When we broke the story last week on our website that Bridge City School superintendent Dr. Jamey Harrison would be leaving Bridge City for an executive position with the UIL my phone got to ringing. My first thought was what a great opportunity this is for Jamey. It’s probably one of the best jobs in education anywhere in the state. Jamey is only 39 years old and will hold the second top job with the UIL. It’s very likely that at some point he could be elevated to the top spot. At age 52, he would have been in education 30 years, able to retire with 80 percent of his salary. Only a fool could pass that up and Jamey is very intelligent and will do a great job at whatever life holds for him. The BCISD was very fortunate to get him when they did. Talk about timing, he was just the right guy at the right time. Young, energetic and willing to take on the task of the devastation Hurricane Ike had brought to the city and school district. His leadership and efforts are truly pronominal. No one could have guided the recovery of the school district any better. He’s promoted the district to the point that enrollment has surpassed pre-Ike registration. Most believed it would be many years, if ever, before such recovery. We wish our friend Jamey and his young family the very best in the Austin area. I believe I know this much about him, he will always carry a piece of Bridge City and the time he spent here as a special time in his life. Wherever life takes him, because of the unusual circumstances he faced in his young career, he will always feel a part of the community. For us it’s not bad to have a friend at the UIL. God speed.***** President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union message last night. It was an optimistic speech “Winning the Future.” The country is not going to hell in a hand basket. A drastic turn around has taken place in the past two years. The Dow is up 50 percent since Obama became president. The country has been saved from the brink of a great depression. His favorable poll numbers are 53 percent. We believe after laying his plans for the future, the numbers will climb higher. The economy will continue to move forward but unemployment is still a major problem that will take co-operation from both sides to drop the numbers. Employment is way up and going up every day but not enough. Rep. Paul Ryan gave the Republican response. He wrote the book, “The Road Map for America” that most Republicans are running from. Michele Bachmann’s responded for the Tea Party. Both tried to out “far right” each other leaving the middle centrist position to Obama. The Tea Party could very well be the Republican Party’s albatross. Especially if they run a candidate for president. Remember Ross Perot. *****Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

“No Matter How You Spin It”

Financially Texas is in a crisis. State lawmakers are trying to put the best face on it; no one will admit that poor management has put the state in a $25 billion plus shortfall dark hole. Public education will be cut $9.8 billion, trimming back Pre-K, shutting down four colleges and drastically cutting the school systems; student financial aid will also be slashed. Five billion will be cut to the state’s foundation school program, schools using formulas based on daily attendance. At a time when Texas ranks nearly last on education it will take the biggest hit. Medicaid, CHIP and food stamps will be cut $2.3 billion. State health services will be cut $771.6 million. Higher education cuts of $100 million will be made at the University of Texas and A&M. Larger class sizes in school districts, massive layoffs, higher property taxes will be made to cut $10 billion from public schools. Eighty thousand to 100,000 in education jobs will be lost statewide. Medicaid will take a hit and trickle down to the insured. Many nursing homes will be forced to shut down leaving seniors in the cold. If hospitals face big cuts in Medicaid we will all pay. Insurers will drive up cost for everyone. Fewer physicians will take Medicaid patients causing patients to go to emergency rooms. A $35 charge goes up to $500 to $800. Patients can’t pay, hospitals absorb the coast as bad debts and recoup from private health insurers. They also pass it on to employees in the form of higher premiums and co-pays. Texas hospitals already face the nation’s highest percentage of uninsured.
Taxes are not an option according to Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst. Perry is looking at national office and Dewhurst at a U.S. senate seat. Their big selling point will be they ran Texas without raising taxes. Anyway you look at it, that’s a lie. More funds have been raised under Gov. Rick Perry than any other governor through the tripling of fees. In 2003 he raised fees by $2.6 billion. Fees again will be jacked up, even a dollar a gallon highway charges increase is preposed on each gallon of gas. Fees hurt the poor and middle class the most. I’ve just barely scratched the surface.
Texas has a $9.8 billion Rainy Day fund that Perry refuses to touch. This will show, when he runs for national office, that Texas has money in the bank. Well, it’s not only raining, a storm has come. Taking out only half of the Rainey Day fund could save a lot of undue pain and still leave plenty in the bank. Two years ago the state had a surplus. What happened? It’s called mismanagement.
Now the Republicans are in control of all branches of state government and can rubber stamp anything without a Democratic vote. In the house Republicans alone, (101), make up a quorum. They can do what they choose but somewhere down the road their management style will have to pay the piper. In the meantime the people with less will hurt the most. Plus, from Pre-K to medical school, Texas will drop another notch. When Perry gets on the national scene, education in Texas will come back to haunt him. Education wise, this county can’t afford to drop another notch either.


We were sorry to learn of the tragic death of Frieda Ann Benedict, 45, who died Saturday Jan. 22 in an apparent auto accident. Ms. Benedict was walking to work on old Highway 90, near the Brown Center, shortly after 10 p.m. when she was struck by an automobile. A memorial service will be held at Claybar Funeral Home, in Orange, Saturday, Jan. 29, 10 a.m. Our condolences go out to her parents; daughters, Nicole and Shanequa; son, John; and family. Our heart also goes out to the young man and his family who was involved in the accident. It’s something he will carry the rest of his life. May Frieda rest in peace. She was a good, hard-working woman.

12 Years Ago-1999

Moe Litton, former city councilman, coach and athletic trainer, joined by Bum Phillips, coaches Darrell Shaffer, Alex Dudley, Joe Washington, was inducted into the Southeast Texas Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Litton was selected in only the third year of balloting. West Orange-Stark coach Dan Hooks is president of the organization.*****Bridge City star Shane Dronett is headed to the Super Bowl. He had a great game in the Falcons 30-27 win over the Vikings. The Falcons will meet Denver in Super Bowl XXXIII on Jan. 31.*****Hal Ridley celebrates a birthday last week and it also was he and Laverne’s 45th wedding anniversary. (Editor’s note: Hal has since passed away and our friend Laverne is in a nursing home. It seems it was just a few years ago when they were the life of the party and also threw many of them.)*****Nine Bridge City football players made recruitment visits last weekend. Eleven to 13 boys are expected to be offered scholarships. No one works harder to get his athletes scholarships than coach Les Johnson. Over the past four years, 30 youngsters have received scholarships in all sports. *****A “Down Life’s Highway” column, written by Roy Dunn was picked up by the Associated Press. *****Capt. David Peck flew to San Angelo to watch daughter Amber star in a basketball game and also to meet a future son-in-law that daughter Jacelyn plans to marry.*****Big Brother and the Holding Company excited the crowd at Janis Joplin Bash. B.J. Thomas showed his great voice but it was Jivin’ Gene who stole the show. He put on his dad’s old hat and knocked them dead with his medley of Bobby Charles songs. Charles Alan and Warren Storm kept true Swamp Pop alive.*****Misty Segura, a 1994 Bridge City grad, completed her first semester at South Texas College of Law. Misty was a 1998 honor grad at Lamar. Proud parents are Darrell and Sharon Segura. Grandmothers are Ann Segura and Mildred Piggott.*****Bridge City Chamber honored Charlie Waldon as it’s Citizen of the Year. Fred Gregory brought him to Bridge City 33 years ago with a job offer. He worked at Bridge City Bank one year and joined Bayer, on Chemical Row, where he has been ever since.


Frank Richardson, Marie Howell, Noreen Cook, Haley Parish, Flip Flippen, Hayden Anderson, Mike Faulk, Nancy Vincent, Ollie Butler, Ginny Pelpier, Ron Huebel, Tommy Wolfford, Hazel Reedon, Jonathan Arnold, Kimberly Barclay, Melanie Prosperie, Mick Weidner, Tori Lummus, Virginia Pelitier, Bill Dixon, Cheryl Gonzales, Hollie Fregia, William Carpenter, Justin Gearhart, Chase Rendall, Colin Briggs, Jim Snider, Mary Ann Scofield, Rosalie Clark, Sheryl Richard, Sterling Werkheiser, Virginia Robinson, Kerstin Jewel, Wyman Ogden, Paula Perkins, Devra Cormier, Caitlyn Eubanks, Rachel Beaulieu, Ricky Miller, Traci Anderson, Amy Campbell, Lindsey Garrett, Shirley Whitley, Carolyn Martin, Brenda Dubose, Jason Myers, Jeanie Kreger, Shirley Jordan, Amy Campbell, Ted Blanchard, Chuck Rowley, Lily Fields, C.B. Burns, Marty Delano, Eric Mangham, Regina Gaspard, Ron Mason, Scott Free, Steven Kimbell, Telisha Kuykendall, Lucas Adams, Mason Adams, Wayne Sullivan, Garrett Kerger, Jake Williams, Lisa Monceaux and Bobby Anderson.


University of Texas partners with ESPN to create a 24-hour, $300 million television network. The Longhorn network will launch in September. It will guarantee the university $300 million over 20 years. The Longhorn brand will be right there with Oprah, FOX, ESPN and the rest nationwide, airing 200 live sports events per year.*****Another bonanza will be the men’s NCAA Final Four at Reliant Stadium. Local businesses will profit with tens of thousands of hoops fans expected to leave $60 million in Houston. The Final Four is on par with the Super Bowl in terms of dollars and fans. The 76,500 plus event will be held April 2 to April 4. Maybe some of those coming down the interstate will stop and leave a few bucks in Orange County.*****Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Desert Storm? The United States launched the first air strike on Jan. 17, 1991, after Iraq had invaded Kuwait. On Feb. 24, 1991, the ground war began. On Feb. 28, just four days later, a cease fire was declared. Twenty years ago, hard to believe. The mistake we made was going back and invading Iraq. The first battle was President George H. Bush, the second invasion was President George W. Bush’s war. We were told we wouldn’t occupy the country but 50,000 U.S. troops are still there.*****Jan. 22, marked 38 years since the Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling. Over the years protest, mass marches and even the murdering of doctors have taken place. Today, the abortion activist have made a dynamic switch and are reaching out to women considering abortion with more compassion, trying to convince them to do otherwise.*****It’s been 50 years since President Kennedy’s famous State of the Union speech. Today it’s not what you can do for your country, it’s what you can do for your party.*****Special folks having birthdays: On Jan. 23, Matthew A. “Ski” Korczynski celebrated his 88th birthday. Ski lives in Deweyville and is an avid reader of The Record. Thanks to his daughter Barbara Bernauer for letting us know how Ski is doing. Best wishes to this good man.*** Mark Walles of Orangefield celebrated on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Mark and wife Charlotte are looking after nephew Mike’s 4-year-old, William. Mike is on his fourth tour in Iraq.*** One of our great buddies Nancy Vincent celebrates another birthday Jan. 26. What a gal.***A great little guy, Leland Clay Gros, “Scooter” to his Papa, is two years old on Jan. 27. That boy is way wiser than his two years. With his smarts and good looks I smell trouble ahead. So far he’s a good kid but here come the Terrible Two’s.***Others celebrating this week are the Todora twins, Rosalie Clark and Mary Ann Scofields, Lily fields, Marty Delano, Skipper’s boy, Scott Free, Bill Dixon, our longtime friend Devra Cormier and Ace Amedo’s twin girls celebrate their 60th on Jan. 29..***Pat and H.D. Pate celebrate their anniversary this Wednesday, Jan. 26. H.D. says to mark the occasion he will take Pat to the Merle Haggard concert. Not bad Hinney, Merle is always a good gig. Best wishes. *****Our friend Daniel Jacobs, recovering from Leukemia, has taken a step backward but he’s determined to start moving forward again. Our prayers go out to he and Gloria.*****Congratulations go out to Giesla Houseman, selected as the Southeast Texas Person of the Year by SET Regional Planning committee. Well deserved. *****Every time I hear a great human story I think of “Buckshot.” He loved people stories.*****Dupont Goodrich Federal Credit Union is giving away great prizes, up to $4,000. Go by, register and tell them the “Creaux” sent you.*****Arbor Day is April 29. That date must have been set for Yankees. It’s too late for us to plant. In fact, here on the Gulf Coast, we have completed planting by the end of March.*****The gold rush started 163 years ago, 1840, at Stutter Mill in northern California.*****The “Godfather of Fitness,” Jack LaLanne, died Jan. 23 at the age of 96. He opened the nation’s first health club in Oakland in 1936. In 1950, he moved to television with a women’s morning exercise program. He said, “Billy Graham is for the here-after, I’m for the here and now.”


On Jan. 26, Ellen DeGeneres turns 53 and had he lived Paul Newman would have been 86.***Jan. 27, James Cromwell will be 69***Jan. 28, Alan Alda will be 74; Elijah Wood, 30 and Sarah McLachlan, 43.***Jan. 29, Dolly Parton, 65; Greg Louganis, 51; Oprah Winfrey, 57 and Tom Selleck, 66.***Jan. 30, Christian Bale, 37; Dick Cheney, 70; Gene Hackman, 81; Phil Collins, 60 and Wilmer Valderrama, 31.***Jan. 31, Justin Timberlake, 30; Kerry Washington, 34; Portia De Rossi, 38; Nolan Ryan, 64 and Minnie Driver, 41.***Feb. 1, Lisa Marie Presley, 43 and Pauly Shore, 43.


Little Norris Badeaux was sitting on da courch steps him, wit a bottle of turpentine. He was shaking and watching all da bubbles. Fatter LaSalle came along and he axe Norris, “Wat you got dere hanh?”
Norris answer, “Well Fatter, dis here is da most powerful liquid in da world, it’s call turpentine.”
Da priest him said, “No Norris, da most powerful liquid in da world is Holy Water. If you rub jus a little bit on a women’s belly, she’ll pass a healthy baby her.”
Norris him tink about dat, den he replaied, “Fatter, if you rub a little bit of dis here turpentine on a cat’s ass, he’ll pass a Harley-Davidson him.”


Well, the die is cast. We’re going to have a Super Bowl. Aaron Rogers and the Packers beat Lovie Smith’s Chicago Bears 21-14. The Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, with the running of Rashard Mendenhall, whipped up on the Jets 24-19. The two winners meet up for the big prize Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m. at Cowboy Stadium. Green Bay is a 2.5-point favorite. It should be a good game if the Steel Curtain can stop Rodgers. If Mendenhall has a good day the Steelers might just win it all but don’t bet on it.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dined at Robert’s last week. Commissioner Owen Burton from Mauriceville came in from the country. Judge Rodney Price drove in from Vidor. The J.P. was on call last week and it was a busy one. All J.P.’s, including former J.P. Parkhurst, were in attendance, with the exception of Judge Janice. By the way the Judge celebrated a birthday last weekend. We extend happy birthday wishes to her. Constables Mark Philpott and Chris Humble took in the vittles. Parks Director Donna Scales is always fun to be around. This week the bunch is at Novrozsky’s where Uncle Jim is the host. Next week the Bunch will be back at Robert’s.*****Read us cover to cover and check us out daily at our website, therecordlive.com. Please support our family of advertisers. Take care and God bless.