Investigate more wrecks
For those involved, there’s no such thing as a minor crash.
Whether it be with a shopping cart or an oncoming vehicle, vehicle crashes are sure to cause a headache — often a financial one.
In crashes where the facts are disputed, an official crash report written by authorities can go far in getting drivers the insurance money they deserve.
For example, a Mission Valley woman who crashed into a goat in 2019 found herself stuck with a $500 deductible she said she didn’t deserve because deputies never reported the crash.
In Texas, law enforcement offices and departments are not required to write reports or investigate crashes if there are no injuries and the damage appears to be less than $1,000.
But oftentimes, the damage to a vehicle is not wholly apparent.
Such was the case in the Mission Valley’s woman’s crash. The impact that appeared to have only caused a bump on her fender had in fact damaged sensitive technology inside her SUV, resulting in $2,500 in needed repairs.
Injuries like whiplash are serious and can result from low-speed crashes. They also aren’t always immediately apparent.
It’s true that investigating these crashes can take peace officers away from investigating more severe crimes, but they should not completely ignore “minor” crashes. And when they do write crash reports, they should do so with an eye to detail and thoroughness. ...
After all, even though a crash may be “minor,” meaning it did not result in serious injuries or damage, the difference in insurance payouts for a policyholder is almost always major.
At the end of the day, it’s about treating taxpayers and constituents the way they want to be treated.
Big step for Beaumont
For the first time in six years, Beaumont ISD will soon be back under local control. All residents should rejoice in this transition — but understand that the district still faces several serious challenges. The locally elected board must now deal with these issues in smart, effective ways to give all students the quality education they deserve.
The change will formally occur later this month when the last two elected board members are seated to fill two spots reserved for state-appointed managers. ...
This is of course the way a public school district is supposed to be run — by locally elected trustees who reflect the concerns of the people who voted them into office. It’s the way every other school district in the region is operated.
But as we all know, that process had to be disrupted by a state takeover in 2014, when the board and top administrators ruined the district’s finances and failed to stop criminal behavior by some employees on their watch. Without that takeover by a new superintendent and state-appointed managers, the district would have virtually collapsed and the education of our children would have suffered immensely.
At long last, the district is on better footing, but no one should be naïve about the challenges that remain. ...
It will take strong leadership from administrators and trustees to address the issues. The ball is in their court now. They must show that they deserve this authority. Taxpayers, parents and students will be watching, and they must not be disappointed.
A perfect addition
Officials at West Texas A&M University paid a fine tribute to several of its trailblazers during the dedication and celebration of the Nathaniel and Helen Neal Multicultural Suite.
The suite, located inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, honors the Neals, whose family holds a significant place in university history. Helen Neal was the first African American graduate from the school in 1962, and Nathaniel Neal was the first African American professor there in 1971.
“My parents didn’t start out trying to be the first of anything,” Delores Thompson, the oldest daughter of Nathaniel and Helen Neal, said. “They were just living their life and as a result, here they are.” ...
According to WTAMU officials, the suite will house the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Experiential Learned and Campus Community, First Year Experience and the International Student Office.
The multicultural suite will provide students with resources to help them be successful on campus and beyond, retaining bright minds and helping position them for graduation. Today’s college students need as many resources as possible to help them navigate challenges and adjustments that can come with campus life. ...