On Monday, August 17, 2015, at 2:37 am, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a call of a burglary of habitation that had just occurred in the 15000 block of San Jacinto Street, Hamshire, Texas. According to the homeowner, he was awakened by his dog barking. He retrieved his pistol and went into his kitchen, where he confronted a masked individual. Several shots were fired. Upon arrival deputies found the suspect lying in a yard down the street being held at gunpoint by neighbors. Upon arrival Hamshire VFD EMS pronounced the suspect deceased. The investigation is on-going at this time.
6) PA hires new city manager2015 started with a new Port Arthur City Manager. Brian McDougal took over the reins of the city on Jan. 19, the same day the city celebrated the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.McDougal, at the time, said he was pleasantly surprised to see the number of people participating in the annual event.McDougal quickly got to work while then Acting City Manager John Comeaux prepared for his last weeks on the job.McDougal came to Port Arthur by way of Oklahoma, where he was city manager in Shawnee. Prior to his tenure there, he was city manager in Athens, Valdosta, Royston and Remerton, all Georgia cities.Early on, McDougal identified key issues that needed immediate attention including the city’s water losses from aging infrastructure and the regular annual audit, which was nearing completion, but running months behind.He also took steps to ensure the city embarked on a citizens-led quest to have a forensic audit done on the city’s finances.“City finances are important in every city and having public trust in a city’s finances is important in every city,” he said in February. “Not having the audit ready on time is a very god way to lose a city’s trust in its finances.”McDougal was also introduced to his first Mardi Gras celebration, and the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet. 3) City employees caught with hand in tillPort Arthur’s new city manager Brian McDougal had only been on the job a few months when a Jefferson County grand jury indicted a former city of Port Arthur employee for theft.Shauwn Williams, 41, was sentenced to a suspended two-year jail term for felony theft by a public servant in connection with a three-month period when she submitted fraudulent lawn care invoices totaling around $7,420 for work never done.At the time, Williams was a temporary employee with the city’s Housing Department.Williams wasn’t the only city employee accused to wrongdoing in connection with their jobs during 2015.In March, Sharon Shelvin was terminated from her position as court clerk after an investigation discovered evidence of theft of municipal court fines and tampering with official court documents.In October, three more city employees were fired after criminal investigations pointed to job-related misdeeds.Carlton Edwards, Steve and Randall Davis admitted they had stolen fuel using city-issued gas cards. Edwards, a superintendent with the streets department, has since been indicted by the grand jury.Investigations are continuing and more arrests could be forthcoming, McDougal said.The city also in 2015 instituted a fraud hotline, for people to call with tips if they have information about criminal wrongdoing among city employees. 4) LNG export becomes new industryThe area’s LNG plants — Golden Pass LNG, Cheniere Energy, and Sempra Energy — should fuel growth along the area’s waterways.Golden Pass LNG is continuing with its project to add exporting capabilities to the world-class facility in Sabine Pass.“Golden Pass is set to move the needle with this $10 billion proposed investment,” said Bill Davis, project executive. According to a third party study undertaken for the company, 45,000 direct and indirect jobs across the nation will be created during the five-year construction phase.Golden Pass’ LNG plant is to be constructed in mid 2016.The liquefied natural gas project will bring an estimated 9,000 direct construction jobs over a five-year construction period with peak employment reaching about 3,000 jobs. The project is expected to create the equivalent of about 45,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country during the construction phase, according to a study done by The Perryman Group.Cheniere Energy, meanwhile, is on the verge of making history by building the first LNG export terminal in North America in more than 40 years in Sabine Pass.The monumental event is five years in the making.Katie Pipkin, senior vice president, Business Development & Communications, said about 4,000 workers are on site for peak construction.Sempra Energy’s subsidiary, Port Arthur LNG, is making strides toward the company’s proposed natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Port Arthur.The San Diego-based energy company estimates construction will start in 2017 pending regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.The proposed liquefication project is designed to include: Two natural gas liquefication trains with a total export capability of approximately 10 million tons per annum, or 1.4 billion cubic feet per day; two 160,000-cubic-meter storage tanks; marine facilities for vessel berthing and loading; natural gas liquids and refrigerant strorage; natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage; feed gas pre-treatment; truck loading and unloading areas; and combustion turbine generators for self-generation of electrical power.The project means additional jobs for the area. During construction an estimated 3,000 jobs would be created, and 200 permanent jobs for ongoing operations, said Anya McInnis, spokeswoman for Sempra. 1) Petition forces forensic audit in PA 2) Christus St. Mary transformedChristus St. Mary Hospital was transformed into a short-stay center, providing outpatient chemotherapy and infusion services, emergency room access, radiology and laboratory services, and surgical capabilities.Five departments relocated to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont. Patients that are “high-risk” or need prolonged treatment will most likely be transferred to St. Elizabeth or another hospital. “Underutilized services” being relocated include obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, pediatric, cardiovascular and general medicine inpatient services.The St. Mary campus will continue to operate the existing emergency room as it does today and it will not change how the hospital handles patients in crisis situations.Paul Trevino, CEO of Christus Southeast Texas Health System, said the new “community-centric approach” — that comes with an initial $10 million investment — will serve as the Launchpad for Christus’ plan to bring new healthcare locations to communities including Port Arthur, Mid-County, Beaumont, Silsbee, and Orange.A Micro Hospital off of FM 365 will be constructed by 2018 to meet the needs of Mid- and South-County, providing emergency, outpatient and physician services at a lower cost with limited beds. 10) PN apartment plan stirs controversyA dispute regarding variances for a luxury apartment complex led to a lawsuit between the city of Port Neches and its Zoning Board of Adjustment.The Port Neches Zoning Board of Adjustment granted three variances to Jeff Ahktar of Amron Housing Group for the construction of an apartment complex to be located at 3031 Eighth St. The proposed complex will be a mix of two and three story buildings with 140 units. The variances included going above the two-story height requirement, to place more than 12 attached dwellings units under one roof and go beyond the acreage density.The zoning board learned the mayor and city council filed a writ of certiorari on Nov. 19 stating “the board were illegal in that each variance exceeds the limits placed on the construction of multifamily housing units” by city code.The writ was filed in the Jefferson County Court at Law No. 1.The ZBA is being represented by Jane Leger of Dugas Leger Law Firm.Legal fees for the city versus the zoning board lawsuit are not yet known, as the issue is dependent on a variety of factors. Either way the city is paying for both sides of the is 7) Cross in park gains support in PNA 10-foot tall white cross that has stood in Port Neches Park for the past 45 years became the focus of attention for an atheist group and Christians alike during 2015.The Freedom From Religion Foundation contacted Port Neches city officials objecting to the display of the cross on the public property as an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.Shortly after the issue came to light a group of locals responded by showing their support of the cross by making and distributing small, white crosses.Little White Crosses Mid-County group grew from the original handful of people, volunteers and donations came forward and upwards of 10,000 crosses have been distributed across the area and beyond.The city’s legal counsel is currently reviewing the issue with the cross at the park. Port Arthur residents’ pleas for the city to take a deep dive look into its finances were heard during 2015, when, in February, a petition drive with enough signatures to force the city’s hand was submitted.After failing to gain the needed signatures in December 2014, a supplemental petition was circulated around town, and was successful in garnering an additional 154 signatures to reach the number needed.With the support of new City Manager Brian McDougal, who started to work in January 2015, the drive gained traction in April when City Council bowed to the wishes of the citizen with a unanimous vote to go ahead and commission a forensic audit into the city’s finances. Since then the city has allocated $100,000 to fund what will be the first of a three-phase audit over the next three years, and a committee made up of city employees selected a firm to conduct the audit.The first phase includes the areas citizens asked for in their petition: the city’s housing, human resources, finance and public works departments.The next step is for the city and the auditing firm to perform a scope of work.McDougal said the city hopes to begin the forensic audit process in January. 9) Donald Trump visits BeaumontThousands of people converged upon Ford Park Arena for a chance to see presidential hopeful Donald Trump in November.Fans donned “Make America Great Again” shirts, caps and signs and cheered as Trump approached the podium to the tune of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Going To Take It.”Trump addressed the issue of illegal immigration and spoke about building a wall and how one day the illegals that left would come back to America the legal way.The event was one day after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris. Trump asked for a moment of silence for those victims. Afterward he said the attack would have had a different outcome had the gun laws been different in Paris.Supporters of Trump told media they liked the fact the presidential hopeful isn’t a politician but a man who knows how to make money while another was in favor of building a wall and sending illegal immigrants back to their native country.A small group of protestors outside the arena held signs saying that Trump is the reason America need a change and signs in support of Hispanic and Latin American military members who served the U.S. 8) Edison Square dispute continuesA group of citizens residing around the proposed Edison Square apartment complex who hoped to put a stop to the project were not successful in Jefferson County District Court in 2015.Donald Floyd, presiding judge with the 172nd Judicial District Court of Jefferson Count, rendered his opinion in the case that originally centered on a zoning dispute between the 12th Street area residents where developers planned to build the apartment community for the elderly and handicapped.After hearing arguments in the case on Aug. 28, Floyd ruled his court had no jurisdiction over claims brought by Port Arthur residents Reginald Trainer, Efrain Avendano, Paul Hulin and Herman Leginston.Floyd dismissed the case on grounds that the plaintiffs did not demonstrate they had exhausted their administrative remedies under state law and the city’s zoning ordinance, and that circumstances of the chase had changed making it moot.Floyd’s decision came after hearing the case for the second time in two years. He was asked to determine whether the city had overreached its authority in issuing a zoning change that would allow developer The Itex Company to build 128 townhouse style apartments at a 15-acre site at 3501 12th St., where the old Edison school once stood.Itex was initially granted a zoning change from two family residential to multiple family residential.The city’s attorney argued the court had no jurisdiction in the case because the developer had changed course and decided to build duplexes rather than townhouses after the residents’ appeal to the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustments was upheld.The city argued that because the duplexes fell within the two family zoning restriction, the matter was moot.Floyd agreed.The case has been appealed and will be held in Corpus Christi later this year. 5) Oil workers go on strike at MotivaLast winter union employees at Port Arthur’s Motiva Enterprises refinery reached the end of their contract without an agreement, and opted to go on strike for the first time since 1982, when U.S. oil workers walked off their jobs to protest working conditions.It would be a month before the striking oil worker’s union, the United Steel Workers, ratified a new contract, and went back to work.During that month, more than 5,000 USW workers nationwide opted to strike, walking out of a chemical plant, a cogeneration complex and nine U.S. refineries that produce 13 percent of the nation’s fuel capacity.The vote on the agreement, taken by 500 Motiva United Steel Workers members, was unanimous and marked the first time all local USW members voted in favor of a contract agreement in 30-plus years.Union members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Office and Professional Employees International Union voted separately.All were Motiva employees.Highlights of the new Motiva agreement included health and safety issues related to fatigue, preservation and preservation of the retrogression clause, and a promise to start a conversation about the use of contractors. 2015 was a year of citizen involvement in Mid- and South Jefferson County. A petition drive forced a forensic audit in Port Arthur, people rallied around a cross in the park in Port Neches and activists sued to stop the Edison Square housing development. It also was a year of change, with a new city manager coming to Port Arthur, more companies wanting to build LNG plants and Christus Health making major changes in St. Mary Hospital. Here are the Top 10 news stories of 2015, as decided by the new staff at The Port Arthur News.
Christy “Joanie” Boston, 51, of Fort Worth, Texas passed away Monday, March 21, 2016 in Houston, Texas.Joanie was born on April 14, 1964 in Port Arthur, Texas to Jerry Curtis Dunn and Jocie Ann Autrey Dunn. She was a resident of Port Arthur for 23 years before moving to Fort Worth. She was a 1982 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and a member of the Maroon and Gold Band. Survivors include her mother, Jody Dunn of Port Arthur, TX; brother, Joey Dunn and his wife Pam of Spring, TX. Additional family members include her aunts, uncles, and cousins. Joanie was a caring wife, daughter, sister and compassionate friend. She was also a faithful member of the Baptist Church and served in Children’s Ministries.She was preceded in death by her husband of 30 years, Barry Boston; and her father, Jerry Dunn. A visitation for family and friends will begin at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 24, 2016 at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves followed by the funeral service at 4:00 p.m. with Reverend Alan Autrey officiating. Burial will be held at a later date.Friends wishing to make memorial contributions may send them to: First Baptist Church of Port Arthur Children’s Ministries, c/o Procter Baptist Church, 4401 Jimmy Johnson Blvd., Port Arthur, TX 77642.
Steven L. Benoit, 68, of Hillister died Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Clayton Thompson Funeral Directors, Groves.Homer Austin Baxter, 61, of Beaumont died Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. Broussard’s, McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. Bruce C. Johnson, 64, of Beaumont died Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Gabriel Funeral Home. Death notices Services todayDelores J. Hebert, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont, 2 p.m.
She loved taking care of her family, cooking, quilting and traveling. She especially enjoyed going to their camp at Toledo Bend.She was a devoted Baptist and member of First Baptist Church of Groves and the FaithSunday School Class.Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves with Reverend Charles Miller and Dr. Joe Worley officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Bluff Memorial Park. Janette “Net” S. Pulito, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, March 25, 2017.She was born on May 13, 1931 in Port Arthur, Texas to Burl C. Stanley and Lora Jordan Stanley.“Net” was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and member of the Red Hussar Drum and Bugle Corp. She attended Port Arthur College and worked at Gulf Oil for 6 years until her son was born. A visitation for family and friends will be before the service from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home.She was preceded in death by her parents, Burl C. Stanley and Lora J. Stanley and her sister, Linda.Janette is survived by her husband of 66 plus years, Vincent “Vince” Pulito of Port Neches, son Brian Pulito and wife Felicia of Groves, granddaughter Kimberly Paige Pulito, great granddaughter Alora, brother Dr. R.T. Stanley of Lindale, TX, sister in law Loraine Brady of Katy, TX and numerous nieces and nephews.“Net” will be greatly missed by all. The family would like to thank Compassion Hospice and especially nurse Carol David and Angie for their loving care.Friends wishing to make memorial contributions may send them to: First Baptist Church of Groves, Youth Department, 4000 Grant, Groves, TX 77619.
This parade was originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct.14, 2017 and along with everything else scheduled for the 2017 celebration, events have just recently been held, she said.Tropical Storm Harvey is to blame for the October postponement of the event. For the first time in the 65-year history of CavOILcade, there will be no parade.Pam Trosclair, executive director of CavOIlcade said there are a number of factors involved in this decision, including commitments several of the princesses already had, weather, and illness. Anyone that had signed up to participate in the parade will be contacted in the next day or so. “We were able to get all the events rescheduled to meet the princess schedules, but the parade is one event we just cannot do,” Trosclair said. “We held coronation this past Saturday night and it was beautiful as always. Those white dresses and black tuxedos on these young people were stunning. We appreciate all the community support for CavOILcade, and look for princess applications to be mailed out in February.”
Next UpSami Jo Williams led all the women bowlers this week she hammered the lanes with games of 213, 258 and 199 for a nice 670 series. Sami Jo did all this in the Monday night Valero League.Wednesday mornings Queen Tumblers provided this weeks top senior female bowler. None other that Alice Barnes led the way this week. Alice shot up games of 210, 214 and 163 for a 587 series.This past weekend I was able to make the trip to Baton Rouge with several of the ladies and watch them bowl in the Louisiana State Women’s Bowling Championships. The Chief unloaded career 300 No. 32 during the Thursday night Energy Country Ford/Allstate League.C.J. “Chief” Moity shot his first 300 at the old Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30, 1983. Chief also had games of 269 and 194 to lead all the senior men with a 763 series.While talking about the Thursday night league, Eric Manthei came close to perfection in his second game of the evening. Eric pocketed the first 11 shots then came up with an eight count on his final ball to finish with a 298 game. Eric surrounded that masterpiece with games of 268 and 215 to lead all bowlers this week with a 781 series. This group provided a lot of excitement throughout the weekend. RaeAnna Todora left Baton Rouge on Sunday in the top spot in the all events scratch division.Perhaps the most exciting time was provided to us by Cindy Pizzey. Cindy, bowling on a 98 average, is currently sitting in fourth place with all events handicapped with a 218.3. This whole group of ladies had a fun time and provided plenty of entertainment on the lanes. • 700’s: Skipper Arsenault 267-192-256-715, Eric Manthei 268-298-215-781, CJ Moity 269-300-194-763.• VALERO: Kendall Terrell 216-634, Eloy Santanna 168-486, Zach Wiley 262-608, Griffin Williams 235-647, Sami Jo Williams 258-670, Steve Powell 222-578, Branden Powell 258-688, Mark Maxwell 235-579, David Allen 152-380, Richard Allen 186-462, Chad Carlson 186-510, Michael Morvant 187-515, James Pitre 212-565, Bruce Van Boskirk 191-484, Kyle Miller 235-606, Tara Candee 165-462, Chuck Mitchell 247-685, Wendy Medina 136-376, Carlos Medina 244-647, Kirwin Melo 240-699, Bryan Boldt 234-610, Gerard Fresnido 176-507, Rene Pulver 195-550, Chris Kaufmann 232-635, Kaci Leatherwood 141-395, Eric Kyles 224-579, Elaine Whitten 152-407, Mack McPhatter 223-604, Ryan Smith 221-628, Kurt Cullums 265-691, Derrick Rivers 234-605, Zachary Beckett 206-534, Mike Jacquet 241-619, JoshSchoonfield 167-414, Derrick Joyce 203, Jeremy Premeaux 235-627, Nick Smith 222-587, Debbie Schuster 176-464, Bubba Metz 256-663, Joe Duke 202-566, John Parent 221-557, Bonnie Maxwell 144-395, Austin Arsenault 221-586, Justin Cates 187-482, Gus Saba 149-389, Alan Kay 278-641, Jan Cates 153-433.• QUEEN TUMBLERS: Alice Barnes 214-587, Donna Kelly 151-417, Betty Shannon 179-513, Joyce Porter 135-399, Flo Benoit 159-449, Shelia Vaughan 151-418, Lynne Richter 173-438, Emily Davis 112-307, Frances Boudreaux 189-482, Donna Thomas 154-436, Cindy Campbell 201-487, Elsie Tweedel 143-406, Dot Font 146-415, Brenda Dodson 179-477, Chris Marze 190-506, June Badon 166-430.• GOLDEN OLDIES: Cynthia Williams 111-297, Gloria Divello 202-561, Bill Lawless 157-414, Gary Vincent 166-491, Randy Zampini 159-445, Phil Rogers 158-441, Cliff Mosley 201-541, Charlotte Banks 120-335, Beverly Wallace 126-324, James Pitre 244-629, CJ Moity 215-590, Maryana Kimball 166-468, Paul Vaughan 231-604, Mary Gravett 141-374, Bruce Powell 170-466, Hedy Zampini 182-478, Donna Clifton 129-332, Fred Clifton 149-415, VJ Willis 183-464, Venix Morris 165-463, Frankie Hall 193-518, Joel Freeman 108-282, Bill Allen 163-464.• MID-COUNTY MIXED: Bobby Abraham 160-426, Bruce VanBoskirk 174-424, Vladie Quirante 170-458, Resty Baluyot 165-430.• FUN BOWLERS: Johnny Simon 196-536, Robert Miller 181-441, Mike Free 181-513, Carla Hurst 132-369, Joe Hurst 157-439, Jeremy Jones 262-665, Diron Owens 199-518, Charles Venable 211-523, Darlene Knight 192-503, Anna Commorato 157-412,Joseph Commorato 213-552, Hope Miller 110-278, Micah Muller 204-560, Judy Lynch 173-436, James Pitre 210-580, Bill White 257-676, Joyce Cialona 184-494, Tyler Rikoff 223-602.• ENERGY COUNTRY FORD/ALLSTATE: Michael Peterson 179-425, Chuck Clark 175-430, Kody Rountree 207-509, Michael Chandler 201-579, Linda Morris 177-488, Laura Scully 193-532, Zim Morris 219-554, Kevin Gros 220-529, Sandra Windham 215-551, Buddy Sepeda 247-594, James Robinson 207-530, Houston Rideaux 218-546, Brittany Combs 139-361, Mary Jane Parsley 183-609, Jeremy Tremonte 203-515, David Bruno 258-662, Erik Postula 246-649, John May 185-462, Randy Young 188-512, Clay Mathew 278-657, Tammy Nick 178-483, John Tatroe 135-401, Shelly Moity 233-519, Bobby Clark 236-579, Ray Todora 222-614, Jake Glenn 236-666, Timmy Le 195-557, Huu Tran 208-481, Tommy Tran 192-490, Samson Pham 197-510, Kevin tran 204-564, Kayla Kay 160-463, Chris Kaufmann 204-520, Joe Duke 216-547, Georgia McElroy 130-342, Karen Bellow 191-534, Bob Bellow 222-574, Gerard Fresnido 173-455, David Pulver 213-460, rene Pulver 208-553, Andrew Pridemore 258-694, Tyler Rikoff 224-611, Richard Chichester 210-610, Blake Dugas 222-593, Trey Todora 242-674, Braden Grusecki 183-518, Chris Merritt 245-667, Bret Chipman 223-583, Rex Morris 215-507, Ryan Cooper 233-536, Rusti Girolamo 167-422, Theresa Beavens 177-466, Art Turner 268-648, Troy Girolamo 235-631, Jim Clark 160-415, Giles Broussard 162-431, Logan Cain 225-635, Mike Charles 205-578, Bill White 240-611, Jakeevan Sonnier 192-460, Gary Biegas 222-510, Georgeann Richardson 264-607, Wendy Medina 133-350, Austin Arsenault 193-543, Skipper Arsenault 228-590, Darrel Robinson 203-509, Mike Jacquet 224-603, Daryl Hughes 247-674, Charlene Wersig 187-509, Aaron Wersig 182-466, Zack Sonnier 235-620, DeanWersig 224-607, Branden Powell 237-633, John Allen 226-585, Jonathan Martin 255-652, Rick Hermsen 221-578, Trint Miguez 229-628, Chris Edwards 215-596, Joann Williams 197-470, Derek Williams 259-674.• STARS of TOMORROW: Cain Shaw 196-519, Blaine Seymour 205-570, Ryan Thomas 155-401.
Next UpSome council members and City Hall professionals are troubled by the council majority’s actions and duplicity. Doucet apparently believed honest colleagues and employees would not tell us how certain decisions were made behind closed doors.We heard. We know.During Tuesday’s meeting, Doucet began this discussion on Kansas City Southern 503 by stating, “I’ve been reading a lot of articles in the newspaper they label facts, and saying that council had made a decision about this train behind closed doors and is not transparent.” According to the Port Arthur City Charters, Sec. 2-285: “the city council confers upon the city manager the general authority to contract for expenditure without further approval of the city council for all budgeted items not exceeding $25,000, subject to the requirement that a monthly check register indicating all such expenditures be provided to the city council.”That means the City Council does not have to vote on an item or issue if it costs less than $25,000. Nor do they have to vote on it in an open meeting if there are budgeted funds for a project. And since one quote came in under the $25,000 cap, this is how it was discussed, handled and approved by the city council, we were told.Here’s how our sources told us each council member in the Executive Session gave approval: a “nod of the head.” No, you cannot make this stuff up.Full City Council transparency would stop a lot of this “he-said, she-said” banter. Until that happens, we will try to make sure readers are fully informed. He further stated, “I’d like to come on record today, make sure that everyone understands, council has not made a decision on whether this train will remain in Port Arthur or leave Port Arthur or whether it be demolished.”That’s wrong. People we’ve spoken to, in the same closed-door meeting, tell it much differently. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality told city leaders the engine needed to be removed due to draining oil and asbestos. These issues and concerns had been heightened since Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey, and they could lead to potential health problems. A fine was at issue.Additionally, The News was informed the council received and discussed in executive session three separate quotes to handle the work, one for $90,000, one for a little over $80,000 and one for $23,000. Interesting?Doucet said Tuesday, “In fact, for citizens who don’t know, you can always know when council makes decisions. The decisions council makes must be made in open meeting. We can discuss behind closed doors all we want, but we must come upstairs and vote on it.” The Port Arthur City Council’s continuing lack of transparency, candor and honesty has frustrated some citizens. That’s why this week’s council item, discussion about locomotive No. 503, might have excited some people: Action on the historic engine had previously been taken in secret.District 4 Councilman Harold Doucet requested the item. Maybe the council members would clear the air?Unfortunately, the council merely blew more smoke. The recorded video at http://portarthurtx.swagit.com/city-council shows Doucet telling some whoppers to placate citizens frustrated by previous council decisions on Engine 503. No doubt he’s catching heat — Engine 503, which is displayed in his district, most recently rotted away on his watch.
Two Port Arthur man were indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury for two separate murders.James Earl Holloway, 18, was indicted in the March 4 murder of Kevon Jeffrey Washington, 18.According to a probable cause affidavit, Holloway and Washington had an ongoing disturbance and Holloway used females to communicate with Washington by mobile device in order to get Washington to come to the Lake View Palms Apartments, 5200 Gulfway Drive under the impression he was going to engage in a sex act with one of the females. The grand jury also handed down an indictment for OC Thomas, 69, of Port Arthur in the Oct. 24 shooting death of Michael Lynn Thomas (no relation).The victim, Michael Lynn Thomas, 56, suffered a gunshot wound to the torso area around 1:47 a.m. at or near the Fabric Care Washateria, located at 2925 25th St.Michael Thomas was known to sleep at night with other homeless people at the washateria. He was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, where he was pronounced dead.Police believe OC Thomas’ son had been involved in a verbal disturbance with the victim earlier in the day and went home and told his father. The two returned to the washateria; there, the suspect exited the passenger side of the vehicle, opened the front door to the business and fired one shot with a shotgun, striking the victim in the abdomen, according to a probable cause affidavit. Next UpWhen Washington arrived at the complex and met with the female, it is believed Holloway was lying in wait. Washington was accompanied by two females, at which time Holloway approached him. Holloway shot Washington as he tried to run away. The victim falls and Holloway stood over him and shot him multiple times, according to police.Holloway was arrested in mid-November after he was picked up by police at a local apartment complex. He was seen using crutches as he left to an awaiting squad car from the back door of the police station. Det. Mike Hebert said Holloway was using crutches because he had been shot in an incident in Louisiana. PAPD is working with Louisiana officials in that investigation.He is being held without bond. Michael Thomas was described as having a mental illness and was known to police.OC Thomas is known to be a violent offender with a history of crime in the New Orleans area prior to his arrival in Port Arthur, police said.Bond for OC Thomas was set at $1.5 million.An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.
Dr. Bunrith Koy has announced that InstaHealth Urgent Care is offering telemedicine for $35 per visit, a $10 decrease from the regular cost, for local residents who need to see a doctor for common ailments such as cold, flu or sinus, or for medication refills.To schedule an appointment, visit www.InstaHealthUC.com or call 713-999-0008.Special to The News A former Port Arthur doctor has announced a discounted health service for residents of Port Arthur and surrounding communities affected by Tropical Storm Imelda.