Local News Headlines–7/24/2013

The final pieces are in place regarding a portion of the funding formula for the redevelopment of Kyle Field.  Brazos County Commissioners yesterday approved raising the county’s hotel occupancy tax by three-quarters of one cent starting September first. County Judge Duane Peters says it was a unanimous vote.  Peters says the county’s share of the increased hotel occupancy tax should generate at least $450,000 a year.  In return, the convention and visitors bureau gets to book A&M facilities at reduced rates during the life of the 30 year bond issue to pay for the $450-million project. The county will continue to collect a two-cent hotel occupancy tax, which goes towards bonds that funded the expansion of the expo center.

There’s a new cancer study coming to Bryan-College Station that should help the medical world gain a better understanding of the causes of cancer.  Nationwide, the American Cancer Society is seeking 300,000 volunteers.  Locally, the recruitment starts this fall at College Station’s Scott and White hospital and Bryan’s St. JosephRegionalHealthCenter.  They are looking for adults between 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer, except for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers.  This study, the only one of its kind in the U.S., will track participants for at least twenty years to compare genetic, environmental, and lifestyle differences.  Volunteers will complete a survey, read and sign a consent form, then have their waists measured and a small blood sample taken.  They will receive follow-up surveys and questionnaires every two years, and they’ll also receive cancer research updates.

And, in the first six and a half months of this year, Bryan Municipal Court has received $217,000 from a collection agency hired to clean up delinquent accounts.  The city council last night approved a one year renewal.  But that came with a condition from Councilman Chuck Konderla to consider proposals from competitors next year. The council also agreed to consider a multi-year contract when they take action in 2014. The Bryan based agency, which keeps 30 percent of what they collect, also handles overdue accounts for College Station, BrazosCounty, and jurisdictions in surrounding counties.