News Headlines–4/1/2013

College Station city officials continue to monitor potential occupants of vacant commercial properties. Planning and development director Bob Cowell says the city keeps tabs on business comings and goings because of the sales and property tax revenue they generate among other things.

While the Texas house has its version of education reforms for kindergarten through 12 grade students, state representative Kyle Kacal of rural College Station says superintendents from College Station, Navasota, and Hearne were happy with what the house passed but told him there’s more work to be done. Kacal supported reducing the number of standardized tests and increasing opportunities for vocational education.

And, the Texas senate has approved a bill supported by Blinn College allowing state supported colleges and Universities to access department of public safety files for criminal background checks of students who apply for on-campus housing. The house has similar legislation pending, written by state representative Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham. Blinn administrators have testified in both chambers, saying it will be a big step in improving the safety of their campuses and students. DPS files would allow higher education institutions to access pending criminal charges that are currently unavailable.