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Red Cross Shelter Opens in Bridge City

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The American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region opened an emergency shelter Wednesday to assist those impacted by the severe weather that hit Southeast Texas.

The shelter opened Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at Bridge Point Fellowship Overflow in Bridge City at 9 p.m.

Red Cross workers are prepared to provide warm meals, a safe place to sleep, and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs, according to a news release by the American Red Cross.

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula, and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
  • Books, games, and other ways to entertain your family and yourself

Miss Orange County Scholarship Pageant Seeking Applicants

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Registration for the 2023 Miss Orange County Scholarship Pageant is now open. The pageant will be held on April 1, 2023, at LCM High School.

A total of $5000 in scholarships will be given away.  Ages 0-8 are open to any participants. Ages 9-18 are limited to Orange County residents only.

In 1981, the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival Association hosted the first Crawfish Festival Queen Pageant as a fundraising project. It quickly became an annual tradition in conjunction with the Mauriceville Crawfish Festival.

In 2018, The Mauriceville Crawfish Festival Association became a federally recognized nonprofit under the name Mauriceville Heritage Association and changed the format to the annual festival. In conjunction with those changes, the Annual Mauriceville Crawfish Festival Queen became Miss Orange County to fully represent this area.

For 41 years, our association has produced not just a pageant but a moving experience that remains in the hearts and on the minds of local young women for generations.

The application deadline is February 28, 2023.

The registration forms can be found here.

Disposing of Christmas Trees

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The Texas A&M Forest Service has offered the following tips for the disposal of real Christmas trees:

Many enjoy having a real Christmas tree for the holidays. And when the holidays are over, there are several eco-friendly ways to dispose of or recycle a Christmas tree.

Living Christmas trees benefit the environment by sequestering carbon, supporting local businesses and tree farmers and filling families’ homes with the smell and feel of a real tree.

“As Christmas trees grow, they provide many of the same benefits our urban and natural forests do, such as clean air, soil stabilization, and carbon sequestration,” said Alison Baylis, Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Urban Ecologist. “Further, buying a Christmas tree can help support a business or your local economy.”

According to the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association, there are 175 Christmas tree farms in Texas producing over 200,000 trees each year. For the month of December, the tree has served its purpose of bringing light and beauty into your home. Sadly, many of these trees end up in a landfill as their final resting place.

“Even though trees are a renewable resource, we should opt to recycle or dispose of them in a way that helps the environment and gives our trees a second life,” said Baylis. “By recycling Christmas trees, we can reduce our carbon footprint and support a more sustainable holiday season.”

There are many ways to sustainably dispose of Christmas trees.


Real trees are biodegradable, and many communities have tree recycling programs. Check with your local waste management company, a nearby garden center or a conservation organization to find out if Christmas tree recycling, whether curbside pickup or a drop-off station, is available in your area. Recycling trees is recommended over burning them to help prevent wildfire danger.


The most common recycling option is chipping Christmas trees into mulch, which can be used for a variety of needs around homes and yards. Mulch can be placed around the base of trees and gardens as an insulator to help plants withstand cold temperatures and prevent soil erosion and compaction.

Pond and wildlife habitat

Place Christmas trees in yards or nature landscapes or in bodies of water to create a habitat for wildlife. When Christmas trees are sunken into water bodies, they increase the complexity of the aquatic habitat. Woody debris provides a place for aquatic species to flourish, which increases overall biodiversity. If you do not have a pond or lake on your property, contact local officials to see if there is a suitable body of water in which you can properly dispose of your tree.

You can also choose to set your tree in your yard, creating a wildlife habitat. Birds can use your old Christmas tree as a shelter.

Enjoy the view by tying bird feed, orange slices, popcorn, and other bird-friendly treats to your tree, and watch the birds fill the branches.

Fun family crafts

Keep the holiday spirit alive after Christmas by using parts of Christmas trees to make fun family activities such as tree cookies and coasters. Cut the trunk of your tree to make coasters or other decorative accent pieces in your home. Go a step further and let kids paint the tree cookies for one-of-a-kind artwork.

As the joy of having a Christmas tree in your home comes to an end this season, use one of the many ways to sustainably dispose of your Christmas tree to prevent it from ending up in a landfill. Make sure to remove all decorations such as ornaments, lights, and ribbon. If the tree is sprayed with flocking (fake snow), it should not be recycled. Tree limbs are a great way to insulate garden plants, and some cities even have free mulch available after the holiday season.

For more information on how to sustainably recycle your Christmas tree, contact your Texas A&M Forest Service district office.

Warming Station Offered in Orange

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Due to the forecasted cold weather, Orange County has partnered with the Salvation Army in Orange to provide a warming station starting at 3 pm Thursday, December 22, 2022, until noon Saturday, December 24, 2022, at the Salvation Army Building, 1950 MLK Drive, Orange Texas 77630.

A warming station is a short-term emergency shelter that operates when temperatures and wind chill become dangerously inclement. Their paramount purpose is the prevention of death and injury from exposure to the elements.

City of West Orange Announces Christmas Decoration Contest Winner

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The City of West Orange has announced the winner of the first annual Christmas decoration contest.

It is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Cook at 706 Westbury in West Orange. . It is a beautiful display for all to see.

The City of West Orange would like to thank all the entries (16) and all those who voted ( 1, 487). It was a close count between the contestants and a fun, family-oriented contest celebrating the spirit of Christmas.

The city’s goal for next year is to have more categories with more winners.

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