Local News Headlines–5/17/2013

The hiring process continues for one of the two openings at the College Station City Manager’s office. Mayor Nancy Berry says among the duties of Deputy Kathy Merrill, who became interim city manager following the death of Frank Simpson, is filling on a temporary basis a vacancy that was created when Simpson was promoted.  And, the mayor says Merrill will be composing next year’s budget that will be presented to the city council later this year.

State lawmakers are proposing changes to the state employee retirement system.  Representative John Raney of Bryan says employees who have talked to him prefer making higher contributions instead of losing the rule of 80 option for taking retirement.  Raney says new employees would be required to retire at the age of 62 while current employees will be grandfathered into the current rules.  Raney says there is some talk of the state adding money to the T-R-S and E-R-S funds to make both more actuarially sound, along with present retirees getting small increases.

And, if you’re signed up for Texas A&M’s Code Maroon emergency alert system, you should receive a test notification today.  That’s two weeks earlier than usual.  The reason, according to Associate Vice President Charley Clark, is a major upgrade in the hardware and software that controls the system. That will allow Code Maroon to operate in a virtual environment and sets the foundation for new features in the future including a new smart phone ap.  Code Maroon was established following shootings at Virginia Tech six years ago.  More than 52,000 A& M students and faculty are enrolled and more than 18,000 follow Code Maroon on Twitter.