Area Digest


Midway Volunteer Fire Department hosts “Texas State Championship”

The Midway Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its 11th annual Fall Fest Barbecue Cook-off on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Midway Community Center.  This is an IBCA-sanctioned event and the categories include brisket, chicken and pork spare ribs. There will also be a jackpot category for beans, chili, open cooking (not dessert) as well as Bloody Mary and margarita judging.

There is a $200 entry fee for all sanctioned categories and a $10 entry fee for Jackpot categories. A total of $10,000 in prize is guaranteed to be paid out and there will be trophies awarded as well. For additional information, please call Sherry at (936) 348-8279 or Lance at (936) 348-8270.


Blinn enrolling truck driving, welding and medication aide students for November courses


Blinn College is enrolling students in professional truck driving, gas tungsten arc welding, and medication aide refresher courses that will begin in Bryan this November.

Blinn’s Professional Truck Driving Program consists of two courses and will welcome students for its upcoming course section running Monday, Nov. 14, through Saturday, Dec. 10. Students learn to perform pre-trip, on-the-road, and post-trip vehicle and equipment inspections. Other skills include map reading, managing log books and cargo documentation, dispatch procedures, emergency responsibilities, and regulations of transportation agencies.

Students also learn road safety guidelines and specific laws applicable to professional drivers. At the conclusion of the program, instructors accompany students to the commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing facility in Hearne, where they may be eligible to leave with their CDL and a certificate of completion from Blinn.

Entry-level truck drivers can expect a starting wage of approximately $20 per hour, or an annual salary ranging between $40,000 and $60,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for professional truck drivers will increase 5 percent between 2014 and 2024.

Truck driving courses run concurrently and are held 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, at Blinn’s Highway 60 Training Center, located at 5503 Raymond Stotzer Parkway in College Station. The cost for each course is $2,100. For more information, call 254-829-1694.

Registration also is available for Fundamentals of Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG), which will run Tuesday, Nov. 15, through Thursday, Dec. 8. The $540 course meets from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and covers the principles of gas tungsten arc welding, including setup, equipment, and instruction in a variety of positions and joint designs.

The course earns credits toward Blinn’s Associate of Applied Science in welding. Students who complete the welding AAS degree graduate with 1,776 hours of specialized instruction and meet the national standards set by the National Center for Construction Education and Research and the American Welding Society. On their way to a degree, Blinn students can earn Level I and II certificates and an occupational skills award.

Welders often earn between $20 and $25 per hour, and with plenty of overtime opportunities available, skilled workers can earn between $70,000 and $80,000 per year.

Blinn will offer its $75 Medication Aide Refresher course from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12. The course includes specific training and review in the preparation and administration of medications, documentation, licensing standards, the safeguarding of medications, common drug reactions and side effects, and updated and new medications available on the market. Students who successfully complete the course will receive an updated certified medication aide permit from the state.

For more information regarding Blinn’s technical and community education programs, please visit Blinn’s Post Office Campus at 301 Post Office Street in Bryan, call 979-209-7205, or visit