TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY-BE KIND TEXAS-DRIVE SAFE-VALENTINES PSA.
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY-BE KIND TEXAS-DRIVE SAFE-VALENTINES PSA.
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Last Updated on May 18 2021, 2:53 pm CDT
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Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) joined members of the For Country Caucus and military nonprofit Operation Gratitude in assembling 5,000 individually-addressed care packages for deployed troops during Military Appreciation Month. At the event, members called for the construction of a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“The men and women who raise their hand to risk their lives in defense of our Nation are heroes,” said Congressman August Pfluger. “I am proud to partner with my colleagues in Congress and the good people at Operation Gratitude to assemble care packages for troops today and draw attention to the need for a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall. Our country has a responsibility to take care of soldiers and veterans and honor those we have lost. A memorial is one small step we should take to say thank you to the military heroes and families of the 21st Century.”
The care packages will be delivered to service members aboard the USS Iwo Jima, USS San Antonio, USS Carter Hall, USS Laboon, USS Dwight D Eisenhower, and USS Sullivan. The packages contain personal care products, snacks, coffee, handmade items, and handwritten letters from grateful Americans across the country.
Earlier this month, the Odessa Police Department took a report involving a possible attempted kidnapping that occurred in the 3900 block of Richmond. There was insufficient evidence to meet the elements of kidnapping. Following a rash of comments on social media, OPD began looking into claims from two other women. Investigation revealed that reports were never made with either OPD or ECSO. OPD later identified and located the possible suspect, who was identified as a “Door Dash” driver. The subject was cooperative with detectives and it was determined that no attempted kidnappings ever occurred.
May 17, 2021 — Midland ISD’s General Tommy Franks Elementary School has earned multiple awards for its energy education project “Saving the Earth, One Cadet at a Time.”
The National Energy Education Development, or NEED Project, named Franks as the Texas Elementary School of the Year, the National Elementary School of the Year, and Exemplary Community Education Project.
Fifth-graders in Cadi Gillette’s science class were recognized for the project, and have been invited to the 41st Annual Youth Energy Conference and Awards, which will be held in Washington, D.C. next month.
The project involved a group of students, known on campus as the Green Team, who not only practiced recycling themselves, but also gave presentations to other classes to emphasize the importance of recycling.
“This was completely student driven and student led,” said Gillette. “The Green Team would hold monthly recycling contests where they would count the contributions from each class, then award a prize.”
Gillette’s class qualified the same award two years ago. That group of five students had the opportunity to attend the conference in Washington, D.C. This year’s winners will have to enjoy their award via Zoom call, but are still proud of their accomplishment.
“What is amazing about this group of students is that they created and led an entire project that impacted our entire campus,” said Franks Principal Andra Lancaster-Jones. “Their hard work week in and week out is being recognized on a national stage.
The Green Team also regularly volunteers with Keep Midland Beautiful, as a part of their commitment to recycling and environment.
“These students have shown a desire to do the right thing and lead others to do the same,” said Gillette.
Principal Lancaster-Jones said she’s proud of not only the students, but their teacher as well.
“Mrs. Gillette has a way of bringing the students face-to-face with opportunities for growth,” said Lancaster-Jones. “That’s exactly what you want out of a teacher.”
ATTACHED PHOTO: Top (L-R):Aubrey Ramos, Baylee Payne, Stormy Guzman, Andrea Molinar; bottom (L-R): Eseosa Eriamiantoe , Trinity Cartwright, Lauren Ikporo and Teacher Cadi Gillette.
Washington, D.C. — Monday, Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) announced that Midland-native Preston Howey is joining his legislative team.
“I am proud to welcome Midland-native Preston Howey to our team,” said Congressman Pfluger. “Preston will advise on some of the most important issues facing our region including agriculture, immigration, resources and water, taxes, and more. His years of legislative experience in the Texas delegation and personal connection to the district will be invaluable as we work to advocate on behalf of the good people in the 11th District of Texas.”
Born and raised in Midland, Texas, Preston graduated from Midland High School and is a proud alum of Texas A&M University, where he earned a degree in Political Science. Before joining Congressman Pfluger’s team, Preston interned for Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23) and subsequently served as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08), the top Republican on the Ways & Means Committee.
A few facts about the ECHS Class of 2021:
— This year’s graduating class totaled 79 students.
— 100% of ECHS seniors were accepted into a college or university.
— 75% of ECHS seniors have received an associate’s degree from Midland College.
— 39 of Midland College’s 49 honor graduates were ECHS students.
— Seniors received a total of $535,000 in scholarships.
— This class had 39 National Honor Society students.
— 24 seniors were Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members.
(Photos: MIDLAND ISD)
AUSTIN — House Bill 103, a bill filed by State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System, passed out of the Texas Senate with unanimous support on Wednesday. Landgraf’s bill was passed by the Texas House of Representatives last month, so the measure now heads to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk, the final stage of the legislative process.
“I’m thankful to my colleagues in the House and Senate—especially Sen. Judith Zaffirini, who represents Sutherland Springs—for the unwavering support for this necessary policy,” Landgraf said. “HB 103 did not receive a single negative vote at any stage of the legislative process. Texans have spoken: our state needs the active shooter alert system required by the Leilah Hernandez Act.”
Landgraf crafted HB 103, the Leilah Hernandez Act, after working with constituents and families of victims from the August 31, 2019 mass shooting in Odessa and Midland. Leilah Hernandez, a 15-year-old Odessa High School student, was the youngest victim killed that tragic day. Leilah’s mother, Joanna Leyva, provided powerful testimony in support of the bill at the Texas Capitol, explaining how an active shooter alert system could have saved Leilah’s life.
“We can never replace the lives we lost over Labor Day weekend in 2019,” Landgraf continued. “But we believe that fewer Texans would have perished if this system had been in place at the time, and we are hopeful implementing the alert system now will save lives in the future.”
HB 103 would require the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop and implement the Active Shooter Alert System. The alerts are intended to be issued quickly via SMS text and other available communications to the public in proximity to an active shooter situation.
Landgraf has described this bill as a way to save lives and prevent mass violence while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans.
The 87th Texas Legislative Session began in January and is underway through May 31st. In accordance with the Texas Constitution, the state legislature meets for a 140-day regular session every odd-numbered year to vote on legislation and pass a balanced state budget. The governor has up to 20 days after each session in which to sign and veto bills passed by the House and Senate. Any bill that has not been signed or vetoed by that deadline goes into effect without the governor’s signature.
Washington, D.C. — Wednesday, Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) questioned “Climate Czar” John Kerry in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. During Pfluger’s questioning, Kerry admitted that wind and solar energy do not make a reliable base load of energy for our Nation, further underscoring the national security importance of the oil and gas industry.
The City of Midland announces the activation of a new traffic signal on Loop 250 at Lamesa Road on May 12, 2021. This signal was built under a public/private partnership by Mark Payne Homes of Midland, with partial funding participation provided by the City. This new signal serves the existing Lamesa Road interchange, as well as the new extension of Stonebridge Drive north of Loop 250, which provides access to the Payne development.
The opening of Stonebridge Drive offers a new, continuous route between Loop 250 and Mockingbird Lane and affords residents improved access to the Stonebridge and Pavilion Park subdivisions. Under other names, that same street alignment also continues north of Mockingbird Lane to serve the Adobe Meadows, Daybreak Estates and 349 Ranch Estates subdivisions.
Additional traffic improvements are planned in this area in coming years, with the extension of the first phase of Fairgrounds Road between Loop 250 and Mockingbird Lane currently in design. When constructed, that missing segment of Fairgrounds Road will provide an alternate route to Big Spring Street and offer more convenient access for residents of communities farther to the north, such as Lone Star Trails.
Washington, D.C. — Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) released a statement after two Concho County Sheriff’s deputies in the line of duty Monday night:
“Camille and I are absolutely devastated by the news that two of our Concho County Sheriff’s deputies were killed in the line of duty last night in Eden. These officers protected the community until the very end—defending our freedoms, values, and safety. Though we are unable to thank them for their sacrifice, we will never stop honoring their legacy and service.
“I’ve spoken with Judge Dillard, Mayor Torres, and Sheriff Miller to offer my condolences. My office stands ready to provide any support that we can.
“We join with our Concho County neighbors in mourning the loss of these heroes. Please keep our entire law enforcement community in your prayers.”
An after-school STEM club is in the works for the Dowling Tigers thanks to a grant from Sparklight.
In March, schools and organizations serving K-12 students in Sparklight communities had the opportunity to
win $3,000 to fund their science, technology, engineering or math project or club as part of the internet
service provider’s annual “Dream Bigger” social media campaign. Monday, representatives from Sparklight
delivered the grant money to the school.
Jon Drisco, General Manager for Sparklight in Odessa said, “We gave away $15,000 in grants to 5 schools
across the country. The entries were narrowed down to 10 then posted online for community voting.”
Drisco said Dowling Elementary received 1,200 votes for their grant proposal to start a STEM Club and a
field trip visit to Texas Tech University for STEM related activities.
Courtney Selking, Communities in Schools Campus Coordinator at Dowling Elementary was the author of
the grant. She said, “It came about because Mrs. Marshall sent me an email about the grant and asked if I was
interested in doing it because Dowling doesn’t have STEM programming. We hope to serve Communities in
Schools students that often don’t have possibilities like that and possibly other students, however many we
This year Dowling Elementary is serving as a pilot elementary campus for Communities in Schools, whose
mission is to empower students to stay in school.
Julie Marshall, Principal at Dowling Elementary, said she’s really excited to start an after-school opportunity
for the students at her campus. “Many of the kids who come to Dowling don’t have the opportunity to
participate in after school activities that are paid for and so for us to offer this for our families, I think we’ll
make an impact that kids will be excited to be here and stay here. Once they realize I don’t have to sit in a
chair and learn a lesson, it’s hands on, I’m learning through what I’m doing, I think it’s really going to make an
impact on our kids.”
AUSTIN — Legislation by State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) to bolster the state’s online protective order registry passed out of the Texas House by a vote of 145 – 1 on Tuesday.
“Last session, we passed Monica’s Law to create the Texas Protective Order Registry to include protective orders issued as a result of domestic violence,” Landgraf said. “The registry has been a huge success, so we want to improve the tool further with HB 2702 by including protective orders for victims of sexual assault or abuse, indecent assault, stalking, and human trafficking in the database as well.”
“Monica’s Law” was named in honor of Monica Deming, an Odessa mother who was murdered by an abusive ex-boyfriend in 2015 with multiple protective orders issued against him. He was able to hide his violent past by exploiting the information gap in the system. Prior to the Texas Protective Order Registry going into place, protective orders issued in one county were unknown and inaccessible by law enforcement and courts in another county.
“Monica’s Law closed the information gap that existed between the courts, law enforcement and the public as it relates to protective orders arising from incidents of domestic violence so that repeat offenders of domestic abuse can no longer hide their crimes by moving from county to county,” Landgraf continued. “Now HB 2702 ensures the same thing applies to other horrible acts like assault and human trafficking. This is all about catching the bad guys and protecting and empowering the public.”
HB 2702 bolsters the protection the registry provides by amending the language to include protective orders issued under Chapter 7A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. HB 2702 also provides the process for vacated protective orders to be removed from the database. No statute currently provides for the removal of the record when the protective order is vacated by a court.
The 87th Texas Legislative Session began in January and is underway through May 31st, 2021. In accordance with the Texas Constitution, the state legislature meets for a 140-day regular session every odd-numbered year to vote on legislation and pass a balanced state budget.
AUSTIN – Even with less traffic during the pandemic, Texas work zone fatalities increased 9% in 2020 compared to 2019. That’s why TxDOT is calling on drivers to make safety their number one priority at all times and especially when passing through active construction and maintenance work zones on the roadway.
TxDOT’s “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign is marking National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 26–30, with safety tips to reduce work zone fatalities. Last year, there were more than 22,000 traffic crashes in Texas work zones with 186 people killed, including four road workers.
“We know driving through work zones can be challenging,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “There can be extra congestion, slow-moving heavy equipment, temporary barriers, and vehicles that make sudden stops. We can’t stress enough how important it is to give driving your full attention and slow down—for your own safety and that of the people who work alongside the road.”
Drivers and their passengers account for the majority of those who have died in work zone crashes. In 2020, 147 motorists and vehicle passengers were killed in Texas work zones, along with 35 pedestrians and bicyclists and four road workers.
The Texas Mutual Insurance Company, which helps employers prevent workplace incidents and their consequences, is partnering with TxDOT to promote safe driving. The “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign outlines five key steps drivers can take to safely navigate a work zone:
Traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000. Failure to heed the Move Over/Slow Down law can also result in a $2,000 fine. State law requires drivers to move over a lane or reduce their speed to 20 mph below the posted speed limit when approaching a TxDOT vehicle, emergency vehicle, law enforcement, tow truck or utility vehicle stopped with flashing lights activated on the roadside.
“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel such as wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths.