Local News Headlines–8/1/2016

The Bryan city council is holding a special meeting tomorrow with FEMA and the Small Business Administration to provide victims of severe weather in late May another opportunity to learn what federal services are available. Tomorrow’s special meeting starts at 5:30 at the Bryan Justice Center at 29th and Texas. Meantime, FEMA is closing its Bryan disaster assistance center a week earlier than originally scheduled. Wednesday is the last day of the center at Bryan High School’s blue campus.

Have you ever wondered where the nearest fire station is? Or who your city councilman is? Well you can find out all of that and more by using GIS. G-I-S, or geographic information systems, is a compilation of maps with detailed information about the area you live in. Bryan’s G-I-S Supervisor, Dale Kubenka says you can also use it to find out about future plans. Kubenka says new development data is edited daily. There are also tools in the system which allow you to measure your property, see flood plains and even find out which cemetery someone is buried. You can access the G-I-S system online.

Nearly a year and a half after state officials received a voluntary recall notice from Blue Bell, comes penalties after the ice cream maker shut down and renovated its plants after the discovery of listeria bacteria. Carrie Williams at the Department of State Health Services says Blue Bell will pay $175,000 within 30 days. Another $675,000 will not have to be paid if Blue Bell follows the terms of an enforcement agreement for 18 months. Blue Bell issued a statement saying in part that they are committed to the provisions outlined in the updated agreement, which follows a voluntary agreement in May of last year.

Local News Headlines–7/29/2016

A Bryan couple told police they woke up around 4 am yesterday morning and became victims of an attempted armed robbery that ended in gunfire. Bryan Police report no one was hit by the shots, but officers are not saying if the victims knew several black men in their 20’s, one who had a gun, that demanded money. The apartment is located on Broadmoor, south of 29th, east of the C-H-I St. Joseph Health campus. The male victim, who said he was physically assaulted, refused medical treatment after being struck. The woman was not injured.

Last night was the last chance to tell state officials about an application by an expanding west Bryan manufacturer to generate more air pollution. It will possibly be after Thanksgiving before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will decide whether to approve the Saint Goblin Ceramics permit to install another kiln or if opposition that included 13 of 16 speakers at a state hearing warrants a contested hearing which amounts to a civil lawsuit. The new kiln is expected to add 111 tons of pollution to the air in Brazos County. Opponents also called on T-C-E-Q to start monitoring air quality in the twin cities.

FEMA has announced two disaster recovery center will close tomorrow. The center in Todd Mission closes at noon, and the center in Somerville closes at 6 pm. FEMA’s center at Bryan High School’s blue campus will remain open through August 10th.

There are officially three openings on the College Station city council in this November’s election. Two filed last night after the council approved special elections for openings caused by the decisions of Karl Mooney and John Nichols to run for mayor. Seeking to fill out the remainder of Mooney’s term, which ends next year, is Linda Harrell. Filing for the remainder of Nichols’ term, which ends in 2018, is Barry Moore. The deadline to file for those openings is August 25th. Both incumbent members of the Bryan city council are running for re-election. Rafael Pena has filed for a second term representing Single Member District Two. He is opposed by Prentiss Madison. And, the current councilman in Single Member District One, Al Saenz, is opposed by Reuben Marin. Filing for the remainder of Bryan and College Station city council and school board positions continues through August 22nd.

Sports Headlines–7/29/2016

The Texas A&M football team received some criticism last year due to rumored dissension in the locker room. Defensive end Myles Garret says the situation will be different this year because of the addition of a true leader at quarterback in the form of Trevor Knight who transferred from Oklahoma to Texas A&M in the off season. The Aggies will open the season in 35 days on September 3rd against UCLA.

The Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals last night 3 to 2 behind two homers by Mitch Moreland. Roughned Odor added a third homer. The Rangers and Royals play again tonight in Arlington.

The Houston Astros will begin a series tonight in Detroit against the Tigers.

Local News Headlines–7/28/2016

The Brazos County health department has announced the first case of travel-associated Zika virus. The infected person recently returned from traveling to an area with ongoing Zika transmission by mosquitoes. Community health services director Julie Anderson says with Zika, you have to protect yourself from mosquito bites anytime you are outdoors. The health department says there is no evidence of mosquitoes in Brazos County with Zika.

Now there are two sons of former Bryan City Councilmen running for the seats their fathers once held. One is Prentiss Madison, seeking the Single Member District Two seat held for 11 years by his father Paul between 2001 and 2006 then 2007 until 2013. And, as reported yesterday, Reuben Marin is running for Single Member District One, the seat his father Joe held between 2001 and 2007. The sons are also both on Bryan’s Planning and Zoning Commission and also served on the Parks and Recreation Board. The filing period for the Bryan and College Station city councils and school boards continues through August 22nd.

Last week, a federal agency ruled they are staying out of the application for a high speed passenger train between Houston and Dallas. Congressman Bill Flores of Bryan says he agrees with the decision from the Surface Transportation Board that it is a state issue. Flores says he will never allow the bullet train to receive federal funding.

Police in Bryan and College Station received reports Tuesday from small businesses in local shopping centers where customers tried to pass counterfeit money. In both cities, one business refused the funny money and one accepted it. All four cases are under investigation.

Time is running out for anyone in Brazos, Grimes, Burleson, and Washington counties affected by severe weather from two months ago to receive federal assistance. FEMA has announced the Grimes County disaster office in Todd Mission will close Saturday at noon. Bryan mayor Jason Bienski encourages victims to go to FEMA’s center at the Bryan High School blue campus. Victims have until August 10th to file with the FEMA disaster center. Bienski says efforts continue to have a town hall or workshop meeting next week with FEMA officials. FEMA has distributed more than $2.6-million to 610 victims in the four counties. The Small Business Administration has approved $2.2-million in loans for victims in the same area.

Sports Headlines–7/28/2016

The Brazos Valley Bombers have now won 21 games in a row after a 14 to 7 win last night over the Woodlands Strykers. The Bombers are off for a couple of days before hosting the Acadiana Cane Cutters on Saturday and Sunday nights.

The Houston Astros salvaged the final game of their series with the New York Yankees yesterday with a 4 to 1 win. The Astros are off today.

The Texas Rangers gave up two two-run homers to the Oakland A’s last night on the way to a 6 to 4 loss. The Rangers will begin a four-game series tonight in Arlington against the Kansas City Royals.

Local News Headlines–7/27/2016

Brazos County Commissioners have started the process of reducing traffic south of College Station. County Judge Duane Peters says to lessen congestion on Arrington Road south of William D. Fitch, a developer has donated the land to extend Mesa Verde Drive to the Highway 6 overpass near Texas World Speedway at a cost of $1.2-million. The county estimates the cost of widening Arrington at $2-million. Commissioners plan to include that and a second project in next year’s budget. Peters says they are also looking at extending Cherokee Street to the feeder road. And, the judge says they are looking at road projects in all precincts.

Yesterday was the 26th Community Impact Awards luncheon sponsored by the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes Hispanic, African-American, Asian, American Indian, and Women business owners who have demonstrated a significant impact on the local community. Representing the title sponsor, Texas A&M Assistant Vice President for Finance Rex Janne says there will be a sixth category next year, businesses owned by disabled veterans. This year’s winners are Jill Gallagher of 1st Alliance Mortgage, Veronica Morgan of Mitchell and Morgan engineers, and Agustin Trevino of Trevino-Smith Funeral Home.

The first person to announce running for a seat on the Bryan City Council says he wants to represent the same district as his father. Reuben Marin, who is seeking the Single Member District One seat, is the son of Joe Marin, who was on the council between 2001 and 2007. Reuben Marin currently serves on Bryan’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the Bryan Business Council. The filing period for the Bryan and College Station city councils and school boards continues through August 22nd.

The monarch butterfly population declined 90-percent from 1995 to 2014. In January, Mayors Jason Bienski and Nancy Berry signed the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. College Station Parks and Recreation Market Assistant, Hallie Kutch says to honor this promise, the city is doing several things to assist with the species’ growth including creating a monarch-friendly demonstration garden at Lick Creek Park, altering mowing schedules and planting milkweed in community and school gardens. Kutch says milkweed is an important food source for the butterflies and residents can help by planting it in home gardens. Free seed packets are available at Stephen C Beachy Central Park. A free community planning meeting will be held at 1:30 pm Friday at the U-S-D-A Building on Holleman.

Sports Headlines–7/27/2016

The Brazos Valley Bombers pushed their winning streak to 20 games last night by holding off a late rally by the Woodland Strykers for a 6 to 3 win. The Bombers will host the Strykers again tonight at 7:05.

The Houston Astros dropped a 6 to 3 decision to the New York Yankees last night. The Astros and Yankees wrap-up their series tonight in Houston.

The Texas Rangers also lost 6 to 3 last night to Oakland. The Rangers and A’s finish their series today in Arlington.

Local News Headlines–7/26/2016

Differing opinions continue about the future of veterinary school programs in Texas after the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reviewed a report last week about how to approach the need for more large animal vets and stop the flow of students moving out of the state to get training. A statement released by the Texas A&M system says in part a plan by Texas Tech to open a second vet college is unnecessary because A&M is opening a new complex and is expanding its program with four A&M system institutions. The chancellor of the Tech system stated in part they were encouraged about the coordinating board’s recommendation to consider what Tech considers as an innovative, cost efficient veterinary college.

Filing is underway for this November’s city council and school board elections in the twin cities. All three current members of the College Station school board are all seeking re-election…Jeff Harris, Michael Wesson, and Quinn Williams. One of three incumbents on the Bryan school board has filed for re-election, Trey Moore. Three have filed for the College Station city council. Seeking the council position two seat is Jerome Rektorik, who is currently on the planning and zoning commission. Previously announcing candidacies for mayor are current councilmen Karl Mooney and John Nichols…which means both are giving up their council seats. This Thursday’s council meeting agenda includes approving special elections in November for the positions now held by Mooney and Nichols. Also making his declaration official on the first day is the first candidate for Bryan mayor, businessman Andrew Nelson. The deadline to file for Bryan and College Station city and school elections is August 22nd.

A woman moving out of her College Station apartment Saturday morning was the victim of a burglary and attempted sexual assault. The victim told police she had left the door open to her unit at The Stadium Apartments on Marion Pugh when she noticed someone had entered her bedroom. When the five foot ten Hispanic man attempted the sexual assault, the woman began screaming, and then the man ran away. In addition to the police response, officers were joined by a dog search team from the state prison system in an attempt to locate the suspect. Anyone with information about the incident, which was reported Saturday morning around 10, is asked to contact C-S-P-D.

Add Burleson and Milam counties to the list with of those with burn bans. Brazos Valley counties already with burn bans are Brazos, Robertson, Leon, Madison, Grimes, and Walker counties.

Sports Headlines–7/26/2016

The Brazos Valley Bombers will open a four game home stand with two games again the Woodlands Strykers tonight and tomorrow night at 7:05 pm. The Bombers are in the midst of a 19 game winning streak and are the 5th-ranked collegiate team in the nation.

A former Texas A&M and NFL player was arrested on the Texas A&M campus Monday. Mark Wheeler, who played for the Aggies, Tampa Bay, New England and Philadelphia in the 1990’s, was found in possession of marijuana and cocaine when University Police responded to the report of a suspicious person in a pick-up a parking lot. Wheeler lists his current address in San Marcos.

The Houston Astros lost a pitcher’s duel at Minute Maid Park last night falling to the New York Yankees 2 to 1. The Astros and Yankees will play again tonight.

The Texas Rangers scored with two outs in the ninth inning last night to squeeze past the Oakland A’s 7 to 6. The Rangers and A’s will play again tonight in Arlington.

Local News Headlines–7/25/2016

There is a timetable to rid what some say was a major source of flooding in Bryan two months ago. Before the late May rains, Blinn College trustees had committed to cleaning out two detention ponds on the Bryan campus. College spokesman Richard Bray says administrators plan to ask trustees next month to hire an engineer. Once a design has been approved by the city, Bray says the trustees will be asked to seek bids to hire a contractor. The earliest date for the start of construction would be late fall. Over at Bryan city hall, City Secretary Mary Lynne Stratta says officials continue to work on reducing the amount of damage from future weather events. Stratta says even though the city has a comprehensive master plan, it needs to be updated. Stratta said many believe the city owns every creek and drainage ditch…which is not true. She also reminds Bryan storm victims to apply with FEMA…even if they have insurance…by the August 10th deadline.

Today is the official start of the filing period for the November city-school election. In College Station, two current councilmen have announced their intent to run for the position of mayor… Karl Mooney and John Nichols. Communications Director Jay Socol says places two, three, four and mayor will be up for election in November. Place two belongs to Steve Aldrich who is joining the Brazos County Commission along with current Mayor Nancy Berry. For those interested in running, City Manager Kelly Templin says the time commitment is a big one, especially for the position of mayor. He says Mayor Berry spends at least 20 hours a week at City Hall. Anyone interested in running or just wants more information can stop by the city secretary’s office at city hall. The filing period ends August 22nd.

Both short and long term efforts to reduce traffic congestion in College Station were discussed at the last city council meeting. Long range recommendations from an outside consultant includes a $20-million flyover of Jones-Butler Road over Holleman and F-M 2818 to reduce volume on the existing roads. Another long term idea is extending Luther west of 2818 then south to Dowling. The only council consensus was taking traffic off Old Wellborn Road by extending General Parkway from Rock Prairie to Graham Road.