On Friday–shortly before departing the White House for Bedminster, New Jersey where he was scheduled to spend the weekend–President Trump reacted to recent negative criticism from four freshmen Democratic congresswomen, the outspoken Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ihan Omar among them, to waiting reporters . . . .

Brady Votes No On Raise The Wage Act

Congressman Kevin Brady released the following statement after voting against H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act, which passed the House of Representatives 231-199 on Thursday.

The Democrat minimum wage mandate threatens the jobs of nearly four million American workers – many of whom are minorities, women, and those without high school diplomas.

Thanks to Republican-led tax reform, the economy is booming in ways we haven’t seen in decades. This mandate will stop our growing economy in its tracks – undoing the positive impacts of these policies and forcing businesses to cut hours, raise prices, and ultimately eliminate jobs. By advancing this bill, Democrats are ignoring common-sense economics and jeopardizing the jobs of millions of vulnerable American workers.”

Background: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that H.R. 582 would:

  • Erase 3.7 million jobs.

  • Cause a loss of $53 billion in real income for small businesses and workers.

  • Cut family income for four out of 10 minimum wage workers.

Additionally, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that H.R. 582 would result in:

  • A $2 trillion reduction in economic output.

  • A $980 billion reduction in real GDP.

  • A $103 billion reduction in personal disposable income.

City Council Votes No On Visitor’s Center Upgrade

The Huntsville City Council spent a large amount of time during their Tuesday meeting discussing the Sam Houston Statue and Visitors Center buildings. Councilman Joe Emmett was concerned about the city spending close to $200-thousand dollars to make the original building look more like the new William Hodges Center. He questioned why the proposed cost was so expensive. Emmett said he felt the whole problem was poor maintenance over the years. City Manager Aron Kulhavey explained the original building’s porch, railing and skirt are just worn out.

After much discussion, the council voted 5-3 to reject the proposed upgrade to the Visitor Center’s original building.

SHSU #1 Online University In Texas

Sam Houston State University is No. 1 in the new Online Colleges.com study of the best online colleges in Texas for 2019-20. The ranking places SHSU No. 8 in the nation for top online colleges. This is the second year in a row SHSU and its online degree programs lead in the report, this time rising to the top of the list from No. 2 in 2018.Texas

As an early adopter of distance learning, SHSU has been at the forefront of merging proven online teaching practices with technology advancements. Today, over 11,400 students are taking at least one online course at Sam Houston State, with a quarter of semester hours generated online.

Student services and scholarships were additional factors that allowed SHSU to stand out among other institutions with Online Colleges.com noting:

“SHSU students in online degree programs have all the benefits of college services that other students receive, such as career services, student success initiatives, mentoring, a writing center and more. In addition, new students enrolled in a 100 percent online program are eligible for a one-time $1,000 scholarship from SHSU.”

New IH-45 Closures Effects Elkins Lake Area

TxDot has announced more closures around the original Elkins Lake west entrance area. The West Frontage Road will be closed between Augusta Drive and the Southbound IH-45 Entrance Ramp at Veteran’s Memorial Parkway each night beginning at 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. beginning Monday, July 22, through Wednesday, July 24, 2019. This work is to replace the existing drainage culverts under the West Frontage Road of IH-45 with new drainage culverts. PR 40 will remain open during the closure of the West Frontage Road. This closure is necessary to place drainage structures across the West Frontage Road. Northbound West Frontage Road traffic must use Augusta Drive; traffic accessing the West Frontage Road from Augusta Drive must turn South. Southbound traffic on the West Frontage Road must use Veteran’s Memorial Parkway or exit to Southbound IH-45. Portable message boards will be placed in affected areas.

New Chamber President Talks About The Chamber

New CEO/President for the Chamber of Commerce, Ray Hernandez, is finishing up his first 30 days on the job. Hernandez, who moved to Huntsville from Lewisville, has been out in the community meeting business owners, community leaders, non-profits, city, county, TDCJ and university personnel getting to know the community better. He said he hopes to continue that, then compile his thoughts and findings and report to the chamber board with his first 100-days plan.

One topic that the new chamber executive wants to bolster locally is membership. He pointed out numbers are low nationwide of chamber members that actively participate with their chamber.

One other important feature Hernandez will be working diligently to accomplish is building a chamber that benefits local business.

SLC Media Day Notes

Nicholls State is the preseason favorite for the 2019 Southland Conference football season, the league announced Thursday. The defending co-champions received the most possible first-place votes (20) and 200 total points to garner the top spot.

Central Arkansas was voted second with 154 total points. Defending co-champion UIW follows closely in third place, earning one first-place votes and 150 points. Sam Houston State collected 146 points to rank fourth in the preseason poll.

During Thursday’s Media Day for the Southland Conference, Bearkat Head Coach, KC Keeler, said last season’s 6 and 5 season was a wake up call for Sam Houston State.

The Bearkats kickoff the 2019 campaign on the road against New Mexico on Saturday, August 31st with their first home game Sept 7th against Oklahoma Panhandle.

Football Season Kicks Off Unofficially Today with SLC Media Day

The 2019 football season unofficially kicked off this morning with the Southland Conference Football Media Day in Houston. Press conferences and student-athlete interviews will air live on ESPN3, with the afternoon live broadcasts starting at 1:15 p.m.

This afternoon head coaches and two-select players from SLC schools will be featured in 25-minute interviews. Sam Houston head coach K.C. Keeler is scheduled to be interviewed beginning at 3:15 this afternoon. SHSU Student-Athletes Tyler Edwards and Hunter Brown will be on the set with Coach Keeler as well.

Coverage of each Southland team’s press conference is available via WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.

The Bearkats open their 2019 football campaign on the road against New Mexico, Saturday, August 31st in Albuquerque, N.M. The Kats home opener at Bowers Stadium is slated for Saturday, Sept 7 when they host Oklahoma Panhandle.

Coach Deggs Going Back To Louisiana

Matt Deggs, who helped the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to their best record in school history as an assistant, has been named the Cajuns’ new baseball coach.

Deggs returns to the Cajuns after five seasons as head coach at Sam Houston State, where he amassed a 187-118 overall record. His teams won three regular season Southland Conference titles and made two NCAA appearances and one Super Regional appearance. His teams won at least 30 games in each of his five seasons and won at least 20 league games on three occasions.

The Cajuns are coming off a 28-31 season filled with injuries, not qualifying for NCAA regional play for the third straight season.

Louisiana Athletics will conduct a press conference at Russo Park Stadium Club on the future of the Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball program on Thursday, July 18, beginning at 11 a.m. Doors will open to the media and general public at 10 a.m.

City Council Accepts $1-Million Settlement

The Huntsville City Council accepted a settlement offer of $1-million dollars from Weaver Consulting Group and Anchor Construction for work they performed at the city’s transfer station. The city, represented by attorney Jeff Chapman, had been in litigation with the two firms over shotty work that saw the transfer station’s pavement crumbling and deteriorating. Chapman made the offer to the council after an executive session during their Tuesday night meeting.

Mayor Andy Brauninger spoke on behalf of the council and citizens and applauded Chapman’s work on the legal matter.

The council immediately approved a contract of $975,600 with local contractor, Doughty Construction, to begin repairing the problems at the transfer station.