Saying goodbye to an 'eagle eye' lawyer

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					                                                                                            the beaumont enterprise
Brian Pearson, managing editor
                                                                                           1880 2005                                                                                     (409) 838-2803, BPearson@hearstnp.com




      SUNDAY
     DECEMBER 18, 2005
                                                          THE REGION
                                                                        TEXAS AND LOUISIANA
                                                                                                                                                                                                     15A
                         Obituaries/16A                                                Education Calendar/17A                                                                      Community Calendar/18A

Top 10 of 2005
    Newswise, 2005 perhaps has been the
busiest year in Southeast Texas history.
    Residents opened up their hearts
and pocketbooks to Hurricane Katrina
victims and then became victims them-
                                               Red Cross still coming to rescue
selves a month later at the hands of
Hurricane Rita, perhaps the story of the
new century.
                                               Organization coming                          the 47-year-old Nome resident
                                                                                            sought assistance.
                                                                                                                                                the basement of the federal build-
                                                                                                                                                ing a few blocks away.
                                                                                                                                                                                               The Beaumont chapter has
                                                                                                                                                                                            helped 10 families displaced by
    From bad school ratings to a band
director sentenced for sexually assault-
                                               to aid of those in need                         She found it at the Red Cross.
                                                                                               Although the Red Cross budget
                                                                                                                                                    “I tried relentlessly to find the
                                                                                                                                                Red Cross,” Walters said. “What I
                                                                                                                                                                                            house fires in the last two weeks,
                                                                                                                                                                                            said Jo Ann Block, executive direc-
ing male students, the year was rife
with big-headline news.
                                               despite own hardships                        has been heavily taxed by the hun-
                                                                                            dreds of thousands of Katrina and
                                                                                                                                                did was I called the 800 number.
                                                                                                                                                The people were so nice; they did-
                                                                                                                                                                                            tor of the Red Cross.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Red Cross’ Orange chapter has
    News organizations often rank their               By SARAH MOORE                        Rita victims, it is not turning away                n’t stop till they got me in contact        helped 24 families who have had
Top 10 stories of the year. This year, in               THE ENTERPRISE                      those suffering from smaller-scale                  with who I needed to talk to there.”        house fires in the past three
addition to that, The Beaumont Enter-                                                       disasters.                                              She said she spoke to volunteers        months — about twice as many as
prise wants readers to submit their own                                                        When Walters went to the famil-                  in several states before getting con-
nominations for a second Top 10 list.             BEAUMONT — When Beverly                                                                                                                   usual, Janie Johnson, that chapter’s
                                               Walter’s house — already damaged             iar red brick building at Magnolia                  nected with the Beaumont chapter,           service delivery manager, said.
    Fill out your Top 10 list at
http://home.beaumontenterprise.com/            by Hurricane Rita — caught fire in           and North streets, the doors were                   which lined up vouchers for Wal-               The chapters attribute their
forms/2005headlines/index.html, and            October, she and her family lost             locked and the premises empty.                      Mart and the Ritter Lumber Co.              ability to cope with the increased
it will be sent to Managing Editor Brian       nearly everything they owned.                Because of storm damage of its                          “The Red Cross has been a real          demands on their agency’s
Pearson at                                        With most of the house and its            own, the Beaumont chapter had                       blessing to me and my family,”
    Here is a partial list of choices (Com-    contents damaged or destroyed,               moved into temporary quarters in                    Walter’s said.                                       RED CROSS, page 17A
plete list is at Web site listed above):
    ◆ Hurricane Rita ravages Southeast
Texas.
    ◆ Hurricane Katrina pushes thou-
sands of evacuees into Southeast
Texas, where many of them have now
decided to live.
    ◆ The Texas Education Agency slaps
                                                                                                                                                                                          Finding flu
                                                                                                                                                                                          vaccine could
an “academically unacceptable” rating
on the Beaumont school district and
some of its schools. The TEA later
changes the rating to “not rated.” How-
ever, nine BISD schools still carry the
academically unacceptable label.
    ◆ Gary Sinegal is charged with capi-
                                                                                                                                                                                          be difficult
tal serial murder following the deaths of
                                                                                                                                                                                                       By JAMIE REID
three elderly Port Arthur women. Sine-
                                                                                                                                                                                                       THE ENTERPRISE
gal is indicted in the deaths of two of
the women, who were found beaten and
stuffed into their closets.                                                                                                                                                                  Getting a flu shot from a usual
    ◆ The Medical Center of Southeast                                                                                                                                                     source might be difficult this season.
Texas opens in Port Arthur.                                                                                                                                                                  Although plenty of vaccine is
    ◆ Sharks put a scare into beachgo-                                                                                                                                                    available, some doctors never
ers at the Bolivar Peninsula. On the                                                                                                                                                      received flu shots because one man-
other hand, the fishermen love it.                                                                                                                                                        ufacturer, Chiron Corp., produced
    ◆ Turmoil plagues the Port Arthur                                                                                                                                                     less than anticipated. Also, some
Police Department in a year that starts off                                                                                                                                               doctors lost the temperature-sensi-
with a Texas Ranger’s investigation into                                                                                              Photos by Jennifer Reynolds/The Enterprise          tive vaccine during Hurricane Rita,
events surrounding a nightclub shooting.                                                                                                                                                  which knocked out power.
                                               Friends and family walk in line to say their final              was a prominent Orange County attorney and                                    Nevertheless, Southeast Texans
Although no criminal charges are filed, a
whistleblower lawsuit is filed by an officer   goodbyes to Louis Dugas following funeral ser-                  served in the Texas Legislature. Photographs                               don’t seem overly concerned.
and the police union takes a vote of “no       vices for the attorney Saturday in Orange. Dugas                were taken with the family’s permission.                                      “People would complain more,
confidence” in the police administration.                                                                                                                                                 but they have enough to worry about
In addition, a Beaumont Enterprise report                                                                                                                                                 with the hurricane,” said Jolene



                                               Saying goodbye to
shows that the department’s rate of solv-                                                                                                                                                 Stadel, office manager at Southeast
ing crimes ranks among the state’s worst                                                                                                                                                  Texas Pulmonary.
when compared to similar-sized cities.                                                                                                                                                       The three-doctor office never
The chief later resigns and the assistant                                                                                                                                                 received its standing order for about
chief is appoints to the post.                                                                                                                                                            200 vaccines, Stadel said. She plead-
    ◆ Beaumont’s crime rate jumps dra-                                                                                                                                                    ed with the distributor and listened



                                               an ‘eagle eye’ lawyer
matically from the previous year, when
                                                                                                                                                                                          to patients complain, but ended up
the city’s crime rate ranked No. 2 among
                                                                                                                                                                                          empty-handed. The office finally
the 25 most populous Texas cities.
                                                                                                                                                                                          received about 20 doses from anoth-
    ◆ Another year of upheaval prevails
for the Port Arthur school district. The                                                                                                                                                  er doctor who had plenty, she said.
Texas Education Agency replaces a                                                                                                                                                            The problem is Chiron was not
monitor with a conservator. Trustees                                                                                                                                                      able to produce as much vaccine as
argue about where the new high school                                                                                                                                                     originally anticipated, according to
should go and move it back to where                   By JAMIE REID
                                                                                                                                                                                          the federal Centers for Disease Con-
the existing high school is. Trustees                  THE ENTERPRISE
                                                                                                                                                                                          trol and Prevention.
engage in almost weekly training to                                                                                                                                                          Production was hampered when
work out their differences.                                                                                                                                                               the company had to correct prob-
                                                   ORANGE — Between pat-
    ◆ Big plans are in the works for Mid-                                                                                                                                                 lems at its facility in England, accord-
                                               ting away tears at Louis Dugas’
and South County development: Two                                                                                                                                                         ing to the CDC. Last year, Chiron
new shopping centers and a new hospi-
                                               funeral Saturday, about 200                                                                                                                found tainted doses of vaccine in its
tal open in April. Other strip centers are     mourners broke into smiles                                                                                                                 factory and didn’t ship about 50 mil-
planned. A mixed beverage election is          and laughter as friends                                                                                                                    lion shots, causing a shortage.
on the May 2006 ballot for Port Arthur.        swapped stories about the                                                                                                                     This year, there is plenty of vac-
    ◆ The Jefferson County budget boon-        illustrious lawyer.                                                                                                                        cine — more than 80 million doses in
doggle spills from 2004 into 2005 when             Dugas, 77, died Dec. 15 after                                                                                                          the United States, one of the highest
a controversial management study of            a battle with high blood pres-                                                                                                             amounts ever available — but
Jefferson County recommends 74                 sure and asbestiosis. His funer-                                                                                                           providers and distributors that order
changes in the way the county does busi-       al was held at First United                                                                                                                from Chiron have less. During last
ness. The study by MGT of America says         Methodist Church in Orange.                                                                                                                year’s shortage, there were about 61
the county would see net savings of                Attorneys who spoke at the                                                                                                             million doses available.
$12.35 million by following the advice.        funeral said that Dugas, an                                                                                                                   Stadel orders through a distributor,
    ◆ Former Newton band director              Orange criminal defense attor-                                                                                                             Melville, N.Y.-based Henry Schein,
James Pelloat is sentenced in March to         ney, knew the ins and outs of           Friends and family say their final goodbyes to Louis Dugas fol-
a total of 40 years in prison on sexual
                                                                                                                                                                                          which usually receives between 20
                                               the law better than anyone else         lowing funeral services for the attorney Saturday in Orange.                                       million and 22 million doses from Chi-
assault charges related to encounters                                                  Dugas was a prominent Orange County attorney and served in
with two male students.                        in the area. Other lawyers often                                                                                                           ron. This year, Henry Schein, which
                                               called on him for help with             the Texas Legislature.                                                                             mainly supplies doctor’s offices,
    ◆ Former Beaumont mayor David W.
Moore and former councilman John K.            research, they said.                                                                                                                       received about 4 million doses,
                                                   In the courtroom, he used              “He would find that ‘i’ that                tice of the peace in 1963 and                       spokeswoman Susan Vassallo said.
Davis complete their federal prison                                                    wasn’t dotted,” Dunn said of                   was Orange County district
terms and return to Beaumont.                  the minutiae of the law to win                                                                                                                Henry Schein asked that offices
                                                                                       Dugas’ eagle eye for the law.                  attorney from 1968 to 1973.                         make two orders: one just for high-
    ◆ The race for Jefferson County judge      cases, friends said. He looked
                                                                                          Lawyer Steve Carlton said                      He argued before the U.S.                        risk patients and another to supply
kicks off more than a year early when          over his cases with a magnify-
                                                                                       Dugas’ nickname should have                    Supreme Court in 1986 — and                         vaccine to everyone. Most offices, the
Ronald Walker, former chief justice of the     ing glass, ferreting out prob-
                                                                                       been “Gotcha.”                                 won.                                                lucky ones, got enough for high-risk
Ninth Court of Appeals, announces he           lems that would set his clients                                                           After he became too ill to
will challenge incumbent Carl Griffith.        free. He probably had more                 Dugas, who grew up in                                                                           patients, Vassallo said.
    ◆ Residents in the East Texas com-
                                                                                                                                      walk, he continued working                             Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital
                                               cases dismissed due to flawed           Orange, served in the Texas
munity of Hemphill eagerly watch as the                                                                                               from an electric scooter.                           also is running low on shots, infec-
                                               search warrants than any local          Legislature for six years, from
nation’s space program heads back to           lawyer, newspaperman Roy                1955 to 1960. He was just 26                   jreid@beaumontenterprise.com                        tion control practitioner Cindy Pow-
the stars, 2½ years after pieces of the        Dunn said.                              years old. He was elected jus-                 (409) 833-3311, ext. 428                            ers said.
space shuttle Columbia fell from the sky.                                                                                                                                                    The hospital vaccinated high-risk
    ◆ Billy McGee and Joshua Rogers                                                                                                                                                       patients and most staff, but didn’t
lead authorities on a manhunt after                                                                                                                                                       have enough for all staff members,
allegedly shooting at a Silsbee police                                                                                                                                                    Powers said. The hospital has
officer during an attempted traffic stop.                                                                                                                                                 received 50 shots here and 50 shots
McGee allegedly crawls through the sun-
roof of the vehicle he and Rogers were
in and fires one round at the officer.
                                               Thousands flock to annual Feast of Sharing                                                                                                 there — “a drop in the bucket to 2,300
                                                                                                                                                                                          employees,” Powers said.
                                                                                                                                                                                             Southeast Texas Medical Associ-
Rogers is quickly caught, but it’s days
                                                                                                                                                                                          ates, SETMA, also is running low, said
before McGee is captured in Kentucky.          Residents were treated                  and holiday meal trimmings at
                                                                                       the 15th annual Feast of Shar-
                                                                                                                                         “They really went all out this
                                                                                                                                      time,” Nobles said. “There’s                        Chief Executive Officer James Holly.
    ◆ Southeast Texas school districts
claim vindication after the state              with food, entertainment                ing on Saturday.                               better toys and games for the                       The group lost about $60,000 to
                                                                                                                                                                                          $70,000 worth of shots during Hurri-
Supreme Court rules that current prop-                                                     The food is always good and                kids, and it just looks great.”
erty tax structures are a de facto                 By ROLANDO GARCIA                   hot, Nobles said, but her 5-                      The event is not just for the                    cane Rita, he said.
statewide property tax and therefore                   THE ENTERPRISE                  year-old son James, was more                   poor, organizers said. All were                        The temperature-sensitive vac-
unconstitutional. The West Orange-Cove                                                 excited about the brown teddy                  encouraged to partake.                              cines got too hot to use when the
and Port Neches-Groves school dis-                Nearly two dozen strong,             bear, ping-pong paddle and                                                                         emergency power failed, Holly said.
                                                                                                                                         About 7,500 meals of ham,
tricts, joined by hundreds of other Texas      Tamara Nobles and her extend-           other goodies given to children                                                                    The group now has received enough
                                                                                                                                      corn, mashed potatoes, rolls                        shots to immunize high-risk
districts, win the case in a 7-1 vote,         ed family arrived early to stake        at the event.
upholding a lower court’s decision.                                                                                                   and apple pie were served, said                     patients, he said.
                                               out a table in the sprawling                The event, sponsored by H-                 Harvey Zernial, coordinator of
    ◆ Two Southeast Texas killers who          Ford Park Exhibit Hall.                                                                                                                       Health officials advised people to
                                                                                       E-B, is usually held in the Beau-              the event. That included nearly
were teens when they committed capi-                                                                                                                                                      check around — looking at doctor’s
                                                  “We come every year. It’s a          mont or Port Arthur civic cen-                 3,000 meals delivered to home-
tal murder and were sentenced to death                                                                                                                                                    offices, grocery stores and clinics —
catch a break when the U.S. Supreme            family tradition,” said Nobles, a       ters, but this year moved to a                 bound elderly.                                      for shots.
Court outlaws the death penalty for            Beaumont resident who was               the larger venue at Ford Park.                    More than 400 volunteers
defendants who were younger than 18            among thousands of Southeast            And the feast was more extrav-                                                                     jreid@beaumontenterprise.com
when they committed their killings.            Texans who got their fill of ham        agant than ever, Nobles said.                             FEAST, page 17A                          (409) 833-3311, ext. 428
                                                                    ◆ Section designed and copy-edited by Christine Emmott, (409) 833-3311, ext. 258 ◆                                                                         ●

				
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