City Council Meets Tonight

The Huntsville City Council meets for a regular session at six this evening at City Hall.

Prior to the meeting, at 5 PM, they will hold a Work Session where councilmembers will hear information on debt issuance and bond proposition timelines.

Tonight’s “Consent Agenda” includes the authorization of several purchases, including;

–a replacement network and server equipment for the IT Department for $73,500

–a change order with Timberline Constructors for $60,000 for roof repairs to the Statue Visitors Center

–a construction contract for the Wells 18 and 19 Connector Project

–and a variety of equipment and parts for Public Works for $91,500

Tonight’s “Statutory Agenda” includes possible action on several items:

–an application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for Housing Tax Credits for a development named Huntsville Estates to develop affordable rental housing

–directing the City staff to make the remainder of the property at 1930A Sam Houston Avenue available for sale to the public

–authorizing the interim City Manager to enter into a contract with Architects Design Group for the design of the Huntsville Police and Fire department Proposition/Bond Project #1

–authorizing the proper officials to proceed with all documents and processes in connection with the sale of Proposition #3 bonds for water and sewer projects.

Tonight, interim City Manager Aron Kulhavy will discuss possible action on the Council’s 2018 Strategic Plan.

In closed “Executive Session” tonight, the council will consult with counsel on legal matters to receive legal advice on litigation regarding Kimberly Webb—an attorney may speak by conference call.

Police News

In Huntsville Police news, looking back over the past several days:

On the day shift Friday in a burglary of a vehicle in the 3000 block of Glen Court and in the 3000 block of Old Houston Road, the property was recovered in the 3000 block of Old Houston Road. A building was burglarized in the 900 block of Avenue H. An aggravated assault was investigated in the 700 block of Avenue G. Police were dispatched to an assault in the 300 block of MLK.

On the night shift Friday at State Highway 19 and 2821, Melissa Bass was arrested for out of county warrants and possession of a controlled substance. At the same location, Shannon Etheredge was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

On the night shift Saturday at Angier Road and Sam Houston Avenue, Lance Carter and Betty Bright were arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. At the same location, Kendra Harrison was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

On the night shift Sunday, firearms were reported stolen from a residence in the 1500 block of Pine Street. A report was filed at the police station regarding a tailgate that was stolen.

Regents Approve New Degree Programs And Design Of Art Complex

New Sam Houston State University degree programs and the design for a new Art Complex were among the items approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents at their regular quarterly meeting in Beaumont on February 15th.

In SHSU academic affairs, Regents authorized three degree program additions – a Bachelor of Arts in French, a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media Productions and a Master of Science in Nursing. Regents also approved an online graduate certificate in Political Science.

Authorized credit hour change requests included a semester credit hour increase from 32 to 33 for the Master of Science with a major in Biology and a semester credit hour decrease from 133 to 129 for the Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy.

Within planning and construction, Regents approved the design prepared by Kirksey Architecture for a new Art Complex.

In other business, an amendment to the University’s food service contract with ARAMARK was approved. The University was authorized to enter into an agreement with Commemorative Brand, Inc. dba Balfour (CBI) to design, manufacture and market the official ring of SHSU. The University was also authorized to enter into an agreement with Barnes and Noble College Booksellers LLC for bookstore operations.

TxDOT On Campaign Sign Rules

TxDOT’s Bobby Colwell reminds everyone that during campaign season, the landscape blooms with a special kind of flower–the political sign.  Unlike wildflowers that are welcome anywhere, putting campaign signs on public land is illegal.

  • It is illegal to place any signs on or within the right of way.  This includes posting signs on trees, telephone poles, traffic signs and other objects on the right of way.
  • Campaign signs along Texas roads can be placed on private property with the owner’s permission.  Signs must be made of lightweight material and be no larger than 50 square feet.
  • Campaign signs may be posted as early as 90 days before an election (no earlier) and must be removed within 10 days after the election.
  • Before placing a sign inside of incorporated city limits, check with the city for applicable ordinances.

Early Voting Ahead

Walker County Elections Manager Julie Cooper reminds local voters that Primary elections are unique in that they are elections held by each individual political party to determine which candidates will appear on the November General Election ballot. Voters may cast their vote in either the Democratic Primary Election or the Republican Primary Election beginning Tuesday, February 20th at the Walker County Annex, Room 101.

Early voting will continue Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm until Friday, March 2nd. All voters registered in Walker County may cast their vote for either primary election at the Walker County Annex during this time. Election Day will then be Tuesday, March 6th, with polls open from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. Voters will be required to vote at their precinct of registration on Election Day. A list of polling locations may be found under the “Current Elections” tab on the County website.

Sheriff’s Office And Texas Rangers Karolyi Ranch Investigation Announcement

The Walker County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are working a joint investigation involving the Karolyi  Ranch. Due to the overabundance of calls being received regarding this investigation, both agencies are requesting that all information and or concerns pertaining to this investigation be forwarded to the email address: txrangers_gym@dps.texas.gov.

The Walker County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers report that they would like to thank the public for their assistance up to this point. They pass along that this investigation is still active and fully underway; therefore no further information can be released at this time. Both agencies agree that as additional information can be released, and would no longer jeopardize the investigation, they will do so at that time.

Kiwanian Jack Olsta Comments On Local Club’s Recognition

The Huntsville Kiwanis Club, just this last weekend, held a pancake dinner to help raise funds for local literacy efforts for kids at the Huntsville Public Library. Friday morning, Kiwanian Jack Olsta stopped by the news room to fill us in on some of the recognition the local Kiwanis club has received . . . .

The Local Kiwanis Club also helps support CASA, SAAFE House, Good Shepherd Mission, the Roxie Douglas effort and Habitat for Humanity.

If you’re interested in joining the local Kiwanis Club, contact Bryan Matthys at 650-7311.

Congressman Brady To Speak In Huntsville This Afternoon

The Republican Party of Walker County and the Huntsville Walker County Chamber of Commerce invite the community to visit with Congressman Kevin Brady today from 3:00-4:00 pm at the Chamber Community room, located at 1327 – 11th Street.

Congressman Brady will speak about the recent historic tax legislation and other timely topics facing the U.S. Congress this spring.

Huntsville ISD Board Approves Administration Hires

New Huntsville ISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Sheppard presented two administrative recommendations to the Board of Trustees for consideration during their regular monthly meeting on February 15. The Board approved both recommendations to hire by unanimous vote. Mr. Marcus D. Forney was approved as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Mr. Joshua D. Campbell as the new principal for Mance Park Middle School.

Mr. Forney currently serves as Executive Director for Campus Administrative Support for Katy ISD. He will be joining Huntsville ISD in March with over two decades of instructional, administrative and leadership experience in urban and suburban settings.

Mr. Campbell was hired to be the new principal for Mance Park Middle School. With 17 total years in education, Campbell currently serves as the Director for Student Services for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD where one of his responsibilities is training campus administrators in effective discipline management.

Neighborhood Watch Meeting At HPD

The Huntsville Police Department reports that with recent growing crime trends HPD is taking strategic steps to help lower crime rates. They will have hopefully the first of many Neighborhood Watch meetings that they will have for community members so they are aware of what’s going on around them. They will also be covering what programs and services are provided by the Police Department, as well as safety tips for citizens.  The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at Huntsville Police Department.