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The Latest News on The Hits

DAY 3 OF SENATE SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATION PROCESS HELD WEDNESDAY

Time after time Wednesday, Democrats on the Senate Confirmation Committee tried to push Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett into a corner to make a decision on a hypothetical legal situation she cold not ethically answer as a Supreme Court Justice candidate.

Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois was the provocateur. Ms. Barret, however, was on her game . . . .

In answer to a question by Texas Senator John Cornyn, nominee Amy Coney Barrett also explains why it is difficult to comment on how she would handle future cases . . . .

Outside experts will be heard from today.

TxDOT CLOSURE THIS WEEKEND

Beginning at 10 PM Saturday, October 17th, 2020, and ending at 5 AM Sunday, October 18th, 2020, IH 45 southbound will be closed, weather permitting. All IH 45 southbound traffic must exit using the temporary exit ramp at the south of PR 40 (Exit 103). Traffic will be directed to frontage roads to access IH 45 at the entrance ramps at New Waverly. Motorists should expect delays and may want to consider an alternate route.   Drivers should exercise caution and be prepared for extended delays during this closure.

The reason for the southbound IH 45 lane closures is to allow TxDOT to install overhead sign trusses that crossover the IH 45 southbound main lane safely, which is part of a larger project to reconstruct seven miles of IH 45 in this area to decrease traffic congestion and travel times, and to increase safety along the route.

COMMISSIONERS DISCUSS MORE COVID FUND EXPENDITURE

At Commissioners’ Court this week, commissioners looked at taking action on a second local agreement with the Walker County Hospital District for COVID testing services.

Precinct #3 Commissioner Biil Daugette addressed commissioners on the details of the agreement . . . .

Commissioners approved.

Commissioners also discussed grant reimbursement details.

SHSU RESEARCHER SUGGESTS POTENTIAL BIAS IN ELECTION BALLOTS

A professor at Sam Houston State University has uncovered occasional irregularities in primary elections in Texas and West Virginia, showing that some candidates’ ballot positions are not uniformly determined at random, as required by state law.

In a new working paper, “Testing for Bias in Order Assignment,” economics professor Darren Grant developed new statistical tests that can detect an unusual degree of non-randomness in such circumstances. Grant then applied these tests to data on Texas and West Virginia’s 2018 and 2020 primary elections.

Professor Grant said, “Most of the time, these tests indicate that Texas county chairs, who are responsible for arranging candidates on the ballot, are doing so randomly.” He added, “But there are some exceptions in both parties.”

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The Walker County Office of Emergency Management reports that among regular residents of the county as of Tuesday, October 13, there were 739 active cases of coronavirus reported, with 1,686 recovered and 14 deaths.

Among TDCJ offenders in the county, there were 19 active cases reported, with 1,969 recovered and 37 deaths.

Among TDCJ employees in the county, there were 84 active cases reported with 377 recovered.

The free coronavirus drive-though program is underway at 125 Medical Park Lane in Huntsville. The hours are Monday through Friday, 4 to 8 PM, and Saturday 8 AM to Noon and Sunday 4 to 8 PM. Appointments are no longer required, and results are returned in 3 to 5 days.

There will be a free mobile COVID testing for Walker County residents Thursday, October 15th, at Riverside Baptist Church at 2359 FM 980. Walk-ins are welcome from 10 AM to 8 PM.

EARLY VOTING UPDATE

Walker County Election Manager Julie Cooper informs us that:

There were a total of 1,725 voters checked-in during the first day of early voting (Tuesday, October 13, 2020) for the November 3rd General Election here in Walker County.  

Walker County experienced delays in sending out mail ballots due to statewide litigation. Voters who have already requested to vote by mail should have started receiving their ballots over the weekend. If you requested a mail ballot and have not yet received it, you are encouraged to please wait and give it a little more time. There are three weeks of early voting remaining.  

Once you receive your mail ballot you may vote it and deliver it in-person to the Early Voting Clerk’s office located inside the Walker County Annex at 1301 Sam Houston Ave., Suite 114 in Huntsville, Texas. Voters requesting to vote by mail but who no longer wish to do so MUST surrender their unvoted mail ballot at the poll place before being issued an in-person ballot. 

 

Early Voting in-person resumes today at the Walker County Storm Shelter, 8:00am – 5:00pm.

BURN BAN IN EFFECT

At their meeting Tuesday morning, Walker County Commissioners’ officially put Walker County under a Burn Ban beginning at noon, Tuesday October 13.

County Judge Danny Pierce asked Walker County Emergency Management Coordinator Butch Davis what the Keetch Byram Drought Index was, and Butch discussed conditions. Commissioners White and Kuykendall joined the discussion . . . .

HUNTSVILLE MAN PURSUED ACROSS MONTGOMERY COUNTY BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

KHOU TV reported that early this morning an unnamed Huntsville man was arrested following a chase across Montgomery County.

DPS troopers had tried to stop the man earlier for a traffic violation, but he refused to stop. By the time the suspect had arrived in the Woodlands, deputies from Montgomery and Walker Counties were also taking part. DPS troopers were finally able to cause the vehicle to spin out onto a feeder road in the southbound lanes of the North Freeway. It’s reported that it took a SWAT team 20 minutes to talk the driver into surrendering. As the driver momentarily stepped from his vehicle in one image at the scene, the driver was naked from the waist down. He was taken into custody around 4 AM.

DAY #2 OF SUPREME COURT NOMINEE CONFIRMATION CONTINUED TUESDAY

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has proved herself a brilliant jurist—Day 2 of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation process without doubt proved this.

From the friendlier side of the political spectrum to her nomination, Chairman of the Committee Senator Lindsey Graham quizzed her from her knowledge of various notable Supreme Court cases to defining precedent . . . .

From the other side of the aisle, she was pressed on her view on abortion rights by Senator Diane Feinstein, and she answered as to where she really stood on legal issues put before her . . . .

Questions continue today. Outside experts will be heard from Thursday for their views.

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