The Latest News on The Hits
The Huntsville Item reports that the Howard Wayne Lewis double-murder trial continued at the Walker County Courthouse Thursday.
Jurors listened to testimony from Detective Gregg Williams and Texas Ranger Brandon Bess, investigators in the case. They concentrated on trying to establish where Lewis was located during the murders. According to the report, “There was a five-hour window to where [Lewis’s] phone was turned off and didn’t have a ping off a cell-phone tower.”
The trial continues today.
Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked with reporters outside the White House following his briefing of President Trump regarding his meetings in Riyadh and Ankara on missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The rumor is that Khashoggi may have been murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul recently . . . .
Secretary Pompeo told the president to give a few more days to Saudi Arabia to complete an investigation.
At this week’s Huntsville City Council session, councilmembers conducted a “First Reading” on adopting an ordinance amending the Huntsville Code of Ordinances, specifically Chapter 12, Buildings and Building Regulations.
Director of Development Services and Building Official, Kevin Byal, addressed councilmembers in regard to a tire ordinance . . . .
Mayor Brauninger talked about a tire disposal fee from local tire retailers to help dispose of old tires.
Mr. Byals commented on tire disposal . . . .
This ordinance would be applied to residential and commercial properties. A possible 120 day grace period in implementation may be applied, if the ordinance is passed. Councilmembers will consider the ordinance again at their next session.
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET DIRECTOR MICK MULVANEY ON SUCCESS OF DEREGULATION IN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
Shedding regulations is one of the important tenets in President Trump’s economic policy for raising the bottom line in America’s business sector.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, in a televised cabinet meeting with the president Wednesday talked about their dramatic move forward in terms of deregulation since the last administration . . . .
The College of Education at Sam Houston State University has been awarded an $8.9 million Support Effective Educator Development (SEED) program grant from the U.S. Department of Education to further support their existing 4+1 TEACH program.
The grant, the largest in the College of Education’s history, allows the college to increase its capacity to recruit and retain a diverse selection of teachers who are extensively trained in supporting students in underprivileged schools.
More than $8.9 million has been awarded over a three-year period for 4+1 TEACH and the College of Education will be able to apply for a renewal extension in the next two years for over $4.6 million from federal funding sources, bringing the total projected federal funding for the program to more than $13.5 million.
Governor Greg Abbott has announced $5.8 million in grant funding for the Border Prosecution Unit (BPU) to help crack down on gangs and Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) along the Texas border. The BPU is made up of 17 district and county attorney offices within the Texas border region that focus on investigating and prosecuting cases related to narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, organized crime, gangs and other border-related offenses. Nineteen BPU awards were released to District and County Attorneys in border communities across Texas.
FROM PRESS RELEASE FROM WALKER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
On September 28, 2018, a Walker County Grand Jury convened to continue their ongoing investigation of the Karolyi Ranch and those individuals who may have committed offenses related to the conduct of Dr. Larry Nassar at that location.
The grand jury returned the following indictment:
Tampering with Evidence – Third Degree Felony
Upon indictment, the 278th Judicial District Court issued a warrant for Penny’s arrest. If convicted, the range of punishment is 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
According to the indictment, Steve Penny, the former president of USA Gymnastics, is alleged to have tampered with evidence during the investigation of sexual assault allegations against Dr. Larry Nassar.
On October 17, 2018, the United States Marshals Smoky Mountain Fugitive Task Force arrested Penny in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He is currently being held there awaiting extradition to Walker County, Texas.
The Howard Wayne Lewis murder trial continued Wednesday.
The Huntsville Item reports that in court yesterday a medical examiner testified murder victim Shanta Crawford had several lacerations that were similar to injuries inflicted by a hammer.
Lewis is accused of the murders of 16-month-old Aiyden Benjamin Lewis and Aiyden’s grandmother Shanta Crawford in 2013.
The case is scheduled to continue today at the Walker County Courthouse.
Three positions will be elected for the Walker County Hospital Board on Nov. 6, 2018.
The Sam Houston Tea Party is hosting an event to meet three of the candidates for WCHD Board tonight from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Walker Education Center, 1402 19th Street, Huntsville.
Candidates Chad Byrd, Tina Wagamon Felder and Loren T. Burns will discuss their commitment to the community regarding the Huntsville Memorial Hospital and their proposed role on the Walker County Hospital District Board.
WCHD Board Member, Dr. David Toronjo will give an update on the state of the WCHD Board and share the depth of the current financial and management crisis at the HMH Corporation.
At the Walker County Commissioners Court Monday afternoon “Special Session” this week, one of the agenda items up for review was an update from the Texas Agri-Life Committee on finding a larger place to handle Texas Agri-Life and Master Gardener activities.
Commissioner Bill Daugette informed commissioners about research by one of the committee members, Dr. Jody Crawford . . . .
Commissioner Daugette talked about the possibility of eventually putting a planned project on paper . . . .
Commissioner Daugette added that, “Following that meeting, in fact it will probably be on next Monday’s Commissioners’ Court, I’ll probably have an item to address in putting some funds into an architect to look at and come up with some ideas.” Commissioner Daugette also referred to money set aside as a place holder for Agri-Life projects. He would just be asking for “a single-line drawing, a sketch.”