As they did in the first half of the year, elections took center stage during the last six months of 2008.
But plenty of other issues made headlines between July 1 and Dec. 31.
The month of July kicked off with the Beeville City Council mulling a proposal to outlaw the use of plastic shopping bags in the city limits. The council met and after discussing the issue at length decided to hold a public hearing to give residents an opportunity to have a say on the issue.
A joint effort between Bee County government, the city of Beeville and private businesses helped finance a spectacular fireworks display on the Fourth of July. The day-long celebration, held at the Bee County Expo Center, included plenty of live music, a watermelon-eating contest and dancing.
Bee County residents braced for Hurricane Dolly, which ended up not doing diddley in Bee County but going ashore in the Rio Grande Valley.
The City Council agreed to let voters decide if some $200,000 in 4b sales tax proceeds should be used to maintain city streets.
Skidmore-Tynan ISD, St. Mary’s Academic Charter School and FMC Elementary School were recognized by the state for their student achievement.
BISD trustees discuss raising the tax rate by an additional 6 cents to fund pay raises for employees. Voters will decide the issue in November. Bee County commissioners also want to give their employees a pay raise and plan to dip into the health care fund to finance the salary increases. The Beeville City Council also discusses pay raises for city employees.
Bee County leaders announced in early August they could possibly balance the county budget in the 2008-09 budget year but two days later they found out the county was short more than $400,000 in revenue.
County commissioners agree to raise the tax rate by 3 cents to help make ends meet in the 2008-09 budget year.
Pettus trustees agree to ask taxpayers to finance a 13-cent tax rate hike, which will fund employee pay raises and campus improvements. Voters will decide the matter in the November general election.
August ended with Democrats naming Barack Obama their party’s presidential nominee.
BISD officials announce the state will pick up 40 percent of the $12 million bond issue that has been earmarked for districtwide improvements.
County leaders call for a voluntary evacuation of the area in advance of the approaching Hurricane Ike. The hurricane strikes the upper Texas coast several days later, killing more than 100 people and causing billions of dollars in property damage.
The City Council voted to increase the tax rate by an additional 2 cents to fund a 2-cent pay increase for employees.
County leaders adopt a $6.6 million budget that includes a 3-cent tax rate hike and a 3 percent pay raise for all employees.
Bee County residents who had money socked away in 401k accounts, retirement accounts or college saving accounts were hard hit by the crisis on Wall Street. Despite a pledge by Congress to help bail out troubled financial institutions, many residents took a severe hit on their investments.
The Skidmore-Tynan Lady Cats varsity volleyball team bopped Bloomington to win the district title.
A descendant of the Hefferman family announced she has a letter that accuses Santa Anna’s Mexican army of massacring her ancestors in the 1830s, not Indians or savages as many textbooks have long claimed.
Bee County celebrated its 150th birthday with actors re-enacting historical events.
Former Coastal Bend College business manager Aubrey Smart was indicted by federal grand jury on a charge of embezzling more than $100,000 from the college.
The Bee County Chamber of Commerce urged its 350 or so members to vote against the BISD’s proposed tax rate hike and a proposal by the city of Beeville to use $220,000 in 4b sales tax proceeds annually to maintain streets. The Chamber endorsed a similar tax rate hike proposed by Pettus ISD.
The Lady Trojans volleyball team defeats the Gregory-Portland Lady Cats to nab a playoff berth.
Precinct 3 County Commissioner Eloy Rodriguez was re-elected to office, defeating Bee County Tax Assessor-Collector Andrea Gibbud in the Nov. 4 general election.
Gibbud’s deputy in the tax office, Linda Bridge, was elected to replace her as tax assessor-collector. Bridge beat Vicente Barrera in the November election.
Bee County voters also cast most of their ballots in the presidential race for Republican candidate John McCain, yet Democrat Barack Obama won in an electoral college landslide nationwide, becoming the first black president in U.S. history — a great source of pride for this community’s African-American population.
Beeville voters approved the City Council’s proposal to spend some $220,000 in 4b sales tax proceeds annually to maintain streets. BISD voters rejected the school district’s proposed 6-cent tax hike. Pettus ISD voters also turned down a similar tax hike.
Beeville businessman Rudy Garcia announced he would no longer sponsor Toys for Bee Kids, an annual Christmas toy giveaway program he started 15 years ago. The owners of 3-G Electric Company announced they will continue the toy drive.
The Beeville Trojans whip the Medina Valley Panthers to win the bi-district crown and advance to the area playoff game.
Bee County leaders postpone adopting a resolution in support of uranium mining in Bee County. A week later they decide not to adopt such a resolution, saying it was unnecessary.
Commissioners also agree to offer tax breaks to businesses that open shop at Chase Field Industrial Complex and Airport, which the county has designated as an enterprise zone.
Skidmore-Tynan trustees cannot decide who should lead the school board. Trustees vote 3-3 on two candidates. They decide to try the vote again at a later board meeting.
For perhaps the first time in its storied history, the Beeville Trojans defeated the Calallen Wildcats in round two of the state playoffs. The win sent the Trojans to the regional playoff game against Kerrville Tivy the next week. However, the powerful Kerrville Tivy Antlers ended the Trojans’ sensational season, with a comeback 41-24 victory, as well as the high school careers of quarterback Eric Soza and 19 other seniors.
County leaders announced they ended the 2007-08 budget year with a $64,000 surplus, not $1 million in the hole as some critics expected.
The Christmas Angels Program provides food and Christmas toys to 400 needy families.
More than 1,000 people enjoy a traditional Christmas meal thanks to the First United Methodist Church’s annual Christmas Dinner.
Toys for Bee Kids hands out more than 800 Christmas presents to area children.
A.C. Jones High School cheerleaders, Aztec Chevrolet, Dave Moore Ford, H-E-B, the Bee County Board of Realtors, and many, many individuals collect toys for kids this Christmas or provide heaters or blankets to the needy.