New Schroeder Dance Hall owner to preserve historic integrity

Schroeder Dance HallSCHROEDER – Long heralded as one of the greatest dance halls in Texas – where Merle Haggard, George Strait and Tammy Wynette have entertained crowds – Schroeder Hall is getting a new dance partner.

Having survived decades of brutal Texas weather and rock ‘n’ roll music, the dance hall is trading hands. Doug Guller, who owns the Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill chain and ATX Brands, and new manager and booking agent Stephen Dean have purchased the iconic venue from the Kleinecke family.

Dean, the co-founder of Texas Dance Hall Preservation Inc., prides himself on nostalgia.

“I really feel that it’s important that these dance halls remain alive – it’s family,” Dean said. “I want to help this place stay alive.”

He was pivotal in reviving Sengelmann Hall in Schulenburg and others across Central Texas. He’s up to the task of breathing new life into Schroeder Hall, 12516 Farm-to-Market Road 622. Continue reading New Schroeder Dance Hall owner to preserve historic integrity

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Landowners urge river authority to maintain rivers

Development in San Antonio and a lack of resources at the state-level reshaped one of Texas’ largest rivers, resulting in flooding, log jams and the loss of ranch land.

Continue reading Landowners urge river authority to maintain rivers

Stuff Your Face: Market merges upscale with down-home

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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.

Under the direction of Sean Fanelli, executive chef and general manager, Huvar’s new menu features salads loaded with organic greens, hot-pressed sandwiches, gourmet burgers and a selection of in-house-pecan- smoked bacon, in-house corned beef, homemade pimento cheese and other goodies for sale by the pint or by the pound. Continue 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 been so humiliated in my life,” said deLaGarza, a medic, now 32 and living in Sugar Land. “We went down to the county jail, and I was charged with failure to return property and failure to pay a fine, class C misdemeanors.” Continue 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 to the right of the door shielded an unlit open sign, and blue painter’s tape patched the cracked windows facing East Red River Street along the front of the red brick building.

Save for a half-dozen lipstick-stained cigarette butts discarded in a sun-bleached Marlboro ashtray, the building was nondescript, but the 79 eight-liners arranged inside were known for tantalizing players with blaring bells, bright lights and winning dreams. Continue 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 sleepy fishing town, home to about 1,200 mostly retirement-age residents, anxiously watched as crews poured in from Corpus Christi and Lake Charles, La., setting the stage to clean up as much as 170,000 gallons of oil spilled after a ship collision in the Houston Ship Channel on Saturday.

“If it comes in the bay, we’ve had it,” said Lambright, 50, of Seadrift.

Continue 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 think we need to do something about it,” Morales said. “I think we need to try to stop it.”

Continue reading Residents fear well will hurt water supply