Less than 24 hours after the Texas House gave preliminary approval to a bill reducing the criminal penalties for Texans found to possess small amounts of marijuana, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declared the measure dead in the Senate.
House Bill 63 by state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, would lower possession of 1 ounce or less from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor, which is the same classification as a traffic ticket. Those found to possess 2 ounces or less or marijuana but more than 1 ounce would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor — punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, jail time or both. The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one. State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, never gave Moody’s companion bill in the Senate a public hearing and previously told The Texas Observer he didn’t see an appetite for marijuana reform in the upper chamber. In a tweet Tuesday, Patrick confirmed that to be the case. “Criminal Justice Chair @Whitmire_John is right that #HB 63 is dead in the @Texas Senate,” Patrick tweeted Tuesday morning. “I join with those House Republicans who oppose this step toward legalization of marijuana.” Patrick has spoken against bills to relax the state’s marijuana laws in the past. In a previous statement to The Texas Tribune, his spokesperson Alejandro Garcia said the lieutenant governor is “strongly opposed to weakening any laws against marijuana [and] remains wary of the various medicinal use proposals that could become a vehicle for expanding access to this drug.” The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one. Moody did not immediately respond to request for comment on Patrick’s tweet, but on the House floor Monday he introduced a watered-down version of his original bill in an attempt to make it more palatable to Gov. Greg Abbott — who previously opened the door to reducing the penalty for low-level possession from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor. As originally proposed by Moody, HB 63 would have replaced the criminal penalties for people caught with an ounce or less of marijuana and replaced it with a civil fine of up to $250. Only those fined more than three times would face misdemeanor criminal charges. The El Paso Democrat on the House floor Monday also disputed the claim that his bill would lead to the full-blown legalization of recreational marijuana in Texas. “We can’t legislate in fear of what some future legislators might do,” Moody said. “We’re here to solve the problems of today. It’s not about whether marijuana is good or bad; it’s about whether what we’re doing on enforcement right now is good policy, and we all know it’s not.” Despite Patrick’s comment, some advocates for marijuana reform said they still hoped to push the bill forward. “Working through the legislative process means overcoming objection that some folks may have and working with them to find common ground,” said Heather Fazio, the director for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. “That’s exactly what we did in the House yesterday and what the vote yesterday demonstrates … and we intend to bring that spirit to the Texas Senate.”
UPDATE: REWARD INCREASED.
On April 4th, 2019 Hunt County Crime Stoppers offered a reward of up to $1,500.00 for information leading to the arrest of person(s) responsible for the murder of Heather Pope on August 3rd, 2010.
In the following days Carla Pope, Heathers mother, reached out and inquired about increasing the reward amount if monies were donated to Hunt County Crime Stoppers. The process was explained and on April 26th, 2019 Carla and Randall Pope met with Sgt. Jeff Haines, law enforcement coordinator for Hunt County Crime Stoppers.
Randall and Carla Pope stated they raised a total of $8500.00 to add to the reward. This increases the reward up to $10,000.00 for information leading to the arrest of person(s) responsible for the murder of Heather Pope. This reward is effective immediately.
We have recieved multiple messages about Dr. Shenequa C. Miller being placed on leave.
We have been told she was placed on leave April 17, 2019. At this time the reason behind the investigation is unknown. No reports if it’s a school investigation or legal investigation.
Dr. Miller has been the Commerce Middle School Principal since 2016 and has 23+ years in education.
From commerce ISD page that Dr. Miller posted:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Commerce Middle School (CMS)! I am honored to serve as the Principal of this wonderful campus, within a growing district, and in the family-oriented city of Commerce. My name is Dr. Shenequa C. Miller, and this is my 3rd year as Principal at CMS and 22nd year in education.
Students and parents expect the best, and the faculty and staff of Commerce Middle School is dedicated to high expectations for all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. All students are important and valued on our campus each and every day. Educational growth has no limit,and our teachers and staff give 200% to serve students, parents, and the community alike.
We are elated to have you and your child(ren) to be part of an amazing, caring school, such as Commerce Middle School. Again Welcome!
Around 12:45 this morning HCEMS, Cash Rescue, Cambpell Fire and DPS were dispatched to I30 Westbound around the 105 mm for a major MVA. Per DPS dispatch the call was called in as a wrongway driver. An 18 wheeler and car where involved in this accident. Once units made scene they reported major damage to vehicles. One person was found to be fatally injured. Reports the person was ejected from the vehicle. Flight for Life 4 was put on standby but later disregarded. HCSO was requested to help out with traffic control. The highway was closed till almost 5:00am while crews worked to clean up the scene.
Per DPS spokesman. Ronald Bennett was driving his Honda elantra north on 513. Hes car went through the stop sign hit a culvert went airborne flying over the eastbound lanes and landing on the westbound side of I30 where he was hit by an 18 wheeler.
In response to citizen requests our deputies conducted a speed enforcement operation in Golden Gate Estates earlier this week. After a significant amount of time had passed they were puzzled. Traffic was steady, so why had they identified just one driver who was traveling over the speed limit?
As they left the area they spotted this sign about a quarter of a mile ahead of their enforcement site.
We have reached out to employees of the Walmart in Commerce Texas with what weve been told that they will no longer be a 24 hour store. They did confirm with us that they will be closing at 1:00 am instead of being a 24 hour store. The exact date wasnt really sure but could be sometime between April 26-30.
3 Rockwall Texas Officers responded to a local Pizza Restaurant earlier today after a customer wanted to make a report that her pizza looked to crispy. Employees tried to make it right for her by replacing the order. Caller stated she doesn’t trust them to remake the pizza. Caller left the restaurant stating, because of this mishap her husband won’t have lunch.
Quinlan PD and Hunt County SO was dispatched to a call in Quinlan to am alleged Assault. When Quinlan PD made scene the mother of the alleged victim stated the alleged suspect and victim had left the scene. QPD advised dispatch that there was blood in the house that maybe the victim. QPD got an address to where they could be headed in the Greenville off of I30. Dispatch notified Greenville PD to respond to that location. A short time later HCSO, Greenville PD, DPS and other units spotted the vehicle heading North on 34. Units made a traffic stop in Alliance Bank parking lot and surrounded the vehicle. The alleged suspect was detained at that time. After several minutes officers notified dispatch that no physical assault occurred after talking to both parties. The blood at the scene was from the alleged suspect that broke some class which caused a cut on the Male individual. The individual refused medical treatment and said he would drive himself to the hospital. All units cleared and both parties were aloud to carry on their way.
Portland Oregan police responded to a house where the caller stated there was a suspect in their bathroom. Multiple LEOs responded to the house. Once inside with guns drawn, they ordered the intruder out of the bathroom. When they got no response, officers made entry into the bathroom, only to find a cleaning device causing all the problems.
A Severe THUNDERSTORM Storm Warning was issued for South Hunt County at 11:48 this morning. A strong storm passed through West Tawakoni and Lone Oak Areas that was capable of producing 1.00 inch hail, heavy rains and lightning. One Lone Oak area resident on 513 South reports possible straight line winds caused some damage to their property as these storm came through. There have been no reports of any injuries. The homeowner states that they had their dogs in the house due to the pending storms.
There have been no more reports of damage reported as of this release.
The SPC has all of Hunt County under a slight risk 2 for storms Saturday afternoon. A very small portion in SouthEast Hunt County is under an enhanced 3 risk for severe storms. These storms can have strong winds, large hail and even a possibility of a tornado or two. The timing of these storms will start out West and head East. Our area will probably be in the early afternoon time frame. If storms fire up we will have a chaser out as well as one of our admins putting update info as it comes. We will do another update later today with any changes and better timing of these storms.
PLEASE PASS ALONG!!! There will be a large-scale disaster drill TOMORROW Wednesday, April 3 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
The drill will include a mock patient evacuation along with a surge of patients in the emergency department. This will affect HRMC, Quinlan, Commerce, Medical Partners, and Home Care. We want to make sure visitors understand that this is just a drill and no real disaster is taking place. ********************************************************