You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
top story
5D Steakhouse to open Victoria location

5D Steakhouse is living up to its name with a fifth location, which will open early this fall.

The new location takes the place of Johnny Carino’s, which closed last year after 18 years of serving Victoria.

Owner Brianne Dlugosch said she’s excited to be located at 4904 N. Navarro St., which she believes to be the heart of Victoria’s restaurant hub.

“It’s great commercial real estate,” Dlugosch said. “We’ve always wanted to be in that market.”

Dlugosch said she began looking at the property in fall 2018 and became its owner June 3. Dlugosch said renovations will be strictly cosmetic rather than structural.

“It’ll just be a face-lift, for lack of a better word,” Dlugosch said. “We’re going to give it the 5D look.”

Construction is expected to begin Tuesday.

Dlugosch also said she will hire more than 50 employees for the Victoria location. She plans to host a job fair for the positions about a month before the restaurant opens.

5D currently has four locations – in Yorktown, Kenedy, Carrizo Springs and Monahans. In addition to the Victoria restaurant, Dlugosch is planning a sixth location in Port O’Connor.

What’s your favorite place to get a steak in the Crossroads?

Construction at the Port O’Connor location will begin this summer after delays.

“It’ll definitely be open by the end of the year,” Dlugosch said.

The original 5D Steakhouse was opened in 2016 in Yorktown by Dlugosch’s parents. The restaurant gets its name from the five members of her family: her two parents, two siblings and herself.

centerpiece top story
Youth camp instills leadership skills, builds confidence

Sunday, the black Labrador retriever, kept his eyes locked on a dark, plastic toy across a makeshift aisle in the Victoria College Student Center as children cooed and watched the dog.

The dog excitedly paced a few steps forward and back before calmly sitting next to his trainer, motivational speaker Hank Hough of Kingdom Dog Ministries.

Hough then blew a whistle, and Sunday scurried to retrieve the item and proudly showed off his prize to the children.

“I can’t make him be a champion – he has to want to be a champion,” Hough told the children as he patted the top of Sunday’s head. “Just like you want to be a champion. You weren’t made to be good; you were made to be great. But it takes working hard and learning.”

About 50 campers will hone skills to help them become better leaders this summer during the 13th annual Victoria Business and Education Coalition Youth Leadership Conference at Victoria College.

The four-day camp kicked off Monday with a special presentation by the coalition and by Invista. The company is the signature sponsor for the camp this year and donated $15,000 toward the camp.

Capt. Eline Moya, a spokeswoman with the Victoria Police Department and president of the coalition’s board, said investment in youth is crucial because children will be the leaders of the community one day.

“They (the children) come out of their shells, and they build on the skills they have,” Moya said. “You can see by the end of the second day that they have really bonded and see the difference.”

The campers, who are all Crossroads children entering seventh grade this fall, are chosen based on scholarship and leadership skills as well as school and community involvement, said Peter McNally, program director of the coalition.

In addition to leadership skills, the campers learn team-building, organizational development and proper business and dining etiquette. The campers also learn how to instill hope and motivate others through lessons such as the one Hough presented Monday morning.

Camper Reese Little, 11, moved to Victoria from Alabama a few weeks ago and said she was excited to be a part of the leadership conference. Reese has attended other camps in Alabama and was a little nervous to attend her first camp in Victoria.

Her nervousness went away after a few activities Monday morning, which included a tug-of-war game and Ultimate Frisbee.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and learning what it takes to be a leader because I think it is important to have those (leadership) skills,” Reese said.

The future Industrial school district student said she would like to pursue a career as a veterinarian. Reese said she loves learning and plans to pass the skills she learns at the conference to other children.

“I think being a leader means letting others know they can trust you and you will also be there for them when they need you,” Reese said.

Camper Fabian Erazmo said he was also excited to be a part of the leadership conference. The 12-year-old Cade Middle School student said leadership is important for youth because some children can be led down a wrong path.

Fabian said he has learned that with leadership comes responsibility.

“To be a leader, you have to take care of not just yourself but others,” he said.

Fabian said he would like to be a professional gamer on YouTube one day, and he said the conference will help him hone not just his leadership skills but his public speaking skills.

“I’m meeting new people here, and it’s been great so far,” he said. “A leadership program like this is great to have here because so many people can learn new skills.”

Public Safety
Investigation continues into pellet-gun shooting

The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting of a 12-year-old child who was severely injured by a pellet gun at a Jackson County deputy’s home.

Jackson County Sheriff Andy Louderback said he requested the Rangers investigation to promote transparency because it involved a member of his office. The child, he said, was shot by the 12-year-old son of a Jackson County deputy.

About 9:15 p.m. June 3, paramedics were called to the deputy’s home on County Road 325 near the community of La Salle, said James Sudik, EMS director for Jackson County Hospital District. After arriving, paramedics requested a helicopter to transport the severely injured child to a trauma unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

Family members of the injured child did not respond to requests for comment.

The child’s condition was unavailable Monday.

Louderback said the public should be aware that many pellet guns are dangerous and capable of serious injury.

“These aren’t spring-powered, old-style Red Ryder BB guns. They are certainly more powerful,” the sheriff said, adding, “They can be lethal.”

top story
Jury selected in sexual assault trial of former Victoria County constable

Monday marked the first day of trial for a former Victoria County constable accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a ride-along.

District Judge Bobby Bell seated 12 jurors and two alternates after a selection process that took almost the entire day. With the jurors selected, attorneys were on schedule to begin presenting their cases Tuesday morning.

Former Precinct 1 constable Jesse Garza, 38, faces a second-degree felony charge of sexual assault by coercion, which carries a potential sentence of 2-20 years in prison with up to a $10,000 fine. Garza was elected to office by a margin of five votes in 2016 after a runoff. He was removed from office after a one-sided civil trial in early May after failing to appear in court.

Although a grand jury also indicted Garza for official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor, Special Prosecutor Tim Poynter abandoned that charge Monday morning just before the start of jury selection.

The Texas Penal Code defines official oppression as a public servant’s improper use of power for sexual harassment or another form of mistreatment.

According to his indictment, Garza used his position as an elected official and peace officer to demand sex from a Victoria County woman during a ride-along. He also harassed and groped her, the document states.

The Victoria County woman participated in the ride-along because she was an aspiring peace officer, the indictment states.

The Victoria Advocate does not name people who may be victims of sexual assault.

Poynter declined to give details about why he chose to abandon the official oppression charge.

During a pretrial hearing before jurors were selected, Poynter and Garza’s attorney, former Victoria County district attorney Dexter Eaves, discussed with the judge several witnesses they planned to call.

Poynter said the woman who accused Garza would take the stand along with the case’s investigating Texas ranger and other law enforcement officers.

Eaves said he might call County Commissioner Danny Garcia and a Victoria County sheriff’s investigator to pursue questions about the honesty of Garza’s accuser, who has been identified in court documents with a pseudonym.

Trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.