KSAM News

KSAM News

PRESIDENT WANTS TO END SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLING

No one like an unexpected bill to pop up in the mail. Among several topics touched on at the White House Thursday, the president, in his efforts to improve the healthcare system in the United States, said he wants to put an end to surprise billing . . . .

A bi-partisan group of senators have been working on legislation.

TARIFFS ON CHINESE GOODS INCREASED OVERNIGHT

As of 12:01 this morning, the Trump administration initiated increased tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods following negotiations with China Thursday that did not result in an agreement.

The tariffs imposed on those goods increased from 10 to 25 percent. Talks will continue with Chinese representatives today.

UPDATE ON TEXAS HOUSE BILL ON SCHOOL FUNDING

On Thursday, the Texas House passed a bill that would do away with school maintenance and operation property tax beginning in January of 2022.

The bill got through with a vote of 95 to 46. It heads to the Senate next. The bill would initiate a committee comprised primarily of legislators that would review over the time leading to the next session whether or not increasing the sales tax, an increase to the tax base and elimination of specific sales tax exemptions can provide money for schools.

CHAPPELL AND FAULKNER JOIN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TEAM

The City of Huntsville Economic Development Department announces the hiring of two new experts in the Main Street and Tourism divisions. Tracy Chappell is the new Main Street Program Coordinator and Sarah Faulkner is the new Visitor Center Coordinator at the Sam Houston Statue Visitors Center.

Chappell has called Huntsville home since 2010 when she came to study Public Relations at Sam Houston State University. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Sport Management leading her to work with the Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, and the Sam Houston State Athletic Department.

Faulkner’s love of history led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in History from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in Museum Science from Texas Tech University. Throughout her career, Faulkner has worked at a variety of museums and non-profit institutions including the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark, Galveston Naval Museum and Battleship TEXAS State Historic Site.

SHSU PRESIDENT DANA HOYT RECEIVING PRESTIGIOUS PRESIDENT’S AWARD

Sam Houston State University President Dana Hoyt has been recognized with the 2019 NASPA President’s Award for Region III. The honor distinguishes the most active and engaging university president in the region who advanced the quality of student life on campus by supporting student affairs staff and programs.

In June, NASPA, the largest student affairs organization in the world, will host their symposium in Washington D.C. where Hoyt will be honored.

COUNCILMEMBERS CONSIDERING COST RECOVERY PROGRAM FOR HUNTSVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT

At this week’s Huntsville City Council session, councilmembers along with Fire Chief Greg Mathis, had a “First Reading” of an ordinance to establish and implement a cost recovery program for the City of Huntsville Fire Department.

According to the council’s “Agenda Packet, “These collection efforts will be directed toward non-Walker County residents. HFD operational expenses, equipment repair, and equipment replacement continue to rise. In an effort to recoup some of these expenses, the staff proposes using the collection services of Fire Recovery USA. This company’s job is to invoice insurance companies of non-Walker County residents for HFD responses to car crashes, hazardous material clean ups and technical rescues.”

Counclmembers appeared favorable to the ordinance.

Ward #2 Councilmember Tish Humphrey commented on the ordinance and expressed her appreciation to Chief Mathis . . . .

Chief Mathis passed along that the ordinance had been put into effect in other communities . . . .

Councilmembers will consider possible approval in an upcoming session.

CITY COUNCIL LOOKING AT ANNEXATION MOVES

City councilmembers recently held a meeting to discuss annexation.

We recently talked with Ward #4 Councilmember Joe Rodriguez about the issue, and he enlightened us on what was going on . . . .

Councilmember Rodriguez added that, “In addition, the Texas legislature is about to pass a law that will say that annexation cannot be done except on a voluntary basis.”

At the last Council session, councilmembers passed a resolution to set annexation hearing dates.

Councilmember Rodriguez will be our guest on our “Around Town” program this weekend.

00 SCHOOLS CLOSED

Schools Affected by Weather

As of 5:45 am, Friday, May 10, 2019-

All Huntsville ISD campuses are open and operating normally on Friday.

All Willis ISD campuses and offices are closed and after school activities are cancelled.

All Montgomery ISD campuses and offices are closed and after school activities are cancelled.

All Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD campuses and offices are closed.

 

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE FILES CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS CHARGES AGAINST ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR

Wednesday, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler made known he wanted the House to consider a legal action against sitting Attorney General William Barr . . . .

Judiciary Ranking Member, Representative Doug Collins, disagreed with the action suggested by Chairman Nadler . . . .

Wednesday President Trump asserted Executive privilege over the full Mueller Report.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 24 to 16 to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. Also on Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the Justice Department for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report.

COUNCIL DISCUSSES TIRZ AGREEMENT

Reimbursement payments to the developers of Ravenwood Village Shopping Center for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, or TIRZ, agreement are coming to a close.

City Finance Director Steve Ritter filled councilmembers in on the numbers at their session this week . . . .

City Manager Aron Kulhavy passed along an update on pad site fulfillment at the Ravenwood Village Shopping Center . . . .

Mr. Kulhavy also talked about the original 380 Agreement with the developers . . . .