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Road Safety Initiative to Address Increased Traffic Fatalities

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San Antonio Police officers are now receiving additional training on Vision Zero and crash reporting during their daily roll call in an effort to combat San Antonio’s alarming increase in traffic fatalities. Additionally, officers are sharing educational material with roadway users, especially those who are making unsafe choices.

On average, 162 people are killed on San Antonio roadways annually while some 40,000 are killed in traffic crashes across the United States. In the first six months of this year, 85 people were killed on San Antonio roads. This is a 44 percent increase in roadway fatalities when compared to the same period of time last year. In 2016 there were 98 fatalities during the same time period.

“As police officers, we see the tragedies caused by poor driving decisions that are made on a daily basis,” said Chief William McManus, SAPD. “Last year alone, we saw 144 people lose their lives on San Antonio roadways. Being able to stop these incidents before they happen is a priority we take seriously. Partnering with Vision Zero on this campaign will educate our officers about best practices for reporting on crashes and provide the community compelling information that can lead to a safer San Antonio.”

During their daily roll call, SAPD officers will view a video narrated by Chief McManus. The video provides statistics and encourages officers to be thorough in providing greater detail in their crash reports.

“The more detail we have in those crash reports, especially the contributing factors, is vital,” said Art Reinhardt, who oversees the Vision Zero initiative for the City of San Antonio. “We can take this information and identify patterns, which can help us make changes to the roads to improve safety and reduce injuries and fatalities.”

Officers will also be handing out pamphlets, prepared by Vision Zero, to people they see demonstrating unsafe behavior. An electronic version of the pamphlet can be accessed at www.visionzerosa.com.

“We all make mistakes, but there are steps each and every one of us can take to make our streets safer,” said District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales. “Through SAPD’s partnership, this campaign will allow us direct access to having conversations with people who are exercising poor judgment on the road. We can educate and encourage them to make safer decisions—because we want people to know that their decisions really do make a difference.”

The ultimate goal is to make San Antonio streets safer for people walking, biking, and driving. In 2015, San Antonio adopted Vision Zero, a plan designed to eliminate traffic fatalities and enhance transportation safety amidst community growth. The new sub-initiative, launched today, combines education, encouragement and enforcement, three of five pillars that San Antonio focuses on to achieve Vision Zero. The other pillars are engineering and evaluation.

Key points Vision Zero SA is sharing through this campaign:

  • Distracted driving is deadly – distracted driving accounts for almost 45% of crashes in San Antonio
  • Speed kills – increased speed heightens the odds of serious injuries and fatalities
  • A list of the most common crash types and how to avoid them
  • Tips for sharing the road
  • The importance of heightened awareness at intersections
  • Safety pointers for people walking, biking and driving

Stay up-to-date on Vision Zero San Antonio:

  • here
  • VisionZeroSA.com
  • #VisionZeroSA
  • Twitter: @SanAntonioTCI
  • Facebook: San Antonio TCI
  • YouTube: San Antonio TCI/li>
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DNA Test Proved Otherwise

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Black Man Convicted of Murder Still in Prison After 7 Years Despite DNA Test Proving His Innocence

Houston, TX — 42-year old Lydell Grant, a Black man from Texas, has been behind bars for the past 7 years serving a life sentence after being convicted of a murder that he says he did not commit. There has even been a DNA test administered that has proved his innocence, and yet he still remains in prison.

Grant was accused of chasing down and fatally stabbing Aaron Scheerhoorn, a 28-year old man, near a night club in Montrose, Texas in December 2010. Grant was arrested days after the incident because of a Crime Stoppers tip.

During the trial, no one testified about whether the victim and Grant, who was a gang member and has previous arrest records, knew each other before the incident. He has since maintained his innocence and said that he did not commit the crime. But in 2012, Grant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Just recently, new evidence and testimonies prove his innocence. Aside from eyewitnesses who said Grant was not the one who killed the victim, the state DNA expert testified that Grant’s DNA does not match the DNA recovered from below the victim’s fingernails.

Moreover, the DNA test, which was even retested by the Innocence Project of Texas and the DPS crime lab, reveals that the identified suspect still remains at large.

While his release and exoneration are on the process, he could have been released on bond. Last week, Grant was in court for the hearing that would allow him to be released on bond, but the judge ruled he will remain in custody.

Another hearing is scheduled in late November but his family was somehow disappointed that Grant would still have to remain in custody and their reunion was postponed until then.

“We know he’s innocent, and we’re gonna fight to the end,” his aunt, Kitsye Grant, told ABC13. “They really need to go and find the right person. What I feel bad for is the mother of the young man, the victim. They got the wrong person.”

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6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala

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San Antonio, TX— The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21 st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.

Rance “Sonny” William Olison used his athleticism to open doors that led to an advanced education and a lifetime of philanthropy. “He had a lot of great one-liners I find myself repeating, like: ‘To be a gainer, you must be a giver,’” former NFL and University of Texas running back Priest Holmes said about his friend. Olison called himself a “suitcase” player because he played in four professional football leagues including the NFL. He was a cornerback with the San Francisco 49ers in 1976. He also played for the Texarkana Phantoms in Arkansas from 1977-78, the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1980, among others.

Olison also served as an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys and instructed many young people in sports throughout the years. Wanting to empower others, Olison also become a history teacher and philanthropist. During his reign as president of the NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter, the organization worked with the San Antonio-based Priest Holmes Foundation to provide scholarships for students to help them step into promising futures.

On March 11, at age 65, Olison died of heart complications. To honor all of his accomplishments, The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.

The event will feature a dinner, dance and silent auction. There will be several Former NFL, NBA and MLB players in San Antonio, Texas to take part in this event.

Proceeds will benefit the Mrs. Carrie Kendrix Buggs Turkey giveaway in Rance hometown in Arkansas and in San Antonio on December for families in need.

Tickets can be purchased on Event Brite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-rance-olison-celebrity-sports-trivia-night-gala-tickets-65676737891

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District 2 – Special Report

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