Starting January 1, 2016, Texans are now able to openly carry firearms if they are properly licensed, and according to House Bill 910 that even includes some areas of the county courthouses in Texas. The bill allows a person who is licensed to now openly carry a holstered handgun.
According to Chief Deputy Vance Hill, who addressed commissioners’ court Monday regarding this issue, state law now requires the county to allow licensed persons with firearms into the courthouse; however, some areas including the courts and offices related to the courts are prohibited. In Brown County, these prohibited areas include the commissioners’ courtroom and its offices, the county clerk’s office, probation offices, indigent defense office and the elections administrator's office during elections.
Firearms may be carried in other areas of the courthouse, including the auditor’s and treasurer’s offices, according to Brown County Judge Ray West.
West stated that plans are underway to install signs which would inform those carrying where firearms are not allowed. Guards at the entrance of the Brown County Courthouse will soon have printed instructions to give to those who decide to carry firearms into the courthouse.
Brownwood Police Department will host their annual Citizen’s Police Academy at the end of this month and are currently accepting applications from those interested in attending. An exact date for the academy will be set in the near future.
Brownwood Chief of Police Mike Corley explained the reason it is important to the department to host the Citizen’s Police Academy (CPA).
“As most of you know, I am committed to operating a transparent police department. In addition, I want the Brownwood Police Department to be good partners with our community,” said Corley in a recent email announcing the academy.
The next CPA class will start toward the end of January (2016), Corley stated. Although the exact date has not been set, the first class is likely to start on the last Tuesday in January. The classes will run for eleven Tuesday nights and one Saturday. The Saturday class is about three or four hours and is conducted at the shooting range. “A great time will be had by all at the range,” assured Corley.
Corley stated that there are many reasons BPD hosts the Citizen’s Police Academy.
The Brown County Republican Women will host their monthly luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, January 8th at the Brownwood Country Club.
Dawn Buckingham, Candidate for Texas Senate District 24, will be the featured speaker this month. Buckingham is a Christian, conservative, physician, and small business owner. She was born into a seventh generation Texas family and has a record of cutting government waste and spending as a school board trustee and an appointee to the state’s Sunset Commission.
BCRW and Pecan Valley Republican Women Clubs are working together to give all the candidates running for this office an opportunity to speak at one of their monthly luncheon meetings before the primary elections.
Law enforcement arrests and reports released Thursday, December 31, 2015.
Wednesday, December 30
*2:06 PM – Brownwood Police met with a complainant at the law enforcement center regarding a report of criminal mischief which had occurred on December 23rd. According to the report, criminal mischief greater than $100 less than $750 was documented.
*6:01 PM – A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a report of arson at a residence on Willow Drive in May, Texas. According to the report, the complainant reported that someone had started a fire inside her travel trailer sometime between 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 26th and 7 p.m. on December 27th.
*Brown County Sheriff’s Office arrested 69-year-old Hebert Jenkins of May on a Galveston County warrant related to bond forfeiture/possession of a controlled substance penalty group 1 equal or less than 400 grams.
*Brown County Sheriff’s Office arrested 21-year-old Deneilus Watt on warrants related to two counts of engaging in criminal activity/forgery. Watt was being held in the Brown County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $25,000 as of Thursday morning.
Lifeguard Ambulance began emergency operations Thursday morning in Brown County, taking over for Allegiance Ambulance. At 9:00:01 a.m., Lifeguard was officially on duty, waiting for their first call. The service switched a little earlier than the planned January 1st date to avoid complications during what could be a busy time of year with emergencies related to New Year’s Day parties and other festivities.
A relatively quiet morning, their first call for service came at 9:34 a.m., an ICU patient to be transferred from Brownwood Regional Medical Center to Abilene Regional Medical Center. Before that, newly hired crew members prepared to board their new vehicles and eventually to their stations, which are now located on Coggin Avenue in Brownwood (directly across from the Allegiance Ambulance station), on Early Blvd. in Early (behind Moseley Real Estate), and in Bangs (in the former Allegiance station).
With the Primary Election quickly approaching in March, the Brownwood and Brown County area is dotted with political signs, many of which have been recently damaged or even stolen from many locations. Brownwood Assistant Chief of Police James Fuller stated that he has personally received many reports of thefts and vandalism to campaign signs. Generally thefts are occurring at residences, according to Fuller. “Each sign does cost and those costs are beginning to add up,” said Fuller who stated it may just be juveniles who are bored while out on Christmas break; however he pointed out that this is still a crime and does cost money to someone. Anyone with information about these thefts or vandalism of these signs is urged to contact the Brownwood Police Department by calling 325-646-2525.
Law enforcement arrests and reports released Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29-30, 2015.
Monday, December 28
*7:38 AM – A Brown County Sheriff’s deputy received a report of criminal mischief which occurred at a residence on Killarney Drive near Lake Brownwood. According to the report, the complainant stated that someone had “busted out” the back window of her rental car. A possible suspect was named, the report states.
In observance of the New Year Holiday, Brownwood City Hall and City departments other than emergency services, will close Friday, January 1st and there will be no collection of residential waste. Residents with curbside garbage collection of blue or green carts, note that your collection day will be revised as follows:
• Friday’s route will be collected on Thursday December 31th (one day ahead of regular schedule).
• Thursday’s route will be collected on Wednesday December 30th (one day ahead of regular schedule).
The Landfill and Recycling Center will also close on Friday January 1st and will reopen for normal operating hours on Saturday January 2nd.
The City collects bulky items including brush and tree limbs from residential customers at no charge, please cut them into 5 foot lengths or less and notify Sanitation department at 643-4200 or visit us online to submit a request at: http://www.brownwoodtexas.gov/419/Residential-Brush-and-Bulky-Item-Collection-65.
For problems related to water or sewer service within the City of Brownwood, call 646-6000, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
The City of Early will also close for New Year’s Day.
There’s just two and a half months until the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center will host their Tenth Annual Canines, Cats, and Cabernet fundraising event. The event will be held at the Depot Cultural Center, March 18 beginning at 6:00 p.m.
CTSAC Administrative Manager Freda Day described the event.
“Once again, Vegas is going to the dogs (and cats),” said Day. “In addition to wonderful food by local chefs, restaurants, caterers, and bakeries, there will be live and silent auctions, and a full Vegas-style casino. It's going to be great night of fun for a great cause.”
Brownwood Fire Department received a special gift of canine rescue masks on Tuesday morning from a family that has deep roots in Brownwood and a special love for dogs.
Brownwood native Nick Harrison, along with his twin sister Pene and mother Joyce Harrison were present Tuesday morning at Brownwood Fire Department’s Station 1 to present three kits from the Emma Zen Foundation. Each kit contains a canine rescue oxygen mask along with a training video and printed materials guiding first responders in their use.
Law enforcement arrests and reports released Monday, December 28, 2015
Wednesday, December 23
*1:26 PM – Brownwood Police were dispatched to the 800 block of Malone Street regarding the theft of an ATV, valued at $1200. According to the report, no suspect information was available at the time of the report.
*2:44 PM – Brownwood Police were called to a domestic disturbance in the 4400 block of Edgewood Drive.
*2:46 PM – Brownwood Police made a traffic stop in the 300 block of Edwards Street. The driver, identified as 20-year-old Ethan Vance Wills of Brownwood was arrested for driving while license invalid with previous conviction without financial responsibility and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.
*4:34 PM – Brown County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on County Road 338 regarding a stolen package.
*8:32 PM – Brownwood Police were called to the 2800 block of Good Shepherd Drive regarding theft. An investigation is ongoing the report states.
Thursday, December 24
*12:13 AM - Brownwood Police were dispatched to the 3700 block of Savoy Drive regarding theft. The complainant stated that he had discovered a 30/06 rifle missing and a possible suspect was identified.
*3:43 AM – Brownwood Police were called to the 1000 block of Coggin Avenue regarding a suspicious incident. According to the report, a female was passed out in a vehicle in a parking lot. This call led to the arrest of 26-year-old Ashley Nicole Vrba of Brownwood for possession of marijuana less than 2 ounces in a drug free zone and possession of a controlled substance penalty group 3 less than 28 grams in a drug free zone.