Local News Headlines–7/22/2016

Now that a lawsuit against the College Station school board has been withdrawn, board members are talking about what happened at this week’s meeting that finalizes the sale and purchase of land for future school construction. Board vice-president Jeff Harris, who is a partner in the law firm that is employed by the winning bidder, abstained from Tuesday’s vote and all discussion about the land sale. Harris says neither he nor his law firm represented the winning bidder in this transaction and as an attorney he was uniquely situated to serve as a go-between between the board and the school district’s attorney regarding the lawsuit during an executive session. This week’s board votes reaffirms action taken last month to sell land at Holleman and Deacon, next to collegiate housing, to buy land at Holleman and Rock Prairie, located in a development of single family homes.

A former guard at the women’s federal prison camp in Bryan has been sentenced for having sex with two inmates. 45-year-old James Graves, who admitted to the contact in May, was ordered to serve 21 months, followed by ten years of supervised release. Graves will also register as a sex offender as the result of the contact with the inmates two years ago.

There is less than three weeks left for victims of May’s severe storms to apply for federal assistance. Bryan City Secretary Mary Lynne Stratta says FEMA still has an office at Bryan High School’s blue campus and 585 storm victims have received a total of $2.5-million in the Brazos Valley. Stratta says work continues to have a town hall meeting that includes FEMA representatives.

The days are numbered for Texas based retailer Hastings. The Amarillo Globe-News reports two financial consulting companies are liquidating its remaining stores, including 36 in Texas and one in Bryan, by October 31st. Hastings, based in Amarillo, filed for bankruptcy five weeks ago. The company will give remaining employees seven days notice of store closings. And according to the company website, they stopped honoring gift cards and taking returns last week.