News

Every home in Rose City except two sustained damage during the catastrophic flooding that Hurricane Harvey brought to Southeast Texas, and, while other cities begin the rebuilding process, the small town is still literally trying to pick up the pieces and sift through the rubble they once called home.

Mayor Bonnie Stevenson said her city and its residents are in dire need of assistance.

“The city was devastated,” Stevenson said, “but, we’re coming back. These people have lost everything, and they need help.”

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After remaining flat for four consecutive years, property taxes are rising in Beaumont.

The Beaumont City Council unanimously approved an increase in the property tax rate Sept. 26, raising the rate from $0.69/100 to $0.71/100, a two-cent increase that will bring in 4.7 percent additional revenue to the municipality. The majority of property taxes are dedicated to the general fund, $0.49/100, while approximately $0.22/100 is applied to the debt service.

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Jefferson County is requiring development permits in unincorporated areas, those outside city limits, and the county is waiving permit fees for disaster-related renovations.

According to a Sept. 26 news release from the Jefferson County Environmental Control Department, development permits are required for all reconstruction/repairs performed due to Hurricane Harvey. This permit will allow them to check flood zones to ensure compliance with FEMA regulations.

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Horror stories of tragic circumstances created by Hurricane Harvey’s horrendous flooding abound, but in the midst of tragedy, heroism shone through as volunteers from various organizations and communities endeavored to save lives and restore hope in Southeast Texas.

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CenterPoint Energy leaders thanked Beaumont Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Ocnaschek and the team he assembled during Hurricane Harvey flooding to stop a gas leak under the churning, muddy waters of the Neches River, and presented the city with a donation of $50,000 during a council meeting Sept. 26.

CenterPoint District Manager Gary Chalk said his company has been working with the city for “many years,” and has been in Beaumont for more than a century.

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During a not-so-happy hour at a Beaumont bar, a local man’s truck was stolen from the parking lot while he was inside.

Police say, as is the case with many car thefts and other varying crime in the city, it could be drug-related since car thieves and other drug users are prone to trading vehicles for drugs, a practice so common it has become known in some circles as “a rock for a ride.”

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A Jefferson County Grand Jury indicted 39-year-old Walter Cobey Wilson of Beaumont, who goes by the nickname “Mudd,” for injury to an elderly person after he allegedly assaulted a 68-year-old woman in her apartment April 30 of this year.

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The city of Bevil Oaks opened its public meeting at the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission on Eastex Freeway in Beaumont with a prayer that they would “conduct business in a sensible and manageable way” to be “fair to all in the community.”

The last meeting Sept. 19 had ended in citizens screaming at their officials and overrunning the three minutes allowed for individual comments.

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A 26-year-old Beaumont man arrested for killing a homeless woman in June has been indicted on capital murder charges by a Jefferson County Grand Jury Sept. 26.

Brandon Julian Coleman has been charged with the capital murder of 54-year-old Catherine Dungan, who was found bound at a local park and who had been sexually assaulted before being strangled to death.

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On Sept. 26, shortly after 1 p.m., Beaumont Fire-Rescue units responded to a reported commercial structure fire at Ben's Alternator Service on South 11th Street, the department posted on their Facebook page.

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