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2010 in review
by Kenda Nelson
Dec 30, 2010 | 1581 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bayside-Richardson Gin fired up its operations this year for the first time in two years, boosting the county’s economy. Farmers and ranchers had a good year, coming off the devastating drought of 2009.

The county also experienced business growth, with a new EOG fracturing sand plant going in on U.S. 77 and expected to be in operation by May.

Bramen Winery opened for business and Stripes announced its plan to build a larger convenience store with more fueling stations.

The year was also tumultuous for local city governments that battled heated resignations in Bayside, delays in filtering systems for the municipal water supply in Woodsboro and personnel and ordinance issues in Refugio.

Following is a look back at the top stories:

January

First National Bank-Woodsboro opens a branch in Refugio.

More than 60 people march from Refugio City Hall to Union Baptist Church to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

The sheriff’s department investigates a drive-by shooting in Woodsboro. No injuries were reported.

The old Bobcat Stadium on U.S. 77 is razed.

February

County agrees to a $45,000 settlement alleging sexual harassment by former jail employee Delma D. Cantu which was filed in 2006.

March

Fran Slack is selected 2010 Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

RHS senior Liz Hernandez wins the state 2A powerlifting championship and senior Taylor Henning qualifies to compete at state.

Commissioners propose a countywide ordinance for animal control to make enforcement easier.

Kodye Neel’s 1,360-pound steer Cookie Monster wins the grand championship at the Refugio County Fair and her brother HC wins the reserve champion with Butterscotch.

April

A satellite office for Texas Ranger Andy Lopez Jr. is opened in the county courthouse.

The Refugio County Press and Beeville Bee-Picayune both won the coveted sweepstakes awards for their respective division in South Texas Press contest.

May

Woodsboro suffers another setback to solving its too-high arsenic levels, and the target date for its filtering system is moved to January 2011.

WHS sophomore golfer Kasie Fierova qualifies to compete at state for the second year in a row.

RHS junior pole vaulter Logan Koonce qualifies to compete at the state track and field meet at the University of Texas.

The community of Bayside votes for change and elects a new Bayside mayor, Ken Dahl, and new council members, Robert Moreno and Janet Christensen. In an unprecedented twist, the remaining council members Eugene Fricks, Len Spanjers and Gloria Derrough resign, leaving the council one person short of a quorum to conduct the town’s business.

Bayside Councilman Len Spanjers withdraws his resignation from the city council, thereby providing the council with a quorum until a special election can be held.

June

County deputies confiscate assault weapons, a cache of ammunition and dozens of marijuana plants during the execution of a search warrant at Sidney David Weatherford’s home on First Street in Bayside.

The Refugio City Council asks the acting police chief, Fernando Garcia, and the school resource officer, Dean Ochoa, for their resignations.

Cracks and major structural damage show up at Refugio ISD’s two new schools, the seventh and eighth grade, along with the fourth, fifth and sixth grade at the elementary school.

Deputy Jeff Raymond and his K-9 Bodie nab cocaine with a street value estimated at $1.5 million that was stashed among boxes of avocados bound for New York City’s Bronx.

Stripes announces it will build a 6,000-square feet convenience store with 20 fueling stations plus a full gondola of food on U.S. 77 on the former RISD Junior High practice field.

July

Hurricane Alex misses the county but sends a wave of rain.

WHS senior Meaghan Saunders wins the 2010 Artistic Discovery Competition hosted by U.S. Congressman Rubén Hinojosa and is welcomed to Washington, D.C., for the unveiling.

In a unanimous decision, the Refugio ISD board of trustees close the high school campus, withdrawing students’ ability to leave campus for lunch.

A 3-year-old child, Ashley Andrea Carmona-Pena of Charlotte, N.C., was killed and four people were injured in a one-car wreck.

The county went from a drought in 2009 to torrential rains from two back-to-back tropical weather systems in the midst of the grain harvest.

Two shotgun blasts were fired into the living room of a Douglas Street home in the early morning hours. The drive-by shooting was one of three incidents involving firearms investigated by police and sheriff’s officers.

August

Two men, Ty Salyer, 29, of Alvin, and Steven Miller, 40, of Magnolia, were killed in an accident on U.S. 77, seven miles south of Hwy. 239.

The Bayside-Richarson Gin began ginning 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the first operations at the gin following last year’s devastating drought.

Texas Ranger Andy Lopez Jr. is appointed Refugio police chief. The Refugio Council also terminates the employment of Chief Chris Brock, who was placed on administrative leave without pay.

September

The county commissioners slash the budget by $300,000.

The roof is raised on Woodsboro ISD’s multi-purpose dome as students, teachers and community members look on.

Rancher Joe Braman opens Braman Winery, with its own wine-tasting room on the family ranch just past Mellon Creek on State Highway 774.

The USDA awards a $100,000 to repair approximately 30 homes belonging to low income, elderly residents.

October

EOG Resources begins construction of a plant to provide fracturing sand for oil field use. Approximately 100 workers will be hired for the construction phase, with 10 full-time local jobs after its completion.

The county’s airport zoning committee hits a roadblock from landowners who express their disagreement with restricting their land.

A Refugio 4-H judging team wins the State Fair Reserve Grand Championship.

More than 700 people attend the annual health fair at Refugio Memorial Hospital.

Refugio approves two requests for liquor sales at restaurants provided the liquor is served in conjunction with meals.

The Fennessey Ranch hosts approximately 350 10- and 11-year-olds for the eighth annual Monarch Madness.

A Ford Expedition carrying undocumented immigrants from India was clocked at 90 miles per hour before state troopers spiked the vehicle.

November

The commissioners court put action from the airport zoning committee on hold following an impassioned plea from landowner Kurt Bauer.

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack permanently prohibits California treasure hunter Nathan Oliver Smith from going ashore on any of the navigable waters of Melon Lake, whether the land is deemed the state’s or belonging to Morgan Dunn O’Connor, the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The Refugio Bobcats advance to the regional round of the playoffs.

December

Felix Gomez, 51, of Tivoli was killed instantly when a building he was tearing down fell on him.

The Refugio Bobcats lose 45-24 to Lexington in the semifinal game of the state playoffs.

Bobcat kicker Cristian Padron breaks the state record for points after touchdown (PATs) with his 100 kicks through the uprights, stripping the previous record from a Southlake Carroll player who set the former mark in 2004 with 98 PATs.

Bobcats Danny Hernandez, Taylor Henning and Gino Dodge were named to the Texas Associated Press All-State 2A squad.

The Bobcats are tied with Plano for the most playoff wins in the state and are ranked third in the history of high school football for the most points scored in a season – 786, and are tied for the sixth spot in the nation for the most touchdowns scored in a season.

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