Local News Headlines–6/17/2013

Bryan Fire and Police report three arrests and two still being sought from a residential burglary and arson from two months ago.  Investigator William Bouse of the Fire Marshal’s Office says they were able to identify five suspects thanks to the victim learning her stolen property was being pawned. No one was home at the time of the burglary and arson in the 1100 block of Orlean. Bouse says arrest warrants have been issued for a juvenile and 19-year-old Rick Edwards. Previously arrested were 18-year-old Lakeith Mason, 28-year-old Barry Williams the second, and 36-year-old Faye Sweeps, all of Bryan.  Bouse says an arrest warrant has also been issued in an unrelated arson. 24-year-old William Shields is accused of setting fire to an occupied home in the 3100 block of Tennessee.

Governor Rick Perry has vetoed a public education proposal supported by the entire state senate and all but two members of the house.  House Bill 2824 would have allowed the high performance schools consortium to develop a new assessment and accountability system.  College Station is one of 23 members of the high performance schools consortium.  Superintendent Eddie Coulson said before the veto the goal was creating a system across grade levels and across subjects that more accurately measured and better prepared students for college and the workforce.  The Governor’s veto message of House Bill 2824 stated in part the state’s education commissioner is developing a new “system that will allow districts to innovate without sacrificing important accountability.”

And, the Texas Senate Finance Committee has endorsed the idea of moving nearly $1-billion a year from the state’s reserve fund to pay for highways.  State Senator Charles Schwertner says the idea of sending a portion of oil and gas severance taxes into a new road building account instead of the rainy day fund merits discussion.  Money would be diverted only after the reserve fund hits $6-billion a year. Lawmakers say estimates show the fund will exceed that figure for at least several years because of the continuing boom in the energy industry.