Richwood might extend interim finance director

Richwood’s administration remains in flux as city council might extend Interim Finance Director John Washburn’s contract past the initial agreed-upon date of Sept. 30, the council agreed.

Washburn is filling in as Lindsay Koskiniemi, the regular finance director, serves as interim city manager. He told council during its meeting Monday he would let them know in the next few days if he is able to extend his stay.

The city made a conditional offer to a finalist for the city secretary position after Giani Cantu’s departure last month, Koskiniemi said. She declined to release the finalist’s name Tuesday afternoon.

Multiple people have stepped up to fill the city secretary duties, Koskiniemi said, including Court Administrator Kirsten Garcia, who has kept meeting minutes.

Intoxication manslaughter trial pushed to February

The trial of a man accused of causing two deaths in a car wreck on FM 2004 in June has been delayed to February.

The original trial date for Ulysses Mendoza-Fuentes was Sept. 24. A Brazoria County grand jury indicted Fuentes-Mendoza on an intoxication manslaughter charge last month after his blood alcohol content tested at almost double the legal limit the night of the accident, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The 28-year-old was driving a 2017 Jeep Renegade south on FM 2004 when he crossed into oncoming traffic at high speed and hit a 1993 Ford Festiva, killing the two men inside, according to court records.

Wildfire’s cause remains a mystery

The cause of a wildfire that scorched almost 600 acres near the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge last week remains unknown, with no proof to support speculation a discarded cigarette sparked it, Oyster Creek Fire Chief Mark Westmoreland said.

The Oyster Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to reports of the fire a fire about a half-mile from the refuge Thursday afternoon. It took about six hours to extinguish, Westmoreland said.

About 35 firefighters from Lake Jackson, Jones Creek, Surfside Beach, Angleton, Richwood, Clute and Demi-John joined in the effort to knock out the fire, Westmoreland said.

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