Local News Headlines–4/25/2013

The Texas House has approved making bomb threats or causing other false alarms at universities felony offenses. The move comes amid multiple campus evacuations around Texas, including Texas A&M, because of false alarms.  Current statute already makes reporting a false bombing, fire, offense or other emergency a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine. House Bill 1284 would increase jail time and fines if the threat is directed at a school, public communications, public transportation, or utility.  This applies to public and private schools and would require universities to inform incoming students of possible penalties of making threats.

A compromise has been reached for a new private landfill to be built west of Easterwood Airport.   John Bounds is a neighboring property owner and a spokesman for the opponents who live in and near the Brushy community says the landfill, designed to collect construction debris, will reach 75 feet, knocking a third off the original height of 111 feet.  Residential traffic will get a newly paved Stewart Meadows Road to get on and off FM 60.  Truck traffic will access the landfill on Old Jones Road.  And, the landfill owner will make a $45,000 cash donation for improvements in the Brushy community during the next five years.

And, a week ago last night was the fertilizer plant explosion in West.  The Insurance Council of Texas estimates losses will exceed $100-million.  Spokesman Mark Hanna says insured losses also include the costs of resettling displaced residents.  And, Hanna said the number could go higher because the initial report of damaged homes was at 75 and that number has now gone up to around 140.