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The Latest News on The Hits

VACCINATION UPDATE

In Commissioners’ Court Monday, Walker County Emergencyf Management Coordinator Butch Davis brought everyone up to date on how many in the County are reported to be fully vaccinated for the Coronavirus.

Mr. Davis said, “As of today] we have 51,042 citizens fully vaccinated. If you break it down into age groups, among 12-to-65-year-olds 37.21 percent are fully vaccinated, and among 65 and over 62.63 percent are fully vaccinated.

UPDATE ON EARLY VOTING, JOINT ELECTION AGREEMENT AND OTHER RELATED ISSUES

In Commissioners’ Court Monday, Tax Assessor/Collector Diana McRae addressed commissioners on moving Early Voting to the Walker County Storm Shelter for the November 2, 2021 election . . . .

The agenda item was approved.

Ms. McRae also addressed commissioners on taking action to approve the Joint Election Agreement, including poll locations for the November 2, 2021 election . . . .

The agenda item was approved.

From the Veterans Museum, Tara Burnett addressed the court on some issues with voting at the Storm Shelter affecting the museum’s ability to function normally and have fundraisers . . . .

The County will be working in cooperation with the museum in the future so as not to interfere with access to their operation.

GOVERNOR ABBOTT, THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSION ANNOUNCE EXTENSION OF EMERGENCY SNAP BENEFITS FOR JULY

Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is providing approximately $262 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of July as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size, and all SNAP households will receive a minimum of $95 in emergency allotments.

GOOD NEWS STORY

In the category of good news, Fox news reports that the projected starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns, Casey Thompson, has signed in for Cameo which provides for people to get personal video messages from celebrities at a predetermined fee. Thompson’s fee is $50 for each video. The good news part is that he is going to donate all the money to the No Kid Hungry campaign.

CITY COUNCIL MEETS TONIGHT

The Huntsville City Council will meet for a regular session this evening at 6 PM at City Hall. Previous to the meeting, they will meet for a Joint Workshop with the Planning Commission to discuss the Comprehensive Plan at 5 PM at the Library.

This evening, councilmembers will hold a public hearing to hear comments on the City’s intent to submit a grant application to the Department of Justice for the Fiscal Year 2021 Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.

During tonight’s “Consent Agenda,” they will consider authorizing the City Manager to apply for the Department of Justice Grant. Tonight, Councilmembers will also award the purchase of a new centrifuge controller for the Robinson Creek Wastewater Plant to Brandon & Clark in the amount of $109,717. On the same Agenda, they will consider entering into a contract for the purchase and installation of one 400 kilowatt generator; relocation and installation of one 250 kilowatt generator; and the purchase and installation of one 400 amp automatic transfer switch for a total of $168,469 with McDonald Municipal & Industrial.

Tonight, councilmembers will consider the location for the construction of a new Animal Control facility.

They will meet in closed Executive Session to have a discussion regarding real property—the acquisition of property for City Hall.

COMMISSIONERS’ COURT MEETS

Walker County Commissioners will meet for a regular session this morning at nine at the courthouse.

Walker County Emergency Management Coordinator Butch Davis will address the court on depositing FEMA reimbursements for the Office of Emergency Management regarding COVID and the Winter Storm to be deposited in the Office of Emergency Management Project Fund.

Jack Choate from the Special Prosecution Unit will discuss taking action the purchase of three vehicles from Lake Country Chevrolet and Silsbee Toyota.

Tax Assessor/Collector Diana McRae will talk about taking action on moving Early Voting to the Walker County Storm Shelter for the November 2, 2021 Election. She will also discuss approval of the Joint Election Agreement including poll locations for the November 2, 2021 Election.

Purchasing Director Mike Williford will discuss and take action on renewal of the primary award for civil engineering services to Bleyl Engineering and renewal of secondary services to Goodwin, Lasiter and Strong.

Mr. Williford will discuss taking action on the Commissioners’ Court’s authorization to issue requests for proposals for administrative services and requests for qualifications for professional services for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Planning & Development Director Andy Isbell will hold a workshop concerning the proposed revision to the Walker County Subdivision regulations. The workshop will be followed by action on the proposed Subdivision Regulations.

Commissioner Daugette will talk about possible action on the reorganization and reallocation of County personnel.

SHSU PROFESSOR AWARDED U-S AIR FORCE/AFWERX SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH CONTRACT

Professor Jorn Yu in the Department of Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University, in partnership with Forward Edge-AI, was awarded an Air Force/AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract for technology related to pathogen detection and outbreak analytics. Yu’s research focuses on forensic chemistry and he will lend his expertise to this technology that jumpstarts previous work done within the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Yu explained that, “ForwardEdge AI is a small business in Texas and has innovative Edge AI algorithms to build intelligent chemical sensors.”

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