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Top Morning Stories, December 24, 2011

White Christmases aren't unheard of in El Paso, like this 2002 picture shows. Another inch of snow is expected in West Texas today.
Photo courtesy of Garland Cannon at at
White Christmases aren't unheard of in El Paso, like this 2002 picture shows. Another inch of snow is expected in West Texas today.

Happy Christmas Eve! Parts of Texas are looking at an honest-to-goodness white Christmas, Virginia puts a lump of coal in Rick Perry's stocking and a Justice Department ruling could affect a law taking effect in Texas in 2012.

Snow blankets West Texas, Rain Dampens Central Texas

From El Paso eastward to San Angelo this morning, that really is snow! One to three inches of snow has blanketed the western arm of of the Lone Star State, delighting kids and frustrating travelers. Over 200 passengers were stranded at an El Paso Greyhound bus station Friday, after the heavy snow closed roads heading into New Mexico. Winter storm warnings and weather advisories cover West Texas, stretching north into the Panhandle. But Central Texas is dreaming of a wet Christmas instead, with rain forecast most of Christmas Eve ending by Christmas morning.

Perry, Gingrich Not on Virginia Ballot

When Virginia Republicans go to the polls on Super Tuesday, two prominent names will not be on the presidential nominating ballot: Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. GOP officials in the Old Dominion say neither the Texas governor nor the former House speaker submitted the needed 10,000 petition signatures to qualify for the March 6 ballot. Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney were certified for the Virgina primary election.

South Carolina Voter ID Law Rejected

The U.S. Justice Department rejected South Carolina's voter ID law late Friday, calling it "discriminatory." The law was passed by the South Carolina legislature and is similar to one passed by Texas lawmakers during their 2011 regular session. During an appearance at the LBJ Library earlier this month U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department would place voting laws, like the ID requirement, under stricter scrutiny.

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.