Local News Headlines–8/28/2014

While local rainfall is only 1.5-inches behind normal, the recent return of 90-degree temperatures means water consumption is on the rise again.  Jennifer Nations at College Station Utilities says they’re pumping 20-million gallons a day, which is two-thirds of the city’s capacity. Nations adds some residents are doing their part to conserve as College Station water users are getting closer to the state’s goal of averaging 140 gallons a day per person.  Nations says the period of highest usage has moved from Labor Day to mid-July.

Brazos County commissioners are a step closer to coming up with an alternative plan for developing new computer software affecting the courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement. Eight weeks ago, the county sued a Virginia-based company after being notified they went out of business without finishing software for the local criminal justice system. Commissioners discussed ongoing negotiations with a possible replacement in executive session as requested by Assistant County Attorney Bill Ballard.  After the closed door meeting, Ballard told Commissioner Irma Cauley he will compose a contract for future consideration.  Brazos County paid AMCAD, the company that went out of business, $2.6-million to replace a 14-year-old software system.

And, former ambassador and current dean of the Bush School of Government Ryan Crocker updated chamber of commerce members this week about the current problems in the Middle East. After the presentation, Crocker described the power of the Islamic State group known as ISIS as being more dangerous than Al Qaida because it is larger, better funded and better equipped.  Crocker says the United States needs to be engaged in the region and use all available tools. But the former Ambassador says the form of the engagement has to be flexible depending on what’s going on in each country.  In the last three weeks, the American military has conducted more than one hundred airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq. And, the Obama administration is considering a humanitarian effort in northern Iraq where at least 12,000 have no access to food or water.