Lt. Chuck Fleeger of the College Station police department visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about safe driving during the back to school period.

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News release courtesy of College Station police:

Local law enforcement is joining together to remind everyone about the need for back to school awareness throughout our community. On Monday August 25th local children will be heading back to school throughout Brazos County and the following week on Monday September 1st, students will begin the fall semester at Texas A&M and Blinn Junior College.

Local residents are asked to be mindful to these events and to be aware of the impact that the new school year will have on all of us:

Be mindful of school zones and the posted speed limits associated with them. Local law enforcement will be proactively patrolling these areas in an effort to keep traffic patterns flowing smoothly and safely for our children as they make their way to and from school.

Watch for area bus stops as areas where children will wait for school buses to take them to school and drop them off at the end of the day. Motorists are asked to be extra cautious in these areas and watch for children as they move to and from the buses in case they are not watching for you.

Motorists are reminded of the need to stop along roadways for school buses as they pick up and discharge their riders at various points throughout the community.

Distracted Driving: avoid unnecessary distractions like cell phones at all times, especially around areas where children will be moving and school zones.

Build in extra time for your commute. Traffic around our schools picks up greatly during this time of year and can cause delays. Additionally our population will grow significantly over the next week as our college aged students continue arriving in our community for another semester.

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William Bouse, deputy fire marshal with the city of Bryan, visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about the need for renters to get rental insurance and a reminder with the start of school to not park in fire lanes.

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College Station Mayor Nancy Berry discussed a proposed ordinance to address e-cigarettes, the ongoing budget process, and more during her regular appearance on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, August 20.

Click below to listen to Mayor Nancy Berry visit with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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Officer Kelley McKethan of the Bryan police department visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about back to school driving reminders, another invitation to apply for Citizens Police Academy, and locations of increased traffic enforcement.

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Jordan Meserole of the B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about the economic impact of summer events, a reminder to download the new Destination Aggieland smartphone app, and a reminder to check out and submit events on the CVB website.

Click here to be directed to the CVB website.

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News release courtesy of the Bryan/College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau:

Mark it down as the summer that Bryan-College Station was more successful than the movie industry. While recent reports state that national movie gross incomes were trailing 20% behind last year, Aggieland saw its summer economic impact make a significant jump. Hotel tax receipts were trending up by almost 24% from 2013, and the Bryan-College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau (BCS CVB) estimates through conventions, sports events, and general tourist visits that economic impact during the summer months reached the 10 million dollar mark.

“Up until a few years ago, people around town remarked about how Bryan-College Station became a ghost town,” said Shannon Overby, President/CEO for the BCS CVB. “But that’s changed. We’re seeing more and more conventions and sports tournaments bring their events to our great community. We’ve had multiple hotels and restaurants remark that this is one of the best summers they have had on record.”

Annual events like the 4-H Roundup – which brought an estimated 4,000 visitors with an impact of above one million dollars – and the Great American Shootout – which brought an estimated 2,000 visitors with an impact of near $500,000 – helped keep the economy healthy. But new events such as the Youth World Cup – which hosted participants from 16 countries at the Expo for an entire week – as well as events that have come back to B/CS after leaving for other cities such as the 7-on-7 Football tournament and the Games of Texas have all helped skyrocket the B/CS summer economy into new levels.

“We have great staff in our office, as well as at both cities that work tirelessly to attract these events and visitors to our area — all the kudos should go to them for making sure the phrase ‘slow summer’ is never said again in our area,” Overby said. “And we can’t track every visitor that comes to our community or how much they spend – so the $10 million mark could be very conservative. It could be much higher than that, especially considering attractions such as the George Bush Library and Messina Hof brought in a high number of visitors on their own this summer.”

The BCS CVB uses tourism economic multipliers as evaluated by the Recreation, Parks & Tourism office at Texas A&M to calculate estimated impact from the conventions and sports tournaments. The office declares a multiplier of $130 for sports and $205 for conventions. The BCS CVB estimates that between May 1 and August 1, approximately 60,000 visitors entered Bryan and College Station for a convention or sports tournament. It should be noted these numbers are estimates based on events and conventions that the CVB has worked with or brought in to the cities, and is an estimate rather than a hard figure.

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College Station city councilwoman Julie Schultz visited with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia on The Infomaniacs Friday, August 15.

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Reservations are still being accepted for next Wednesday’s Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce economic outlook briefing.

Chamber President Royce Hickman this year’s focus is the impact of local oil and gas exploration.

There will be a panel discussion moderated by Luke Legate with the Statewide Joint Association Oil & Gas Education Initiative

Panelists are Dan Hill and Harold Vance of the Texas A&M Department of Petroleum Engineering, Robert Willen, the President of College Station based Rio Brazos Acquisitions, and Obie O’Brien, the Vice President of Government Affairs for Apache Corporation.

Click HERE for more information from the Chamber website.

Click below for comments from Royce Hickman, visiting with WTAW’s Patrick Zeinert.

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Keep Brazos Beautiful is assisting Brazos County Commissioner Sammy Catalena with a free tire disposal event this Saturday.

KBB director Amy Reed says this will help reduce tire dumping that takes place out in the country as well as inside the city.

Last March during the KBB’s Texas Trash Off cleanup event, volunteers picked up more than 150 illegally dumped tires.

Saturday’s event is at the Brazos County Expo Center from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Brazos County residents can drop off tires that are not on rims…including tires from passenger vehicles, farm implements, ATV’s, and even lawn mowers.

Click below for comments from Amy Reed, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.

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BryMedDistMtg081814Officials with the city of Bryan and St. Joseph Regional Health Center are seeking public input on a proposed health and wellness district that would be centered in the area of 29th and Villa Maria.

There will be a public meeting Monday from 6 until 7 p.m. and an open house Tuesday from 4:30 until 7 at Bryan city hall.

Click below for comments from Tim Ottinger of St. Joseph’s and WTAW’s Bill Oliver.

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News release courtesy the city of Bryan:

Following more than six months of work by a local Task Force, residents will get an early glimpse of what a Health and Wellness-focused district might offer them in the way of delivering world-class healthcare and encouraging active, healthy lifestyles for people living, working, and learning in the area around St. Joseph Regional Health Center.

The Health and Wellness district initiative would seek to bring together resources – ranging from diabetes classes with healthy cooking courses to well-designed green space that could encourage exercise and help relieve everyday stress – to support community efforts to improve both the health of our residents and our community’s economic health and quality of life. It would include new housing and business development opportunities and recommended community infrastructure enhancements, crafted with an emphasis on health and wellness.

The concept grew out of discussions between St. Joseph Health System and the City of Bryan, as they sought ways to develop a clear, concise vision for the area in and around the St. Joseph Regional Health Center, the region’s largest provider of health services. From those discussions, a Task Force of local health care providers, business & educational leaders, and private citizens came together and began working to draft a scope of service for the Health & Wellness initiative. With the scope outlined, the Task Force helped secure public/private funding to engage nationally-recognized planning consultants Loony Ricks Kiss (LRK) to develop a proposal for a Health and Wellness Master Plan for the City of Bryan.

Although still in the early project-planning phase, the Health & Wellness Master Plan is focused on an area around the intersection of 29th Street and Villa Maria in Bryan, given local health resources, access and other infrastructure availability.

“This is an innovative project,” said Tim Ottinger, Advocacy & Community Benefits Officer with the St. Joseph Health System. “We know that many of the resources essential to creating a Health & Wellness district are present in our community, and that we can all benefit from a collaborative effort to leverage these resources. We also know that as healthcare in America continues to evolve, there will be a much greater call for each of us to be more engaged in maintaining our own good health through awareness, education and activities. Our Health & Wellness initiative moves past healthcare as treatment of existing conditions to a place where prevention and wellness are the focus of healthcare.”

As part of the planning process, LRK will analyze existing resources and identify potential opportunities to enhance the planning area. The Health & Wellness Master Area Plan effort will consider land use, transportation, and district appearance and identity. The land use plan will make recommendations that support valid economic development strategies for the area, as well as support development of a distinctive health and wellness district where people want to live, work and play.

The phase that is critical to the development of the Master Plan is coming up – gathering input from the public on what they would like to see in a district-level Health and Wellness initiative. A public input meeting and a design open house are scheduled for Aug. 18-19 to discuss with the community the concept for a Health & Wellness Master Plan in Bryan. Alternative concepts for the Health and Wellness Master Plan will be presented at public meetings to gather input.

“Because this is a fairly new concept to design a space that promotes health and wellness, we knew we needed to take time to talk about the concept and put a few ideas on the drawing board,” said Joey Dunn, Deputy City Manager with the City of Bryan. “What the public will see are early concepts – we very much depend on the input of residents as we shape this concept.”

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U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-TX) of Bryan discussed his latest round of townhalls, placement of immigrant children, presidential overreach, and more during his weekly Washington update on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, August 13.

Click below to listen to Congressman Bill Flores’ discussion with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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