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Top Morning Stories December 10, 2010

Photo courtesy of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Teacher Retirement System Earns 12.6% Return Rate

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas Trust Fundearned 12.6 percent this year.  TRS says it ranks first among its pension fund peers across the nation.  The fund's total value is more than $100 billion, up about $9 billion from September 2009.  The return meant a big pay out for the TRS' investment team.  They were awarded $9.7 million in performance bonuses.

Prison System Bracing for Cuts

The state's prison chief is warning that deeper budget cuts could mean staff cuts.  That’s according tothe Associated Press.  State leaders ordered all state agencies to cut an additional two and a half percent from their current budgets.  The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says for it, that would be $75 million.  That’s on top of 55 million the agency already slashed. 

Car Wash Owner in Hot Water over UT Tower Replica

The Austin American Statesman's commentary writer John Kelso has a piece about a new car wash on RM 1431 that's drawing fire from UT.  The new Tower Express Car Wash has a 60-foot  replica of UT's landmark Tower.  From Kelso:

Tesch opened the place about a week ago. In the process, he's also managed to get UT all over him like a duck on a June bug. UT officials say Tesch's car wash tower is a trademark infringement, since it looks so much like the school's famous 307-foot Tower. And they want Tesch to make some changes to the look so people won't confuse his tower for a UT thing.   

Kelso's suggestion to the owner? Paint it maroon.