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Pflugerville Water Fails To Comply With Regulatory Standards

Pflugerville Water Fails To Comply With Regulatory Standards
PFLUGERVILLE, TX – Residents were alarmed by the news of their drinking water failing to comply with the state’s regulatory standards for almost a year.

This Thursday morning the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality made a public statement. Through it, Pflugerville residents learned that their water had been inadequately treated for months.

It turns out, 10 out of the 12 past months, the city’s filtration system failed to eliminate a parasite from drinking water. The parasite is known as Cryptosporidium.

“The City failed to meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Cryptosporidium removal requirements during the surface water treatment process due to damaged water filtration membranes,” city representatives wrote on the municipal website.

Officials also reassured the population by saying that immediate action was being taken to correct the possible infestation. However, they never fully confirmed nor denied that the parasite made it into their drinking water.

In the case of Cryptosporidium contamination, different symptoms can manifest. These include both respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea.

For some people infestation might not result in any symptoms. Those with a strong immune system that do feel sick, should be able to fight the bacteria back. However, residents that might have a deteriorated immune system could face fatal consequences due to bacterial ingestion.

“The filtration membranes have been repaired and monitoring processes are confirmed to be in place to prevent this from happening in the future,” officials announced. Additionally, the city decided to improve staff training and update water-filtering facilities. All equipment that was considered deficient was either fixed or replaced.

However, this is not the first time Pflugerville’s water treatment plant faces issues. Not it is the first time city representatives have promised to prevent future problems.

Only in the past few years, the city has had more than five big public water contamination incidents.

All residents worried about Cryptosporidium bacteria may contact the CDC for more information. Besides, anyone with questions related to the TCEQ’s statement can get in in touch with city representatives by calling the Pflugerville City Manager.

Rodney Reed Supporters Rally To Stop His Execution Next Month

Rodney Reed Supporters Rally To Stop His Execution Next Month

AUSTIN, TX— As the assigned execution date swiftly approaches, Rodney Reed’s family and supporters come out to the streets to ask for justice in a case that was closed nearly 20 years ago.

Rodney Reed’s execution date, after several delays, was set for next month. Exactly on November 20th, Rodney Reed will receive the lethal injection. Meanwhile, he has been fighting for the past 18 years to get his sentence revoked.

Since yesterday marked “Wrongful Conviction Day”, Reed’s supporters rallied to try and stop it from happening. Currently, Reed is working with the Innocence Project to get more DNA testing done. However, his petition has been ignored or denied multiples times before.

Meanwhile, Reed’s attorneys have also filed for a U.S. Supreme Court plea to hold up the execution. They argue that previous appropriate counsel was lacking during his original trials. They assure that his defense was flimsy and that racism during the trial was palpable, as well.

Backstory

The crime Reed was convicted for took place in 1996 in a rural area in the north of Bastrop. The victim was the, then 19-year-old, bride-to-be Stacy Stiles. A search for her started the same day her body was found in a rural route. She had been raped and strangled to death with a belt.

The first suspect was Stacy’s then-fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, who worked as a police officer in the town. Evidence tied his truck to the crime scene, but after lacking a motive and a clear and viable timeline, authorities decided to look in another direction.

Fennell was never charged. Although he was later accused of raping a woman he had in his custody, in 2007. After pleading guilty, the then Georgetown Police Officer served 10 years in prison. He was released last year.

The DNA evidence that linked Reed to the crime come by chance a year later after another woman accused him of rape. A DNA sample was analyzed and matched with rests of semen found in Stacy’s body.

Several other rape allegations in the area had been filed against Reed, but he was never convicted for any of them. Most of the woman that accused him later retired the allegations. Nonetheless, the prosecution used these cases as proof of Reed’s supposed predatory character.

Reed declared that he was having a secret consensual affair with Stacy at the time of the murder. Hence, that would explain the presence of his semen and DNA in her body. But, his defense team at the moment, was unable to find someone willing to testify.

Reed’s attorneys did find people who confirmed the relationship, but no one agreed to go to court in his favor. At that moment, a sexual encounter between a white woman and a black man was still seriously frowned upon in the smaller towns of Texas.

Even Stacy’s family members also doubt Reed’s guilt. And while they are not sure about Fennell’s guilt, they ask for Reed’s freedom.

However, her mother declared that Stacy was very happy about her upcoming wedding and very in love with Fennell. She was apparently working long shifts at H-E-B to be able to afford her wedding gown. Stacy was later buried in that wedding dress.

NOW

On Tuesday, Reed’s family was joined by students from the University of Texas specialized in International Amnesty. Their plan is to write letters to both the Governor and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

They are in a race against time to win their plea if they want to save Reed from execution. After being in this fight for the last 18 years, Reed’s family is asking for a new trial where the new evidence can be revised.

His attorneys are appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn a local court’s decision not to grant him a new hearing. Even though new evidence has come to light during the last two decades, Reed hasn’t gotten another chance.

Reed’s defense team said that the many holes in the case and trial should not be ignored. Back in 1996, police officers did not search Stacy’s apartment – the last place she was seen alive – nor considered Fennell’s truck viable as proof for the trial.

Some other court documents show that a beer can was also found near the body but was never investigated. However, initial DNA testing linked the can to two local law enforcement officers.

Both of them were Fennell’s close friends and one of them committed suicide shortly after the murder investigation began.

At the same time, the defense oversaw the evidence that Fennell was a jealous man and had a long history of violence and racism. Even his former girlfriend accused him of both things as proven by court documents.

Besides, Fennell failed to properly pass a polygraph test during the investigation but said the evidence was considered inadmissible during the trial.

Now, if Reed’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court gets denied, he will be out of options and out of time. Meanwhile, he can only wait for his execution day in his maximum-security cell.

Airport Evacuated After False Alarm

airport evacuation

AUSTIN, TX – Officials evacuated The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Monday morning. This just so happens to be one of the more popular traveling days due to the Labor Day holiday. According to officials, the evacuations proved unnecessary as there was a false alarm.

Unfortunately, the false alarm produced its share of chaos. Travelers expressed confusion at the out of nowhere announcement. Officials dispatched fire crews to the location. Once crews inspected the area they discovered a fire alarm had been pulled down accidentally.

Later, Austin Fire Department officials wrote on Twitter, “False alarm. Nothing found, system reset.”

Airport officials reaffirmed this positive outcome in a tweet issued prior to 10:30 a.m. “The alarm at the AUS that resulted in some evacuations has been canceled and all operations can resume as usual. Passengers who were evacuated are currently being re-screened through Checkpoint 1.”

Travelers reacted to the event in real time. One traveler basically described her travel mojo as cursed. Others demonstrated equal frustration.

Fire officials tweeted updates stating it was a false alarm. They also mentioned the system has been reset and their crews were clearing out from the scene.

The announcement was excellent news for travelers. Still, the reaction on social media was one of unhappiness about the evacuation. The holiday travelers mostly displayed frustration over the unfortunate and disruptive situation on social media.

Texas Trucker Dies While Helping Motorist

Texas Trucker Dies While Helping Motorist

AUSTIN, TX – A Texas trucker lost his life yesterday morning while helping another driver who was stranded on the road. According to Texas police officials, the man driving a semitruck pulled over to help another driver who needed help. While doing so, he was hit by a moving vehicle. As a result, he died.

Furthermore, as reported by authorities, the crash occurred in the afternoon, around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29. It happened on westbound Interstate 30 in Dallas, Texas.

The trucker who was struck and killed has been identified as 42-year-old Ryan Douglas-Jaques.

According to police, Douglas-Jaques approached a stranded white SUV. The vehicle was disabled in the left lane of the interstate and was unable to move. Therefore, Douglas-Jaques parked his semitruck in front of the disabled car as a shield of protection.

After sheltering the SUV with his truck, he then got out to help the stranded driver.

However, while stepping out of his truck, another motorist driving westbound on the same interstate hit the SUV. Consequently, striking Douglas-Jaques and his truck as well.

Furthermore, Douglas-Jaques was rushed to the hospital. But the injuries were too severe, and he was soon pronounced dead.

Additionally, the driver, and passenger in the third vehicle were also taken to the hospital. No additional details on their injuries. However, they are expected to make a full recovery.

Still, the accident remains under investigation.

While details continue to unfold, the driver who hit Douglas-Jaques will not be charged, according to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.

Austin Police Investigate Fatal Shooting

Austin Police Investigate Fatal Shooting

AUSTIN, TX – The Austin Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred at a northeast Austin apartment. One of the men involved in the gunplay has passed away from the injuries he sustained.

Austin Police first got the call on Thursday, July 18, from the RARE apartments at around 11:16 in the evening. When local officials rushed to the scene, they discovered a 22-year-old Alexander Morgan Jr. with several gunshot wounds to his person.

Medical officials rushed the wounded man to Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas in what they described as critical condition. However, on Sunday, July 21, the hospital informed Austin Police that the man had been described as brain dead by medical staff at 1:33 p.m. They have since asked for an autopsy.

According to Austin Police there’s not a threat to the public at this time. Police did say that they are continuing with the investigation. In fact, they’re requesting anybody with information to call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS. Or, you can text “Tip 103” plus the pertinent information to Crimes our you can utilize the new Crime Stoppers App.

Any helpful information related to the case can also be sent through email at homicidie.apd@austintexas.gov. As always, all information can be shared anonymously.

SWAT officers involved in standoff; suspect hospitalized

SWAT officers involved in standoff; suspect hospitalized

AUSTIN, Texas – SWAT officers were involved in a standoff in Austin. Additionally, the incident occurred about 6 a.m. on Tuesday.


Specifically, SWAT officers arrived to a house in the south part of Austin. Furthermore, the incident occurred on Plumpton Drive, near William Cannon Drive and S 1st street.


Austin police senior officer William Costello said officials arrived at a house in the 700 block of Plumpton Drive. There, a man screamed in his yard. Then, he went back in his house and barricaded himself inside.


Costello added that police officers tried to talk to the man. However, they weren’t able to talk to him. Furthermore, the man threatened self-harm. Police officers called SWAT because they believed the man had a firearm.


Eventually, officials contacted the man’s two roommates. The roommates helped authorities talk with the man.


Then, the man walked out of the house on his own. Police took the man into custody.


Officials cleared the area by 7:30 a.m. the same morning.

Currently, the man is in custody.


Officials have not released any more information about the incident. Furthermore, they are not clarifying how much longer he will be in custody, or where he will be taken next.


The Austin Police Department posted on Twitter about the incident. The tweet read: “SWAT Callout 6/25/19 – 700 Plumpton”.


Currently, investigators have not revealed if a firearm was found at the scene. Still, officials confirm that no one was harmed during the incident. Officials have cleared the area, and it is safe to be around at this time.

Winning Mega-Millions Ticket Sold at H-E-B

Winning Mega-Millions Ticket Sold at H-E-B

AUSTIN, TX – Looks like somebody in Austin is walking around with pockets a little fuller… Though they may not know it yet. Nevertheless, somebody has the winning ticket out there, and it was purchased at a Southwest Austin H-E-B. This is according to the Texas Lottery.

According to the Texas Lottery, the quick pick ticket winner who was able to match the five numbers in the Mega Millions game bought the ticket at the H-E-B on West Slaughter Lane and Escarpment Boulevard. Yep, right here in our own backyard.

What you ask were the triumphant numbers? The winning numbers for Tuesday night’s game were: 10-50-55-56-58 and a Mega Ball number of 15.

Just for a quick primer on how the game actually works. Players select five numbers from a field of up to 70 and a Mega number from a field all the way up to 25. Now, it should be noted, had the ticket mimicked all five numbers and the Mega Ball, the player could have been in line to have won $367 million.

As per the Texas Lottery game rules, the winning ticket is required to be claimed no later than 180 days after the draw date which happened Tuesday. Furthermore, the ticket must be presented for payment while also fulfilling the Texas Lottery Commission’s validation requirements.

Woman in Hospice Care Assaulted by Priest?!

Woman in Hospice Care Assaulted by Priest?!

AUSTIN, TX – A woman in hospice care was,according to documents recently filed in court, sexually assaulted by a seventy-five-year-old Catholic Austin priest. Now, the priest, Rev. Gerold Langsch, must face an assault by contact charge.

They believe the incident took place back in October of 2018 at the home of the woman, but he was just recently arrested. She was in hospice care at the time of the event, as she was suffering from different medical conditions. The affidavit states that she struggled from complications due to diabetes.

In the report, officials explained that the woman’s ex-husband reached out to the Knights of Columbus. The group offered to send a priest to the home, to give the woman her last rites. This is a religious ceremony including final prayers before someone passes away.

The woman reported to police that Langsch went to her home in the beginning of October. After anointing her with holy water, she claims that he touched her in an inappropriate way. And, according to the affidavit, he asked her if it “felt good.” According to the police report, the woman was very much in shock and uncomfortable.

As a result, the police investigated the suspect. The woman only knew the man as “Father Gerold” from the St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Finally, they identified him as Langsch and the victim identified him in a line-up of photos last week.

Therefore, police charged and arrested Langsch. In addition, they set his bond to $15,000, and he was bonded out of Travis County Jail, according to records. However, a condition of the bond was that he was not to make contact with the victim.

It is unclear now what will happen in regard to the charges against this Austin priest.

Private Companies Strive to Make Commuting Simpler for Workers

Private Companies Strive to Make Commuting Simpler for Workers

AUSTIN, TX – Traffic is something you can always count on. Like clockwork, every day the streets are packed with gridlock, congestion, and stop and go cars. This reality makes getting anywhere a frustrating slog.

Private companies realize this struggle. They know navigating crowded streets and highways can be stressful. As a result, they are now taking steps to provide commuting alternatives. This could ultimately benefit the average person too.

Central Texas Transportation Management Association, Movability, partners with employers across the region. They aid businesses in devising solutions like teleworking, flex hours, passes to services like Car2Go or B-Cycle and subsidized transit passes. They even help coordinate carpooling.

“More and more private employers are taking steps to provide their employees with commuter benefits, and for a variety of reasons,” Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel, executive director at Movability, offers. Furthermore, she states, “For many employers, the cost of parking is very high, and that’s an incentive to reduce the number of drive-alone cars coming into the office.”

Pfannensteil also notes that there’s a city-wide drive to get roughly 20 percent or more, or one in five commuters, to pivot their travel mode away from single person commute to alternative transportation methods. According to studies, traffic flows more efficiently in this model.

Companies Searching for Solutions

Movability works with many companies, almost 40 total. Tech company, Cirrus Logic, is among them. They moved to downtown in the late 1990s after leaving Silicon Valley. In 2012, the company researched transportation options for employees and settled on shuttle buses. Hence, they started their bus program later that year.

Shuttles are now available Monday through Friday. One bus travels from the north part of town. Another goes from the south. Finally, the third helps workers move around downtown. It also picks up employees who commute to the downtown MetroRail Station.

The services are now available to more than 800 employees. Bill Schnell, the company’s Public Relations Manager, said, “We found around 20 percent of our employees are getting to work on some form of alternative transportation.”

Cirrus Logic is 1 of 17 Austin businesses noted for its work in providing commuting alternatives for its employees. As a result, the company earned a spot on this year’s list for Best Workplaces for Commuters.

Shot Driver Rams into School Bus!

Shot Driver Rams into School Bus!

Houston, TX – On Tuesday morning, January 22, 2019, a driver agonizing from a gunshot wound blacked-out and crashed into a local school bus. This driver was shot in North Harris and consequently hit the County Spring Independent School District bus.

The crash occurred at the intersection FM Road 1960 and Rolling Creek Drive.

Fortunately, neither the bus driver nor the students received injuries from the impact. Only ten students were on the bus during the crash. After the crash occurred and the children were unscathed, officials moved students to another bus and taken to the Spring Early College Academy.

Harris County Sheriff, Ed Gonzalez, recounted the events. Apparently, the driver of the white BMW sedan attempted to flee an apartment complex after someone shot him. The injuries were not life-threatening, but they were painful. Painful enough to faint, and ram into the front, left, side of the school bus. It is unclear whether the driver passed out from shock or blood loss.

The driver was in a new sedan with paper tags. Police suspect that there might be more to the driver’s story and the events that led up to that moment.

The driver’s wound was not fatal. Paramedics took him to a nearby hospital and he is currently receiving medical care.

Therefore, the police and investigators, are currently investigating the events leading to the accident and what caused the fight to escalate to a gunshot wound.

Shortly after 8 AM the school bus and the BMW were moved from the intersection and the roads were reopened.

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