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Top Morning Stories October 17, 2011

This week is Native Texas Plant Week.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News
This week is Native Texas Plant Week.

Possible Austin Energy Rate Hikes

TheElectric Utility Commission of Austin will meet this evening at six to discuss Austin Energy’s proposed rate hikes from August. Members of the public are invited to speak at tonight’s meeting. The event will be held at Town Lake Center on Barton Springs Road. There will be an additional special-called meeting this Thursday. ReadKUT's report on the proposed rate changes.

Bastrop Relief Concert

Musicians like Willie Nelson, George Strait, Dixie Chicks and Lyle Lovett will perform tonight at the Frank Irwin Center to raise money for those affected by the recent wildfires in Bastrop County. The event is entitled Fire Relief: The Concert for Central Texasand begins at 6:30.Tickets are still on sale.

Longhorns Drop from the Polls

After Saturday's loss to Oklahoma State 38-26, the Longhorns have dropped out of the polls. Last week the Longhorns were ranked 22 in the AP Top 25 poll and 21 on the USA Today Coaches Poll. UT's football team is still ranked in the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) poll, at number 24. Players have this weekend off, but will go up against the University of Kansas on October 29th.

Austin Water Extends Lawn Remodel Program

Austin Water has announced it will extend its lawn remodeling program until October 31st. The program provides customers with a rebate for purchasing drought tolerant turf, on the condition that they do not begin remodeling until after the drought has passed. So far, more than 700 Austinites have applied to the program.

Texas Native Plant Week

This week the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centeris sponsoring Texas Native Plant Week. The awareness week was created in 2009 to encourage Texans to plant and cultivate native plants, which tend to require less water and chemicals.

Permanent Supportive Housing

This evening the City of Austin will host a community workshop discussing the city's permanent supportive housing strategy. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) and the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Tonight's workshop, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., will be held at the Family Life Center, First United Methodist Church. More coverage of Austin's permanent supportive housing strategy can be found here and here.