Local News Headlines-3/22/2013

A REPORT OF A SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE IN THE COPPERFIELD SUBDIVISION ENDED AS A FOUR-VEHICLE CRASH OUTSIDE SAM HOUSTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YESTERDAY MORNING. BRYAN POLICE OFFICER KELLEY MCKETHAN SAYS THE SUSPICIOUS U-HAUL FLED FROM OFFICERS WHO DIDN’T WANT CHASE IT THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD OR SCHOOL ZONE. MCKETHAN SAYS ONE PERSON FROM A VICTIM VEHICLE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE HOSPITAL WITH NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES, AS WERE THE DRIVER AND PASSENGER IN THE U-HAUL, 21-YEAR-OLD GARRETT FINKE OF WASHINGTON AND 26-YEAR-OLD RICHARD GEORGE OF WILLIS. MCKETHAN SAYS FINKE AND GEORGE HIT TWO OTHER CARS HEAD-ON, CAUSING ONE OF THE CARS TO HIT A THIRD. FINKE WAS ARRESTED FOR EVADING AND RESISTING, AND GEORGE WAS ARRESTED ON COLLEGE STATION WARRANTS.

BLINN COLLEGE TRUSTEES HAVE HIRED A CONTRACTOR FOR A MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT FOR THE NORTH SIDE OF THE BRYAN CAMPUS. A PORTION OF 12 ACRES THAT HAVE GONE UNDEVELOPED DUE TO A RETENTION CREEK WILL BECOME A PARKING LOT, CONNECTED BY A NEW BRIDGE TO SERVE VEHICULAR AND PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC. BLINN SPOKESMAN BRANDON WEBB SAYS THE PAVED AND LIGHTED PARKING LOT WILL ACCOMMODATE 300 VEHICLES. ENTRY TO THE NEW LOT WILL BE OFF VILLA MARIA AND TRAFFIC WILL EXIT TO 25TH STREET. CONSTRUCTION IS SCHEDULED TO START IN MAY, WEATHER PERMITTING, WITH COMPLETION TARGETED IN TIME FOR THE START OF THE FALL SEMESTER. WEBB SAYS A MASTER PLAN COMMITTEE COULD ALSO CONSIDER BUILDING ON A GRAVEL PARKING LOT NEXT TO THE ACADEMIC BUILDING.

AND, THE STATE LEGISLATURE HAS REACHED THE HALFWAY POINT OF THE SESSION. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN RANEY OF BRYAN, WHOSE COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS INCLUDES HIGHER EDUCATION, SAYS THEY’LL BE DELIBERATING PROPOSED LEGISLATION LOOKING TO REDUCE COSTS. RANEY SAYS THE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN HAS FILED A BILL CALLING FOR A STUDY GROUP TO LOOK INTO THE GROWTH OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES. RANEY SAYS HE HAS REQUESTED A CHART OF INCREASES OF COSTS OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS FROM THE HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD.