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County Judge gives State of the County speech at TAMUK

Over 230 people attended the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce sponsored State of the County event on Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Student Union Building ballrooms on the campus of Texas A&M-Kingsville.

County Judge Rudy Madrid was the featured speaker, as he spoke for almost an hour on issues confronting the county and things the county has accomplished in the course of the past number of years.

This was the first State of the County event in a few years, as COVID forced the postponement of the annual address during the height of the pandemic.

Manny Salazar, the Chief Operating Officer of the Chamber, welcomed the huge crowd to the sold-out event, and then showed a new video put together by the county for promotional purposes.

Judge Madrid was introduced a little later, and after a few opening remarks, he walked the crowd through a number of things the county has been doing and intends to do in the future for the betterment of the county.

The Judge highlighted recent heavy equipment purchases for the

various precincts and fire departments, noting over $1 million in heavy equipment purchases have been done out of ARPA funds and not local general reserves.

The Judge also highlighted the counties remarkable response to COVID, claiming Kleberg County was one of the leading counties in the state of Texas in confronting the virus. The Judge pointed out the vaccination clinic is still open, and that the Emergency Operations Center at J.K. Northway is moving forward ahead of schedule.

The Judge pointed out the county was in much better financial shape, and thanked his fellow commissioners for their support. He also noted the great working relationship he has with Mayor Sam Fugate, the City of Kingsville and specifically took time out to recognize the great job City Manager Mac Maclaughlin is doing. The Judge also recognized Sister Elizabeth, who is retiring in the near future.

The Judge praised area firefighters and first responders, the Baffin Bay water project, fishing piers, boat ramps and other actions the county is taking to make Kleberg County as self-sufficient and business friendly as it can be moving into the future.

The Judge's speech was well received, and a lot of socializing was done following the speech.

Gomez, Silguero new Queen, King

Prior to the start of last Friday's H.M. King Homecoming game against John Paul High, a few nervous local teens were out on the field at Javelina Stadium. They were there with one or both of their parents, but none of them knew if they were going to hear their name over the stadium public address system.

They were looking forward to hearing their names as both the Homecoming Queen and Homecoming King were about to be announced.

The public address announcer first called out the name of Jazlyn Gomez, a senior at H.M. King who is now the 2022 homecoming queen for the Brahmas. As her mother watched on, Jazlyn was fitted with the crown and wore smiles all around.

A few minutes later, it was time for the king to be chosen, and that lucky man is named Jose Silguero. Both of his parents were on the field as Jose was crowned, and both the queen and king posed for numerous pictures afterwards.

Gas pipeline explosion rips through Bishop

On Monday, Sept. 19 around 3:20 p.m., the Bishop Police along with Nueces Country Constables and several fire departments responded to an explosion east of Bishop and County Roads 10 and 63 A.

Multiple fire Departments including Corpus, Annaville, Kleberg, ESD 3, and Flour Bluff arrived on scene and determined that a natural gas pipeline had exploded. The blast set several acres on fire and a nearby home sustained damage to its windows, roof, and a boat that was parked outside.

ESD 3 Fire Chief John Davis said that the residents heard a loud hissing sound that sounded like a train. Davis said the residents of the home looked outside and saw the vapors and heard rocks and dirt landing on their roof. They quickly ran to their vehicle and drove away from the area. Davis said they barely made to safety when the explosion occurred. Witnesses said the explosion could be heard as far away as Highway 77. Neighbors said the gas pipe line has been exposed for some time.

Fire crews were able to extinguish the grass fire and did not let anyone into the area. There were no injuries reported. Fire Chief Davis said that the gas pipeline is owned by Enterprise. Davis said they are still not sure what ignited the gas and suspect that it may have been a lightning strike. Enterprise arrived to the location and blocked the valves and the fire burned itself out. The cause is still under investigation.

Sheriff Kirkpatrick returns after being hit by vehicle

On Sept. 9 at 11 a.m., Sheriff Kirkpatrick said he was preparing to attend a 9/11 ceremony and was standing in the door way to his vehicle which was parked in front of his residence when he heard a loud noise coming from the intersection near his residence. That loud noise turned out to be a male driver who was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed. Kirkpatrick believes the driver hit the dip in the road which sent the SUV style vehicle into the air. The vehicle then crashed into Kirkpatrick's vehicle from behind. Kirkpatrick said "my knees hit the side step and I was thrown into my vehicle". The force of the collision caused the Sheriff to sustain a few injuries including scrapes and bruises to his knees and a dislocated finger. Kirkpatrick was transported by ambulance to Christus Spohn Hospital in Kingsville where he received treatment for his

injuries and his finger was put back into place. Sheriff Kirkpatrick said he took the weekend off to recover and returned to work on Monday. The collision resulted in $10K in damages to his vehicle. Commander Jorge Flores with the Kingsville Police department said the male driver did not show signs of intoxication and a crash report has been completed and submitted to the state.