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Gateway to Lake Corpus Christi

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Thursday, November 11, 2010 ­ Mathis Texas 78368

Volume 84 · No. 45

"Where the fish bite every day!"

By KURT MOGONYE by KURT MOGONYE San Patricio Publishing Co. # San Patricio Publishing #

La Fruta Park Opens For RVs, Kayaks, Campers

On Nueces River

a schedule of proposed fees for the new county park located off of State Hwy. 359 and CR 1092. Precinct 2 Commissioner Fred Nardini was absent and attending a conference. Judge Terry County Simpson said state funding from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) plan is slowly being dispersed to the county for the park's development, and now, after many months of clearing brush along the river bottom and constructing roads into the park, the greenspace is ready for use by the public. William "Ski" Zagorski, the county's parks and recreation director, said La Fruta Park is comprised of approximately 50 acres one mile downstream from the spillway at Wesley Seale Dam on Lake Corpus Christi. The park will be open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless reservations are made for overnight camping.

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Gear-Up Essay Winners...

In a historic mid-term election, the Republican Party swept across San Patricio County winning all but one race in the Nov. 2 election in which Republicans challenged Democrat incumbents. Republicans along with independent voters helped to elect candidates backed by the GOP including County Judge Terry Simpson, who will return to his post on the commissioners court for a third four-year term. As ballot boxes began to arrive at the courthouse Tuesday evening and after election results began to be posted, it was apparent Republican voters in San Patricio County would be following the wave of GOP candidates' support reported nationwide. Those in contested races at

GOP Sweeps County, State Elections

(Photo submitted)

Mathis High School Principal Manuel Lunoff IV stands with the Mathis High School for International Studies students who won awards for their essays on the opportunities the Gear Up program provided them at key turning points in their educational endeavors. Ariana Barajas won the first place award for the best essay in the Coastal Bend Gear Up region. She will receive the award at a luncheon on November 9 at the Gear Up state-wide conference in Corpus Christi. Pictured above are, from left, (back)Manuel Lunoff IV, Chloe Mengers, Daniel Barrera, Ariana Barajas and Karen Treviño. Not pictured is Rafael Martinez.

Veterans' Day March, Program Set For Thursday

After undergoing five years of development along the Nueces River near Mathis, San Patricio County leaders took additional steps to open La Fruta Park to the public on Monday by establishing user fees for everything from recreational vehicle hookups to kayak rentals. County commissioners, in a 4-0 vote, agreed to approve

Republicans Win County's Contested Races

the local level, including Simpson who faced Democrat Jimmie Alaniz, a current Sinton ISD school board member, held onto their comfortable margins throughout the night before ballots in all 32 precincts in San Patricio County were counted. Polls closed at 7 p.m. and ballots began arriving a halfhour later from outlying voting locations and, by 8 p.m. it was apparent many of the races had been decided as the 2-1 margin of victory was sustained until all votes had been tallied. Also re-elected were GOP candidates Laura Miller, of Portland, who will begin her second four-year term as District Clerk, and Ingleside's James "Jim" Price Jr., who will return for another term as Pct. 4 County Commissioner.

The Mathis Pirates will take on Needville, Friday night at Bobcat Stadium on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos, in a Class 3A Division II bidistrict playoff game.. The Blue Jays are the District 29-3A runners-up, after a 27-21 overtime victory over Sweeny, last week. The Pirates earned their playoff bid with a third place in the 30-3A race, defeating RockportFulton, 28-9, for the berth. The Jays are a run-oriented team, with a huge offensive line and speedy

Pirates Face Needville In Bi-District Playoff

Friday Night in San Marcos

backs. Leading the charge will be senior quarterback Brandon Shavers. He is very mobile with outstanding speed. Senior Terry Matlock is an able replacement for Shavers, with a better passing game. Running backs Samuel Garcia, Kendrick Scott, and Shae Lehman give Shavers a solid supporting cast. Fullback Dylan Fuchs is a hard runner and a favorite receiver, primarily in the flats. The offensive line is anchored by strong guard Jordan Chanier (6-4, 297)

Simpson, who switched party affiliation ahead of the 2010 primaries, enjoyed a solid victory after capturing 64 percent of the vote (8,236) compared to his Democratic rival Alaniz's 36 percent (4,563). During his campaign, Simpson touted his efforts in promoting economic development which in the past two years has resulted in job creation and additions to the county's tax base. "I think that what led to my re-election is I have done what the voters have asked me to do and that was to take care of the county and bring new economic prosperity," Simpson said. "And I believe we've done that." With congressional redistricting on the horizon and Republicans sweeping many See ELECTION, Page 8

MHS Plans Vets' Day Ceremonies

American Legion Post #633 and VFW Post 3079 will present their annual Veterans' Day program at Ramsower Memorial Park. A march from the Prosperity Bank parking lot to the park will begin at 10:30 a.m., with a short program scheduled for 11 a.m. Among the activities there will be a 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps" in honor of our veterans. The public is encouraged to participate in the march and attend the ceremonies.

The Mathis High School Student Council is planning a November 11 Veterans' Day ceremony in the MHS gym at 9:30 a.m. Ms. Lidamar Gracia, Student Council sponsor, asks that veterans in the community provide photos and a brief bio for the November 11 presentation, to which they are invited to attend. Ms. Gracia can be reached at 547-3322, ext. 5147 if any veteran has questions, or would like to give her presentation materials.

Mathis American Legion Post #622 will host a benefit BBQ on November 21 for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots drive. Marines from the local detachment will be in attendance to meet the people and accept donations. Barbecued brisket plates with all the trimmings will be served from 10 am to 2 pm for donations of $5 and a new unwrapped toy. ($7.00 without a toy) All donations to the Toy for Tots in this area will stay in this area. Persons wishing to register their children (or someone else's children) should contact June Stewart at (361) 8154201 or Neal Johansen at (361) 945-1588. The BBQ will be held at the American Legion hall at 500 S. Aransas St.

BBQ Planned To Benefit Toys for Tots

The county first acquired 43 acres of land near the La Fruta River Estates subdivision in 2004, and with CIAP funds the county hopes to purchase an additional 50 acres approximately four miles southwest of Mathis where Hwy. 359 crosses the Nueces River. Funding was made available by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management which awarded an initial grant of $97,905 to the county for La Fruta Park's development. The grant was used to provide additional protection and conservation of riparian habitat and the watershed along the Nueces River at the new park. The county's goal for the park improvements are to provide additional protection of the watershed and to include a permanent launch for boats to be used by volunteers to remove debris and trash from the Nueces River. The funding will also be used for search and rescue purposes, drainage improvements at the park, and a river overlook kiosk with displays on local fish, birds, trees and snakes. Zagorski said the park will provide additional protection of these riparian bottomland hardwoods and wetland habitat through environmental education. The purchase of the 50 acres of land will provide additional protection of the riparian habitats by preventing future development in the floodplain of the Nueces River. Since CIAP funding and other grants have been received by the county, employees and volunteers have made numerous improvements to La Fruta Park including a kayak launch area, six RV spaces, restroom facilities, picnic areas and a barbecue pit adjacent to a scenic pond. Zagorski said the park is ideal for those wanting to birdwatch, fish or hike in the riverbottom--all of which are free since no fee was set to enter the public property. Non-profit organizations and See PARK, Page 3

and strong tackle Blake Herman (6-7, 285). Center Shane Brumbelow fires off the ball and is especially efficient blocking on short yardage plays. On defense, the Blue Jays are not overly big, but they are extremely fast. They are a gang-tackling unit that sheds blockers and gets to the ball quickly. Fuchs and Lehman lead the defensive unit. Fuchs was all-state last year at defensive end, while Lehman, the free safety, is considered the Blue Jays best athlete. See PLAYOFFS, Page 8

Mexico City to New York City...

Antorcha Guadalupana runners who left Mexico City on October 3 passed through Mathis on November 4, en route to New York City. The annual antorcha guadalupana ­ or torch run ­ is a traditional Mexican religious pilgrimage that dates back more than half a century to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.

(NEWS photo)

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