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Local News

Arrested on 21 charges

The man Victoria police had a Thursday night standoff with was arrested last Friday on 21 charges. 37 year old Mark Anthony Garcia Jr. of Victoria, was arrested on suspicion of six counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and on a single count of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance less than 28 grams. In addition, he was arrested on warrants charging him with bail jumping and failure to appear, four Class C misdemeanors, property theft, violation of probation in manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance and engaging in organized criminal activity cases, and much more.


Rice conference

The theme of the Western Rice Belt Consumers’ Conference program on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the El Campo Civic Center will be “Celebrating 40 Years of Rice Recipe Family Favorites.” The program, sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Colorado, Jackson, Matagorda, and Wharton counties, will provide education, rice recipe demonstrations and fun. Following the program, all participants will be invited to a catered luncheon. There is no fee, but RSVPs are required by calling the Wharton County AgriLife Extension Office.


Food drive benefits senior citizens

The El Campo Leader-News and El Campo Rotary Club are kicking off their annual food donation drive benefiting seniors as the holidays near. After the program’s success following Winter Storm Uri, organizers decided to continue the effort. “The two groups have distributed around 110 canvas grocery bags, each containing around three plastic bags worth of groceries. The Leader-News is collecting items now. Donated goods can be dropped off at the office at 203 East. Jackson St.


Concert at the Plaza Theatre

Wharton Community Choir will present a Christmas Concert at the Plaza Theatre in downtown Wharton on
this Saturday, December 10th, at 7 p.m. and then again on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The concert will feature the choir, instrumental performers, a dance ensemble and audience sing-a-longs. Free Admission – Santa Claus will visit with the children before and after program.


Fire burns iconic eatery

Los Cucos Mexican Café – a longtime restaurant in Wharton – was lost in a fire early Sunday morning. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but Wharton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Anthony Abbott says it looks like the blaze started in the kitchen. According to a statement from the Wharton Police Department, the fire does not appear to be intentional. The restaurant’s insurance company will bring in an investigator to try and
determine the cause. Constructed in 1955, the Los Cucos site covered 9,730 square feet.


15-year-old detained on murder charge

A teenager was detained on Sunday in the weekend shooting death of an 18-year-old Victoria woman. The teen, who is 15 and male, was taken into custody at an Austin motel, police say. Authorities had not released the teen’s identity as of Monday evening. The teen was taken to the juvenile justice center in Victoria County on a charge of murder. The 18-year-old Victoria woman, Jackuelin Solorio, was shot early Saturday morning, and found on the ground in the driveway of an apartment complex.


Rail traffic to expand

Residents of Wharton County can expect to see an increase in train traffic in the coming months following the buyout of Kansas City Southern by Canadian Pacific and the completion of a project to double-track the route through Wharton. The merger of the two railroads will create the Canadian Pacific Kansas City and strengthen the connection from Mexico to Canada, which has huge implications for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.


New logo plans

A plan for a local marketing company to collaborate with Victoria’s animal services department on a rebranding project was approved by Victoria County commissioners on Monday. Victoria County Animal Services is working with Building Brands Marketing, which has an office in downtown Victoria, to design a new logo for the department. Once Animal Services decides what its new logo will be, the image will be applied on department vehicles, business cards and letterheads.


State Parks Centennial merchandise

Ring in Texas State Parks’ 100th birthday in style when hitting the trails in 2023. Park lovers can now
purchase official Texas State Parks 100-year celebration merchandise from a state park or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. The parks will be buzzing with activities throughout the centennial celebration, and we encourage all Texans to get outside and explore both new parks and old favorites. You can find images of the new 100-year anniversary merchandise on the TPWD Flickr page. For more information visit texasstateparks.org/100years


Drug dog searches returning

With students returning to campuses, illicit substances come with them and El Campo ISD is taking steps to avoid that trend, reinstating dogs and testing to catch around a dozen students a year. Trustees approved a new
contract with Canine Contraband Detection, out of Victoria, on October for $320 per day for 10 days.The district reports any controlled substance or drug violation for the year and the campus numbers have held consistent for the past five years.


Temporary beds to ease overcrowding

Wharton County Sheriff Shannon Srubar recently received permission from the state jail commission to temporarily add a dozen bunk beds to the Wharton County Jail to help alleviate overcrowding. That will allow the jail to house 24 more inmates than the 144 it currently houses for the next year. As of Thursday, the county was housing seven overflow inmates at the Calhoun County Jail in Port Lavaca at a cost of $55 per day per inmate.
Normally the overflow is taken to Fort Bend County or to Matagorda or Victoria counties where there are also housing agreements in place.


Safety check at schools

Six months after the Uvalde massacre, school districts have been moving toward increasing their safety presence by both upgrading hardware and increasing training for both staff and students. El Campo has approved over $500,000 in total for adding shatter resistant film to campus glass, building crash walls at both
Hutchins and El Campo Middle School and replacing campus doors and locks on all campuses. Increased security camera access for both district security and law enforcement is a long-term project the district is planning for.


Parade celebrates

Cheers, light and sirens filled the cool night air as thousands of El Campo residents and visitors came to enjoy the 35th annual Christmas Parade. Fifty entries, covered in Christmas lights with most playing their preferred Christmas playlists, made their way around Evans Park and down Mechanic Street to the applause of children and adults. Bright lights are always a feature of the parade as floats shine with their Christmas string lights
but youngsters also wave back with flashing swords and other lit up instruments. El Campo’s Christmas
Parade has become a city staple.


Murder trial rescheduled

The capital murder trial of Robert Allen Satterfield, accused of murdering an Angleton couple and their 5-year-old child in 2018, will now start today in Judge Randy Clapp’s 329th District Court. The murder trial was supposed to begin Friday morning, but instead of hearing opening remarks from prosecution and defense attorneys, 12 jurors and four alternates were issued instructions to avoid all news and information about the case, and were then excused. The jury will be sworn in on today. If convicted, Satterfield faces a possible death sentence.


Tradition pays homage to victims

The Bay City Police Department held their 4th Annual Tree of Angels Ceremony honoring loved ones lost to violent crimes in the community last Thursday. The idea for the Tree of Angels came about in 1991. People Against Violent Crime’s Executive Advisor, Verna Lee, wanted to recognize that the holiday season is a
difficult time for victims of violent crimes and their families. This event allows the community to remember, include and support victims of crime. The Tree of Angels has become a memorable tradition observed in many Texas communities.


Xmas activities

Tractor Supply Company will spread Christmas cheer this year with their Photos with Santa event. Held
Dec. 10th, from 10 a.m. until 4, Tractor Supply customers are invited to bring their children and pets to
the store for photos with Santa and other Christmas activities.Meanwhile, for the 10th year, Bay City Police officers will be participating in the annual Shop with a Cop event December 13th. This event allows local law enforcement officers to be joined with local youth to shop for Christmas gifts for their families.


Citizens get wishes

Portions of county roads 406, 407, and 408, south of FM 1162 on the southeast side of El Campo, will soon be closed to through truck traffic following a hearing at Wharton County Commissioners Court. Several residents living along the dirt roads spoke to the commissioners with numerous complaints about thick dust and rude truck drivers hauling road materials to and from a nearby property. Nearly a dozen people spoke at the hearing, including truck company representatives who say they were agreeable to abide by whatever regulations the county requests.


Alleged shooter stands

A 19-year-old Houston man stands accused of placing 12-people in jeopardy, spraying bullets at Wharton’s
Riverbend Apartments on June 26th. Two people – an 18-year old man and 9-year-old boy – were injured. No information was released at the time on how many shots were fired. The Wharton County Grand Jury handed down a 13-count indictment against Jerome Clayton Sanford Jr. last month charging him with single count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and 12 counts of deadly conduct for his alleged actions.


Lynn Group relocates

Lynn Group companies are relocating their corporate offices to the former Williams Companies building in Bay City. Lynn Engineering, Lynn Development, Lynn Construction and Lynn Steel Buildings are now located at 2200 Avenue A. Anchored by the 25-person Engineering team, a total of 45 full-time employees will work out of the new location. This move expands the custom homes construction company’s service area in the Bay City
market and regions east of Matagorda County. Lynn Construction has operated in Palacios since 2013.


Man takes laser from officer

A Bay City man was arrested Nov. 22 after he fought with an officer and pointed the officer’s taser gun at the officer before being apprehended by police. 21 year old Mark A. Trevino of Bay City was transported to the Matagorda County Jail where he was booked for Assault on a Peace Officer, Evading Arrest with a Vehicle,
Endangering a Child, Resisting Arrest, and an outstanding Jackson County warrant.


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