There is more to the called town hall meeting by County Judge Brint Carlton than meets the eye. I’m not buying that it was simply called to inform the citizens about the death of Robert Montano in the county jail and the $3 million lawsuit settlement. The citizens knew everything there was to know about the case from start to finish. It all came out in court and was reported by various news outlets. My Grandmother used to say, “Son, the more you stir up that dung the more it will stink.” For some reason someone purposely wanted to stir up a stink. Every day somewhere in Texas someone will die in jail. The state prison system records many deaths yearly. The Montano case was spilled milk. It had been mopped up and settled. Everyone involved had moved on. The question is why have a political public grandstand now? I don’t know; it doesn’t meet muster. I’ve heard about a half dozen theories. One is that Carlton is looking to run for a higher office. Another is that he fears Sheriff Keith Merritt will run against him for county judge next year. Merritt has announced that he is serving his last term as sheriff. The town hall was very unusual. Some suspected that it would be like calling a town hall to explain why a mandatory evacuation was called last year when it wasn’t at all necessary and was very costly.  Don’t ever buy it when a politician says, “I just wanted the public to know.” The truth is there is an ulterior motive. What is it? District Attorney John Kimbrough, Sheriff Keith Merritt and Asst. District Attorney Doug Manning are all honorable public servants. I don’t understand wanting to burn them now just because they wouldn’t expose themselves to tongue lashing by other elected officials. ***** I have to move on and just have a short time to do it. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


For profit prison companies look to make significant gains under the Trump Administration. Last week the Justice Department rescinded an Obama order to phase out the use of private prison contracts. Private prison companies have contributed large sums to pro-Trump groups. They raised a record $100 million for his inauguration last month. Also they spent $22 million to help elect him. Significant for private prison operators is that Trump‘s new orders require immigrates caught will be detained until their cases are resolved, ending the ‘catch and release.’ The new directives call for construction of more jails along the southwest border. Industry stocks moved higher after the election of Trump and even higher after Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General. Trump’s immigration policy to deport all undocumented immigrants will put a big dent in the construction and farm work force. In Texas alone there are an estimated 400,000 construction workers. If they are forced to leave, state construction companies will face difficult fall out with construction delays and many projects will be canceled altogether. In all, Texas has about 1.7 million immigrants. Twenty-eight percent work the low end jobs in construction, 26 percent are agricultural workers. Out of a total gross product of about $85 billion, those workers contribute $33.75 billion to Texas construction. That sort of economic impact can’t be replaced. Even if all currently unemployed filled jobs now held by undocumented workers, Texas would be left with a gap of hundreds of thousands of workers. Such uncertainty can crate all sorts of problems for the construction industry. Also to be hit really hard will be farming and picking of crops. A large increase in price for produce and vegetables will also be felt by the consumer, plus shortage will occur when it’s cheaper to leave the crop in the field then to pick and ship. A shrinking labor pool due to tightening immigration rules will end up being a double edge sword.


We were sorry to learn of the death of L.D. Young, age 93, who passed away February 22. He was a good man who lived a great life. He and his lovely wife Joy were married nearly 71 years and had five beautiful daughters and a son. L.D. is another from the “Greatest Generation” to leave us. He served his country, his community, his church and family every day. Not only did he have a great family but for 70 years he had Inez Hearn as his sister-in-law. That was a pretty good bonus. May this good man rest in peace. Please see obituary.


10 Years Ago-2007

Saturday, March 3, was a blue ribbon day for Bridge City’s Johnny Dishon. He started his morning before breakfast winning first place twice, first in the triple jump and then the long jump. After breakfast Dishon participated in the Port Neches-Groves track and field meet, won first place in the triple jump with a 43.10 score. His long jump win was 21.3, an event he hadn’t even practiced for. After lunch he headed to the Nederland baseball tournament to help his fellow Cardinals nail down a second place win. Dishon hit a grand slam and a solo homer. Not a bad days work.*****Also at the Port Neches-Groves relays, Bridge City’s Cody Mills beat all comers in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.74.*****Four Orange County High School baseball players are now on the roster of the McNeese Cowboys. They are Derek Blacksher, (B.C.), Shon Landry, (LC-M), Darrel Stevens, (B.C.) and Brad Becken, (W.O.-S.).*****Dereck Cloeren, (L.C.-M.) transferred from Northwestern State to the University of Houston and worked his way up to the starting pitching rotation.*****Knox McCorquodale, (L.C.-M.) is still with Northwestern.*****B.J. Myers, (B.C.), has transferred from N.S.U. to Waylan Baptist in Plainview.*****Kevin Angelle, (B.C.), opted to play for San Jacinto Junior College instead of Texas A&M. It allowed him more options.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Gladys Cuccio, 85, of Orange died Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007. Funeral Services will be at 10:00 a.m., Friday, March 2. She was a homemaker, member of St. Mary’s Alter Society and The LaDonna Society. She enjoyed cooking, bowling and especially playing cards and dominoes with her grandchildren and friends. Those left to cherish her memory is her husband, Anthony Cuccio of 65 years and daughters Phyllis of Bridge City and Cathy. She is also survived by her three grandsons and their wives, Charles and Gina Cessac of Bridge City, Jeff and Mandy Allman of Arlington and Chris and Sondra Allman of Azle and three great grandchildren, Anthony, Collin and Andrew Cessac of Bridge City.*****Ovie Granger, 80, of Duncan Woods died, Friday, March 2, 2007.  Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 5, 2007. Mr. Granger was a cowboy and a rancher, his father founded the W. R. Granger Cemetery and Ovie was caretaker for over 50 years. He was known as an honest man and was well respected by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Lou Ann Granger, stepdaughter, Elaine Dobbins, stepson Michael Granger, thirteen grandchildren, three great grandchildren; sisters, Lola Duncan and Nora Davis and numerous nieces and nephews.*****Cora Lee Hebert, 64, of Bridge City, died Friday, March 2, 2007, at her residence. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 6, 2007, at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City.  Mrs. Hebert, a long time resident was a homemaker, she enjoyed talking on the phone, she loved her two pets, and spending time with her “loving” family. She is survived by her husband of  39 years, Paul Shelton Hebert; son, William Russell Stachnik, daughters, Pamela Hebert and Robin Burch, sisters, Rosa Cheney and Bobbie Wilkerson and seven grandchildren.*****Helen Ruth Hebert, 81, of Orange, died Saturday, March 3.  Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 6.  She was a member of the Orange Community Bridge League where she was the president for over 20 years and attained the rank of Regional Master, she was also a member of T.O.P.S. TX 323 and a long time T.O.P.S. officer. She is survived by her  husband, Charles Russell Hebert; daughter Sue Ellen Hammons, sons, Randy Hebert and  Guy Hebert; granddaughters, Amber Herrin, great grandchildren, Bryce and Autumn Herrin; brothers, Glen Bradley of West Orange and Wayne Bradley and his wife Bernadine of Bridge City.***** William Montique Coffey (Mont) of Orange, 89, passed away Feb. 26.     Funeral services held March 1. He had a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters degree from East Texas State College.  He taught for many years, beginning his career as a civilian instructor in the U.S. Air Force in Wichita Falls, Texas. From there he moved to the Dallas Independent School District, then to the Orange Independent School District. He retired from the LCM School District in Orange. He served in the Army in World War II and was awarded the EAME Campaign Medal with seven bronze stars.  He was a long time member of Orange Lions Club, Golden K Kiwanis Club, Orange County Retired Teachers Association, and South East Texas Industrial Arts Association.  He is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons, Michael Coffey, Thomas Coffey and grandson Trevor, sisters, Frances Ethridge, Edith Kent,  Dollie Scaff, and Eddie Ford, nieces and nephews.

40 Years Ago-1977

A native Orangeite, who supports the merger of schools, Brown Claybar, has become West Orange-Cove school board candidate. Claybar is a 1968 graduate of Stark High. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SFA University and is a
graduate of Commonwealth College of Science in Houston. Claybar and wife, Linda, have a preschool age son and are expecting another child in June. She is a
former West Orange teacher. *****Radio Shack opens at Northway. Dick McAdoo is the manager. *****Some of the C.B. handles heard around the county are Black Max,
Tall Boy, Lady Quicksilver, Sandblaster, Lazy Boy, Rusty Bottom, Ouita, Lady Wells Fargo, Beebe Gun, Captain Kangaroo, Wild Woman, Lady Informer, Sneaky Snake, Fire Ball, Dinky, Yankee Red Bone, Sure Thing, Stud and Thunderbird.
(Editor’s note: CB radios were the craze in the mid 1970’s. Women were very active in CB-ing, along with men. The Lone Star Club was one of the largest in Orange, and gatherings and dances were common. Every home had at least one
CBer.)*****Stark High Class of 1957 to hold reunion. Some former students are Gerald Thompson, Jack Smith, Patsy Fisette, Ray Trahan and Pat Brandon.*****Titles
of having the “Top Country Western Singles” are held by unlikely country singers.  “Say You’ll Stay until Tomorrow” by Tom Jones was #1. “Moody Blue/She Thinks I Still Care,” by Elvis Presley, #2. ”Heart Healer” by Mel, Mel, Mel Tillis #3; “Near
You” by George Jones and Tammy Wynette, #4, ”Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary McGregors, #5 (Editor’s Note: I don’t remember that one.) ”Crazy” by Linda Ronstant #6. “Uncloudy Day” by Willie Nelson #7. “Two Less Lonely People” by Rex Allen Jr. #8. “Desperado” by Johnny Rodriques #9. “She’s Just An Old Love Turned Memory” by Charlie Pride #10.*****The #1 top album is “A Star Is Born Original Soundtrack” by Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.*****”New Kids in Town” by the Eagles, #1 Pop Record. *****Sheila Beeson celebrates her 29th birthday. *****Uncle Jim McKay will celebrate his 92 birthday on Thursday, March 10.
*****Amy and Whitney Oubre will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of Phyllis Dunn. *****Don Bray was rescued after two miserable
days in the marsh with no food or shelter. He says he will have a lifetime of memories about that fishing trip.*****Betty Williams, “Old Grouch” Dick Bevins’ daughter, is one of the county’s prettiest and  sweetest young women.


My buddy, Neighbor Cox, has been a little off center lately. You know that’s when you don’t feel just right but don’t know why. He needs to straighten out soon because it’s coming on garden planting time.*****The Lunch Bunch was attended by former County Commissioner David Dubose last week. He was a guest of Commissioner Barry Burton who was picking his brain and it only cost him $10. The Bunch will dine at JB’s Barbeque this week and at Robert’s next week. Everyone is always welcome.*****A good business to get into right now is underground bomb shelters. Since Trump was elected bomb shelters are springing up all over the country. Orange County however is not a very good place to dig a shelter; you hit water at three feet. I recall several years ago however when there were plenty of shelters being built here.*****Congrats to Bridge City running back Cayle Draper, a resident of Dugas Addition, who will sign to play college football with the Louisiana College Wildcats. Signing is March 6, 3 p.m. at Bridge City High School library. Dennis Dunn is coach of the Wildcats. Besides many other honors Cayle was the Record Newspapers “First Team All Orange County” in 2015-2016.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. March 1: Deedra Black, Jill Culp, Jennifer Thomas, John Gooch and Monica Wilson all celebrate today. Celebrating also are pop singer Justin Bieber, who turns 22, wrestler Big E Langston, 30, television actor John Paul Gosselaar, 42.*****March 2: Today is Texas Independence Day. Celebrating birthdays are April Carter, Tommy Andrus, Craig Nugent and Kay Butler. Celebraties having birthdays on this day are rock singer Jon Bon Jovi, 54, football player Ben Roethlisberger, 34 and TV actress Veronica Dunne, 21.*****March 3: Donna Sullivan, Carolyn Miller, Lori Bonds and Joan Broussard celebrate today. This also would have been the birthday of our friend, the late Franklin Scales.*****March 4: Jim Sharon’s beautiful wife, Coach Cassie Bearden, celebrates today. Also having a birthday are Vickie Parish, Darrell Evans and Buddy’s other half, Carolyn Sheppard.  Joining them are model Erin Heatherton, 27, actor Josh Bowman, 28 and fashion designer Whitney Port, 31.   *****March 5: Brandy’s soul mate and husband Chris Slaughter has a birthday today as does Jennifer Byrd, Lenzi Childress and Don Bagliss, joined by magician Penn Jillette, 61 and TV actor Perry Glasspool, 24.*****March 6: A great auto mechanic and a nice guy at Bridge City Auto Repair, Mark Benton is a year older as is our buddy Coach Sam Moore. For 20 years now we’ve been marking his birthday. Also celebrating are Kristen Rucker and Pete Powell. Joining them are Youtube stars Biannca Raines, 10 and Timothy DeLaGhetto, 30.*****March 7: Today is Sharon Crumpler’s birthday. She shares the day with Libby Mitchell, Misty Thurman, Sheriff Mike White and our own old buddy Rick Trahan. Celebrities celebrating today are TV actors Bryan Cranston, 60 and Laura Prepon, 36, pop singer Tay Jardine, 26 and TV actress Jenna Fischer, 42.*****The First Baptist Church in Mauriceville will be holding a garage sale on Friday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the church, located at Hwy. 11540 and Hwy. 12. The sale will be located in the gym. Pulled pork and links will be served. Items to be sold are furniture, children’s toys, clothes, household items and a little bit of everything. The sale is a fundraiser for the youth program providing church camp and other things throughout the year.


We got a note from Cuzzin Sostan who said he had been working offshore and dat was a good ting because Sugar Bee her, had gotten so mean and short tempered lately. Sostan said Tee Boy tole him he had gone through dat wit his wife Agnes. He said it’s called “da mental pause.” Since he was gone a couple of womens moved into da old Robicheau place. One is a middle-aged gym teacher, da utter one is a social worker in her twenties. Dey go everywhere together. I’ve never seen a man around da place. You recon Cuz dey might be “Lebanese” dem?

Aunt Maude her is all upset. Her grandson Roland wrote his mom and told her he had taken up “Judo”. Aunt Maude said, “Sostan, why would a boy who was raised a good Catholic him, turn against his upbringing him?

Sostan says he’s giving up hog cracklins for Lent and will replace dem wit crawfish. Dat Sostan, he will never change him.


Congress returned from recess Monday facing a lot on their plate. Their ambitious agenda included replace Obamacare, lower taxes, fund a $21 billion border wall, boost military spending and approve up to $1 trillion to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and dams. Also that they will face two impending fiscal crisis; a March 15 deadline to raise the debt limit so the government can pay its bills and on April 28, pass a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. Republicans will probably come up with a healthcare bill that allows them to claim victory. It will fall far short of either repealing or replacing Obamacare. They will rename it and claim “Obamacare is gone,” but big parts of it will still be there.  Republican senators from 21 states that have expanded Medicaid under Obamacare are worried about losing state’s federal funds and a bill that would strip funding from Planned Parenthood. The big changes Trump talked about on day one ain’t going to happen. Not even on day one hundred.***** .Please read us cover to cover and shop our family of advertisers. Thanks for your time. The Lenten season begins today, Ash Wednesday. Easter will be celebrated 40 days from today. Lent is a very religious time for Catholics. Many still don’t eat meat on Friday. A lot of seafood is eaten during this season.  Take care and God bless.