KSAM News

KSAM News

18TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9-11 ATTACKS

On September 11, 2001 an attack, coordinated by terrorists, killed around 3,000 people and damaged at least $10 billion dollars in property in the United States.

Four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Two crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon and another crashed into a field near Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

A recorder was running when air traffic controllers in the area spotted the second plane headed for the World Trade Center . . . .

Terrorist Osama bin Laden later claimed responsibility for the attacks. Following a search that lasted a decade, American special forces shot and killed bin Laden who was living in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE ORDERS ON SANCTIONING TERRORISTS AND ALSO COMMENTS ON BOLTON FIRING

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an Executive Order from the White House Tuesday.

He said, “Today’s Executive Order marks the most significant update to counterterrorism sanctions authorities since September of 2001. It significantly expands authorities to target terrorists and those who finance their activities.” He added, “The Executive Order allows the Department of State and Treasury to first directly target the leaders of terrorists groups and their associated entities without having to tie terrorist leaders to specific acts.”

Secretary Pompeo designated 12 terrorist leaders . . . .

Also at the press conference, Secretary Pompeo was asked about President Trump’s recent firing of National Security Adviser John Bolton over policy issues . . . .

SHSU HAS STUDENT LEGAL AND MEDIATION SERVICES

When considering the many resources that Sam Houston State University offers students, legal advice and mediation does not typically come to mind, but the university provides both of these services to students at no cost.

Student Legal and Mediation Services, located in the Lowman Student Center, has an experienced attorney, Gene Roberts, on staff to inform current SHSU students of their rights and responsibilities.

COMMISSIONERS HEAR PRESENTATION FROM EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM COMPANY

Walker County Commissioners are considering having an E-A-P, or employee assistance program, available for employees.

These kinds of programs are voluntary, work-based programs that offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal or work related problems.

At Monday mornings regular session, they heard from Rick Dielman of employee assistance program providers Alliance Work Partners . . . .

Mr. Dielman went on to describe how a program like theirs can help . . . .

Commissioners will continue to look at and discuss employee assistance programs for County employees.

ROAD RAGE VICTIM IN HUNTSVILLE PUNCHED IN MOUTH IN INCIDENT OVER WEEKEND

The Huntsville Item reports local police were sent to the 2800 block of Sam Houston Avenue on Saturday afternoon in regard to a road rage incident. A victim was punched in her mouth after honking at a driver who had cut her vehicle off. The person who punched her had actually stopped their vehicle in the road and blocked the vehicle of the victim, then got of their car and opened the door of the victim’s vehicle before hitting her. People in the car of the suspect then took the suspect back to their vehicle and they and the suspect fled the scene. Police are investigating.

WALKER COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT BOARD OF MANAGERS SPECIAL MEETING

The Walker County Hospital District Board of Managers will hold a special meeting open to the public this afternoon at 5:30 in the 6th Floor Conference Room in the First National Bank building in Huntsville.

This will be the first Public Hearing on a proposal to increase property tax. They will announce the second Public Hearing and the Regular Board meeting to vote on adopting a tax rate for the 2020 Budget.

BEST-SELLING AUTHOR TARA WESTOVER TO VISIT SHSU

The arrival of New York Times bestselling author Tara Westover to the Sam Houston State University campus on Sept. 25 will kick-off the 2019-2020 Common Reader Program.

Westover will arrive in Huntsville at 6 p.m. for a meet and greet and will answer questions about her novel, “Educated: A Memoir” at 7 p.m. She will be interviewed by SHSU Assistant Professor of History Benjamin Park in the LSC Orange Ballroom. Wristbands for the event will be available at the LSC Orange Ballroom beginning at 5:30 p.m. and doors will open at 6 p.m. Alumni can request tickets through the Alumni office at alumni@shsu.edu.  

Educated” portrays the journey of a young woman who is determined to change herself. The memoir is an example of things humans can achieve if they set their minds to it.

ACTING U-S BORDER COMMISSIONER COMMENTS ON BORDER ISSUES

The number of illegals crossing our border is going down. Acting U-S Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan addressed reporters at the White House Monday on why . . . .

Commissioner Morgan added that the government of Mexico has been helping in the effort.

Indeed, it is apparent that stopping the flow of illegal immigrants is taken very seriously by this administration . . . .

COMMISSIONERS MEET

Walker County Commissioners will meet for a regular session this morning at nine at the courthouse.

Justices of the Peace Holt and Cole will discuss possible action on changes made to the Justice Court Assistance and Technology Fund and how the changes affect the utilization of funds.

There will be a presentation by Alliance Work Partners on an Employee Assistance Program.

County Purchasing Agent Mike Williford will speak on a number of issues and the renewing of a number of contracts for services.

FINAL DEFENDANT GETS NEARLY 40 YEARS FOR GRUESOME MS-13 MURDER

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick announced, Jose Leonel Bonilla-Romero, a 23 year old El Salvadorian citizen has been ordered to federal prison for his role in a horrific gang slaying–the murder of a teenager in the Sam Houston National Forest here in Walker County in 2013. Bonilla-Romero, aka Jose Tupapa who resided in Houston, pleaded guilty April 19, 2019.

Today U.S. district Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. handed Bonilla-Romero a 460-month term of imprisonment and ordered him to pay $13,000 in restitution,  He is expected to face removal proceedings following the sentence. If that occurs, the court ordered he must remain outside the country unless lawfully allowed to return.

At the hearing, evidence established the crime was unusually heinous, cruel and degrading. The courts heard of Bonilla-Romero’s conduct in detention were clearly inconsistent with acceptance of responsibility. He has continued his allegiance to the MS-13 gang and continued the use of gang signs.

Bonilla-Romero has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Walker County Sheriff McRae would like to thank all participating agencies for their role in this investigation; The FBI, Houston Police Department, Texas Rangers, Walker County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service conducted the investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark E. Donnelly and Casey MacDonald prosecuted the case.