OUR APOLOGIES

Unfortunately, in this column last week, we mistakenly reported that Dr. Albert Pugh, a longtime Bridge City Veterinarian had passed away. We regret this mistake and apologize to his family and friends. I did not write the information in this column. I had long been asleep when the staff received the information. I understand how the error came about and had I received the information I probably would have printed it. A few hours earlier the staff had learned that Dr. Pugh had a massive stroke at the hospital and was unresponsive. When they received a message that he had died it was easy enough to believe. Since Albert and I had been friends since he arrived in Bridge City, the staff decided I would want to acknowledge this good man’s death as it would be a full week before our next paper came out. Dr. Pugh had taken care of our family animals from our Ridgebacks to our cats. Over the years we had published several stories on Dr. Pugh and his animal hospital.  He had been such an important part of our community that under normal conditions we would have written a feature story on his life. It was in the middle of the night, right at our print deadline, and the staff had no idea who they could possibly reach to verify the report. In my 50 years around this business that’s the very first time something like this has happened. We’ve made our share of mistakes but never reported someone had died that hadn’t. We pride ourselves in this column for being accurate. Dr. Elizabeth Skinner has been the resident veterinarian for quite sometime and the animal patients have been receiving the same good, professional care they did when Dr. Pugh was able to work. Skinner has been at the clinic since 2012. A new vet, Dr. Taylor Pitts, was hired last week to help Dr. Skinner. We are disappointed that Channel 12 News took this opportunity to make us the lead story in the 10 o’clock news program and again Tuesday morning. What the young student reporter failed to report is that Dr. Pugh was unresponsive. Channel 12 made us the villains when our only interest was to show our respect for this good man. I believe Channel 12 News owes us an apology but that’s not  necessary, our heart was in the right place. It was just an unfortunate mistake of the worse kind.

CONDOLENCES

In a statement issued via Facebook by the Bridge City Animal Hospital, it was announced that Dr. Albert Pugh passed away peacefully at his home Tuesday morning. The office will be closed Friday to lay him to rest. Funeral arrangements are as follows: Faith United Methodist Church, Friday, May 19, 2017. Visitation 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by a service from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. May he rest in peace.

Why Trump Can’t be Trusted

Trump’s creditability gap gets bigger with each passing day. Even when confronted with the evidence, the President doesn’t acknowledge the need to correct a falsehood. A few examples of outright lies, “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.” Photographs show much smaller crowd that Obama’s in 2009. “Three million illegal ballots were cast and cost him the popular vote.” Fact, no evidence of widespread voter fraud was found. Trump tweeted, “Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” at “Trump Tower.” The FBI and Intelligence agencies report says, “It didn’t happen.” When presidents lose the trust of the American people it’s hard to govern. A Quinnipiac Poll before the firing of FBI Director Comey showed 61 percent to 33 percent found that Trump is not honest. That’s a 28 percentage point gap. Sunday’s poll by Gallup-NBC and Wall Street Journal show that Trump’s approval rating is 38 percent. That is a historic low for a modern president this early in his presidency. That’s where his numbers have been through the first 100 days in office. His approval rating is in a spiral downward spin. Now a report says Trump blurted out classified info on ISIS to the Russians. Lawmakers called the disclosure “inexcusable and deeply disturbing.” The classified intelligence is so sensitive it had been withheld from allies. Trump provided the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador details of an Islamic State threat related to using laptop computers in aircraft. He allegedly revealed a city in the Islamic State’s territory where a U.S. partner detected the threat. According to the report, President Trump boasted of his knowledge of the looming threat. That was his sick ego speaking, “I get great Intel,” Trump said. “I have people brief me on great Intel everyday,” he said, trying to impress the Russians of his knowledge. The Democratic National Committee’s statement said, “Russia no longer has to spy on us to get information, they just ask President Trump and he spills the beans.” Revealing classified information at this level is extremely dangerous and puts at risk the lives of Americans and those who gather intelligence for our country. That’s what Trump more or less said a hundred times about Hillary and her emails during the campaign. He said, “No one should be president who would leak classified information.” I’ll buy that. I said from the very beginning that Trump didn’t have the temperament and wasn’t fit to be president. Stay tuned, it gets worse. The question still remains, are Trump and Putin joined at the hip?

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2007

Orange Chamber presents ‘Business Person of the Year’ to Loretta and Jerry Hughes. They opened the doors to Jerry Hughes Realty in August 1977. They will celebrate 30 years in business. (Editor’s note: Just short of 40 years selling Orange County the Hughes recently sold out to a Beaumont based company. Best of luck in retirement.)*****Hotel-Motel Tax Bill to benefit Orange County if Gov. Perry signs the Senate bill. It’s estimated the tax could generate $175,000. The tax is to promote tourism and to encourage travelers to visit the area and communities in Orange County. The money cannot be used for other purposes. (Editor’s note: The Bill did become law 10 years ago.)*****Bridge City coach Billy Bryant’s Cardinals defeated Needville Blue Jays 5-3 in game three of the Region III quarterfinal playoff series. The Cards face top ranked Carthage in Region III semifinals. The victory was number 118 for Bryant, the four year head coach, and it was also the Cardinals fourth playoff appearance. The BCISD welcomed two new members as Jerry McInnis and Thad Hill took their seats. Rebecca Rutledge ran unopposed. Hill beat Wesley Dishon, McInnis defeated incumbent Mary Bryant. (Editor’s note: That was 10 years ago and the best I recall that election started the downfall of Coach Billy Bryant at Bridge City.)*****Heather Briggs and Jordan Lemoine were named ‘King and Queen at Bridge City High School prom.*****Nearly 300 guest and dignitaries celebrated the 60th anniversary of Paul Cormier Well Service. The company’s new $1.3 million rig was also unveiled. The rig was named ‘The Boss’ in honor of company founder Paul Cormier. His son Bobby manages the company with the help of Paul’s nephew David Fusilier, operations manager. (Editor’s note: ‘Mr. Paul’ passed away a few years ago but the company is still in operation.*****Constable Parker ‘P.T.’ Thompson fights for his life. He’s a perpetual optimist however his weight is down to 110 pounds. He has resisted the removal of his leg that is in nearly unbearable pain. His chances are not very good. (Editor’s note: What a great guy he was. We lost ‘P.T.’ not long afterward this column was published.)*****Gone but not forgotten: Donald W. Kourtney, Sr., 41, died Sunday, May 13. A longtime resident of Vidor, he attended school in Vidor, and was an officer with the Orange County Sheriff Department. Funeral services were Thursday, May 17. He is survived by his son Donald Wayne (DJ) Kourtney, Jr. and his mother Vena Teal Kourtney, step-son Adam Wes Hughes, father James Kourtney, mother Charlotte Davis and step-father Tootsie, sisters Shelly Byrd and Edith Baumgardner, grandmother Louise Bradley, step-brothers Raymond Davis, Jessie Davis, and Ricky Davis, and step-sister Sherry Speight.*****James “Jim” Martin, Jr., 50, of Bridge City, died, Tuesday, May 15. Funeral service was held Saturday, May 19. Jim was employed by Collision Clinic in Bridge City as an Auto Body Mechanic. He served in the U.S. Army.  He is survived by his wife, Pat Isaacs Martin, mother Montez Sohoski, father, James Aruther Martin, Sr., mother in law, Marjorie A. Sanford, daughters, Jessica Martin Thomas, Cheri Hazi Powell and Felicia Gabriella Martin, granddaughter, Adisyn Jae Powell and siblings.*****Jack Robert Gisclar, 79, died Monday, May 14. Funeral service were Thursday, May 17. He graduated from Orange High School, served in the U.S. Navy and later served in the Navy Reserves. He was a longtime resident of Bridge City and he retired from Dupont, was a lifetime member of VFW Post 2775, a lifetime member of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, a charter founder of Bridge City Volunteer Fire Department, Scout Master for Bridge City Troop 33 and past Exalted Ruler of the Port Arthur Elks Lodge. Mr. Gisclar was preceded in death by his son, Kenner Gisclar. He is survived by his wife Flora Glynn (Durham) Gisclar, children, Jackie, Curney, Dariah and Mark, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.*****Shelbi Henk, 24, of Bridge City, died Wednesday, May 16. Funeral service was held May 19. She was employed by O’Riley Auto Parts where she worked as an assistant Manager. Shelbi is survived by her parents, Jeffery Henk and Candi Bernius, grandparents, Lyle Eugene and Dottie June Henk and Lucy Bernius, daughter Kaytlin Cancino, brothers and sisters, Whittney Henk, Jason Vincent, Dotti Jane Henk, Brandon Lyle Henk, Jeracole Jorde Henk, A.J. Vincent, Jessica Wilkinson and Rachell Lynn Daniels.*****Rachel Meshealle White, 28, of Orange, died Thursday, May 17. Rachel was a homemaker and loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. She is survived by her husband, Jerry White, parents, Russell and Loretta Victor; son, Jhonathon White, and daughter, Mackenzie White, stepson and step daughter Josh and Dusty White and siblings, nieces and nephews.

40 YEARS AGO-1977

A lifetime Bridge City resident Lawrence Helton will manage both the  Bridge City Funeral Home and Noguess Mortuary in Orange. Lawrence and his wife, the former Marie Davenport, are both 1964 graduates of Bridge City High School.*****Kim Daniels, after a Bridge City senior trip to AstroWorld, was rear-ended and her car totaled. It happened to be Friday 13 and Kim was driving a new Sunbird that was a graduation gift from her parents who were just thankful that she was okay.*****A new 1977 Buick Regal at Stephens Buick will set you back $5,694 cash price or $150 down, $154 per month.*****A Frigidire heavy duty washer and matching large capacity dryer will set you back $553 for the pair.*****Quarterback Joe Namath leaves the hapless New York Jets to join the LA Rams.*****While playing a foursome with Bert Hauver, Joe Kazmar and Jack Couvillion, Dub Nobles hit a ball which disappeared in a bush. It was found wedged between two branches at top of the bush. Nobles was penalized a stroke to get the ball from it’s perch.*****Coach Joe Hester opens Star Trac, on 37th and Martin in Pinehurst. The convenience store and Laundromat are the area’s most modern, up-to-date. Also on several acres of land is a new modern mobile home park.*****Neil Jenkins, former Bridge City football star, to wed Terri Henderson on Sunday, May 29.*****Joe Kazmar leaves for a trip to London, England .*****The noted Cajun artist George Rodrigue, has been commissioned to sculpt and eight-foot bronze statue of Evangeline. The $100,000 statue will be erected at the park in St. Martinville, Louisiana .*****Calvin Stakes, Jr. wins crawfish eating contest. The wiry guy consumed 12 pounds, 4 ounces of crawfish tails in 30 minutes. The Opportunity Valley News was presented the winning team trophy at the Houston Cajun Festival at the Astrodome.***** Ken and Judy spotted in Houston hand-in-hand. The Wyatts were celebrating an anniversary.*****Bridge City High names three Valedictorians, Cindy Adams, Craig Fisette and Kevin Haynes. Salutatorian is Donna Becker.

A FEW HAPPENIGNS

Melvin McGuire and John Roy Fredrick stopped by Monday. I was escaping at the time. John Roy bought an ad letting the people know he has a new front end aliment machine and service. I believe Melvin was riding shotgun as John Roy’s body guard. By the way, he tells me Nova Dee fell and I should check on her. I said I would as soon as I had a couple hours to spare.*****Next season the Voice will have a new judge replacing Alicia Keys. Jennifer Hudson, who rose to fame in season three of American Idol will be the new judge.**********FOX News, according to an AP report, paid out $45 million in settlements related to sexual harassment allegations against CEO Roger Alles. Last month FOX paid $10 million to settle Bill O’Reilly’s case. *****The number one country song last week, according to USA Playlist, is ‘Body Like a Back Road’ by Sam Hunt.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. May 17: Pretty Angela Breaux, Don’s better half, celebrates today as does Pam Hudson, Nickie Wall, Barry Hunt and Assistant Pastor at Bridge City Fellowship Church, Newly Hunt. Celebrities celebrating today are dancer Derek Hough, 60, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, 60, TV host Craig Ferguson, 54 and basketball player Tony Parker, 34.*****May 18: Our buddy Wilson’s better half, V.J. Roberts, celebrates a birthday today also Ron Hutchison, Kim Hanks, and Shelly Dugan. A couple of our late friends Frank Fincham and Jimmy Tuppen celebrated on this date. Joining them are actress Tina Fey, 46 and country singer George Strait, 64.*****May 19: Our longtime friend Hubert ‘Sprad’ Spradling has a birthday today. He’s outlived many friends. Also celebrating are Jerry’s wife, Cheryl Stone, Flo’s little brother, Leon Carter, Harry Dodge and Mark Watts. Today also marks 62 years of married bliss for Les and Wanda Johnson. Congrats. They are joined by singers Sam Smith, 24 and Grace Jones, 68, and guitarist Pete Townsend, 71.*****May 20: A special birthday wish to Ms. Phyl’s youngest Karen Dunn Gros who celebrates today. Also having a birthday on this day are David Jones, Patty Dupuis and Kathy Anders. Joining them are singer Cher, 70, race car driver Tony Stewart, 45 and TV host Ted Allen, 51.***** May 21: Mark’s better half, pretty Babette Philpott celebrates another birthday today as does Lamar EMT instructor Ricky Land, James Braus, Hannah Dupuis and a special lady June Gregory. Happy anniversary also to Penny and Gerald LeLeux.  Celebrating also are actors Mr. T., 64 and Kevin Quinn, 19, also diver Tom Daley, 22.*****May 22: Margaret Toal inches a year closer to that magic number when SS kicks in. Also celebrating is Jackie Lollar, at the Orange County tax office. Happy birthday also to Gary Hollingsworth and Will Schisler. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are wrestler Daniel Bryan, 35, tennis player Novak Djokovic, 29 and model Naomi Campbell, 46.*****May 23: Happy birthday to Amanda Uzzle, Billy Raymer, Justin Trahan and Shawn Bloomer. Joining them are singer Jewel, 42 and TV host Drew Carey, 58. Also on this day in 1934, Bonnie and Clyde met their Maker. *****According to USA Today a bipartisan group of 179 former federal prosecutors is calling on the Justice Department to appoint an independent counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.*****Kentucky Derby winner “Always Dreaming’ is the likely favorite for Saturday’s 142nd Preakness Stakes. This is the next step to the Triple Crown. Jockey John Velazquez will again be the rider. The race will feature only nine or 10 horses in the shortest of the Triple Crown races at 1 3/16 miles.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch had a nice group at Novrozsky’s last week. Commissioners Johnny Trahan and Barry Burton showed up. Great to see them. This week, the group dines at Robert’s and next week at JB’s Barbeque. Everyone always welcome.*****The New York Yankees have now retired 21 uniform numbers of outstanding players. #1 Billy Martin, 1986; #2 Derek Jeter, 2017; #3 Babe Ruth, 1948; #4 Lou Gehrig, 1939; #5 Joe DiMaggio, 1952; #6 Joe Torre, 2014; #7 Mickey Mantle, 1969; #8 Bill Dickey and Yogi Berro, 1973; #9 Roger Maris, 1989; #10 Phil Rizzuto, 1985; #15 Thurman Munson, 1979; #16 Whitey Ford, 1974; #20 Jorge Pasada, 2015; #23 Dan Mattingly, 1997; #32 Elston Howard, 1984; #37 Casey Stengel, 1970; #42 Mariano Rivera, 2013; #44 Reggie Jackson, 1993; #46 Andy Pettitte, 2015; #49 Ron Guidry, 2003; #51 Bernie Williams, 2015.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

One of dem Yankees from Ohio drove down to Sout’ Louisiana to spent a mont’ bird-watching. He went to all da swamp areas by day with his benogulas. One day, while deep in da marsh area, near Intercoastal City, way back in da country his car, it quit on him. Dat Yankee try and try to start dat car but it won’t go. So dat Yankee him, he start walking. He walk and he walk for miles. Finally, he came up on a house. He was so tirsty and hungry he was ready to pass out. Agnes Boudreaux, da lady of da house, invited dat Yankee in and served him a bowl of home made Logger Head turtle soup. Dere is a small pig wat ruu around da kitchen. And came up to da Yankee and give him a lot of attention. Da man commented to Miss Agnes dat he had never seen such a friendly pig. Miss Agnes replied, “Oh, dat pig him, he’s not dat friendly Mr., dat’s his bowl you’re using.

C’EST TOUT

Three arrests have been made in the kidnapping of attorney Jim Sharon Bearden Jr. On the morning of May 8, Bearden was awakened by two masked intruders. The suspects tied him up and removed several items from his home, including guns and electronics. The suspects then forced Bearden into his own vehicle and drove him to Port Arthur. Bearden was then forced to withdraw cash from a bank. Afterwards he was released with his vehicle. Orange County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division detectives were able to identify the two suspects that entered the house, and a third suspect who was driving a vehicle and acted as a lookout. On Friday, May 12, detectives located all three suspects in the City of Port Arthur. All three subjects confessed to the crime. Warrants were obtained on all three for Burglary of a Habitation, a first degree felony and they were placed in the Orange County jail. The three were charged with a First Degree Felony Burglary which carries a higher penalty than kidnapping. Burglary, where another felony is committed in the process, is a definite first degree. All the suspects are from Honduras and were determined to be undocumented immigrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)) has placed immigration detainers on them. One suspect is 19 years old, the other two are only 17 years old..*****Thanks for your time. Read us cover to cover and shop our advertisers. Take care and God bless.