The Travis County Judge and Travis County Fire Marshal are lifting the burn ban that was originally set on Tuesday. Conditions have improved and rain is forecast for this weekend, which will lower the potential risk of wildfire. We encourage you to take this time to mitigate dead vegetation in and around your property to prepare for future wildfire risk and provide adequate defensible space.
If you are going to burn this weekend please make sure to:
Begin burning no earlier than one hour after sunrise
Cease burning the same day no later than one hour before sunset
Monitor wind speeds to ensure that smoke will dissipate and embers do not become a hazard.
Our office will revisit the Burn Ban at Commissioner’s Court next Tuesday. If you have any questions regarding the status of the Burn Ban please check our website for more information at https://www.traviscountytx.gov/fire-marshal.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Unit is seeking volunteers to provide immediate assistance to victims of various criminal and crisis circumstances including, but not limited to: Family Violence, Sexual Assaults, Child/Elder Abuse, Aggravated Assaults, Robberies/Burglaries, Suicides, Structure Fires, Death Notifications, Natural/Accidental Deaths and Major Traffic Accidents.
Volunteers must complete a comprehensive training program that is scheduled for March 13 – April 1, 2017. (Mondays 6 – 9pm, Thursdays 6 – 9pm, Saturdays 9am – 5pm) Volunteers will also be accompanied on a series of calls before being cleared to take calls independently.
TCSO is seeking persons of excellent moral standing with the sensitivity and self-awareness necessary to provide effective assistance to those in crisis. Volunteers need to be 21 or older, with a reliable, insured vehicle, a working cell phone and a schedule that allows for (4) four-hour shifts of on-call duty per month.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help identifying persons suspected of burglarizing various businesses. The photos attached are from a burglary that took place Christmas Day at Life Storage, 2440 W. Whitestone, in Cedar Park. The suspects are a white male and female with two black dogs wearing orange service dog style vests. They’re seen in the video footage driving a small blue SUV, possibly a Kia.
Seven burglaries were reported earlier in 2016 involving the same suspect vehicle.
TCSO asks that anyone with information about the suspects or details of the burglaries call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477.
On December 28, 2016 an inmate notified Corrections Officers of her need to see Jail Medical Staff. The medical professional who examined her determined that she required transport to the hospital. She was immediately transported to the Emergency Room at UMC Brackenridge where she later underwent a medical procedure. On December 29, 2016 while recovering in ICU, the inmate died. Attempts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at 8:34 am. The inmate is identified as: JACQUELINE KEY, age 55, Transient
Key had been arrested by the Austin Police Department on November 11, 2016 and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and a City Ordinance Violation.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Internal Affairs Unit are conducting an investigation as is standard practice in these cases. The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office is also conducting an investigation into cause of death. That determination is pending toxicology results. Detectives do not have any evidence to suggest foul play at this point in the investigation.
The Austin Police Operation Blue Santa needs volunteers to join in the fun of delivering packages to families and children starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, December 17, 2016. Those wishing to volunteer do not need to sign up ahead of time; they can pick up packages at the Operation Blue Santa headquarters located at 4101 South Industrial Drive, Suite 260.
This event will occur regardless of the weather.
Volunteers are also needed to deliver packages at the following sites on the same day:
Robert T. Martinez Sr. Central East Substation-812 Springdale Road, Austin, TX 78702
Jaime Padron North Substation-12425 Lamplight Village Ave., Austin, TX 78758
Clinton Hunter South Substation-404 Ralph Ablanedo Dr., Austin, TX 78748
Those going to the remote sites are asked to proceed to the main Operation Blue Santa warehouse after the satellite deliveries are completed. Only a few hundred deliveries will occur from aforementioned substations. Several thousand deliveries will occur at the main warehouse.
Austin Police Operation Blue Santa is a charitable outreach effort created in 1972 by two APD patrol officers who realized that some families in their area would not have gifts or food for their children at Christmas. The distribution began with 20 families from the back of a patrol car. Today, Austin Police Operation Blue Santa serves more than 6,000 families with 14,400 children receiving gifts during the holiday season.
From the Austin Police Department:
The Drug Enforcement Agency reprises one of its most popular community programs this weekend: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On Saturday, Oct. 22, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the public can dispose of their unused, unwanted prescription medications at one of 4,700 collection sites nationwide, operated by 3,800 local law enforcement agencies and other community partners. The service is free of charge, no questions asked.
America is experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers. More than 6 million Americans age 12 and over — 2.4 percent of the population — abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health released last month, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine combined. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms. The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Last April, during its 11th Take Back Day, the DEA and over 4,200 of its national, tribal and community law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds (about 447 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 5,400 collection sites. Since the program began six years ago, about 6.4 million pounds (about 3,200 tons) of drugs have been collected. That’s more than a quarter pound of pills for each of the 25 million children aged 12 to 17 in America, pills that won’t result in abuse or overdose.
The DEA Austin office, along with the local law enforcement and community coalitions will set up collection sites at the following locations:
Austin High School – 1715 West Cesar Chavez, Austin
Barton Creek Square Mall (parking lot) – 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin
Household Hazardous Waste Facility – 2514 Center Dr, Austin
A federal grand jury has indicted three members of what authorities describe as a conspiracy that plotted fraud and racketeering schemes and attempted to carry out the murder of State District Judge Julie Kocurek.
The indictment names Chimene Onyeri, who was named as a person of interest soon after Kocurek was shot in the driveway of her West Austin home, and 26-year-old Marcellus Antoine Burgin of Cypress, and 24-year-old Rasul Kareem Scott of Marrero, La.
According to federal authorities, the 11-count indictment charges the trio with one count of conspiracy to participate in
an enterprise engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and one count of aggravated identity theft. Onyeri is also charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud; an additional count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and six additional counts of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment comes nearly 10 months after Kocurek was attacked after returning home from a high school football game. Authorities have said an assailant opened fire as the driver of her car stopped in the family’s driveway to remove a bag of trash that investigators think had been intentionally placed to obstruct Kocurek’s path.
Kocurek was wounded and spent about two months in the hospital before returning to the bench in February, saying she felt as though “I’ve been reborn.”
In a later interview, she described her injuries, saying that she reflexively raised her arm to shield herself during the shooting, and she confirmed that she has lost a finger on her left hand.
“I feel very lucky that is all I lost,” she said.
Kocurek is currently presiding over the high profile murder trial of Mark Norwood, who is accused in the 1988 murder of Debra Baker in North Austin.
Before the shooting, Onyeri was wanted in Travis County after he was accused of violating a probation sentence tied to a 2012 larceny charge and likely was going to be sent to prison. The matter was before Kocurek’s court, giving what investigators say is a possible motive for him to harm her.
Onyeri’s attorney has said that he has been framed by an ex-girlfriend, and that Onyeri had no motivation to harm a judge and realizes that doing so wouldn’t have prevented him from being sent to prison.
Key to the prosecution securing the conviction was a recorded phone called placed by the victim who asked Johnson if he could come over for oral sex “like last time.” Johnson responded, “That’s up to you.” Johnson testified that at the time of the call he was sedated from surgery.
11:30 a.m. The jury is now deliberating in Patrick Johnson’s trial for the sexual assault of a child.
Johnson’s accuser, a male, was between the ages of 13 and 15 at the time he said the assaults occurred. The man, now 19, was among a group of eight or nine boys that hung out with Johnson at the mobile home community in which they all resided.
Monday was highlighted by testimony from Michael Morton, who was wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder and was released from prison after almost 25 years when new DNA evidence pinned Norwood to the killing.
The Travis County medical examiner’s office has also passively identified the three other victims in the homicides, which were discovered after a fire in the 8300 block of Linden Road on Thursday. Those victims had been named, but their identities have now been confirmed.
They are Matthew Aaron Barber, 26; Jacob Derr, 25; and Brian Lee Satterfield. Barber lived at the Del Valle home. Derr and Satterfield both have ties to Bastrop.