Today`s Local News2020-07-07
Tuesday, July 7, 2020


(CAMERON) The infection rate and active case count is going up in Milam County. 

According to Milam County Judge Steve Young, 8 more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Milam County. The latest cases were announced a day after the county set a single-day high for cases with 13. The active case count had hovered just under 20 for about a week, but has increased to 27 as of today. There have been 120 total infections here since the pandemic began. The Milam County Health Department is monitoring 65 people. Four patients are hospitalized and 1 person has died. Roughly 400 people were tested at mobile test sites last week. 

Milam County Sheriff Chris White indicated this past weekend that his office will not enforce Governor Greg Abbott`s statewide face mask order, even though the county is above the minimum 20 active cases threshold. White cited the language in the Governor`s orders as the reason. The order does now allow for law enforcement to detain, arrest, or confine anyone violating it. Because White said enforcement of the order would require some form of detention, his office would not enforce it. Instead of enforcing the order, White said his deputies will try to educate the public on the use of masks. 


(CAMERON) The cause of blaze that burned down a local business is believed known. 

Cameron Volunteer Fire Department Chief Henry Horelica told KMIL that the fire that burned down the Milam County Livestock Auction barn is believed to be electrical in origin. That fire began about 1:30AM Monday at the auction barn of Milam County Livestock Auction. Crews arrived to find the barn fully engulfed and the roof beginning to cave in. The building was a total loss and nothing was left standing. Horelica said he called the Fire Marshal to assist in the investigation, but that they determined there was not enough left to look into. There were no animals inside at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. Five trucks and 24 personnel responded and cleared the scene after about 3 hours. Crews also returned later to put out some hot spots and ensure the fire was completely out. On Monday afternoon, Milam County Livestock Auction indicated there will be no sale this Friday. They thanked everyone for the support and urged friends of the auction to follow their Facebook page for information on new plans for operation. 


(CAMERON) An early morning fire that damaged a local church in May is officially arson. 

Cameron Volunteer Fire Department Chief Henry Horelica gave an update Monday on the May 14th fire at Cameron Church of Christ, indicating the fire was intentionally set. At this time, there are no suspects. Fire crews had responded about 1:30AM May 14th to the Church on North Central. They arrived to find heavy smoke showing out of the building. Crews made entry and knocked down the fire, but had to return for a rekindle in the attic area about 3 hours later. Horelica said the east end and hallway suffered the heaviest fire damage, though the flames did not get into the main room. The building is expected to be a total loss, though not the contents. At the time, the fire was termed suspicious and the State Fire Marshal was called to investigate. 


(MILAM COUNTY) Early voting continues in the primary runoff election. 

Voting was again light on Monday with only 113 total votes cast in the runoff election. Republicans cast 96 of those ballots. There have now been 1,007 total votes cast, mostly on the GOP side. Early voting continues today at Bea`s Kitchen, Buckholts Community Center, the Patterson Center in Rockdale, and Thorndale VFW Hall. Early voting at Bea`s Kitchen only will be today-Friday from 8AM-5PM. All other locations will be open for voting today-Friday from 9AM-4PM. Election Day voting will be held from 7AM-7PM at all 4 locations. 

Here locally, Republicans in Precinct 1 will determine their county commissioner as incumbent Richard Opey Watkins squares off against Henry Hub Hubnik. GOP voters will also select a District 17 Congressman candidate by deciding between former Congressman Pete Sessions and incumbent backed newcomer Renee Swann. Democratic voters will select between Mary MJ Hegar and Royce West to meet Republican John Cornyn and between Roberto Beto Alonzo and Chrysta Castaneda to face off with Republican James Wright. For District 17, Democrats Rick Kennedy and David Jaramillo will look to win out in order to face either Sessions or Swann. 

In Robertson County, Precinct 3 voters will choose their next constable between Chris Sanders and Danny Williamson. Bell County Democrats will pick either Christine Eady Mann or Donna Imam in the race to challenge Republican John Carter. They too will select between Royce West and Mary MJ Hegar. Bell County Republicans must choose a 426th District Court Judge from Steve Duskie and Jeff Parker. 


(CAMERON) County Commissioners took additional steps toward leaving downtown Cameron. 

During a special meeting early Monday, Milam County Commissioners approved publishing notice of intent to exchange 9 buildings and 2 vacant lots in downtown Cameron for the old Little River Hospital complex in town. The Court previously approved an agreement to trade the buildings for the complex with the intent to move county offices into a one-stop shop for all county business. The Court also agreed to continue to produce teleconference meetings by either Facebook Live or GoToMeeting. Updates were heard on COVID-19, though no action was taken. 


(CAMERON) A new option for healthcare will soon be open and available for Milam County residents.

Texas A&M and OnMed announced the 1st demonstration of their telehealth station will be held today. The health pod is located in the Milam County Sheriff`s Office. The pod was delivered and constructed in the previous weeks and will allows patients to connect with licensed doctors and nurses for on-demand medical care at affordable prices. The pod was approved at no extra cost to the county other than electricity. The Moonshot Initiative project is researching to find solutions to the loss of healthcare in rural communities. The station will be available for demonstrations throughout July with a goal of beginning medical services in August. 


(CAMERON) The Cameron Lions Club annual Radio Auction will finely return to the air next week. 

The Lions had postponed their annual auction earlier this year because of COVID-19. And while it will be delayed, the pandemic will also change the auction this year. The annual Auction will be heard here on 105.1 FM July 13th and 14th from 4-6PM each day. Bidding will also be held online. Tons of items will be auctioned off to the highest bidder during the 2-day auction. To bid online, click the Lions Club logo on the KMIL homepage. If you would rather bid by phone, listen to the auction on the radio, where phone numbers will be given out during the broadcasts. The annual Lions Club Radio Auction raises about $20,000 for the organization each year.


(TEXAS) A virus sweeping the globe reached pandemic status. Here`s the latest updates:

The Texas Governor is responding to local government officials clamoring for more help and power to deal with COVID-19. During an interview Monday, Governor Greg Abbott blamed those local government officials currently asking for more authority to enact lockdown or shelter-in-place orders as the same officials who have absolutely refused to enforce any and all current executive orders already in place. That statement comes as the total case county in Texas has doubled in the last 2 weeks. There are currently over 200,500 cases of the virus in Texas, with 94,120 considered active. Roughly 100,000 people have recovered, though 2,655 Texans have died from the virus. 

Bell County reported over 1,500 cases Monday and have about 1,000 active cases at this time. Their death toll is 13. McLennan County added 2 new deaths, taking their count to 11. Their active case count is above 1,500 with only 300 patients considered recovered. Brazos County has over 1,200 active cases but saw no new deaths. Their death toll is 34 and their total case count is above 2,500. Williamson County reached past 3,100 cases, with nearly 2,000 active cases. Their death count also rose to 45. 


(CENTRAL TEXAS) Area residents can get tested for COVID-19 this week. 

Testing will be held today and Wednesday at Jarrell Middle School from 10AM-6PM. No pre-registration is required. All tests are free. 


(BELL COUNTY) There is no burn ban in Bell County for now. 

Bell County Commissioners on Monday took no action on enacting a Burn Ban for residents. Commissioners said they would wait a week to enact the ban to allow residents a chance to burn one last time. The vote came just days after a dizzying number of fire calls for area fire departments. Bell County fire crews were dispatched to 81 grass fires and 13 structure fires on July 4th alone. Crews responded to another 22 grass fires, 4 structure fires, and 3 other fires the next day. Thankfully, there were no injuries or serious property damage. Many of the fires over the weekend were said to be caused by the illegal use of fireworks. Meanwhile, Little River-Academy Fire Department announced that Commissioners approved a measure to reinstate their volunteer department. The group expects to begin fielding calls by Friday. 


(NASHVILLE) A country music and fiddle playing icon has died. 

According to his publicist, 83-year-old Charlie Daniels died Monday in Tennessee after suffering a stroke. Daniels had suffered a mild stroke in 2010 and had a pacemaker implanted in 2013. The singer, guitarist, and fiddler got his start as a session musician and performed with Bob Dylan. By the 1970s, his 5-piece band was playing over 250 shows per year. As he grew older, much of his incendiary lyrics began to soften and he reached a much wider audience. He later hosted regular Volunteer Jam concerts in Nashville to teach performers. The North Carolina native was invited to the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 71 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016. 


(CAMERON) Milam County Sheriff Chris White and the Department`s Brown Santa Program will be hosting the 10th annual Brown Santa Golf Tournament, Saturday, July 18th.  

The program was established in 2009 by the late Milam County Sheriff David Greene, to accept donations and other charitable items to provide Christmas gifts to low income families throughout Milam County. The tournament will be held at Cameron Country Club. Tee times will be at 8AM and 1:30PM. Food, drinks, and prizes will be provided. The cost is $60 per person, though $100 will get you raffle tickets and mulligans. The tourney is also accepting hole sponsorships at $100 per hole. Those wishing to make donations can contact the sheriff`s office at 697-7033. A live auction is scheduled and there will be various other challenges throughout the day.


(CAMERON) Cameron PD reported 4 EMS calls and no other activity.  

(ROCKDALE) Rockdale PD reported 6 EMS calls and 1 fire call:
--7:30PM, Rockdale VFD to structure fire on 800 block of Smith Road off FM487 north. 

(CAMERON) Milam County Sheriff`s Office has 3 new bookings:
--Wayne Anthony Bynaum, Jr., 18 of Cameron, for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Probation Violation, and Failure to ID-Intent to Give False Info
--Zakary Adam Krumnow, 30 of Cameron, for Burglary of Habitation and Abandon or Endanger a Child-Criminal Neglect
--Maceo Samir Bobbs, 26 of Franklin, for Possession of Marijuana Under 2 Oz

There was 1 accidents in rural Milam County: 
--8:30PM, accident. Trooper Hendricks investigated.

There are currently 142 inmates in the county jail, including 64 housed for Coryell County.

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