The weather turned cool and brought a beautiful election day. The citizens responded with a big turn out. Many voters turned out for the caucus in all precincts. In most of the boxes we got a report on Sen. Clinton iwas winning by large numbers. Box 25 was 65 votes  for Clinton, Obama 3 votes. Box 23 went to Clinton by 90 percent etc. My idea is that the caucus system should be done away with.*****A surprise to most is how strong Huckabee ran in Orange County. I told you earlier, in this column, that would happen. Sen. Clinton ran better in Orange County than was expected with 65 percent of the vote.*****I’d better move on, come along, it won’t do you no harm.

County Commissioner James Stringer, Pct. 1, was challenged by druggist/businessman David Dubose. Stringer ran on his experience and the good job commissioners court is doing. He cited the many services and the financial condition of the county. David Dubose used radio, newspaper, internet and television calling for change. He didn’t use specifics. Stringer countered with ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ In a heavy turnout Stringer was defeated by a small percentage.*****John Dubose, Pct. 3 commissioner won handily over his opponent, former Bridge City mayor John Banken. Dubose won in the areas of Pct. 3, which included West Orange, Cove, Orangefield and Bridge City. Banken had based his campaign mostly on being a full-time commissioner. Dubose had countered that he is available 24-hours a day and puts in over 40 hours a week on county business. Dubose garnered 70 percent of the vote.

Constable Keith Merritt offered the voters a fresh start and sited Sheriff Mike White’s management of the office.  Merritt ran a strong county-wide race. former Sheriff Huel Fontenot ran third and garnered enough votes to cause a runoff between White and Merritt, who garnered 48.59 percent of the vote, White 40.13 and Fontenot 11.29. Merritt 7,860, White, 6,462 and Fontenot 1,822. A runoff election will be held April 18 in the only county wide race.
Runoffs will be held April 8 for constable candidates in Pct. 1, Pct. 2 and Pct. 3. The race for Pct. 4 pitted incumbent Weldon Peveto and Joey Jacobs. Peveto won outright.  A match up in Pct. 1 will pit Chris Humble against Sarah Jefferson Simon. Pct. 2 will have a showdown between Yank Peveto and Rob Strause. In Pct. 3 Mark Philpott  was declared winner.

We were sorry to her about the death of William ‘Bill’ Collins, 80, who passed away Feb. 27. Services were held Sunday, March 2. Bill was a great guy. Stories are told about his fishing expertise. To Jo Ann, his wife of 62 years, son Gary, daughter Linda, sister Louise, brother Don and his wife Sue, we send our deepest sympathies. Bill, who we had known for over 50 years, was a big fan of   our Penny Record. May  he rest in peace.*****Condolences also on the death of Gary Stelly’s grandmother Verna Mae Johnson, 92, who passed away March 3 in Port Arthur. Services were held Tuesday. Our deepest sympathies to Gary, his mom and the entire family.*****We also learned of the death of Mable Andress, 82, of Orange, who passed away Monday, March 3. Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 6 in the Chapel of Dorman Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

30 Years Ago-1978
Sheriff Chester Holt, in 1968, had an annual budget of $93,000.00, today, ten years later; Sheriff Ed Parker’s budget is $1,000,000.00, up $900.000. *****Billye Minter, first assistant district clerk and Nadine Slaughter, first assistant county clerk, were in College Station for a seminar. (Editor’s note: Can you imagine those two having a wild time in Aggieland?)*****County Judge Pete Runnels declares he will never wear his Orange County blazer to the Astrodome again. Spectators stopped him all night asking directions. Astrodome employees also were wearing orange jackets. ***** People celebrating birthdays: OVN editor Sheila Beeson celebrated on March 6. ***** Trubie Shelton also celebrated on the March 6 and husband, Judge Marlin Shelton, will have his big day on March 13. *****Pretty Vickie Curtis, a talented artist, will be celebrating her 29th next week. I believe on March 13. (Editor’s note: We haven’t heard from our friend in a long time. As far as we know Vickie Brown still lives in Lawrence, Kansas.)*****Uncle Jim McKay will turn 92 on March 10. (Editor’s note: Jim lived to be 101.)*****Amy and Whitney Oubre, parents of Phyllis Dunn, celebrated an anniversary on March 10. *****Lew Malcolm is leaving his post as executive vice-president of the Orange Chamber on July 1. *****C.W. Holt is pastor of the West Orange Assembly of God Church, 1301 Irving Street.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux was in Washington last week. He and Judge Pro-tem John Dubose have traveled extensively on behalf of Orange County and their efforts have paid off. As a body, our commissioners court is the very best court to serve us over the last 50 years. It may be the best in history when you consider all the additional services they have received for the county while still maintaining a sound financial reserve. Because of good businesslike management, Orange County fared better than all our neighbors after Hurricane Rita. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch met at Van Choate’s last week. Constable Dee Aven brought her soldier son, Cole Aven, a nice looking young man who is military proud. We are proud of him also. Democratic Chairman Mark Carter was accompanied by his lovely wife Rhonda. This week, The Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s, 12 noon. Everyone is welcome.*****We are making a trip to Orange Carpet. The sale we have been waiting on is now in progress. The bad part is having to move everything out of the office. It’s a bunch of work but the price is right.*****In 1836, on March 6, the Alamo fell. Travis and the brave Texans never knew that Texas had declared independence on March 2.****Belated happy birthday March 3 to our special friend Ray Smit. Happy birthday also to Carolyn Hillsten on March 6, Levisa Miller, March 8 and Ken Hillsten on March 10. Our girl Liz Weaver, in our advertisement department, celebrates March 9. Happy anniversary to Beth and Leonard Mathews and to David and Pie Bridges on March 11. Best wishes to all.*****We are getting a lot of compliments on the job writer Mike Louviere is doing for us. We thank you and Mike thanks you also.*****Effective March 9, the Houston Chronicle will discontinue newspaper distribution in Orange County. This includes subscribers, retailers and news racks. I hate to hear that because, for many years, the Chronicle has been our paper of choice and our first read of the day. It’s the only daily publication that covers national and world events with their own writers and doesn’t depend totally on AP coverage. For several years, daily newspapers have been declining in subscriptions and sales. All local dailies are down several thousand subscribers in the last few years. The Leader has lost half of its daily sales in the last eight years, the Port Arthur News and Beaumont Enterprise have lost up to 14,000 subscribers. The Record Newspaper has consistently increased circulation in our distribution area, more than the other papers combined.*****Coleman Peveto has been hanging out with Ray Cotton at the ‘Longhorn.’ Coleman is running the rodeo operation. Now folks, there’s a couple of aces that will do to ride the range with.*****One of the biggest problems that has always faced Orange County is drainage. We were glad to hear that Jimmy Scales is running for the Drainage District board. Jimmy is a good man, a native who is very familiar with drainage problems and would make a good director.*****The March issue of ‘Texas Monthly’ has an eight page feature story on 59 year old Mike Flynt. He returned to Alpine to be a member of the Sul Ross State Lobos. It’s a story movies are made of. Former Bridge City High principal Terry Stubbing is quoted in the story. He was a former teammate of Flynt. I’ve just scanned the story but plan on reading it. By the way, Kinky Friedman’s column has returned in ‘Texas Monthly.’*****The Chrysler dealership changes hands. Doctor Mark Messer sold Orange Chrysler Monday to Cecil Atkission, who owns several dealerships around Texas.

Ray Smith, Marzena Fusilier, Stephanie Mooneyham, Carah Davis, Al Davis, Amilia Stowers, Travis Reeves, Barron Nimitz, Carolyn Sheppard, Cathy Kimbrow, Lenzi Childress, Carolyn Hillsten, Don Bayliss, John Philps, Kristen Rucker, Genevieve Simon, Glyndon Childress, Jennifer Barclay, Mike White, Misty Thurman, Rick Trahan, Charles Day, Leisa Miller, Pat Pate, Ryan Buker, Liz Weaver, Angela Burris, Brittney Zenos, Don Grooms, Elaine Padgett, Claudia Gilson, Jordon Doiron, Ken Hillsten, Mary White, Wade Gillett, B.W. Parks, Bob Izer, Cindy Reynolds, Dottie Gunstream, George Baker and Kate Benoit.

Chubby Berard was pulling up his boat at da boat launch wen he see Judice coming up in his pirogue. Wen he got closer to da dock Berard see dat Judice him, got a box strapped to da middle of his chest. Chubby him, axe, “Tee Nonc, wat’s dat you got in dat box dat you got strapped to you chest, hanh?”
Judice him got out of his piroque and he tell Berard, “I got dynomite me.”
Chubby axe, “Nonc, you out of you mind you?”
Judice answer, “No, it’s like dis Chubby, do you know Oink Terreaux?”
“Mais yea, I know him me, I used to fish wit him,” Berard answer.
Judice say, “Well, every time I brought myself to town Oink him he slap me rat in da chest. He hit me so hard he nearly break my dam ribs, and me, I’m tired of dat. Da next time he do dat to me, I’m gonna blow his damn hand off.”

After months of being the media’s fair haired boy, it’s now out of the bag that Barack Obama doesn’t walk on water. His problems with lying to the American people about a meeting by his staff with the Canadians, assuring them that what he was saying publicly was not the way he would handle NAFTA. His friendship with longtime supporter Tony Resco, who went on trial this week is also in question. The Chicago racketeer laundered some money through a house sale to Obama. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.*****You have to admire Sen. Hillary Clinton the way she keeps fighting on despite constant bashing by the media. It’s a gender thing and giving the black guy a free ride. Hillary deserves to win and should stay in because we haven’t heard the last of what’s in Obama’s background She carried Orange County by 66 percent, lost Jefferson County and is leading in Texas, won in Ohio and Rhode Island.*****Take care. Thanks for voting. God Bless.