PARTICIPATE IN YOUR CITY AND SCHOOL–VOTE

It’s come on some great weather and I say not a day too soon. It’s still plenty wet but I believe most folks will get to plant this week if the weather holds up.*****Very important days are coming up starting next Monday. Early voting in city and school board races began. A lot of voters seem not to pay attention but voting in local races is one of the most important votes you can cast. In local elections your vote is not lost in the mix like in state and national contest. You get to pick the people who run your city and schools. There are several races in all of the cities, Bridge City, West Orange, Pinehurst and Orange. Also there are some important school board races in all the districts. The election season has been awfully quite as far as I can see. Some of the candidates have put up signs, others have made personal or phone contact. and others use the internet in an effort to get the vote out. Be familiar with the candidates. Choose those you feel will best serve and don‘t fail to vote. It‘s really that important.**** I‘ve got to move on. Please come along, I promise it won‘t do you no harm..

GOP EMBRACES CARE ACT–TEXAS FALLS BEHIND

Eighty percent of Americans now favor the Affordable Care Act. For five years, over 50 votes in congress to repeal ObamaCare, even going as far as shutting down the government, the GOP is ready to end the battle. The law is still unpopular with GOP voters, however more than 20 million Americans depend on ObamaCare for health benefits. In face, some Republicans who once cheered legal challenge targeting insurance subsidies are now scrambling for a plan to preserve subsides if the Supreme Court rules them unconstitutional. Smart Republicans see the writing on the wall that ObamaCare is here to stay. Ted Cruz, the most outspoken against the health care program, who says he will repeal every word of it. That’s just political red meat. He or any president alone cannot repeal it. In the near future look for the majority of Republicans to embrace the health care plan. Meanwhile, here in Texas, the state stands to lose $4 billion a year in funding to care for the poor if the federal government doesn’t renew a Medicaid waiver that expires in September, 2016. The Federal officials may no longer want to fund uncompensated care for citizens who would be covered by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act which Texas lawmakers, for political reasons, have opposed. The state would receive up to $100 billion under the plan. It is crazy for Gov. Abbott and state lawmakers not to expand Medicaid. Besides offering health care at no cost to the state, it would save counties millions in indigent care. Texas hospitals will lose billions in federal funding if the uncompensated care expires. If the state signed onto the ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion many hospitals in small communities would be saved and six million citizens without insurance coverage would have health care at a low rate. It’s a win; win for the citizens and the state. If Texas lawmakers don’t grab the opportunity like many other republican states have, then they have put politics ahead of the citizens. They are turning their backs on a real need.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

The Press Club of Southeast Texas held its annual banquet and saluted local media for excellence and also named the “News Maker of the Year.” The Penny Record was honored with a first place trophy for “Most Outstanding.” Mark Dunn received a first place trophy in the sports photo category for his photo entitled “Gauthier Wins Texas Gold.” Michael Gauthier, the Bridge City speedster won the state gold metal in the 100 meter dash. Mark’s photo was of the photo finish where Gauthier edged out two other runners. Roy Dunn won an award for Down Life’s Highway column titled “We Buried Mom.” The media competition attracted more than 430 entries. The Penny Record was the only Orange County winner. Darryl Brinson is the Record editor. Lamar baseball coach Jim Gillian was named “Newsmaker of the Year.”*****Last week Orange County Economic Development Corp. named. Bobby Fillyaw executive director. Fillyaw, a native of Newton, has over the last six years been director of the McGregor Economic Development Corp. Prior to his time in McGregor he served as a field representative for the Texas Comptroller’s office.*****Ranked number five in Texas 3-A baseball, the Bridge City Cardinals have swept district 24-3A undefeated and are poised to began their march toward a state championship. Cardinal seniors Kirk Vincent, Jay Schrader, David Coulter, Benjamin “B.J.” Myers, Hunter Hays, Ryan Richard and Darrel Stevens all played their last game on Cardinal field. *****The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears claimed second place in 20-4A with a 10-0 victory over the Panthers. Some of the standouts for the Lady Bears were Sarah Hines, Joi Oldbury, Stephanie Zimmerman, Renee Gunter, Amber Bryan, Lindsay Dunn, Kate Berry, Jessica Wells, Kandie Lowery and Miram Richards. *****West Orange-Stark boys beat Orangefield 12-1. Earl Thomas hit a homer over right field in the third inning. Jeff Wheatley also hit a homer with one on in the seventh inning. *****Derrick Cloren, of LC-M, is a freshman pitcher for Northwestern State. He pitched a complete game to beat Lamar and former teammate Jeremy Gray 9-5. *****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: J.W. “Sonny“ Peters, 69, of Hartburg, died April 20. He is survived by wife Mildred and three children. ***F.D. “Buddy“ Ellis, 71, of Orange, died April 21. ***Nancy Cleo Carter, 81, of Orange, died April 11. She is survived by sons Charles and Frank Carter and their families. ***Jimmy Wood, Jr., 68, of West Orange, died April 22. He is survived by wife Wanda, four daughters and several grandchildren. ***Helen Frances Morgan, 65, of Orange, died April 22. She was a retired custodian for LC-M. She is survived by husband A.L. Morgan, several children and grandchildren. ***Bryan Keith Powell, 27, of Mauriceville, died Saturday, April 23. He was preceded in death by his brother Ricky Wilson. He is survived by his parents  J.E. and Vicky Powell and one son Bryce Powell. ***Vernell Cady Walters, 72, of West Orange, died April 24. She passed away on her birthday. She was born at Indian Bayou, April 24, 1933. She is survived by husband Robert and three children and several grandchildren. 

40 Years Ago-1975

Howard Cosell announced on his Wide World of Sports show, that Muhammad Ali had agreed to fight seventh ranked heavyweight Ron Lyle on May 16.*****Coming up as top pitchers are Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver,  Fergie Jenkins and Juan Marichal.*****Houston Kashmere has rolled up 78 straight basketball victories and two consecutive Class-4A State championships.*****Don Jacobs, song writer, guitar picker and vocalist, and his buddy TV man Earl Newlin were sitting around in Bud’s Bar wondering where they went wrong. Their old drinking buddy, Harold “Rodney” (a name preferred by Attorney Buddie Hahn) Beeson, was now a judge east of the Neches. Judge Beeson, of Rose City, was the equivalent of Judge Pharr in Daval County. By the way, Bud’s Bar is what the Long Branch is in Matt Dillon. *****Bill Clark, radio personality, is banquet speaker at Mauriceville/Deweyville banquet April 26. He will also MC a show at Motorama that will feature artist Willie Nelson, B.W. Stephenson, Johnny Bush and a group named “Denim.” Bill also will be on the Louisiana Hayride,May 31, Golden Triangle Night. Bus loads will travel from here to Shreveport for the show.*****Morrow’s Appliance celebrates 60th anniversary.*****The attractive dispatcher at the Sheriff’s Department is Beth Johnson.*****Artist Jo Amoedo will have some of her paintings for sale at the Tin Top Arena this weekend during big art show.*****Debbie MacCammond holds grand opening of her Comb and Brush Shoppe.*****New Stephens Buick dealership opens on IH-10.*****Seventy years ago, April 26, 1945, Anna Belle Rost and Roy Dunn made their First Communion. They were walking down the aisle partners in Abbeville’s big, old church on the hill. (Editor’s note: That’s 70 years ago. I understand “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.”)*****Bridge City Distributive Education Banquet held at Wayside Inn. Administrator Rusty Wilson says Debbie McCardle, employee of the Dunn family-owned Opportunity Valley News, is one of his top students. (Editors note: Since that first DE job, Debbie married David Fusilier, had three children and is now a grandmother.) *****Tommy Gunn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Gunn of West Orange, was the recipient of several awards at the Annual Law Day at Baylor Law School.*****The KOGT Canoe Racing Team, Audie Horn and Hank Slow, were first place winners in the canoe races at the Neches River Festival this past weekend.*****The successful Stark Girl’s Volleyball Team is made up of Becky Hare (All district), Ann Mumbach, Melissa Townsend, Geri Anderson (All District), Carrie Provost, Marty Price(All district), Yvonne Portele and Hildy Bulovas. Coach is Hattie Mae Wood and manager is Pam Benefield. *****Kirby Ridley celebrates a birthday. She wanted a guitar but broke her arm and is in a cast so she can’t strum it just yet.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Longtime school teacher Lenora George, 81, passed away April 20. Visitation will be Wednesday, April 23, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Funeral Service will be Thursday, 2 p.m. at Claybar. Please see obituary.*****Mother’s Day is right around the corner. If you are looking for a unique gift for mom, you should visit Sweet Creations, off Strickland, behind PK’s Grill. You will find gifts for any occasion. It’s one of Orange’s best kept secrets. Tell ‘um we sent you.*****Last Saturday, April 18, West Orange High Chiefs held an annual exes reunion and picnic at Mike Trahan‘s home. Despite rain 179 attended. The highlight of the day was West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald presenting a proclamation declaring April 18 as “Cornel Thompson Day“ in West Orange. Thompson was a member of the WOHS class of 1966. The large oaks at Mike‘s place were planted by his dad “Crip“ Trahan many years ago. *****For two years our buddy Jimmy Dillon enjoyed life with a transplanted kidney. He was doing better then he had done for years. While his wife, Renee, was on a well deserved cruise Jimmy checked himself into Methodist Hospital, in Houston, with the rejection of his transplanted kidney. Doctors, in hope that it wouldn’t reject fully, are giving him shots hoping to get 30 percent function. If not, it’s back on dialysis and back on the transplant list. Jimmy is one of the nicest guys we know. We can’t help but wonder, “Why Lord?” He could use your prayers. *****Good news on Judge David Peck. We spoke with him Saturday and he was upbeat, working hard on his therapy and walking with a four-prong stick. His goal is to be back in his office by June. Patsy celebrated her birthday last week and they marked their anniversary. Patsy, thanks to Dale and Debbie Etheridge, is able to stay at the Etheridge’s beach cabin at Crystal Beach, cross on the ferry each morning to stay with David. The Judge says he has a real testimony he looks forward to giving to others. He says he thanks the Lord and also everyone for their prayers. *****We were sorry to learn of the death of Jess Hay, 84, a 1948 graduate of Stark High. A native of Forney, Texas, he went on to many great accomplishments, way too many for the space I have. He was however Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas, valedictorian of his class at SMU in 1953 and in 1955 was Standard Bearer from his law school. Hay died in Dallas April 13.*****The Southeast Texas jobless rate is the lowest in years, down to 6.2 percent from 11 percent seven years ago. Texas is down to 4.2 percent and the U.S. is at 5.5 percent. The economy is strong. Plant expansion and new construction will bring thousands of construction jobs to our area in the next few months. Our region continues to bounce back from the nation’s deepest recession since the great depression. *****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days: On April 22, Amelia Hollier, Scott Fisher and Allison Randall all celebrate. They join Glen Campbell, 78, Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, 42, Marshawn Lynch, 28, actors Jack Nickolson, 77 and Charlotte Rae,88.*****On April 23, Jason Smalley, coach Josh’s big brother, celebrates, also Rev. Paul Zoch, Fred’s little brother, Samatha Briggs, Kathy Stephson, Brandon Fisher and Glen Prince. On this day also Lou and Cathy Garriga celebrate their 55th anniversary. Singer Roy Orbison was born on this day in 1933 in Vernon, TX. He died in 1988. Actor Lee Majors turns 75 and actor George Lopez, 53. *****April 24 finds Peggy Granger, Barbara Fuselier and Sean Edgerton celebrating. They join singers Kelly Clarkson, 32 and Barbara Streisand, 72 and actress Shirley MacLaine, 80. *****On April 25, Marriet Litton, Jeff Fisette, Bro. James Gilbert, Louise Savoy and Glenn Jeter. They are joined by actors Al Pacino, 74, Dancing With the Stars judge, Len Goodman who turns70. *****On April 26, Pam Broussard, Donna Lee, Christi Goodyear, and Julie Williams all celebrate. They join Carol Burnett, 81, singer Bobby Rydell, 72, actors Channing Tatum, 34 and Kevin James, 49.*****On April 27, Gus Harris, Mike Cain, Tim Batchelor and Chelsea Ballard all celebrate. They are joined by Duck Dynasty’s Si Robertson, 66 and Pawn Star Corey Harrison, 31. *****April 28, finds Peggy Dunbar, Joe LaMoine and Josh Blanchard celebrating. They join Jay Leno, 64, actress Ann Margaret, 73, Penelope Cruz, 40 and Jessica Alba, 33. Happy birthday to all. *****The 50th Academy of Country Music awards held in AT&T (Cowboy) Stadium in Arlington broke all attendance records. Attending from Bridge City were Ray and Elaine Hearn and Janice Overman, the parents and aunt of Teresa Hearn George, who was instrumental in bringing the show, usually held in Vegas, to Texas. The Bridge City folks report having a great time at all the festivities despite stormy weather. The big winner was Blake Shelton’s wife Miranda Lambert with eight nominations. She won “Album of the Year,” “Female Vocalist,” and twice for “Single of the Year” as a songwriter and performer. Luke Bryan was named “Entertainer of the Year.” Jason Aldean “Male Vocalist and Cole Swindell “New Artist.” Both Aldean and Swindell will appear at Ford Park soon. *****The Texas Gumbo Hut features some very special items. Over 50 on their menu. Stop in, you will be pleasantly surprised. Take the first turn off the bridge going into Bridge City.*****Next week the Supreme Court will hear arguments on gay marriage but Americans have already made up their minds. A poll shows by 51 percent to 35 percent it is no longer practical for the Court to ban same-sex marriage. There is probably no turning back. That issue is one of the biggest surprises of my lifetime. As a youngster I couldn’t have imagined it. Time moves on, nothing stays the same.*****Christy Koury’s daughter, Coree Guerra, received an “Excellent “ award Saturday for her piano sonatina. Christy gives much credit for Coree’s achievement of the piano to Ann Bryant, who was her private teacher. Christy says, “Ms. Bryant has a unique way of finding that spark of interest and igniting it with her students. She has also taught Coree the love of fast boogie and ragtime music.” Coree is also a member of Orangefield All-Star Little Dribblers. The team is now playing in the regional tournament hosted by Orangefield ISD. *****Leader in the Orange County healthy challenge is Becky Selvidge, Chief Deputy Treasurer. Keep up the good work Becky. *****Three generations of theScale’s family were spotted dining at Robert’s Steakhouse. All the James’ were seated in a row, Buster, Jimmy and James. Now that’s a sight. Three good guys.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s Restaurant this week and at PK’s Grill next week. Everyone always welcome.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Alex Comeaux him, stop in at Tee-Boy’s Bar and Grill and really tied one on. He got so drunk him, dat Tee-Boy said he couldn’t have no drinks no more and would have to leave. Comeaux him, staggered out, went bout a block and went into da old St. Mary Church. He sat himself down in da confessional, den he didn’t say nutten, him.

Father Boussard him, cough to get Comeaux’s attention but Comeaux still don’t say nutten.

Father Broussard den knock on da well tree times to get Comeaux to say something.

Comeaux him, is nearly asleep but he say to da Father, “Look, dere’s no use knockin you, dere’s no dam paper in this one neiter.”

C’EST TOUT

I was a little taken back when I read David Ball’s report on the West Orange City Council in The Record last week. First, let me say I’ve always been a supporter of our cities. Over the years, they, as a group, have been good leaders. Longtime Mayor Roy McDonald is one of our favorite people and I’ve said often he does a great job. However, I’m really disappointed about the action the Council has taken against landlords. It’s not fair and certainly not landlord friendly. The Council passed an ordinance that requires annual inspection of residential rental property. I wonder, inspect for what? Termites. Also a fee of $50 will be charged for the inspection. That’s not all; they require the landlord to pay a renter’s garbage bill if the renter doesn’t. Then a penalty is charged for the violations of the ordinance. It’s very unfair to local people who have a rent house or two. These people are not Houston landlords, they are local taxpayers. Being a landlord is not an easy run with taxes, insurance, tenants running off not paying the rent, property left needing repair, etc. That leaves the owners with very short profit and a lot of headaches. They don’t need the extra unfair burden. In fact, I’m not sure it’s legal. Maybe, to be fair, every home in West Orange should be under annual inspection. See what I mean, it’s just not reasonable. The city should do the right thing, revisit the ordinance and repeal it. It punishes a targeted segment of citizens. If not, the landlords being hassled should sell their rent houses owner financed, to people who can’t qualify for regular morgues, make eight percent interest and come out ahead. There are plenty of buyers. More importantly, Mayor McDonald and the Council should do the right thing and correct the ordinance that goes too far. I have no dog in that fight and don’t know any of the people with rent property. My only interest is doing the right thing and fairness. It can be corrected.*****Well, I’ve run my course. I thank you for your time. Please read us cover to cover, check us out on the web www.therecordlive.com. Take care and God bless.