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Facing any kind of criminal or traffic offense can be an extremely stressful and frightening experience. Moreover, negotiating the legal system in Texas is often an intimidating prospect that should not be undertaken without the help of a qualified legal professional. However, hiring a good defense attorney will go a long way in ensuring that your rights are protected. This will also reduce the financial and emotional stress of the pending trial.

Legal Services Offered in Fort Bend and Sugar Land in Texas

If you are in the city of Sugar Land or Fort Bend County in Texas and need professional legal assistance, you will find renowned law firms that can offer you unparalleled legal services. These have seasoned and highly qualified legal experts that can help you through even the most complex legal situations. Whether you are facing Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges, these professionals can help. The services they offer include:

  1. Driving While Impaired/Intoxicated (DWI) Defense

Driving while intoxicated usually refers to operating a vehicle in public while you are impaired as a result of consuming alcohol or using prohibited/controlled drugs or substances. Moreover, you may even be charged with felony in case you are a repeat offender, if you had a minor in the vehicle, you caused serious bodily harm or even death to someone while driving in this state.

These charges can earn you hefty fines, jail time, license suspension, community service, rehabilitation or your vehicle getting fitted with the ignition interlock device. To avoid any of these inconveniences, you should contact a qualified fort bend DWI lawyer as soon as you are pulled over and they will fight to ensure that your rights are protected.

  1. Driving Under The Influence (DUI) Defense

In Texas, DUI and DWI are two distinctly different offenses. For instance, DUI only applies to offenders that are below the age of 21 years. The law clearly stipulates that it is unlawful for anyone below the age of 21 years to operate a vehicle with any detectable amounts of alcohol in their system. Besides subjecting one to hefty fines, license suspension, community service and alcohol awareness courses, being charged with the offense may also ruin the offender’s reputation, education and future employment prospects. For this reason, if you, your child or someone under your care has been charged with a DUI offense, you can contact the seasoned DUI lawyers and they will ensure that their rights and freedoms are granted and respected.

  1. Theft Crime Defense

Theft related crimes are usually very serious and in case you are convicted, you might face incarceration, probation, hefty fines as well as a life-long fort bend criminal defense attorney record, which could affect your education, relationships and employment. It is therefore vital to choose experts in this particular area of practice to represent you in any theft-related case. Fortunately, the well constituted law firms in Texas have seasoned legal specialists that will put up a spirited legal fight to ensure that you are off the hook or receive the minimal possible penalty.

The skilled and knowledgeable lawyers at these firms can also handle cases involving; sex crimes, drug-related crimes, violent and white collar crimes among others. They always strive to ensure that your rights and freedoms are granted and protected and that you are able to achieve the best possible outcome in the case.

 

URBANDALE, Iowa — Commuters familiar with the old looping exit ramp from I-35 north to Highway 141 north near Urbandale were all too familiar with stop and go traffic.  “As the traffic demand has grown for traffic moving north, the system has become overwhelmed,” said AJ Johnson, Urbandale’s City Manager.  A $44M construction project is underway to fix it.  Johnson said, “Particularly at the 141 interchange, they looked at the situation involving slow downs, accidents and the volume of traffic starting to build in that area.”

The 141 flyover interchange aims to allow I-35 northbound drivers to smoothly exit onto Hwy 141.  “So by creating a flyover what you do is segregate the traffic coming off the interstate on that curve and move it safely across and head north.”

The flyover will not exist for drivers along Hwy 141 exiting onto southbound I-35.  That exit will remain the same.  Drivers will see a noticeable difference in several areas.  “First and foremost safety, efficiency of moving traffic,” said Johnson.

Completion in June of 2020 won’t only bring safety to Urbandale traffic.  Between the newly built 100th street interchange, the flyover and the Meredith street diamond interchange, it could bring a windfall of economic opportunity to the city.  Johnson said, “We are just so excited because it opens up close to seven-hundred acres of developmental property in the city of Urbandale.

As officials affectionately call themselves, “Uniquely Urbandale,” road projects are providing unique opportunities for their city`s future.  “When you look at how the city has grown and where our growth potential is and the impact not only on existent business but the future of business in our community, really the possibilities are almost endless,” said Johnson.

The flyover and the Meredith diamond interchange will be paid for with state and federal funds.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Good news for Steak ‘N Shake lovers, the famous franchise is planning to open a restaurant in the metro.

One of the locations developers are considering is in West Des Moines at Mills Civic Parkway and I-35.

This area has seen several new chain restaurants open their doors this year including Raising Canes and Wahlburgers.

The West Des Moines Director of Community and Economic Development Clyde Evans said more restaurants are choosing to open in West Des Moines, because that particular area of the town sees around 24 million visitors each year.

“With Jordan Creek Town Center being one of the largest shopping venues in the state of Iowa and the midwest, you also have Wells Fargo sitting there with almost 9,000 employees,”

The Iowa Restaurant Association said this competitive area in West Des Moines is good for restaurants and also their employees because it drives up wages.

“When you become a culinary destination and one place looks busy, where do you go? You go next door. We see that restaurants go into groups like this because success brings success,” President and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association Jessica Dunker said.

Opening a restaurant in the suburbs also allows more space for parking and drive-thrus.

“West Des Moines has a history of having the one and only of within the metro or within the state, but I think ultimately though what that does is that if they are successful here then they start looking for other locations in the metro area to do a second or a third store,” Evans said.

Evans said in addition to Steak ‘N Shake hoping to open summer 2019, Dave and Busters is also considering the Jordan Creek area.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Three candidates for governor shared some personal stories about mental illness and addiction at a forum put on by the Des Moines Register at Des Moines University on Sunday.

Governor Kim Reynolds said mental health services are at the forefront of her administration and from personal experience she knows mental health and addiction go hand in hand as she celebrates 18 years of sobriety.

“I think it’s important that we work really hard to put in place an integrated coordinated health care system and that’s part of it. And I think that the more we are able to do that we will do better at being able to utilize the resources that we have to get people the treatment that they need,” Gov. Reynolds said

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Fred Hubbell said he disagrees with the way Reynolds and former Gov. Terry Branstad tried to address mental health issues and believes the programs are underfunded.

“As governor I will also support expanding community based care by investing in more training and funding for psychologists, social workers and nurses that will help Iowans address mental health issues before they reach a crisis point and before they need to access a state level institution,” Hubbell said.

Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Jake Porter said he too can relate to others because at one point he had come close to committing suicide and in addition to increasing funding he thinks the stigma around mental issues and addiction needs to be addressed.

“There’s so much stigma surrounding it that a lot of people aren’t going to donate money to help with this and they are not going to help form non profits to help with this as well. And if we diverted some funds over into actual treatment as opposed to putting people in prison and we made that part of this, I think funding would be a lot better,” Porter said.

But all three candidates do agree on one thing, the legislature needs to do more to address mental health services.

AMES, Iowa–Ames High School officials posted a message online to families Sunday night notifying them of an anonymous threat to the school for Monday. A Facebook post by the district said police received two phone calls alerting them of the warning.

Police plan to have additional staff at the high school Monday.

 

Marshall County, IA — The Drake University community is mourning the death of one of their own tonight.

23 year-old Amanda Wilken was killed Thursday in a car crash in Marshall County. It happened at the intersection of Durham avenue and 295th street just after 9 A.M. A police report says Wilken ran a stop sign was hit by another vehicle.

Wilken was a fourth year pharmacy student at Drake University working toward a Master of Business Administration degree.

The crash is still under investigation.

In a statement to the community, Drake University President Marty Martin said:

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

It is with great sadness that I share with you that Amanda Wilken, a student at Drake University, died this morning in a car accident. Amanda was in her fourth year of Pharmacy and was also working on a Master of Business Administration degree.

Amanda started at Drake in the fall of 2013 as a Pre-Pharmacy major. She was a 2016 graduate of the Adams Leadership Academy and was committed to being a model servant leader. In addition to her academic pursuits, Amanda was involved in a number of co-curricular organizations, to include the Alpha Phi sorority, the National Association of Women MBAs, and the American Public Health Association.

I am sure that many of us are struggling with Amanda’s passing. Please know that counseling and support services are available for our students through the University Counseling Center by calling 515-271-3864. For staff and faculty, the Employee Assistance Program is available by calling 515-244-6090. In addition, the Crisis Text Line is always available by texting “HELLO” to 741741.

We will post information on the myDrake site as we learn more regarding funeral arrangements. Please keep Amanda’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

Peace,

Marty

DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds’ Harvest Festival had a pep rally atmosphere, but Governor Reynolds was not the only one firing up the crowd.

“I’m reading this room governor, and here’s what I’m reading right now…Iowa believes in you!” yelled Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann.

The festival wasn’t necessarily designed to inform people of the governor’s platform, rather, it was there to get her voters excited for election day.

“I think we’re all pretty tight though, I think everybody pretty much knows what the platform is so I think tonight was about fun” said voter Ada Underwood.

Among the guest list of speakers included Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

“Iowa is on a roll, Kim Reynolds is leading that charge to keep us rolling” said Grassley.

“We are going to keep Iowa moving because all of us are going to go to the polls and we are going to cast our ballot for Kim Reynolds and all our wonderful republican candidates” said Ernst.

Headlining the event was a member of the Trump Administration, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Sanders helped take shots at Reynolds’ opponent, Fred Hubble.

“Her opponent on the other hand is a liberal democrat who would be a total disaster for your state. Trust me, I’ve seen what a liberal democrat running a state looks like, remember I’m from Arkansas and I lived under the Clintons for a long time” said Huckabee Sanders.

Governor Reynolds took the opportunity to remind her supporters to get to the polls.

“We need to stay motivated, we need to stay engaged, I need your vote, the republican team needs your vote” she said.

The message of the night resonated with her base.

“I think it’s a very important election and I think everybody, on both sides, has been very excited about the election, so I think it will be good” said Underwood.

The governor also touted the state’s budget surplus, her small-town roots, and the low unemployment rate.

DES MOINES, Iowa–  Dozens gathered at Cindy Axne’s campaign headquarters in Des Moines for former HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s first stop in Iowa as he barnstorms for Iowa Democrats.

Castro is here to support Cindy Axne and five other Democratic candidates vying to represent their communities on a state level.

Castro says supporting those Democrats is more important now, than ever.  “In order to take back the house the democrats need some of these seats in Iowa,” Julian Castro said.

Later this evening Castro campaigned with J.D. Scholten, a Democrat running for congress in District Four against Republican Steve King.

On Thursday, King took to Twitter to jab at Castro and his brother saying, “The two took ‘Spanish lessons to qualify as retroactive Hispanics.”

“Steve King has just sat by as this economy has hurt Iowa farmers with a needless and senseless trade war,” Castro said.

Castro is talking about the growing U.S. and China trade war, which some Iowa farmers say is to blame for increasing levies on agriculture products.

Some wonder if Castro will run in 2020 against President Trump.

“Helping candidates who are on the 2018 ballot, so I am not going to make a decision about the future until after this election because all of our attention needs to be focused on 2018,” Castro said.

WINTERSET, Iowa — The Madison County Chamber of Commerce knew that the cost to replace the Cedar Bridge would be costly.

“When we first had estimates of what it was going to cost to rebuild cedar bridge in the manner that we want with the steel it was just under $600,000” said Chamber Executive Director Heather Riley.

The target of a 2017 arson, steel would make the bridge more fireproof, and it was less expensive than going all wood.  However, the Trump Administration’s tariffs on foreign steel is raising the price.

“Now we’ve committed to a $720,000 project because that’s the price” said Riley.

The tariffs have put them $190,000 short of their goal. The chamber hopes the weekend’s covered bridge festival helps bring them closer to reaching it.

“People who come here love Madison County, love the community, love our covered bridges, so we think they’ll want to help us out” said Riley.

Those people include Ken Marek, a photographer from Omaha who didn’t realize the bridge had burned down. He had planned to take pictures on Friday.

“Oh, I thought, ‘what a drag’. Why would somebody do something like that?” said Marek.

He says photographers all over the area cherish the Bridges of Madison County.

Not only unique, but the historical factor of them. They used these bridges years and years ago to get from point A to point B, it’s really special” he said.

Despite the increased cost, Riley says the hope is to have the replaced bridge in place next October; the 50th anniversary of the covered bridge festival.

“That’ll be a fantastic year anyway, a lot to celebrate, but to have Cedar Bridge on top of all that will really put us over the top” she said.

The covered bridge festival kicks off Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The three teens convicted of the Cedar Bridge arson were each sentenced to probation this year.

CRESTON, Iowa — Shovels pierced into the Creston soil overturning fresh emotions.  “It is reopened on a daily basis.  It is just not anything you forget about. You don’t get over it,” said Beth Fry, mother of Amy Sharp who died along with her husband Kevin and two children Sterling and Adrianna in March while vacationing in Mexico.  While asleep, the family of four inhaled toxic gases from a faulty water heater.  “No family needs to go through what our families have been through,” Beth added.

Nearly seven months after their death, seventh grade Creston Middle School classmates of twelve year-old Sterling planted new life in his honor.  “It was very honorable for Sterling,” said Renee Hoyt, Amy’s sister.

Each scoop had a purpose, and students shared the shoveling.  “They have been in the healing process since the tragedy took place,” said Creston Middle School Principal Brad Baker.

Finally the Linden tree stood as firm in the ground as the Sharp family’s memory within the Creston community.  Baker said, “Seeing the tree grow and prosper lets us remember the sharp family will not be forgotten.”

While tributes and memorials may not bring the Sharps back, their family members played a role in something that may save lives.  They talked Governor Kim Reynolds into proclaiming November Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month.  It is a gas that has killed an average of twenty Iowans a year since 2000.  Beth said, “I don’t want somebody to drop their kids off at the neighbor’s house for a play date to spend the night without knowing that family is protecting everybody in the home with a detector.”

An eventual victory family members hope can spread much like the roots of Sterling’s tree. Renee said, “If we can save one person’s life, one family’s life, it is a victory.”