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College Station’s hands-free device ordinance to be enforced soon

Sign reads "Prohibited: Cell phone use hands-free only. Violators subject to fine."

By Officer Tristen Lopez, CSPD Public Information Officer

This week, more than 30 signs will be installed around College Station that label the city as having a hands-free ordinance in effect as it relates to drivers and their wireless communications device of choice.

The idea is that fewer distractions will result in fewer crashes, injuries and deaths.

The hands-free requirement applies to anyone using a cell phone while operating a vehicle or riding a bicycle on a public roadway in College Station, which includes typing, sending or reading texts, or making a call. Under the ordinance, even using GPS while driving requires the device to be attached to a mount.

You may pick up your device while driving only if:

  • You are at a complete stop.
  • It is an emergency.
  • You are selecting music on your device. (state requirement)

The ordinance was approved by the College Station City Council in late February and was set to be enforced in March, but the health and budgetary impacts of COVID-19 delayed the city from moving forward until now.

Once all signs have been installed, the College Station Police Department will allow a 30-day warning period before having the option of issuing citations for violators. Fine amounts range from $25-$500.

If a hands-free ordinance in College Station sounds familiar, you’re right: The city originally began enforcing a similar ordinance in January 2017, but by September of that same year, the state passed its own law that pre-empted some of the city’s provisions and led to the city council repealing ours.

Please don’t drive distracted — #JustDrive.

 


About the Blogger

Tristen Lopez is in his 11th year with the College Station Police Department.


 

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Video: Now for something completely positive (August)

Take a look back at some of the positive things that happened in the City of College Station in August:

The city’s Traffic Division made crossing University Drive easier for those who use wheelchairs, College Station was named the best city in the country for career opportunities during the pandemic, Water Services quick response to a leak prevented a major problem, first responders helped assisted living residents finally see their families, and Judge Spillane conducted his first Zoom wedding — from Kyle Field.

Now that’s something completely positive!

– Public Communications Office

October classes offer essential babysitter training

By Bridget Russell, Aquatics Supervisor

Babysitter, nanny, and childcare specialist are just a few of the titles we use to describe someone who cares for our children when we’re away.

Regardless of whether it’s a high school student from down the road or a live-in au pair, those tasked with caring for your child should have the essential skills to keep your child safe, including CPR and first aid training.

In October, the City of College Station Parks & Recreation Department is conducting American Red Cross training for babysitters 10 years and older. The $75 class provides the knowledge and skills to safely and responsibly care for children and infants. Topics include:

  • Properly supervising children and infants.
  • Choosing age-appropriate games and toys.
  • Handling bedtime and discipline issues.
  • Identifying hazards and preventing injuries.
  • Communicating effectively with parents.
  • Caring for common injuries and handling emergencies.
  • Applying pediatric CPR.

The American Red Cross is the nation’s leader in babysitting classes and childcare training.  From young babysitters taking care of their neighbors to seasoned professionals, a Red Cross Advanced childcare certification or Babysitting certification is an impressive credential — and certifications are good for two years.


Class Schedule

All classes are at the Wolf Pen Creek Green Room.

  • Tuesdays (Oct. 6, 13, 20) & Thursdays (Oct. 8, 15, 22), 9-11 a.m.
  • Wednesdays (Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28), 5-8 p.m.

To register, go to rectrac.cstx.gov.

For more information, contact me at brussell@cstx.gov or 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger

Bridget Russell has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as the aquatics supervisor since 2017. She was a lifeguard at Texas A&M for almost three years after serving as an administrative clerk for the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-11. Bridget earned bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2012) degrees in sport management from A&M.


 

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Start Smart football created for your own backyard

By Bobbie Cantu, Athletics Supervisor

Football is a big deal, especially in Texas. A shared passion for the game brings generations of families together each fall. The College Station Parks and Recreation Department’s Start Smart Football in Your Own Backyard program was created to encourage families to spend time together while teaching kids to play the game.

Based on the Start Smart Football program created by the National Alliance for Youth Sports, the six-week program is specially designed for 3-6-year-olds. It prepares the kids and their caretakers for organized football with a fun, step-by-step approach in a safe environment — their own backyards.

Caretakers are provided with age-appropriate equipment and instructional materials to help teach throwing, catching, kicking, punting, running, and agility. As the program progresses and players show improvement, skills can be altered, so each player remains challenged.

Registration closes Sunday, Sept. 27. To register online, go to rectrac.cstx.gov or drop by the Parks and Recreation Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road.

The cost is $35 per packet, and participants will receive their equipment and instructional materials as a one-time pick-up. Staff will contact participants to schedule a curbside pick-up at the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office.

For more information, go to cstx.gov/sports or call 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger

Athletics Supervisor Bobbie Cantu is in her third year with the Parks and Recreation Department. A native of Weslaco, she earned bachelor’s (2017) and master’s (2019) degrees in Sport Management from Texas A&M.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings (canceled)

Note (10/10): Today’s workshop and regular meetings of the College Station City Council have been canceled due to a software change by Zoom, implemented Wednesday, that prevents citizen participation via a toll-free phone call. Work is underway to reschedule today’s agenda items. An announcement with those details is forthcoming. We apologize for the inconvenience.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council meets at city hall on Thursday for its workshop (after 4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings. Public attendance is restricted.

The meetings will be streamed live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and at cstx.gov/cstv19. To join the meeting online, go to Zoom or call 888-475-4499 and enter meeting number 988 5610 4149. Public comments will be allowed through Zoom.

To address the council via Zoom about any agenda item — or about non-agenda topics during Hear Visitors — you must register with the city secretary before the meeting by calling 979-764-3500 or emailing CSO@cstx.gov before the meeting starts. Written comments submitted to CSO@cstx.gov will be provided to the council members.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. TxDOT Projects: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the Texas Department of Transportation’s College Station projects.
  2. Small Business Association: The council will have a workshop discussion about creating a small business association to enhance economic development and engage with the business community.
  3. Definitions of Family and Related: Another workshop topic is possible modifications to the city’s definition and enforcement of the terms “family” and “related” as they apply to the number of unrelated persons that may reside together. While new definitions are considered, the development of a Restricted Occupancy Overlay has been put on hold.
  4. Easement Abandonment: After a public hearing in the regular meeting, the council will consider abandoning part of a 20-foot wide public utility easement because of encumbrances experienced with the Holy Cross Lutheran Church’s site plan.
  5. Replat Notification: After a public hearing, the commission will consider an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance that adds the option of mailing a notice of replat approval to surrounding property owners.

Related Links:                                                            

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as the associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Lick Creek programs encourage kids to explore

By Brooke Littlefield, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to a close, and school is underway. We hope your summer was full of adventure as you hiked our trails, observed wildlife, and participated in the self-guided activities at Lick Creek Nature Center.

Our Parks and Recreation family enjoyed engaging with the community this summer and is looking forward to seeing you again for our fall programs. The self-guided activities continue and can be found at the Nature Center or by visiting with our staff.

Beginning next Thursday, Lick Creek Nature Center offers two programs to encourage children to engage with their environment. Explorers can choose a program based on their age and must register to reserve a spot. A new nature theme will be introduced each week that challenges participants to observe and explore the world around them.


WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Ages 3-6
Thursdays, Sept. 10-Dec. 17 • 9:30-10:30 a.m. 
$3 per class

Walk on the wild side as we enjoy a short story, hike, and playtime at the outdoor classroom. The program is designed for preschoolers and caretakers. Daily classes are $3 per participant, and one caretaker is free. Spots are limited, and we won’t have class on Nov. 26.

Registration ends at 5 p.m. the day before each class. 


EXPLORING EXPERIMENTS
Ages 7-13
Fridays, Sept. 11-Dec. 11 • 10-11:30 a.m.
$3 per class

Explore nature in an exciting and enriching hands-on environment. Each week, we’ll discover a new topic through experiments and exploration at the amphitheater. The program is designed for ages 7-13. Daily classes are $3 per person, and spots are limited. We won’t have class on Nov. 27.


The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to restructure programs and devise protocols to keep our youth safe, active, and engaged. Measures include maintaining smaller groups, wearing face masks, and social distancing. Staff will clean and plan based on CDC guidelines and recommendations by county and local health officials.

For more information, go to cstx.gov/lickcreek or call 979-764-6216.

 


About the Blogger

Brooke Littlefield is in second first year as an assistant recreation supervisor. A College Station native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M in 2017.


 

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