Stuff Your Face: Market merges upscale with down-home

VICTORIA – Spiced with intriguing ideas and a laid-back atmosphere, formal business meetings and casual lunches live in harmony at Huvar’s Artisan Market. The restaurant, sandwiched between city hall, a furniture shop and the skeleton of a former wine bar, offers a breath of fresh, albeit eclectic, air to downtowners looking for good eats. UnderContinue reading “Stuff Your Face: Market merges upscale with down-home”

Library patrons booked into jail for late fees, overdue books

Handcuffed and ankle-shackled, Jacob deLaGarza marched in a single-file line to see the judge. His crime: two research books and a Bruce Springsteen CD all long overdue at the Victoria Public Library. Lost or late materials can result in more than just a 10-cent-a-day fine – readers can find themselves behind bars. “I’ve never beenContinue reading “Library patrons booked into jail for late fees, overdue books”

Game room growth in Victoria brings concern about illegal activity

Through the iron bars guarding the front door, a handwritten note, black marker on copy paper, was taped to the glass: “Closed until further notice.” Twenty-four hours after a pair of armed robbers fired shots at an employee and made off with $300 cash, Royal 7’s game room was lifeless. The broken windowpane just toContinue reading “Game room growth in Victoria brings concern about illegal activity”

Fishing community worries about oil spill

PORT O’CONNOR – It was late in the day, and nearly everyone had left Clark’s Shrimp House except Craig Lambright and the rest of the three-man shrimper crew. Across town, talk of the Galveston oil spill dominated conversations from Josie’s Mexican Food and Cantina to the Speedy Stop up Adams Street near the city limits. The sleepyContinue reading “Fishing community worries about oil spill”

Residents fear well will hurt water supply

BLOOMINGTON – Massive, rusted tanks block the front view from Lucy Morales’ Bloomington home. The tanks and oil wells that were commonplace during the Amerada-Hess drilling heyday of the late 1940s are moving back into the community. With that, disposal wells are spreading, and companies are pulling permits for sites inside city limits. “I thinkContinue reading “Residents fear well will hurt water supply”

Merle Haggard and his thoughts on ‘Old Farts’

Merle Haggard has seen – and written about – it all. Going on 76, with most of those years spent in the music industry, Haggard has carved out a niche as a social critic, performing everywhere from handmade stages to the White House. Although he’s receiving more awards than writing songs these days, he says he stillContinue reading “Merle Haggard and his thoughts on ‘Old Farts’”

Olive oil producer to plant 300,000 trees in Victoria County

CARRIZO SPRINGS – About 5,000 miles east of Jim Henry’s orchard, Italy grows more than 90 percent of the world’s olives. “We’re just a drop in the bucket,” Henry said, but he’s making a dent by producing Texas-made olive oil. Henry is planning a 383-acre olive orchard with up to 300,000 trees off U.S. HighwayContinue reading “Olive oil producer to plant 300,000 trees in Victoria County”

Ad campaign gets the boot; Victoria officials reconsider growing hotel tax fund

Victoria will consider soon how to spend nearly $3 million generated by its skyrocketing hotel taxes. However, critics fear the money will be as ill-spent as a recent $1 million advertising campaign that ended in March with no measurable success. City officials quietly pulled the plug on the campaign, “Bring Your Boots,” earlier this year.Continue reading “Ad campaign gets the boot; Victoria officials reconsider growing hotel tax fund”

Longtime guitarist teaching new generation of songwriters

MINEOLA — Aging window panes on the old Beckham Hotel rattle like a snare drum as the afternoon train passes through town. From the building’s structure to the towers of precariously stacked CDs or the guitar-lined walls and eclectic visitors, the hotel is filled with a menagerie of sounds. The owner, John DeFoore, a 65-year-oldContinue reading “Longtime guitarist teaching new generation of songwriters”

Robin Hood Studios nears half-century legacy among musicians

Comfortably slouched facing a nine-and-a-half-foot Bösendorfer Imperial Grand piano, Robin Hood Brians Jr. lifts a black lid covering nine extra keys on the bass end and performs a Ray Charles classic, “Georgia on my Mind.” The 97-key piano is merely one element among the $10,000 tube microphones and instrument cases in Brians’ nearly 50-year-old recording studio, Robin Hood Studios in Tyler. MusiciansContinue reading “Robin Hood Studios nears half-century legacy among musicians”