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The Latest News on The Hits

SHSU OFFERS MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH DEGREE

The latest degree program in the Department of Population Health at Sam Houston State University demonstrates the department’s continual commitment in the development of degree offerings. Ultimately, the focus on job demand in 2021 led to the creation of the new Master of Public Health degree.

The 42-credit hour program is designed to be completed in just 22 months, over four regular semesters and one summer semester.

Public Health is the science and practice of protecting and improving the health of communities through researching injuries and disease (both infectious and chronic), and then developing education, programming and policies to prevent or minimize them. 

The MPH degree program delivers a comprehensive curriculum of core public health functions, with two specialized concentrations options in Global Health and Social Justice, and Health Education and Promotion. The program prepares professionals with the knowledge, skills, and practices to manage the health and safety concerns of local and global communities.

TEXAS COMPTROLLER GLENN HEGAR RELEASES BIENNIAL REVENUE ESTIMATE

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has released the Biennial Revenue Estimate showing the state is projected to have $112.5 billion in revenue available for general-purpose spending during the 2022-23 biennium.

The revenue estimate represents a 0.4 percent decrease from funds available for the 2020-21 biennium. This decline is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused revenue collections to fall well short of what was expected when the Legislature approved the 2020-21 budget; the ending 2020-21 balance will be close to a negative $1 billion.

Hegar said, “The forecast, however, remains clouded with uncertainty. The ultimate path of the pandemic and the behavior of consumers and businesses during a resurgence are difficult to gauge. It’s also unclear how they’ll respond once the pandemic is fully under control. As a result, there is a wide range of possible outcomes for state revenue through the end of fiscal 2023, with the possibility of revenue falling short of this forecast but also a chance revenue could exceed it, perhaps substantially.”

He said, “In any case, the Legislature will again face some difficult choices to balance the budget. While savings from agency spending cuts and federal funding could help erase the projected shortfall for this biennium, a substantial supplemental appropriations bill could increase it, thereby reducing revenue available for the next biennium.”

CORONAVIRUS & TESTING UPDATE

The Walker County Office of Emergency Management reports that as of Wednesday, January 13th, yesterday, DSHS, hospitals and clinics report 1,734 active cases of Coronavirus in the community with 41 fatalities. Among TDCJ offenders, there were 198 active cases reported with 38 fatalities.

Curative testing kiosks for Coronavirus are located at 125 Medical Park Lane and at the Storm Shelter, 455 State Highway 75 North in the West Parking Lot, by appointment only at Curative.com.  They are open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

INFO ON COVID-19 VACCINE RESOURCE

Front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities (called Phase 1A), plus people over 65 or with a chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID‑19 (called Phase 1B), are currently eligible to receive the COVID‑19 vaccine.

If you would like more information on this, go to our web page and look for the COVID-19 link for official information and local resource page.

POLICE NEWS

Looking at police news over the past several days, on Saturday an unattended police vehicle was struck while parked in the 200 block of State Highway 75. No injuries were reported. A theft was investigated in the 600 block of 11th Street.

On Monday, a handgun was stolen in a vehicle burglary in the 2400 block of Lake Road. In the 100 block of 16th Street, an unknown suspect stole two shotguns from a vehicle. In the 600 block of Avenue H, Brandon Reece was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and fleeing. In the 100 block of Mathis Road, Jerri Pratt was arrested for evading in a vehicle and DWI. In the 2000 block of 11th Street, Ryan Daigle was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and tampering. In the 300 block of Smith Hill Road, Corey Dixter Jimerson was arrested for failure to ID as a fugitive, possession of a controlled substance and on a parole violation warrant.

On Tuesday, Jennifer Tedor was arrested in the 1200 block of Josey Drive delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. Property was damaged in the 300 block of 13th Street. A vehicle burglary was investigated in the 2800 block of Lake Road. Another vehicle burglary was investigated in 1400 block of Avenue N. A vehicle was reported stolen in the 500 block of Bowers Boulevard. An unknown person stole property off a porch in the 2400 block of Avenue S. At State Highway 19 and Old Colony Road, Terrance Cole was taken into custody for failure to ID as a fugitive, possession of drug paraphernalia, on a Blue Warrant and on a Brazos County Warrant, and Demetria Jones was taken into custody for hindering apprehension. At U-S 190 and FM 2929, Adrianna Longoria was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, and Mark Sawyer was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. At U-S 190 and Geneva Road, Tommy Price and Bruce Cunningham were arrested for possession of a controlled substance. In the 600 block of I-45 South, Mary Kalu was arrested for criminal trespass. In the 400 block of State Highway 30 East, Terron Gambrell was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

DPS RECOGNIZES AMBER ALERT ANNIVERSARY

The Texas Department of Public Safety joined the country in observing national AMBER Alert Awareness Day, remembered this week, marking 25 years since 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Arlington, Texas, was abducted.

In response to Amber Hagerman’s death, law enforcement and broadcast media representatives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area created the first AMBER Alert program, which served as a nationwide model for alerting the public about abducted children. All 50 U.S. states and several other countries now have an AMBER Alert program.

SAM HOUSTON MEMORIAL MUSEUM HAS A TRAVELING EXHIBIT ABOUT EL CAMINO REAL

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum will present “El Camino Real de los Tejas:  Its History, People and Places,” a traveling exhibit that looks at the trail that extended from Mexico, across Texas, and into Louisiana. Some may know it as the King’s Highway or the Old San Antonio Road.  Today, the trail is designated as a National Historic Trail. 

El Camino Real will be on display until March 21, 2021 in the exhibit gallery at the Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center, a part of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum Complex in Huntsville, Texas.  Exhibit gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. 

CITY HELD SECOND DAY OF STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION TUESDAY

Tuesday evening, Huntsville City Councilmembers, department heads and members of the public met in the Library Community Room for a second Strategic Planning Session for 2021.

City Manager Aron Kulhavy got the discussion underway . . . .

Last night, Mr. Kulhavy asked for any new ideas and any clarification or rejection of the previous night’s ideas. He had posters up on the wall of Monday night’s input on City needs to focus on in the new year. He gave councilmembers circular stickers to place on the posters to prioritize their view of the most pressing needs listed.

Although this is not meant to be an accurate forecast of the final priorities, some of the more heavily voted priorities included:

–Consider zoning requirements for consistent development standards around town specifically where commercial/multifamily residences abut neighborhoods.

–Continue downtown street and sidewalk improvements.

–Review and consider rental property occupancy standards.

–Increase “luring” and marketing of businesses to town.

–Consider construction or participation in the construction of a driveway between Walmart and Aaron’s Rents.

–Consider widening FM 1374 from I-45 Veterans.

–Provide additional staff recognition programs.

–Work with Junior Service League to facilitate the construction of an inclusive playground at Kate Barr Ross Park.

–Review feasibility of building a sports complex.

–Review and create programs for youth and teens.

–An Economic Development Sales Tax

–Review Staffing levels and funding sources for increasing Fire Department Personnel.

–Review Staffing levels for the Police Department.

CORONAVIRUS & TESTING UPDATE

The Walker County Office of Emergency Management reports that as of Tuesday, January 12th, yesterday, there were 1,773 active cases of Coronavirus in the community with 41 fatalities. Among TDCJ offenders, there were 231 active cases reported with 38 fatalities.

Curative testing kiosks for Coronavirus are located at 125 Medical Park Lane and at the Storm Shelter 455 State Highway 75 North in the West Parking Lot by appointment only at Curative.com.  It’s available daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

UPDATE ON IMPEACHMENT & 25TH AMENDMENT VOTE

The House is expected to cast votes to impeach President Trump some time today. Late Tuesday, the House voted to pass a resolution which asks Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. Pence has already indicated he would not take 25th Amendment action.

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