Hockley County Adds Five Cases and 21 Recoveries

Hockley County Judge Sharla Baldridge announced Thursday night that the Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed five additional cases of COVID-19 in Hockley County.

One is in an Anton resident between the age of 30-40, one in a Ropesville resident between the ages of 20-30 and three Levelland residents between the age of 10-20, 20-30 and 30-40.

They also confirmed 21 new recoveries, bringing our total number of recoveries to 138.

With the new information, Hockley County has a total of 192 cases with 138 recoveries and 4 deaths leaving 50 active cases.

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Levelland Police Make Arrest For Terroristic Threat and Various Other Charges Following Search for Suspect

Levelland Police originally responded to a call concerning a stolen motorcycle on Wednesday afternoon, the call ended with an arrest after the suspect evaded police. Police were made aware by dispatch early on in the call that the suspect was wanted on an active parole violation.

Police were told that the suspect was seen running toward a residence in the 1800 block of Austin and the motorcycle could be in a back storage building. Police responded to the residence and was told by several at the residence that the suspect was not there, even though officers saw the suspect enter the residence. Police asked permission to look in the storage building in the back for the motorcycle, permission was granted, however, the motorcycle was not found. Police were finally told by a female at the residence that the suspect was seen running out the back of the house.

The suspect was then spotted running toward a storage shed in the 1800 block of Houston street, a second officer was called to assist and officers searched the storage shed, however, they did not locate the suspect. He was later spotted in a residence in the 1800 block of Houston street. The owner of the residence arrived on the scene and provided officers with a key to the residence. The suspect started talking to officers through a window, but refused to come out. The suspect accused the officers of harassment and claimed to have a weapon. Officers were able to open the door to the residence and apprehend the suspect without further incident.

Police noted in the report, while searching for the suspect, police dispatch received a call stating someone with a gun was inside Wal-Mart, two officers responded and no one was located. While officers were at the residence on Houston street, dispatch received a call from the suspect that officers were harassing him. Dispatch confirmed to officers that both the calls case from the same number, meaning the suspect was making false calls in an attempt to get the officers to leave the area. The homeowner on Houston street signed a statement to file charges on the suspect for Criminal Trespassing.

Based on the evidence, Randy Arzabala, 34 of Levelland was arrested and charged with an outstanding warrant for a parole violation, evading arrest with a motor vehicle, terroristic threat causing impairment to public safety, failure to identify as a fugitive, intent to provide false identifying information, resisting arrest/search or transport and criminal trespassing. He is being held on a combined $16,000 bond on the new charges and no bond for the parole violation.

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Limited Visitation Rules for Nursing Facilities and Long Term Care Facilities Announced

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has announced limited visitation rules for nursing facilities and long term care facilities. They also are issuing enhanced emergency rules requiring additional actions by nursing facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Nursing Facilities:

For the health and safety of facility residents and staff, public visitation is limited to outdoor visits only. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. There are additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited outdoor visitation include:

a. No confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in staff in the last 14 days.

b. No active positive cases in residents.

c. Any facility previously experiencing an outbreak that has fully recovered must be adequately staffed and following adequate infection control procedures.

d. Facility staff are being tested for COVID-19 weekly.

Long Term Care Facilities (except Nursing Facilities)

Limited indoor and outdoor visitation procedures are allowed. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited visitation include:

a. No confirmed COVID-19 positive staff in last 14 days

b. No active positive cases in residents

c. Adequate staffing to facilitate visitation in compliance with infection control requirements.

d. Use of plexiglass as a safety barrier for indoor visitation to prevent spread of COVID-19

They have also instituted enhanced emergency rules for nursing facilities including:

a. Each facility must have a COVID-19 response plan that includes designated staff to work with cohorts of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and staff should not change designation from one day to another, unless required to maintain adequate staffing for the cohort.

b. All nursing facilities must screen all residents, staff, and people who come to the facility in accordance with specified criteria, and each resident must be screened at least three times a day for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

c. Each facility must have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two week supply of personal protective equipment and resident recovery plans for continuing care when a resident recovers from COVID-19.

d. Texas Health and Human Services Commission continues to investigate all long term care facilities in the state that report one or more positive cases of COVID-19 as well as coordinate closely with local, state, and federal health authorities.

For more information: https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19

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Early Settlers’ Day 2020 Canceled

The Levelland Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Early Settlers’ Day event for 2020 has officially been canceled. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon by Mary Siders, president of the Levelland Chamber of Commerce.

According to a news release, the chamber Board of Directors officially decided to cancel the event which had previously been postponed from July to September. The board had lengthy conversations about upcoming events for 2020 and determined it would be in the best interest of the community to cancel Early Settlers’ Day for the year. Their were concerns in bringing thousands of people together and issues including safety of the elderly, vendors coming in from other communities and the overall safety of attendees.

The news release also stated that Early Settlers’ Day is one of the largest fundraisers for the Chamber of Commerce and the impact will be measurable. However, Jim Mara, Chairman of the Board said “there is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to do what Levelland does best and that is to think progressively and support each other during this time.”

The chamber will be contacting vendors and sponsors in the near future to discuss refunds.

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Cochran County Reports Six New Cases of COVID-19

The Cochran County Judge has reported six additional cases of COVID-19 in Cochran County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed six additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. All six cases are in Morton residents, one between the age of 10-20, three between the age of 60-70, one between the age of 40-50 and one between the age of 50-60.

With the new information, Cochran County has a total of 26 cases with 7 recoveries leaving 19 active cases.

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Levelland Police Make Arrest for Drug Possession Following Traffic Stop

Levelland Police Officers were dispatched to the area of the 200 Block of College Avenue on Sunday to a call reporting a black pickup with two people inside throwing beer bottles out of the vehicle.

One officer responded and located the vehicle and initiated the traffic stop while another officer arrived on the scene and spoke to the passenger of the vehicle. Officers noted three children were in the back seat of the vehicle and a case of beer was in the back floorboard of the vehicle, an open container of alcohol was also located inside the vehicle. The passenger agreed to a Field Sobriety Test. Following the field sobriety test, the officer noted in the report, he did not believe her to be intoxicated. The officer asked for permission to search the vehicle which was granted. Officers located a small baggie containing a powdery white substance and small scales. The substance field tested positive for cocaine.

The passenger, Christy Ann Almager, 30 was arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance of less than one gram. She was transported to the Hockley County Jail without incident.

Due to children being in the vehicle, officers notified Child Protective Services.

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Eight New Cases Confirmed in Hockley County Tuesday

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed eight new cases of COVID-19 today.

One is a Smyer resident between the age of 40-50.

One is a Ropesville resident between the age of 50-60.

Six are Levelland residents, two between the age of 20-30, two between 60-70, one between the age of 30-40 and one between the age of 70-80.

With the new information, Hockley County has a total of 187 total cases with 117 recoveries and 4 deaths leaving 66 active cases.

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Recall Petition Fails to Garner Required Signatures

The City of Levelland announced Tuesday morning that a recall petition turned in Monday afternoon to recall Mayor Barbra Pinner from office has failed to garner the 642 necessary signatures.

According to information released by the City Secretary’s office, the petition was turned in Monday afternoon at approximately 4:30 pm. The petition consisted of 51 pages containing 468 (unverified) signatures. The petition did not meet the requirement of 642 verified signatures needed to hold a Recall Election.

As the petition did not garner the required number of signatures, there will not be a Recall Election for Mayor Barbra Pinner.

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Five New Cases of COVID19 Confirmed in Hockley County

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed five additional cases of COVID19 in Hockley County.

Three are Levelland residents. Two between the age of 50 and 60 and one between the age of 30-40.

Two are Anton residents between the age of 50-60.

With the new information, Hockley County has 179 total cases with 117 recoveries and 4 deaths leaving 58 active cases.

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Recall Petition Turned in At Levelland City Hall

The Recall Petition was turned in at Levelland City Hall to City Secretary, Andrea Corley at 4:30 pm Monday, August 3rd.

Monday was the deadline to submit the signed petitions to the City Secretary. The affidavit for a recall petition was filed with the City Secretary July 2nd by Kimberley Young.

Once the petitions have been returned, the City Secretary’s office has 20 days to verify the signatures received. Verification involves checking the official list of registered voters provided by the Hockley County elections Administrator to the City Secretary on July 2nd against the names as well as either the voter ID number or date of birth on the petition.

If the City Secretary is able to verify 642 signatures on the petitions that are presented, it shall be certified to be sufficient and shall be submitted to the City Council with the City Secretary certificate to that effect as well as notifying Mayor Pinner. If Mayor Pinner whose removal is sought does not resign within five days of notification, the City council will order a recall election. That election must be held no less 40 days and no more than 60 days after the petition has been certified and submitted to the City Council.

In the event of a recall election, if a majority of the votes are for the recall, the Mayor would be deemed removed from office. In the event of a successful recall drive, the person is removed from office and that position will remain vacant until the next general election date in either November or May depending on which is the closest date to the removal of office.

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