The year in review
The year 2014 was an eventful and busy year.
Here are some the news highlights from The Record archives.
Some of the first articles of the new year were the flu spreading around in Orange County and R.C. Slocum, Orange native and former Texas A&M head football coach, being honored with the Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award.
Jerry Jones, city manager for Bridge City was named as Citizen of the Year by the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and Lucy Fields, former city councilwoman, was named as president of the chamber.
Tanner Lynn Bourque of Vidor was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the murder of James Lee Sedtal of Bridge City.
The Texas Department of Transportation began Phase II of the rehabilitation of the Cow Bayou Swing Bridge.
The Bridge City Lady Cardinals basketball team beat Hardin-Jefferson at the buzzer with a three -pointer.
The Orange County Expo Center opened for business while the city of Orange reported economic development activity occurring around the city.
Reported crimes in Orange County dropped 58 percent. Steve Faircloth, former Bridge City police chief, died at age 63.
The Orange County Commissioners Court instituted a hiring freeze and a new staffing policy. They also considered cuts to the budget.
Earl Thomas III, West Orange-Stark High School and University of Texas alumnus, and a member of the world champion Seattle Seahawks,rode in the Orange Mardi Gras parade.February 27 was also proclaimed as Earl Thomas III Day in the city of West Orange.
Republican primary voters selected John Dubose and Brint Carlton to face each other in a runoff election in May since neither candidate received a majority of the vote out of a field of four running.
Barry Burton also would face challenger Ron Cowling in a runoff for their primary election for Precinct 2 County Commissioner. Joy Dubose Simonton won her primary election.
Bridge City ISD named Richard Briggs as the athletic director in addition to serving as the high school principal.
Joey Hargrave, former longtime Bridge City police officer, joined the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The Orange County Commissioners Court approved a change in rates paid to rent the Orange County Expo Center.
Dr. Michael Shahan, president of Lamar State College-Orange, was named as The Record Newspapers 2014 Person of the Year.
Gene Smith, Veterans Service Officer for Orange County, was terminated from employment at the regular meeting of the commissioners court.
Mayor Kirk Roccaforte announced federal legislation will give relief to residents of the city on flood insurance rates by reinstating the grandfather clause and subsidies.
Republican runoff election candidates faced each other in a debate.
Mark Hammer was named as Veterans Service Officer by the Orange County Commissioners Court.
Former BCISD superintendent Glenn Pearson died in May.
The Friends to Save the Orange Depot kicked off their first phase of formal fund-raising for the restoration of the Southern Pacific depot.
City elections were held resulting in a runoff election between Larry Spears Jr. and Cullin Smith. Spears would ultimately win the election and a spot on the Orange City Council in June.
The Orange County Commissioners Court approved an economic agreement with Jefferson Refinery for them to expand their facility on the Orange County side on the Neches River at the Port of Beaumont.
Brint Carlton won his runoff election against fellow Republican challenger John Dubose as the next Orange County judge. Likewise, Burton won his runoff election over Cowling.
Additional streets were added to a list o be reconstructed in Bridge City.
Todd Landry of Big Daddy Crawfish in Bridge City was honored as runner-up for Conservation Farmer of the Year by Area 4 Soil Water Conservation District.
Gary’s Coffee Shop closed its doors after decades of service.
The Bridge City City Council approved annexing property near the Rainbow Bridge.
The West Orange City Council passed a resolution for property owners to either repair, remove or demolish several structures in the city that were declared as wither substandard and hazardous along with possible remedies for the structures.
Bridge City celebrated its 44th year as a city.
The Bridge City Strutters danced away with All-American awards in Galveston.
The Orange County Commissioners Court sued Vidor developer for filling a flood way on the Neches River.
The Orangefield area has been experiencing growth with new home sites being started.
The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce together with the Stark Cultural Venues announced the return of Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament on July 17. The first tournament was held March 2013 and the next tournament will be held on March 19-22, 2015 at the Orange Public Boat Ramps off of Simmons Drive.
Some Bridge City citizens complained to the city council about brown water coming from the taps.
The Bridge City ISD hosted public meetings for a $25 million bond proposal.
There was an increase in new building permits within the county. Furthermore, the Vidor Loop moved ahead in possibly becoming a reality after several items related to the roadway were approved.
Bridge City city officials met with FEMA officials to get some answers regarding properties residing in flood zones in new floodplain maps produced by FEMA at the end of 2013.
A fund-raiser was held for Bridge City resident Steve Bisson to help with his medical expenses.
The Orange County Commissioners Court agreed to a new regional mutual aid agreement.
Commissioners also approved a new contract with Member Building Maintenance LLC for janitorial services in the county.
The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and the Vidor Chamber of Commerce launched a “Shop Orange County” campaign.
A state district judge in Austin ruled the state’s school finance system is unconstitutional.
The city of Orange allocated Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax money to organizations requesting funding. Likewise, the Orange County Economic Development Corporation dispersed HOT funds to local nonprofits.
The DuPont Sabine River Works plant on Chemical Row announced they were undergoing a $100 million expansion.
The Texas Department of Transportation held a public meeting on rehabilitating the East Roundbunch Swing Bridge.
Major Brint Carlton, county judge-elect and assistant district attorney, was stationed in Italy to assist in containing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The Scarecrow Festival returned to Shangri La Botanical Garden.
The Orangefield High School created the Freshman Academy to make a smoother transition to high school for incoming freshmen.
The Orange County Commissioners Court approved County Judge Carl Thibodeaux to sign a right of entry agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the purpose of soil borings and cone penetration testing in possibly building a protective levee around the county.
Early voting began for the November General Election.
The General Election results were in resulting in a Republican landslide.
The Orange County Commissioners Court held a public hearing regarding the creation of one or more Transportation Reinvestment Zones for the Vidor Loop.
Christmas in Orangefield was celebrated with a “Country Cajun Christmas” theme.
A local sailor recalled the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The West Orange City Council approved a reinvestment zone for the area of construction of the fabrication shop for STI Group.
The Civil Rights Act was celebrated with a parade in Orange. Meanwhile, the 6th Annual Bridge City Christmas Lights Parade was held.
The Orange City Council decided to discontinue a downtown development project with Brazos Urban regarding the Southern Printers Building.
The search for a new superintendent continues for the West Orange-Cove CISD.
The Orange County auditor’s refusal to release commissioners’ court approved HOT funds sent some planners back to the drawing board.
Janice Menard, Precinct 3 justice of the peace, looked back on her 32 year career.
Several longtime Orange County employees, including department heads, are terminating their employment with the county.
The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce will present the 2015 Taste of the Bayou Annual Banquet on January 12 at the Bridge City Elementary School cafeteria.
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs football team made a run for a state title but unfortunately came up short against Giddings.