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City of Victoria to replace ambulance totaled in May crash
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Tuesday night, Victoria City Council members approved using $112,000 from the general fund to pay for replacing the medical equipment, hardware and clothing destroyed when an ambulance went into water in early May.

Those funds will be fully reimbursed by the insurance company for the Victoria Fire Department, said Victoria Fire Chief Tracy Fox. So far, insurance has paid $55,000 to the city of Victoria. The department is expecting an ambulance to be delivered in July or August. Before the ambulance can be cleared for use, it must be equipped with the same medical equipment as the one submerged under water after a Chevrolet Traverse failed to yield to the ambulance, which was carrying an EMT, paramedic and paramedic trainee at the time, Fox said.

“Once we replace the equipment, it allows us to use it as an ambulance,” Fox said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services will inspect the new ambulance once the equipment arrives, which could take months, Fox said.

Due to a supply shortage for EMS equipment now, Fox said that could mean three to four months before a replacement unit is back on the road.

Medic Unit 991 was totaled on May 5. The city plans to maintain its fleet of eight ambulances by not trading in another medic unit as scheduled. The new unit was purchased this fiscal year.

The items to be replaced include body armor, an Axon Body Cam, computer tablets, cradle point, mobile radio, Stryker Cot, Lucas, Stair Chair, Tempus Pro system, two Pentax scopes, three blood warmer batteries, four portable suction units, five pedi immobilization boards, six blood warmer chargers and other items. The items broke down to chemical, medical and surgical supplies for $11,000; chemical, medical and surgical equipment for $77,000; computer equipment and hardware for $22,000; and uniforms and clothing for $950.

The minivan crashed with the northbound ambulance carrying three Victoria Fire Department members at North Main Street and Spring Creek Drive, Fox said. The three fire department members were taken to DeTar Hospital Navarro in stable condition and were later released from the ER. The crash resulted in the ambulance, which was not on an emergency run, being fully submerged in water, Fox said.

The elderly couple in the minivan, a man and woman from Victoria, were taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

The ambulance was pulled from the water after divers attached cables to the vehicle’s rear and Allan’s Wrecker Service pulled it free.

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Skaters find free pizza, camaraderie in Victoria on national skateboarding day
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The Victoria Skate Park has its own soundtrack.

The sound of rolling wheels on concrete are cut short by the sharp snap of an ollie. Next might be the metal-on-metal grating of a 50-50 grind or — just as likely — a wood-clattering indication that someone hadn’t quite landed their latest trick.

Tuesday afternoon’s musical production came from a score of skateboarders celebrating national Go Skateboarding Day.

But if it hadn’t been national Go Skateboarding Day, most of them probably would have been skating there anyway.

“If you really, really want to get into it, I say do it,” said Dayton Escobar, 20, of Goliad. “It is 50/50 if you like it or not ... but everyone’s different. Everyone has a different style, the different things they like to wear, different things they like to do, but it’s for everyone. Everyone has a different genre of skating, I guess you could say.”

Go Skateboarding Day was established by the International Association of Skateboard Companies to encourage skaters to promote the sport around their own communities. On Tuesday, in cities around the world, skaters took to the streets to hold competitions, workshop their latest tricks and share their love of skating.

This year, the city of Victoria marked the day by providing free pizza and soft drinks to skaters at the capital of Crossroads skating: The Victoria Skate Park.

City recreation coordinator Alex Aguero said one of the goals was “just to let everyone know that we want to establish a great relationship with the community.” Aguero said that he hoped fostering a sense of pride and community in the city’s skate park would help cut down on the ongoing headache induced by graffiti.

“I really like the community,” said Escobar, who said he’s been skating seriously for about three years. “Skaters, it’s like a big family. Everyone loves each other here, you know. No one’s going to judge you. Everyone’s here to help. Everyone’s here to be positive and back you up.”

When Alex Shu flew out of the pool at a particularly impressive height, 16-year-old Andres Stubbs had a question.

“How do you get air like that?” said Andres, who moved to Victoria from El Campo a few weeks ago.

“I panic,” said Shu, a Victoria multimedia specialist with Building Brands Marketing. “Step one is: Panic.”

Despite the serious talent on display on Tuesday afternoon, many skaters stressed the sport’s — and the local community’s — accessibility.

David Garcia, known to some as “Crazy Dave,” has been skating locally off-and-on for 10 years. He said the Victoria Skate Park is great because it’s not an imposing, professional skating pool, which might deter newcomers.

“This is for, like, all ages,” Garcia said.

Just about everyone on Tuesday agreed the only thing a person needs to start skateboarding is determination.

“I’m never going to stop,” Andres said. “I’ve been skating for two years. And I plan to go another two years and another two years. Keep going.”

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Ganado's school district searching for new superintendent

The Ganado Independent School District’s board of trustees is looking to hire a new superintendent after Erin Fasel, the district’s former superintendent, left the district effective May 31.

Fasel’s departure has left the rural district of about 741 students without a permanent superintendent since the beginning of June.

The board appointed Sarah Woodring, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction, as acting superintendent at a meeting Monday afternoon.

Fasel was hired by the board in May 2020, according to the district’s website. She called Ganado ISD a “great school district.”

The board is set to meet at 2 p.m. Thursday for a special meeting called to discuss the search for a permanent superintendent. The meeting will be held at the district’s board room, 210 S. Sixth St. in Ganado.

Board President Clay Green declined to comment about the search for a new superintendent.

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Fire kills elderly man, 2 family pets in Mission Valley
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An elderly man and two pets died in a Mission Valley house fire Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The home was occupied by the man as well as other family members, Victoria County Fire Marshal Richard Castillo said. The elderly man was the only person home at the time the fire burned the residence located in the 700 block of Farm to Market Road 622.

Castillo did not provide the name of the deceased man.

After the fire was extinguished, authorities found the man and two family pets deceased, Castillo said.

Castillo did not specify the types of pets who died in the fire, only the number of pets.

The investigation was ongoing as of Wednesday afternoon. Check back with the Victoria Advocate for updates.