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Thursday, July 24, 2014
The death of 12-year-old Ethan Moran of Heath has been ruled an accident, according to a report on the outcome of the Heath Department of Public Safety's investigation. Moran was found dead from a gunshot would to the head in a wooded area near his home in Heath last April a few hours after he was reported missing by his parents. Heath investigators say the evidence suggests Moran was examining a pistol removed from his home and cause it to discharge accidentally.
Sales atax revenue rebated to the city of Terrell this month is down from the same month last year for the second month in a row according to the allocation summary released by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office earlier this month. The amount rebated this month to the city is the city's part of the sales tax collected on sales made in May of this year, and paid to the state by retailers in the month of June. Terrell's rebated this month is down 2.4 percent compared with July of 2013. Other cities in Kaufman county showing a decrease are Combine, Crandall, Grays Prairie, Kemp, Mabank, and Rosser. On the up-side, Kaufman's sales tax rebate is up 52 per cent this month compared with July of 2013, the second month in a row reflecting a double-digit increase for that city. And, Forney is up 15.66 per cent, contributing to the overall increase in the county of 8.74 per cent. In neighboring Rockwall County, which overall shows an 8.97 per cent increase over 2013, Royse City is the onlyl one reflecting a decrease, that being 9.89 percent down from last year. The city of Rockwall is up 10.16 per cent, and Heath showed a 15 per cent increase. Van Zandt County, overall, was up 1.39 per cent. The city of Wills Point's rebate was up 7.84 per cent, Edgewood up 14.54 per cent, Canton up 4.75 per cent, Grand Saline up 2.01 per cent, but Van was down 17.35 per cent, as was Edom, with a nearly 49 per cent drop.
Construction work on FM 986 should conclude after this week, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Work north of Town North Drive has had traffic there reduced to one lane. Flag crews have permitted travel in one direction at a time between Town North Drive and County Road 326.
Construction on the northbound lane of North Virginia Street, the old State Highway 34, between High Street and North Frances Street is expected to continue through the end of August, with only south-bound traffic through that section. Northbound traffic should continue to follow detour signs.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Concrete paving for the Memorial Stadium parking lot was approved last evening by the Terrell School Board of Trustees at its regular monthly meeting. The concrete paving will cost $320,000, which will be paid out of the general operating fund balance, which was included in the board's approval of the district's third budget amendment for the year. Also part of the amendment is the Terrell school district's cost of $334,833 for equipment and cabling for improvement to network bandwidth within the district. The rest of that infrastructure improvement is from federal e-rate funding in the amount of $1,546,775.97 for which the district submitted its application in 2010. Additional revenue amounting to $127,225 was generated in the school nutrition program which will be used to offset nutrition program expenditures. Also, $257,100 for furniture and serving line equipment was also approved to be paid from the school nutrition fund balance. Board members also approved an interlocal agreement yesterday evening between the school district and Education Service Center Region 19 Allied States Cooperative, which is a state agency, providing for cooperatively bid goods and services.
A resolution in the interest of protecting the health, safety, and security of the residents of Kaufman County was approved by the Kaufman County Commissioner's Court at yesterday's special meeting. The resolution, which is non-binding, calls for state and federal legislators and elected officials to take prompt action to end the influx of illegal aliens across the border and to cease relocation of illegal aliens into communities across the state of Texas and other states. Action on the resolution was at the request of Senator-elect Bob Hall, Representative-elect Stuart Spitzer, and Kaufman County Tea Party Chairman Ray Myers. Commissioners were split on the issue, with Jilly Vrzalik and Kenneth Schoen voting in favor of the resolution, Ray Clark and Tom Manning abstaining from the vote, and Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood casting the third affirmative vote needed for its passage.
Monday, July 21, 2014
An area to avoid today is FM 148, as construction between Interstate 20 and County Road 305 will be reduced to a single lane. The Texas Department of Transportation said delays are expected as flag crews will direct traffic one direction at a time through the single lane area. Construction crews will be working between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
A pedestrian was struck by an 18-wheeler late Friday on Interstate 20 near FM 1641, while walking in the eastbound lane of the highway. A Department of Public Safety spokesman said the man was allegedly dodging in and out of vehicle traffic just moments before he was hit by the truck. He was taken by CareFlite to Baylor Hospital in Dallas where he was reportedly in serious condition.
A resolution urging the Texas legislature to prohibit sanctuary cities in the state, and to instruct all agencies of Kaufman County to refuse requests or directives by federal agencies to permit or establish any facilty for the purposes of proecssing, housing, or detaining any illegal aliens is on the agenda of the Kaufman County Commissioner's Court when it meets this afternoon. The purpose of the resolution is to protect the health, safety, and security of Kaufman County residents. Commissioners will also consider the county's policy on employment, the annual road report from Kaufman County precinct 4 road and bridge, road repair in Post Oak Bend, and health and dental insurance plans and premiums for the upcoming fiscal year.
A pre-trial hearing for Charles Brownlow, accused in the October, 2013, murder spree in Terrell during which 5 people were killed, was postposed last week, and rescheduled for July 24th in Kaufman County 422nd District court. Brownlow will be tried on four counts of capital murder and one count of burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit a felony. The state has indicated its intention to seek the death penalty in Brownlow's case. Brownlow also faces charges of evading arrest and contempt of court.
A special trial setting was scheduled for September 15th for 55-year-old Pedro Segura, who was indicted by a Kaufman County Grand Jury last week for continuous sexual assault of a child under the age of 14, and for aggravated sexual assault of a child. The indictment stems from charges of alleged abuse between January 1, 2010, and September 25, 2011. The charges against Segura are both first degree felonies, and could result in life in prison if convicted.