Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman Julie Moody explained the significance of a four month review of the department’s inner workings and plans to improve, among other things, time spent with children and families from 26% to closer to 40%.

Click below to listen to comments from Julie Moody with WTAW’s Patrick Zeinert

JulieMoody062314.mp3

Additional Resources

Operational review documents: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Other_Reports/stephen_group_reports.asp

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Development Manager for Bryan Cody Cravatt and Assistant Development Manager Martin Zimmerman provided an update on WTAW’s The Infomaniacs June 19, 2014.

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The push to clear out the VA hospital backlog of veterans waiting for treatment got a shot in the arm on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

House Speaker John Boehner named Representative Bill Flores of Bryan to the Conference Committee on Veteran’s Health Care.

Flores was one of eight Republicans named to the 14 member committee. The Senate was expected to name its members late the same day.

The proposed bill would allow veterans to seek healthcare from private sources and have the VA manage payments.

Flores said he couldn’t predict the total number of veterans who would take advantage of the proposed changes, but that there are currently almost 120,000 veterans who have been waiting for an appointment for as long as 90 days.

Click below to hear Bill Flores’ comments to WTAW’s Patrick Zeinert on appointment to the committee.

BillFlores061814conferenceVA.mp3

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Speaker, John Boehner (R-OH), has appointed Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) to the House-Senate Conference Committee on the Senate Amendments to H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act.  Following the appointment, Congressman Flores released the following statement:

“I am humbled to be appointed by Speaker Boehner to the conference committee working to finalize legislation to help our nation’s veterans. When our military men and women return to civilian life, we owe it to them to keep our promises and provide them with the best health care and benefit services possible. It has been disheartening to learn that the VA has been failing to do its primary job and our veterans are suffering because of the VA’s blatant misconduct and mismanagement. I look forward to coming together with my fellow conferees to iron out the differences between our respective bills to ensure our veterans are receiving proper, timely care. I am focused on creating a more accountable VA with a smaller bureaucracy that is committed to putting the care of our nation’s veterans first.”

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Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski discussed rising property values, current construction projects, the current city charter petition, Blinn College expansion, and more during his regular appearance on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, June 18.

Click below to listen to Mayor Jason Bienski visit with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-TX) of Bryan discussed private sector help for veterans seeking VA treatment, the latest IRS woes, Iraq concerns, and more during his weekly Washington update on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, June 18.

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

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Interstate highway travel could be getting a little smoother in coming years.

That’s if a Texas Transportation Institute plan to move some 18-wheeler freight above the roadway proves feasible.

Dr. Stephen Roop, Senior Reseach Scientist for TTI on the A&M campus said the system, called Freight Shuttle, is track-based.

He said it’s it’s not like rail freight in that only one container is transported at a time.

The system could address two areas of congestion: border crossings, where removing the driver from the process would allow 100% of cargo to be X-Rayed, and corridors, such as along interstates.

Dr. Roop said a full-scale test track should be available for demonstration by the end of the year.

The all-electric system could operate elevated above interstates in the existing right of way.

Similar to rail systems, the wheels would travel steel-on-steel to reduce rolling resistance.

Dr. Roop said that could help reduce the cost to about $0.10 per mile—about one-seventh the cost of transportation on rubber tires over traditional roadways.

StephenRoop061614.mp3

TTI information: http://tti.tamu.edu/freight-shuttle/

TTI Freight Shuttle information sheet (PDF): http://tti.tamu.edu/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Freight_Shuttle.pdf

Freight Shuttle website: http://freightshuttle.com/

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Construction costs continue to rise in the renovation of the Brazos County Courthouse as more is found out about leaks that existed for nearly two decades. County Judge Duane Peters says they couldn’t properly assess the problem until they moved the inmates. The project has already cost more than $7 million dollars, and current estimates call for almost $5 million more to finish the job. Three years ago Peters said he hoped they run into all the problems they could after replacing exterior concrete panels with energy efficient windows.

Peters, speaking on WTAW’s The Infomaniacs, was also asked about the status of Brazos County roads damaged by by heavy trucks related to energy exploration and what to do with tax revenues being above budget projections.

Click below for comments from Duane Peters, visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia:

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College Station Mayor Nancy Berry discussed renal registration implementation, opposition to Blinn College expanding into the Lynntech building, and more during her regular appearance on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, June 11.

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

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U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-TX) of Bryan discussed Eric Cantor’s Tuesday primary loss, the recent influx of young illegal immigrants, the congressional briefing on Bowe Bergdahl, and more during his weekly Washington update on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, June 11.

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

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Bryan Police Officer Kelley McKethan visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about Friday’s Community Softball Classic, summertime reminders about children staying at home alone, how to deal with door-to-door salespeople, and locations of increased traffic enforcement.

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