5 things for Houstonians to know for Tuesday, Sept. 29

Houston company hopes to pump new life into Oil and Gas industry that’s been crushed by COVID-19
Houston company hopes to pump new life into Oil and Gas industry that’s been crushed by COVID-19

Here are things you need to know for Tuesday, Sept. 29:

1. Texas grand jury: No action against killer of church shooter

A grand jury in Texas decided Monday to take no action against a man who fatally shot an armed man who killed two people at a Fort Worth-area church in late December, prosecutors said.

Jack Wilson, a firearms instructor who trained a volunteer security team at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, fatally shot Keith Thomas Kinnunen during a Dec. 29 service after he shot and killed 67-year-old Richard White, another security volunteer, and 64-year-old Anton “Tony” Wallace, a server.

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2. Texas sheriff indicted after probe into Black man’s death

A Texas sheriff has been indicted on charges of destroying or concealing video in an investigation into the death in custody of a Black man, Javier Ambler, that was filmed by the police reality TV series “Live PD,” prosecutors said Monday.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody was booked Monday into his jail on a $10,000 bond and released a short time later. The third-degree felony charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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3. These low-level offenses will now be a part of the city of Houston’s new cite-and-release program, mayor says

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner signed an Executive Order Monday authorizing a cite-and-release program for certain low-level, non-violent offenses, allowing officers to issue tickets for some Class A and B misdemeanors, instead of making an arrest.

“The cite-and-release program has been implemented in other cities where it has helped to reduce jail population,” Turner said in a press conference Monday. He added that the move would “improve response times by getting officers back into service, more quickly.”

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4. Houston company hopes to pump new life into the oil and gas industry after state loses 40K jobs amid pandemic

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has put the U.S. economy in a serious crunch. The heart and soul of Houston’s economy, the oil and gas industry, has been hit especially hard.

According to the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, the state had nearly 361,000 oil and gas jobs in 2019. But that’s down to 321,000 this year which is a drop of nearly 40,000 jobs, or 11% of the pre-pandemic workforce.

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5. SFA campus police storm Black student’s dorm with guns drawn after Houston family says white students made false claims

The attorney for the family of a Black freshman student at Stephen F. Austin State University says she was the victim of a racist set-up, orchestrated by her white roommates, that led to police storming her dorm room in the middle of the night with guns drawn.

Civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen says the teen was awoken at 3 a.m. by university police officers bursting in her room with guns drawn.

Kallinen says the teen’s three white roommates, along with as many as seven other girls, initiated the “swatting” by telling their resident assistant that Evans was trying to attack them. The RA then called campus police.

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