dear Simple,

I hope everyting is OK in Texas.

Not much going on here is Sou’h Looseanna. Honey Bee’s blond sister, Nadine, pushed her new BMW into Dartez’s gas station. She told Dartez dat her car, it died. After he work on it for a few minute it was runing smoot’ly. “Jus a little crap in it,” said Dartez. Nadine axe him, “How often do I have to do dat?”

Da utta day da police stopped da blond Nadine and he axe her, very nice, if he could see her license, him. Nadine in a huff said, “I wish you darn people would get you act together. Just last week you take away my license and now you expect me to show it to you.”

Sugar Bee is ashame to tell people Nadine is her sister. She bought two dogs her and named dem Rolex and Timex. Me, I said. “Nadine, dats stupid, whoever heard of some one naming dogs like dat. Why you do dat, hanh?” Nadine say, “Because dem, dey watchdogs.”

I ran into our cusin Ned Breaux at da Wal-Mart at da jewelry section. I noticed dat he had a small gift-wrapped box in his hand. I axe, “Wat you got dere Cuz?” He answer, “It was time for me to buy my Clotile’s birthday present and dis morning I axe her wat she want me to get her.” “Anyting, as long as it got a lot of diamonds in it,” she tole me. So wat you done got her Cuz,” I axe. Cuzin Ned him, he grin like a possum and reply, “Me, I got her a deck of cards.”

Well, I got to go get Nadine out of jail her. Tell Kee-Kee, LuLu and old man Cox hello. Also, if you see Joseph Savignano, tell him and his bride “Hi.”

Your Cuz Sostan.


Inside the County and Penny Record you will find an insert for First Financial Bank, now open in its new home. I easily remember when back in 1959 when they opened as Orange Savings and Loan. We invite you to look their insert over and check the rates. I was surprised to learn that they finance Barndominiums. These are metal buildings with inside living quarters. Make time to visit the new bank building at 16th and Park Ave. in Orange.*****Please shop with out family of advertisers; they keep us coming your way free of charge. Gotta go now, take care and God bless.


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