The Latest News on The Hits

Police Department Retains “Recognized Status” After Review

The Huntsville Police Department (HPD) has retained “Recognized Status” for compliance with the Texas Law Enforcement Agency Best Practices Recognition Program.

HPD earned the initial certification on November 13, 2013, after a two-year effort to meet the intensive standards. HPD completed their four-year review recently, according to Police Chief Kevin Lunsford and Lt. Curt Landrum.

Chief Lunsford said HPD became only the 82nd agency in the State to be so recognized.

Landrum said to retain the Recognized status, HPD went through an intense onsite inspection. That inspection included numerous interviews with staff and review of policies following the best practices set forth by the Texas Police Chiefs Association.

HPD will be honored for retaining their status at the annual March convention of the Texas Police Chiefs Association.


Huntsville Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count

The community of Huntsville and surrounding areas are invited to grab their binoculars and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count.  The event runs from February 16th through 19th.  Join bird watchers of all ages as they count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. The count provides valuable information to scientists on bird populations.  Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count.  You can count from any location, anywhere in the world.  For more information, see the GBBC website:

Saturday Morning Pile-up Leaves One Driver Trapped, Snarls I-45 Traffic

New Waverly firefighter and paramedic Jimmy Williams reports that a Saturday morning pile-up left one driver trapped and snarled I-45 traffic. Just 20 minutes into their 24 hour shift, New Waverly Firefighters and Walker County EMS were summoned to an accident in the southbound lanes of I-45 between Huntsville and New Waverly. Initial reports indicate that the driver of a passenger car lost control on the rain slick road and struck an 18 wheeler and another car before crashing nearly head on into the concrete center rail, breaking it loose and trapping the victim in her mangled car.

Nearly a dozen Firefighters and EMS personnel worked quickly, first popping the doors off with heavy rescue tools. The victim was transported with non-life threatening injuries. The truck driver and the driver of the other car were checked out by EMS, but did not require hospitalization.

DPS Troopers and the Walker County Sheriff’s office responded as well and working with Firefighters and Tow Operators, were able to get traffic flowing on the shoulder of the road, but not before significant traffic backup in the southbound lanes. A few minutes later, another southbound driver approaching the traffic backup was unable to stop and struck another vehicle, creating a secondary accident approximately 2 miles up from the original accident scene.

Texas Independence Day & Sam Houston’s Birthday Ahead

It’s almost that time of year again – time to celebrate Texas Independence Day and General Sam Houston’s birthday.

The Walker County Historical Commission, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and Sam Houston Statue and Visitor Center invite everyone to join in the 37th annual celebration on Friday, March 2.

The festivities will begin with a reception from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. at the Walker County Gibbs-Powell House Museum, 1228 11th Street.

A formal ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at Sam Houston’s grave at Oakwood Cemetery, located at Avenue I and 9th Street. During the event, a special Baptized Texan ceremony will be held, which has a $15 fee that will include a t-shirt, miniature statue of Sam Houston, and a certificate. Registration for becoming a Texan is due by February 12.

Following the festivities, a luncheon will be held at 12:30 p.m. at W.S. Gibbs Conference Hall, Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center, located at 1402 19th Street. The luncheon fee is $20 and must be paid by February 23.

The birthday events will wrap up with a Toast to Texas and birthday cake at 2 p.m. at the Sam Houston Statue and Visitors Center, 7600 Highway 75 South.

Commissioners’ Court Meets

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

Walker County Emergency Management Coordinator Butch Davis will discuss several items:

–Storm Shelter fees and an update on expenses versus revenues

–The SAAFE House using the Storm Shelter at no charge in March for a fundraiser

–Purchasing booth space at the 2018 Business and Community Expo for CERT recruitment

–A Mutual Aid Agreement between Walker County and the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council and their Catastrophic Medical Operations Center

From the Walker County Historical Commission, Dr. Robin Montgomery will discuss:

–The Walker County Historical Commission Annual Report

–A request to delete a section of the Walker County Historical Commission By-Laws

–and the appointment of Daiquiri Beebe as a member of the local Historical Commission

Commissioner Daugette will discuss appointing a project manage for the Precinct #3 building improvement.

County Judge Danny Pierce will discuss:

-The Commissioners Court meeting date for the week of February 19, 2018

-The maintenance contract between the Office of the Attorney General and Walker County

-The 2018 Eminent Domain Report

Senate Leaders Agree On Budget Compromise

Wednesday, Senate leaders agreed on a huge two-year budget compromise for both parties that could stop a government shutdown by the end of this week and raise the amount the government’s spending. The plan, however, still needs to pass the House.

Former Female HPD Officer Files Suit

According to a story in the Houston Chronicle, a former Huntsville police officer, Kimberly Webb, has filed a federal lawsuit which claims that she was fired as retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint against her supervisor, Sgt. Eric Scott.

This was during her employment with HPD from March 4th, 2013 through May 3rd, 2017.

According to the story, court documents say on March 3rd Officer Scott “made repeated sexual advances toward her” and when “she rejected his advances he became more aggressive and physically violent towards her at the police station.” Other abusive encounters were included in the story.


Man Charged With Aggravated Assault Against Officer

The Huntsville Item reports that 21-year-old Brandon Duane McDaniel Jr. has been indicted by a Walker County Grand Jury for aggravated assault. The Houston man has been charged with shooting at a Huntsville Police officer during a foot chase in a local apartment complex parking lot in November of last year.

At present, McDaniel is being held at the Walker County Jail on $500,000 bond.

Alaska Earthquake

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake occurred at Alaska’s Kodiak Island early this morning, resulting in a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada’s British Columbia. It was later changed to an advisory.

The Pacific Tsunami Center originally reported “widespread hazardous tsunami waves were possible.” Later, however, they said waves did not pose at threat to coastal areas.

Free Spanish Classes Being Offered

You’re invited to sign up right now for free Spanish classes. Instructor Beth Williamson will be teaching beginning and advanced classes Tuesdays in the Huntsville Public Library’s Community Room. Beginning classes will meet from 1 to 3 PM, and advanced classes from 3 to 4:15 PM. The 16-week program begins January 23rd, and all materials are provided. You may register now to reserve your spot. There is a 35 student maximum for each class. You can register online at or call 291-5471 for additional information.

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