Local News Headlines–7/18/2013

The Bryan school district, getting a $5-million increase in state funding, has passed some of that on to employees.  The school board at this week’s meeting raised teacher pay an average of almost four percent, and three and a half percent for classified staff. The board also approved a $2,000 stipend for teachers in hard to find and hard to keep subject areas which Superintendent Tommy Wallis says will be given to both new and current teachers.  Wallis says the stipend applies to teachers in secondary math, science, all foreign languages, and special needs classes.

The Bryan City Council recently endorsed adding 33 firefighters over the next ten years. That will bring the minimum staffing level to four firefighters on each fire engine and ladder truck. Councilman Chuck Konderla says it’s too expensive to do it all in one year.  Konderla says the remaining 27 will be hired over the next ten years and sooner if revenue exceeds current projections.  Six new firefighters are part of next year’s city budget. Next year’s budget also calls for adding a seventh fire department employee, promoting someone to lieutenant working in the inspector’s office, and staffing each Battalion Chief with an aide.

And, the public has the opportunity to tour the new Scott and White hospital in College Station this Saturday afternoon.  Chief executive Jason Jennings says the open house comes one month before the first day of operations, with hundreds of employees already training.   The new hospital opens August 19.  The open house is Saturday from three until five.