County, Wildcatters face-off in contract negotiations

By Sherry Koonce The News staff writer BEAUMONT — Jefferson County and the Texas Wildcatters are in a face-off this week while their attorneys try to determine how much time is remaining on the Southeast Texas hockey team’s contract. Whether the team’s contract is up for renewal now, or a year from now was the topic at a county commissioner work session Monday. Jeff Branick, assistant to the County Judge, said the county believes the team’s contract expires at the end of this season, probably in April or May depending on how many play-off games the team wins. The Wildcatters, said the team’s attorney John Burmeister, contend they have one more season before the original contract signed in 2003-04 is up for renewal. Burmeister said the contract would have expired at the end of the 2008 season, but because the team missed the 2006 season due of damage incurred to Ford Park by Hurricane Rita, the contract should be extended by another year. “Normally, 2008 would have been the last year of the contract, but the hurricane came in and kept the Wildcatters from playing a season,” Burmeister said. For the 2006-07 and the 2007-08 seasons, the Wildcatters were not required to pay the county for use of the Ford Park arena. Burmeister said the team will go back to the original agreement and pay $3,000 per game plus a graduated fee for every person attending thereafter. “From an operational standpoint, the county has had to subsidize hockey between 6,600 and $11,000 a game for the past two years, Branick said. Attorneys representing the county and the team plan to meet Tuesday to negotiate the contract, Branick said. In other matters, County Commissioners tabled for the third time, this time permanently, an agenda item that would have designated Precinct 1 Commissioner Eddie Arnold as the county’s representative on a sister-city trade mission to China. Arnold was to have traveled to Henan, China with a delegation from Port Arthur and a group of Southeast Texas business leaders. The group hoped of attract Chinese firms willing to invest in manufacturing businesses in Port Arthur. Arnold asked that the item be removed because he had been notified that Port Arthur Mayor Bobbie Prince would not be traveling to Henan, China because of security concerns in Tibet. If the trip materializes in the future, Arnold said he would utilize his vacation time to attend. Prince said she hopes the trip is only delayed, and that the political unrest in the region subsides so the delegation can go ahead with the trip at a later date. “With the state’s department travel advisory that is out right now, that poses a problem for me. Hopefully before the year is over we will have another opportunity go, but right now I don’t think that it is wise to make the trip,” Prince said. Her decision had nothing to do with the decision City Council made last week, she said. On Tuesday, the City Council voted 7-2 against funding the trip. Since then, Prince said alternate funding had been secured to pay for her travel expenses, but now that the advisory was issued, she will not be going. Prince said the advisory could be lifted as early as mid-April. Contact this reporter at [email protected] read more

Shields serves notice he’s for real

first_img     The last thing the Strikeforce event should be remembered for is trivial, although it speaks volumes for the spirit of MMA.    NFL great turned mixed martial artist, Herschel Walker was in attendance. At the end of round three of the Shields-Henderson bout, Henderson was defending against an armbar and was saved by the bell. The camera cut to Walker sitting ringside and his eyes said it all.    He was completely captivated by the action to the point of being in a trance-like state. This spoke volumes of Walker’s true love of MMA and just how much the sport has to offer.    Unfortunately, what Strikeforce’s event should be remembered for is not what it ultimately will be remembered for. It’ll be remembered for the post-fight melee that ensued.    Strikeforce fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller snuck into the cage and interrupted Shields’ post-fight interview, asking for a rematch from a 2009 tilt between the two. Miller isn’t even close to being worthy of a rematch.    Shields and training partner Gilbert Melendez took exception and shoved   Miller out of the way. After all, it was the most important interview of Shields’ career. The Diaz brothers, Nick and Nate, then jumped in and escalated it to a melee by striking Miller.    There are many people at fault, but one should point at Miller as being the one to start the tumbling of the dominoes. Perhaps he’s a true attention hog.    More than likely though Miller realizes he is a middle-of-the-road fighter who could benefit financially if he creates a standout persona. Fans will tune in to either see the flamboyant guy they love or tune in to watch someone defeat the jerk they hate.    Sadly, Miller’s ploy may have worked which is a far cry from the true spirit of MMA.    David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. He can be e-mailed [email protected] The results of last night’s WEC event were not known as of the time of this writing. There’ll be a recap of it in a later column. This week’s column will take a look back at last Saturday’s Strikeforce event on CBS and the controversyit left in its wake.    There are several things that Strikeforce’s second event on CBS should be remembered for.     The event should be remembered for the emphatic arrival of Jake Shields. MMA followers knew Shields was a great fighter. His true test came Saturday night when he faced MMA legend Dan Henderson who had just defected from the UFC.    Resiliency is an important component of a champion and Shields displayed this in front of a national audience. Shields withstood two first round knockdowns and after regaining composure, used his skills to control the fight. He went on to dominate Henderson to retain the Strikeforce middleweight title in a five round decision.    Strikeforce is now in a pickle. Jake Shields will be a free agent this year and the UFC is extremely interested.center_img     Shields is just the plum the UFC needs. He’s now a nationally recognized figure plus he can fight at both welterweight and middleweight. Fans are salivating at the prospect of Shields vs. Georges St. Pierre or Shields vs. Anderson “The Spider” Silva.    The Strikeforce event should also be remembered for a major battle in the international struggle for MMA dominance. For over a decade there’s been a rivalry between the US and Japan in the sport. The best pound-for-poundJapanese fighter, Shinya Aoki, came to the US to battle American Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez.    Melendez punished Aoki for five rounds, sending a clear message that not only is he a top lightweight, the US is now the epicenter of worldwide MMA.last_img read more

Fatality in one car rollover in Bridge City

first_img The victim, identified as Sheridon Wright, was eastbound on FM 1442 and Tower Road when her 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser left the roadway about 5:05 p.m. Aug. 23. The car traveled across oncoming traffic for an unknown reason and struck a culvert causing the car to become air born and roll over, according to a press release from Bridge City Police Department.The driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Janice Menard. An autopsy has been ordered. A woman is dead following a one vehicle accident in Bridge City on Monday.last_img

Sunny through Thursday

first_imgThe National Weather Service forecasts:Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 73. Windy, with a south wind between 20 and 25 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. Southwest wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 73. Southwest wind between 10 and 15 mph.Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. South wind around 5 mph becoming north.Friday: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61. North wind between 5 and 15 mph.Friday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. North wind between 10 and 15 mph.Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 38. North wind around 10 mph.Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 58. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast.Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 52.Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 53.Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.last_img read more

City honors Titans for uniting community

first_img “It feels like now we brought even more of it back because people are still talking about football. They don’t come for Lincoln, they come for the Memorial Titans,” Roberts added.Memorial finished the season as bi-district, area and regional champions, advancing all the way to the Division II State Semifinals.Third place medals were given to the players in a ceremony on December 14.“I’m glad that they have the whole community behind them,” Titan coach Kenny Harrison told the News. “These young men are real deserving,” Harrison added.Among those city officials present to congratulate the players were Port Arthur councilmen Robert Williamson, Derrick Freeman, Harold Doucet, Elizabeth Segler, Albright and Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince.“We not only hope not only that you can be great athletes but we hope you can be the best citizens on the earth,” said Prince. The team had their best season since Port Arthur ISD combined multiple high schools, Thomas Jefferson High School and Lincoln High School, into one single high school, Memorial High School.Senior linebacker Elandon Roberts, who grew up in Port Arthur, said he never missed a football game as a kid and he always wanted the feeling of being on a winning team.“Back at the days of TJ and Lincoln you would see a lot of crowds but it had lost that when Memorial got formed,” said Roberts.center_img The City of Port Arthur awarded the Memorial High School Titans football team on Monday for the successful season that brought the community together.“We are very proud of how well they did in football and how well they united the community,” said councilman Morris Albright III.“They really gave the citizens something to rally around,” Albright added.last_img read more

Mike “Jimmy” Aguilar

first_img He is survived by his brother Patrick and the late Petra Aguilar, sisters Juanita and husband Juan Ramon Cuellar, Sr., Delfina Aguilar, Rose and the late Gerald Morel. He is preceded in death by his sister Catherine Cortez, brothers Raymond, Santos, Ignacio and Frank Aguilar. Mike loved his family and his loving nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.Mike retired from Construction and General Laborers’ Local Union # 154. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and an avid supporter of Our Lady of Guadalupe Softball Team. A visitation of Mr. Aguilar’s family and friends will be on Thursday, November 17, 2016  at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home from 5:00pm to 8:00 pm with a Rosary to be recited at 6:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at11:00 am Friday, November 18, 2016 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 3648 S/Sgt. Lucian Adams Dr., Port Arthur with Fr. Urbano Sáenz Ramírez, O.S.A. presiding. Rite of Commital will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Groves. Mike “Jimmy” Aguilar 76 of Port Arthur, Texas, passed away November 14, 2016 surrounded by his loved ones. He was born July 24, 1940 to Miguel andMelquiadez Aguilar.Mike was a lifelong resident of Port Arthur and a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.center_img A special “Thank you” to his caregivers (nieces and nephews), Jr., Dinora and Benia who helped take such good care of him the past few months along with a Special Thank you to Gentiva Hospice and AMed Home Health.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, in memory of J. C. Garcia III Scholarship Fund.last_img read more

No injuries after Roanoak Avenue drive-by shooting

first_img The shooting occurred around 9:40 p.m. in the 3400 block of Roanoak Avenue. Port Arthur Police Sgt. Sadie Guedry said that there were several people in the vehicle that pulled up to the home and fired numerous times at the residence. The shooting was focused on one specific area of the home and no injuries were reported.Guedry said it is uncommon for violent crime like this to occur in that area of the city.If you have information about this crime or any other crime, call the Port Arthur Police Department at 983-8600 or Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS. You won’t be asked your name and you may be eligible for a cash reward. You can also make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by downloading the P3 Tips app on our smartphone. Police are continuing the investigation into a drive-by shooting that happened Monday in an area that typically doesn’t see violent crime.last_img read more

Foster care, adoption meetings scheduled

first_img Direct questions to Cameka Hart at 409-866-0976 or [email protected] In 2018, Buckner oversaw the care of nearly 1,500 children in foster care in Texas and internationally and placed about 120 children with permanent adoptive families in Texas.The scheduled, hourlong meetings for the rest of 2019 are:Aug. 12, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services, 9055 Manion Drive, Beaumont.Aug. 15, 4 p.m., Port Arthur Public Library, 4615 Ninth Ave., Port Arthur.Aug. 19, 4 p.m., Marion and Ed Hughes Library, 2712 Nederland Ave., Nederland.Aug. 27, 5 p.m., Alma M. Carpenter Library, 300 S. Ann St.; Sour Lake.Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services.Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services.Nov. 11, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services.Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services. Nonprofit Buckner International is hosting free informational meetings in Southeast Texas on foster care and adoption. Meeting locations include Beaumont, Port Arthur, Nederland and Sour Lake and will provide more information about the process of becoming a foster parent or adopting through Buckner.The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services says there are more than 34,000 Texas children in foster care, creating a great need for more foster parents and adoptive parents. Buckner International works to meet this need by educating the community and equipping current and prospective parents with the resources needed to provide safe and loving homes for vulnerable children.center_img Special to The Newslast_img read more

Mayor Bartie: Those in low-lying areas have time now to leave before storm surge

first_imgPort Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie has called for a voluntary evacuation of the Sabine Pass and Pleasure Island areas as Tropical Storm Beta approaches.“As the mayor of the city of Port Arthur, I respectfully request the voluntary evacuation of Sabine Pass and Pleasure Island,” Bartie said during a news conference this morning (Sept. 20) at the Port Arthur Police Department headquarters.“Those two areas in the city of Port Arthur happen to be our lowest lying areas in the city. What we would like is for those citizens to move to higher ground. They have the time now, and if a surge comes, and it will … then they would be probably out of harm’s way being in those areas.” “…[N]amely Sabine Pass because of proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and not having the levee system being on the other side,” Owens said. “[Texas] Highway 87 is obviously the main artery for transportation between the city of Port Arthur proper and Sabine Pass community. That’s the surge issue we’re looking at, is that the highway could possibly and probably will have water over it. So, therefore, we have to protect the citizens and call for the voluntary evacuation.”Citizens’ responsibilitiesOwens urged residents outside the Seawall to start making preparations “now.”The National Weather Service forecast Beta to reach the middle of the Texas Gulf Coast late Monday or early Tuesday as a tropical storm, with 5-15 inches of rain to come now through Wednesday and a storm surge of 1 to 4 feet likely to impact Sabine Pass, Texas 87 between Sabine Pass and Port Arthur, Bridge City and Orange. If Beta remains a tropical storm, however, Bartie does not anticipate calling for a citywide mandatory evacuation as he did with Hurricane Laura, which landed in Port Arthur as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 27.“If it exacerbates and intensity grows a little higher, this would change, but at the present, we are not anticipating having to do that because we can actually withstand the surge, from what I’ve been told,” he said.Also described as a tidal surge, it possibly will affect communities outside the Port Arthur Seawall by either Tuesday or Wednesday, said John Owens, the recently retired Emergency Services Coordinator for the city now acting as a consultant.center_img When and if Beta touches down on the coast, Bartie said, the possibility of such a surge then decreases.“What we’re dealing with is a lot of rain, a lot of water,” Bartie said. “We’ve been working with DD7 [Drainage District 7] to make sure the drains are prepared.”Bartie said residents are responsible for clearing out any debris from drainage systems in front of their own property.Garbage crews in Port Arthur, however, will collect trash until 7 p.m. Sunday across the entire city.“What I’d like you to do more than anything is remain vigilant,” Bartie said. “Remain vigilant, and you make the best choices for your family. … COVID is still upon us, even with these other little things coming in, these hurricanes and everything else, we still have COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.”Abbott’s responseVigilance was also the calling card from Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday, as the state of Texas announced it has appropriate assets in place to respond and assist communities with potential flooding and rainfall.The State Operations Center has been activated to Level II (Escalated Response Conditions) in support of the ongoing response to coronavirus and Beta.“As Tropical Storm Beta approaches, I call on all Texans in the Gulf Coast region to heed the advice of local officials and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones out of harm’s way,” Abbott said.“The state of Texas is prepared to support communities in the path of the storm, where substantial amounts of rainfall and flash flooding are a significant threat. We will continue to closely monitor the storm and work collaboratively with officials to ensure our fellow Texans are safe.”Jefferson County and Cameron Vermilion Parishes in Louisiana are already under a tropical storm warning.Bartie said he informed Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick about his declaration and added Branick would meet with his Office of Emergency Management officials at 10 a.m. Monday to discuss plans regarding Beta.Nursing homesBartie urged loved ones of nursing home patients to “do what is necessary” for them, as the city will not pay the local ambulance service to provide critical care under a voluntary evacuation.He also recommended nursing homes in Port Arthur “take care of its patients, but taking care of patients doesn’t mean that I, Mayor Pro Tem [Charlotte Moses] or any of these individuals here should tell you what to do. You are the custodians of those individuals. So, nursing homes, you do what is necessary to make sure those persons are safe and you make the right choice in that instance dealing with nursing home individuals.”Other city servicesCity hall will remain open for business on Monday (Sept. 21).Residents may fill up sandbags at the Port Arthur Pavilion, the Bob Bowers Civic Center and in Port Arthur.Residents are asked to bring their own shovels.Learning from LauraBartie has had to prepare for disastrous weather for the second time in a month’s span as mayor, so he’s learned lessons from Laura’s arrival.“We’ve learned we’ve got to be vigilant,” he said. “We’ve also learned we have to clean up our drains. We also learned something you all may not want to hear, but if you pray, it might go somewhere else.”last_img read more

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s One Night… Delays First Preview Performance; Rutina Wesley Joins Cast

first_img One Night… Directed by Clinton Turner Davis, One Night… takes an unflinching look at what is happening to women in the U.S. Armed Forces when their decision to serve exposes them to an unforeseen battle against their fellow soldiers. The play explores the lingering effects of trauma, injustice, and one woman’s recompense. In addition to Wesley, the cast of One Night… includes Grantham Coleman, K.K. Moggie, Matthew Montelongo and Cortez Nance Jr. One Night… features scenic design by John McDermott, costume design by Jessica Jahn, lighting design is by Nicole Pearce, sound design is by Sean O’Halloran and video design is by Gil Sperling. Related Shows View Commentscenter_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 15, 2013 Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has announced that its upcoming production of Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Fuller’s One Night… will begin previews three weeks later than initially scheduled. The production has been postponed because of a recent and unexpected death in Fuller’s family. As a result of the new performance dates, Rutina Wesley has joined the cast in the role of Alicia. One Night… will now begin performances on November 6. The drama will open on November 20 and is scheduled to run through December 15 at off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre. Wesley is best known for playing Tara Thornton, the hard-luck best friend of Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO vampire drama True Blood. A Juilliard graduate, Wesley appeared on Broadway alongside Julianne Moore in The Vertical Hour and appeared off-Broadway in The Submission and In Darfur.last_img read more