District 14 State Representative John Raney of Bryan discussed Governor Abbott’s State of the State address, tax reform, Convention of States, special item funding, and more during his appearance on The Infomaniacs on Wednesday, February 1.

Click below to hear John Raney visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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Representative Bill Flores of Bryan (R-TX) discussed President Trump’s executive order, state funding for border security, Medicaid, and highway funding, the GOP retreat, and more during his Washington update on The Infomaniacs on Wednesday, February 1.

Click below to hear Bill Flores visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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United Way of the Brazos Valley president Alison Prince visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about the 2-1-1 Texas service, UWBV’s upcoming staff garage sale on 2-1-1 Day (February 11), and provides an update on the organization’s community and state employees campaigns.

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State Senator Charles Schwertner discussed ongoing issues with Child Protective Services including funding and employee salaries, Senate Bill 3 about school choice, committee assignments, and more during his update from Austin on The Infomaniacs on Tuesday, January 31.

Click below to hear Charles Schwertner visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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Additional information from Senator Schwertner’s office after Governor Abbott lists foster care and CPS as emergency priorities:

During today’s State of the State address, Texas Governor Greg Abbott named issues related to foster care and child protective services to a list of emergency legislative priorities he hopes to see addressed during the 85th Legislative Session. This emergency designation allows lawmakers to act on legislation to improve the state’s child protection efforts within the first 60 days of session.

In response to the Governor’s declaration, Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) wasted no time in calling a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services for this Thursday, February 2 at 1:00 pm (Texas Capitol, room E1.028).

“It’s hard to imagine a more critical priority than safeguarding our state’s most vulnerable children from abuse and neglect,” said Schwertner. “These are serious challenges that demand our undivided attention and issues that deserve to be placed at the forefront of the 85th Legislative Session. I sincerely thank Governor Abbott for his attention to this issue, and for allowing us to begin work on protecting the lives of Texas children without delay.”

During Thursday’s hearing, the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services is expected to receive testimony on issues related to child protection and formally consider action on Senate Bill 11, an omnibus reform package aimed at making critical improvements to both Child Protective Services (CPS) and the state foster care system. Senate Bill 11 was previously named a top priority of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

The main provisions of Senate Bill 11 are outlined below:

Ensures timely and appropriate services for children in foster care.

o Requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to work with the foster care managed care organization (STAR Health contractor) to implement a triage assessment system to help caseworkers identify high needs children and expedite appropriate services within 3-5 days of removal from the home.

o Requires Child Placing Agencies (CPAs) and STAR Health to ensure that 90% of children receive a comprehensive assessment within their first 30 days in foster care.

o Establishes a regional pilot program for a non-profit organization to provide comprehensive case management services for foster children with the most acute medical and behavioral health needs.

Increases the capacity of the foster care system by encouraging collaboration and enhancing Foster Care Redesign.

o Requires local CPS leadership to analyze DFPS data on capacity needs and work with foster care providers, faith-based communities, and advocate groups to develop comprehensive plans for increasing foster care capacity.

o Requires all future Foster Care Redesign contractors to be non-profit entities with a mission related to child welfare.

o Requires the development of a comprehensive readiness review prior to expanding Foster Care Redesign to new catchment areas, including assessment of a vendor’s ability to provide high-quality case management and evidence-based services to children and families, as well as their ability to ensure sufficient foster care capacity.

Increases accountability for providers serving children in the CPS system.

o Implements a regional pilot program in two areas of the state that enlist a non-profit vendor to assume responsibility for the provision of Family-Based Safety Services (FBSS) and case management for children and families.

o Directs DFPS to work with outside groups to develop a series of quality metrics for both FBSS and post-adoptive services for inclusion in future provider contracts.

o Creates the Foster Care Oversight and Quality Assurance Division within DFPS to manage contract compliance and oversee performance outcomes for all foster care contractors responsible for providing services to children and families.

o Expands the current performance-based contracting program to include all foster care providers and directs DFPS to implement a system of financial incentives for meeting or exceeding established benchmarks, as well as penalties for substandard performance.

Strengthens the standards for investigating abuse or neglect of children in foster care and moves these investigations to the CPS Investigations Division.

o Moves investigations of child abuse and neglect that occur at residential child care facilities such as foster homes, residential treatment centers, and foster group homes to the CPS Investigations division and ensures that all investigations are held to a high standard. This includes 24-hour and 72-hour requirements for initial face-to-face contact with victims as opposed to the current 5-day standard.

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Frankie Galasso, who plays Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys, is coming to MSC OPAS in February. Galasso discusses the show during his appearance on The Infomaniacs on Monday, January 30.

Click below to hear Frankie Galasso visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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A co-founder of a local laboratory has come full circle in his business.

Doctor Earl White founded MDx BioAnalytical Laboratory in Arizona, moved to College Station in 2010, and became involved in other companies.

Dr. White, who has reactivated the business, says MDx is in the business of screening products from pharmaceutical companies who are looking to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

MDx is hosting an open house next Tuesday, January 31 from 3 until 4:30. That’s followed by a chamber of commerce ribbon cutting. MDx is located in the Aggieland Business Park, west of Easterwood Airport on Jones Road off FM 60.

Click below for comments from Earl White, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.

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Additional information from MDx BioAnalytical Laboratory:

MDx BioAnalytical Laboratory, Inc. is a full service analytical laboratory specializing in complex instrumental analysis of drugs including biologicals.

We are part of the ‘bio-corridor with a facility in the Aggieland Business Park off Jones Road and will be hosting an open-house in mid-January.

Our instrumentation include several different types of mass spectrometers that are used to provide drug characterization and routine analytical and research support for pharmaceutical companies.

Typical studies and assays include characterization of small and large molecules, protein/peptide characterization to include molecular weight, purity, concentration, aggregation and PK/PD studies (both human and animal biological fluid and tissue samples).

Product release assays (HPLC, GC/MS, SDS-PAGE, Endotoxin MALDI-TOF & Q-TOF/MS and others) are among those performed by our laboratory.

In addition, we support the Workforce Development program here and will be hosting interns from both Blinn College and Texas A&M.

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District 14 State Representative John Raney of Bryan discussed committee assignments, the budget, public education issues, and more during his appearance on The Infomaniacs on Friday, January 27.

Click below to hear John Raney visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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This City of College Station update features Venessa Garza, Bicycle, Pedestrian & Greenways Senior Program Manager. Garza discusses the program and future development during her appearance on The Infomaniacs on Friday, January 27.

Click below to hear Venessa Garza visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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Bryan deputy fire marshal William Bouse visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver about illegal outdoor burning inside city limits, the latest information of a house fire earlier this week, and a reminder of Saturday’s fundraiser for a firefighter battling cancer.

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Today’s City of Bryan update features The Big Event’s Hunter Goldsworthy and Micky Faya discussing their organization and what they are doing for the community through this year’s event.

Click below to hear Hunter Goldsworthy and Micky Faya visiting with WTAW’s Scott DeLucia.

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