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Brown County Commissioners Adopt 2015 Tax Rate Amid Controversy

CommCtArticle2014Brown County Commissioners adopted the Brown County property tax rate for 2015 Tuesday afternoon despite a lawsuit filed by one citizen regarding an alleged procedural mistake of the court.  The matter of tax rate adoption was originally on the Monday, September 29th agenda; however commissioners recessed the meeting and returned to unfinished agenda items of a public hearing and adoption of the tax rate on Tuesday afternoon.  Commissioners already adopted the county’s $18 million budget for fiscal year 2014/2015 Monday morning, which is about a $1 million increase from the previous year.

During the a public hearing Tuesday afternoon regarding the tax rate, Brown County citizen Joe Cooksey stated that he filed a lawsuit because the court had met on September 8th and 12th with the required two public hearings and that state law required the tax rate to be set within 14 days of the second public hearing.  He stated that an unnecessary third public hearing was posted without timely notice given to the public in an effort to cure the mistake of the court.  The notice was published Monday evening and Tuesday morning by local media outlets.  Commissioners argued that the Tuesday meeting was a continuance of the Monday meeting and did not require the lengthy notice.

The lawsuit names Cooksey as the complainant and Brown County Judge Ray West and Commissioners Gary Worley, Wayne Shaw, Larry Traweek and Joel Kelton as defendants.

Cooksey also alleges in the lawsuit that the court did not disclose their salaries properly as elected officials.

The court called in County Attorney Shane Britton for consultation if the meeting could proceed with the lawsuit filed.

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Law Enforcement Blotter 9/30

LECSmLaw enforcement arrests and reports released Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

Thursday, September 25

*12:48 PM – Brownwood Police were dispatched to the 3800 block of S. US Hwy 377 regarding criminal mischief.  According to the report, a female complainant stated that the rear window of her pickup had been broken out.

* 4:04 PM – Brownwood Police were called to the 3000 block of Austin Avenue regarding the burglary of a habitation.  According to the report, unknown suspects had broken into the complainant’s home and attempted to take items of value.

*Brown County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an assault.  According to the report, the complainant stated between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., a known suspect shot at her with an air soft gun while she was walking her dog.

Friday, September 26

*5:56 PM – Brown County Sheriff’s Office received a report of theft.  According to the report, two women who were washing clothes at the complainant’s residence allegedly stole her purse which contained her blood pressure and heart medications along with her wallet.  The complainant wished to pursue charges, the report states.

*Brown County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a burglary of a habitation on County Road 599.

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Woman Injured in Bicycle Versus Motorcycle Accident Tuesday Afternoon

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A collision between a bicycle and a motorcycle left one woman injured Tuesday afternoon.  Emergency responders were called to the accident near the intersection of W. Commerce and Beaver Street at 12:45 p.m.

According to a witness on scene, the bicyclist attempted to cross the roadway when she was struck by the motorcycle which was heading east on W. Commerce.

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2nd Annual Zombie 5K Set for October 25th

2014Zombie5KLogoThe second annual Zombie 5K Getaway is coming to Riverside Park in Brownwood at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, October 25th, benefiting the Brown County United Way. The Brown County United Way raises funds for the following local agencies:  Brown County 4-H Clubs, Girl Scouts Heart of Texas Council, Boys and Girls Clubs, Pearl Griffin Memorial Latch Key, Mid-Tex Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, CASA, The Ark, Brown County Association for Retarded Citizens, Cancer Services Network, Family Services Center, American Red Cross Pecan Valley Chapter, Salvation Army Loaves and Fishes and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Brown County.

Organizers invite the public to be a part of the adventure; anyone and everyone can participate.  The Zombie 5K Getaway is a 5K fun run in which human runners are trying to “survive” the zombies chasing after them.  Zombie runners will be released 3 minutes after the human runners start.

In addition to the zombie runners, there will be zones in which zombie roamers (who are slower) will provide interference for the zombie runners.

The race will be timed by Race Day Event Services.  Participation is open to males and females of all ages.  Runners may choose to be a human or zombie runner or a zombie roamer in the zombie classification.

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Law Enforcement Blotter 9/29

LECSmLaw enforcement arrests and reports released Monday, September 29, 2014.

Thursday, September 25

*3:00 PM – Brownwood Police responded to the 2200 block of Coggin Avenue regarding a hit and run accident.

Friday, September 26

*11:07 AM – Brownwood Police were called to the 400 block of Greenleaf regarding the possible burglary of a habitation.  According to the report, the house had been entered; however, the complainant was not sure at the time if anything was missing.  An investigation is ongoing, the report states.

*1:45 PM – Brownwood Police were called to the 1500 block of Fisk Street regarding forgery.  According to the report, the subject provided a description of a possible suspect in reference to the forgery which at that time had not been reported to the police department by the account holder.  The investigation is ongoing, the report states.

*8:55 PM – Brownwood Police were called to the intersection of 5th Street and Avenue A regarding an assault with serious bodily injury.  According to the report, the victim spoke with officers and identified 24-year-old Royce Phillips of Brownwood as the suspect.  Phillips was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault causes bodily injury and theft.  Phillips was being held in the Brown County Jail on bonds totaling $25,000 as of Monday morning.

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Back-to-Back Accidents Occur at Traffic T Monday Evening, Fire Truck Damaged

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Brownwood emergency responders worked back-to-back traffic accidents at the Traffic T on Monday evening ending with a damaged fire truck.

The accidents began shortly before 5:00 p.m. with a pickup truck pulling a flat bed trailer colliding with a Dodge Avenger in the intersection of Main Street and Commerce.  The driver of the Avenger stated that he was making a protected left hand turn onto Clement Street when the pickup truck travelled through the intersection.  The driver of the Avenger stated that he attempted to brake but collided with the trailer, which caused significant front-end damage to the vehicle and caused the air bags to deploy.

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Texas Trails Council Offers Program and Volunteers for Latch Key Boy Scouts Program

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The Latch Key Boy Scouts troop began meeting for the 2014-2015 school year on Wednesday, September 17th thanks to a donation of the program from the Texas Trails Council to the boys in the Latch Key Program, free of charge.

Marie Wilson, Cubmaster, and Candace Montgomery, Den Leader, volunteer their time every week to help the scouts achieve their goals.

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Constable Bob Beadel Announces Retirement Plans after 35 Years of Service to Brown County

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Brown County Constable Precinct 1 Bob Beadel announced his plans to retire by October 31, 2014.

According to Beadel, after 35 years of service to Brown County, he is ready to retire and spend time with his wife Ann.  Beadel is 75 years old and stated that his wife had had some health problems, and although his passion is law enforcement and serving the citizens of Brown County, he wants to spend time with his wife now.

Mrs. Beadel joked, “At our age, if we want to run and play, we better get after it.”

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Brown County Commissioners Adopt FY 2015 Budget, Set to Adopt Tax Rate Tuesday

CommCtArticle2014Brown County Commissioners adopted Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget during Monday’s meeting of the court after a public hearing on the matter was held with no public comment.  This year’s budget is $18,146,221, which is $1,036,427 more than last year’s, or an increase of 7.34%.

County Auditor Nina Cox explained that the new budget includes a 5% salary increase for all county employees.  The base pay for jailers was also raised to $25,500 from the previous $24,000/year.  Jailers also for the first time will receive certification pay, which was always paid to other Brown County Sheriff’s deputies and Court House Security officers.  If a jailer’s certification pay exceeds $1500 base pay raise, they will receive whichever is greater, according to Cox.  She explained that the certification pay is based on years worked and certification of each jailer, which can range from $1200-$7200 per person depending on law enforcement certification level.  It is hoped with the additional salary, employee turnover will decrease at the Brown County Jail.

“There will be 5% raises across the board for county employees.  This is the first time in 10 years that there has been a 5% raise,” said Cox.  “There was a 3% raise in 2013, 3% in 2012 for all employees except elected officials, and in 2011 there was none.”

Also included in the budget is funding for the purchase of one additional Chevrolet Tahoe patrol unit for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

According to officials, the budget estimated the $18,146,221 in expenditures.  70% of these will be realized through a proposed ad valorem tax of 0.5744 cents per $100 evaluation, which is yet to be adopted and expected to be adopted at a 4:00 p.m. meeting of the court on Tuesday, September 30th, after another public hearing on the matter.

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Brownwood ISD Board of Trustees Cancels Sunday Afternoon Meeting

BISDBdOfTrusteesLogoThe Brownwood ISD Board of Trustees has cancelled their specially called meeting which was scheduled for Sunday, September 28th at 1:00 p.m.

According to BISD Board President Michael Cloy, the next meeting will be held on their regularly scheduled meeting date of Tuesday, October 14, 2014.  The agenda for the upcoming meeting will be posted on or before Friday, October 10, 2014.

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