Author Archive

James, Emma CS’s most popular baby names in 2018

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Oh, do I look forward to writing this one each January: Baby names and numbers that represent how creative – and procreative – our residents were during the previous year.

Before you notice the drop in the number of births from 2017 to 2018, let me explain the main reason for it: College Station Medical Center closed its labor and delivery services in mid-July, which meant almost every baby born here after that was at Baylor Scott & White Hospital. The official breakdown was 1,402 births at Scott & White, 609 at The Med, and 5 home births.

So, here’s the complete data from Yvette Dela Torre, our perennial rock-star local registrar who’s in charge of our vital statistics reporting:

Births Girls Boys Twins Triplets
2013 2,159 1,066 1,093 36 sets
2014 2,460 1,264 1,196 30 sets 1 set
2015 2,494 1,245 1,249 50 sets
2016 2,307 1,206 1,164 44 sets
2017 2,398 1,168 1,230 48 sets 1 set
2018 2,016 970 1,046 27 sets

Most popular boys first names

  • James (14)
  • Jackson (13)
  • Aaron (12)

Jackson tends to stay in the top three, but James displaced Jayden, Elijah, and Noah from last year.

Most popular boys’ middle names

  • James (34)
  • Lee (25)
  • Alexander (22)

James repeats as the top middle name, and Alexander loses a spot. Lee jumped into the top three to replace Wayne from 2017.

Most popular girls’ first names

  • Emma (20)
  • Ava (11)
  • Harper (10)

Emma and Ava swapped places from 2017, but Harper jumps up to replace last year’s third-place tie between Camila and Charlotte. This makes 34 Emmas in two years — a brisk pace!

Most popular girls’ middle names

  • Rose (53)
  • Grace (44)
  • Marie (40)

These are the same three from 2017, but Rose and Grace have swapped places.

Honorable mentions

Last year, I took a deep dive into the entire list of names and, holy moly, was it worth it. Of the more than 2,000 wonderful names from 2018, here are some of my favorites.

“Alexa, what should I name my baby?”

  • Alexa Naelid
  • Alexa Viridiana

Cowboys

  • Duke
  • Maverick Wayne
  • Maverick Layne
  • Ripp Wilder
  • Ryder
  • Trigger
  • Wyatt

Presidents

  • Cleveland
  • Jefferson
  • Kennedy
  • Lincoln
  • Madison
  • McKinley
  • Reagan

There’s even a cowboy-president

  • Abraham Rowdy

Born to be wild

  • Boone Ranger
  • Canyon Marie

Born to be a leader

  • Kaiser
  • Major Sebastian Hayes
  • Militia-Saint
  • Moses

Royalty

  • King
  • Pharaoh
  • Pippa
  • Prince-Alan
  • Royal
  • Sir

NBA all-stars

  • James
  • Joel
  • Kevin
  • Kyrie
  • Lebron
  • Russell
  • Stephen

Namaste

  • Blessing
  • Blyss
  • Cedar
  • Essence
  • Harmoniee
  • Journei
  • Joy
  • Juniper
  • Luna
  • Paisley
  • Serenity

Retro

  • Birdie
  • Evelyn
  • Hazel
  • Lucy
  • Winnie

Fire & water

  • Amina Fire
  • Blaze
  • Brazos Beaux
  • River Wylder
  • Wylder Blaze

Strong character

  • Creed
  • Exzavior
  • Honorable
  • Justyce
  • Kourage Valor
  • Maximus
  • Noble
  • Ryker

The Jackson 5

  • Jackson Henry
  • Jackson Lynn
  • Jackson Howard
  • Jackson Cole
  • Jackson Elliott

They’ve got the moves like…

  • Jagger Patrick
  • Jagger Robert

Too great not to mention

  • Abel Cain
  • Athena Mayhem
  • Jefferson Juan
  • Sackett Fritz

More 2018 birth stats

  • Months with the most births: April (202), May (201)
  • Month with the fewest births: November (105)
  • Day with the most births: April 26 (19)

College Station ended 2018 with an estimated population of 119,871. Will we have enough Emmas and Jameses to push us over the 120,000 mark in 2019?

I feel pretty confident we will.

Related Blog Posts

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 10th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as past president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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City presents 100th historical marker to 1932 Southside home

(L-R): Councilwoman Linda Harvell, HPC Chairman Gerald Burgner, Emily Jane Cowen, Chris Cowen, Councilman Dennis Maloney, and Mayor Karl Mooney.

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Let’s face it: Plenty of College Station residents were born before our city was officially incorporated in 1938. Still, honoring our history — albeit a relatively brief one — is essential. 

That’s why College Station’s Historic Preservation Committee had the vision to launch its Historical Marker Program in 1991. The effort recognizes qualifying homes, buildings, sites, events and other classifications significant to College Station’s earliest days.

The College Station City Council on Thursday honored the 100th residence to receive a marker: 603 Guernsey Street, which is owned by Chris and Emily Jane Cowen. The Cowens purchased their beautiful 1932 home in 2012 and later renovated the entire structure. They now have a numbered, cast-aluminum plaque bearing the likeness of an old College Station railroad depot to display on their home with pride.

 

The College Station Historical Marker Program shouldn’t be confused with the National Register of Historic Places or with Official Texas Historical Markers; instead, it’s a separate endeavor with clear criteria consisting of two categories: structure and subject.

The structure criteria are pretty straightforward. A home must be at least 50 years old, have historical significance to Texas A&M or the community, or display architectural importance. Questions asked by the committee might focus on whether the structure’s materials came from local sources, or if the builder, architect or style of construction carried significance.

Subject marker criteria is a bit different. To be considered, a nominated person must have had a prominent role in the city’s history and been deceased for at least 20 years. Their contribution to the community might have been in education, government, business, religion, cultural institutions, or ethnic or civic leadership.

Even events, objects and topics meeting their own sets of criteria can be considered for a College Station Historical Marker.

To learn more about the program, visit cstx.gov/heritage.

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 10th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as past president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Jan. 10)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 10. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:33 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken in executive session.

5:37 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for workshop discussion:

  • General Parkway Extension: The General Parkway Extension Project includes the extension of General Parkway to Cain Road. The railroad crossing at Cain Road and Wellborn Road is being closed due to safety concerns, and a new railroad crossing will be at Deacon Drive and Wellborn as part of the Deacon/Cain Railroad Crossing Project. The extension of General Parkway will improve transportation flow.
  • Highway 6 Waterline Project: The project includes the construction of a section of 20-inch waterline along the northbound frontage road of State Highway 6 near Pavilion Avenue. Phase IIIA extends north from the intersection of State Highway 6 and Pavilion Avenue about 700 feet. Phase IIIA is being expedited as part of the Phase III project in coordination with ongoing development.

5:38 p.m.

Harvell elected mayor pro tem

The council unanimously elected Councilwoman Linda Harvell as mayor pro tempore. She will act as mayor during the absence or disability of Mayor Karl Mooney.

6:00 p.m.

Brazos Transit District routes

The council heard a presentation from the Brazos Transit District’s Wendy Weedon about the district’s future routes.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:03 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:12 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:22 p.m.

100th Historical Marker

The Historic Preservation Committee presented Chris and Emily Jane Cowen the city’s 100th historical marker for their home at 603 Guernsey St. The structure was built in 1932. The Historical Marker Program was launched in 1991.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:22 p.m.

The meeting has been suspended for a short reception for the 100th historical marker.

6:31 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

6:36 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Councilwoman Elianor Vessali recognized Army 1LT Kile West as part of The American Fallen Soldiers Project. The 23-year-old Hutto native died May 28, 2007, when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Abu Sayda, Iraq.

6:37 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A contract not-to-exceed $150,000 with Hilltop Securities for financial consulting services.
  • A $350,619 contract with Palasota Contracting for the construction of the General Parkway extension.
  • A $235,310 contract with Elliot Construction for the State Highway 6 Waterline Phase IIIA Project.

6:53 p.m.

Comp Plan and UDO Annual Reviews

After a public hearing, the council unanimously accepted the annual reviews of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

7:27 p.m.

Wellborn Road Land Use Change

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the land use designation from Wellborn Estate to Wellborn Commercial for about 7.4 acres on the west side of Wellborn Road about 500-feet south of Barron Cut-off Road. The change will allow for commercial development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:31 p.m.

Tower Point Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved a request to change the zoning from Rural and General Commercial to General Commercial for about 2.5 acres at 4320 State Highway 6 South near the intersection of Arrington Road and State Highway 6. The change will allow for commercial development.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

7:36 p.m.

Board and Commission Appointments

The council appoints citizens and fellow council members to represent the City of College Station on joint committees with other governmental agencies and community groups. The council also has several internal committees. 

These appointments were unanimously approved:

Arts Council of the Brazos Valley (College Station representatives)

  • Bob Brick, appointed 12/17
  • Patricia Burchfield, appointed 11/15
  • Hans Hammond

BioCorridor Board (2-year terms)

  • Linda Harvell, appointed 1/19
  • Johnny Burns, appointed 12/16
  • Casey Oldham, appointed 1/17

Blinn College Brazos County Advisory Committee

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 12/16
  • Bob Brick (alternate), appointed 12/17

Aggieland Humane Society

  • Peggy Sherman, appointed 12/17
  • Charles Fleeger, appointed 2/16

Brazos Appraisal District

  • Ronald Kaiser, appointed 11/17; 10/11; 9/13; 9/15; 11/9

Brazos County Health Department

  • John Nichols, appointed 12/17
  • Linda Harvell, appointed 12/16

Brazos Valley CEOC Policy Advisory Board

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 11/16
  • Linda Harvell, appointed 12/17

Brazos Valley Economic Development Council

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 12/17
  • Dennis Maloney, appointed 1/19

Brazos Valley Council of Governments Board of Directors

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 11/16

Brazos Valley Council of Governments Intergovernmental Committee

  • Karl Mooney (chair), appointed 01/15; 11/16
  • Bob Brick, appointed 12/17

Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency Board of Directors

  • Karl Mooney (chair), appointed 10/11; 8/14 (1-yr term); 9/15; 9/18 (3-yr term)
  • John Nichols, appointed 10/16
  • Richard Floyd, appointed 2/12; 8/14; 9/17 (3-yr term)

Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System

  • Elianor Vessali, appointed 1/19

Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 11/16
  • John Nichols, appointed 12/17

Experience Bryan/College Station

  • Linda Harvell, appointed 10/18
  • Jerome Rektorik, appointed 10/17
  • Mechelle Milliorn, appointed 10/17
  • Karen Bonarrigo, appointed 06/18 unexpired term
  • Steve Miller, appointed 10/17 (1-year); 10/18
  • Robert Holzweiss, appointed 10/17 (1-year); 10/18
  • Jay Primavera, appointed 10/17 by Bryan and CS (hotel operator)

Keep Brazos Beautiful

  • Venessa Garza, appointed 3/12

Regional Transportation Committee for Council of Governments

  • Bob Brick, appointed 12/17

RELLIS External Advisory Council

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 2/17
  • Elianor Vessali, appointed 1/19

Research Valley Partnership

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 11/16
  • Jerome Rektorik, appointed 12/17
  • Johnny Burns, appointed 5/18 – Effective June 1, 2018

Spring Creek Local Government Corporation

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 2/17
  • Jerome Rektorik, appointed 1/19
  • John Nichols, appointed 2/17
  • Julie Schultz, (citizen member) appointed 2/17
  • Jane Kee, (citizen member) appointed 2/17

INTERNAL COMMITTEES

Architectural Advisory Committee

  • Bob Brick, appointed 12/17
  • Elianor Vessali, appointed 1/19
  • Linda Harvell, appointed 12/17
  • Bradford Brimley, (citizen) appointed 01/18
  • Ward Wells, (citizen) appointed 01/18

Audit Committee

  • Karl Mooney, (chair) appointed 11/11
  • Elianor Vessali, appointed 1/19
  • Dennis Maloney, appointed 1/19
  • Mike Ashfield, appointed 04/17
  • Nate Sharp, appointed 04/17

Budget and Finance

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 12/12
  • John Nichols, appointed 1/19
  • Jerome Rektorik, appointed 1/19

Compensation and Benefits

  • Bob Brick, appointed 12/17
  • Karl Mooney, appointed 01/15
  • Elianor Vessali, appointed 1/19

Economic Development

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 11/16
  • Jerome Rektorik, appointed 1/19
  • John Nichols, appointed 12/17

Transportation and Mobility

  • Karl Mooney, appointed 11/16
  • Bob Brick, appointed 12/17
  • Linda Harvell, (BPG chair) Appointed 12/17

7:39 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:39 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Jan. 24.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as 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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Brazos Transit District: The Brazos Transit District will give a presentation about its future routes.
  2. General Parkway Extension: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $350,000 contract with Palasota Contracting for the General Parkway Extension Project.
  3. Comp Plan and UDO Review: The council will discuss the annual reviews of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance and conduct a public hearing.
  4. Wellborn Road Land Use: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use designation from Wellborn Estate to Wellborn Commercial for about 7½ acres on the west side of Wellborn Road north of Barron Cut Off Road.
  5. Tower Point Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the zoning from Rural and General Commercial to General Commercial for about 2½ acres near the intersection of Arrington Road and State Highway 6 in the northern part of the Tower Point Subdivision.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channel 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as 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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Northgate Parking Garage goes cashless Friday

By Eric Chapman, Northgate District Supervisor

In recent years, the City of College Station has noticed a steady decline in cash transactions at the Northgate College Main Parking Garage. More than 80 percent of garage patrons now pay with debit or credit cards. 

The entire parking garage industry is rapidly going cashless, and several local garages have already transitioned to this type of system.

Consequently, the Northgate garage will be cashless — and more user-friendly — starting Friday. Going cashless means the garage will operate more efficiently, and Northgate staff can focus on more productive duties.

It also means if you don’t have a debit or credit card, you won’t be allowed to park in the garage. You can use coins to park at one of the city’s 98 single-space street meters or in the pay-by-space meter lot at 310 Church Ave.

If you don’t have a debit or credit card, you also have the option to buy a monthly, six-month or annual pass at a competitive rate. For more information or to purchase a contract, go to cstx.gov/parking or call 979-764-3778. 

User Friendliness

The new system uses bar-coded tickets and high-performance thermal printers for trouble-free ticket issues. The magnetic stripe tickets used by the existing eight-year-old system can be frustrating because tickets can get damaged or become demagnetized when placed next to a credit card or driver’s license.

In addition, customers can conveniently pay at the four kiosks at the southernmost corners of the garage or at the exit gates. No more having to back out of a lane to pay.

Enjoy the new features at the Northgate College Main Parking Garage!

 


About the Blogger

Northgate District Supervisor Eric Chapman has been with the city since 2009. He worked for Tarrant County from 2005-08 and was a federal correctional officer in Ontario from 1997-2005. A native of Canada, Eric earned a degree in law and security administration in 1996 from Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario.


 

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Our most popular blogs and podcasts of 2018

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

When blogging became all the rage several years ago, it was common to see corporations and even state and federal government agencies jumping aboard.

But you didn’t see many local governments taking part – and you still don’t.

The reason the City of College Station decided to start blogging in 2010 was simple. It was an effective way to better tell our story. More than eight years later, the city blog continues to be a powerful cornerstone of our public outreach strategy.

In our first year of blogging, we averaged about 1,500 views per month. In 2018, we averaged almost 12,000 views per month, an eightfold increase. Since we launched the blog in August 2010, we’ve published nearly 870 posts, resulting in more than 400,000 views and tens of thousands of shares through social media.

Our 128 new blog posts this year attracted more than 141,000 views – about 40,000 more than the old record set in 2017 and almost twice what we saw in 2016. Our most-viewed blog of 2018 was about last summer’s new sanitation schedules and rates, which received well over 10,000 views.   

The five-year-old post about how to report power outages remains our most-read piece overall with almost 20,000 views, including 3,700 new ones in 2017.

Podcasts

While blogging is rare for municipalities, you see even fewer cities delivering regular podcasts featuring local government leaders. Public Communications produced seven podcasts in 2018 that received more than 9,000 plays through Soundcloud, YouTube, and the city blog.

The “Is This a Thing?” series featuring Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz has continued to be especially popular with our podcast audience. The series explores the rumors and realities about new restaurants, stores, and other development coming to town.

The year’s most popular episode, posted in April, featured local chef and restaurateur Wade Barkman and was played a whopping 2,532 times.

Here are our most popular blogs and podcasts of the year:

Top Blog Posts of 2018

1.     10,482 views

 New sanitation schedules and rates start in July

2.     5,044 views

 How you can help save the monarch butterfly

3.     3,743 views

 Your account number is key when reporting an outage

4.     2,936 views

 What to do when Ofo becomes an oh no

5.     2,509 views

 10 ways to protect your pipes and irrigation in freezing weather

6.     2,354 views

 A closer look at the proposed city charter amendments

7.     2,043 views

 Why doesn’t College Station have a Waffle House?

8.     1,877 views

 Is This a Thing? What’s coming to CS and what’s not (Episode 6)

9.     1,848 views

 Chef Wade Barkman dished on The Republic and Primrose Path

10.    1,772 views

 Jayden, Ava were CS’s most popular baby names in 2017

Top Podcasts of 2018

1.    2,532 plays

 Chef Wade Barkman dishes on The Republic and Primrose Path

2.    2,050 plays

 Is This a Thing? What’s coming to CS and what’s not (Episode 6)

3.    1,868 plays

 Jones Crossing H-E-B built for technology – and pizza

4.    1,229 plays

 Is This A Thing? Krispy Kreme, Lululemon and Spice World

5.    734 plays

 Is This a Thing? How the At Home deal was sealed

6.    414 plays

 Is This a Thing? Live from the Stella Hotel

7.    246 plays

 Bridget Russell, College Station’s pool shark

 Happy New Year!

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as 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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