It's not too often small towns make national headlines and the same can be said for us here in Victoria. However, it's inevitable even in small towns that somebody or something is going to do something worthy enough to tell the rest of the country. These are 5 times that small town Victoria made the national stage. Some good....most not. So here goes.

5. Texas Port of Victoria hits record oil shipments of 60,000 bpd in August (Reuters: Sep 30, 2013)

This made Reuters back in 2013. Here is a glimpse of the article:

"Crude oil shipments from the Port of Victoria in south Texas hit a record of over 60,000 barrels per day in August, the port director said on Monday, as more Eagle Ford shippers turn to coastal barges to move oil beyond Houston.

Nearly 1.9 million barrels left Victoria last month, an average of 60,357 barrels per day (bpd) and a rise of nearly 10 percent from July's 55,000 bpd average, said Jennifer Stastny, executive director of the port. She also said that September "started off very strong."

The barges, which carry an average of 30,000 barrels, head east along the inland Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) to refineries in Texas and Louisiana. Over 70 barges loaded at Victoria in August.

Steadily rising crude oil production in the nearby Eagle Ford shale basin, around 30 miles (48 km) south of the port, has boosted Victoria's shipments. Daily output topped 600,000 bpd in the first six months of 2013, nearly five times average daily production in 2011, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. The oil is currently trucked in to Victoria from the Eagle Ford field."

4. Texas 'Chupacabra' Turns Out to Be Imposter (Discovery Channel News: Apr 4, 2014)

This actually made the Discovery Channel's website which, you gotta admit, is a little impressive since it's not just national but global. A couple in Ratcliffe (DeWitt County) reportedly captured the illusive mythological creature Chupacabra. However, upon investigation it was determined to be nothing more than a diseased raccoon that lost all of it's hair. Here is a quote from the article:

"The news and video footage of the small, hairless, caged animal went viral and left countless people scratching their heads, wondering if a chupacabra (unlike Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster) has finally been caught. "In Dewitt County, (Texas), most people are convinced this is the elusive chupacabra," said a reporter with KAVU News, an ABC affiliate based in Victoria, Texas, though a wildlife biologist suggested it might be a dog or coyote. Still, others are not convinced."

Sorry DeWitt's just a raccoon :( Maybe next time.

3. Roommate arrested in killing of transgender woman, 21, at abandoned Philadelphia building (Daily News New York: May 20, 2015)

London Kiki Chanel a 21 year old Victoria native was killed by her roommate in Philadelphia. Chanel (who was born London Banks) was a transgendered female who apparently was having family issues and ended up in Philly. Chanel was working on reconciling with family when the tragedy took place. She was stabbed to death by her roommate over what police called a "Domestic Issue".

"Philadelphia authorities initially identified Chanel as Victoria, Texas native London Banks, but her friends revealed she was born a male and identified as a woman. After moving to Philly, Chanel spent several years living at a youth shelter and crisis center before attempting to reconcile with her family. The brutal weekend killing marks Chanel’s death the eighth transgender person of color to die this year under homicidal circumstances, according to the Anti-Violence Project."

Sad story all around.

2. Truck driver found guilty in deaths of 19 illegal immigrants in Texas (New York Times: November 5, 2006)

I'm sure we all remember this story. I was living in Oregon at the time and heard about it. It was back in 2003 when authorities discovered an abandoned trailer on a road near Victoria. Inside were the bodies of 19 dead illegal immigrants and 55 survivors. Locked inside and deprived of air in temperatures reaching 173 degrees! Needless to say this guy should have been taken out back of the courthouse and shot on sight.

"Evidence in the trials portrayed Williams as a milk trucker and sometime drug courier recruited by a smuggling ring to transport 60 illegal immigrants on a similar run from the border about a week earlier and who then took $7,500 to carry a group from Harlingen, Texas, past a Border Patrol checkpoint in Sarita to a waiting van and pickup truck.

But the relief vehicles became stuck at the checkpoint, and Williams, with the truck's refrigeration turned off, was directed by the smugglers to continue toward Houston.

A companion in the cab, Fatima Holloway, testified that Williams ignored the banging of his passengers as they succumbed to airlessness, dehydration and temperatures as high as 173 degrees, or 78 degrees Celsius, finally clawing out a taillight in a desperate bid for air.

The first to die, a survivor testified in English, was a 5-year-old Mexican boy who expired in his father's arms, crying, "Daddy, Daddy, I'm dying." Sixteen more suffocated before Williams halted the truck, and two more died in the hospital."

1. Texas cop under investigation for roughing up elderly man, 76, during bogus traffic stop (Daily News New York: December 16, 2014)

Now I KNOW you all remember this one. A Victoria Police Officer pulled over a 76 year old man for having no inspection sticker. However, the car had paper dealer plates which are exempt from inspection sticker laws. Tell that to the overzealous cop who decided to throw the elderly man around like a rag doll before tasing him, handcuffing him and putting him in the back of the patrol car. The officer, Nathaniel Robinson, was fired for excessive force. Good riddance!

So there you have it. There are other stories I'm sure but these 5 are enough I think. The last one gets me. I've had run ins with the police before and have been harassed for absolutely no reason but I was never tased. Hopefully the next 5 national stories involving Victoria, Texas will be a little more on the pleasant side. But that's up to you.