the beaumont enterprise
Brian Pearson, managing editor
1880 2005 (409) 838-2803, BPearson@hearstnp.com
DECEMBER 18, 2005
TEXAS AND LOUISIANA
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
Organization coming the 47-year-old Nome resident
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
◆ Hurricane Katrina pushes thou-
sands of evacuees into Southeast
Texas, where many of them have now
decided to live.
◆ The Texas Education Agency slaps
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-
tal serial murder following the deaths of
By JAMIE REID
three elderly Port Arthur women. Sine-
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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- email@example.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 ◆ ●