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The Eagle •

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Continued from A1 The police do their best to eliminate the bars, which in Bryan have only stayed open for a ffew months at a time. Officers would report the dangerous activity to the landlords, hoping the owner would shut them down. And they would issue noise violations and make arrests when they spotted illegal activity. But there’s nothing police can do to stop them altogether. Although after-hours bars are illegal in College Station and unincorporated Brazos County, they are permitted in Bryan. That may change soon. Bryan has no law allowing the after-hours venues to operate in the city, but it has no rules that explicitly ban them. Therefore, city officials must allow them to operate. Now, the city’s planning department has begun a process to define the bars and write an ordinance that would make them illegal. In Texas, bars that serve alcohol must close at 2 a.m. The after-hours clubs have no liquor license, however, and don’t have to comply. Instead, they serve set-ups, which are cups of juice or other nonalchoholic drinks that can be mixed with liquor. “They set up Red Bull, orange juice, Cokes and ice,” Oliver said. “And there is dancing and it is a place to gather.” The bars that have operated in Bryan often stay open until 6 a.m., and noise is the biggest problem, Oliver said. But fights and illegal drug use have also been common. “By this time of the morning most folks already have been out drinking and now somebody bumps into you or offends you in some way and fights break out,” Oliver said. “The fight doesn’t break out between two people, it happens in a parking lot and it turns into a melee. From our standpoint, it would take all the manpower we have to e ffights and stop break up these the noise issues.” Restoring order to the bars can be a risky task for police, who are usually outnumbered by intoxicated people. “It is a mob mentality,” he said. “We have had rocks and bottles thrown at our officers once before. Because of the fact that this is a mob and I can get in this mob and throw rocks and hurl insults to the police officers without the fear of retribution, it could be very dangerouss ffor our offic ff ers to ffic wade into these situations.” Bryan Planning Administrator Martin Zimmerman said last week that any changes would appear as a

STUDY: Money to fund sample collections Continued from A1 Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the DSHS, said it’s common for the state agency to offer funds to help with epidemiological investigations. “It leads to stronger results and helps improve the outcomes of the work we are all doing,” she said. Rae Lynn Mitchell, spokeswoman for the School of Rural Public Health, said the DSHS notified the university weeks ago that some funds were available, but the donation wasn’t approved and finalized until late June. The money in this case is to be used to help fund the cost of collecting biological samples, such as blood, from the parents of trisomy 18 babies as well as some control couples. “We’ve identified four control couples for every one trisomy parent to do analysis on,” Mitchell said. The previous budget for the A&M research was $42,000, with a ffocus on examining the number of miscarriages reported in Bryan-College Station from Jan. 1, 2006, to now to get a more complete picture of the rate of miscarriages prior to the recent cluster. Some of the five affected families are scheduled to begin submitting samples this week. Mitchell said the A&M research should be completed sometime this fall.

“The fight doesn’t break out between two people, it happens in a parking lot and it turns into a melee. From our standpoint, it would take all the manpower we have to break up these fights and stop the noise issues.” Oliv Sgt. Demond Oliver Bryan police officer text amendment in the city’s zoning ordinance. Discussions on how to define the clubs and establish rules for them have just begun, so it’s unclear what the final amendment would say, he said. On Thursday, city planners presented the issue to the Planning and Zoning Commission. They gave the commission three choices: Leave the clubs alone and do nothing, impose rules on them or ban them altogether. The commission said it wanted to ban them. “They told us they had an issue so I don’t know why we wouldn’t back our police officers,” said Michael Beckendorf, chair of the commission. The city will now prepare an ordinance. It would need to be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council before being implemented. If that happens, Oliver said, it would be a great relief for police. “They are causing a serious quality of life problem,” he said.

Continued from A1

CLUBS: Commission HELP: More than $76,000 in donations collected MAJOR DONORS said it wants to ban them lected more than $76,000 in money and food, along with an immeasurable amount of clothing, toiletries and essential household items. The monetary donations, Fultz said, will be divided up and given directly to the families. Church member Dave Kucifer chalks up the staggering response from the community to the inherent kindness of man. “People are good,” he said. “They want the opportunity to help where they can, and when they have the opportunity they’ll always respond.” Kucifer was at the church the e ffirst day y iit began eg receiving donations. What started as four bags and a couple of boxes of clothes eventually grew so exponentially the church was forced to stop accepting clothing donations, he said. Anothot other gym-sized room in the contai so much furchurch contains niture, including a big-screen TV, that it’s hard to walk around inside of parts of it. Items such as dog food and make-up vary so much from one another because donors

• Tomball HEB: $4,000 of food • Brenham HEB: $2,000 of food • Bryan-College Station Lowe’s: Unlimited supply of water and Gatorade • The Eagle: $22,000 (raised by the newspaper from donations) • Waller County City Agencies: $8,000 in food and supplies • City of Fieldstore resident and business donations: $10,000 • Friends of Grimes County: $15,000 • First Baptist Church of Navasota: $10,000 • Anonymous Hempstead couple: $5,000

by the incident because it was a rare occurrence, with families sometimes taking more than they need in similar situations. Fultz agrees. “The first response is always, ‘I know there are people out there who were less fortunate, go help them first,’” she said of victims seeking help. “They don’t want to take more than they need.” Church members Bobbie Burns and Toni Renbers have volunteered to help sort through ugh the mounds of clothes ug and accessories, which range from medical scrubs to purses to washers and dryers. “I thought this would be a

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are unsure of what people need, Kucifer if said. ifer “We had one family that came in early on and got clothing,” he said, referring to one of the 188 ffamiliess w who lost everyer erything in the fire. “They came extt d ex day ay and d rret eturne etur urned back the next what they couldn’t use.” Kucif said he was amazed Kucifer

good entrance back into the general church family,” said Burns, who has been absent from church following the death of her mother. “My mother liked to volunteer, and I’ve always liked to do that.” Unfazed by the constant flow of items, Renbers said she has helped at the church for two straight weeks. y iit,” she said. “II ffeel “I enjoy more open because I’m doing it for a g good cause and for somebody that really needs it.” Friends of Grimes County is still accepting monetary donations at the Navasota Chamber of Commerce. For more information on how to help, call 936-825-6600.

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