News Headlines–4/8/2013

The president of the student body at Texas A&M has vetoed a bill proposed to let students opt out of paying fees based on their religious beliefs.  A statement released by John Claybrook says the intent to deny funding to the campus Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Resource Center “has caused great harm to our reputation as a student body and to the students feeling disenfranchised by this bill.”  Claybrook’s veto message stated in part that the good accomplished in rewriting the bill to cover religious beliefs in general “pales in comparison to the damage done. (And) This damage must stop today. Claybrook said “now, more than ever, is the time to show great resolve and come together, treating each other like the family that we are.”  Claybrook says there is a process which will consider appeals involving issues related to the application of A&M’s student fiscal policy.

A weekend swim in a College Station park pond resulted in the drowning of a local man.  Family members say the victim, 37-year-old Timothy Sumrall, went underwater in one of the fishing ponds at College Station’s Central Park Saturday afternoon. Five to ten minutes later, Sumrall had not resurfaced. Members of the fire department’s dive team found the body four minutes after entering the water that was at least 15 feet deep.  Police investigators have no suspicion of criminal activity.

KAGC and our partners in the Brazos Valley Media Giving Back program were at the Bryan Fire Department headquarters station Friday morning.  KBTX General Manager Mike Wright was part of the presentation, handing over your monetary donations totaling more than $73,000, to the families of the four firemen killed or injured in the Knights of Columbus Hall fire.  Accepting for the families was Fire Chief Randy McGregor.   Your contributions allowed each of the families to receive more than $18,000.

And, got water? Texans can now go online to see how much we have.   The A&M Agrilife Extension Service has launched an online water education network as a one-stop source on quality, conservation and management. Associate Director Pete Gibbs says the website is water.tamu.ed.   Gibbs says until now, there was no easy way to access water materials because it was so scattered. Meanwhile, the U.S. drought monitor shows more than 98-percent of the state still in some level of drought.