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Felony Offenders Sentenced in District Court

BrownCountyDistrictCourtLogoDistrict Attorney Micheal Murray reports that several felony cases were recently heard in Brown/Mills County District Court, Judge Stephen Ellis presiding.

Susana Briley pled guilty to the felony offense of Burglary of a Habitation and was sentenced to 15 years, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division.  Further, Briley pled guilty to the felony offense of Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon and was sentenced to 10 years, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division.

Juan Luna Rodriguez pled guilty to the felony offense of Driving While Intoxicated and was sentenced to 7 years, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division.

Jeffery Prescott Rivera pled guilty to the felony offense of Theft over $20,000 under $100,000 and was sentenced to 4 years, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division.

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City of Brownwood Proclaims April Safe Digging Month

SafeDiggingMo2015

April was proclaimed Safe Digging Month in Brownwood at Tuesday’s meeting of the city council.

Mayor Stephen Haynes presented Alicia Newman, Atmos Energy representative, with a proclamation to remind the public of the importance of calling 811 before digging.

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Law Enforcement Blotter 4/15

LECSmLaw enforcement arrests and reports released Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Thursday, April 9

*A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy was called to an incident of littering.  According to the report, furniture along with a notebook and binder was found in front of a residence on County Road 334.

Tuesday, April 14

*3:18 PM – Brownwood Police received a report via telephone of a case of alleged indecency with a child.  According to the report, a possible suspect has been named and the incident is pending further investigation.

*Brownwood Police arrested 27-year-old Jerod Scott Cyr of Brownwood on a warrant related to expired registration.

*Brown County Sheriff’s Office arrested 22-year-old Alicia Crystal Larrera of north Highland, California on a warrant related to burglary of a habitation.  Larrera was being held in the Brown County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond as of Wednesday morning.

*Brownwood Police arrested 28-year-old Reynaldo Salazar of Brownwood on a warrant related to manufacture delivery of a controlled substance penalty group 1 less than 1 gram in a drug free zone.

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Brownwood Sets in Motion to Hire Retail Consulting Firm

CityofBrownwoodlogo_smallThe City of Brownwood, Brownwood Economic Development Corporation and the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce are working toward hiring Retail Strategies as a retail consultant with related services to promote Brownwood for retail recruitment and expansion.

Four years ago, the three entities jointly funded a similar contract with another retail consultant, the Retail Coach.  Many positive results were generated from trade market analysis, trade shows and promotion of Brownwood to retailers and developers, according to City Manager Bobby Rountree.

Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes stated that the agencies were all very complimentary of the Retail Coach and that the reason for a change in consultants was not due to any complaints.

“They did a very fine job for us.  We would not have United or some of the other developments within the city had it not been for their work,” said Mayor Haynes.  “Emily (Crawford, BEDC Executive Director) and I met Retail Strategies at a trade show that we attended and were very impressed with them also, and the thought process to change from the Retail Coach to Retail Strategies was not due to a complaint, but rather to reach a new audience.”

Haynes further explained that the city also benefitted from an increase of about $1 million in annual sales tax since hiring the Retail Coach.

Councilman Jerry DeHay added, “Retail Strategies has a different approach, they are more oriented toward the next stage of retail development advancement and experiences that we felt would be more beneficial to us.”

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Law Enforcement Blotter 4/14: Early Police Arrest Two College Students on Multiple Drug Charges

LECSmA traffic stop for an expired registration sticker on Monday, April 13th led to the arrest of two men on drug related charges. The men were returning from a trip to Austin, and drove through Early on their way back to Lubbock where they attend college, according to Early Police Department.

The driver Christian Clement Salcedo and passenger Cory Lane Scott were talking with the EPD officer during the traffic stop, and their conversation led Early Police Corporal Brandon McMillian to develop probable cause believing drugs were in the vehicle, according to the report.  McMillian obtained permission to search the vehicle and located some marijuana and paraphernalia in a bag along with some capsules that field tested as Ecstacy and some mushrooms, the report states.  Salcedo identified some SweeTARTS candy which was suspected to be laced with LSD or acid, according to McMillian’s report.

Salcedo and Scott were arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The items seized from the vehicle will be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s lab for analysis and further charges could be filed if the LSD is positively identified, according to EPD Chief David Mercer.

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Crawford Appointed as Brownwood City Manager

CityManagersCrawfordRountree2015Brownwood City Council officially appointed Emily Crawford as its first female city manager after meeting in executive session regarding contract terms followed by a unanimous vote of the council.

The position as city manager names Crawford as the chief executive officer of the city and head of the administrative branch.  Her duties will begin June 24th, as current City Manager Bobby Rountree officially enters retirement from the City of Brownwood.

The agreed contract states that Crawford will be paid $125,000 annually with benefits including health insurance, a car allowance of $750.00 per month for the use of her vehicle on city business and a cell phone for city business.  The term of the contract does not state an end date but rather states that it Crawford will be “at will” employee, and that either party of the contract may terminate the agreement with 30 days written notice.

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Tomatoes: Varieties, Growing and Harvesting a Tasty Crop

AgriLifeExtensionTomatoes are the most popular garden vegetable crop in Texas. They are a good source of vitamin A and fair source of vitamin C. Fresh tomatoes are popular in salads, on sandwiches and sliced. They can be cooked and used in many ways.

Varieties

Texas gardeners can grow a variety of small- and large-fruited tomatoes.

Many different tomato varieties will grow well in our area. Most people plant varieties that are available. Some new varieties such as Texas Superstar Tycoon will be hard to find.

Site selection

Tomatoes grow well in most Texas areas if planted in soil that drains well. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Tomatoes grow best in soils that have lots of organic matter. If possible, spread 2 to 3 inches of organic material such as compost, leaves, or rotted hay over the planting area. Mix this organic material into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil.

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Law Enforcement Blotter 4/13

LECSmLaw enforcement arrests and reports released Monday, April 13, 2015.

Thursday, April 9

*9:56 AM – Brownwood Police were called to the 4200 block of S. US Hwy 377 regarding theft.  According to the report, the investigation of a case of hindering a secured creditor was initiated.

Friday, April 10

*7:00 AM – Brownwood Police met with a complainant at the Brownwood Police Department regarding theft.

*8:00 AM – A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a report of criminal mischief at a property on S. FM 586 in Bangs. According to the report, the complainant stated that a known suspect had shattered the windshield of her 1966 Ford Mustang the night before.  The complainant further stated that the suspect had damaged her vehicle in anger over a disagreement with another male subject, the report states.

*11:30 AM – Brownwood Police were dispatched to the 2500 block of Good Shepherd Drive regarding identity theft.  The complainant stated that someone had fraudulently used his social security number to file their taxes, the report states.  The incident is under investigation, according to police.

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Brown County Approves Ambulance Service Consulting Contract

commcourt2Brown County commissioners approved a contract between Brown County and Health Care Visions for analysis and writing of a request for proposal for ambulance services, in a first step to determine the best possible ambulance services for the county.

According to Commissioner Joel Kelton, the contract is contingent upon cities of Brownwood, Early and Bangs approving payment of their portion of this contact as proportionate to the current subsidy agreement for ambulance services.  Health Care Visions President Steve Athey explained that the company is a consulting firm which is based in Texas and that the specialized consulting would produce results to find the best EMS service for Brown County.

“I can assure you that you will get a fair process and that you will find the best ambulance provider that you can get with the resources you have in this county,” explained Athey.  “My job is to mitigate your risks and find the right provider and then make an agreement with you in the timeline expected.”

The cost of the contract is $20,000 plus expenses not to exceed $5000, for a total expense not to exceed $25,000, according to Commissioner Joel Kelton of Pct. 2 and Athey.

Brown County is currently serviced by Allegiance Ambulance Service, based out of Georgetown and dispatched out of Columbus, Texas.   The current contract has an expiration date of December 31, 2015.  Bangs City council will consider the consulting contract at a meeting Monday night.  Cities of Brownwood and Early will consider the matter at their council meetings on Tuesday.

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Local Sales Tax Allocations for April 2015

comptrollerlogo2Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar released sales tax allocation numbers for April which showed small increases in Brown County cities of Brownwood, Bangs and a significant increase for the City of Blanket.   The report shows a decrease for the city of Early.

The growth in allocations for Brownwood and Bangs were 5.01% and 6.10% respectively.  Blanket saw a 33.88% increase of more than $1400.  Early saw a decrease of 14.68%.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said that state sales tax revenue in March was $2.12 billion, up 1.5 percent compared to March 2014.

"State sales tax collections have now grown for 60 consecutive months despite weakening in the energy sector. This moderated growth was expected and is currently in line with estimates presented in January," Hegar said. "Receipts in the construction, services and restaurant sectors remained relatively strong. We will continue to monitor the state’s economic activity and its impact on key revenue sources.”

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