Local News

Local sales tax allocations released

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar recently announced that he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $787.8 million in local sales tax allocations for May, 2.6 percent more than in May 2016.

These allocations are based on sales made in March by businesses that report tax monthly, and sales made in January, February and March by quarterly filers.

Locally, Whitney’s payment was $61,553.63, down six percent from the same month last year.

Year-to-date figures show Whitney receiving $251,853.06 in 2017, up three percent from the same period last year.

Other Hill County taxing entities received the following allocations in May: Abbott-$7,682.44, down 26 percent; Aquilla-$707.22, up 20 percent; Blum-$2,979.28, up 24 percent; Bynum-$477.38, down 29 percent; Carl’s Corner-$26,369.28, up 376 percent; Covington-$3,435, down nine percent; Hillsboro – $307,423.66, up one percent; Hubbard-$15,908.64, up 14 percent; Itasca-$11,236.58, down 25 percent; Malone-$1,730.74, down 25 percent; Mertens-$288.81, down 37 percent; Mount Calm-$945.05, up five percent; Penelope-$638.32, up three percent.

In Bosque County, payments were as follows: Clifton-$61,612.72, down 37 percent; Cranfills Gap-$2,390.21, up two percent; Iredell-$1,801.31, down three percent; Meridian-$20,399.73, down three percent; Morgan-$1,964.49, down 12 percent; Valley Mills-$10,154.74, up 15 percent; Walnut Springs-$3,821.93, down six percent.

“The cities of Irving, Round Rock, Dallas, San Antonio and Odessa saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations,” Hegar said.

“The cities of McAllen and Sugar Land saw noticeable decreases.”

Felony arrest made by Hill County SO

The Hill County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest at 10:25 a.m. Monday, May 15.

According to reports, a 33-year-old Whitney man surrendered to authorities at the Hill County Law Enforcement Center.

The suspect was wanted for assault family violence impeding breath/circulation.

Bond was set at $5,000 on Jeremy Frame by Justice of the Peace Shane Brassell.

Making the arrest was Sergeant Justin Motherspau.

Area attorney facing local contempt of court charge

A jury trial that was scheduled in Hill County last week resulted in contempt of court charges for a Dallas attorney.

In documents filed with the Hill County District Clerk’s Office, District Judge Lee Harris detailed the court’s attempts to contact the attorney, who was representing a local defendant.

According to court documents, a jury trial was scheduled for Monday, May 15, in the case of an individual jailed in Hill County who was facing 25 years to life.

The filing states that the attorney had been properly notified of the jury trial on April 25, but subsequent attempts to contact him went unanswered, despite messages left with his office staff and emails sent informing him that his client was the number-one case on the jury trial docket.

According to the court documents, the attorney finally emailed the district attorney’s office and forwarded the message to the court coordinator Friday, May 12.

In the email, he stated that he would not be appearing for the jury trial because he had to report for a trial in Dallas County on the same day.

“No formal, or for that matter, informal, Motion for Continuance was filed by respondent,” Judge Harris wrote in the filing.

The documents detail the court’s multiple attempts to contact the attorney, and in an email the day before trial, Judge Harris reiterated to the attorney that he was required to appear for the trial.

Judge Harris’ filing states that when he contacted the Dallas court in which the attorney was supposed to appear the same day, he was told that the case was unlikely to reach trial, and that the defendant in that case had failed to appear for his last trial and had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear.

Harris said in the document that he was left with few options since the attorney had done nothing to seek a continuance or obtain any type of ruling from the two courts as to where he should appear.

“The prospective jurors summoned for May 15, 2017, were present for the case that respondent had requested a jury trial, and his failure to appear created a tremendous waste of their time, loss of employment opportunities, the hiring of babysitters, rearranging of schedules, etc.,” he continued.

The judge said that the inmate had been transported to the courthouse, and that Hill County jail staff had washed and pressed the clothing the inmate had worn at book in after no arrangements were made by the attorney to deliver clothing for trial.

The judge also said that at a substantial expense to the county, 74 citizens of Hill County who were summoned for jury service appeared for court.

The attorney faces a maximum penalty of a $500 fine plus up to six months in jail.

Judge James E. Morgan, senior district judge of 220th court, has been assigned to hear the case.