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WALKER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE INDICTMENTS-JANUARY 2020

The Walker County District Attorney’s Office sent us their list of January, 2020 Grand Jury Results.

The list included many indicted for crimes of violence, including:

Stanley Banks for Aggravated Assault of a Family Member, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Aggravated Robbery.

Allen Fagan for Assault of a Family Member Impeding breathing.

Gary Jensen for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault of a public servant and evading arrest with a vehicle.

James Merchant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon

Juwan Reed for assaulting a family member impeding breathing.

Spence Shaffer for three counts of manslaughter, and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

GOVERNOR’S SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS’ TASK FORCE MEETS

The Office of the Governor’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Task Force (SASTF) held its inaugural meeting last Thursday at the Texas State Capitol. The meeting included discussions on the structure and vision for the task force, and served as a kick-off for phase one of the task force—which will include the development of best practices for the collection, preservation, tracking, analysis, and destruction of evidence in sexual assault cases.

The work of the SASTF is divided into five project areas: forensic exams and evidence kits, policies and best practices for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of sexual assault; training and resources for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges; improvements to the collection and reporting of data related to sexual assault; and a statewide inventory of resources for survivors. The first SASFT report, which will detail the work of the SASFT in its first year, will be presented to Governor Abbott and the Texas State Legislature on November 1, 2020.

COUNCILMEMBER DAVIDHIZAR COMMENTS ON TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN

During Tuesday night’s “Consent Agenda” presentation at the Huntsville City Council, councilmembers approved a resolution adopting the updated 2019 Transportation Master Plan for the City of Huntsville and Extra-territorial Jurisdiction of the City.

Position #1 At-Large Councilmember Paul Davidhizar visited out newsroom this past week and we asked him for some general comments on the new plan . . . .

EXPANDING BROADBAND IN WALKER COUNTY

The Walker County Broadband Committee just launched a new effort to identify solutions for expanding and improving access to broadband (high-speed internet) across the county.

The Walker County Broadband Committee just launched a new effort to identify solutions for expanding and improving access to broadband (high-speed internet) across the county. The committee, made up of local leaders and stakeholders, is working with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) to develop a Technology Action Plan for the entire area – and they’re asking for your help.

Precinct #4 Commissioner Jimmy D. Henry said, “We are working to more accurately understand where there are opportunities to expand broadband access in Walker County and identify populations that are being left out of this important resource.” He said, “As part of this work, we need input from those living and working in our community. This includes residents, small-business owners, government and health agencies, farmers and ranchers, and members and leaders of other key organizations.”

Those interested can provide input at this link: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/walker-county/. Head to the link and simply choose the survey that best represents your role in the community. The surveys take about 10 minutes to complete.

ABEL OCHOA EXECUTED AT HUNTSVILLE UNIT THURSDAY NIGHT

Forty-seven-year-old Abel Ochoa was executed at the Huntsville Unit last night for the 2002 slayings of his two young daughters, wife, father-in-law and sister-in-law. Ochoa was high on crack at the time of the murders..

He had been a resident of death row for almost 17 years. Ochoa was pronounced dead at 6:48 last night.

TxDOT ROAD CLOSURE

The West Frontage Road will be closed between PR 40 and the Temporary Southbound IH-45 Entrance Ramp south of Augusta Drive from 8:00 PM Friday, February 7, 2020 until 5:00 AM Saturday, February 8, 2020.  Northbound IH-45 traffic traveling to Veterans Memorial Parkway must take Exit 114 to FM 1374. This closure is necessary to place drainage structures across the West Frontage Road north of PR 40. PR 40 will remain open during the closure of the West Frontage Road. Portable message boards are in place in affected areas and detour signs will direct traffic.

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