Local News Headlines–5/13/2013

An audit by the Texas A&M System shows the majority of $28-million in course fees assessed at its flagship university lacks proper documentation to justify the charges. Officials tell The Bryan/College Station Eagle newspaper nothing has been misspent and the audit doesn’t suggest any improprieties with the money. According to the review, officials had difficulties showing money from the course fees went where it was intended. Each college within the university processed and documented fees differently; and several didn’t comply with A&M system policy and possibly state law. The audit applied to fees during the 2011-2012 academic year covering about 9,300 courses.

Federal money has been found to keep air traffic control towers open at Easterwood and 148 other small airports through the end of September, which is the close of the federal budget year.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a brief statement that they found extra money from a bill Congress passed last month. Towers outside the state of Texas were scheduled to close June 15 due to sequestration.  Staffing towers at Easterwood and 12 other municipal airports in Texas would have continued even if the Federal money had not been found due to $2-million in state money appropriated last month by the transportation commission.

And, winding down the regular session of the legislature, state representative Kyle Kacal of rural College Station is making plans to return to Austin this summer.  One of the reasons is to work for statewide water and transportation plans.  Kacal is hopeful to see passage of a bill he wrote headed to the Senate that changes the reporting of energy and water costs paid by state agencies from every other year to annually.