2010: Triumphs, tragedies
A changing of the guard took place at almost every local institution, through retirement, death or a change in circumstances. In most cases, the farewells were sad, but the new faces were welcomed, and Port Aransas has moved on.
As we watch the dawn of 2011, we look forward to a new year of challenges, opportunities and, we hope, prosperity.
Here is a brief journey back through 2010, month by month.
Happy Days owner Yehoram “Ronny” Maymon said he did not plan to re-open his controversial shop on Cut-off Road, five months after it was raided by Port Aransas police.
Port Aransas police said the shop closing would not mean they shy away from the possibility of filing charges against someone connected with the business on allegations of drug paraphernalia.
Happy Days sold bongs and other products commonly associated with head shops found itself at the center of a community-wide controversy soon after it opened in March 2009.
The Port Aransas Police Department conducted a sting operation, which en- abled police later to obtain warrants to search the shop, said Port Aransas Police Lt. James Stokes.
No one was arrested after the raid, and no charges had been filed as of Monday, Jan. 4 – nearly five months later.
Work was set to begin on two construction projects valued at nearly three quarters of a million dollars at the Dennis Dreyer Municipal Marina.
A floating dock was expected to add more slips for transient boaters, and a rebuilding job on two boat ramps should help seagoing anglers get their vessels into the water more easily.
Marine life also showed the effects of plunging temperatures in local waters. At its chilliest, the air temperature in Port Aransas was 27.5 degrees on Saturday, Jan. 9. Saltwater temps off Port Aransas dipped to 42 degrees two days later.
Beginning Saturday, the Animal Rehabilitation Keep, or ARK, received 46 sea turtles that had been rescued after being found, cold-stunned and floundering in various local coastal areas, said Tony Amos, director of the ARK.
A Port Aransas High School graduate was in the running to be named to the Texas University Interscholastic League’s All-Century Girls Basketball Team.
Whitney Williams was the only PAHS graduate (class of 2007) to be nominated, and she was part of only a handful of graduates from the entire Corpus Christi area to enjoy the distinction of being nominated.
Voting was done online through Feb. 13.
Marjorie Wohlschlag, 88, the founding teacher of the Port Aransas Independent School District’s kindergarten program, died on Sunday, Jan. 10, in Waco, where she had been convalescing after a fall.
Port Aransas police said a tendency to “mind your own business” and a heavy percentage of vacation homes continued to contribute to a recent rash of burglaries – 26 since Thanksgiving.
All those burglaries were of buildings, detective Lt. Darryl Johnson said.
In many cases, the burglars could have been caught if neighbors had been keeping an eye open, he said.
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America/Golf Digest selected Jim Brown, superintendent of Newport Dunes Golf Club, as the recipient of the Environmental Leader award in the national public category.
“While I am being individually recognized, in this case the award really is a team award because of the efforts of both developers, architects, and staff here at Newport,” Brown said.
Lindsey Williams, a 2000 graduate of Port Aransas High School, became the recipient of the first Department of Neurosurgery Roman Hlatky M.D. Award for Excellence in Neuroscientific Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She is in her second year of medical school at the Health Science Center.
Residents and Winter Texans whose “poison” is ’50s and ’60s rock-n-roll were invited to rock out with the PA Rockers.
The group formed as a result of a call put out last year by Winter Texan Mark Munson of Brainerd, Minn.
The Port Aransas City Council passed a resolution to rescind its earlier vote to authorize the Nueces County Appraisal District to construct a new headquarters building.
City Attorney Mike Morris said the resolution, passed 7-0 on Thursday, Jan. 21, would send the appraisal district a strong message that Port Aransas officials disapprove of how the appraisal district has handled the process of funding the planned building project.
Chances are, when Rick Tinnin walked on to the campus of The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (MSI) back in September 1974, he had no idea what he was getting into.
On Sunday, Jan. 31, the man who has been to date the MSI’s only director of marine education hung up his hat, retiring after 36 years.
Tinnin was a young biologist fresh off the campus of what was then Texas A&I University in Kingsville when Dr. Pat Parker, then the director of the MSI, hired him.
The Corpus Christi Rotary Club announced that Tony Amos would be awarded the 2010 Harvey Weil Professional Conservationist of the Year award on Saturday, April 10.
Amos was named for the award because of his accomplishments in conservation of wildlife habitat and marine fisheries.
Port Aransas Planning and Zoning Commission members wanted a lot of questions answered before deciding whether to recommend allowing wind turbines to be erected in town.
Commission members on Monday, Jan. 25, asked city staff to investigate and gather more information for them on a range of questions. Commissioners wanted to know more about the aesthetics of wind turbines and how big or small they could be. They also wanted to know more about potential noise issues. And they asked staff to see if they could find other coastal resort towns that allow the devices.
Look for Alma Squillante on a television near you – maybe this year.
Squillante was one of “at least 2,000 or so” people who auditioned in Dallas over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30-31, for the TV program, “America’s Got Talent.”
Squillante accompanied herself on the guitar while singing, “If You Can’t Be With the One You Love, Love the One You’re With.”
Winners receive a $1 million grand prize and billing as a Las Vegas act.
Squillante said she wouldn’t know how she did until sometime in March.
A jury found a woman innocent of a charge she helped her brother fake his own death by drowning at the beach in Port Aransas.
The jury in 117th District Judge Sandra Watts’ court acquitted Katherine Tate of hindering apprehension, a third-degree felony, on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi.
Port Aransas police arrested Tate on Friday, May 29. She was accused of lying to police, saying that her brother, Larry James Tate Jr., disappeared while swimming in the surf on Sept. 22, 2008. Katherine Tate was on the beach that day and stood by while police and Coast Guard personnel searched the waters for her brother.
Port Aransas High School principal Travis Longanecker notified the South Jetty on Wednesday, Jan. 27, that he plannned to resign as principal to accept a position as assistant superintendent at Bushland Independent School District.
Bushland is near Amarillo. Longanecker grew up in that area.
Longanecker has been with PAISD since 2004, when he was hired as principal of Brundrett Middle School. He was hired as principal at PAHS in 2006.
Longanecker’s wife, Kristi Longanecker, wass a teacher at BMS.
John Speights, 61, of Austin, was hired as the town’s newest building official, responsible for plan reviews and field inspections of single-family and multifamily residential structures.
City officials have been on a search for a new building official since shortly after the last employee in that position, Joe Lamb, died apparently of heart-related problems on Dec. 9.
Donley the dolphin, who was found stranded on the beach south of Access Road 1A on Nov. 3, has undergone a successful rehabilitation, and wildlife authorities decided to give the young dolphin a new home at SeaWorld in San Antonio.
Donley was named after Keith Donley, a Port Aransan who was the first to discover the dolphin on the beach.
Toni Somers, who lived in Port Aransas for eight years before moving to Missouri late last year, wrote a non-fiction story about gifts of cologne from her loving husband, and the yarn is such a good one that it recently was published in one of the newest “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books.
The full name of the book that contains Toni’s story is “Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love.” The work contains 101 “heartwarming and humorous stories about dating, romance, love and marriage,” according to the cover.
Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) district alignments kept Port Aransas ISD as Class 1A.
Port Aransas will remain as part of District 31-1A, with all the schools that were in the district this year, with one exception.
Yorktown moves up to a 2A school; its place in District 31-1A will be taken by Kenedy.
Rain, rain and still more rain since the fall had stalled construction projects, flooded yards and created mud pits on the beach.
From Nov. 1 to Monday, Feb. 15, some 13.47 inches of rain fell at Corpus Christi International Airport, according to the Web site of the National Weather Service. That’s 7.39 inches more than usual for that time of year, the Web site reported.
SandFest organizers were planning to charge admission for beachgoers to get close to the most dazzling sand sculptures at the April 9-11 event.
The admission-only area would enclose a section of the SandFest grounds where professional sand sculptors work, according to Elleece Calvert, SandFest’s event director.
A search committee narrowed its list of candidates for the next city manager of Port Aransas to seven people, Interim City Manager Dave Parsons told the city council on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Some 114 people applied for the position, said Pat Garrett, executive assistant to the city manager and a member of the search committee. Fifty-nine of the applicants had backgrounds that met the basic criteria for the office, Garrett said.
The Port Aransas City Council granted permission for the Port Aransas Museum to decorate the walls of the Community Center with several hanging panels full of photos reflecting some of the history of the 61-year-old structure.
The obituary for the Lady Marlins’ 2009-2010 season didn’t mention heart problems. The ladies showed heart all the way through the season, which came to an end Tuesday, Feb. 23, with a regional quarterfinal loss to Nueces Canyon High School, 49-29.
The city has come up with enough money to repair damage to the rocky revetment that protects the shoreline at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture.
It was announced that the city would receive $330,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $86,548 in Coastal Erosion Protocol Response Account (CEPRA) money. The CEPRA funds are federal money distributed by the Texas General Land Office. The funds would be used to repair damage to the rocky revetment that protects the shoreline at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture.
Runners and walkers in the 6th Annual Port Aransas Kiwanis Club Beach Dash awoke to a chilly, but sunny morning on Saturday, Feb. 27.
The 400 participants and a crowd of supporters kicked off the event with the National Anthem, sung by Jenna Ward of Port Aransas.
A quick start turned out to be no match for consistent speed and experience on Friday, Feb. 26. The Marlins ended their basketball season at the area level against the Medina Bobcats, going down 71-30.
A new commissioner will represent Port Aransas and the rest of Nueces County Precinct 4 after Joe McComb defeated incumbent Chuck Cazalas in balloting Tuesday, March 2.
Since no Democrats filed for the position, the winner in the Republican Primary would be unopposed in the General Election in November.
Eight first graders read more than 100 books each in this year’s 31-day Read-A-Thon, sponsored by H.G. Olsen Elementary School. Two of the students – Zach Parker and Pablito Snow – broke school records.
Zach devoured 476 books, and Pablito mowed through 360. The previous record of 163 books was set last year by Tripp Collins.
Shane Johnson, a seventh-grader at Brundrett Middle School, was recently accepted into the People to People Academic Program.
Johnson will join a select group of students from around the country in Washington, D.C., in July, to study leadership and explore monuments and institutions there.
A second race formed for school board on the last day to file, Monday, March 8, as Tanya Chambers filed for Place 6, held by Rick Adams who has filed for re-election. Michele Lorette is unopposed in her bid for Place 4 to replace Ken Dunton, who is not seeking re-election.
No contests formed for city council or the water district board. Those entities have the option of not holding an election since no races are contested.
Uncontested candidates for positions at the city are Keith McMullin for mayor, John Price for Place 2, Glenda Balentine, incumbent in Place 4 and Steve Lanoux for Place 6.
Unopposed candidates for the water board are incumbents Marc Teller and Joan Holt.
Terms are for four years, and there are no term limits.
The Port Aransas Marlins fought their way upward through four games of the second annual Third Coast Baseball Tournament here to emerge Saturday on top of the eight participating teams.
The Marlins won the championship game against Ganado on Saturday, 3-0, after blanking Victoria Faith Academy 10-0 and edging Charlotte 8-8 based on having more runners on base. On Friday they advanced to the championship bracket by trouncing Louise, 12-3.
A search committee released the names and resumes of the five men that the group chose as the top candidates to become the next city manager of Port Aransas.
The candidates were:
• Robert Bradshaw, town manager of Indian River Shores, Fla.;
• Richard Rose, a consultant who has worked as city manager of D’Iberville, Miss.
• Timothy C. Smith, a New Mexico resident and former county manager of that state’s Otero County;
• Ronald W. Stock, city administrator of the City of Lamar, Colo.;
• Bill Vance, a Wildwood, Fla., resident whose most recent city employment was as town manager of Lady Lake, Fla.
The Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association dinner and live auction raised a whopping $80,000, approximately, on Saturday, March 6, and some $25,000 of that was donated by a single person: Dr. Carol Woodfin of Port Aransas.
Georgia Neblett was named director of development at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI).
In her new role, Neblett will work for the benefit of the entire institute. She was expected to wear two hats for several months, as she remained executive director of the NERR while at the same time working as director of development.
Wayne Johnson was named interim high school principal in Port Aransas, after Travis Longanecker resigned to take a job in the Panhandle. Longanecker’s last day was Friday, March 12. Johnson was also interim superintendent at Port Aransas ISD between the departure of Billy Wiggins, who resigned in 2008 to take a job in Salado, and the arrival of Dr. Sharon Doughty, who was hired as Port Aransas superintendent in January 2009.
Director of Maintenance Kirk Palermo was hired as director of maintenance for the Port Aransas ISD, and Pete Cowen was made transportation director at the board of trustees’ March meeting.
Palermo relieves retired maintenance director John Dreiling, who retired in 2008, and had been working for the district on an interim basis since his replacement, Bill Atkins, resigned suddenly in early January.
The Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Trust bestowed a grant making it possible for the Port Aransas Community Theater board of directors to pay the final installment on the theater building mortgage.
Funds raised by PACT at the annual Fall Back Festival paid all remaining debts, leaving it a debt-free organization.
The Nueces County Appraisal District notified the city of Port Aransas that the district would provide the city with a refund of $17,500, Interim City Manager Dave Parsons told the city council on Thursday, March 18.
The appraisal district also decided to forward a refund of about $91,977 to the Port Aransas Independent School District, said Olivia Mixon, executive director of business and operations at the district.
For the past five years, the appraisal district retained tens of thousands of dollars in surplus money, putting it into what became a $2.8 million fund to help pay the future cost of building a new office building to replace the aging structure that houses the district’s workers in downtown Corpus Christi.
Two San Antonio area girls went missing for more than 24 hours in Port Aransas before being found on Wednesday, March 17, unharmed, police said.
Friends Taylor Newman, 11, and Nicole Colla, 12, disappeared for more than a day after last being seen walking on the beach about 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 16, police said.
Police early-on said they suspected the two were runaways, but no one could be certain as long as they remained missing.
The search ended “when both girls returned to their condominium at the Island Retreat Condominiums in Port Aransas,” a news release said.
Both girls were deferred to the Nueces County Juvenile Justice Center in Corpus Christi.
Port Aransas merchants reported stout business from Spring Break, even though the holiday was shorter than usual and included a couple of days of rain.
Clear, warm weather throughout much of the week accounted for part of the success, business owners said.
Most years, some Texas schools release students one week, while other schools are out the following week. But this year, nearly all of the schools in the state were out in a single week: The week of March 15-19.
After months of talk, meetings and repeated votes at city hall, Port Aransas had a rewritten set of city codes and a revamped zoning map.
The city council voted unanimously on third reading to pass a top-to-bottom rewrite of city codes on Thursday, March 18.
The council voted 6-1 to pass the redrawn zoning map on third reading. Councilman Charles Bujan’s no vote came in connection with a 10-acre piece of land located off Paradise Point Road.
Two men were injured in an explosion that destroyed a barge in Ingleside and produced a booming noise that could be heard by many Port Aransas residents on Thursday, March 25, the Coast Guard reported.
The explosion took place shortly after 3 p.m. A number of Mustang Island residents called police, wondering if the blast took place on the west side of town, said Port Aransas Police Chief Scott Burroughs.
One of the final five candidates for the position of Port Aransas city manager has dropped out of the race, said Interim City Manager Dave Parsons. Richard Rose, a consultant in Mississippi, contacted Port Aransas city officials on Monday, March 29, and informed them that he had taken another job in Mississippi and would no longer be interested in the Port Aransas job, Parsons said.
Coach Brian Flack noted that it’s the first time in the annals of baseball – the Marlins beat Falls City in Falls City.
Abby Kenigsberg, a senior at Port Aransas High School, has been named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association Academic All-State basketball team. Kenigsberg was the only player named from Port Aransas, or from the entire District 31A.
The enchanting sight of skydivers floating down from the sky on colorful parachutes on Thursday, March 25, turned to horror when onlookers saw one of the skydivers lose control and slam into a building so hard that he was driven through the roof of the two-story condominium. The impact killed the skydiver (as reported that day on the South Jetty’s Web site, www.portasouthjetty.com).
Police identified the skydiver as 34- year-old Peter Gerencser of Hungary.
Gerencser was a professional skydiver employed by Skydive Atlas, police said. He was one of 10 skydivers involved in a jump made from altitude of about 14,000 feet, according to police.
Jose Francisco “Frank” Guillen was charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his live-in girlfriend, Lanae Wesner on Wednesday, March 31, police said.
Wesner was one of five people shot at a party at the Fin and Feather RV Park and Marina, off State Hwy. 361, west of the Port Aransas city limits
After the last interview on April 2, the city manager selection committee announced it had narrowed the list to three, eliminating Timothy C. Smith from contention. Smith is a New Mexico resident and former county manager of that state’s Otero County.
• Robert Bradshaw, town manager of Indian River Shores, Fla.;
• Ronald W. Stock, city administrator of the City of Lamar, Colo.;
• Bill Vance, a Wildwood, Fla., resident whose most recent city employment was as town manager of Lady Lake, Fla.
The Port Aransas High School University Interscholastic League one-act play team performed last Thursday for the 1A north-zone competition. Though they did not advance, three students earned individual awards. Jordan Butterfield earned honorable mention in acting, Mitchell Byrd won the first place technical award for lights and sound and Ashley Henderson made all-star cast.
A half-million-dollar federal grant for research in the Mission Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve is expected to connect Coastal Bend estuaries with the so-called “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana.
Dr. Ed Buskey, of The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) in Port Aransas, was the recipient of the grant. Buskey, who is the research coordinator for the reserve and a research professor at UTMSI, said the grant would be used to try to determine how much nutrient load should be allowed to flow down streams and rivers into bays and estuaries without causing environmental damage.
Thirteen Marlins advanced to the area track meet after placing in the top four positions in their events at the district meet in Ben Bolt on Wednesday, April 7.
Port Aransas was named one of just 10 winners of the 2010 Governor’s Community Achievement Award, a program created in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation.
The GCAA recognizes Port Aransas as having the best grassroots environmental program in the state in its population category (3,001 to 5,500). Winning communities will share $2 million in landscape funds from TxDOT. Port Aransas will receive $110,000 for a landscaping project along a local state highway right-of-way.
Lady Marlin golfers overcame weather that coach Steve Reaves called “miserable” on Monday, April 12, to win their district golf title and advance to regional play.
Five girl golfers were also in the top nine scorers in the tournament, held at Padre Isles Country Club.
Grants totaling $65,368.79 from the Port Aransas Education Foundation to Port Aransas schools and teachers totaled well over last year’s $57,458.22.
The grants were announced Friday, April 9, at the Brundrett Middle School gym. While this year’s total was higher, grants were spread out to 29 recipients with the highest being $6,238.
Port Aransas school trustees voted unanimously on Thursday, April 8, to offer Sharon McKinney the job as principal at Port Aransas High School.
McKinney replaces Wayne Johnson, who was her superintendent at Aransas County when she worked there. Johnson had been interim principal since Travis Longanecker resigned over Spring Break to take a job in the Panhandle.
Thousands of folks descended on the beach during the 14th annual SandFest celebration in Port Aransas Friday through Sunday, April 9-11.
Changes in how SandFest was run and how its grounds were laid out were well-received by beachgoers, according to the event director, Elleece Calvert. For the first time in the event’s history, organizers set up mesh fencing to block off the areas where the master sculptors were working, and SandFest charged $2 admission for spectators to get in and get close-up views of the masters’ big, elaborate creations.
The Port Aransas City Council decided to reject a proposal for a public-private development partnership between the city and Texas Aviation Partners, an Austin firm.
“The land that was involved in that lease is very valuable property,” Mayor Pro Tem Keith McMullin said, “and I believe the city should control its destiny with regard to the airport.”
McMullin said he believed Texas Aviation Partners wanted more control over airport property than would be good for the city.
Several Port Aransas track and field competitors advanced to the regional track meet after taking ribbons in the area meet on Friday, April 16 in Beeville. One of them, Corban Marcantel, placed in two different events and set personal records in both.
Headed for regional May 3- 4 in Huntsville were Emily Scott, Megan Forrest, Brenna Martin, Matt Fries and Marcantel.
The Lady Marlins 1600-meter relay team placed third and advanced as well.
Team members were Chelsea Perez, Kelsey Abel, Brenna Martin and Kalani Balcom.
Those who had been really late on paying their garbage bills were advised to take notice.
And if anyone once a patient on a Port Aransas ambulance, but who never paid for that service, should listen up as well.
Port Aransas city officials were making plans to collect on those debts.
Police arrested three San Antonio men in connection with the death of a fishing buddy whose body was found near Island Moorings Oct. 12.
Members of the Port Aransas Police
Department and Texas Rangers made the arrests in San Antonio on Thursday, April 15, according to PAPD Chief Scott Burroughs.
Arrested were Ambrosio Obregon, 52, his brother, Joseph Obregon, 38, and Jeremiah Pena, 32. The Obregons are cousins of the victim, Maxi Granados Jr., 60, of Red Oak, according to Michael Bustos, a detective with PAPD.
Burroughs said the men were booked at Nueces County Jail on charges of intoxication manslaughter.
City officials were asked to draw up plans that could greatly reduce the areas of Port Aransas where amplified outdoor music legally may be played.
The Port Aransas City Council voted 6-0 to have city staff prepare a draft ordinance describing the parts of town that would be considered an “amplified music district.”
The move came after the city received numerous complaints about loud music coming from Isla Tiki Bar and Burrito Shack, a new outdoor nightclub on Avenue G.
A high wake from a passing ship slammed into the pier at Charlie’s Pasture on Friday, April 16, heavily damaging the pier and inflicting minor injuries to two anglers.
City officials closed the pier indefinitely after the incident.
It was the second time in recent memory that a high wake from a ship heavily damaged the pier. A similar incident occurred in January 2008. The city made a claim for the damage against the SKS Obo Holding Ltd., of Bergen, Norway, the owner of the tanker SKS Tiete.
The shipping company paid the city’s claim in the amount of $32,912, and the pier was repaired for about $37,000. The new construction elevated the portion of
the pier closest to land to make it less susceptible to high wakes.
The city also erected signs warning people that wakes could be dangerous.
Folks looking to set up a sexually oriented business somewhere should probably look beyond Port Aransas.
The Port Aransas City Council voted 6-0 on Thursday, April 15, to have city staff do an ordinance rewrite that would have the effect of making it even more difficult than it already is to find a place to legally operate a topless bar, adult bookstore or some other kind of sexually oriented business.
The city of Port Aransas took a step toward the possibility of turning the city’s animal shelter operations over to a private group.
The city council voted 6-0 on Thursday, April 15, to have staff move forward with formation of a partnership between the city and a non-profit organization to run the shelter.
The shelter is run by the Port Aransas Police Department. Chief Scott Burroughs said the shelter is maintained with a cleanliness that’s up to state standards. And he said the shelter is not manned consistently because limited staff is available.
Turning animal shelter operations over to a private group will help the city deal with shelter matters even with the city’s limited resources, Burroughs said.
The Port Aransas City Council has given the green light to the idea of installing a traffic signal on State Hwy. 361 at Beach Access Road 1A.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) wants to put a light at the intersection, but the agency needed to get the council to sign off on the concept before going forward with plans to install the light, probably in the fall.
A TxDOT spokesman said the light could be timed so that it’s red for longer or shorter periods from any direction desired, depending on the time of day and time of year.
The Planning and Zoning Commission reported that they want to wait about six months before taking up the wind energy subject again. The city council took no action on the report.
Port Aransas High School’s Academic Team won the regional championship at Blinn College. They placed first among the 117 Class 1A schools in southeast Texas with 114 points. Port Aransas won awards in mathematics, computer science, computer applications, science, feature writing and ready writing. Six of the twenty-four competitors from Port Aransas qualified to advance to the state meet. They were Kasey Reed in science, mathematics, and computer science; Clark Wilson and John Eggleston in mathematics and computer science; Abby Kenigsberg in ready writing; Brent Ross in computer science and Kelsey Abel in mathematics.
Robert Bradshaw was poised to be the next city manager of Port Aransas. The Port Aransas City Council voted Monday, April 26, to sign off on an employment agreement with Bradshaw, who was town manager of Indian River Shores, Fla. Bradshaw was expected to start in June. He will be paid a salary of $109,000 and will receive a car allowance of $6,000 per year.
Former City Manager Michael Kovacs, who resigned from the position in December to take a job as assistant city manager of Park City, Utah, earned a salary of $95,000 and had a car allowance of $8,400.
A bigger salary was approved for Bradshaw than Kovacs because council members believed Bradshaw would earn it by producing results for Port Aransas, according to Mayor Pro Tem Keith McMullin.
The Planning and Zoning Commission signed off on the idea of creating an amplified music district in Port Aransas. The idea still must receive three readings by the Port Aransas City Council to become reality. The idea is to create the district and make its boundaries Dennis Dreyer Municipal Harbor to the north, Tarpon and Church streets to the east and Beach Street to the south. The western boundary would be a line running north and south between Alister and Oleander Streets.
Two Port Aransas athletes, Abby Kenigsberg and Kasey Reed, came about as close as they could to advancing to state level without actually making it in the Region 4 1A tournament on Wednesday and Thursday, April 21-22, in College Station.
It was the final high school tennis competition for both players, as both would graduate in May.
The South Jetty took second place overall, just 25 points behind the first place winner, in the South Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Awards were presented in San Marcos on Friday, April 23, during the association’s 84th annual convention.
Also at the convention, South Jetty publishers Mary and Murray Judson received the Chester Evans Award for distinguished service to the association.
The South Jetty accumulated 650 points with three first place plaques, two second place and four third place certificates. The South Jetty earned awards for general excellence, news photos, editorial writing, serious and humorous columns, feature photos, headline writing, advertising and special sections.
The Port Aransas ISD was named to the Texas Comptroller office’s “Leadership Circle,” receiving a gold award for transparency in financing. Port Aransas is one of 40 school districts statewide to get the gold award; there are 1,030 school districts in the state.
Three scientists at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) in Port Aransas have been chosen for prestigious awards.
Dr. Tracy Villareal, a professor whose specialty is phytoplankton ecology, received an award from the 2010 Innovative Instructional Technology Awards Program. Dr. Jim McClelland, an assistant professor who teaches land-sea coupling, coastal ecosystem dynamics and biogeochemistry, received a teaching excellence award from the university’s College of Natural Sciences. And Tony Amos, director of the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) housed at UTMSI, was named one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Heroes for 2010.
Newport Dunes Golf Club and associated properties filed for Chapter 11 protection from its lender, Hillcrest Savings Bank this week, according to a news release issued by Sunny Castor, a partner in Texas Gulf and Harbor, Ltd and G& H Beach Management, Ltd. Texas Gulf and Harbor is owner and developers of the golf course and proposed waterfront properties in Port Aransas.
Kelly Owens was successful in his bid to take the place of Place 5 Port Aransas ISD Board of Trustees incumbent Rita Reed in balloting Saturday, May 8. He racked up 327 votes to Reed’s 234.
Place 6 incumbent Rick Adams retained his position with 294 votes, while challenger Tanya Chambers captured 269 votes.
Michele Lorette, unchallenged in her bid for Place 4, collected 403 votes. She replaces Ken Dunton who chose not to seek re-election after 10 years of service.
A total of 568 ballots were cast. Of them, 312 were cast during early voting and 256 were cast on Election Day.
Port Aransas High School students Sabah Sayed and Gabi Martinez won the contest to decide whose art would be used on posters, programs, fliers and T-shirts involved in this year’s Deep Sea Roundup fishing tournament.
This is the second year in a row that Sayed has won. Her illustration will go on posters, programs and fliers associated with the Roundup. Martinez’s creation will go on 400 T-shirts that will go to kids in the children’s piggy perch competition.
The Marlins caught fire on Saturday, May 8, taking two games in a row from Kingsville Academy after dropping one the night before. The wins moved them to the area tournament, the first time a PAHS baseball team has advanced that deep into the playoffs.
Brundrett Middle School Marlins took the overall district team championship and several other titles at the 31A district tournament on Saturday, May 8, in Alice.
Among the blue ribbons: Seventh- and eighth-grade championship, seventh- and eighth-grade boys champions and eighthgrade girls champions.
State, county and Port Aransas city officials were keeping their eyes on the monster oil spill that has resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploding and sinking southeast of Louisiana on April 20.
Though no PAHS athletes advanced to the state level, several placed at the regional meet in Huntsville on Monday and Tuesday, May 3-4. Only the top two in each event go on to state.
The Port Aransas academic team fared well at the state University Interscholastic League competition last week. Four of the six state-qualifying members came home with medals from the meet, held at University of Texas at Austin, Thursday through Saturday, May 6-8.
University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) at Port Aransas doctoral student Jena Campbell, supervised by Dr. Ed Buskey, was to receive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2010 Walter B. Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Coastal and Marine Graduate Study. The award recognizes “graduate students whose academic study promises to contribute materially to the development of new or improved approaches to coastal or ocean management.”
In 2010, the Marlins baseball team became the first-ever to reach the area playoff level; won more games during a season (19) than any other Marlins team; became the first baseball team to win a tournament; won four games over Class 2A teams by 10 runs or more (UIL rules say the game is declared won when one team leads by 10); and beat a Class 3A team under the same rule.
Zach Ainscough and Emily Scott won awards for male and female Athlete of the Year at the Port Aransas Athletic Awards banquet in the Civic Center on Monday, May 17.
Ainscough was also named boys’ basketball defensive player of the year and Scott won the girls’ basketball Heart Award.
Christian Collins and Abby Kenigsberg won the Millie Wise Sportsmanship award. Collins also won the Marlins Award for basketball, and Kenigsberg was named the most valuable female player on the tennis squad.
Harry Shaw has been in a wheelchair for 27 years, and as recently as April this year, he held no expectations that he ever would walk again. But the 47-year-old Port Aransan was planning to be standing upright and putting one foot in front of the other again very soon. After being denied the opportunity to skydive with a group of Airborne Amputees, a prosthetist who worked for Sansone, a prosthetics company, said he could make a full set of prosthetic legs that would get Shaw up and walking again.
Shaw and his family went to Houston in late May where he was fitted with his new legs. He took his first steps while holding onto parallel bars for support as he tried out the prosthetics.
Walking for the first time in more than a quarter of a century thrust a jumble of conflicting feelings upon Shaw.
There was pain. The prosthetic legs he was fitted with pinched at first. He also experienced a bit of vertigo. After being confined to a wheelchair for about 27 years, he wasn’t used to being so high up in the air.
But it also was a joy to be up and walking again, to see two feet beneath him again, after all these years. It reminded him of when he was a kid, how he would cast repeated, loving glances down at his feet when he had new shoes on.
“It’s a great deal of work,” Harry said. “It’s not something that you just get up and do. It takes a lot of practice.”
Still, he’s determined.
“No more will I define myself by my reclined state!” Harry wrote in his blog. “I feel just like a pioneer setting out into the vast unknown wilderness, not knowing what future awaits me but I know I will engage that future fearlessly and with the utmost resolve. I am a US Army Airborne Paratrooper. Surrender is not in my creed!”
John Eggleston, Port Aransas High School salutatorian, was accepted into the University of Texas Turing Scholars Honors Program.
The Turing Honors program admits only about 50 students each year. Some of the benefits are direct enrollment into the computer science program, bypassing the entry-level classes that are required of other students, priority registration for classes, smaller class sizes, guest speakers and close interaction with faculty. Eggleston is the son of Scott and Patty Eggleston of Port Aransas.
Sara Pelleteri was named director of marine education services at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI). She took over the position from Dr. Rick Tinnin, who retired at the end of January after 34 years with UTMSI.
Two scientists from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute who set out to investigate the Gulf of Mexico’s so-called dead zone found themselves also helping authorities learn something about the massive BP oil spill.
Dr. Wayne Gardner and Dr. Zhanfei Liu were working with a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to try to learn more about low oxygen levels that recur each summer. The low oxygen forces animals that can move to evacuate to areas where they can find enough oxygen to live; animals that can’t move are killed by the lack of oxygen. They returned Friday, May 28, with bushels of data to examine.
Part of their problem was that the earlier control site – the sampling spot Gardner used as a base line for oxygen in the water – was under a sheen of oil from the gushing well.
Gardner said the oil itself caused low oxygen levels – called “hypoxia” – in the water, and that his former control site was now a “reverse control.”
In all, 34 seniors graduated from Port Aransas High School, down from 38 last year. Leading the way was valedictorian Charles Kasey Reed and salutatorian Abby Kenigsberg.
Seniors selected Nona Hendricks, their math teacher in their freshmen year, as commencement speaker; that freshman year was also Hendricks’s first at Port Aransas High School.
Law enforcement officers were investigating the death of a woman found hanging in a holding cell at the Port Aransas Police Department on Tuesday, June 1.
The woman was identified as Sherry Black Lancaster, 51, of Port Aransas, according to a news release issued by PAPD Executive Lt. Darryl Johnson.
Lancaster was in custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the news release said. She had been awaiting transport to Nueces County Jail.
On Wednesday, June 2, friends and family were present to honor University of Texas Marine Science Institute research fellow Tony Amos as he received the 2010 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Hero Award by Georgia Neblett, executive director of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The national award program named 10 award winners for “their spirit and selfless hard work on behalf of the environment and their communities,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce of oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
A communications manager has been added to the staff at the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce-Tourist Bureau.
Sheri Henneberger joined the staff on June 1.
Henneberger had worked in advertising and event marketing in El Paso for more than 14 years.
Lightning would have to strike at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in Austin to prevent Port Aransas schools from receiving an “exemplary” rating again this year.
Further, preliminary ratings indicated that in 2010, all three campuses would be rated “Exemplary.”
A powerful line of thunderstorms that slammed into Port Aransas late on the evening of Wednesday, June 2, knocked out power throughout much of town, shutting down the ferry service and causing other problems.
Along State Hwy. 361, winds whipping to more than 60 mph snapped several power poles and left a condominium with a large section of bricks missing from an exterior wall.
“It was like a mini hurricane,” said Andy Heines, a spokesman for AEP, the electrical utility that responded to widespread outages after the storm.
The City of Port Aransas prepared to sell nine former patrol vehicles, plus dozens more pieces of city property in an online auction June 21 to July 7.
It was the first time in two years that the city held an auction to get rid of surplus property. And it was the first time ever that the city conducted an auction entirely through the World Wide Web, according to Darla Honea, the city’s finance director.
No one was yelling that an economic boom was underway, but city records and interviews with some Port Aransas merchants showed that island business and development were holding their own as the summer tourist season began to heat up.
Port Aransas school trustees were on track toward approving a budget that could mean some $342,000 more in expenditures than the school district has income.
As it turned out in a budget workshop held Monday, June 14, some of that money was being spent out of the current budget, and the rest, if the board decided to spend it, would be available from what’s called a “fund balance” – a sort of floating fund that isn’t tied to a specific budget item, although it is a reserve the district can use in case of catastrophe, such as a hurricane.
Port Aransas was named “America’s Birdiest City” in the small coastal city division for the first time ever this year. In conjunction with the Great Texas Birding Classic, held April 24-26, birders in Port Aransas counted 208 different species of birds in a 72-hour period, topping all other cities our size. Corpus Christi, for the eighth year in a row, also came out a winner this year in the Largest Coastal City Division, counting 243 different species of birds. Nueces County was named the Birdiest Coastal County, with 262 different species of birds recorded.
H.G. Olsen Elementary School Principal Sylvia Buttler resigned to accept a position in the Flour Bluff Independent School District. Superintendent Dr. Sharon Doughty announced the resignation June 23. Buttler accepted the job of principal of Flour Bluff Primary School, which has 750 first and second graders and 73 staff members. Coincidentally, it is where Buttler did her student teaching in 1998.
The Port Aransas native who graduated from eighth grade at H.G. Olsen Elementary School in 1966, then the only school in Port Aransas, had been principal of her alma mater since June 2004.
Caitlin Pyle of Port Aransas earned the Girl Scout Gold Award by the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas Council. The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. Pyle was only the fifth in Port Aransas in the last 15 years to earn this award. Previous honorees were Elisabeth Brundrett-Cook, Alexis Zamora, Wendy Willey and Ashley Hawes.
Port Aransas ISD made it easier for some students to graduate from high school, starting next school year. But most students would face the same graduation requirements, and a new level was added for top achievers.
School board members on Monday, June 14, approved a graduation plan that kept the current graduation requirement of 27 course credits for what will be called “recommended” and “distinguished” graduates, and added a new top layer, “summa cum laude” graduate, that will require 30 credits. At the same time, they set the minimum graduation requirements – neither recommended nor distinguished – at 23 credits.
The South Jetty ranked fourth overall among large weekly newspapers in the Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Awards were presented Saturday, June 19, during the association’s 131st annual convention held in San Antonio.
The South Jetty won first places for news photos and feature photos and third place in editorial writing.
Coyotes normally shy away from people. But two recent incidents in Port Aransas served as exceptions to the rule.
Blanton Robertson, 24, of Corpus Christi, said he was bitten by a coyote in a yard off 11th Street, near Access Road 1 on May 22.
On June 13, a 40-year-old Kerrville man reported to the Port Aransas Police Department that he had been bitten by a coyote while camping on the beach near Pole 21 two days previously, said Alan Fletcher, a city animal control officer.
Both men took a series of rabies shots as a precaution.
Dozens – perhaps hundreds – of home sales in Port Aransas were hanging in limbo in late June, waiting for word on whether Congress had passed a flood insurance bill.
For a flagging real estate market, the delay of the U.S. Senate in extending the bill meant worry and perhaps loss of income, said Port Aransas Realtor Betty Turner. The House passed a bill and sent it to the Senate earlier this month, but senators tied the flood insurance bill to other bills that failed.
Port Aransans were feeling some relief on Wednesday, June 30, as forecasts were calling for Tropical Storm Alex to likely strike more than 100 miles south of the Coastal Bend.
Court proceedings were postponed for a Port Aransas woman facing misdemeanor charges in connection with a police search of a now-closed business, Happy Days that once sold bongs and similar merchandise.
A trial was scheduled to begin on Monday, June 28, for Melissa Moses, but it was postponed due to uncertainty about whether evacuations would be ordered ahead of anticipated stormy weather associated with Hurricane Alex.
Hurricane Alex, which gave Port Aransas something of a scare before striking in Mexico June 30, served as a good exercise at the beginning of hurricane season for the city to test its preparedness, said City Manager Robert Bradshaw.
Overall, Bradshaw said, the city’s procedures worked well as wary leaders began eyeballing Alex and holding meetings to plan for what the community should do if the storm took a track that would bring it to Port Aransas.
Tests showed that tar balls found on the upper Texas coast originated from the Deep Water Horizon spill, but officials didn’t believe the stuff drifted all the way to Texas from the spill site, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said.
No determination had been made on how the tar balls got to the shores of the Lone Star state, Patterson said in a press conference on Tuesday, July 6.
On the heels of Hurricane Alex the week before, a tropical wave a day before fishing was to begin whipped up concern that contributed to a lower registration for the 75th Deep Sea Roundup.
Roundup chairman and Boatman of the Year Bruce Staffel said the unofficial tally was 515 contestants. That is down considerably from last year when a record 838 registered.
This year’s Offshore Grand Champion was William Breen of Houston. Last year’s champion, Kendall Owens, 9, of Port Aransas, wore her good luck pajamas and came in as Offshore Runner-up. She repeated as Top Woman Angler and Top Offshore Junior Angler.
The Billfish Boat Champion was the Bandit of Port Aransas, and the Billfish Runner-up was Stir It Up out of Dallas.
Josh Garcia of Port Aransas reigned as Bay/Surf Champion, and Runner-up in that division was Gary Cooper of Corpus Christi.
Top Bay/Surf Junior Angler was Cameron Collins of Port Aransas.
New Port Aransas City Manager Robert Bradshaw reorganized city administration, reshuffling who reports to whom.
Bradshaw, who took office June 21, presented the reorganization to the city council during a goals workshop on Wednesday, July 7.
The changes include creation of a deputy city manager position. Dave Parsons was moved into that spot.
Being a lefty paid off for Christian Collins, a 2010 graduate of Port Aransas High School.
The all-district baseball player signed with Sterling College in Sterling, Kan., to play baseball.
Construction at the ferry ramps was causing traffic delays, but Ferry Operations Manager Howard Gillespie said efforts were being made to keep the delays as minimal as possible.
No work was being done on weekends or holidays, when traffic volumes are greatest, Gillespie said.
Installation of new clusters of pilings began June 15 and was expected to continue into the fall, he said.
Port Aransas ISD trustees approved the employment of Pat Nelson as H.G. Olsen Elementary School principal.
She replaced Sylvia Buttler who resigned in June.
Nelson, formerly principal at Aransas County ISD’s Live Oak Learning Center in Rockport-Fulton, was offered a oneyear probationary contract at a special meeting Monday, July 12.
A Port Aransas police officer was being credited with saving the life of a Port Aransas man who apparently tried to commit suicide in the city jail.
Police Chief Scott Burroughs said patrol officer Mike Hannon was making a routine check of jail cells at about 11:50 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, when he saw a 51-year-old male inmate bleeding from a cut in the arm.
“Who knows what would have happened if Mike had not interceded when he did?” Burroughs said. “He may very well have saved the man’s life”.
Twelve swimmers of the Port Aransas Swim Team earned spots at the state meet in Waco on Aug. 5-8. The swimmers advanced after competing last Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, at the Region 16 swim meet held in Corpus Christi at the Natatorium.
Twelve swimmers of the Port Aransas Swim Team earned spots at the state meet in Waco on Aug. 5-8. The swimmers advanced after competing last Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, at the Region 16 swim meet held in Corpus Christi at the Natatorium. They were Kylee Barwise, Maddie Garlough, Hailey Clark, Hannah Waters, Taren Moore, Allison Hille, Kate Strain, Jenna Ward, Ian McClelland, Travis Moore, C.J. Howe and Conner Kreutziger.
The City of Port Aransas made big money in its online auction of surplus property, Finance Director Darla Honea told the city council on Thursday, July 15.
The city raked in slightly more than $82,000 in the auction, conducted June 21 to July 7, Honea said. That dwarfs the total of $3,431 made in the previous auction, conducted in 2008, she said.
Coyotes, drawn by easier prey than they can find in their normal habitats, were reported coming closer to homes and other human-occupied areas in Port Aransas this summer – in some cases snatching pets virtually from their owners’ grasps.
The Port Aransas City Council instructed city staff to find a way to keep the city’s formerly imperiled after-school latchkey child care program going during the 2010-2011 school year.
The Port Aransas City Council gave final approval to the idea of a music overlay district, or M.O.D., after months of discussions on the topic. The council voted 7-0 on Thursday, July 15, to pass, on third reading, a proposed ordinance to create the M.O.D.
The M.O.D. placed new limits on how loud music can be played at bars and restaurants at different times of day and night.
Donald Lynn Morrison, 49, who once operated the Wharf Restaurant in Port Aransas, stood accused of robbing the Wells Fargo Bank in Bullhead City, Ariz., on Thursday morning, July 15.
That morning, Thomas Lovett, the owner of the restaurant and Morrison’s former employer, called Port Aransas police to report that Morrison had tried to establish a line of credit at a Laughlin, Nev., casino. Morrison used a check drawn on the Wharf Restaurant account – an account that was invalid, since Morrison reportedly departed, leaving Lovett with the closed restaurant.
Former Port Aransas resident Rachel Pearson was one of seven students honored with a John P. McGovern Student Award in Oslerian Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
The award carries a $10,000-a-year stipend and is granted to medical students whose performance and conduct exemplify those ideals of medical practice as promulgated by Sir William Osler, including compassion, sound science and professionalism.
South Jetty reporter/photographer Dan Parker won three national awards for his news writing and photography, first place for a photo essay and second place in the feature photos category. The awards came from a National Newspaper Association (NNA) contest for work published in 2009.
Pete Cowen was named director of maintenance for the Port Aransas ISD.
He replaced Kirk Palermo who was hired as maintenance director in March and left the district in mid-July.
While Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal said he wanted to see a countywide (or almost-county-wide) drainage district created, he said he wouldn’t be against excluding Port Aransas from such an entity. Echoing that sentiment was Chuck Cazalas, commissioner of Nueces County Precinct 1, which includes Port Aransas.
In action on Thursday, July 15, the city council passed a motion instructing the Planning and Zoning Commission to work with city staff to develop a proposed ordinance to allow property owners throughout town to grow native vegetation, largely unfettered, if desired.
A handful of students who didn’t pass this year’s TAKS test on the second try have dropped the Port Aransas ISD and its three campuses from exemplary ratings to recognized ratings, school board President Chuck Borders said.
The district had thought in April that all three campuses and the district as a whole would receive exemplary ratings from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Exemplary is the highest rating the TEA can confer; recognized is the secondhighest rating.
Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin wanted the city to explore the possibility of making it legal for restaurants to sell food on the beach.
McMullin brought up the idea during a goals workshop, but the concept only was being informally discussed as of mid- July. Making the proposal a reality would require approval by the city council and the Texas General Land Office.
Andrea Skloss, a science teacher at Brundrett Middle School in Port Aransas, was one of 46 teachers selected to attend the LiftOff Summer Institute at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston this summer.
Besides 45 other teachers, she hobnobbed with such space elite as Milt Heflin, chief flight controller, and Clayton Anderson, who in 2007 spent five months on the International Space Station.
Workers at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute began construction on a new building to be used for treatment of wildlife affected by oil spills.
The facility was expected to be ready for handling oiled wildlife by the end of August, but final outfitting and work on a sea turtle room not essential for an oil spill response was expected continue into September, said Steve Lanoux, assistant director for operations at the institute.
The Valero corporation provided $105,000 for the facility as part of a settlement with the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for a discharge of approximately 3,397 barrels of oil from a refinery tank and containment area into the inner harbor of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, according to Jim Suydam, a spokesman for the GLO.
Two men charged with raping two Austin area girls on a Mustang Island beach in 2007 were sentenced to multiple life terms in prison by a Nueces County jury on Thursday, July 29.
Noe Hernandez, 49, and Jason Hendershott, 30, both of Aransas Pass, were convicted earlier in the week of multiple counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault on a child and indecency with a child. Hernandez was also fined $100,000 and Hendershott was fined $120,000, court records show.
Port Aransas Animal Control Officer Jim Williams was worried about coyotes as the school year was about to begin.
He was concerned that children would be walking to and from school or using the track and confront coyotes, he said.
Williams’ concern escalated after a tour of the beach on Tuesday evening, Aug. 3, when he said he “had numerous encounters” with coyotes. Some campers told him the animals were boldly approaching their campsites.
“They are not afraid of people,” he said.
Without the Texas Projection Measure (TPM), Port Aransas schools might have received a rating of “academically acceptable” from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) instead of the “recognized” rating it received.
In late June, Port Aransas school trustees had expected exemplary ratings for all three campuses and the district, based on preliminary scores in the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) tests.
Depending on how students perform on TAKS tests, the TEA assigns public schools various accountability ratings, from academically unacceptable up to acceptable, recognized and, at the top, exemplary.
The TPM allows testers to count students as passing parts of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, even though they don’t get a passing score on the test itself.
Out of 112 economically disadvantaged students district-wide who took the TAKS math test, 86 passed. That’s a 77 percent passing rate, not enough to gain an exemplary or even a recognized rating, but it would put the district in the “academically acceptable” category.
With TPM, the test results were bumped up one level to recognized, the chart on the TEA Web site showed.
Dr. Rick Tinnin, the director of marine education at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) for 36 years, has been honored by the National Marine Educators’ Association (NMEA) with an honorary lifetime membership. It is only the 16th honorary membership the association has bestowed.
City officials were working on a plan to reduce the number of human-coyote confrontations in Port Aransas without making the situation worse than it already was.
The latest in a series of confrontations with coyotes led to two Boy Scouts, 14 and 15 years old, from San Antonio being bitten early Friday, Aug. 6, while they were sleeping outside their tent near Pole 3 on the beach. The boys were taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial in Corpus Christi, where they were treated for minor puncture wounds and released, said Executive Lt. Darryl Johnson of the Port Aransas Police Department.
The boys were expected to take preventive rabies shots, also, Johnson said.
A Port Aransas man found himself at ground zero in the massive effort to cap and control the formerly oil-spewing Deepwater Horizon well that captured the world’s attention for months.
Wil Rivers, 54, an offshore surveyor working for Dof Subsea, a firm that helped tame the runaway well, was involved in the capping efforts by providing support for ROVs, or Remotely Controlled Subs – robotic submarines – and other undersea work.
Rivers was in charge of an instrument called an inclinometer that’s mounted on a device known as a capping stack, which stopped the flow of oil about 5,000 feet below the water’s surface in mid-July. He monitored the inclinometer while seated in an ROV control room.
Two members of the Port Aransas Swim Team qualified to advance to the State Games of America after competing in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Summer Games of Texas in Waco.
Ian McClelland qualified with his second place win in the 25Y backstroke with a time of 28.47, and his fourth place win in the 25Y freestyle with a time of 18.44.
Jenna Ward qualified by placing eighth in the 50Y backstroke with a time of 34.24.
The national competition will be held in August, 2011 in San Diego, Calif.
Port Aransas was another step closer to getting what could be the only dog park in Nueces County.
On Wednesday, Aug. 11, the Nueces County Commissioners Court moved to allow the county’s park board to work toward an agreement with the City of Port Aransas on how a dog park could be built and maintained.
The dog park was being proposed for a grassy area of I.B. Magee Beach Park between the beach and Cotter Avenue.
An across-the-board pay raise approved by school trustees on Thursday, Aug. 12, meant an average 3.86 percent increase for Port Aransas ISD employees except one.
“The pay raise affects everybody except the superintendent,” said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Doughty.
Two first place awards for promotion of the Whooping Crane Festival were presented to the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce-Tourist Bureau by the Texas Festivals and Events Association (TFEA). The Zenith awards were for Best Event Web site and Best Miscellaneous Multimedia, with a budget under $75,000.
Two air gun shootings were reported on Wednesday, Aug. 18, and Thursday, Aug. 19, and Port Aransas police were trying to determine if the two were related.
Martin Albert Childers, 56, of Allen, told police he was riding his motorcycle on Avenue C near Cut-off Road at 8:50 p.m. when he was hit on the left wrist by an “unknown projectile.”
On Thursday, police were called to the 1100 block of Channel Vista for what was described as criminal mischief. Officers found a 15-year-old boy who had been shot with an air gun. The injury was near the boy’s left eye
A San Antonio police officer who drowned north of Horace Caldwell Pier on Saturday, Aug. 21, was probably the victim of a rip current that developed near I.B. Magee Beach Park, authorities said.
Mark Eugene Hunt, 45, drowned just before 4 p.m. Saturday as he was swimming with a small boogie board about 50 yards north of the pier.
City officials have some high-flying hopes for improvements at Mustang Beach Airport.
Officials are trying to get Port Aransas involved in a program that could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of improvements to the airport, Mayor Keith McMullin said.
McMullin and City Manager Robert Bradshaw met in Austin in late August to discuss airport operations with Texas General Land Office officials and the Texas Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division.
“We reviewed the various short- and long-term needs,” McMullin said. “In the process, we discovered a potential recurring funding source that we are now working to acquire. It is a top priority.”
In less than 30 minutes, in a virtually empty boardroom, Port Aransas school trustees on Tuesday, Aug. 31, approved an $18,952,082 budget for the coming school year.
They also approved a tax rate that’s .004 cents higher than last year’s, for a total rate of $1.0623 per $100 valuation. The difference in the tax rate goes to the interest and sinking fund, money used to retire the district’s bonded indebtedness. The new interest and sinking tax rate is .049 cents per $100 valuation.
The other part of the tax rate, for maintenance and operations, remained the same at $1.0133 per $100 valuation.
Pat Garrett prepared to retire after 18 years of employment with the City of Port Aransas.
Garrett first was hired by the city as a custodian in 1992. After one year, she moved on to become a receptionist at city hall for two and a half years. She then was promoted to the position of executive assistant to the city manager, and she has held that spot ever since.
Her replacement is Debbie Hall, an administrative assistant at the City of Port Aransas Public Works Department, and a former account executive for American Consolidated Media and in the small construction business that she owns with her husband.
The woman, who wasn’t identified by police, apparently drove her car into the surf a short distance south of Access Road 1A about 6:45 a.m., said Port Aransas Police Lt. James Stokes. Police believe it was a suicide attempt, Stokes said.
Port Aransas police were investigating the death of a Dripping Springs man who lost his life Monday, Sept. 6, after a fight at a motel on State Hwy. 361.
The victim was identified by police as Jerry R. Patterson, 42. (Not the Texas Land Commissioner by the same name.)
The Port Aransas Police Department received a 911 call at 1:14 a.m. Monday, requesting an ambulance at the Days Inn parking lot, 3595 State Hwy. 361, according to PAPD Executive Lt. Darryl Johnson.
When Officer Amy Garcia arrived, she found a man administering CPR to Patterson. The man was an acquaintance of Patterson’s, Johnson said.
The center of Tropical Storm Hermine struck more than 150 miles south of Port Aransas, but the storm’s winds and rains still lashed our town.
Hermine’s tides flooded the beach, stranding some motorists. Winds gusting to 49 mph knocked out power and inflicted damage to at least a few roofs in town.
The storm’s center moved inland just south of Brownsville on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 7.
The Port Aransas City Council adopted a 2010-11 budget and tax rate.
The council voted 5-0 on Thursday, Sept. 9, to adopt a tax rate of 33.2023 cents per $100 valuation and an overall budget that includes a general fund budget of $7,293,434.
The Port Aransas City Council was on track consider a new lease arrangement for the building currently housing the Computer Center.
The idea, said Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin, is to make it easier for the Art Center for the Islands to raise money to build a new headquarters on the property in a few years, while keeping the computer center there in the interim.
After 23 years in the pulpit at Community Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Richard Safford announced Sunday, Sept. 12, that he would be leaving Port Aransas.
He is answering a call from a church in Angel Fire, N.M. His last Sunday was to be Oct. 10.
Safford’s ministry extended beyond the confines of the church. In 2006, he was named Citizen of the Year, based primarily on his activities outside the church. He was active in Little League as member, board member and officer. He has been a baseball and softball coach and umpire. He has been a coach and occasional referee in the Port Aransas Youth Soccer Association, and has coached in the youth basketball program. He is a past board member of the Port Aransas Boy Scouts and is a member of the Jerry McDonald Foundation, which sponsors Boy Scouts.
Port Aransas police are beefing up patrols, especially in high-risk areas, in an attempt to reduce the number of residential burglaries the city has seen recently.
“We’re putting officers in areas where burglaries have occurred,” said Police Chief Scott Burroughs.
Police have no suspects in the burglaries, at least one of which took place at night while the family was home.
Burroughs said the department also is working on public awareness, educating residents as to what they can do to help cut down on burglaries.
Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin, City Manager Robert Bradshaw, Deputy City Manager Dave Parsons, Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame and three officials with the Regional Transportation Authority met Sept. 13 and talked about the possibility of starting a passenger ferry service between the two cities.
Two Port Aransas scientists have been awarded a $1 million grant to pursue research that’s expected to aid in the world’s understanding of coastal ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean.
The National Science Foundation grant will fund research by Ken Dunton, a professor of marine science, and Jim McClelland, an assistant professor of marine science. Both work at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.
The city decided to hire Island Construction to build the Phase Two features in the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture.
The Port Aransas City Council voted 6-0 on Thursday, Sept. 16, to authorize city staff to enter into a $697,798.78 contract with Island Construction for the work.
Phase Two will include construction of a new road that will begin at State Hwy. 361 at a point just south of Sharkey’s Beach Club and extend 600 feet west, allowing access to the east side of the preserve.
Kelsey Abel, a senior at Port Aransas High School, has been named a Commended Student in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Years of working to make visitors aware of nature tourism paid off for Port Aransas when the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA) presented the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce-Tourist Bureau with the Nature Tourism Achievement Award.
Michael D’Herde, 9, of Port Aransas was crowned champion in a division of the 2010 Southwest Regional Cup Series of go-cart racing, and was invited to compete in a national championship race in Indiana.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) agreed with the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council and has ordered Gulf waters re-opened to recreational red snapper fishing, effective Friday, Oct. 1, through Nov. 21.
The re-opening of the fishery came after NOAA ordered fishermen out of the Gulf because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April. Quotas for red snapper weren’t filled because of that closure, the Gulf Council said, and recommended that NOAA re-open fishing on a temporary basis.
City workers were moving tons of sand, pouring asphalt and building new sidewalks in a pair of projects on and near the beach.
In an undertaking that started on Labor Day, Port Aransas city workers removed large amounts of sand from what city officials called a “maintenance dune” and spread it over miles of beach.
In a separate matter, the city was in the process of taking bids for a project to rebuild an approximately 750-foot section of Access Road 1, from the beach to a wide median built as part of the Newport Dunes Golf Club.
Nearly six months after being heavily damaged by a big ship wake and then receiving extensive repairs, the pier at Charlie’s Pasture was only hours from reopening to the public again when another towering wake slammed into the pier on Monday, Oct. 4.
The wave didn’t cause any immediately visible damage or injure anyone. But the wall of water, which crested the pier’s handrails, sent several fishermen and construction workers running for cover and left city officials shaking their heads once again at a phenomenon that seems to be happening more and more.
Nine-year-old Michael D’Herde of Port Aransas garnered another honor in the world of go-cart racing, but he would have liked to have more competition for the feat.
D’Herde was named champion in the gazelle class in the finals of the TAG (Touch and Go) World Championship in New Castle, Ind., on Sunday, Oct. 3. He raced against two other drivers. They drove 12 laps on a 1.1-mile track.
No one in the gazelle class besides Michael showed up at the world championships, so race officials put him in a race against two other youngsters with different kinds of carts. Michael came in second, overall, but he still was crowned world champion for his class.
Mike Roberson put up a sign on Alister Street, criticizing Port Aransas police, after an officer arrested him for allegedly disobeying the officer’s order.
Roberson said he shouldn’t have been arrested. Police Chief Scott Burroughs stood behind the decision by the officer, Mike Hannon, to make the arrest.
Roberson said he and his wife, Andrea Roberson, placed the sign in front of Andrea’s business, Texas Sign Express, 513 N. Alister St., on Friday, Oct. 1.
The red-on-white sign says, “WARNING – BE CAREFUL! WE HAVE OUT OF CONTROL CITY POLICE!”
“We will agree to disagree with the proprietor on the nature of the content of the sign but fully support his right to express his discontent,” Burroughs said.
A Port Aransas man injured in a boat fire on Thursday, Oct. 7, was taken to a hospital in San Antonio for treatment, police said.
Tyson Winton sustained moderate burn injuries, mostly to his left leg, foot and arm, according to Kelly Henson, a deputy with the Nueces County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office. Henson also is Winton’s cousin.
Winton was hurt when a fire broke out about 2 p.m. on a 17-foot boat he was working on in a driveway at a home in the 2600 block of South 11th Street.
Port Aransans prepared to celebrate the city’s 100-year birthday celebration on Saturday, Oct. 16.
All-day festivities were scheduled at venues around town, with something for everyone, all ages and all interests, including fishing tournaments, an Island Westmuttster Contest for dogs, a parade, storytelling and more. The planned burial of a time capsule had to be delayed because of a miscommunication. The capsule, however, was to be on display during the festivities.
A Port Aransas ferry mostly loaded with cars suddenly lost steering control, went adrift and remained disabled for nearly an hour in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel on Thursday, Oct. 14, before other vessels helped it back to a dock.
No injuries were reported. Howard Gillespie, the ferry operations manager, said the lives of the passengers aboard the R.E. Stotzer Jr. weren’t endangered.
The Stotzer was about halfway across the channel, heading from Harbor Island to Mustang Island, when the captain lost steering control at 12:06 p.m., Gillespie said.
The cause of the unusual mishap was “an electrical problem with the steering control circuitry in the engine room,” Howard Gillespie, ferry operations manager, said.
The Brundrett Middle School Marlins and Lady Marlins returned from the district cross-country meet at West Guth Park in Corpus Christi on Monday, Oct. 25, with three first places out of the four divisions.
Eighth-grade girls and boys both took first place, as did the seventh-grade boys. The seventh-grade girls finished second in district.
More than half a century after he was given up for adoption as an infant, Port Aransan Mark Yeager went looking for his biological mother.
He found her. And he made a discovery he didn’t expect: A half-brother he never knew existed.
Two trophies – a first-place and a second-place -- joined the collection at Port Aransas High School after the Lady Marlins won the district cross-country championship on Monday, Oct. 25, with the Marlins coming in second.
It was the girls’ sixth straight district championship, coach Steve Reaves said.
Both the Lady Marlins and the Marlins thus qualified for the regional crosscountry meet.
On Saturday, Oct. 23, Port Aransan Harry Shaw was strapped into a parachute in rural Brazoria County and minutes later, he jumped in tandem with Jay Stokes, an Arizona resident and fellow Army veteran who also happens to hold the world record for most parachute jumps in a 24-hour period (640 leaps, at Greensburg, Ind., in 2006).
It was the first time Shaw had parachuted since 1983. That was the year that he lost his legs due to massive injuries he suffered during combat as a U.S. Army paratrooper in Grenada.
Port Aransas voters stayed the course and elected all Republican candidates in balloting on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
With one exception, their votes reflected the voting of Nueces County as a whole. While Nueces County elected Democrat Mark Skurka as district attorney, Port Aransas voters leaned toward incumbent appointee Anna Jimenez. She was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to replace Carlos Valdez who resigned to become the city attorney for Corpus Christi.
Election judge Joe Bomarito said the turnout was “big,” with 43 percent of the 3,150 registered voters in the combined precincts casting ballots.
After a season of city budget cuts, Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin sought donations to pay for travel expenses he incurs while working on behalf of the town’s interests in the state capital.
McMullin held a fundraiser gathering on Nov. 5, at the home of Bert Steindorf.
McMullin’s move came after he and the rest of the city council last summer cut the $24,000 that previously had been budgeted to pay a consultant who helped handle Port Aransas business that came before the Legislature. The city continues to fund a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
The loss of the lobbyist in Austin means McMullin and City Manager Robert Bradshaw would become the town’s chief lobbyists.
The former Island Worship Center at 1801 S. 11th St. became Grace Community Church with new pastors Mark and Vicki Kennedy. They succeeded Sabrina Grubbs, who resigned late last summer.
Dr. Luiz Rocha, 37, a research scientist at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) in Port Aransas, was honored by having a fish named for him by three colleagues in gratitude for the research work he did on Brazilian fish while he was working in Brazil. The fish is known now as Sparisoma rocha.
Rocha, as far as he knows, was only the third UTMSI faculty member to have a newly-discovered organism named after him. (The others, Drs. Ed Buskey and Tracy Villareal, lent their names to tiny planktonic creatures.)
A multi-million-dollar improvement project at an electrical substation was expected to bring more reliable service to Port Aransas, utility officials said.
AEP was building a “gas-insulated switch station” at the substation, said Harold Ashley, a community affairs manager with AEP. The project is expected to wrap up by the end of March, Ashley said.
A fundraiser brought in nearly $3,000 to help pay for Mayor Keith McMullin’s travel expenses while on official city business, McMullin said.
More than 40 people attended the fundraiser, held on Friday, Nov. 5, at the Port Aransas home of McMullin’s friend, Bert Steindorf.
Georgia Neblett and the Friends of the ARK received two of the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation’s eighth annual Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Awards at the foundation’s annual banquet Thursday, Nov. 18.
Neblett, director of development for the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) in Port Aransas, received the Coastal Community Award. The Friends of the ARK, the volunteer organization that raises money for the Animal Rehabilitation Keep, won the foundation’s Nonprofit Organization Award.
Keep Port Aransas Beautiful received the 2010 President’s Circle Recognition Award from Keep America Beautiful.
The Port Aransas Marlins cross-country team earned a berth at the state meet in Round Rock Saturday, Nov. 13, for a shot at the state cross-country title. The boys’ team came in second at the regional meet Saturday, Nov. 6, in San Antonio, and advances to state competition.
An ailing girls’ cross-country team finished sixth overall in the regional competition.
To earn the award, a KAB affiliate must submit an annual report, maintain an active board or advisory council, have the board and members attend training during the year, remain current with network service fees and complete a semi-annual report.
Offshore oil and gas production platforms are favorite Coastal Bend fishing spots, but a number of the structures have been removed, and still more were scheduled for dismantling all over the Gulf of Mexico.
The trend had some folks worried about how much damage could be done to Port Aransas fishing and tourism. Most offshore fishing trips are centered around oil and gas structures, said Mike Nugent, chairman of the Port Aransas Boatmen board of directors.
Port Aransas police were trying to locate more than $1,000 worth of cityowned photography equipment that disappeared.
City Manager Robert Bradshaw said he hadn’t been able to find anyone in city hall who could recall seeing the equipment since it was loaned out to Claude Brown during the time he was mayor.
Brown said he left the camera and lens in his city hall office within a week after his term was up as mayor in the spring. He said he didn’t know where it was.
Principals from all three Port Aransas ISD campuses got their campus improvement plans OK’d by the school board on Thursday, Nov. 11.
Port Aransas school trustees listened to two speakers who favored mandatory drug testing at the board meeting Thursday, Nov. 11, but voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), to not start drug testing in Port Aransas schools.
SHAC chairman Dr. Jennifer Kidd told the board the council had researched the question of mandatory drug testing.
Kidd said drug use on campus is what she called “rare,” and said existing policies usually deal with suspected drug use.
Kidd also said a study by the U.S. Department of Education released in July showed mandatory random drug testing did not deter future drug use.
The Marlin cross-country team came home from the state on Saturday, Nov. 13, in Round Rock, with a second-place trophy for the school’s trophy case and several ribbons for individual runners.
It was the second time a Port Aransas boys cross-country team had gone to state – last year the Marlins placed eighth.
A regional director from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s office spent hours touring Port Aransas and meeting with local officials about city needs on Thursday, Nov. 18.
The visit by Yesenia V. Monsour, who handles matters from San Antonio to El Paso and areas south, left Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin feeling optimistic about the town’s chances of landing state and federal funding that could benefit a variety of city initiatives and facilities, especially Mustang Beach Airport.
The Marlins came out a strong second in their namesake tournament on Saturday, Dec. 18. Two players, Tyler Pate and Tanner Merrill, were named to the All- Tournament Team for their performances on the court.
The Lady Marlins came out third in the girls’ bracket of the Marlin Classic tournament, held Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 18-20. Tarryn Murray, the Lady Marlins’ post, was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Port Aransas City Councilman Keith Donley proposed informally that the city ban smoking inside all public buildings, whether they’re restaurants, bars, stores or other structures where the public gathers.
“I just receive constant complaints from people that come into my real estate office,” Donley said. “They can’t believe people can still smoke in restaurants. People are just incredulous that it’s still allowed.”
Speaking at a city council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18, Donley said he wanted the matter put on the council agenda for when it meets next, on Thursday, Dec. 16.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has had three boats stationed in Port Aransas for the past year or so, conducting the kinds of patrols and investigations that are standard for the agency at its various locations around the nation.
The boats were put in Port Aransas after Congress appropriated money for the agency to add 11 new vessels to its fleet, said Steve Eaton, director of marine operations for Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine in Tomball.
Along the rim of the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a mission to protect the nation from “anything coming into the country illegally” anywhere from three to 12 miles offshore, Eaton said. That could include criminals, undocumented aliens, drugs or illegal weapons, he said.
Five Port Aransas High School students qualified for the All-Region Band.
Jenna Ward (flute), Clark Wilson (bassoon), Kelsey Abel (French horn), Sadie Guillot (French horn) and Chris Eggleston (trumpet) qualified by competing against students from 18 schools in the region.
After nine-year-old Kaylyn Castleberry of Port Aransas saw a St. Jude’s commercial, she decided she wanted to do something for the Tennessee-based hospital for children with catastrophic diseases such as cancer. She began making little purse-like bags, selling them and giving half of her profits to St. Jude.
Kaylyn is the daughter of Steve and Laurel Castleberry of Port Aransas.
San Antonio Express-News retired columnist Carlos Guerrra was found dead Dec. 6 in a condominium he had been renting for the past month. Port Aransas police said they did not expect foul play in the 63-yar-old Robstown native’s death.
The Marlins’ second-place finish at the state cross-country meet in November brought recognition to coach Steve Reaves and to runner Matt Fries.
Reaves was named South Texas coach of the year by the Corpus Christi Caller- Times newspaper. Fries, a junior, was named to the South Texas cross-country first team for his third-place finish in the regional meet and for his 19th-place statewide performance at the meet in Round Rock.
An online reader poll, in response to a proposal to ban smoking in public buildings, conducted by the South Jetty drew 787 votes. That’s a few hundred more votes than any other poll that the newspaper has conducted.
The unscientific poll, conducted over a two-week period, resulted in 522 (66 percent) voting for the ban and 265 (34 percent) against.
The poll held no sway with the Port Aransas City Council, which at a meeting Thursday, Dec. 16, extinguished a proposed public smoking ban – at least for now.
The council voted 4-3 to defeat a motion to have city staff draw up a would-be ordinance that could have disallowed smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants.
Voting no on the motion were Mayor Keith McMullin and council members Charles Bujan, Glenda Balentine and John Price.
Voting in favor of moving forward with a proposed ordinance were council members Keith Donley, Rick Pratt and Steve Lanoux.
The vote came after at least a dozen citizens addressed the council, speaking against the idea of a ban. Only one spoke in favor of it.
Thanks to the generous folks in Port Aransas, the two annual holiday drives, one for food and the other for toys, were both a success.
The VFW Post 8967’s annual Care and Share Christmas drive resulted in ample food to fill the boxes going out in time for Christmas, according to event co-chairman David Davidson. This year, only 124 individuals and families registered for the boxed meals, compared to 325 individuals in 2009.
The Port Aransas Emergency Services 13th annual Toy Round Up got off to a slow start, but donations made during the last week of the drive made up for it. According to event chairman Kristin Barton, more than 150 Port Aransas children were to receive items on their wish lists.
As 2010 wound to a close, Dwight Kirkpatrick stood ready to take over as chief of the Port Aransas Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday, Jan. 1.
Kirkpatrick was elected chief in voting by members of the department on Dec. 1. He had been assistant chief for the past four years.
Kirkpatrick replaces Scott Mack, who didn’t throw his hat into the ring for the chief’s position this election. Mack said he will continue to be a firefighter in the department, but said with two young children, it’s time for him to “do my family thing.”
Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin was one of only five Texans accepted for instruction in an intensive hurricane preparedness course at the National Hurricane Center in Florida.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will pay for the mayor’s week-long, mid-January trip to the National Hurricane Center, located at Florida International University in Miami.
McMullin had to pass two of FEMA’s online hurricane-oriented courses to be eligible for acceptance to the in-person training course at the National Hurricane Center.
The course at the hurricane center provides specialized training designed to help emergency management personnel on the local coastal level better understand hurricanes and make decisions that will protect local populations.
In the final days of 2010, Port Aransas learned that City Manager Robert Bradshaw had applied for the job of city manager in Corpus Christi, but withdrew when he learned that information was being made public.