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Top Morning Stories October 31st, 2011

Members of Occupy Austin set up a food table on Friday.
Photo by Raymond Thompson for KUT News
Members of Occupy Austin set up a food table on Friday.

Occupy Austin

More than 30 members of Occupy Austin were arrested on Saturday night for disobeying a new city law prohibiting the distribution of food from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. All were released on Sunday. Occupy Austin has released a statement on their website. They plan to hold a benefit concert tonight at 9 p.m. by City Hall to raise money for bail bonds.

The Texas Civil Rights Project has come out against the arrests, saying they were an "overreaction" and a "waste of tax payers' money." Here is their full response.

Court Redistricting

Today three federal judges in San Antonio will hold a hearing on the new state redistricting maps. The maps were created last spring by the legislature and signed into law this summer by Governor Perry. The state of Texas is being represented by Attorney General Greg Abbot, who says the new district lines should bolster minority representation. Opponents to the maps say they are discriminatory and will stifle minority representation.

Today minority groups such as the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force will make their case against the legislature's proposed map.

On Friday, the Department of Justice released a statement saying that while the redistricting case is in court, the state of Texas cannot use the proposed maps. Instead, the state must use maps suggested by the court.

The Austin American Statesman has more details on the case here.

Morton Case

The AP reports that today attorneys for Michael Morton will question Judge Ken Anderson regarding accusations he allowed evidence to be concealed during Morton's initial trial 25 years ago. At the time, Anderson was a prosecutor. Anderson fought the deposition, but his request was turned down by an appeals court last week.

Street Closures

APD has announced there will be street closures tonight in downtown Austin because of expected Halloween crowds. Most of the closures will be around 6th street. The City has released a map with more details. APD is also advising Austinites to keep safety in mind tonight by leaving any and all weapons at home, even if they are part of a costume.

KUT compiled a list of things to do on Halloween night that do not include 6th street.

Longhorns Polling

The Longhorns are back in the polls, though just barely, after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. The USA Today Coaches' Poll has the Longhorns coming in at number 25, while Bowl Championship Series places Texas at 21. The Longhorns are still unranked on the AP Top 25 Poll.