Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski discussed tax breaks for a proposed hotel and conference center in the biocorridor, potential “super park” designs, and more during his regular appearance on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, August 27.

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 the latest developments in ongoing stories about the VA, IRS, Middle East, congressional stalemates, and more during his weekly Washington update on The Infomaniacs, Wednesday, August 27.

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

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Ryan Crocker, Dean of the Bush School and a former ambassador to six countries under four presidents spoke with WTAW’s Patrick Zeinert about conflict in the Middle East as it relates to American citizens.

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Alison Prince of United Way of the Brazos Valley visits with WTAW’s Patrick Zeinert about how to partner with the organization.

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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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Alison Prince and Lindsay Guerin of United Way of the Brazos Valley visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about the agency’s Financial Fitness Center.

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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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