KSAM News

KSAM News

TEXAS COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE RELEASES UPDATED TRANSPARENCY TOOL

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced the release of an updated state revenue and expenditure tool on the agency’s website.

The tool provides viewing options like these: 

  • RevenuesExplore 25 state revenue categories, and see how funds are allocated by object code, agency and appropriation.
  • ExpendituresSelect and compare 18 different state spending categories to see how the state allocates money to serve its citizens.
  • Payments to payeesReview individual payments, transaction dates, Comptroller object codes and more.
  • Travel paymentsBreak down payments by agency, individual payee, type of travel expense and more.
  • Economic developmentLook at statewide economic development spending by fund, expenditure category and recipient.

NATIONAL GUARD CALLED IN TO CONTROL RIOTING IN MINNEAPOLIS

Much of Minneapolis burned overnight. As a result of the death of a man pinned down by a knee on his neck by a local policeman, the city has erupted into mass rioting. The victim was a local man, George Floyd, who was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit bill.

The 3rd Precinct Police Station was set on fire by rioters Thursday night. The National Guard has been called in as other businesses throughout the city were set on fire, as well as looted.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The Walker County Office of Emergency Management reports that as of 8 Thursday morning there were 172 positive cases of coronavirus in the county. A continuing total of 3 fatalities were reported. There were 705 positive cases of coronavirus reported among TDCJ offenders in the county. These TDCJ numbers fluctuate due to transfers out of local facilities.

TDCJ’s COVID-19 Medical Action Center website reports as of Thursday, May 28, at 9 PM in a section entitled “Offender,” there was a total of 53,781 tests reported; 4,970 positive cases of coronavirus were reported among offenders; 1,349 were reported recovered from COVID-19; there were 36 COVID-19 Presumed Deaths with Deaths pending an autopsy at 30.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that the State has reported a one-day high of 1,855 new coronavirus cases and 39 deaths yesterday.

GOP MINORITY LEADER MCCARTHY REMEMBERS THE LATE CONGRESSMAN SAM JOHNSON

As you may have heard, well-known retired Texas congressman Sam Johnson died Wednesday in Plano. He was 89.

As a fighter pilot, he flew combat missions during the Vietnam and Korean wars. He was shot down in 1966 over North Vietnam and spent seven grueling years as a prisoner of war in what was known as the Hanoi Hilton. Congressman Johnson wrote about his prisoner of war experiences in solitary confinement in a book called “Captive Warriors.”

Thursday, House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy paid tribute to him . . . .

GOVERNOR ABBOTT HAS ANNOUNCED ADDITIONAL SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES THAT CAN OPEN UNDER PHASE #2

If you haven’t heard, on May 26th Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation expanding additional services and activities that can open under Phase II of the state’s plan to safely and strategically open. With this proclamation, water parks, recreational sport programs for adults, driver education programs, and food-court dining areas within shopping malls can begin operations with limited occupancy or regulations to protect the health and safety of Texans.

Beginning today, May 29th, water parks can open but must limit their occupancy to 25% of normal operating limits. Components of these water parks that have video arcades must remain closed. Starting Sunday, May 31st, recreational sports programs for adults can resume, but games and similar competitions may not begin until June 15th. Driver education programs can resume operations immediately.

Food-court dining areas within shopping malls can also immediately resume operations, but malls are encouraged to designate one or more individuals who are responsible for ensuring health and safety practices are followed, including: limiting tables to six individuals; maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals sitting at different tables; cleaning and disinfecting tables between uses; and ensuring no condiments or other items are left on tables between customer uses.

Minimum standard health protocols outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are recommended and located on the Open Texas webpage.

TEXAS LAND COMMISSIONER GEORGE P. BUSH TO HOST WEBINAR TO PREPARE COMMUNITIES FOR 2020 HURRICANE SEASON

On Monday, June 1, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will host the 2020 Hurricane Outlook Webinar with Dr. Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal forecaster with the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, to give local, state, and federal government partners along the Texas Coast an idea of what the 2020 hurricane season will look like, and what it could mean for our communities. The webinar link can be accessed at recovery.texas.gov/preparedness.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The Walker County Office of Emergency Management reports that as of 8 AM Wednesday, May 27, there were 167 positive cases of coronavirus among regular county residents. There were three fatalities reported. There were 565 positive cases of coronavirus among TDCJ offenders in the county.

TDCJ’s COVID-19 Medical Action Center’s website reports that as of May 27 at 9 PM, in a section entitled “Offender,” that 51,536 total tests had been completed; total offenders positive 4,440; COVID-19 recovered 1,349; COVID-19 presumed death 36 and deaths pending autopsy 28.

In the “Employees and Contract Staff” section, there were 878 positive tests reported.

HOSPITAL DISTRICT BOARD OF MANAGERS MET WEDNESDAY

The Board of Managers of the Walker County Hospital District met for a regular session last night. The meeting was broadcast via live teleconferencing.

One of the important topics discussed besides financial and COVID-19 patient issues regarded offenders from TDCJ sent as patients to the Huntsville Memorial Hospital facility.

Board member Judy Emmett felt she was expressing the public’s view that there is an issue with having TDCJ offenders in the hospital . . . .

Looking at the financial side of the offenders in the hospital equation, HMH Chief Financial Officer Greg Magers said the hospital receives around $10 million annually as a result of accepting the offenders into their facilities. This is about 15 percent of what HMH collects.

Board member Joe Sapp wondered, “How significant is that money, and would it be a significant hit if we were not getting it?”

It was noted that the contract with TDCJ was to be considered for renewal this September.

On a positive note, CEO Steve Smith said the hospital reinstituted elective surgeries on May 12th.

Greg Magers said, “We had an operating loss of $1.6 million for the month of April. I don’t know if I’d use the word ironic or not, but as a result of our COVID there’s been some opportunities out there for fundings for grants and loans and forgivable loans, and things along that line. And, also stimulus money that went out initially to healthcare providers.”