KSAM News

KSAM News

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN INTRODUCES HIS NEW TEAM

On Tuesday from Wilmington, Delaware, President-elect Joe Biden on stage with his new administration appointees, announced major foreign policy and national security posts . . . .

President-elect Biden’s picks include: Avril Haines for National Intelligence Director; Alejandro Mayorkas, to head Homeland Security; Anthony Blinken for Secretary of State; Linda Thomas Greenfield for U-S Ambassador to the United Nations; Jake Sullivan for National Security Adviser and John Kerry for Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

DPS INCREASES ENFORCEMENT FOR THANKSGIVING

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging drivers to make safety a top priority this holiday, as increased travel can present additional challenges for drivers.

As part of the nationwide Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort) initiative, DPS Troopers will be increasing patrols beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25, through Sunday, Nov. 29. DPS Troopers will be looking for drivers who violate the law, including those who are speeding, driving while intoxicated, failing to wear a seat belt, driving without insurance and not complying with the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law, among other traffic violations.

During DPS’ 2019 enforcement effort, a total of 59,146 warnings and citations were issued, including 6,460 for speeding; 716 for seat belt and child seat violations and 1,247 for driving without insurance.

GOVERNOR ABBOTT & DSHS ANNOUNCE COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION PLAN

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) this week announced the guiding principles for Texas’ COVID-19 vaccine allocation process, which will serve as a foundation for the state’s initial distribution for COVID-19 vaccines expected as early as next month. These principles have been established by the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP), created by DSHS to make recommendations on vaccine allocation decisions, including identifying groups that should be vaccinated first to provide the most protection to vulnerable populations and critical state resources.

Texas will initially allocate COVID-19 vaccines based on the following criteria:

  • Protecting health care workers who fill a critical role in caring for and preserving the lives of COVID-19 patients and maintaining the health care infrastructure for all who need it.
  • Protecting frontline workers who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work providing critical services and preserving the economy.
  • Protecting vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19.
  • Mitigating health inequities due to factors such as demographics, poverty, insurance status and geography.
  • Data-driven allocations using the best available scientific evidence and epidemiology at the time, allowing for flexibility for local conditions.
  • Geographic diversity through a balanced approach that considers access in urban and rural communities and in affected ZIP codes.
  • Transparency through sharing allocations with the public and seeking public feedback.

GOVERNOR ABBOTT ANNOUNCES HOLIDAY COMFORT FOOD CARE PACKAGES FOR TEXAS YOUTH AND FAMILIES

Governor Greg Abbott has announced the Holiday Comfort Food Care Package (CFCP) program, in partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association, to provide holiday meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas, while also supporting local restaurants. The program, a reboot of the CFCP program that began in March 2020 to support restaurants that limited or closed services due to COVID-19, encourages Texans to purchase a holiday meal for a family in need while patronizing their favorite restaurant. Each care package contains enough food to feed a family of 5 to 6 and will be delivered to the recipients’ home. The program benefits children, youth, and families served by the Texas network of Family and Youth Success Programs (formerly called Services to At-Risk Youth), select Boys and Girls Clubs, select CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) programs and agencies that serve child sex trafficking victims.

The Holiday Comfort Food Care Package program utilizes the following steps:

  1. Participating restaurants list the Food Care Packages on their online ordering system for customers to purchase on behalf of at-risk families and youth in the community.
  2. Customers add Food Care Packages to their orders and purchase.
  3. Participating service providers identify families and shelters who have the most need and work with participating restaurants to get the meals delivered.

Restaurants interested in participating in the program can sign up on the Texas Restaurant Association website.

Families in need of food can find additional help online: https://www.211texas.org/

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The Walker County Office of Emergency Management, hospitals and clinics report that as of Monday, November 23rd, there were among community members verified by DSHS, 164 active cases of coronavirus with 22 fatalities. There were 5 active cases reported among offenders with 37 fatalities. Among community members, not verified by DSHS and not in the totals previously mentioned, there were 929 active cases reported with 8 fatalities.

The free coronavirus drive-though program is underway at 125 Medical Park Lane in Huntsville. The hours are, through the 25th, 4 to 8 PM, November 26th through the 29th they will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays.

On November 30th, the final day, they will have extended hours 8 AM to 8 PM. Appointments are no longer required, and results are returned in 3 to 5 days.

COUNTY ELECTIONS MANAGER DIANA MCRAE & COMMISSIONERS ADDRESS FUTURE OF COUNTYWIDE POLLING PLACE PROGRAM

Monday morning in Walker County Commissioners’ Court, County Elections Manager Diana McCrae addressed commissioners during a public hearing on continuing participation in the Countywide Polling Place Program . . . .

Commissioners approved continuing the program.

All commissioners and Judge Pierce agreed that the program had been a big success, and many local citizens had made known their positive comments to them.

Ms. McRae also talked about Early Voting . . . .

In regard to Early Voting at the Storm Shelter, Commissioner Daugette offered an interesting possibility . . . .

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY COMING UP THIS WEEKEND

The Huntsville Main Street Program announced that, as a member of the American Express® Neighborhood Champion Program, they will be giving away tote bags, prize wheel, & small business bingo as part of Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Nov 28.

The Huntsville Main Street Program will be set up outside their office at 1203 University Avenue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. celebrating Small Business Saturday. The community is encouraged to attend and pick up their free Shop Small tote bag and spin the prize wheel to win other giveaways like t-shirts and coffee mugs. Supplies are limited, so arrive early. Shoppers will also receive a Small Business Bingo Card that has special offers and coupons for various businesses downtown. Shoppers are encouraged to visit all of the stores on the bingo card to be entered to win a Shop Small Gift Basket.

Merchants and consumers can learn more about Shop Small, Small Business Saturday, and how to get involved by visiting ShopSmall.com

COMMISSIONERS LOOK AT POSSIBLY IMPROVING SIDEWALKS AROUND COURTHOUSE

In Commissioners’ Court Monday, commissioners discussed taking action on submitting a grant application to the Texas Department of Agriculture seeking funding via the 2021 rural Economic Development Downtown Revitalization Program for improvements to the sidewalks around the courthouse.

Commissioner Daugette told the court . . . .

Commissioners approved. Along with consulting with Grantworks, Commissioner Daugette talked about possibly enlisting the advice of an ADA expert for some general consulting on this.