Local News – Real News for Real People

Man Suspected in Hit and Run Participated in Pre-Trial Diversion

A Brownwood man arrested for intoxication manslaughter following a hit-and-run accident which killed an 8-year old child had not only been arrested for D-W-I multiple times before, but had also participated in a pre-trial diversion program for DWI offenders back in 2006, according to county records made public by BrownwoodNews.com.

34 year old Samuel Juarez, Jr., remains in the Brown County Jail on bonds totaling $300,000 on charges of intoxication manslaughter, and accident involving death. Juarez’ arrest record includes D-W-I arrests in 2001, 2006 and 2011.

The Brown County Watchdawg Facebook page shows records of Juarez paying $500 into the Pre-Trial Diversion fund back in 2006.


Pre-Trial Diversion Controversy Boils over in Commissioners Court

Brown County Sheriff Vance Hill removed watchdog activist Joe Cooksey from the Brown County Commissioners Court meeting after being so-ordered by County Judge Ray West, who refused to allow Cooksey to discuss the county attorney’s pre-trial diversion program during the public comment portion of the agenda.

The Pre-Trial diversion program has been the focus of several news stories in the Texas Observer, Dallas Morning News, K-Texas Television and BrownwoodNews.com, as scrutiny is being applied to the county attorney’s practice of allowing misdemeanor offenders to pay into the pre-trial diversion fund in exchange for favorably disposing of their cases. Multiple media outlets allege that County Attorney Shane Britton accepted payments into the fund, then leveraged the fund for pay raises and travel expenses. Britton has denied any wrongdoing.

With a recent opinion by the Texas Attorney General’s office stating that the county attorney had no legal authority to collect payments from defendants for more than what it cost to prosecute their case, Joe Cooksey went to the Brown County Commissioners Court to see whether the court would authorize the refund of pre-trial diversion payments to the offenders who paid into the system.

County Judge Ray West prefaced Cooksey’s comments by saying that there was no official statement made by the court, and the commissioners court has yet to act. He went on to say that the Attorney General’s opinion was just an opinion, before refusing to let Cooksey speak. Cooksey was removed from the courtroom as he protested being denied the ability to comment during the public comments portion of the meeting.


Brookesmith Hires New Superintendent

Brookesmith ISD has hired Steven Mickelson as its new superintendent. Mickelson replaces Guy Birdwell, who resigned following an emotional meeting recently where the district took public comment regarding the possible closure of the school. In comments made to the Brownwood Bulletin, Mickelson said that Brookesmith ISD will not close, but does face tight financial situation.


Brownwood Police Officers Promoted

Brownwood Police Chief Terry Nichols tells Wendlee Broadcasting that the retirement of Lt. Tracy Delgado sparked a series of promotions within the department.

“She was a fixture within the agency, and a fixture within the community as well,” Chief Nichols told Leland Acker during the KXYL Morning Show.

Chief Nichols announced that Jason Kidd had been promoted to lieutenant, taking over the patrol division. Zane Taylor was promoted to sergeant, and Sky Self was promoted to corporal.

The department is currently in the process of hiring another police officer.


Local Woman Charged With Assaulting A Police Officer

Early police arrested a local woman after she allegedly assaulted a police officer following a disturbance on Grandview Drive  in Early. Here’s the statement from the Early Police Department:

On 12/15/16 (Thursday ) at approximately 1:15am Corporal Michelle Sheedy responded to a disturbance call in the 300 block of Grand View Drive in Early. It was determined that no violence occurred during the disturbance but an intoxicated female, Lindsey Anne South continued to be verbally abusive toward others. While Cpl Sheedy was talking with one half of the parties involved, South began to try to get back into the residence and as if she were attempting to get to the other parties involved. Cpl Sheedy attempted to stop her at which time the female, South began swinging at Cpl Sheedy striking her in the chest and arms. Sheedy took South to the ground and restrained her placing her under arrest. South was taken to the Brown County jail and charged with Assault of Public Servant.


Students Safe After Premier High School Evacuated


Smoke forced the evacuation of Premier High School, a charter school in Early, Thursday morning. The smoke was caused by an electrical issue. Early Police Chief David Mercer reports:

On 12/15/16 at approximately 10:30am the Early Fire Dept and Early Police Department responded to 819 Early Blvd, the Premier High School for a reported Fire Call with smoke in the building. The school was being evacuated and all student were going to a business next door for shelter from the weather. Fire Department located the source being an electrical problem with the heater. Oncor along with a private electrician responded to begin working on the problem, All students were picked up by their parents and sent home. Smoke was ventilated out and minimal damage was done to the building



Early Steps Up Patrols Through New Years

Early Police will step up patrols through New Year’s Day, according to a release from the Early Police Department. The increased patrols will focus on traffic enforcement, including DWI enforcement, speed limit and seat belt enforcement. The effort is funded by a grant from TxDOT, and aims to reduce highway fatalities this Christmas season.


Brownwood Man Arrested For Sexual Assault Of A Child

A Brownwood man was arrested by Texas Rangers on a warrant for sexual assault of a child. BrownwoodNews.com reports that 28 year old Dustin Lee Dobbins posted a $50,000 bond, and was released.


Brown County Homes Solutions Coalition Seeks Support

Brown County Homes Solutions Coalition Executive Director Angelia Bostick tells News/Talk 102.3 KXYL that the coalition is seeking financial help to build small homes for the homeless on three acres of land that were donated to the coalition. The land was part of the property donated with the old Avenue D Baptist Church building.

Bostick tells KXYL that renovating the church building into housing for the homeless will prove costly, so the coalition’s board decided to build small homes on the adjacent property instead. Bostick adds that the church building will still be used as a community center and continuing education center, to allow the coalition to provide skills training to the homeless, thus empowering them to find work, and become self-supporting.

Those wanting additional information, or who would like to donate may do so by calling (325) 998-2425